Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
01-09-2007, 11:12 AM   #1
Senior Member




Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Bristol, England
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 112
Can't use a mirror

I recently bought a K10D. I am happy with it so far, but there is one minor niggle which won't really bother me much of the time, but it might interest others who haven't considered it.

One of my main reasons for buying a Pentax DSLR was that I can use my existing Pentax-fit lenses with it, and for the most part I can. My (small) collection however includes a strange beast I acquired at an auction we ran in my old club. It's a Soligor Mirror Zoom f8 500-800mm. It's actually a T-mount, but of course it's got a PK adapter attached to it

The thing is, being a mirror lens, its barrel is quite wide (in fact very wide) right from the mount and it won't fit under the integrated flash housing of the K10D. In fact I would doubt that most mirror lenses would fit for this reason.

I have a sort of work-around for the problem in the shape of a 2x converter, but of course that gives me an f11 1000-1600mm lens, which isn't really the same thing!

Apart from a little moan, and a warning to anyone who might be relying on using a mirror lens with their future purchase, I was pondering... although I realise it is customary these days, why is a low-power, integrated, camera-top flash fitted to a pro-sumer camera, especially when it limits the use of the lens mount? When integrated flashes were first applied to SLRs it was in the late 80s (IIRC) and was on cameras targeted at first-time SLR buyers. Now it seems most if not all SLRs have grown this (occasionally useful, but) mainly irrelevant appendage.

01-09-2007, 02:12 PM   #2
Site Supporter
Sluggo's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Ames, Iowa
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 602
I'm mostly in agreement with you on this. It's a failure-prone part, has to cost something to add to the camera, and in your case it can get in the way. A dedicated focus assist beam would be better; scrap the flash (leave the hotshoe), and it would be a better and slightly lighter camera.

But I expect Pentax knows that there are too many prospective buyers who either (1) honestly like having integrated flash and know how to use it effectively for fill or to fire optical slaves, or (2) don't really understand lighting and have to learn firsthand that internal flashes don't tend to produce wonderful results. The fact that group 2 is probably a lot bigger than group 1 doesn't matter much; from a marketing perspective I think they're doing the right thing, even for the currently-flagship K10D. A 645D would be after such a different market that it would no longer be an issue - that might be true for a future K1D too, I don't know. Just rambling here.
01-09-2007, 02:34 PM   #3
Forum Member




Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Buford Georgia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 91
I have a Takumar 500mm mirror lens from long ago.
It has a T mount and I ordered it with a Minolta MD mount.
When I got my K100D - I found a T mount adapter to fit it for
the Pentax on ebay for a few bucks and changed it.
The lense fits fine on my camera and although it is fat, it clears the
front.
I think the part that sticks out on the camera may be a styling thing
and not really any important reason other than that.
I remember long ago that some SLRs had, rather than an electronic
display for aperture, a little lens on the camera body that overhung
the lens mount at the top. This reflected back into the viewfinder
such that you could optically view the aperture setting thru the view
finder while adjusting the camera. A low tech foolproof feature!
When I saw the K100D - thought occurred to me that it was a
styling thing that was to make the camera look retro.
01-09-2007, 04:11 PM   #4
Senior Member




Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Bristol, England
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 112
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by leaton Quote
<snip>The lense fits fine on my camera and although it is fat, it clears the front.
I think the part that sticks out on the camera may be a styling thing
and not really any important reason other than that.
I remember long ago that some SLRs had, rather than an electronic
display for aperture, a little lens on the camera body that overhung
the lens mount at the top. This reflected back into the viewfinder
such that you could optically view the aperture setting thru the view
finder while adjusting the camera. A low tech foolproof feature!
When I saw the K100D - thought occurred to me that it was a
styling thing that was to make the camera look retro.
The Super A (Super Program), for example, uses LCDs for its settings display in the viewfinder. LCDs of course need an external light source, and it's provided by a translucent window in the front of the pentaprism. The pentaprism doesn't however overhang the lens mount.

On the K10D the only obvious reason for the pentaprism overhang is to accommodate the integrated flash in the "hidden" position. If I was being really picky I would also suggest that users with fatter fingers than mine might find it difficult to use the locking button on the aperture ring of an A type lens without removing the lens from the camera first. To be honest I'd rather not have the integral flash for all the minor niggles it causes.

Having said that I am really happy with the K10D for all sorts of other reasons - I just need better (more interesting) weather than we've got in the UK at the moment to get out and use it!

Simon

01-09-2007, 04:16 PM   #5
Veteran Member
jfdavis58's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: 13 S 0357397-3884316
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 876
I have a modern Sigma mirror lens in K mount. Fits easily on the K100D, can bind with the flash and tripod ring on the K10D. Oddly, that warning-binding between tripod ring and certain elements of other older Pentax cameras has been mentioned publicly in several places and may perhaps be documented in the lens manual.

As to the tired question repetition of "why a pop-up flash on prosumer level camera body", I can only say it is subtle Japanese humor: they greatly enjoy yanking the chains binding the simple minded.
01-09-2007, 04:33 PM   #6
Senior Member




Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Bristol, England
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 112
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by jfdavis58 Quote
<snip>As to the tired question repetition of "why a pop-up flash on prosumer level camera body", I can only say it is subtle Japanese humor: they greatly enjoy yanking the chains binding the simple minded.
Thanks for the reply John. Maybe I have had my head in the sand for all these years, but I'd never heard the question asked.

Simon
01-09-2007, 08:49 PM   #7
Veteran Member
jfdavis58's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: 13 S 0357397-3884316
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 876
OK, I guess.

I depend on small shop manufacturing; I'm a small shop operation myself. Pentax is a small shop compared to C and N. ... who hold huge market share.

I'm very sensitive to certain complaints against Pentax equipment, not as a fanboy, but as a kindred spirit.

There's problems B and F and D and Pop-up flash as recurring complaints.

They run cycles in most photo forums.

They have no factual basis or statistical validity.

Illuminating this fact draws the fanboy derogative rather than discussion of merits of such problem claims.

The final paragraph was an attempt to illuminate with a touch of humor and thereby avoid the derogative. Perhaps you need neither illumination nor humor-I apologize. I refuse to accept the derogative.
01-10-2007, 03:12 AM   #8
Senior Member




Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Bristol, England
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 112
Original Poster
Hi John,

There is no need to apologise.

There are stereotypes around that the British use irony in humour, and that the Americans always miss it. In this case there was no irony to miss and I have no reason to suspect you would have missed it if there had been.

I really meant "thank you" and I honestly hadn't heard complaints about pop-up flashes before - except maybe some incredulity on the part of my friends and me at the time they first appeared in the late 80s.

I am happy with your humour - I hope you are happy with mine if and when I use it.

Simon

01-10-2007, 10:00 AM   #9
Inactive Account




Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Boise, Idaho
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,414
I do agree that the pop-up flash is a bad idea for an SLR targeted at more advanced shooters, especially since it will not act as trigger for P-TTL off camera flash. However, there are an awful lot of people who use it. I'm thinking of glueing mine shut.

It's too bad that it is in the way of your lens. I have run into a few lenses that would not fit on even my last film camera. They were all third party lenses that were made for old manual cameras and had some design issue with newer cameras. I have not found this problem with any Pentax lenses, fortunately.
01-10-2007, 02:13 PM   #10
osy
New Member




Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Salo
Posts: 3
Sigma 600mm f/8

I got today a Sigma 600mm f8 mirror lens for testing from a local shop. Perhaps the same jfdavis58 has? It fits into the K10D but you have to turn the tripod mount ring when mounting it.

About the test results so far, I am a bit disappointed about how difficult it is to focus. Even if the feeling in the focusing ring is excellent, I find it very difficult to find the optimum focus. I compared the mirror to my old cheapo Popular 500mm f8 lens. I was able to make much sharper pictures with that tonight. I will have to continue testing in better lightning conditions, though. Anyway, the compact design and solid metal of the mirror lens have a very positive feel to it.
01-11-2007, 07:03 AM   #11
Site Supporter




Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: midwest, United States
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 3,327
How close is the lens to fitting? Many mirror lenses focus past infinity. If the lens is close you may be able to buy a slim extension tube (like 7mm or so) and use it on the lens. It may still be able to work to infinity. If not you could show the combo to a tech and see if he can adjust the lens to focus with the extension to infinity. Most lenses can be adjusted internally. You would give up some close focus without the extension on any other camera. If you don't modify the lens you could also buy the Kenko 1.5x converter. At least it would be less power.
The Pentax bellows barely fits under my K10D flash. This would have been easier to fix than a lens though. The 6x7 165 f2.8 with adapter does work on the K10D. I have many mirrors that do work on newer cameras so some of the blame goes to Soligar.
thanks
barondla
01-11-2007, 07:40 AM   #12
Senior Member




Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Bristol, England
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 112
Original Poster
Hi barondla,

Some interesting thoughts. It appears to be about 3mm away from fitting, and I can just about believe that it might be focussing beyond infinity, so it might be worth a try. Thanks for the help.

On the idea that it's partly Soligor's fault. It is quite possible that the lens was manufactured before the idea of pop-up flashes was thought up. I wonder whether the original specification for the K mount (or any other lens mount) specified the maximum free space that can be relied on around the mount? It's just interestting, it won't get me anywhere.

Simon
01-11-2007, 08:59 AM   #13
Veteran Member
jfdavis58's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: 13 S 0357397-3884316
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 876
Same lens-practise; lotsa practise. Tripod or monopod helps greatly. Needs very bright light!
01-11-2007, 09:18 AM   #14
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Bronx NY
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,611
Hi Simon, I can't help you with your lens fitting problem other than to suggest using an short extension tube instead of a TC (but barondla already beat me to it) But I do have to say that I use the popup as a fill flash, especially for macro work, I don't use it a lot (maybe 1X per 100 shots at the most) but I do find it to be useful when I need a bit of light, but not a whole bunch. The nice thing about the popup is that it's p-TTL (at least on my DS), so I get just the small amount of light I need to illuminate something a couple of inches away. I would probably never buy a camera w/o a popup flash.

NaCl(not needed often but damn handy when it is needed)H2O +
01-11-2007, 11:00 AM   #15
Senior Member




Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Bristol, England
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 112
Original Poster
Surely though the pop-up flash is obscured by the lens in macro situations, if not actually pointing in the wrong direction. The proper (expensive) solution is a ring flash. This looks equally specialist but is regularly simulated using two small, cheap flash units and two flash brackets both mounted to the camera tripod bush and pointing in opposite directions. Then the flashes are pointed at the subject.

I can't say I have this sort of set-up, but it could easily be put together for say GBP 50 (probably less, especially using Ebay) and would give far better modelling than the pop-up flash.

Having said that, the pop-up flash can be useful in case of unexpected need, though I would always rather use available light.

Simon
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
camera, course, dslr, flash, k10d, lens, lenses, mirror, mount, photography, slrs
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Mirror Sticking KayMan Pentax Film SLR Discussion 5 12-15-2009 10:13 AM
Landscape Mirror of Shuksan skinja Post Your Photos! 26 10-30-2009 08:06 PM
The best Mirror lens? zoe Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 6 10-12-2009 02:09 PM
Mirror, Mirror in the Garden... JMR Post Your Photos! 11 02-20-2009 03:41 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:52 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top