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08-31-2013, 08:26 AM   #1
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Kx - use of 28mm manual lens and doubler/extension tube

Hi everyone, so I've got a couple hundred photos on my "New to me" Pentax KX. I've got three older 35mm SLRs that of course I have a couple of optional lenses for that thankfully fit my KX.

As you probably know, the standard lens on my KX is a 18-55mm zoom, however I'm wondering if there would be any advantage to shooting with my 28mm "manual" lens?

In addition, I have a 2X converter that doubles as an extension tube, not real concerned using it as a 2X converter, but wondering, again, is there any advantage to using it as an extension tube since the Kx has a MACRO setting?

Sort of new to the DSLR world so ANY information is GREATLY appreciated.

Happy shooting,

08-31-2013, 08:57 AM   #2
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You can certainly use older manual lenses on your k-x, many people do. Just about any Pentax lens ever made will work within the ability of the lens. By that I mean if it is a manual focus lens it's not going to suddenly become an AF lens.

Here is the definitive article on using older lenses:

If you post the exact name of the lenses you have I can tell you what ability they will have on digital.

Also the 'KX' is an old film camera, the 'k-x' is the digital one. Pentax has a quirky naming system and many on this forum still use film so it is best to be precise with the names.
08-31-2013, 01:35 PM   #3
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Any good 28mm prime is sharper than the kit lens - and all Pentax 28mm lenses are good.

Also, they are F2.0, F2.8, or F3.5 lenses, a big advantage with available light photography. And many of them are less soft when fully opened, compared with the kit (which is about F4 at 28mm).

For 3rd party lenses, you should have a look at our lens data base, and search in the net. There are very good as well as crappy ones.

About the "macro" setting on zooms: that's an advertising tool. True macro is a relation of object : sensor/film of at least 1:2 (many of them 1:1). Zoom lenses with a "macro" setting usually reach magnifications of only 1:5 - 1:4.

Last edited by RKKS08; 08-31-2013 at 01:44 PM.
09-01-2013, 05:14 AM   #4
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The macro setting on the K-x is just a means of telling the camera you are doing close up work. It does not mean you are going to instantly get macro type magnification. I do not know exactly what the camera does to its settings , I.e. aperture and shutter speed control as it does auto exposure with this mode, but if you use your extension tube/teleconverter it likely will not impact camera settings because you will likely be in manual mode.

I assume the teleconverter is something like a vivitar 2x macro focusing teleconverter, which was a good converter and gave macro focusing and 1:1 magnification when used with a 50mm kit lens. It will still do the same today, just you need to use manual exposure modes, which you can learn first just by using your manual lenses and shooting.

Manual lenses are fun to use, but take more time, many (self included) believe this forces you to think through your shooting a little more carefully and are great for learning fundamentals.

Be ware, however that metering can be a little different with all manual lenses, as the are some inaccuracies which are calculated out with modern lenses. There have been a lot of posts on this subject. You should check the metering behaviour by shooting a block wal or paved road (or any other uniform surface) at all aperture settings and using the camera's metering, then look at the histogram to see how the center moves as a function of aperture. Once you understand any errors that the "system" as a whole produces, and compensate for them, you will be quite happy with manual lenses


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