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10-01-2015, 01:27 PM   #1
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ks2 vs k50 - Dad has fat fingers - m42 lenses

Hello All and Sundry,

My Dad's 60th is coming up, and I am in cahoots with my Mum to buy him a camera. He has been hovering around the camera shops, and has indicated he wants a 'real' camera. However, he will be a complete novice to this arena (but has obviously used compacts, etc, in the past). He is not flush with money.

Now, first question, am I being overly loyal in recommending Pentax? I am looking at k50, ks2, (and hoping ks3 magically drops price in two days), but I see at that price range we have other manufacturer options, such as the Canon 760D. Sometimes I do wonder myself whether I made the right choice to get my Pentax Kx, but it has served me well the past four years, and there's is something magical about sticking those m42 lenses on (Carl Zeiss Pancolor my current fave - 20). However, for someone new to the system (no lenses), is Pentax still the best way forward? Full frame around the corner, but will those vintage lenses still perform on the FF bodies?

So, presuming the vintage lenses will perform on FF bodies, then it seems to me that Pentax makes a sound future investment, as my Dad can avoid all the APSC modern lenses, and stick to the old 35mm ones for now (and potentially lot of new FF will also release).

So, at this stage, I'm looking at the Pentax current line up, and I'm leaning KS2. The KS3 (in uk at least), is beyond our budget of 500, and so I have been looking at KS1, K50, and KS2. I would have gone for the k50, but it seems that there are large problems with a lot of the manual lenses (K+M42), and this kind of defeats the purpose of going Pentax I think.

And so my current thoughts were that the KS2 looks pretty damn good for a beginner. It has the added bonus of Wifi, screen articulation, big 100% pentaprism Viewfinder, and yet, as far I can tell, can also take all m42s with no problems. Can someone confirm that this is the case?. The one and only problem that I foresee is that my Dad has Very Fat Fingers. I have just gone into Jessops today, and held the ks2, and there is not much space between the grip and lens, and I'm wondering if this might end up being a problem. Does anyone else have big fat Gimli fingers and also own a KS2?

10-01-2015, 01:38 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by MilamBardo Quote
I would have gone for the k50, but it seems that there are large problems with a lot of the manual lenses (K+M42), and this kind of defeats the purpose of going Pentax I think.
I have a K-50 and shoot a lot with manual lenses (K-mount, no M42) and have absolutely no problems with them.... what problems are you referring to?
10-01-2015, 02:00 PM   #3
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The problems, as far as I have read, is mainly with m42s and using the green button to meter. Personally speaking, with my Kx, I have never used the green button. I just wack it onto A, and adjust until I get a good histogram, but my Dad will prefer an easier option. I have heard a lot of people needing to stick foil on lenses, etc, in order to get those lenses metering in manual mode.

However, having held the k50, I do think it will suit his hands better than all of the others. I'm just worried about the m42s, as that is where I have derived a lot of my satisfaction in shooting pentax.

I'm guessing there is still no firmware update that has corrected the issue (I have looked backed to threads from December).
10-01-2015, 02:15 PM   #4
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How about a K-5 series? It is slightly bigger than the K-50, more robust. But it has slightly steeper learning curve. The classic K-5 can be found second hand for low prices, the K-5II and K-5IIs are fairly affordable, as well.

10-01-2015, 02:19 PM   #5
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It's not an "issue" to be fixed in firmware. Pentax DSLR leverage the fact that all Pentax-made m42 lenses have non-consucrive anodized bases while all the K mount lenses have conductive chromed brass bases in order to allow the camera to distinguish what is the proper metering mode and not engage the aperture actuation lever on an adapted m42 lens where it might cause damage to the camera. Shooting in A is considered to be the less desirable solution compared to green button mode, which allows for focusing wide open with a bright screen.

The fact that several 3rd party manufacturers cheaped out and produced k mount lenses with anodized bayonets is not Pentax's doing and not their fault. The behavior isn't a bug, and there is no onus on Ricoh to "fix" it.
10-01-2015, 02:23 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by MilamBardo Quote
I would have gone for the k50, but it seems that there are large problems with a lot of the manual lenses (K+M42), and this kind of defeats the purpose of going Pentax I think.
I am rather gratified to see that I'm not the only relative newcomer who sees this as a major reason to choose Pentax (even if it doesn't make them as much money off of lens sales).


Anyway, I think the "problems" include the meter not telling you how far your manual settings are over- or underexposing when using pre-A lenses, which I remember reading was not an issue for the higher-end K bodies. Personally, I have the K-30 (mostly identical to the K-50), and I can't really imagine an "easier" option for shooting my M42 and C/Y lenses than parking it in aperture priority mode and using exposure compensation if necessary, which bypasses the issue.


I did stick aluminum foil on my one M42 lens, but that was not for metering -- it was to get it to work with catch-in focus.
10-01-2015, 02:27 PM   #7
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No current Pentax DSLR are mechanically aperture coupled. Read up on the "crippled K mount." In every case, you have to use the green button to eternal before taking your shot with pre-approved K mount glass.
10-01-2015, 02:33 PM   #8
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None of the Pentax DSLR's has a mechanical linkage to read the aperture from the lens, this means that the easiest lenses are from the A-serie from 1982 and newer. Just stick them at 'A' and off you go, it's like an autofocus lens but manual focus. Every exposure mode works. Now, with K-lenses you do need to press the green button for the camera to measure the light, and then you press the shutter button to take the image. It's not complicated, it's just two button press.

Using M42 lenses is very similar, but there's a twist to it - the camera can't stop down M42 lenses. Switch the diapraghm to "manual" and you set the aperture on the lens, this will darken the viewfinder since you will see the aperture in effect (it's like using DOF-preview). Then green button to measure light, and so the shutter button to take the image.

As for problems with K-50 and K and M42 lenses, never heard about such a thing before. To my knowledge the K-50 works just like any other Pentax DSLR here. Should be no problem with metering, but yes you have to use the green button and the camera in 'M'anual exposure mode.

As for performance on the 24x36, who knows? It's not released yet. I'm very happy with APS-C and sees no reason to go 24x36 - the camera will be bigger and the lenses will be bigger especially from standard to tele lenses. On APS-C, a 50 is a 75... but on 24x36 you need a 75 (or close) and that means a bigger lens... But yes there are several 24x36 lenses available, like the FA and D FA lenses. Oh and the camera will be really expensive...

I have both the K-x and the K-S2. I really enjoy my K-x too, it's so easy to use and very compact and light and a great, great performer. Sure the K-S2 gives you more Mp which means bigger image files but not really better images... just bigger images. The K-x is more than good enough. K-S2 has many options and a great viewfinder and for an advanced photographer will offer more than the K-x, and it's weather sealed and that's nice. As for fat fingers, I don't know. I have small fingers... but the K-S2 do gives a steadier grip and works better with bigger and heavy lenses, the K-x feels like a lens with a camera attached... it's so small and light.

10-01-2015, 02:40 PM   #9
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Sorry, I had to post this.

10-01-2015, 02:41 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
How about a K-5 series? It is slightly bigger than the K-50, more robust. But it has slightly steeper learning curve. The classic K-5 can be found second hand for low prices, the K-5II and K-5IIs are fairly affordable, as well.
I think the issue is that the k5 does not appear to be available new, although if someone can point me out a European retailer then that would be great. If I could find a k5 with kit lens for sub 500 then that would be ideal.
10-01-2015, 03:04 PM   #11
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I haven't heard of any issues using screwmount lenses with either the K-S1 or K-S2 with the OEM adapter.

Use Search this Forum and search on M42 or screwmount.
Pentax K-S1 & K-S2 - PentaxForums.com

As far as size issues go you can look the top views of camerasize.com and judge for yourself:
Compare camera dimensions side by side
10-01-2015, 03:10 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Scintilla Quote


Anyway, I think the "problems" include the meter not telling you how far your manual settings are over- or underexposing when using pre-A lenses, which I remember reading was not an issue for the higher-end K bodies. Personally, I have the K-30 (mostly identical to the K-50), and I can't really imagine an "easier" option for shooting my M42 and C/Y lenses than parking it in aperture priority mode and using exposure compensation if necessary, which bypasses the issue.


I did stick aluminum foil on my one M42 lens, but that was not for metering -- it was to get it to work with catch-in focus.
This is how I have tended to use my m42s on my kx, but to be honest, I hadn't realised about the green button. I think that if you are a committed user, then A mode is fine, obviously, but I just wonder whether my Dad will bother. Essentially, I am getting him into Pentax with the idea of cheap lenses, so I would prefer it if he could use those lenses without having to pre-shoot and use a histogram (which I do with M lenses on A setting ) (or use Sunny 16, etc)

Do all of the pentax manufactured k-mount lenses work fine on k-50?

Also, is catch in focus only an issue on the k-30/50 models (with m lenses)?
10-01-2015, 03:16 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by MilamBardo Quote
Do all of the pentax manufactured k-mount lenses work fine on k-50?
The Pentax Camera Lens Compatibility Chart
10-01-2015, 03:46 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by MilamBardo Quote
So, at this stage, I'm looking at the Pentax current line up, and I'm leaning KS2. The KS3 (in uk at least), is beyond our budget of 500, and so I have been looking at KS1, K50, and KS2. I would have gone for the k50, but it seems that there are large problems with a lot of the manual lenses (K+M42), and this kind of defeats the purpose of going Pentax I think.
All Pentax digital K-mount bodies have the same manual lens compatibility. I would recommend going for the K-50 for the better ergonomics. The K-S2 is best suited for users with small hands.

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10-01-2015, 03:52 PM   #15
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You can still buy NOS K5's from a company here in Australia. They're much cheaper than when released, but I still wouldn't call them cheap.
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