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08-27-2016, 06:05 AM   #1
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Questions before Converting to K-S2

So I have almost decided to switch to Pentax as I have a bunch of M42 and a few K-mount lenses and I have found K-S2 a pretty good choice. However I do have a few questions.

To begin with, I was reading https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/58-troubleshooting-beginner-help/110658-u...x-dslrs-f.html regarding the use of my current lens collection. The post mentioned that if I want the camera to be able to stop down a K-mount lens, the electric contacts must be shorted. if a lens doesn't have metal mount (which I do worry about a Sears lens that is still on the way), will gluing some aluminum foil onto the lens work?

The other question is that I am also planning to switch my RAW developer to the SilkyPix LE from Lightroom (because of the catalogless design). Is the software the same as the Non-pro version of SilkyPix which I can download a trial for? And will it be able to open my past RAW files generated by Canon, Nikon, and Sony cameras (which I have converted to DNG using Lightroom)?

Sincerely

---------- Post added 08-27-16 at 06:10 AM ----------

And another question. I mainly use MF lenses, do I need to replace the focusing screen?

Sincerely

Sent from my Android phone, please forgive any possible typos.

08-27-2016, 06:28 AM   #2
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The only question I can answer definitively is the one about the non-conductive lens mount. Some people put aluminum duct tape on the lens to short the mount contacts.

Your focusing screen question is harder to answer as phrased. Yes a replacement screen can be easier, but focus peaking may work also.
08-27-2016, 06:35 AM   #3
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Re focus screen, it was only the flagship models that offered interchangeable screens as I remember.
08-27-2016, 07:00 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by butangmucat Quote

[/COLOR]And another question. I mainly use MF lenses, do I need to replace the focusing screen?

Sincerely

Sent from my Android phone, please forgive any possible typos.

I found that using the Pentax magnifying eye piece (the part number eludes me at the moment) on my K-50 helped tremendously with manual focus; on the K-3, I don't seem to have any issues with manual focus...

08-27-2016, 07:06 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by butangmucat Quote
So I have almost decided to switch to Pentax as I have a bunch of M42 and a few K-mount lenses and I have found K-S2 a pretty good choice.
I've been using a K-S2 for several months now, and have been very pleased with it.

QuoteOriginally posted by butangmucat Quote
The other question is that I am also planning to switch my RAW developer to the SilkyPix LE from Lightroom (because of the catalogless design). Is the software the same as the Non-pro version of SilkyPix which I can download a trial for? And will it be able to open my past RAW files generated by Canon, Nikon, and Sony cameras (which I have converted to DNG using Lightroom)?
I can't give a definitive answer to your question.

But I've found that the versions of SilkyPix bundled with Pentax cameras
only seem to be able to display and open RAW files from each particular camera,
and not even from other Pentax cameras that aren't of the type the CD was bundled with.

Also, I've found the SilkyPix interface to be very unintuitve.
I'm not sure what you mean by "catalogless design",
but I use Adobe for PP.

QuoteOriginally posted by butangmucat Quote
And another question. I mainly use MF lenses, do I need to replace the focusing screen?
On the KS-2, focus peaking and live view magnification work beautifully with manual lenses.
08-27-2016, 07:23 AM   #6
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Tucking a bit of tin foil in will sort out the lens contacts issue without fuss. As for MF, I have found the K-S2's viewfinder better than I expected for manual lenses, and for critical focusing the the LV magnification and focus peaking are top notch.

I've now spent 3 months with the K-S2, and about 5000 shots in I think it's great.
08-27-2016, 07:42 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by edmundrt Quote
Tucking a bit of tin foil in will sort out the lens contacts issue without fuss.
BTW, does SR require shorting the contacts? I plan to use a M42 lens on the camera and the mount seems to be plastic. I read somewhere that getting the camera to meter does not require shorting the contacts, but getting SR to work does.

EDIT: the lens I plan to use will probably be a M42 Pentacon 30/3.5 or M42 Mir-1B (haven't received the former yet, but the latter was too small to even reach the contacts).
08-27-2016, 07:43 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnX Quote
Re focus screen, it was only the flagship models that offered interchangeable screens as I remember.
Not so far as I know, the k100d which is an old entry level can change screens and the k-1 can't... the k50 can also change screens.

08-27-2016, 07:48 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by pepperberry farm Quote
I found that using the Pentax magnifying eye piece (the part number eludes me at the moment) on my K-50 helped tremendously with manual focus; on the K-3, I don't seem to have any issues with manual focus...
I remember the K-S2 uses the exactly same viewfinder as the K-3, thanks for the input.

---------- Post added 08-27-16 at 07:49 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
and not even from other Pentax cameras that aren't of the type the CD was bundled with.
Even DNGs?

QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
I'm not sure what you mean by "catalogless design"
I mean instead of saving all the edits in a centralized catalog (like Lightroom or PS Elements), saving all the edits of RAW files in sidecar files (i.e. the ACR plugin, DxO, SilkyPix 7, RawTherapee etc.)

---------- Post added 08-27-16 at 07:50 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
but focus peaking may work also
I do get AF confirmation even with M42s, right?
08-27-2016, 08:04 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by butangmucat Quote

I do get AF confirmation even with M42s, right?
Yes, but the accuracy is affected by the same issues that autofocus lenses have. So you may need to tune the camera - and since those lenses have no identifying electronics you have to make a global adjustment. You can easily do that perhaps putting the adjustment needed in a label inside a lenscap and making the adjustment when you mount the lens.

Essentially at 20 mp the accuracy of the mount distance is critical and so the camera allows you adjust the viewfinder based focus system in very small units. The live view system uses the sensor and doesn't require fine tuning. So if you get poor results focusing, try live view and compare.

Also the faster the lens aperture the less perfect focus may be without adding a different focusing screen. This is due to the fact that the viewfinder based focus (pdaf = phase detect auto focus) sensors are limited in accuracy, some work well with f 2.8 lenses, but none are rated faster. In practice this seems ok my FA 77 f1.8 and FA 31 f 1.8 focus just fine. Live view also creates some issues since the lens is typically partially stopped down slightly depending on lighting. This can -"due to depth of field - be a problem if you shot wider open than the lens was stopped down to during live view. Essentially, the camera is in focus at an f stop with greater depth of field than you are using.

In practice both methods have some good and some bad. Depending on your expectations you may fine both acceptable, particularly if you have good eyes and practice.

Last edited by UncleVanya; 08-27-2016 at 08:14 AM.
08-27-2016, 02:38 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by butangmucat Quote
I mean instead of saving all the edits in a centralized catalog (like Lightroom or PS Elements), saving all the edits of RAW files in sidecar files (i.e. the ACR plugin, DxO, SilkyPix 7, RawTherapee etc.)
If you are using DNG as your raw format, the edits are contained in the DNG. If using JPEG, TIFF, PNG or PSD, Lightroom has a Catalog Setting that will "include Develop settings in metadata inside" the files. It can also be set to write changes automatically to XMP sidecar files. Your choice.

I mention this, because using LR as opposed to any version of the software included with the Pentax camera (a version of Silky Pix) is a no-brainer to me.
08-27-2016, 04:35 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by butangmucat Quote
Is the software the same as the Non-pro version of SilkyPix which I can download a trial for?
No. This is a bad thing, actually. The full version has some more features, but has fewer Pentax-related features. The problem is that the SilkyPix you get with one Pentax camera will actually even be different from the SilkyPix you get with another Pentax camera. So if you have something like Pentax Q and Pentax K-3II, you might need two versions of SilkyPix. And the full standalone version will be different again. All of this is confusing and silly in my opinion, which is why I prefer to use Lightroom. Its just so easy to use once you figure out a couple things. All the other raw editors I tried are way more complicated, not as elegant. And Lightroom, along with Adobe dng converter, can open just about any camera image file. But hey, feel free to try things out, see how they work out for you. I don't use SilkyPix, so I cannot tell you what exact differences there are between versions. I think there were some threads about this, feel free to search for them. Again, there are threads and raw software comparison blogs, and most of them offer free trial. I can only recommend LR, but I know others are happy with FastStone and RawTherapee (both free), AftershotPro and some others as well. I forget their names, there are so many lol

QuoteOriginally posted by butangmucat Quote
And another question. I mainly use MF lenses, do I need to replace the focusing screen?
No, you do not need to. But you might want to. Especially if you are using lenses with aperture faster than f1.8 or so. But if you are using lenses with minimum aperture of f4 or slower the stock screen is actually better than the screen made for fast lenses. It comes down to what you want. Again, there are numerous threads about focusing screens, so you might want to check them out. Not all screens are the same (split prism, matte, split), they function differently and are optimized for different lenses, uses. So check out some websites about how different the screens are and decide whether you need one. I would say you only need one if you 90% of the time you will be using lenses f2 or faster. This is something you worry about after you have 3 or 4 lenses and are noticing problems with manual focus.

QuoteOriginally posted by butangmucat Quote
The post mentioned that if I want the camera to be able to stop down a K-mount lens, the electric contacts must be shorted. if a lens doesn't have metal mount (which I do worry about a Sears lens that is still on the way), will gluing some aluminum foil onto the lens work?
I don't think this is true. The camera can stop down K-mount lenses, like the M series, even without contacts. But it does not know what it is stopping down to, so it cannot select aperture automatically. This means you need to press green button if you want the camera to meter and choose the shutter speed for you. Some lenses have A mode on aperture ring (Pentax A series and newer, and Samyang and some other third party lenses today) - these allow the camera to meter continuously, just like with modern digital DA lenses.
You want contacts to be shorted for Catch in Focus function, but this is different from metering. Basically, I recommend you do not worry about this too much. Its complicated to explain, but you will learn it quickly once you have the lenses in hands. There are simply too many differences - K-mount with aperture lever but no contacts, K-mount without aperture lever (Mitakon), m42 adapter with flange (no infinity focus, shortened contacts), m42 adapter without flange (contacts possibly not shortened, but full focus range), anodized or coated lens mounts, plastic mounts, ricoh pin, m42 lens with narrow neck, m39 and m37 lens, leica m39 mount, preset lenses, single-aperture lenses, power-zoom, third-party with wrong contacts/lens ID, etc. It would take pages to explain all of this and you probably won't encounter all of these anyway. Better to just buy some lenses and figure out how they work, have fun with them, and sell them if they are too complicated for your liking. You can also google for the specific lens you are interested in or ask about that specific lens.
K-mount was in production for decades, and some compatible mounts before it, so there is quite a bit of variation.


Edit: Basically you are thinking too far ahead. You need to first get camera and some lenses. Then software, then more lenses (at this point you also get adapters if needed), and only then accessories/modifications like focusing screen.

Last edited by Na Horuk; 08-27-2016 at 04:40 PM.
08-27-2016, 04:42 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by butangmucat Quote
I do get AF confirmation even with M42s, right?
Focus confirmation works fine for me with M42 lenses on my K-30.
However, you need to be aware that I've never made a practice of using wide apertures - I'm most comfortable around f/5.6 or so, because context has always been important to me - so the focus could be off a tad and DoF would "save the day".
08-28-2016, 04:56 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Basically you are thinking too far ahead. You need to first get camera and some lenses.
I have already been using K-mount and M42 lenses with my current Sony MILC, and these lenses are my reason to convert. I would like to have IBIS and some of the advanced features available when I get my body (actually IBIS and the 100% OVF is why I have decided to convert).

---------- Post added 08-28-16 at 05:03 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Especially if you are using lenses with aperture faster than f1.8 or so. But if you are using lenses with minimum aperture of f4 or slower the stock screen is actually better than the screen made for fast lenses. It comes down to what you want.
Current collection:

- Super-Takumar 35/2
- VOMZ Mir-1B 37/2.8 (one of my current favorites)
- CZJ Tessar 50/2.8 Zebra (my other favorite)
- Ensinor 24/2.8 Macro

Lenses on the way:
- Pentacon 30/3.5
- Tokina 28/2.8 (non-RMC)
- Auto Sears 50/1.7 (kit from a Sears KSX-P)

Last edited by butangmucat; 08-28-2016 at 05:05 AM.
08-28-2016, 08:30 AM   #15
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In that case I don't think you need a focusing screen. Something like a viewfinder loupe might be more useful. Reason I said to wait is that you should test things out and see how your personal preferences are. I use stock focusing screen and I have no lenses faster than f1.7. Don't think I need one. But for f1.4 and f1.2 lenses? For fast 85mm, 135mm lenses? Or for quick focusing without looking at the focus confirm (Which works even with most manual lenses, usually only fails with really slow aperture lenses or super low contrast lenses), then you might want a focusing screen. Again, get the camera first, use it, see how it works for you, then decide if you want a magnifying viewfinder loupe or a focusing screen or whatever. A good focusing screen will not be cheap, and you have to install it properly and possibly shim and calibrate it. Its not the easiest of things to do, its something you choose when other methods have not been sufficient

You have some nice lenses there and I think you will enjoy them on a good Pentax DSLR like the K-S2. You can even use Catch in Focus with most (maybe all, depends on the width of the mount and the material of the mount. I think it only works with centre AF point, at least on my old DSLR) of them to get something similar to AF.
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