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06-23-2018, 11:05 PM   #1
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Which Body for Pentax M42 lenses

Hi,

Which late model body would be a good match for my collection of M42 lenses?

Any particular model better/worse for this application? Why?

Looking forwards to you comments.

06-23-2018, 11:12 PM   #2
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Hi NedKelly,

I have an M42 auto takumar 28/3.5 on my K50 and that works pretty well. I can't comment from experience about any of the other bodies, but all pentaxes should be good as long as they have the option to set stop down measuring and - if you want it - catch in focus. That would ensure you get well-exposed and focussed images.

Enjoy your collection of lenses!
Hans
06-23-2018, 11:34 PM - 1 Like   #3
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NedKelly

I will up HoutHans suggestion to the K70 on two basis - the accelerator chip (reduces noise) and increase MPs, with the former being a more important feature.

However, HoutHans suggestion is essentially just as good. By the way, you could take advantage of the aperture block failure issue known in the K30 and K50. Look for either of these cameras on eBay where the seller says aperture block failure OR takes black images. You can get these pretty cheap and you do not need the aperture block when using M42 lenses.
06-23-2018, 11:34 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by NedKelly Quote
Hi,

Which late model body would be a good match for my collection of M42 lenses?

Any particular model better/worse for this application? Why?

Looking forwards to you comments.
The better the live view, the easier it will be to focus. Obviously the K-1 would probably be the go-to, since you get the full frame sensor and a very large tilting display, but I'd also recommend the KP, K-70, or K-3.


Adam
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06-23-2018, 11:55 PM - 3 Likes   #5
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Spotmatic F ... !
06-24-2018, 12:03 AM - 1 Like   #6
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All the models work the same way with m42 lenses.
So the why.
Good live view makes it easy to focus.
Tilting screen helps with weird angles.
Full frame gives the frame of view the lens was designed for.
Alot of mexapixels helps maximize resolution and allows for crop.
The other why is a great price.
The k1 is the best of everything except its the most expensive.
I dont use the screen much or live view much and like looking through the viewfinder. I am frugal. I would go cheap k50 which takes great 16mp images.(newer will take 20, 24, 36mp photos) Its older but not that old, no tilt screen and don't know about its live view but can be found under $200. It main fault is the aperture which m42 don't use.
There is one on the market here i just searched. Not mine.
Pentax K50 white - 916 shutter count - PentaxForums.com
06-24-2018, 12:41 AM - 1 Like   #7
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...any bought used with ACB failure... because they are cheaper!
Seriously though... people use to glue 20-30$ M42 adapters to 50$ lenses all the time, and they have to remove the spring, which is unsafe... what's stopping them from glueing an adapter to a 50$ camera body? that way you have fully digital "native" M42 body!

I take no responsibilities for any damage or unwanted consequence derived from following this advice...
06-24-2018, 01:05 AM - 2 Likes   #8
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I use my recently acquired *istD L2 exclusively for M42 lenses, it's a relatively lightweight body, which helps when carrying a bagful of metal-and-glass lenses!

One of the attractions of using the older prime lenses is that they "force" you to consider the framing and composition, making you change position to get it right. A 6-megapixel file helps enforce this consideration, making it more desirable to "fill the frame" with subject matter, rather than zooming and cropping in the modern idiom

All of my "auto-only" lenses have had the aperture-pin either wedged or glued in the "activated" position.

Experience has demonstrated that an original Asahi Pentax PK-M42 adaptor is superior to the cheaper after-market alternatives, being manufactured to much tighter tolerances, making it far easier to remove and refit, if desired, without the need for tools.

One proviso - my M42 bellows couldn't be used on my cameras because the forward bulge of the prism/flash housing prevented the bellows from being fully rotated to screw them on. In this instance the bellows had one of the "flanged, non-infinity-focus" PK-M42 adaptors permanently fitted.

Enjoy

06-24-2018, 01:39 AM - 1 Like   #9
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The K-01 with focus peaking is ideal. The worst thing about the K-01 is the AF. Image quality is outstanding and the price is low.
06-24-2018, 02:54 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mr Bassie Quote
The K-01 with focus peaking is ideal. The worst thing about the K-01 is the AF. Image quality is outstanding and the price is low.
Right! I like mine a lot with SMC-M lenses.
I've never tried it with M42 lenses because... I don't have any - but have the adapter, just in case...

I p'refer magnification to peaking, however, since the latter can get confused in high-contrast scenarios e.g. ripples on a pond.
Best thing about the K-01's LV is that there's no mirror to whack around, so you get no unwanted vibrations.
06-24-2018, 03:09 AM - 1 Like   #11
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All Pentax bodies will work fine with your M42 lenses, as long as you get an adaptor and perfect manual focus and metering.

But if you want to use your lenses in their native format, you really need a K-1 / K-1 Mark II (or a full frame Sony MILC)....
06-24-2018, 05:13 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
... if you want to use your lenses in their native format, you really need a K-1 / K-1 Mark II (or a full frame Sony MILC)....


Sorry, does this mean the K-1 will operate the M42 lens' auto-aperture mechanism, or just that it gives one an opportunity to fully experience the vignetting and outer field distortion of many of the older lenses
06-24-2018, 05:21 AM - 3 Likes   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by kypfer Quote
Sorry, does this mean the K-1 will operate the M42 lens' auto-aperture mechanism, or just that it gives one an opportunity to fully experience the vignetting and outer field distortion of many of the older lenses
The latter. Of course. Hence the term "format" rather than "functionality".

Some of us actually like the character created by the imperfections of these old lenses.
06-24-2018, 12:44 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by kypfer Quote
Sorry, does this mean the K-1 will operate the M42 lens' auto-aperture mechanism, or just that it gives one an opportunity to fully experience the vignetting and outer field distortion of many of the older lenses
Sandy is right.
1. you have to to pony up for the K-1, did you by chance think to get into M42 lenses to get away with photgraphing on the cheap?
2. You get all the imperfections you deserve. Helios 44 lenses, for instance, swirl more on FF, because the cat's eye effect is stronger the more you go towards the periphery of the projected circle. APS-C crops a lot of that.
06-24-2018, 02:46 PM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by LensBeginner Quote
Sandy is right.
1. you have to to pony up for the K-1, did you by chance think to get into M42 lenses to get away with photgraphing on the cheap?
2. You get all the imperfections you deserve. Helios 44 lenses, for instance, swirl more on FF, because the cat's eye effect is stronger the more you go towards the periphery of the projected circle. APS-C crops a lot of that.


I was slightly tongue-in-cheek with my question
You're absolutely right, of course, the Helios-44 "effect" especially is nowhere near as pronounced on my APS-C cameras, though still quite noticeable in some circumstances.
Unfortunately budgetary restraints limit the likelihood of acquiring a K-1 anytime soon
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