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10-05-2009, 06:53 AM   #1
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K100d super with Legacy (MF) Lenses

Hi folks, great forum, lots of ace info...

I need some advice regarding the K100d Super using manual focus with old glass. I have acquired a number of SMC Takumar gems (28, 35, 50, 55) and am on the lookout for a decent Pentax body to go with it. I am pretty much sold on the K100d - seems most cost-effective and still gives brilliant results leaving more cash for some more Taks!

My main concern is the ease with which it is to focus correctly. I know that the K100d uses a red focus-target indicator in manual-focus mode which is a major bonus but would I get better results with a Katz Eye Prism installed too? Or does the Katz Eye simply make focusing easier? As long as I can get absolute perfect focusing just using the target-indicator then that is all I need really. How reliable is it? Is it really on-the-money?

How does the targeting function work with regards to more 'artistic' pics? For instance (using wider apertures), keeping the foreground blurred and getting a distant object sharply in focus? Is this achievable?

I'd much rather not splash out on a relatively expensive focusing screen if I can help it. I saw jsherman999's pic using a smc50 1.4 here and am pretty much sold on the idea just on the basis of this one pic! Was a Katz Eye used on this?

Also, will the Pentax Official K-Mount adapter work happily with the K100d?

Thanks for any help Pentax-People!

10-05-2009, 07:06 AM   #2
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a couple of comments with respect to your idea.

I think having a dedicated MF body is a good idea. (I have one also)

I put a diagonal split image into my K10D, from Jinfinance. It works great.

With respect to the selection of body, I have some other comments,

- I would take an *istD or DS over the K100D because these bodies support TTL flash, no other pentax DSLRs do, and this would allow you to use the old primes for flash photography with excellent results.

- the *istD and DS have a penta prism which gives a bigger and better viewfinder than the other 6MP bodies.

Personally with the dual thumb wheels the D is a better selection, but unless you already have a CF card or two, you woould need to get an SD to CF adaptor so you could use your existing SD cards in the *istD

My own view is that these features far outweigh the advantages of having a body with SR
10-05-2009, 07:26 AM   #3
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To answer the last question first, yes the official K-mount adapter works fine with a digital Pentax.

As for "artistic" photos, you shouldn't have any problem with leaving the foreground out of focus and distant objects in focus. If nothing else and you know or can approximate the distance, simply use the depth-of-field scale on the lens.

Can't help with questions about the focusing screens on digitals. I just use the original.

CW
10-05-2009, 07:34 AM   #4
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The red dot is for showing what area of the screen is used for focusing. There is a small green hex that lights up when focus is achieved.

A split screen will help a lot focusing with the older MF lenses. The Jinfinance screen will work fine.

I also would recommend the DS over the K100D.

10-05-2009, 08:57 AM   #5
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If only there's a DS / D with shake reduction and sd card (and the same price)... it would be the perfect body

Having used K100d and K10d, I would say that for manual focusing, pentaprism IS pretty big deal. I can still somewhat focus with prism + O-ME while with the mirror + O-ME I dont think I can do that. Prism + Split + KPS would be the dream team for manual focusing

Now if we can have a fullframe camera.... please with Cherry on top pentax?
10-05-2009, 09:20 AM   #6
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Just a note regarding manual focussing on the K100D. There is no exposure compensation or "hyper manual" mode on the K100D. There is on the K20D (not the K10D).

As for the screen, I know that focusingscreen.com also makes screens. Question is, I wish I could find a review or comparison between this, the Jinfinance screen, and the Katz Eye.
10-05-2009, 09:21 AM   #7
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I take the dissenting view here. I'd agree that *if* flash is your thing, then a body that support TTL is probably important. But in three years of photography using a DS , I never once used TTL nor even considered that as something I might do someday, and I don't feel even the slightest bit limited by not having it on my K200D. I'm just not a flash guy. So that's a non-issue for me.

As for the viewfinder, yes, no question the DS is better than the K100D. But having used both cameras extensively - and owned both together for long enough to do quite a few comparisons - I just can't say that I found the difference significant. MF using the stock screen is "hard" at first on either camera, and improves with practice on either camera. Since putting an O-ME53 magnifier on the K200D (same viewfinder as K100D) - virtually eliminating the difference in size - it's really a non-issue.

Whereas SR makes a huge difference on tons of pictures taken with both MF and AF lenses. Absolutely no way would I even consider giving up SR for a tiny improvement in MF ease and support for flash system I have no intention of ever using. Like I said, if you're a heavy flash user, that could change the equation. I have no idea how viable the use of other flash systems (eg, p-TTL, auto/thyristor, manual with power control) would be when using Takumar lenses.

Would a split prism screen help with MF? No doubt - virtually everyone reports they do. But it's not like it's impossible using the stock screen.

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 10-05-2009 at 07:29 PM.
10-05-2009, 09:39 AM   #8
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I've been using a K100D Super with a manual lens almost exclusively the last year, it takes some time before you get the hang of it but once you do focussing accurately and fast becomes quite easy. I don't have any experience with custom focussing screens etc., but at a guess from using an MF film camera the focus indicator is probably quicker that you'll ever be. Also, I share Marc's view on SR, it really makes a big difference.

I've not used any of the *istD's, but if, like me, you prefer going f2.8 and ISO1600 (which is still very useful on the K100D(S)) instead of using the flash then the K100D is the one I'd recommend.

Also, JPEG performance on the *istD's is said to be poor, whereas the ones coming out of the K100D are tacksharp. This is another thing to consider (IE: do you shoot RAW or JPEG).

10-05-2009, 09:57 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by kveldalf Quote
Just a note regarding manual focussing on the K100D. There is no exposure compensation or "hyper manual" mode on the K100D. There is on the K20D (not the K10D).

As for the screen, I know that focusingscreen.com also makes screens. Question is, I wish I could find a review or comparison between this, the Jinfinance screen, and the Katz Eye.
Concerning exposure compensation in the K100D, I'm not sure what you are talking about. My K100D Super INDEED has exposure compensation when using manual lenses in Av mode - and I've used it many times with my Takumars in Av mode. With manual lenses in manual mode, exposure compensation seems useless to me, since exposure is directly controlled by me, or by pushing the little button, then I might make an adjustment of my own to compensate exposure. All very easy with a little experience.

I have the K100D Super with Katz Eye, and almost exclusively use manual primes (including Takumars), and find focusing as easy as it ever was on film SLRs I've used over the decades. I ignore the focus confirm, and just trust my own eyes. The biggest trick is to MAKE SURE the diopter slide adjustment just above the viewfinder is adjusted so that the viewfinder information display is sharp. Often, when I pull my K100DS out of the bag, I find it out of adjustment, so the first thing I do is turn on the camera, adjust the diopter, then begin using the camera.

For me, shake reduction is critical to have. For flash pictures, I have no problem doing a quick calculation in my head to get exposure about right with the built-in flash, or I sometimes use an external auto-exposing flash. However, I don't use flash very much since primes are generally fast, and the K100DS has such good high-ISO performance.

I've seen many good deals for the K100D and K100D Super in the market place here at Pentax Forums.

Happy Hunting!

-Joe-
10-05-2009, 12:21 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by kveldalf Quote
I wish I could find a review or comparison between this (FocusingScreen), the Jinfinance screen, and the Katz Eye.
There is a small pictorial review on another thread:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/camera-studio-accessories/73353-some-pent...g-screens.html
10-05-2009, 12:34 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by k0og Quote
Concerning exposure compensation in the K100D, I'm not sure what you are talking about. My K100D Super INDEED has exposure compensation when using manual lenses in Av mode - and I've used it many times with my Takumars in Av mode. With manual lenses in manual mode, exposure compensation seems useless to me, since exposure is directly controlled by me, or by pushing the little button, then I might make an adjustment of my own to compensate exposure. All very easy with a little experience.

I have the K100D Super with Katz Eye, and almost exclusively use manual primes (including Takumars), and find focusing as easy as it ever was on film SLRs I've used over the decades. I ignore the focus confirm, and just trust my own eyes. The biggest trick is to MAKE SURE the diopter slide adjustment just above the viewfinder is adjusted so that the viewfinder information display is sharp. Often, when I pull my K100DS out of the bag, I find it out of adjustment, so the first thing I do is turn on the camera, adjust the diopter, then begin using the camera.

For me, shake reduction is critical to have. For flash pictures, I have no problem doing a quick calculation in my head to get exposure about right with the built-in flash, or I sometimes use an external auto-exposing flash. However, I don't use flash very much since primes are generally fast, and the K100DS has such good high-ISO performance.

I've seen many good deals for the K100D and K100D Super in the market place here at Pentax Forums.

Happy Hunting!

-Joe-
With respect to exposure compensation, it is critical for Manual lenses and manual metering, for one reason. Some lenses have a significant but relitively constant error, even if you are going to meter using the green button, to have to continually correct for this error leads to mistakes.

WHile you see the need in AV mode, which you can use on M42 lenses, you are restricted to Manual mode with K mounts because in AV mode the camera DOES NOT stop doen the lens, hence you always shoot wide open.


with respect to shake reduction, if this is the only body, then yes SR might out weigh TTL flash and the nice big bright penta prism of an *istD but assuming this is a back up body or will become one soon, different functionality is perhaps more important than anything else.

As for flash, I use it a lot more with my *istD than eithe rK7 or K10 because I find the TTL flash seems much more consistent than P-TTL. I can run TTL with every lens I own on the *istD just byu using an AF500FTZ, and these are relitively cheap compared to the AF540FGZ. Sadly only the D and DS support TTL
10-06-2009, 12:54 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the replies people - much appreciated
10-06-2009, 02:03 PM   #13
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I've used Pentax, Tamron and Vivitar MF lenses on the *ist DS, K100D, K100DS and K200D with and without the SI viewfinder enhancements of Katzeye and Jinfinance.

- The DS is a real pleasure with the Takumar, A- and M- lenses because of the smaller size and viewfinder. I have it set up with an M42 adapter and that's about all it gets used for today.

- Don't see much actual difference between the K100's in operation except that the VF is not as bright which affects focusing convenience (but not necessarily accuracy) with the OEM finder. SR wasn't too important because the older, faster lenses I'm using compensate somewhat.

- The operational advances and larger file size of the K200 makes the older bodies a moot point AFAIC and I now use them almost exclusively outfittecd with SI finders and magnifiers with all lenses.

- IMO the greatest equipment differences / advantages in order of priority are:

- faster glass.

- a split image screen

- a magnified eye piece

But a walk 'round the pasture with a Tak 50, 105 or 300 on the DS still provides a warm, soft, fuzzy nastalgia trip.

H2
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