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04-17-2012, 05:21 PM   #1
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Nearly K-01 but..

I was, with ever failing sharp eyes, about to buy a new k-01 which would have been my first new purchase of Pentax since 1980, as I always bought used Pentax/Ricoh bodies and lenses since.

Hesitant, with limited budget, I really want 35mm full frame to replace my aging ist ds's , to complement my 35mm slrs and Pentax-M, -A and off brand K-M lenses. I have no DAs, Pentax APS-c kit 18 ~ 55 is rarely used, a good lens but no fun.

On surplusshed.com, while getting some lens elements, I saw this lens:
KODAK EKTON 9-27MM F/2.0 SVS ZOOM LENS . A video lens used by NASA.
Search revealed little to add to the brief description on surplusshed.com
Anyway I decided by internet search, and the photo, that this lens is close to the micro 4/3 standard.
Ordered: Cost $34.75

Next I searched for the absolute lowest cost, "new" micro 4/3 body only:
Four Thirds | Micro Four Thirds | Benefits of Micro Four Thirds
Olympus superseded Pen E-PL1 21.63 mm circle, 4/3 aspect ratio,17.3 mm by 13 mm sensor, register distance 19.25 mm.
Ordered: Cost $149.95 free shipping

I concentrated on: the Manual modes, the shake reduction is in body, the output can be in my favorite jpg in range 3 MB, the weight/size is less than ist ds, the lens mount is machined aluminum and the contacts are recessed behind the mount.
Importantly, the micro 4/3 seems to be designed to be friendly in completely manual mode to all lenses of longer register.

The downside:
I expect the low light/ high iso side to be not much better than the ist ds, except for the shake reduction.
Only my -M's 24mm, 28mm and maybe 35mm will be of use.

The reasons that I took the "risky" project were:
-The excitement of the unknown. If all goes to hell, as some of my projects do, not much is lost!
-Outlay is quite small $ less than $200.
-The depreciation on M-less ILC is much worse than a typical DSLR, for example my aging 2004 ist ds's still fetch hefty prices, while I am getting this 2010 Olympus 12 MB 4/3 at 28 cents/$1. Another example is my MX!
-If I screw up the lens mount I can still buy a lens adaptor and use Pentax -M, and I have a relic Kodak Ekton for the collection.
-I have a lathe and I can machine lens mounts as necessary to correct the registration.
-I can also machine and adjust for infinity my own adaptor pentax K lens to micro 4/3 body

Comments will be appreciated, while the parts are arriving.
i will add here as things proceed.

04-18-2012, 12:03 AM   #2
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Do you have any idea of the lens mount type, focal flange distance and image circle size? I couln't find much info on this lens.

However, the 9-27 mm range makes me think it was for a rather small sensor and focal distance.
04-18-2012, 05:22 AM   #3
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Yes Raffwal, it would be interesting to know the history of these Ekton lens. The mount looks like a Micro4/3 but the lens is at least pre 2000 because it is listed on Kodak's Y2K compliance.
I will put up some photos and dimensions when the lens and body arrive. MFT register is 19.25 mm and diagonal is 21.63mm. There were a few standards including the c mount ( screw, 16mm film ) at around register 17mm.
"SVS" in the lens name might mean Nasa's "Scientific Visualization Studio"
04-24-2012, 08:45 AM   #4
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Summary:
Well I dislike using the rear lcd instead of an optical view finder. I have to hold the camera out and use reading glasses, so now I'll hold out for a dslr instead of K-01.

Story:
The Olympus Micro4/3 arrived and so did the old Kodak Ekton Nasa video lens.

The plus side, I discovered using the sun, the lens register is roughly 34 mm so I could go ahead and make a m4/3 mount.
The minus side is the image diameter is too small, the lens might have been for 8mm or so.

I went ahead and machined a lens mount as a learning exercise so I can make a PK adaptor later.
The M43 contacts are separate, behind the mount which makes the job easier and less risk of damaging the camera.
https://www.box.com/s/07fbf8f82e37f9505ac6
https://www.box.com/s/14f931c17df10376d43f

It was difficult to machine the length not knowing the exact register. Infinite focus, still not quite right, adding .08mm shims of cooking parchment.
The lens on the M4/3:
https://www.box.com/s/de12b7d6ffc983d748de

The M43 with the Kodak Ekton at 10mm, the camera set for 6:6 aspect ratio, showing the whimsical (or horrendous) vignette, also showing the large dof even wide open at f/2
https://www.box.com/s/1334698a3d01d0339643
This one at iso 200 with some fill flash, showing haziness or flare in low light. Not sure why, as the glass looks good.
https://www.box.com/s/4a4a74d2755122e6d294

The Olympus Pen E-pl1 is a good unit apart from my difficulty using the LCD.
I will go ahead and make a PK adaptor, also I read that the Pentax 110mm lenses with a register of 27mm will work on M4/3.

04-25-2012, 08:10 PM   #5
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The Olympus Pen E-pl1 is a good unit apart from my difficulty using the LCD.
I will go ahead and make a PK adaptor, also I read that the Pentax 110mm lenses with a register of 27mm will work on M4/3.[/quote]

the vf2 or vf3 evf's will solve the problem.

this site has info on 110 lens use

http://www.mu-43.com/f40/cheap-pentax-110-50mm-available-tiny-portrait-lens-21661/[quote=wombat2go;1924009]
05-06-2012, 06:29 PM   #6
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I finished the home made M4/3_PK adaptor this weekend.
https://www.box.com/s/db2d50c7edecf721ca74
This shot was taken with the SMC Pentax-M 1:2.8 28mm which will be quite usable FL on M4/3 adaptor.

The lens end uses a mount from a dead Pentax body.
The adaptor rear is turned from aluminum billet and the PK ring is from 64mm high density Acetal bar stock so that the original Pentax plastic threaded screws could be used.
There is provision for shim adjustments inside the adaptor using .08mm cooking parchment rings.
The register (adaptor length) is critical for infinite focus of the primes and sharpness of the zooms.
The adaptor should be 45.96 ( Pentax) minus 19.25 (M4/3) = 26.71 mm
But actually I am down to 26.12 mm by trials on a distant street lamp , I think the optimum will be a shim back to around 26.2 after i do some more test shots with various lenses at longer distances.

I used the Rikenon P Zoom 1:3.4~4.5 35~70mm today on M4/3 at an indoor function wide open, iso 2500 1/40th or so. The big difficulty for me is composing and focussing with the LCD.
With the lens at f/11 at an outdoor lunch I got some sharp shots.
I will try the SMC Pentax -M 1:2.8 100mm with the M4/3 at the ice rink next week.

The Kodak Ekton 9 ~27mm NASA cine lens with a similar home made M4/3 adaptor has a register around 34.5 mm and is sharp after some adjustments by trials.
This lens with wide DOF is easy to focus just using hyperfocal numbers. It does not cover the M4/3 sensor height , however one of the camera crops gives a usable jpg of 2560 by 1920 pixels with some corner vignette. Or crop in for no vignette in Gimp.

I spent less than $200 on the project and some interesting time learning how to make the register adaptor to Pentax -M lenses.
And I found I can't use the LCD VF properly so a K-01 would have been not appropriate in my case due to my eyesight.
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