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04-06-2022, 12:22 AM   #1
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Pentax Way-Ahead

Hi all,

Only been on a forum a couple days... I am mostly an Olympus user, but I started with Pentax when I was very young, and my Dad gifted me a bunch of equipment I would really like to use:

Pentax P30t; K1000
Pentax-A: 20/f2.8; 24/f2.8; 28/f2; 50/f2; 70-210/f4; 135/f2.8
Pentax-M: 35/f2; 50/f1.4; 50/f2; 100/f2.8; 135/f3.5

So, as a 2x crop guy besides obviously being film lenses designed for "full frame" 35mm film many of these are not ideal for crop sensors (e.g. the 20/f2.8 which is quite wide, not so much so on APS-C or M43). Trying to replicate the way the lenses were designed.

Which brings the questions. What is not (immediately) possible is for me to buy a K-1 (even the Mark I is >$1000) .

So questions:

- As a film photographer, do you stay "old school" and use it just for making prints?
- If not, what digitizing process / equipment do you use? I noticed everything from very modest (presumably very modest quality) to ~$400 (which still isn't bad).

- For hybrid (digital/film) photographers - with these lenses did you go with the K1? Other full-frame?
- APS-C users (I have a Canon 70D as well)? Focal reducer?

Thanks in advance... For now, I have some film, I'm thinking of just trying out all the lenses that way, but curious what options are out there. From what I've seen so far (from adapting) the quality of these 40+ year old lenses is awesome

04-06-2022, 12:37 AM - 2 Likes   #2
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This lens list is manual focus, so the AF benefits of the K-1 are lost, and you will need to swap out the focusing screen to reliably focus.

Since you already have a Canon 70D my suggestion is if you want to simplify your workflow and shoot FF Pentax glass, just buy a second hand Canon 5D Mark II (approx 250-350 USD), Pentax K to EF mount converter, and a focusing screen. You'll get 21Mpix files and an extremely durable body, for a very low price.

IMO its not worth buying into the K-1 unless you plan to buy into the rest of the Pentax eco-system, such as the latest DFA lenses, or the 4 princess LTDs.
04-06-2022, 12:50 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by someasiancameraguy Quote
This lens list is manual focus, so the AF benefits of the K-1 are lost, and you will need to swap out the focusing screen to reliably focus.

Since you already have a Canon 70D my suggestion is if you want to simplify your workflow and shoot FF Pentax glass, just buy a second hand Canon 5D Mark II (approx 250-350 USD), Pentax K to EF mount converter, and a focusing screen. You'll get 21Mpix files and an extremely durable body, for a very low price.

IMO its not worth buying into the K-1 unless you plan to buy into the rest of the Pentax eco-system, such as the latest DFA lenses, or the 4 princess LTDs.
Thanks for the quick response - I seriously thought about that! It definitely seems like a reasonable route.

I thought I read about having to modify the mirror for some lenses, though, and I wasn't too excited about that. Do you think that would be necessary? Also, thanks for the tip on the focusing screen - I hadn't heard of those before

Dion
04-06-2022, 01:48 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by dionhouston Quote
So questions:

- As a film photographer, do you stay "old school" and use it just for making prints?
- If not, what digitizing process / equipment do you use? I noticed everything from very modest (presumably very modest quality) to ~$400 (which still isn't bad).
I scan all of my film work (both 35mm and medium format) myself with an Epson V550. This is a pretty cheap flatbed scanner. Quality is fine, but not outstanding. There are lots of other dedicated scanners available at a range of price points.

Scanning with a digital camera and macro lens also gives great results, but there's a bit of fiddling around to set up a system (lighting, film holder, camera stand, conversion software etc.)

QuoteQuote:
- For hybrid (digital/film) photographers - with these lenses did you go with the K1? Other full-frame?
- APS-C users (I have a Canon 70D as well)? Focal reducer?
I use a Nikon Z6 as a digital platform for my legacy lenses.

I chose this over a K1 for two reasons. First, mirrorless offers a lot of focussing aids that are really helpful for manual lenses. Second, the short flange distance makes it easy to adapt *all* my manual lenses (including rangefinder glass). The K1 would only allow me to mount K and M42 lenses.

04-06-2022, 02:36 AM - 1 Like   #5
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The most convenient way to get into film photography is to send the film to a lab who will also scan and send the images via web server.
I usually request 18Mb jpegs and am more than happy with the results. For the ultimate quality and control you can develop and scan yourself but this is a significant extra investment in time and up front costs for equipment.

Both of the film cameras you have are excellent. I would check that the foam seals and mirror bumper are not rotting, if so get them replaced. The P30T has a plastic rear door with a labyrinth light trap so does not have foam seals, therefore you only need to check the mirror bumper on this camera. The P30T has a fragile film advance mechanism. Whatever you do don’t apply excessive force, or it will break.

You can download the manuals for both cameras at Michael Butkus Jr.; Trenton State College, College of New Jersey, Chinon Cameras, K-Mount, Ricoh cameras, UPS, power outages, swinning pool liners, camera instruction manuals, electronic flash manuals, hand held light meter manuals, user guides. Available for free but the owner of the site would appreciate a donation of a few dollars.
04-06-2022, 02:38 AM   #6
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Investigate FF mirrorless options to avoid having to modify either lenses or camera. Or get a K5iis which has no aa filter and gives very flexible files to work with. Yes it is APSC but you get a very user friendly way to use the "a" lenses. In the end it is the image that matters, not how you got it. I used to think it important to use FF glass on a FF camera, but have come to the conclusion that for me it boils down to what can be achieved with a particular combination. The lense doesn't care and neither does the camera. Happy decision making
04-06-2022, 04:57 AM - 1 Like   #7
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If you are going to spend money on a body buy a decent Pentax body. Use those lenses with "catch in focus" and you may obtain very good results. No need for an adapter, just Pentax to Pentax coupling and then: enjoy! The joy of APS-C is that you use best part of your lenses and where some lenses might vignet on FF they do not on APS-C, did you know that?
Go for a decent K-5 II or a K-3 (II). Whatever is the best for your budget.

04-06-2022, 05:32 AM   #8
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Thanks all! What I've gotten so far - no recommendations to buy the K-1, as it seems to be overkill for my situation.

I saw a recommendation for two bodies, one for the Canon 5D (DSLR), and one for the Nikon Z6 (Mirrorless). I already was considering the 5D, and it definitely is within budget. My main concern, as mentioned, is I heard some Pentax lenses requiring modifying the mirror. I'm am extremely unskilled in doing that sort of thing, and fear breaking my new very old camera. But I haven't discounted it yet.

The Nikon Z6 looks nice, and I appreciate that I could easily connect other lenses as well. However it appears the price point is at or above a K1, so it would definitely be a longer term thing. The only other vintage lens I have is an OM System Macro, but may look more into that in the future.

The other is a Pentax APS-C camera. I have to admit this is quite appealing. I like the idea of trying the lenses in a Pentax environment and to see how they do photography different than the others. I have heard that Pentax specializes more in the experience than the technology. The challenge is I have 3x APS-C bodies already (the 70D is my best, but I also have older, consumer class Canon and Nikons).

Finally, digitizing. To do a fair comparison, I'm going to go out and do some film photography, and see whether the local photo shop will do digital (I'm on a military base and services are limited). I know from past experience anything that requires significant extra effort won't last for me (actually the main reason I never invested in my 70D). The cheapest camera is the one you already own, and it is full-frame

Seriously thanks for the many ideas, and I welcome others. I think at this point I've discounted only the K-1, and the most interesting is a Pentax APS-C body. The lenses are definitely better glass than anything I currently have on Canon/Nikon... No autofocus though

---------- Post added 04-06-22 at 05:32 AM ----------

Thanks all! What I've gotten so far - no recommendations to buy the K-1, as it seems to be overkill for my situation.

I saw a recommendation for two bodies, one for the Canon 5D (DSLR), and one for the Nikon Z6 (Mirrorless). I already was considering the 5D, and it definitely is within budget. My main concern, as mentioned, is I heard some Pentax lenses requiring modifying the mirror. I'm am extremely unskilled in doing that sort of thing, and fear breaking my new very old camera. But I haven't discounted it yet.

The Nikon Z6 looks nice, and I appreciate that I could easily connect other lenses as well. However it appears the price point is at or above a K1, so it would definitely be a longer term thing. The only other vintage lens I have is an OM System Macro, but may look more into that in the future.

The other is a Pentax APS-C camera. I have to admit this is quite appealing. I like the idea of trying the lenses in a Pentax environment and to see how they do photography different than the others. I have heard that Pentax specializes more in the experience than the technology. The challenge is I have 3x APS-C bodies already (the 70D is my best, but I also have older, consumer class Canon and Nikons).

Finally, digitizing. To do a fair comparison, I'm going to go out and do some film photography, and see whether the local photo shop will do digital (I'm on a military base and services are limited). I know from past experience anything that requires significant extra effort won't last for me (actually the main reason I never invested in my 70D). The cheapest camera is the one you already own, and it is full-frame

Seriously thanks for the many ideas, and I welcome others. I think at this point I've discounted only the K-1, and the most interesting is a Pentax APS-C body. The lenses are definitely better glass than anything I currently have on Canon/Nikon... No autofocus though
04-06-2022, 06:06 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by dionhouston Quote
- As a film photographer, do you stay "old school" and use it just for making prints?
- If not, what digitizing process / equipment do you use? I noticed everything from very modest (presumably very modest quality) to ~$400 (which still isn't bad).
I am shooting film with different system then Pentax (M39 screwdrive, and not Leica ) so I cannot say anything about lenses. I use only DA lenses on my K-3/3 so not an issue for me.

As for above questions, I am fully old school as you said. When I use film, I use it to make prints and prints only. If I resolve b&w by myself then it is big baryte prints, if I use C41 film (color or b&w) then of course I send it for resolving and printing, as I am too lazy to do it myself. But I never do digital copies, I do not see reason to use analog medium just to have it displayed on digital one. I can as well use fully digital from start. On same page I rarely print digital, only when I really like something and hang it on the wall or want to test new gear.


May sound snobbish, probably is, but I try to keep both media separated from each other.
04-06-2022, 06:35 AM - 1 Like   #10
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Nah to be honest that sounds normal! I mean, your cameras still work. You can still buy film. Maybe no instant gratification, but you never had it before either. There's nothing broke that requires fixing.

Developing is something I definitely would not do myself. My Dad used to have a "dark room" in one of his bathrooms, and frankly the idea of taking that much space and time to do something I can go down the street and get someone else to do is perfect...
04-06-2022, 08:04 AM   #11
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I am primarily a film shooter. I send my film to a lab and have it scanned, then order prints from the scans of the ones I like. This may be offensive to some film purists, but I don't have the time or space to set up a home darkroom and certainly wouldn't have the time to make prints if I did. Frankly, scanning negatives sounds like a nightmare to me, and I'm perfectly happy to outsource this task. I just do this stuff for fun, and my workflow makes me happy.


With respect to your other questions, If you just want to use your Pentax lenses on a digital body, there are adapters to allow you to use Pentax K-mount lenses on Canon EOS bodies like your 70D. Here's one for $20: K&F M17131 Pentax K Lenses to Canon EOS Lens Mount Adapter For DSLR - KENTFAITH. Maybe give that a try before investing in another expensive digital body.


Good luck and have fun whatever you decide to do!
04-06-2022, 08:29 AM   #12
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I digitize my negatives using my K-5 II and a Kiron 105mm macro lens and a light box. I convert the negative to positive in Lightroom on my PC with the Negative Lab Pro plugin. It works well but Lightroom going subscription only is an expense that is hard to recommend if you're not already using it.


I have never actually spent the money to do this myself, so big grains of salt here, but I think if I wanted to use manual focus glass on a digital camera, I would go mirrorless, for the focusing aids available in the viewfinder. There is AF confirmation in a Pentax AF body to help but in my experience it's not that much fun to depend on. An older Fuji body or a lower spec Canon or Nikon mirrorless FF body would probably be where I'd look first, with the Fuji's being APS-C which is both a blessing and a curse. You could probably sell that A-series 50mm f2.0 Pentax lens for the cost of a good adapter to get your K-mount glass onto a mirrorless body.


Film shooting can be a fun rabbit hole to fall down. This forum is a great resource when you need help or suggestions.
04-06-2022, 09:10 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by dionhouston Quote
Hi all,

Only been on a forum a couple days... I am mostly an Olympus user, but I started with Pentax when I was very young, and my Dad gifted me a bunch of equipment I would really like to use:

Pentax P30t; K1000
Pentax-A: 20/f2.8; 24/f2.8; 28/f2; 50/f2; 70-210/f4; 135/f2.8
Pentax-M: 35/f2; 50/f1.4; 50/f2; 100/f2.8; 135/f3.5

So, as a 2x crop guy besides obviously being film lenses designed for "full frame" 35mm film many of these are not ideal for crop sensors (e.g. the 20/f2.8 which is quite wide, not so much so on APS-C or M43). Trying to replicate the way the lenses were designed.

Which brings the questions. What is not (immediately) possible is for me to buy a K-1 (even the Mark I is >$1000) .

So questions:

- As a film photographer, do you stay "old school" and use it just for making prints?
- If not, what digitizing process / equipment do you use? I noticed everything from very modest (presumably very modest quality) to ~$400 (which still isn't bad).

- For hybrid (digital/film) photographers - with these lenses did you go with the K1? Other full-frame?
- APS-C users (I have a Canon 70D as well)? Focal reducer?

Thanks in advance... For now, I have some film, I'm thinking of just trying out all the lenses that way, but curious what options are out there. From what I've seen so far (from adapting) the quality of these 40+ year old lenses is awesome
I donít shoot film much anymore. The immediate feedback from digital is hard to give up. The lack of cost for experimenting with different techniques and equipment makes it very hard to roll back time to the film era. Film does have a certain look and wet printing can be very satisfying - but the incremental cost is high and the feedback is delayed reducing the speed of learning.

I shot film and enjoyed it but it really doesnít seem as useful to me now as it was in the past. Thatís not to say donít bother - it seems like a fun add-on to a largely digital hobby - but not what Iíd say would be best for a steady diet.

A couple of important things to think about:

How many rolls of film, scans, and prints = a K-1?

How do you plan to use the images? Prints, books, social media, screen show?

How much of an immediate vs delayed experience is acceptable?

How will you print or scan? (I realize thatís part of your question)

In the end I would recommend keeping film as an adjunct to the main digital approach. Thatís unless you have specific goals.

One more thing to keep in mind. Digital hates blown highlights from overexposure. Film (negative film) dislikes lost shadow detail from heavy under exposure. The optimized exposure differs and this learning this is important if you do both.
04-06-2022, 09:27 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by AAlfano Quote
I am primarily a film shooter. I send my film to a lab and have it scanned, then order prints from the scans of the ones I like. This may be offensive to some film purists, but I don't have the time or space to set up a home darkroom and certainly wouldn't have the time to make prints if I did. Frankly, scanning negatives sounds like a nightmare to me, and I'm perfectly happy to outsource this task. I just do this stuff for fun, and my workflow makes me happy.


With respect to your other questions, If you just want to use your Pentax lenses on a digital body, there are adapters to allow you to use Pentax K-mount lenses on Canon EOS bodies like your 70D. Here's one for $20: K&F M17131 Pentax K Lenses to Canon EOS Lens Mount Adapter For DSLR - KENTFAITH. Maybe give that a try before investing in another expensive digital body.


Good luck and have fun whatever you decide to do!
Thank you! That probably would have been a worthwhile addition. I do have adapters both to EOS and M43. I also have a speed booster from EOS to M43. And especially where it makes sense, (e.g. longer primes), then I'll definitely avail of the crop factor to get better reach. The first picture is cropped, but I just took a picture of a bird with my 70-210 f/4 all the way out and open. It is not bad at all. And it's my farthest reach without a teleconverter.

The second is the reason why I'd like to see these lenses full-frame. It's a Laowa 10mm/f2 on M43. 20mm equivalency, which is the same as the widest Pentax prime I have. I bought the lens for that purpose (and for stitched panos). 20mm on APS-C or M43 is well within "normal" range -- my "go-to" lens on my M43 is 12-40. My Laowa is MF only as well.

Anyway, what I get from this, is I should probably actually try out the lenses, both with film, and adapted, to see what the differences are... And I appreciate the fact that you can do a lot without spending money, so thanks
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04-06-2022, 11:53 AM - 1 Like   #15
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WOW! that is quite a collecction of lenses you got!
Those lenses will work great in Pentax cameras, as they not only mount but allow for semi-automation
I'd plan for a K3 (APS-C) which is a very good camera, and plays nicely with the A and M lenses.

While all these are manual focus, the cameras do a good job letting you know that you are in-focus and once you understand the flow it is easy and quick.
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