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08-06-2008, 04:24 PM   #1
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What's wrong with this picture?

My curiosity was kindled on another thread when someone said this would work...



This is possible with an adapter (quite nicely made, actually) from B&H. I have not yet run a roll through it yet, but I've noted some interesting things needed to make it work and how the metering works. I'll share if others show any interest.

There are a zillion of these A-1 bodies out there gathering dust, I wonder how the images will be shot with Pentax glass over the original FD lenses.

Not trying to get flamed (I don't thing we're that type of crowd anyway) but I figure this was an oddity some would like to see.

Anyone interested in more info?

regards,

germar

08-06-2008, 04:36 PM   #2
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Certainly - over at mflenses, the Canon and the digital Olympus are hot items, as you can mount just about anything on them.
08-06-2008, 04:38 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by germar Quote
Not trying to get flamed (I don't thing we're that type of crowd anyway) but I figure this was an oddity some would like to see. Anyone interested in more info?
Germar... of course I am interested. No flame forthcoming... The truth is that the fact that such an adapter exists is a testament to just how good the M42 lenses really are.

I've known this could be done for some time, and I've seen a few auctions on eBay fetch exorbitant prices because someone showed what could be done with a ... say ... simple f/4.0 200mm on a Canon. At the same time the same lens was going for half the price when being sold without the hype. I can only shake my head. I will say that Takumars have gone up in price over the past couple/few years, and it is in part due an increase in demand which no doubt includes Canon users. I have seen somewhere else that the adapter works on current Canon DSLRs too, and I assume that is from whence the better part of the non-Pentax demand.

Tell us anything and everything. You sure have my interest piqued.

woof!
08-06-2008, 06:44 PM   #4
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Further information

Thanks for the response, you all. I agree, there seems to be a huge surcharge for Canon FD lenses over the Takumars, and I really think it's unwarranted that such truly obsolete glass (unlike the taks)should command such a premium. I bet the Tak glass will outperform the Canon easily.

Anyway, the part is a Bower adapter, part sku GBCACU Canon FD Body to Universal lens adapter. Around 20 dollars from B&H. As I said, it is very nicely machined, well finished mating surfaces and the locking collar rotates smoothly. To anyone familiar with pre-FD canon lenses, this adapter has the same locking collar mechanism...you press the lens against the mating surface and rotate the collar, not the lens body.

Once you have the adapter on, it you can just screw on any M42 lens you would like.

There is a catch I discovered however:

I noted that the A-1's electronics would incorrectly set the lens maximum f-stop. No matter what lens I attached, it would always think the fastest stop was f5.6. I did some research on how Canon FD lenses worked and discovered the following:

The A-1 body has a small indicator pin just inside the lens mounting ring. This pin is pushed in a tiny distance when a FD lens is attached, and based on the distance the Camera identifies the lens maximum aperture. A slower lens would only push the pin in a tiny fraction...the camera would then identify the lens as a f4 or a f3.5. A faster FD lens would push the pin in much farther, and the camera would respond with f1.4 or f1.2. The adapter ring and attached M42 lens does not touch the pin at all, so the camera responded by telling me the fastest stop was f5.6.

I found a fix, however. I took a small piece of plastic about the diameter of a cigarette and sliced a cross section about 2mm wide. I mounted the adapter ring onto the camera body, and then wedged the little piece of plastic between the pin and the inside of the adapter ring. This pushed the pin in pretty far and also held the plastic wedge firmly in place against the inside of the adapter. The A-1 now thought my 50mm 1.4 Super Tak was a very expensive Canon FD f1.2 lens!

If anyone is really interested, I can shoot some macros of the setup and post later.

Now, the other issue I discovered is with the metering. My A-1 has been with me since the very early 80s and has never been CLAed, so there could be an issue with exposure. But I did some unscientific tests with both my K10D and a freshly CLAed ME Super and found the Canon was under exposing by a full EV step. I was comparing meters using the same target, same lighting and same lens. I dialed in a full step of EV on the compensation dial and now all three cameras offered the same exposure value.

Through the lens, the Canon's view is small and a bit dark. The ME Super is far superior in brightness and general usability. However, the Canon split prism is really very good, I'd say better than a Katz eye... you can really really tell when you have critical focus.

As I've said, I have not yet run any film through this A-1/Takumar combination. I will this weekend, and perhaps even shoot some comparison targets with a 50mm Super-Tak and a 50mm FD 1.8 lens and see how they look.

Thanks,

germar

08-06-2008, 10:49 PM   #5
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Wow, I have an AE-1 as well...I would be curious, actually I am curious..
08-07-2008, 02:05 AM   #6
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Hmmm... I have an F-1, which is fully manual. This could probably work on that. Although I cannot imagine going for the hulking F-1 over one of my compact Spotties.
08-07-2008, 07:23 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jake.astig Quote
Hmmm... I have an F-1, which is fully manual. This could probably work on that. Although I cannot imagine going for the hulking F-1 over one of my compact Spotties.
I would agree. I have had my AE-1 for about 6 months, it has been used for a total of 2 rolls. I found it bulky and heavy. No big deal as I am nitpicking, but the the me super simply feels great in my hand. Image quality appears to be the same...Anyway, I prefer the Pentax, but to each his own.
08-07-2008, 10:33 AM   #8
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IMO...if someone wants to get a film kit for dirt cheap, look for Canons or Minoltas.

Just look at how many listings there are in B&H's used department. True, you can't use the lenses on any other systems, but you could piece together a great kit for (probably) 1/4 the cost of a similar Pentax one...what with our rising prices and all.

08-07-2008, 10:40 AM   #9
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I have an odd question - why not try the Takumar on a Spotmatic?

Who cares if it works or not? In the film era, the camera was merely a light-tight box. Use the same lens and same film on a camera, and you get the same results. All the time.
08-07-2008, 11:10 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by ftpaddict Quote
I have an odd question - why not try the Takumar on a Spotmatic?

Who cares if it works or not? In the film era, the camera was merely a light-tight box. Use the same lens and same film on a camera, and you get the same results. All the time.
I guess you answered a question I have often wondered about. For example..
Will a Leica take better pictures than a Pentax?
08-07-2008, 11:30 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jgredline Quote
I guess you answered a question I have often wondered about. For example..
Will a Leica take better pictures than a Pentax?
Well.. if you put a Summicron up against a Pentax FA J lens, no doubt the Leica will reign supreme.. as long as they use the same film.


Using a Leica is all about the raw feeling that has hardly changed since the first model came off the assembly line... and the snobbery. Pretty much just the snobbery of saying "I have a Leica".
08-07-2008, 01:06 PM   #12
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QuoteQuote:
Pretty much just the snobbery of saying "I have a Leica".



the camera makes no difference. what matters is the film, the lens, and of course the talents of the person behind said camera.
08-07-2008, 02:07 PM   #13
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Uh... it's about having fun...

QuoteOriginally posted by ftpaddict Quote
I have an odd question - why not try the Takumar on a Spotmatic?
I own two spots as well as a K100 and a K10. I am sure the tak will work better on the the Pentax than the Canon. I guess the point of the experiment is to have fun, as some people do putting a V8 engine into a Volkswagen Bug or stuffing the guts of a Windows PC into a Macintosh case. Fun to try, and a conversation piece.

And if you've got a free Canon "lightbox" lying around, why not put some excellent old glass on it and see what happens?

regards,

germar
08-11-2008, 02:51 PM   #14
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It works just fine!

As a follow up, I wanted to let everyone know that this combination indeed works.

I shot a roll of expired 200 film with a SMC 55 1.8 and a SMC Tak 105 and got excellent focus and exposure results. The colors were funky, but that was because of the old film.

So, if you've got a Canon body in the sock drawer and want to play with your Takumars, you can do it for about 20 dollars with the adapter from BH. Is it better than using a Spotmatic? Heck no. But it IS a fun conversation piece and it is nice to put a solid old body back to work for less than you can buy a good Spottie off ebay.

I am willing to take more photos and create a how-to thread if some show interest.

thanks,

germar
08-11-2008, 04:10 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by germar Quote
I guess the point of the experiment is to have fun, as some people do putting a V8 engine into a Volkswagen Bug
Make that a small block V-8 into an MG Midget, and I'm with you. Just my style germar.... just my style.

woof!
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