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Forum: Pentax K-1 07-09-2016, 02:18 PM  
Pixel Shifted Images
Posted By Tjompen1968
Replies: 1,405
Views: 170,989
PS used for repro... Negative from Pentax 6x7

Pixel Shift by Thomas Hedlund, on Flickr
Forum: Sold Items 09-16-2015, 11:36 PM  
For Sale - Sold: Contax to Pentax adapter by Leitax!
Posted By konradsiekierski
Replies: 7
Views: 1,322
Forum: Lens Clubs 09-05-2015, 01:09 PM  
Takumar club
Posted By cantthink193
Replies: 17,589
Views: 3,356,101
Gorgeous shot. I recently picked up both the 55mm f1.8 and the 50mm f1.4 and have been out and about with the 1.4 a few times so far. I've always liked the solid feel of old Pentax glass and the Taks are no exception. These are both with the 50mm f1.4.

Shipshape by Callan S, on Flickr

This one is a cross-post from the Photo Critique section, edited and post-critique. Wide open.

Cooking on Gas by Callan S, on Flickr
Forum: Lens Clubs 09-05-2015, 07:18 AM  
Takumar club
Posted By Michi Joel
Replies: 17,589
Views: 3,356,101
Takumar 6x7 200mm f4
at f5.6 i think..

1a 67 Takumar 200mm f4 by Joel, en Flickr
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 09-08-2009, 02:04 PM  
A lens you won't find often: M42 80mm f/1.8 Komura
Posted By Asahiflex
Replies: 22
Views: 14,902
Let me start with the following statement: for a collector me it's VERY HARD to resist a lens that comes in such a pristine shape, it looks like it just left the factory... Quality like that is not common nowadays; I would not compare a Canon L lens with the fine workmanship of the Komura. I'd say it's on the same level as the FA Limiteds.

I hope you like my product shots. Photos taken with this lens are too large to post here, but can be found here: Manual Focus Lenses :: View topic - Sankyo Koki Komura f=80mm 1:1.8 first test shots

(Shot with Pentax K-7 and Tamron 28-75/2.8)

Forum: Pentax Price Watch 08-13-2015, 02:04 PM  
K-3 II $849 at B&H
Posted By Adam
Replies: 15
Views: 1,863
The Pentax K-3 II has seen another price drop at B&H:

Pentax K-3 II DSLR Camera (Body Only) 16160 B&H Photo Video

Forum: Pentax K-3 08-01-2015, 04:13 PM  
My Favorite K3 lens - the 90mm Voightlander
Posted By Fenwoodian
Replies: 3
Views: 1,517
In the last few weeks since buying a new K3 camera, I've tested out 12 different lenses on it. Most are lenses that have been rated exceedingly high on this forum.

While I like many of these lenses a whole lot, I've found only one lens that I love and will never part with - the Voightlander 90mm f/3.5 APO-Lanthar (older version).

I've posted some photos of this lens and one test shot I took today. I found that the sweet spot for this lens is f/7.1 . From f/3.5 through F/11 it's exceptional with almost no differences in the IQ.

I can't wait to some day try this lens on the new full frame!

What's been your experience with this lens?
Forum: Pentax K-3 06-14-2014, 07:23 AM  
Lightroom won't read my K-3 PEF files...
Posted By TraciA
Replies: 11
Views: 3,897
I'm starting to hyperventilate! I took pics of my niece's ballet recital last night w/ my brand new K-3 (just got it on Tuesday), Today I tried to download my PEF files to my Lightroom 4 and it says it can't read them. :hmm: "The file is not recognized by the raw format support in Lightroom." They open in Finder, and in iPhoto. How do I get them to open in Lightroom?
Forum: General Talk 11-15-2010, 09:43 PM  
BH Sending used item as brand new item?
Posted By paugie
Replies: 61
Views: 22,823
Asian here.
I am a bit picky about what I buy. I look at the item for telltale signs that it has been used before. But I also check it out for functionality.
Many times I have purchased items that have previously come out of the box for other customers to look at and handle.
But functionality always wins out over "seems like it was used before". As the item continues to function well, I tend to forget what it was that made it seem like I wasn't the first one to hold it in my hands.
Forum: Pentax Price Watch 04-30-2015, 11:05 PM  
Asahiflex Bonanza
Posted By RobA_Oz
Replies: 13
Views: 1,509
The German Pentax eBay seller, kilo404, has not one but four Asahiflex bodies (two with lenses) on offer at the moment, including a Tower 22, a IIA and two IIBs. Conditions vary, but for someone looking to collect the early models, there may be something worth looking at here.

Links are:
Tower 22 (IIA)
Asahiflex IIA
Asahiflex IIB
Asahiflex IIB
Forum: Pentax Full Frame 06-08-2014, 06:56 AM  
Chasseur d'Images announces Pentax FF for the next Photokina
Posted By easyreeder
Replies: 85
Views: 11,736
Thanks so much for your thoughtful response. I'd differ with you on a few points.

Yes, a declining and mature market, but the DSLR market will increasingly tap into the camcorder and film market. People don't like to talk video, but there it is. When I talk to my kids about a photographer who just takes stills, they think it's the dumbest thing they ever heard. To them, the first choice is "picture or video?" Also, the lag here is increasingly the hardware of the computers, not the cameras: 4k video is well within the range of filmmakers—it's the edit hardware that's prohibitive.

Entry level people aren't more likely to start APS-C. Not when there are full frame entry-level cameras. When full frame reaches that market segment (and by then the cameras will be the same size as APS-C cameras), APS-C will be well on its way to obsolescence. But, FF may not reach that market for a few years. Enthusiast market? By the end of this year (look at the Sony and Canon offerings), it's going to be very difficult to sell a new APS-C camera to an enthusiast. Pentax has to diversify into FF. Committing fully to APS-C at this time is poorly advised. (And the K mount is an ff mount, with FA lenses that can be updated in the short term.)

Current FF people aren't going to switch gear. More or less that's true. But people upgrading from APS-C, and there will be a lot of those in the next few years, will be open to the possibility. They need new lenses anyway. It's also been my experience that Canon folks don't love their lenses. On the video side, many Canon shooters rent lenses.

I do love my Pentax lenses, as do, by the way, my Canon buddies, who are using them with adapters. It bums me out to think of leaving Pentax, and the upgrade path from my K3 is prohibitive. To get the control I have in the K3, I'll have to drop 3-4 grand on, for example, a Canon. Maybe I could spend less on the forthcoming Sony A99 updated camera (the A99 is an obvious model for Pentax, by the way, because it allows for the APS-C crop factor, and APS-C lenses).

Anyway, I'm the market, I think. I came in entry-level with Pentax a few years ago, then upgraded (pre-ordered) to the K3, which is a beast, and now I'm planning to move up again—and the move, seems pretty obvious, is FF. Basically, I want to get the aperture values of ff lenses (without the APS-C crop). I'll watch what comes out until the end of the year, and if Pentax isn't there, I'm going to Canon or Sony. I'm not fond of Sony, but the sensors are Sony, and at least the A mount has a history.

Oh, and by the way, I've spent quite a bit of money on Pentax, but the lack of FF has put a moratorium on that. I'm wait and see now. And I'm not the only one. I don't know if any company can afford that kind of bleed.
Forum: Pentax Full Frame 12-30-2013, 09:25 PM  
Does my M42 and K-mount work on digital FF? - an exploration
Posted By pinholecam
Replies: 64
Views: 10,866
We often hear the claim/argument that legacy lenses are not good enough for digital FF.
Resolution is not there and poor edges being the primary reasons.
In the past, it was hard to confirm and so this passed on from one person to another (becoming a truth in itself).
There is evidence that some of the lenses work well enough since they have been adapted on 5D and 5DII, but these 2 cameras have issues with some lenses (esp. k-mounts) which limit what can be tried out.

But now, with the Sony A7, all the Pentax K-mount lenses can be tried out on a digital FF camera.
So this will be what I will try to do here with all my lenses, spanning M42 > K > M > A >FA and ltds.

I declare this right now too.
I have no hate for Pentax (still love it and using it)


I also won't go into promoting the A7 here on a Pentax Forum (leave that to the haters that linger here... :D )
Nor will I discuss the camera on this thread (avoid as much as possible)
Its about M42 and K-mount lenses in the FF context.

Photos will all be on my Flickr at full res.
JPG OOC, possibly cropped a bit for composition and/or adjusted for exposure.
AFAIK for now, the Sony in camera JPGS are way overcooked.
Take them as you will, (sorry, I won't provide RAW, too little time and lazy to do all that; and its not about the camera anyway)
(pls be merciful about the poor composition and all that :D )

Lets start with........

Kiron/Vivitar 28/2 (55mm filter thread; K-mount)
I've not found a hood for this lens that I can directly cap on while not vignetting the corners, so no hood used for the shots.


f2; showing the FOV of 28mm at about 1.5-2m working distance.


f2; 30-50cm away


f2; for small objects







Overall, pretty busy bokeh to me.
No glaringly bad edges or corners.
Sides may be a bit softer, but really slight.
Flare control is not too good imho. (almost a given for non-SMC legacy 3rd party stuff)

Pls review 100% from my flickr.
I really don't have the time to do 100% crops (apologies in advance)

Hope I can go on with all the lenses....
Man! uploading full size picts is so slow.
Forum: Pentax K-3 11-19-2013, 08:36 PM  
I fixed my K3 tonight
Posted By THoog
Replies: 299
Views: 30,821
Stop, stop, Sam-I-am!
I do not like your Ricoh brand.

I do not like it on the box.
I do not like it with a fox.
I do not like it on the back.
I do not like it - paint it black!


(For those who didn't grow up with Dr. Seuss, Google "Green Eggs and Ham")
Forum: Pentax K-3 10-31-2013, 09:53 AM  
K-3 User Reviews
Posted By panoguy
Replies: 84
Views: 15,977
It's heeeeerrrre!

Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-05-2011, 10:55 PM  
Shootout: FA31 Limited vs. Contax-Zeiss 28mm f2.8 – Is the Zeiss the Limited's Peer?
Posted By les3547
Replies: 51
Views: 25,317
A “normal” lens is one with a focal length about equal to the diagonal size of its film or sensor format, so it makes sense that Pentax APS-C users would want a great 28mm -- it is an exact “normal” lens for us (the sensor diagonals for the K-7 and K-5, for example, are 28.1 and 28.4 respectively).

Many believe the best lens near that focal length is the Pentax FA31 Limited. I was saving to buy it, but since it costs twice as much as I wanted to spend, I also kept researching alternatives. The Contax-Zeiss Distagon T* 28mm f2.8 lens jumped in the running after reading several positive reviews and learning it can be acquired on Ebay for $250 to $400. While the Zeiss 28 requires a Leitax adapter costing another $100, it still comes in for about half the price of the Pentax FA31 Limited and so would be a real bargain if it could match the IQ of the Pentax.

I decided to give the Zeiss a try, and managed to land one from Ebay in mint condition for $385. The first quick shot in lovely late afternoon light had me extoling, “wow, nice lens”:

Of course, I couldn’t just be happy with my find, be grateful for favors from the universe (or whatever). No, I fretted about what I might be missing by choosing the Zeiss over the FA31; obviously auto focus and electronic aperture control, but then for me optical quality trumps all other mere conveniences (and I’m always turning AF off anyway).

Then I saw a review of the Contax-Zeiss 28 f2.8 here at PF by Interested Observer, (Gordon) who also happens to own the FA31 (check out the second post in this thread for his thoughts). I wrote to ask him to do a comparison between the two lenses, but he thought pictures taken where I live -- Northern California wine country, Pacific ocean vicinity -- would make for a better test than in sweltering Arizona where he resides. Next thing I know he’s sent me his FA31 to compare to my Zeiss, and we’d agreed to collaborate on a shootout between the two lenses.

The “shootout” entails simply using the lenses on the same scenes and posting results here, analyzing how pictures compare in color rendering, performance in different lighting conditions, corner-center resolution, chromatic aberration, etc., and then a few final thoughts in this and Gordon’s follow up post. The camera used was a K-7, and all but the token bokeh comparison (done wide open) were shot at f5.6 because the charts I saw seemed to indicate that’s where the best overall resolution was from edge to edge. All pictures were adjusted slightly, and equally, in Lightroom for loss of focus when converting to JPEG, and for the fact that I underexpose when I shoot by 2/3 stops to keep from blowing highlights.

Without further ado -- the first comparison shots; to my eyes they seemed to indicate the lenses were very close in image quality:



For some reason (a senior moment?) I focused on the center flower’s stamens-pistil area with the Zeiss, but with the Pentax I focused on the stamens-pistil of the flower on the lower right side (which is why the leaves on the same plane in the background of the Pentax shot are also in focus). If you compare sharpness between pictures on the in-focus flowers, there are no noticeable distinctions.

Something the pictures do show is the difference 3mm can make in the neighborhood of 28mm focal length. Comparing the lettering in the background, you can see how much the Pentax compressed that area. In the vineyard shots below, where I moved the camera forward or back to try to create similar fields of view for the lenses, I was surprised to have to move 12-15 feet to achieve that.

Getting back to lens IQ, could these lenses really be so similar? Another pair of shots to see how they handled bright colors seemed to say yes (taken at an “old hippie” tie dye hole-in-the-wall shop in the tiny town of Occidental):



Vivid colors for sure from both lenses.

For the next shots I took the lenses to a remote area, down a lonely one-lane road near the Pacific. All I can say is, the three or so families who live here must love indefatigable wind and being swallowed by fog every day, what a blustery place!



Again, much similarity. However, the asphalt road in the foreground gives a hint of divergence in how the lenses render, with the Pentax leaning toward blue while Zeiss translates it warmer. Yet I hadn’t noticed that in the lily or tie dye shop pictures, why was it showing here? *(See edit comment at the end of this post.)

Other differences in the remote coastal scene were that colors and dynamic range were more muted than the environs of lilies and tie dye shop. On a hunch I reversed direction for my next test, shooting at midday in the vineyard here to see how the lenses performed in a situation of higher dynamic range:



This time the difference was very clear, the Pentax definitely rendered cooler than the Zeiss; also, the Pentax was more contrasty, aided I’m sure by it’s cooler temperament, and that made detail jump out slightly more than with the Zeiss. On the other hand, more variation in color shows from the Zeiss’s warmer portrayal. And looking at them individually (i.e., not in comparison), it didn’t seem either needed much of anything to be an excellent picture (at least that couldn’t be adjusted to taste in post processing).

I decided to try lower dynamic range:



Here the cool-warm differences in rendering again show themselves, with the Pentax’s contrast causing a bit more “pop” and the Zeiss warmth showing more variation in color. Looking at full pictures from each lens you might think that if pixel peeped the Pentax would exhibit noticeably more detail, but that is not easily observed; extreme crops show detail in both pictures are close, with the Pentax perhaps winning by a nose:



Apparently the detail was manifested by both lenses, but made more noticeable by the cooler and higher contrast rendering of the Pentax. *(See edit comment #3 at the end of this post for how white balance setting might be what accounts for temperature differences.) To test for more absolute resolution profiles, I shot a plank wall where the results would be easier to study and then compared center and corners:

Full wall

Zeiss upper left corner crop

Pentax upper left corner crop

Zeiss lower right corner crop

Pentax lower right corner crop

Zeiss center crop

Pentax center crop

These shots indicate the Zeiss is somewhat better in the corners, and the Pentax does a little better in the center*; when pixel peeping all the other photos taken for this shootout, I thought that generally seemed to hold true. My take on this was that that both lenses exhibit superb resolution, but show it differently in high and low dynamic range conditions. *(See edit comment at the end of this post.)

Next up a chromatic aberration test, which I did by simply pointing at branches in front of the sun; here is the full shot using the Pentax lens:

Pentax full shot

Zeiss crop

Pentax crop

The Zeiss was impressive in this test, I don’t think it shows a bit of CA; the Pentax didn’t fare so well viewed super close, but looking at the full shot of the branches taken by Pentax (the first pic) one can see the CA isn’t the least bit noticeable.

Final Thoughts

The lenses very much seem in the same league. The Zeiss seems to yield more uniform resolution, while the Pentax sharpens up the center a tad more. Based on just one test, the Zeiss may be extraordinarily CA resistant, but the Pentax is not faulted by professional reviewers in this regard, so I’m inclined to think the Pentax is good enough, and the Zeiss is exceptional beyond what is noticeable except in extreme crops. And bokeh . . . well, no test for that because I rely on longer focal lengths when I want that, but the Pentax’s 1.8 speed offers more potential for bokeh and low light shooting as well.

In terms of build, they are both all metal, with a great feel. For me the Pentax takes the prize for aesthetics, it is beautiful -- the Zeiss is a bit plain looking (though up close it is clearly a quality lens). I like the dampening of the focus ring on the Zeiss better, more resistance and so less likely to unintentionally move. But then, one must manually adjust aperture with the Zeiss, a slight inconvenience if you’ve not done that. Those of us who grew up with manual focus and aperture adjustment will likely find it less of an issue. The Zeiss is about half the weight, and significantly smaller than the Pentax . . . that’s something I really like; yet the Pentax’s heft felt nice in the hand while using it:

One last consideration is having to buy the Leitax adapter from here, and then install it. It might seem intimidating, but it is actually very simple, taking me 15 extremely careful, triple-checking, reviewing-instructions minutes because I was worrying about doing something wrong (if I did it again I could easily finish in 5 minutes). Remove the screws, pull off the mount, which consists of three pieces, and then put on the single-piece new mount:

There’s a little spring one is warned about at the Leitax site, but you only have to be concerned about it if you are going to restore the old mount; otherwise, you can ruin the spring and throw away the old parts, they serve no purpose for a Pentax camera.

However, there is one significant danger when the screws are to be removed. Make sure to have a very small, sharp-ridged screw driver, and make sure to press very firmly and turn slowly when removing the screws to ensure the screw is actually turning and not being stripped. On mine three of the four screws came out fine, but one stripped because I was careless about applying pressure (I finally got it out though).

The good news is that two screws are among the unneeded old parts, and they can be used if one ruins a mount screw. I’d suggest disassembling and reassembling on something like a white pillow case because the little ball bearing is easily lost. Not a real problem though since a spare ball bearing is included by Leitax (unless you lose that one too). Also, if you don’t have some, buy the silicon lubricant Leitax offers; it is used to keep the little ball bearing in place during reassembly, plus after I reassembled the lens, the aperture ring worked far more smoothly than it had before applying the lubricant. Finally, I chose the UPS shipping option at Leitax after reading their warning that the adaptor can take weeks to arrive from Spain via the US postal service (apparently security checks can hold it up). It costs an extra $15 for UPS Express, but I got my adaptor in 2 days!

So, who wins the shootout? To me the Zeiss wins because the Pentax FA31 Limited was already a recognized winner (yes, it’s like a communist contest, no losers). The fact that a Limited-quality prime is available at the true normal spot, at half the price of the FA31, makes everyone lusting for a 28mm lens potential winners too. The testing procedure really made me thrilled to own the Zeiss, and gave me confidence that it will perform like a champion when it’s at work on my camera.

Edit Note #1:

I am a little disappointed with how some of the pictures appear here. Looking at the RAW files you can better see, for instance, that the center plank board pictures are slightly better resolved by the FA31, and also that extreme crop of the dirt area of the vineyard in lower DR also is slightly better resolved. But here I don't think it really shows.

The lonely road shots in RAW files are similar in every way except the road; yet here the grass looks quite a bit warmer in the Zeiss rendition.

I don't know how to fix the discrepancy . . . I suppose everyone will have to take my word for it on the lenses' resolving strengths/weakness and handling of DR, or acquire the two lenses and see for themselves! :lol:

Edit Note #2:

Taurus9 writes - "Because the lens is made in Japan, the screws are JIS type, not phillips. So, I would recommend buying JIS drivers, and not attempt to unscrew using regular philips drivers or jewellers screwdrivers. On my copy of the Zeiss 28mm 2.8, the screws were glued down, and required heating from a soldering iron to loosen up."

Edit Note #3:

As a couple of people have pointed out in subsequent posts, that I relied on the auto white balance setting could account for some of the temperature differences in the way each lens rendered color. If so, then what I said about the lens leaning toward blue or red is suspect. Another possibility mentioned for what caused the temperature differences is the lenses coatings, and that seems plausible as well. However, in the end, the cause(s) doesn't matter much to the thread's question of whether the Zeiss is a peer (at least optically) of the esteemed FA31 -- what matters is if the Zeiss can be trusted IQ-wise as a substitute for the FA31.

Edit Note #4, July 16, 2017:

Since Adam briefly turned off the editing time limit so I could fix missing photos, I wanted to add that two Contax lenses I've since Leitaxed (another 28mm and the 50mm) did not focus at infinity. Here's a link to someone on Youtube demonstrating how to adjust lenses for that:

You Tube

Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 03-08-2012, 01:50 PM  
Chimping vs. living as photojournalist
Posted By beholder3
Replies: 4
Views: 1,245
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-17-2011, 01:07 PM  
SMC Pentax-A* 1:1.8 135mm sample thread
Posted By Asahiflex
Replies: 30
Views: 8,017
I think this lens deserves its own thread. I got one on loan for a few weeks, just to see if it lives up to the hype and my expectations. I know the lens has a reputation for showing PF easily and sure enough it does, but not nearly as much as I thought. I think it's on the same level as the 135mm f/2.5 Super-Multi-Coated Takumar with regards to PF.

And yes, it definitely lives up to the hype. It's insanely sharp and contrasty right from wide open. However, it does not focus as smooth as the K series and all Takumars. The A series definitely has a worse build. Also, I found it very hard to focus with the K-5's stock screen. I have many shots where I missed the focus entirely.

Please note: the camera registers the widest f/stop of the lens as f/1.7 and this is reflected in the EXIF.

Enjoy! There will be more to come in the next few weeks...










Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-26-2011, 03:06 AM  
Nikon 135mm f/2 AI adapted to PK
Posted By kkado
Replies: 5
Views: 3,145
During the Thanksgiving downtime, I did some surgery on my newly acquired Nikon 135mm f/2. I knew from previous threads that it was possible to directly mount old F-mount lenses to Pentax cameras, but I wanted something that locked at the 12 o'clock position and had a usable focusing scale. The conversion was quite simple and is mostly reversible. The mount was removed with a JIS cross-point screwdriver (important, since the heads are NOT Phillips, and the threads are locked in place) and replaced with an aluminum spacer and PK-M42 adapter. The spacer and mount flanges combined were about 0.95mm thick, so the lens focuses a tiny bit past infinity. Here's a comparison with a C/Y Planar 85/1.4 and a Nokton 58/1.4. In the last picture, you can just make out the aluminum spacer and brass flange. These were simply glued together with metal cyanoacrylate. All of the "machining" was done with a jeweler's saw and a Dremel tool. The AI-indexing ridges were filed down just a hair (less than a millimeter) to get the lens to sit flush with the camera-side mount.

Here are a couple of images from the lens, both at f/2. I haven't had much time to shoot with it due to the typically rainy Portland weather.

It is quite sharp wide open, but suffers from purple fringing and a "glow" under high-contrast situations (kind of what you expect with long, large aperture lenses, though). Sharpness doesn't improve much upon stopping down, but contrast and PF issues improve by f/2.8 or f/4. The defocusing characteristics are generally very creamy, except for bright point highlights. For the record, my girlfriend thinks that it's the ugliest lens she's ever seen :o

I'd like to convert more Nikon lenses by replacing the lens mounts with a spacer and a Pentax bayonet. This method is more labor intensive, but is cleaner and more secure. Maybe a 35/1.4 or a 28/3.5 shift would be next :D
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 09-28-2011, 05:06 PM  
Has anyone tried Zeiss 85mm f1.4 ZK mount lens?
Posted By cali92rs
Replies: 23
Views: 9,851
Damn you! :mad:
I have been debating whether to get the Voigt 90mm or the Pentax 100mm macro. I thought I had it straightened out in my head that I was going to get the Pentax, but after those shots, I am not sure anymore *sigh*
Forum: Pentax K-5 09-01-2011, 12:28 PM  
(UPDATED) Pentax K-5: New price of $849
Posted By Adam
Replies: 175
Views: 30,466
Update 10/13: the K-5's price at Adorama and B&H is now at a reduced $849 (while supplies last!).

Update 3/20: At Adorama and B&H, the K-5 is just $999 through 3/31! After the end of the month, the price of the K-5 will go back up for good.

The price of the Pentax K-5 has been reduced to $1199 at trusted retailers thanks to Pentax's new $300 instant rebate. This is currently the MSRP, so there will be no more "click to view price" links for the time-being!

For more details, see this news post: Pentax K-5 - $300 instant rebate - Pentax News -

Update 11/11/11: The rebate has been extended through the end of January, 2012.
Pentax K-5 Rebate Extended - Pentax Camera News & Rumors -
Forum: Photographic Technique 10-25-2010, 08:22 AM  
Spencer's Camera for IR conversion, or, How Spencer's Camera broke my K200D
Posted By LowVoltage
Replies: 47
Views: 20,193
The following is an account of my my experience trying to get a Pentax K200D converted for infrared photography by Spencer's Camera over the past six months. Today just happens to be exactly six months since I sent the payment, and for the last half-year I have been without a functioning camera. My purpose for writing this is not to defame or slander anyone; I am simply retelling my story so that others my know what they might go through when dealing with Spencer's Camera.

In March, 2010 I decided to pull the trigger on a used Pentax DSLR so that I could have it converted for infrared photography. I own and enjoy using a K-7, but using opaque IR filters required 10-30 second exposures and yielded rather noisy images. The advantages to having a dedicated IR camera seemed obvious. I located a barely used K200D (only a few hundred exposures) and paid $465. The camera arrived in near-mint condition and worked flawlessly. My only regret was that the camera did not come with a strap! Luckily, I still had my old *ist 35mm strap.

While researching the camera I also sought out a conversion service. It seemed as if there were few conversion services that would handle Pentax DSLRs, but when I discovered Spencer's Camera it appeared to be the right choice. The prices were competitive with other services like Life Pixel and the website, while not being very flashy, did include sample images created with cameras apparently converted at Spencer's. Spencer's Camera also offered a choice of different filters ranging from the typical 720nm variety (much like a Hoya R72 lens filter) to very limited-spectrum filters that allowed a very extreme portion of IR radiation to reach the sensor. The basic 720nm conversion and shipping cost $325. According to the Spencer's website a typical DSLR conversion took about 10 business days plus shipping. I decided to go for it. Looking back now, I regret the decision.

Here is a timeline of events:

4/24/2010 - Through the Spencer's Camera website I ordered my conversion service and paid for everything via the Paypal link provided on the site. Within a day I shipped my camera and a Pentax 18-55mm DA II lens (for calibration) according to the website's instructions and shortly thereafter my camera arrives in Alpine, UT on April 28.

5/18/2010 - I email Spencer's Camera asking for an update about my camera. Other than confirmation that it arrived at Spencer's I have had no information about my order being delayed, on time, or otherwise. No direct reply from Spencer's.

5/20/2010 - Receive notification via email by USPS that they have been notified they will be receiving an item for shipping from Spencer's Camera.

6/9/2010 - USPS shipping details still gives no update about the status of my package. I email Spencer's. I receive no reply.

6/14/2010 - USPS delivers my camera. I begin testing the camera around town where I live. I quickly discover there are two problems with the camera. It appears a particle of dust is permanently trapped between the IR filter and the sensor. A small, dark smudge appears in every shot in the upper right hand corner. I also determine that what I see in the viewfinder is not recorded by the camera, but rather everything is shifted downwards. See the attached images for examples. I realized the second issue when I tried to photograph the side of a building. The top of the wall should have been perfectly aligned with the upper edge of the viewfinder. Instead everything is shifted downwards by about 1/8th of the frame. The dust actually didn't bother me as most IR images require Photoshop editing anyway. However, the shift in the image was disturbing and it appeared that there was some extreme softening of the image along the top and top right corners. Testing demonstrated that it was not my lens.

*Note that in the example photo I said the image was shifted up. I got this wrong, it's actually shifted down. Nevertheless, it's not right!

6/24/2010 - I email Spencer's to learn what can be done about these issues. He says there may have been some damage during shipping; send the camera back to be fixed. I send the camera back to Alpine in the last week of the month with expedited shipping so it will arrive before the July 4th weekend in case Clarence Spencer, the owner of Spencer's Camera, has plans that would prevent him from being there to accept the package.

8/20/2010 - I email Clarence to ask for information about my camera. It has been about six weeks since my camera arrived back at Spencer's and I have had no indication when the camera will ship back to me. No direct reply from Spencer's.

8/24/2010 - Receive notification via email by USPS that they have been notified they will be receiving an item for shipping from Spencer's Camera, just like the first time the camera should have been shipped to me.

9/15/2010 - Email to Clarence Spencer. USPS site shows no change in status for delivery for the past 2-plus weeks. For all I know the camera is still at Spencer's. I get no direct reply from Clarence.

Near the end of September I call Clarence Spencer with the 800-number provided by the website. I ask what is talking so long. Clarence tells me he shipped the camera back in late July and that the USPS lost the package. He also tells me the Post Office lost a Canon 5D II that was shipped to another customer. He says "We're waiting for them to find your camera" and that, if they don't find it soon I'll be getting a replacement camera. I thank him for his time and ask him to update me whenever details present themselves.

While waiting for Spencer's to send me details I went to my local Post Office to ask, in person, for more information about what is going on. I explain my case to some very helpful staff and they inform me that the tracking information I received does not indicate the Post Office in Alpine, UT has received my package. If it had been received by the USPS they would have scanned and logged the receipt of a box with a shipping label at a particular Post Office. This means Spencer's Camera used shipping software to print a label for my package which also contacts USPS with details about the shipment, but it does not mean a postal carrier has picked up the package or the package has not yet been dropped off at a Post Office. In other words, Spencer's Camera probably never took my camera to the Post Office and it was never "lost".

Because I'm willing to give most people a second (or third, or fourth) chance I wait about a week before contacting Spencer's Camera again. Finally, I call and Clarence tells me I must have been "reading his mind" because he is holding my camera in his hands as we speak. During the conversation he realizes it's not my camera he's looking at, it belongs to somebody else. He then finds my camera on a work bench. He says that it was just returned to them from the Post Office and they want to look at it to make sure there was no damage during shipping. He tells me he's going to ship the camera via UPS this time. I ask for a tracking number when it becomes available and he tells me I will have the camera by Friday, October 8th.

10/7/2010 - I receive an email from UPS saying that they have been sent shipping information about a package they expect to receive and ship that should arrive to me on Saturday, October 9. Once again, just like with the US Postal Service, this does not mean UPS has my camera for shipping. It only means Spencer's Camera has printed a label for it. The camera never arrives on Saturday and the status of the tracking number never changes.

10/11/2010 - I call Clarence and ask why the camera hasn't shipped yet. He tells me there might have been a delay because of the Columbus Day holiday (even though UPS does not break service for this holiday like the USPS does). I also ask him if he can clarify why I had the dust and alignment issues with the camera. He tells me the dust issue required simple cleaning. The alignment and softened corner/edges were caused by a broken screw-mount that held the sensor mechanism in place. Because something was out of place a magnetic portion related to the shake reduction feature was shorted, cause the sensor to be stuck out of position. These are Clarence's words. I tell him directly, you need to ship my camera. That evening I receive updated shipping information from UPS with an adjusted arrival date for Wednesday, October 13.

10/13/2010 - Camera and lens arrives via UPS. The box is an oblong shape, approximately 5"x8"x16" (I haven't measured it exactly) filled with packing peanuts. My lens, which was shipped in it's original box, was in the package in its original box. However, the camera was placed in a loose bag made of bubble wrap that was not taped shut, nor was it wrapped around the camera for extra protection. In fact, opening the package revealed that the camera was almost out of the bag, mingling with the packing peanuts.

10/17/2010 - The few days after I received the camera were either dull and cloudy or I had to work long hours that prevented me from testing the camera in sunny conditions. Sunday I had the opportunity to test the camera which revealed a serious malfunction.

Turning on the camera starts it's standard dust-reduction routine. What should have been a near imperceptible vibration of the camera was replaced by a violent shuttering of the camera that was very audible. Taking photos with the camera at first seemed normal, but I quickly realized something was not right. I frequently use my cameras mounted on a tripod in the 2-second self timer mode which also triggers the camera's mirror-up feature to give maximum stability and sharpness during exposure. During the elapsed 2 seconds the camera should be absolutely silent other than the initial movement of the mirror and then the shutter moving for exposure. Instead I could hear the camera doing something which I later learned was the sensor mechanism being forcefully moved about by the camera. It was as if the shake reduction feature had gone nuts. The shake reduction feature is meant to be turned off during the 2-second self timer mode, overriding the ON setting made by the photographer. Manually turning the feature off did nothing to improve the situation.

To investigate what was going on I intentionally set the camera to a ten second exposure with the lens removed. I could visually confirm that, during exposure, the camera sensor was being strongly moved about by the camera. Also, when using the camera's mirror-up feature for manual cleaning of the sensor the same movement could be seen and heard. The movement by the sensor was so extreme that it was striking the inside housing of the camera. Typical exposure times for converted DSLRs should be well within the range that can be hand-held by a photographer using a standard zoom lens for sharp images. Images shot at 1/125 and f/8 yielded rather soft pictures. The exposures were good, just bad image quality. Longer exposures with a tripod at 1/8 sec. (for example) demonstrated the movement of the sensor by the camera, giving a jittery, double-exposed appearance. See the attached photos.

10/19/2010 - I ship the camera body back to Alpine, UT with a letter explaining the malfunction.

10/20/2010 - I send Clarence Spencer an email explaining the malfunction. This time I tell him that he has three options: 1) Fix the camera so that it operates properly with IR conversion. 2) Reimburse me for the amount I paid for the camera and conversion. 3) Send me one of the pre-converted K20D cameras he sells on his website as a replacement. (He sells K-x cameras as well, but I bought the K200D because it is weather sealed and can use a grip, neither of which are features for the K-x. I already own the battery grip for the K200D, and I would need to purchase one for the K20D).

Also in my letter I said that I wanted this resolved by the end of the month. Not in three weeks. Not in December. I wanted a repaired or replacement camera by October 31. I have confirmed that the camera arrived and was signed for at Spencer's Camera, but I have not yet received a reply from Clarence Spencer regarding what he is going to do for me. I also stated that if he does not act in due time on one of these options I will be forced to pursue litigation. I also might contact the Better Business Bureau, although that does little good as he apparently is not a member. Perhaps I will also see if I can have my credit card charges reversed, but I don't know how this might be impacted by the fact that Paypal was involved.

To summarize, over the past six months I have paid $465 for a camera, $325 for IR conversion, and approximately $100-plus for shipping. Most of the shipping should never have been needed. Over the past half-year I have only received frustration and a broken camera I can't even re-sell. I went into this transaction with my eyes open, believing the claims on the Spencer's Camera website. He says they have trained technicians using industry standard equipment, that they even repair cameras converted by other services. So far I have seen nothing that support these statements.

If you have read this entire story then you are to be congratulated. I know it's a lot of information, but I've tried to be thorough. I generally consider myself to be a patient person. Probably too patient. But when I began this project I figured it was a specialty item and I didn't want to try hurrying a result that would take as long a necessary. Now I believe this whole time I've either been scammed or taken for a fool.

Again, this post is only to share my experiences with the Pentax community. I know some of you may have used Spencer's Camera to convert your cameras for IR use with great success and no problems. Some of you may be contemplating such a project like mine. Our choices are limited in many respects when compared to CaNikon users, but we can learn from each others' experiences and, hopefully, not be ripped off in the process.

Thank you for your consideration and attention.
Forum: Lens Clubs 06-17-2011, 07:30 AM  
The Nikkor Lens Club!
Posted By rrodgers
Replies: 117
Views: 52,901
Mounting Nikkor Lenses on a K Mount Camera

For quite a while I have intended to describe my experience with adapting Nikkor lenses for use on Pentax K mount cameras, both the film and digital versions. A couple of months ago, I did get around to taking pictures of the lenses and the adaptor I designed. Now here is the description.

A Few Preliminaries

I have adapted four Nikkors. All are prime lenses. Three of the four are non “AI” Nikkors.

(A bit of history. From 1959 and the introduction of the Nikon F, the interchangeable lenses had an aperture coupling prong – the “ears” on the rim at the rear of the lens. On pre-1977 cameras, it was necessary to "index" the lens to the camera's meter each time a lens was mounted. This entailed rotating the lens to its largest aperture and back. This action ensured that the meter was properly calibrated. In 1977, Nikon introduced Automatic Indexing [AI] linking lenses directly to the meter without having to dial in aperture information. Nikon accomplished this by adding a coupling ridge on bottom of the aperture ring. Older, non-AI lenses could be modified to be AI either by Nikon or many independent camera technicians.)

With the one AI lens I have modified, I removed the coupling ridge on the back of the lens. I did this as the ridge prevented the lens from seating flat on the Pentax camera’s lens mounting surface.

My first attempts to modify Nikkors for use on a Pentax simply involved trying to insert the three prongs of the Nikon mount into the three receiving notches of the Pentax mount. This generally worked but there were issues. These were:

1. The amount of rotation was very limited – about 1.5cm or .5 inch. The lens always seemed to be at risk of falling off if the camera were bumped for instance.
2. The Nikkor locking notch did not line up with the locking pin of the Pentax mount.
3. On some of the Nikkors, the back of the lens – the aluminum section which surrounds the rear lens element, has the three mounting prongs and is screwed onto the lens body – is flush with the back of the aperture ring. On other Nikkors , the back of the aperture ring is higher than the aluminum back. This leads to problems.
4. The distance between the back of a lens and the film or sensor plane of the camera is known as the registry distance. On Pentax lenses (both the old M42 as well as the K mount lenses) the distance is 44.6mm while on Nikkors it is 46mm. The good news for Pentaxians is that Nikkors mounted on a Pentax will focus at infinity without needing any optics to change the plane of focus. Because of the different lens registries, however, the distances marked on the Nikon lens from closest focus to infinity will be incorrect. Accurate focus at infinity will be achieved when the marked distance is well short of infinity.

Before I realized that there were differences between the backs of Nikkors as noted above, I thought the solution to creating a notch for the Nikkor lens to mate with the Pentax body was simple. Just drill a small hole in the aluminum back at the appropriate spot and the Pentax pin would mate with the hole and hold the lens in place. This action worked for the first lens I modified (the Nikkor-P 105mm f2.5) but, on the other three Nikkors, the protruding back of the aperture ring prevented the locking pin on the camera from mating with the drilled hole. The pin is not long enough.

I discovered a second problem caused by the protruding back of the aperture ring on some Nikkors. The distance from the aluminum lens back to the camera’s lens mounting surface prevents the necessary electrical shorting of the Pentax’s lens information contacts which is necessary for “catch-in-focus” shooting.

My Solution

Upon careful examination of various Nikkors I thought of a fairly simple solution to all of the issues mentioned above. A narrow metal ring attached to the aluminum back of the Nikkor extending from the ridge below the mounting prongs to the inner edge of the back of the aperture ring would solve two issues. Namely, to correct the registry difference between Nikon and Pentax; and, create the electrical shorting necessary to permit catch-in-focus. Further, if a notch were included in the metal ring that lined up with the Pentax locking pin when the lens was mounted, the lens would be held much more securely in place.

I chose to have the rings made from stainless steel 1mm thick. The outer diameter of the ring is 5.6cm (56mm); the inner diameter, 4.7cm (47mm). There is also a locking notch which is 2mm wide and 3mm deep. (See photo.) I decided to use a glue to hold the ring in place as this would not require making any changes to the Nikkor and thus allowing its restoration to Nikon use if desired. (See photo.)

Further Observations

In various online discussions I have read about using Nikkors on K mount Pentaxes, there have been differences about where the “top” of the lens should be. Given that there are three ears on the lens and three notches on the camera, the Nikkors I am familiar with can be mounted in any of three orientations. The aperture information can be set at roughly the 10 o’clock, at 2 o’clock or at 6 o’clock positions when facing the camera.

I much prefer the 10 o’clock orientation. (See photo.) That puts the aperture information on the right hand side of the camera as you are taking pictures. It is thus on the same side as most of the controls including the LCD panel. For me this “off center” lens orientation is preferable to it being at the 12 o’clock position. The built-in flash overhang makes seeing aperture marking difficult.
Some may have noted that the stainless steel ring I have chose is only 1mm thick while the difference between Nikkor and Pentax lens registry is 1.4mm. My experience is that the added 1mm ring results in the viewfinder manual focus indicator lighting when the object is at infinity and that is also where the lens focus ring is set. I suspect the explanation is threefold. There is some tolerance in the camera choosing “perfect” focus. The cutting of the inner and outer ring diameters in the sheet of stainless steel added slightly to the thickness. The glue has added a bit of thickness as well. In any event, the 1mm thickness of the ring provides me with excellent focusing results.

Finally, some care is needed in setting the ring and getting the locking notch in the right place. Initially, I simply noted where the notch should be by mounting the lens and marking the position of the pin on the lens barrel. I failed to consider that the extra thickness of the lens with the ring would prevent the lens from turning as far when mounting. Set the ring slightly short of the mark where the lens would mate with the pin without the ring.

Hope this proves useful.

(In addition to the photos of the stainless steel ring, the glue and the Micro-Nikkor mounted on my K20D, there are shots of the following Nikkors with the ring added:

Nikkor-O 35mm f2.0 [2 photos]
Nikkor-S 50mm f1.4
Micro-Nikkor-P 55mm f3.5
Nikkor-P 105mm f2.5)


Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 09-26-2009, 11:29 PM  
Contax 85mm f/1.4 on Pentax
Posted By kkado
Replies: 10
Views: 4,959
Last month I was in search for a long, wide-aperture lens. 77LTD was too slow, FA*85 too expensive, etc, etc. Then I found a Contax Planar MMJ on fleabay for cheap, and I also bought a Leitax conversion mount. The conversion was pretty painless: unscrewing the old mount and replacing a small lever within the lens. I also cut out a slot for the body's locking pin and made insulators so that the body would recognize it as a f/1.4 - f/16 lens. Furthermore I also unscrewed the lens mount on my K20D and stuck a piece of aluminum foil over the 'A' pin to allow matrix metering.

The bokeh is pretty smooth at close distances, but can get a little rough around the edges at f/1.4 and 50ft. out. You have to stop-down meter, but since the camera thinks it's at f/1.4 all the time, you can stop down to whatever you want and the exposure will be accurate. Things start to sharpen up really nicely at around f/2.8. I think I'm getting the hang of this LBA thing :o
Forum: Pentax Lens Articles 08-12-2010, 04:24 AM  
Sticky: How to use/meter Manual & M42 Lenses on all Pentax DSLRs (K-1, K-3, K-5, K-30, etc)
Posted By Adam
Replies: 333
Views: 354,779
Many Pentax DSLR owners want to use M42 screwmount (Takumar) lenses, or M or K manual lenses, on their cameras because of the low cost and relatively high image quality of these lenses.

If you're wondering whether or not these lenses can be used with Pentax DSLRs (or the K-01), then the answer is yes! Pentax as well as third-party manual and screwmount lenses can easily be mounted on any Pentax DSLR (such as the K-1 series, KP, K-3 series, K-70, K-S2, K-S1, K-50, K-500, K-30, K-5 series, K-r, K-x, K-7, K10D, K100D, K200D, *ist D, etc.) Just follow this guide!

Modern Pentax DSLRs use the Pentax "K-mount", which employs a bayonet and therefore differs significantly from the M42 screw mount. The older manual M and K (SMC Pentax-M, SMC Pentax) lenses actually use the bayonet, so they will not need an adapter - you can skip straight to the lower portion of this article (starting at "Important!") for information on how to meter with those lenses. Screwmount lenses usually have "Takumar" in their names, and in order to mount screwmount lenses on your k-mount body, you'll need a Pentax k to m42 adapter. Pictured above is the genuine Pentax adapter, which is ideally the one you want to get. Similar third-party adapters are also available. Caution: Many third-party adapters, such as this one, have a protruding flange which will prevent you from focusing all the way to infinity. If you want to buy a third-party adapter (they're generally cheaper), make sure that they don't have this flange. Here's an example of a good third-party adapter.

Once you have your adapter, the next step is to install it on your camera (it can easily be put on and removed on-the-fly). Check out the m42 to k adapter manual.

After you've installed the adapter, you'll want to mount the lens. This is done by screwing it into the camera until the lens feels firmly attached. The focusing window and lens ring should line up with the camera just like any other lens. Now that your lens is mounted, let's talk about how to take photos with it.

Important! The hard part is to get the camera to actually fire when a manual lens is mounted. In order to accomplish this, enter your camera's custom function menu, select the "Using Aperture Ring" setting (usually at the end of the menu, #21 on the K-7, #27 on the K-5, #27 on the K-3, #26 on the K-1), and set it to 2 (allowed). Once you do this, the shutter will at least fire, as it wouldn't have with this setting disabled (you would simply have seen an F-- indication on the top LCD/info screen). The setting description should read: 'Shutter will release when aperture ring is not set to the "A" position' when "allowed" is selected. Also note that the mount on the lens must be conductive for electrical current so that it shorts the electrical contacts on the camera body. All Pentax manufactured lenses have a conductive mount, but some third party lenses do not in which case the area of the mount touching the contacts must be sanded down.

K-30, K-50, K-500, K-70, K-S1, K-S2 and K-01 users: make sure you also set your green button "action in M/TAv Mode" to Tv SHIFT. This is found under the button customization menu (page 3 of the main menu) on the K-01 or as a custom function on the K-30, K-50 and K-500. On the K-S2 and K-70, look under the e-dial programming sub-menu under button customization in the record menu.

Finally, ensure that auto ISO is disabled.

At startup, if your camera asks you for the focal length, enter the actual focal length as labeled on the lens. This will ensure optimal Shake Reduction performance. For zooms, you can use the lower end of the zoom range (this ensures that there will be no over-compensation), or the focal length that you shoot at most often.

Now, let's discuss metering. Since manual lenses don't feed aperture data to the camera, the only way for the camera to check how much light is being passed through the lens is to measure the light while the lens is stopped down. Follow this procedure to properly meter with a screwmount, M, or K lens:

___0. Ensure that the "Using Aperture Ring" custom function is set to "2 (allowed)" (K-30/50/500/01 users must also ensure that the green button is configured to Tv Shift in M/TAv Mode) as described above
  1. Set your camera to M mode using the mode dial (your camera won't fire in other modes*)

  2. Compose and focus your image.

  3. Using the aperture ring (the ring at the very back of your lens; it will have numbers such as 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8 written on it), select your desired aperture setting. Note that the smaller the aperture number is, the more light passes through the lens, and the blurrier the out of focus areas of your photograph will be (and vice-versa). Note your lens will not stop down until step 5.

  4. [Screwmount lenses only] Switch the diaphragm clutch on your lens to "Manual" (you can leave it on Auto when composing and focusing if you don't want a dark viewfinder).

  5. Measure the light by either pressing the "Green Button" (older bodies may use the Av button), or pushing your power button to DOF preview mode (only available on high-end bodies). Your camera will automatically set the shutter speed for you.

All that's left now is for you to press the shutter release button to take your photo. Congratulations- you've now learned how to use M42 and M & K manual lenses with Pentax DSLRs!

*Screwmount lenses may also be used in Av mode since they are always stopped down to the aperture you will be shooting at (unlike M&K lenses, which are stopped down only when the shutter is released or when you meter as described above).

Note: if your aperture ring has an "A" on it, instead of doing stop-down metering as per this guide, you'll want to set the ring to "A" and use the camera's scrollweel to adjust the aperture via Av mode.

Click here if you found this article helpful!

Video version:

You Tube

Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 05-07-2011, 03:18 PM  
Carl Zeiss T* lenses
Posted By Piotr
Replies: 49
Views: 13,710
Here there are shots from Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 2/28 ZK lens. Sharp and well build lens. It is 28mm and have quite nice bokeh.

Pentax K-5 ,Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 2/28 ZF
1/250s f/2.0 at 28.0mm iso125

Pentax K-5 ,Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 2/28 ZF
1/500s f/2.0 at 28.0mm iso125

Second Carl Zeiss lens is converted using Leitax mount Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 2.8/135. In my opinion better than Pentax K135/2.5 or Leica 135/2.8 lenses.

Pentax K20D ,Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 2.8/135
1/800s f/4.0 at 135.0mm iso200
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