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Advice on Adapter for Pentax Lenses

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by AR-Trvlr, Jul 11, 2012.

  1. AR-Trvlr

    AR-Trvlr Mu-43 Rookie

    Jun 21, 2012
    Chamblee GA
    I've got three lenses from my college days that I'd like to try out, and have two questions...

    1) Are they worth the trouble?
    2) What's the best adapter to use? Any real difference between a $12 and a $30 adapter on ebay?

    The lenses include the following:
    A) 50mm 1:1.7 SMC Pentax-A
    B) 28mm 1:2.8 - Unknown MFG labeled Focal MC Auto
    C) 70-210mm 1:4.5-5.6 Macro Vivitar
  2. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    1) Yes, they are worth the trouble. As long as you're comfortable with manually focusing (which takes a bit of practice without the focusing aids of the film SLRs, particularly using bodies lacking an electronic viewfinder) then they can provide a lot of utility on the cheap. And manual lenses are cheap as chips.

    2) There are a wide range of adapters available, but I doubt that you'll see much difference based on price in the price range you specified. To clarify, some of those adapters might be better than others, but price is unlikely in my experience to be a good indication of quality at that level. I would suggest trying the least expensive model you can find and seeing what you get.

    There are also adapters available in the $200-300 range from companies like Voigtlander and Novoflex and these are built to higher tolerances and to a higher level of quality than the Chinese eBay cheapies, to all accounts. That said, I've got several of the cheap eBay adapters and have yet to get one that doesn't work for me.

    The one caveat I would give you is that if you're anything like me, once you start playing with these adapted lenses, you'll soon find yourself collecting them like a squirrel getting ready for winter.
  3. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    The Pentax 50 is a great lens! The Focal is a Kmart lens, made by some Japanese maker but may be good. I really like the 28mm focal length on the m4/3, a long normal.
    The Vivitar lens would be huge and heavy on a m4/3 body but would work if you need a tele or macro. I don't think that model of lens has a tripod mount and I would be worried about it breaking the mount if you mount it at the body.
    There is not much difference in the adaptors unless you buy the very high end ones{$100+}. I have found with the adaptors that the lens sometimes fits a bit loose but others fit perfect{even within the same brand}. Also the adaptors have a little screw that is used as the stop on the m4/3 side - it can come out so I put a drop of superglue on the back side to make sure it doesn't.
  4. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    If you do intend on using the Vivitar lens with a tripod, you should probably consider an adapter with an integrated tripod mount (like this one) to avoid hanging the full weight of that lens off your camera.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. AR-Trvlr

    AR-Trvlr Mu-43 Rookie

    Jun 21, 2012
    Chamblee GA
    Finally got an adapter, and took some test shots with the 50mm yesterday. Manual focusing at f1.7 takes some work, especially with a fast-moving toddler...

    E-PL2    ---    0mm    f/1.0    1/200s    ISO 200

    E-PL2    ---    0mm    f/1.0    1/400s    ISO 200

    E-PL2    ---    0mm    f/1.0    1/640s    ISO 200

    E-PL2    ---    0mm    f/1.0    1/640s    ISO 200
  6. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    I have an 80-200mm (Effective Focal Length (160-400) JCPenny on mine, and while heavy, doesn't seem to have any issues mounting on the camera (as far as front-heavy). By far not my normal lens, but will work if that is the tool I need.

    One trick I found when using my Minolta 50mm 1.7 was to drop the aperture to closer to f4-f8, and let the focus be "pretty close", and rely on DoF to help for those quick movements. Only really worked on sunny days, but it was a marvelous "Ah, Ha!" moment when I read that tip somewhere.

    I have personally found the same as the above poster, in that these manual focus lens have a wonderful, immersive feel to them that the kit lens lacks. I just feel like I am more in charge of the end result, and less like a button pusher. And am feeling a bit like an addict everytime I look at the local classifieds...
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