Seeking Konica or Pentax (K-mount) lens recommendations

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by DeeJayK, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    I'm looking to dip my toe into the world of adapted lenses and I'm not really sure where to start. I recently got adapters for both Konica and Pentax (K-mount) legacy lenses to fit my E-PL1, but as of yet have no lenses. I'm hoping to get some good, relatively cheap glass to start with to see how I enjoy going fully manual.

    A good place to start seems like a simple portrait lens. While I understand that lenses like the Konica 57mm f/1.2 are fantastic, I'm looking for something I can pick up in the $10-80 price range (think yard sale), not a multiple Benjamin investment.

    I've looked through this and other forums and the popular inexpensive options for these systems seem like:
    • Konica 40mm f/1.8 Hexanon
    • Konica 50mm f/1.7 Hexanon
    • Konica 50mm f/1.4 Hexanon
    • Pentax 50mm f/1.4 SMC
    • Pentax 50mm f/1.7 SMC

    I'm not wanting to start a Konica/Pentax religious war, just looking for any experiences you have (good or bad) with these or any other lenses I've overlooked that fit my vague criteria. Also if you have any tips on how to shoot with any of these lenses (e.g. "this lens gives its best results when it's stepped down a couple of stops" or "invest in a good hood for this one to prevent lens flare", etc.) that would be much appreciated as well.

    Lastly any general tips on how to identify a good older lens would be welcomed. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. derick

    derick Mu-43 Regular

    62
    Dec 13, 2011
    I love the Pentax f1.7, got it for $50 on craigslist. Samples here:

    https://www.mu-43.com/f81/pentax-50mm-f-1-7-takumar-k-mount-image-thread-5215/

    and here:

    https://www.mu-43.com/f38/show-me-your-starbursts-particularly-olympus-12mm-f2-0-a-21027/index2.html

    I went back & forth on a hood & instead just got a UV filter. A nice thing about this focal length is that you can manually focus through the LCD - for my longer legacy lenses I get much better results (i.e. in-focus shots :) ) with the VF2.
     
  3. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    989
    Aug 25, 2011
    Austin, TX
    You're not going to see any real difference between the various 50mm lenses. The biggest difference will be whether it's been kept in good condition, doesn't have haze/fungus, etc. After that, you have to decide whether you are willing to pay for the extra 2/3 of a stop that an f/1.4 lens gives you. Other than that, they're all impressively sharp. Since you have both adapters, just scour your local classifieds (Craigslist, Kijiji) or go to your local camera shop (real camera shop, not Ritz/Wolf or Best Buy) and see what used lenses they have up. Let your wallet be your guide.

    As for flares, they're all older lenses, so they're all susceptible to flares. An ebay lens hood will help, but not as much as just being mindful of your composition. These photos for example, were all taken by my girlfriend, and as you can see from the photo, she doesn't use a lens hood:
    https://www.mu-43.com/f40/proud-girlfriend-nikon-lenses-tested-16220/
    All lenses benefit from being stopped down, as long as you aren't in diffraction-limitation territory, so every lens here will be sharper and otherwise optically superior at f/2.8 than it will be wide open. Perhaps that is a reason for you to consider the f/1.4 versions, since they will be stopped down a full stop by f/2.


    After getting yourself a 50mm lens, your best bet for a second purchase will be either one of the macro lenses (like a Pentax 50mm f/4 or the Konica 55mm f/3.5) or a 24mm lens. You will likely have better luck with the Hexanon lenses, as they are not as much in demand for other digital cameras.
     
  4. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    For the Konica lenses some nice (and not too spendy) I'd suggest taking a look at...

    40/1.8
    50/1.4
    28/3.5 (the older version with the metal focus ring)
    57/1.4
    135/3.2
     
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  5. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    Thanks for the recommendation (and great inspiration with the shots).

    I don't (yet) have a viewfinder (though I just noticed one for $150 on CL that I'd jump at if I didn't just invest in a Panny 20mm f/1.7), but this raises a point I hadn't considered. I've read about a technique where you zoom the preview to focus, but I've never really experimented with it since all of my current lenses are AF. Sounds like that's not necessary at this focal length.
     
  6. dbuckle

    dbuckle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Any of the lenses you have listed will serve you well. My first choice would be the the Konica 50mm 1.7. When taking image quality and average selling price into account it is a real bargain.
     
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  7. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    This sounds like good advice. I was actually leaning slightly toward the 40mm Hexanon due to it's pancake form factor (combined with the fact that the Konica adapter is significantly shorter). Do you think 50mm is a better place to start?

    Good point on the relative popularity of the Hexanon and thanks for sharing your thoughts.
     
  8. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    989
    Aug 25, 2011
    Austin, TX
    I think the 50mm is a better place to start. It has better optics because you aren't forcing all that glass into a pancake form factor compared to the 40mm, and overall with the size of the adapter, the pancake doesn't really save you very much size. Plus, the pancake will likely be more expensive.
     
  9. fin azvandi

    fin azvandi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 12, 2011
    South Bend, IN
    I've used a few of the lenses you mention (Konica 40/1.8, 50/1.7, 50/1.8) and now have the M42 mount version (SMC Takumar) of the Pentax 50/1.4. Honestly they were all good, and you will probably find more differences between individual lenses based on condition than you will in terms of their inherent qualities. That said, I wound up keeping the Takumar because I liked the bokeh from it better than the rest and in terms of physical quality it just felt smoother and more satisfying to operate.

    As shnitz mentioned, the benefit of a f/1.4 lens is you can shoot at f/2 for improved sharpness while still keeping narrow DoF. Downside is an increase in size/weight, although not much. I shoot with the Takumar at f/2 or higher.

    I wouldn't say that it's easy to focus a 50mm without using the magnification button on the E-PL1. Especially if you are shooting at wide apertures, you will want to hit that magnify button to verify focus.

    So, my recommendation is just to see what you can find listed here or elsewhere at a reasonable price and give one a shot! Since you've got both adapters you could get a 50/1.7 in both mounts and compare, it's pretty easy to sell them again and come out about even.
     
  10. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    :thumbup:This sounds reasonable.

    Now, any tips on how to identify a good lens by sight? Obviously I want to look for scratches on the glass, check that I can adjust the aperture and feel that the focus is smooth. Short of taking some test shots, what else should I look for? Are there any "tricks of the trade" to identify well cared for lenses? Any red flags that point to a bad lens?

    Good point. Coming from a technology background where every new gadget's value drops precipitously over time, it's a bit of a paradigm shift to think that I can "invest" in a lens, use it for a while and re-sell it later and re-coup what I paid (provided I didn't overpay originally).
     
  11. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    Thanks for your input re: the trade-offs of the pancake lens. I guess I just need to go to a camera shop and see what I can find and get a better idea of the size differences.
     
  12. thearne3

    thearne3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    807
    Jan 28, 2010
    Redding, CT USA
    I've used the three Hexanon lenses: 40/1.8, 50/1.4, 50/1.7 plus the 57/1.4. The 40 is by far the smallest and a very nice lens. The 50/1.4 wasn't that sharp - at least not my copy. The 50/1.7 is sharp, but not as 'solid' feeling as the 1.4 or the 57/1.4, which is the largest.

    You can get some very good information on the Hexanons at www.buhla.de - Overview Konica SLR Hexanon and Hexar lenses

    I have the 50mm/1.7 for sale in Classifieds: https://www.mu-43.com/f17/legacy-50s-other-lenses-vf-2-a-22929/ (shameless plug...:rolleyes:)
     
  13. LDraper

    LDraper Mu-43 Regular

    84
    Feb 4, 2011
    Albuquerque, NM
    This may be a dumb question, but what is the relationship/difference between Konica and Minolta lenses? Did the two companies merge at some point? Don't they share a common mount? Are their lens designs different?

    I recently purchased (on this forum) the Konica 40 1.8. I like its form (with adaptor its pretty close to the size of the Oly kit lens) and its action. It does seem to flare a lot with any sort of light source close to the frame . . . Im still still trying to establish a good relationship with it : -).

    Back to my question, are Minolta lenses as favored as the Konica? Any info or experiences would be appreciated!
     
  14. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    989
    Aug 25, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Google and Wikipedia hold the answers to all your questions.
    Konica - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Minolta - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Konica and Minolta eventually merged, but not until about 10 years ago. The manual focus lenses talked about here (Konica Hexanon and Minolta Rokkor) are from the 1980's and earlier, so way before they were the same company. Not at all the same mount, not interchangeable in any way.

    Really, all the camera lens manufacturers were more or less equally respectable. Anyone that vehemently defends one brand over another tells you more about their character than about the products.
     
  15. correos.e

    correos.e Mu-43 Regular

    46
    Jan 25, 2012
    I have the konica 50mm 1.7 and the 40mm. The 50mm i found a pain to use n my tiny epm1, too "forward heavy", hard to handle, off balance, etc.
    The nice pancake form factor of the 40 is lost with the adapter and the whole thing is still a sizeable beast, but the weight is about right, just on the right side of being too heavy. It's a pleasure to shoot with it - focusing with my evf3 though.
    I'm wondering if I should get a hood? The copy I had came with one.
     
  16. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Vin
    DeeJayK, I think you are thinking WAY too hard about all this. Just start with one or two lenses and go from there.

    Since this would be your first adapted legacy lenses, learning to use them and developing good focusing skills are way more important than brand/model/focal length. Just have fun!
     
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  17. fin azvandi

    fin azvandi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 12, 2011
    South Bend, IN
    I'm of the opinion that all lenses benefit from a hood (higher contrast by eliminating stray light) - especially most legacy lenses. The Hexanon 40 was definitely susceptible to flare so it's worth getting a hood. If you're worried about extra length the collapsible rubber hoods work fine. Keep in mind that the lens acts like more of a short telephoto on m4/3 so you can use a fairly deep hood.
     
  18. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    Point taken. Buying a lens and playing with it are definitely the next step. My motivation in posting this question was just to get some input from those who have experience with these lenses of which ones are good and which ones should maybe be avoided. I don't want my first experience with an adapted lens to turn me off to the entire endeavor.
     
  19. Tom in Delaware

    Tom in Delaware Mu-43 Rookie

    18
    Mar 15, 2012
    A sleeper lens in the 50mm range is the Rikenon 50mm f2. Compact lens and very sharp, it usually goes for very little on EBay.
     
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  20. EP1-GF1

    EP1-GF1 Mu-43 Veteran

    312
    Apr 12, 2011
    I bought a Konica 57mm 1.4 last year to go on my E-P1 and I really like it. I paid around £40 / $60 on ebay. It feels good, the focusing is smooth and at 1.4 you can get some really nice available light and shallow dof pictures.

    One of the first ones I took was this one - and I'm still rather fond of it.

    5684271795_d951dd43b0.
    P5032344 by MrPJDK, on Flickr
     
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