Old lenses

Discussion in 'Pentax' started by Timo Hartikainen, Oct 31, 2017.

  1. Do you still use old mf lenses with your digital body? I think it's cool to be able to use old lenses with a digital camera. What lens is your favourite? Here's my favourite, I have taken hundreds of photos with this Pancolar lens. I really like the bokeh it creates. 20171030_111150pancolar.jpg
  2. I have an M42 adapter for my Canon 60D, but I haven't made much use of it - the crop sensor doesn't give the best idea of a lens. I tend to use my old lenses, with film cameras.
  3. Hi Timo,
    I am a Pentax user too and old lenses I have from time before '90 I experiment me too to use on digital.I have a very good Pentacon 200mm.What I find difficult a bit is to control settings and find optimum.Was produce also in DDR and has a very good optic quality.Form time to time I play with it.All my best Timo.
  4. "Not really". - I tried so, back in the days of the *istD but it is a PITA to manually focus on an AF SLR screen + everything to be said about crippled K-mount. I ended replacing the basics with AF lenses and migrated to Leica M.
    Someday I might scoop up a used MILC with nice EVF and give my manual relics another go.
    My eye vision has never been spectacular. - I need 2 f-stops of safety padding to nail focus with a manual SLR. Figuring those in every odd kit zoom is at least as fast as my old primes.
  5. I mainly use old(er) MF lenses on my DSLR - a bunch of AI and AiS Nikkors, on a D700 and before a D300. On the APS-C D300 it was a bit harder as the viewfinder was a bit smaller. Among the main reasons for me to side-grade to a full frame camera at the time was the better viewfinder, making MF lenses a lot easier. I prefer the characteristics of the older lenses - they may not be optical as outstanding as a lot of recent designs, but their flaws and quirks do give images a certain character I like and prefer.
    That said, I shoot more film than digital these days, and I do have a modern zoomlens which is much more convenient for travel and such.
  6. AJG


    I still regularly use an 85 mm f/1.8 Pentax K mount on my Pentax DSLRs--the metering is a bit of a nuisance, but the lens is sharp. I also have 35 f/2 and 50 f/1.4 lenses that I use less often. These hold up well against newer Pentax and Sigma zooms in my experience, and I do appreciate the small size and weight along with the wide aperture that these lenses provide.
  7. I use a 500mm mirror on my Nikon D7200.
    I do not use a LONG lens enough to justify buying a $1,500+ LONG AF lens, so the old manual lens will have to do.
    I grew up on MF gear, so manual focus is not an issue.

    The only issue that I have is focus tracking a tennis player with a 500 is HARD, the DoF is quite shallow.
  8. Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
  9. Whatever old lens I decide to buy I'm now convinced I'll never get one with a plastic K-mount.

    I like manually focusing using the film legacy aperture ring equipped Sigma 28-80mm & 70-300mm both with macro switches in macro mode which I'm pretty much forced to MF anyway. I was recently lucky to buy a 28-80mm replacement that came with a metal K-mount for $50 on Amazon.

    I also discovered macro mode with these sort of zooms has a sweet spot aperture setting that noticeably reduces diffraction and it ain't f/8, more like f/16-f/22 which at least with digital I can manually focus with the aperture ring set to 'A' allowing me a brighter viewfinder. I have to wonder what's going on with the macro switch to cause this.
  10. Did such exist? - I thought plastic mounts were just a Canon EOS thing? - I can't spot my slow Ricoh 50mm to check but even the dirtcheap 35-80 Pentax has a metal mount.
  11. Pentax DA 50/1.8 seems to have plastic mount. I have used it for three years now, no problems with the mount, but I'm not swapping lenses everyday, and very seldom I do it at outdoor situations, I think flying sand dust & dirt particles might land on the mount and start to scratch the plastic mount. Although this lens do not have the same feeling than older MF lenses, it produces very good images.
  12. Several accidental knocks against door edges of my "Plastic Fantastic" Sigma 28-80mm AF including bangs against bike handle bars when I'ld bike to the park eventually clipped off one of the 'K' shaped lock ledges (don't know what to call them) to where the lens wouldn't stay on the camera. Note the bare chipped off plastic rim at 8 o'clock. IMGP7719.jpg
  13. Had to manually focus for this shot I took recently on my back porch with the metal K-mount Sigma 28-80mm replacement. Shot at f/22 in macro mode.

  14. Thank you both. The DA 50/1.8 was almost on my shopping list, since I am not that happy with the FA 50/1.4.
    I'd feel better about plastic mounts, if they were sold for cheap and I was confident to replace them myself, which I am not. - I'm still a bit angry about the female metal mount of a 2x converter that was attached with only 4 screws and at least one of them lost grip in the cast aluminium tube. - Lesson learned: Don't stack Tamron 7o-210/3.5 with converters; take 135/2.8 instead. (results are more likely to look good too).
  15. I sometimes use M42 via Pentax adapter on my K50. I like the SMC 50mm f1.4 especially. If older AF lenses count I like using my Sigma 100-300 f4.5-6.7 on this camera.
  16. There are plastic mount lenses and even plastic mount cameras.
    Here's Canon's take on the theme in what was apparently conceived as a EOS Point and Shoot
    Canon EOS 700 and 35-80mm Power Zoom
    [don't need no stinking metal]
    But this is not the "plastic" your childhood Lego™ blocks were made of. Anything can be crushed, mangled or perforated if enough force is employed; but these seem to hold up better in use than a lot of cheap metal cameras.
  17. SCL


    These days I mostly use my old manual focus lenses on my micro 4/3 body rather than my larger DSLR - easier to focus and much more versatile than my DSLR in terms of what lenses it will accept.
  18. A few weeks after I received my Canon EOS XS (1000D) as a Christmas present -- in 2008 -- I discovered that I could mount all sorts of lenses to my DSLR. I started off with just one adapter -- Nikon F because I had an old Nikon F2 outfit with several lenses. I never looked back after that. Something of a manual focus lens buying frenzy occurred during much of 2009 and extending well beyond. I've also expanded to several systems, including Canon FD, which is not compatible with Canon EOS. But no worries. Eventually I bought a Sony NEX 7 and about a half dozen different adapters so I could use all my lenses with it. The EOS DSLR doesn't get much use anymore.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2017
  19. I took a lot of shots with Pentax-A 200/2.8 on my K-1 this summer, and got good results. Helps that it's such a great lens. I've received a Canon "S" screen from focusingscreens.com, but haven't done the switch yet, as it will take a while to get the shims right. That will make MF lenses much more practical.
  20. I barely ever use MF lenses, that being said, when I ran lens tests for various primes and zooms at 35mm, my revered Tak 35 3.5 was voted the favourite image in a poll of 7 lenses (that included the very sharp plastic fantastic DA 35 2.4,) with Approx. 100 voters. On the other hand , it took me more tries to get a good focus. So despite owning a Tak 50 1.4, a Tak 50 ƒ2. , a Vivitar M 135 2.8 (which I use to demonstrate how bad older lenses can be) and the aforementioned 35, I rarely shoot manual. It just seems un-necasrily finicky. But it's great way to get really good images for less cost, it you are on a budget.

    In some cases like the new Zeiss Milvus lenses, you are certain to get better resolution, although I've yet to see an image where I actually liked the rendering of those lenses. It's all a matterr of personal taste. If testing with real life images and polling users has taught me anything, it's that no lens in blind tests is going to get more than 40% of the vote, even the most famous and popular, and even older lenses like the cheap plastic FA 35-80 will get some votes as the the lens that produces the most pleasing to view images.

    As for the plastic mounts versus metal mounts, lens rentals in their testing decided that most people don't know these days, and the only difference they noted was plastic mounts are cheaper to repair. Metal mounts tend to destroy what they are mounted to when banged and broken. Plastic mounts usually just need the mount replaced. And most folks who complain about plastic in lenses simply don't know about the amount of plastic there is in the lenses they own.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018

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