Old Lenses - Thinking Aloud

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Neville
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I've just dug out a couple of lenses from my film camera days. Both with the Pentax K mount. The one is the standard 50mm, while the other is a Tamron 80 - 210mm. I'm wondering if anything can be done with them? It would be quite fun to stick them on my Fuji XT3. I remember them both being pretty good. The 50mm in particular looks like it might have promise. Remember though that this is a bit of fun and wishful thinking, so don't take it too seriously. ;)
 

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Ranger Smith
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Well...they'll work on a K mount Pentax SLR

https://www.parkcameras.com/shop/pe...jqoN5iNS2ONdUWiaygvpaZlRsM7nMnzxoCtx0QAvD_BwE

36.4mp....I imagine there are cheaper ones than at Park cameras...

I think you'd need an adapter to get them to work on any other camera.

Quick google of pentax K mount to Fuji X


Aye - you don't need a £1800 36.4 SLR to drive these lenses but it was fun....

No AF, manual focus, manual exposure etc.

And being a crop body the field of view will change - 50mm lens on 35mm on the Fuji is cropped - so it will offer a 75mm field of view equivalent to a 35mm camera. Plus of this is you'll crop off the softer sides :D
 
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Plain Nev
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Well...they'll work on a K mount Pentax SLR

https://www.parkcameras.com/shop/pe...jqoN5iNS2ONdUWiaygvpaZlRsM7nMnzxoCtx0QAvD_BwE

36.4mp....I imagine there are cheaper ones than at Park cameras...

I think you'd need an adapter to get them to work on any other camera.

Quick google of pentax K mount to Fuji X


Aye - you don't need a £1800 36.4 SLR to drive these lenses but it was fun....

No AF, manual focus, manual exposure etc.

And being a crop body the field of view will change - 50mm lens on 35mm on the Fuji is cropped - so it will offer a 75mm field of view equivalent to a 35mm camera. Plus of this is you'll crop off the softer sides :D
I just spotted that one. I've never heard of them, but it looks like a nice bit of kit. I'm warming to this idea now. :cool:
 

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Ranger Smith
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I just spotted that one. I've never heard of them, but it looks like a nice bit of kit. I'm warming to this idea now. :cool:
In performance (I've seen a raw file off one) and it performs about the same as a Nikon D810 so no slouch at all. You could use all your legacy glass and buy some new stuff and you'd have a very good 35mm digital rig. Although at 35mm DSLR it has to be the D850.
 
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Plain Nev
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I'm all set to go. But I just didn't have the heart to go out in the dreary weather this afternoon and try it. Going with the Pentax 50mm 1.7 to start. It was a piece of cake to set up and I really like the manual focus on it and the highlight peaking. When I think how I used to struggle to see the split screen on my MX it's a real boon. Looking forward to getting out over the weekend and taking a few piccys now. :cool:
 
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I think you'll enjoy the 50mm with your X-T3. I've got a few old Zuiko primes, from the days when I used an OM-1 and an OM-2, and bought an adapter for Fuji X mount. Once you've told your camera to "shoot without lens" you'll be good to go. As you say, the focusing ring on these old lenses is a dream compared to what we get on the modern Fuji lenses. And with focus peaking, results are really good. My 50mm f1.8, 135mm f3.5, and 200mm f4, all work great on my X-T2. I hope you find the same. These old lenses add a great deal to the fun factor with mirrorless cameras...
 
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John King
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There were 2 versions of the 80/210 if you have a late version they are actually very good, the 1st version was 'ok ish' but not as good as the other. however if you can get a bayonet adapter and if your camera has less than standard size sensor then both will be OK.
 
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@ Doom Patrol
I’ve been using legacy lenses almost exclusively for about three years now (first with a Panasonic G80 m4/3 and now a Sony A73).
There is something about using old lenses - perhaps a nostalgia thing, perhaps their ”feel”. Or is it image quality for not much money?
I’ve also now settled on a particular make of mid priced lens adapter.
At one point, I was up to 20 lenses but over the last year or so, I’ve cut that back to about 15 - still too many but for various reasons, I’m getting to the point where I’m reluctant to get rid of any more.
Over the years, I’ve come across some good sources (let me know if you’d like details) and other occasions, just been pure lucky.
One of the biggest downsides can be (but not always) the lack of AF. Fast moving children/pets are a bit of a no-no, especially when running at the lens. But I’ve had wonderful results taking legacy lenses motor racing. You need to be a bit cute with focussing but I’ve always found it great fun.
If you do ever decide to add to your collection, one of the things I would say is to be careful with condition, especially haze/fungus inside the lens. I’ve been caught out a couple of times, and I thought I knew what I was doing!!.
Enjoy using your lenses, it’s good to see them being brought back into use.
 
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Plain Nev
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Oh, it's a heady feeling, no doubt about it. I suppose that - like most of us - we used those lenses way back when and there is a certain buzz about discovering we can still put them to good use. It takes us all back to those fun days. They were good lenses, capable of good results, and well built too. And when you look online it's amazing what they can be bought for. I must admit I did indulge as well. I bought the Pentax 40 - 80 zoom, the 75 - 150, and the Takumar 135. A bit of a shot in the dark, but I'm sure I'll have a lot of fun with them. And the beauty of it is they are half the price of a Fuji wide angle lens!
 
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Plain Nev
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Well, that was interesting. I've got out and taken a few shots today. None of them are keepers, but there's definitely something there that merits further investigation. I thought I'd start with the standard 50mm prime, and it was quite startling in some ways. It was absolutely pin sharp, where it was in focus. But I hadn't anticipated quite how shallow the depth of field was, so that wasn't a lot. But boy does it have a film quality to it. It just doesn't look anything like a digital lens. There was a richness to it that I wasn't prepared for. It's probably not something you can put your finger on, but I can see why people use old lenses now.
 
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Lee
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Sounds like a positive result :)

I started using my old film Yashica lenses 6-7 years ago on my 5D2 before switching to the A7 not long after.

I've been through FD. Yashica ML, Helios, plus several more over the years but I'm now set on modern Voigtlander lenses & a Contax Carl Zeiss 80-200/2 T* currently. The only AF lens I own is the FE85.
 
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Present 'fave' lens is a Sony 50 f1.4 - essentially a mildly updated Minolta Rokkor, when it's wide open it has a lovely soft coma aberration that makes an image glow. This is a flaw that you won't find in a modern lens, but works very favourably for a certain kind of photo.

TBH I'm much more interested in the appearance a lens goves to the image and I'd prefer all my lenses to be AF if possible.
 
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I quite often use old lenses and some do have a nice look. I think maybe a part of it could be because lenses designed 30/40/50 years ago were probably made for a look rather than to be sharp across the frame into the corners from wide open, even if the makers could have done that decades ago.

The nearest thing to new old lenses these days could be lenses like the Voigtlanders made for the Sony E mount as some do seem to be designed to give a look rather than to produce nice looking sharpness graphs at f1.x. I suppose the new metal bodied Sigma DG GN lenses could be considered in this way too. There's a thread on them here... https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1674681/0
 
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Well, that was interesting. I've got out and taken a few shots today. None of them are keepers, but there's definitely something there that merits further investigation. I thought I'd start with the standard 50mm prime, and it was quite startling in some ways. It was absolutely pin sharp, where it was in focus. But I hadn't anticipated quite how shallow the depth of field was, so that wasn't a lot. But boy does it have a film quality to it. It just doesn't look anything like a digital lens. There was a richness to it that I wasn't prepared for. It's probably not something you can put your finger on, but I can see why people use old lenses now.
The richness will probably be down to the SMC multi coating on the lens.

Back in film days Pentax lenses always seemed to produce a more saturated image than other makes.
 
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. I think maybe a part of it could be because lenses designed 30/40/50 years ago were probably made for a look rather than to be sharp
Nope, I can assure you that sharpness was an obsession even 40 years ago. I was there! Lenses have just improved unbelievably. Few people wanted soft edges, vignetting, or funny looking bokeh. The pixel peepers of today were 'grain peepers' back then and just as obsessively missing the point.
 
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Nope, I can assure you that sharpness was an obsession even 40 years ago. I was there! Lenses have just improved unbelievably. Few people wanted soft edges, vignetting, or funny looking bokeh. The pixel peepers of today were 'grain peepers' back then and just as obsessively missing the point.
You may well be right but there were definitely those who went for a look in the past just as today see the Voigtlanders I mentioned and things such as the Sigma 45mm f2.8 and you'll know that at a time bokeh wasn't a thing. In fact it was an unthing as you weren't supposed to look at it, you were supposed to look at the subject not the irrelevant out of focus areas.
 
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Nope, I can assure you that sharpness was an obsession even 40 years ago. I was there! Lenses have just improved unbelievably. Few people wanted soft edges, vignetting, or funny looking bokeh. The pixel peepers of today were 'grain peepers' back then and just as obsessively missing the point.
Abso-bloomin-lutely!

I ran medium format gear alongside 35mm in the 80's and 90's because 35mm simply lacked image quality in terms of sharpness and cleanness of image. MF lenses (at least in the case of the Bronica I used and the Rollei a friend had) were much better, printing up to A3/12X16 size without obvious faults.
 
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Abso-bloomin-lutely!

I ran medium format gear alongside 35mm in the 80's and 90's because 35mm simply lacked image quality in terms of sharpness and cleanness of image. MF lenses (at least in the case of the Bronica I used and the Rollei a friend had) were much better, printing up to A3/12X16 size without obvious faults.
Absolutely.

My old Mamiya C330 with the blue dot lenses was superb.

Sold it for a song and really wish I'd kept it all.
 
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John King
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When I started photography the magazine 'Amateur Photographer' used to run lens tests almost weekly with Pan F film from the the south bank of the Thames picturing a small naval vessel moored at the north side. That was the first section I went to and was sumply amazed at the clarity and sharpness of some of the lenses when the negative was printed to a 20" long print.. One lens in particular a Leica Summicron showed no difference in definition from F2 to F16. That was the one to aim for
 
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Plain Nev
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Neville
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The richness will probably be down to the SMC multi coating on the lens.

Back in film days Pentax lenses always seemed to produce a more saturated image than other makes.
I think you're right. Damn it! That might mean I have to try other lenses now. :p

You might like Zenography on YT. Just the thing if you are interested in old lenses.
 
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Last week we came across the box for a Pentax 50 f2 that was my first ever SLR lens. Unfortunately the lens was traded in '87 or '88.
 
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Still easy enough to get hold of I think. Every man and his dog had the 50mm lens. ;)
TBH I'm not looking for another 50 right now - I have the old A mount f1.4 for when I want soft glow and the Zeiss 55 f1.8 for then I want it sharp enough to cut.
 
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Pentax cameras from the now distant past were a marque apart from others at the time. In the late 1960's there was an advert which ran to sometime in the 70's there was an advert for the Pentax Spotmatic with a standard lens. The wording on the advert was 'Just hold a Pentax'. Such a simple slogan that told a whole story. I have owned a lot of cameras since my 1st SLR, but when I think about them, none were as satisfying as my Pentax SV with the add on meter. Even the non SMC version lenses were top of the tree.

I got more satisfaction out of using that camera than I do out of my F6 or any of the digital models I have used. The only one that come vaguely close is my F4
 
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Of the lenses you bought, the 75-150 was the one I liked the best when I shot Pentax. I had a 135mm, but the K version, not the Takumar version. I'd also recommend the 85/2 and 28/3.5 from a cost/quality perspective. They are tiny lenses. Off brand, I really liked the Sigma Superwide II 24mm f2.8 - that lens was super sharp!

In fact what do you know, it's still sitting on my shelf! Make me an offer :);)
 
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Plain Nev
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Neville
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Of the lenses you bought, the 75-150 was the one I liked the best when I shot Pentax. I had a 135mm, but the K version, not the Takumar version. I'd also recommend the 85/2 and 28/3.5 from a cost/quality perspective. They are tiny lenses. Off brand, I really liked the Sigma Superwide II 24mm f2.8 - that lens was super sharp!

In fact what do you know, it's still sitting on my shelf! Make me an offer :);)
It tickles me that Pentax did seem to do such odd focal lengths among their zooms. I mean, whoever heard of a 75 - 150? :D You've got to love them really.

I'll be in touch. ;)
 
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John King
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It tickles me that Pentax did seem to do such odd focal lengths among their zooms. I mean, whoever heard of a 75 - 150? :D You've got to love them really.

I'll be in touch. ;)
Olympus also made one in that focal length as did Nikon with their E series of MF lenses
 
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Mike
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It tickles me that Pentax did seem to do such odd focal lengths among their zooms. I mean, whoever heard of a 75 - 150? :D You've got to love them really.

I'll be in touch. ;)
I have loads of Pentax lenses but the only 75-150 I have is a Super-komura. I always thought their primes were more prone to odd focal lengths with 43mm being popular...
 
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Enjoy Neville.

I have the Pentax SMC 50mm f1.7 and it's a belter.
Which version?

I have at least 3 of the M series, 2 of the A series as well as an example of the FA series.
IMO the build quality of the M series is miles ahead of the A series, but all are apparently optically equivalent (& excellent).
 
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When I started photography the magazine 'Amateur Photographer' used to run lens tests almost weekly with Pan F film from the the south bank of the Thames picturing a small naval vessel moored at the north side. That was the first section I went to and was sumply amazed at the clarity and sharpness of some of the lenses when the negative was printed to a 20" long print.. One lens in particular a Leica Summicron showed no difference in definition from F2 to F16. That was the one to aim for
Hi, I have a few vintage lenses. This LEITZ (Leica) Summicron 2/35 I bought in 1988 with my M6:


TP-LeicaM6-DSC00216-nex5-050-8.jpg



I use it regularly, even today, for pics like these (on my 10-year old Leica M9) :


L1009181-L35cron_bearbeitet-1-2.jpg



L1009242-L35c-c-tp.jpg



L1009252-L35c-tp.jpg



L1009253-L35-tp.jpg



L1009298-L35c-tp.jpg
 
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No so. Around that time the well known and respected Vivitar branded 70/210 F4 constant aperture was on sale. I have one and it is quite a good lens on my Minoltas. as were the 70/210 lenses by Minolta, Canon and the SP version of the Tamron that was probably the best of the bunch. All were either F4 or F3.5 constant aperture.

The Vivitar was not made by them there were several versions made by Komine, Cosina, Kiron and Tokina. You can tell who made the lens by looking at and comparing the serial number and the filter ring size. Mine is a Cosina made optic. Some were better than others, By repute the Komine versions were the best of the bunch. I don't remember the website that has the details but start by googling the name of the lens and expand on that.
 
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