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Old Jun 19, 2007, 11:16 AM   #1
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I have a few Pentax K (M 50mm f1.7 and M 200mm f4) mount lenses and I undertsand you can use some kind of adator to attach them to an Olympus DSLR?

Anyone here doing this? How well does it work, how does the camea meter with these lenses attached? How about manualy focusing the camera, is it easy?

Thanks

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Old Jun 19, 2007, 2:16 PM   #2
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Yes, it works. You need to buy a Pentax K-mount to 4/3 adapter - mostly made in China. Several of them are available on ebay now: Item #220123511670 is the cheapest. Be sure to get the Pentax K-mount to 4/3 adapter, NOT the Pentax M42 mount to 4/3 adapter.

As for metering, what you do is set the aperture ring on the lens to what you want to shoot at, and you can meter either in Aperture Priority (the camera will then set the correct shutter speed) or Manual mode (You need to set the correct shutter speed). In practice, Aperture priority metering works very well and is very convenient.

Focusing ease depends on which 4/3 camera you have. I personally use an E-1 and an E-300 with manual lenses. I find that the E-1 viewfinder is good enough to manually focus without any other aids. My E-300, I bought a Katz-Eye aftermarket focusing screen (not cheap at $150 including permanent installation) but for me, a worthwhile investment because I use this camera as a dedicated body for use with manual focus lenses - including Nikon, Pentax, and Leica-R lenses).

The E-500 with it's original finder screen is probably inadequate for good manual focusing, but aftermarket split image screens are available, including the Katz Eye and some cheaper alternatives.

The newer Olympus bodies have live view, and most folks who have one of these say that live view is very useful for manually focusing these older lenses.
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Old Jun 19, 2007, 2:26 PM   #3
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Thanks for your response.... I'm considering the Olympus E-410, does it have a better viewfinder/focusing screen than the E-500?
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Old Jun 19, 2007, 3:07 PM   #4
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No, but it has live view, which by itself provides a different and in some cases better viewing option with manual focus lenses. I personally have never used a live view camera, so I cannot speak for it, but there are others who swear by it.
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Old Jun 19, 2007, 3:11 PM   #5
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I should add that a fast 50mm lens and a 200mm f4 are probably two of the MOST useful manual focus lenses you might wish to use on an Olympus body. The 50mm will make a great fast short telephoto, and the 200mm makes a great long telephoto.

And you can get very inexpensive 49mm screw in close-up diopters for the 50mm lens to make a quite decent cheap alternative for macro work.

Since you already own the Pentax lenses, if you already have an Olympus body, you should just buy the adapter for $20-25 and see how well they work on it. If you DON'T already own any Olympus body, well then you might actually be better off looking at Pentax bodies, like the K10D and K100D which are pretty equivalent to Olympuses, except that they have better viewfinders for manual focus, and your Pentax K-mount lenses already will work directly.
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Old Jun 19, 2007, 5:20 PM   #6
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There's the full information for using manual lenses on 4/3 cameras here:
http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/oly-e/any-lens.html

(while you're there click on the "Other Articles" link for lots more useful info)

There are both adapters for Pentax M42 (threaded), and Pentax K (Bayonet)...make sure you get the right type for your lenses. Although they are more expensive, a good place to get adapters is:
http://www.cameraquest.com/adapt_olyE1.htm
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Old Jun 20, 2007, 12:28 AM   #7
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Personally, I think that the Cameraquest adapters are WAY overpriced. No way are they worth 8-10X what the Chinese adapters on ebay are worth. Since they all work exactly the same way. Why anyone would spend $150-200 for an adapter to mount a lens that itself is worth around $50, when there are perfectly good adapters available elsewhere for $20-30 is completely beyond me.
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Old Jun 20, 2007, 5:10 AM   #8
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Thanks for your help and aadvice everyone.... I don't own a Olympus DSLR at the moment, thinking about getting one after seeing the E410 review.

I did briefly own the Pentax K100D, but returned it because of problems with the batteries. One of the issues I had with it was weight... it's a fairly small camera but weighs almost as much as the Nikon D80! The Olympus is small and very light.
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