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Old Mar 26, 2009, 4:13 PM   #11
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 17

Welcome to closeup photography! My father did wonderful things with an Asahiflex, the predecessor to the M42 Pentaxes; he used pre-set lenses, extension tubes, and a bellows.

There was no through the lens exposure then, so he used a hand-held meter and a pocket slide rule to calculate the proper exposure, taking into account the light "loss" caused by the extension of the lens.

Life is simple now by comparison. I'd suggest that you might keep your eyes out for a Vivitar 100mm f3.5 macro lens. I have one bought new from Porter's a few years ago for about $100. Used on my Pentax LX it yielded 1:2 image size, and 1:1 with the furnished dedicated closeup lens. It is manual focus, but usually in macro work one has plenty of time. Since it has an "A" position on the aperature ring you can use aperature auto-exposure.

My results with it have been good. Yes, its plastic and feels a little loosey-goosey, but the mount is metal. With the smaller digital sensor you'll get about 1.6:1 ratio and a really impressive image. It does nicely for general photo work, as well.

A couple of other suggestions: the focus screen Pentax furnishes is not good for manual focus. I bought a KatzEye screen and it makes a big difference. You can, of course, use the autofocus indicatior in the viewfinder to help you along. Look for a right-angle finder, it clips on the eyepiece and lets you avoid sprawling full-length on the ground. I found a used Pentax unit at KEH a while ago; I bought it for my MX but it works well on the K10D.
George in Georgia is offline   Reply With Quote

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