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Old Mar 10, 2009, 7:07 AM   #1
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I have a Pentax K10D and some old manual lenses, now a friend has given me a set of 3 manual extension tubes and a 2x convertor. I don't have a clue what to do with them. Is anyone out there using a similar set up with the K10D and if so can they let me have a simply (camera and lens) set up so that I can start experimenting with macro shots. My knowledge is very small so would like an idiots guide to doing this. Also as basic as this sounds, I will also need to know how to put the K10D back to auto afterwards.
The manual lenses I have available are.
Cosina 28mm 1:2.8 MC
Cosina 50m 1:2
Pentax 1:1.7 50mm SMC

What about Flash ?. Will the small inbuilt flash on the K10D be good enough.
Sorry this is so long, but I need to express my lack of knowledge on this.
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Old Mar 10, 2009, 5:08 PM   #2
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Welcome to the best forum for Pentax users on the web!
don't worry about asking questions, we all were newbies at one time. you'll find most folks here are friendly and will be glad to help out.
for your macro set up try this. First, go into your menu setting and set the " allow use with aperture ring" setting to the "allow" setting and just leave it that way, you'll still be able to use all other lenses with it set this way. Next, set your K10 to manual mode using the mode dial. Then attach 1, 2 or 3 of your extension tubes depending on your needs each one will magnify the image more and more, you'll just have to experiment to learn what to expect with each combo. Remember, not only is your image magnified, so is any camera shake. (blurred image) Set your aperture and shutter speed as desired. Keep in mind that with macro your depth of field or focal plain is very limited, meaning it's hard to get all the image in focus at the same time. as little as 2mm distance can make the difference between in focus or not. The smaller the f:stop (larger number) the greater the DOF (depth of field) and the more light you'll need to get a good exposure. That brings us to the flash question. the on board flash is not going to be the best for macro work for this reason, you'll be real close to your subject so it will most likely be over exposed. and the lens plus the extension tubes will block some of the light from the flash and cause a shadow on your subject. There is lots more to learn but don't despair, just have fun and shoot lots of pix, learn from that and read, read, read everything you can on photography. enjoy it and have a ball, keep us up dated with your success pix too!
Have more questions just ask.
GW:bye:
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Old Mar 10, 2009, 10:01 PM   #3
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GW's explanation is right on, but since the mode switch is for manual exposure, you should also set the AF/MF switch on the camera body to MF for manual focus.
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Old Mar 10, 2009, 11:01 PM   #4
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GW gave you most of the highlights. There's a couple of things I'd like to mention also.

To summarize:

To use manual lenses:
1. Change menu option in custom menu as GW said.
2. Set camera mode to M (not Av, not P, etc.). Change the button on the front of the camera to M instead of AF-S or AF-C.
3. Set aperture on lens.
4. Frame picture, push green button (allows camera to quickly stop down the lens and meter)
5. Focus
6. Push shutter. The camera will maintain that shutter speed until you change it by either pushing the green button again, or by turning the wheel.

For Macro:
1. Mount a lens on the extension tube, then mount the extension tube onto the camera (the tube goes between the camera and lens). This will move the lens further from the camera and cause it to focus closer than it otherwise be capable of. That means your subject will be bigger.
2. The further away from the camera is, the closer you can get and the larger your subject gets. As GW said, adding all of the extension tubes gets you really close.
3. Operate the camera and lens as indicated above for macro lenses.
4. As GW mentioned, depth of field becomes very small, so I use f16 or f20.

Some thoughts - Extension tubes absorb light. I'd recommend starting off using the Pentax 50mm 1.7 at first. Those lenses are really sharp and its the fastest lens of the three, so it lets the most light in when wide open. That will help you focus. You'll still use f16 or something like that (any of the lenses can do that).

The on-board flash fires full power (you won't have P-TTL capability) so you'll need to adjust your aperture and flash power manually. As GW pointed out, adding a bunch of extension tubes can partly block the flash, so you'll see a shadow at the bottom of the frame. It's a really good idea to get an external flash. Also, using manual lenses takes away the ability to use an external flash off-camera wirelessly, so you'll either need to use it on the hot shoe, or buy the cables to hook it up to the hot shoe. I've used a long macro lens with an extension tube and the 540 flash and didn't have trouble.

To go back to using an FA/DA lens - just push the button back to AF-S and the mode dial back to P or Av or whatever you usually use.
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Old Mar 10, 2009, 11:27 PM   #5
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Look here for some info on extension tubes.

http://www.neilcreek.com/blog/2007/1...es-p365-nov03/
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Old Mar 11, 2009, 2:35 AM   #6
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One important bit of information:

There are two common types of extension tubes.

A) "Automatic". They have a lever to mechanically pass the aperture setting on the lens to the camera body. They are not automatic in any other sense, no autofocus, no "A" setting on the lens will work. There are no electronic contacts to transfer that type of information between lens and camera body. Any lens will work just like a PentaM or K type of lens. These tubes exist in Pentax make, but also in various others. Mine are Vivitar. The key word is "auto" or "automatic".

B) Not "automatic". There is no lever to pass aperture information between lens and body. You'll have to put the lens to largest aperture (lowest number), focus, reset the lens to preferred aperture, meter, set the exposure time and press the shutter. Not very convenient, but it works and will get you the photo. These extension tubes have come around on ebay lately(cheap Chinese makes with adaptors for various camera mounts) and of course the seller never mentions the inconvenience when using them.

Kenko have also made dedicated tubes with all the electronic contacts and the AF screw, but these are not made any longer and very hard to find. Price accordingly.

Kjell
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Old Mar 11, 2009, 9:38 AM   #7
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LOL... I just re-read what I wrote and I for got to mention to add a lens to the end of the extension tubes! :lol: as Mtngal suggested, the 50mm 1.7 would be a good choice.
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Old Mar 12, 2009, 1:00 PM   #8
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That type of set up was my main macro rig for a couple years... its a great setup...

The other thing that I don't think I saw mentioned - you will likely need a tripod... with the aperture being so small, shutter speeds are usually pretty slow. Even if you are using flash, if its off-camera, hand holding the camera and the flash is a bit of work

I usually shot with the full set of tubes, my M50/1.7 set to f/16 or so. I have auto tubes, so it keeps the aperture full open during focusing, only stopping down during shooting. Mount the set-up on a tripod.. get it all focused and use my wired shutter release to help avoid any shake.

If you want to have some fun, pick up a set of Bellows These are a bit harder since usually there is no aperture connection, so you have to focus wide open, then manually stop the lens down before shooting.


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Old Mar 12, 2009, 1:13 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone, will have a go this weekend and if i manage anything will post the results for a laugh
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Old Mar 13, 2009, 6:57 PM   #10
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One of the things we didn't talk about is your 2X converter. A teleconverter adds extra glass (which extension tubes don't) and that increases the focal length of the lens you use with it. I don't believe it changes the focus distance (someone correct me if I'm wrong about this!) and allows you to focus at infinity, just magnifies the image. It's normally used between the camera and the lens, like the extension tubes. The "2X" indicates the multiplication factor for the lens (there's TCs that are 1.4X, 1.7X etc.). Your 2X TC will make a 50 mm into a 100 mm and a 300 mm lens into a 600 mm lens.

Some old, manual TCs aren't very good - I had a 2X that had been bought by my father and it was really lousy - it made all pictures really soft (regardless of the sharpness of the lens), and like extension tubes, you lose light with them. As far as I was concerned, mine was worthless as a TC, so I took the glass out of it - making it a nice, useable extension tube (which I do use). On the other hand, there are others that have really good TCs and use them regularly. So try yours and see what you think.
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