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Old Jan 27, 2006, 4:55 PM   #1
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I have information overload, and can't quite figure it all out. I'm thinking of getting a Pentax, probably DS because I can get one fairly inexpensively at Costco right now. The main reason I'm interested in the Pentax is that I have a number of nice, ancient Pentax lenses that I bought when I got my ME back in the '70s. They are all manual lenses, some are primes, some zoom, and I understand they will all work with the *ist cameras.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"What's confusing me is just what type of functionality will they have? Do I have to set the shutter speed or does the camera do that (like the old ME?) while I set the aperture on the lens. Also, I'm confused on what type of focusing system I'll have. I read a thread about someone asking for split screen focusing (I assume that's like the old system my ME had) and someone else saying that the DS cameras have some other system. What type of assist do they have? For the past couple of years I've been using a Sony F717 and have gotten very used to auto focus. My attempts at manual focus weren't very good, so is there any type of assist to indicate when you have it focused? My eyesight isn't the best any more and needs help.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"I'm trying to decide if I can save money by using my old lenses (primarily)and the kit lens, or should I plan on buying a body and a better, digital or AFlens right away, and forgetting about my old lenses (ouch, cost is a matter of concern).

Thanks for your help, and sorry for such a basic question.
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Old Jan 27, 2006, 5:19 PM   #2
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your manual lenses will work just fine. i use mine all the time that i had for the mx.
the ds will tell you when an object is in focus by diplaying a red square and beeping. you'll need to shoot in manual mode and just before you take the shot you push the ae-l button to close the lens down so it can do the shutter speed calculation. it's easy and you get use to it.. the focus screen is a matte screen penta prism just like the me except it's not split.. the ds has about the best VF on the market.
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Old Jan 27, 2006, 9:33 PM   #3
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I very much enjoy using my DS2 with my old SMCP-M lenses that I bought about 24 years ago for my MX. If you like your lenses, and are happy doing manual focusing and aperture, you'll enjoy using them on a Pentax DSLR.

Here's how it works for any Pentax K mount lens (the good folks on this forum and others helped me, too):

- First, go to the Custom Settings menu, check the "Setting" box to allow custom settings, scroll down to "Using Aperture Ring," and set it to "2-Permitted." That allows the camera to operate with the old lenses that don't have "A" settings on the aperture ring. You can leave this set -- all "A" lenses, including DA AF lenses, will still work normally.

- You will get focus confirmation - in my DS2, it's a green light in the viewfinder. If the focus mode switch next to the lens mount is set to AF, the camera will only shoot if the focus indicator is lit. If the switch is set to MF, you still get focus confirmation, but the camera will shoot regardless of whether it thinks you're in focus.

- Then you have two modes you can use.

1. Set the exposure mode dial on the top of the camera to M (manual). To meter, press the AE-L button. The camera will stop down the lens momentarily and set the shutter speed for you. Focus and shoot. Or, after pressing AE-L, you can adjust either the aperture, or the shutter speed (using the control wheel), and then shoot.

2. Set the exposure mode dial to Av (aperture priority). (Actually, if you try to set the other automatic modes, like Tv or P, they'll operate in aperture priority mode, too.) The camera will automatically set shutter speed for you, but only at full open aperture--regardless of the aperture ring position. I like using this for sports with my tele zoom lens.

It sounds complicated, but like robar said, you get used to it quickly.
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Old Jan 27, 2006, 10:29 PM   #4
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dan-mx-ds2 wrote:
Quote:
1. Set the exposure mode dial on the top of the camera to M (manual). To meter, press the AE-L button. The camera will stop down the lens momentarily and set the shutter speed for you. Focus and shoot. Or, after pressing AE-L, you can adjust either the aperture, or the shutter speed (using the control wheel), and then shoot.

2. Set the exposure mode dial to Av (aperture priority). (Actually, if you try to set the other automatic modes, like Tv or P, they'll operate in aperture priority mode, too.) The camera will automatically set shutter speed for you, but only at full open aperture--regardless of the aperture ring position. I like using this for sports with my tele zoom lens.

It sounds complicated, but like robar said, you get used to it quickly.
Thanks for the information - I'm feeling better about this (enough so that I've run an ad to try to sell an FZ30). However, I'm confused about what you had to say for the AV mode, option #2(I can be dense at times). Say I set the exposure mode to av, and have the lens set at something like f11 (should you not do this?). You say that the camera automatically sets the shutter speed, but only at full open aperture, say f4. Does that mean that the picture will be over-exposed or that the lens will shoot at f4?

Another question, I have a smc Pentax-F 70-210 lens (the only F lens I have)and itisn't working - the zoom doesn't work (it starts to zoom out but stops - feels like something is blocking it from zooming out). Is it worth while taking it in to see if it can be repaired - it wasa nice lens, and I always thought it was better than the other (non Pentax) 70-210 lens I have.

Thanks again for the informatiom!
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Old Jan 27, 2006, 10:42 PM   #5
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There are countless threads on using old lenses on this forum, and it does have a search option.

But, enough of being a dick, here is a basic instruction-

1. Set "Use apeture ring" on the custom menu
2. set "fi with S lens used" on the custom menu (probably not necessary, but i do it anyway)
3. Set the camera body to MF

In Av or Tv mode, if you have the apeture wide open the camera will meter and set the shutter speed for you. Usefull if you are only using the max apeture of the lens.

If you want to set the apeture, you must use the camera in M mode, set your apeture, once you have done that press the AE-L button - this will stop the lens down to the selected apeture and will take a reading to set the shutter speed.

EDIT: Oh, and if you have any old Ricoh lenses, be careful as some of them the mount is slightly too long and the lens will jam.
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Old Jan 28, 2006, 5:56 AM   #6
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mtngal, sorry for the confusion -- my fault entirely. It's a lot easier to make sense of when you're actually holding the camera, but of course, you need to know before you decide to buy it...

With Av mode on a non-"A" lens, the camera meters, sets shutter speed automatically, AND shoots at full open aperture, regardless of aperture ring setting. You get correct exposure, but you can't adjust your aperture. I just confirmed it on my DS2 with my SMCP-M 75-150mm f4.0...set to f4, lens shoots at f4. Set to f32, lens shoots at f4. Correct exposure both times.

Hope that helps!

Dan
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Old Jan 28, 2006, 9:53 AM   #7
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Thanks for clarifying that for me - I could just see myself leaving the lens on some setting, then using the other mode and forgetting to change the aperture. I did use the search feature but ended up getting so confused because there are so many different "if this..." and having never upgraded my ME, I was totally unaware of the changes over the years. That's the problem with information overload!

I also want to thank the people who post photos here. While it doesn't necessarily show what I, personally, will be able to do with my old lenses, it will give me an idea of whether I'm more or less likely to be satisfied with the camera. It's one thing to see photos that the reviewers take, and quite another thing to see what someone like me (an untrained ordinary person with a camera in their hands) will take. Thanks again for all your help.
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Old Jan 28, 2006, 10:04 AM   #8
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The photographer takes the picture, not the camera

Practise makes perfect, and the benefit is with digital you can take 1000 photos and not spend a cent.
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Old Jan 28, 2006, 11:26 AM   #9
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all manual shots..









have fun, you can't go wrong. all of these were shot with lenses at least 25 years old.

roy
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Old Jan 28, 2006, 11:31 AM   #10
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Very nice shots especially the first and last one!
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