How much more hassle are M lenses compared to A versions?


Soulman

Link Posted 06/12/2010 - 17:09
I'm a new pentax user and have a 50/1.7 and 28/2.8 A series lenses coming to go with my K7. What I'm wondering is how much more hassle are the M series compared to the A's?

I've noticed the M's are cheaper, more plentiful and a wider range of lenses so may give them a go if the answer is not much more hassle....

Blythman

Link Posted 06/12/2010 - 17:15

Don

Link Posted 06/12/2010 - 17:15
depends on your shooting style.
I prefer to shoot everything on manual, and use automation only sparingly.
how heavily do you rely on auto anything?
Fired many shots. Didn't kill anything.
Last Edited by Don on 06/12/2010 - 17:16

ChrisA

Link Posted 06/12/2010 - 17:27
Since there is no physical stop-down coupling between the lens and the camera, the camera can't tell what aperture the lens is set to. From A-series onwards, the additional contacts allow the body to set the aperture, but this can't be done with M series lenses.

There have been many threads on the forum discussing the exposure errors you get with pre-A lenses and the K10D and later cameras, using the green button in Manual mode to stop the lens down and make the camera meter with the lens at its set aperture. It's worth a search, but the exposure errors are significant, the more so the smaller the aperture.

It depends what you want. If you have the time to meter by trial and error, or with an external meter, then they're no hassle at all.

Otherwise, getting correct exposures with them can be somewhat trial-and-error-ish.

I sold all my Ms, precisely because of the exposure hassles. Ironic, really, since I bought the K10D largely because of the compatibility with old lenses.

Happy accident, really, I have no regrets.
.
Pentax K-3, DA18-135, DA35 F2.4, DA17-70, DA55-300, FA28-200, A50 F1.7, A100 F4 Macro, A400 F5.6, Sigma 10-20 EXDC, 50-500 F4.5-6.3 APO DG OS Samsung flash SEF-54PZF(x2)
.

rparmar

Link Posted 06/12/2010 - 19:44
To be honest I find using older lenses annoying, since the stop-down metering is rarely accurate. Better to just go full manual and be done with it.

That said, I do use old lenses in this way, when I want a different experience. But they are too slow and prone to exposure error for me to take to a gig.

If Pentax would fix the crippled mount and the metering the story would be different.
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Stanovich

Link Posted 06/12/2010 - 22:22
I have two 'M' lenses, a 28mm 3.5 and a 50mm f2. Both are good sharp lenses, the 28 particularly so, but the 'green button' metering is a nuisance - without compensating manually it overexposes in low light and underexposes at small apertures. In practice it means taking a test shot or two to get the exposure right (or of course using an external light meter). I have to feel enthusiastic to use them, and just posted on another thread about finding a good auto 24 or 28.
K5IIs & ME Super with FA24-90, DA17-70, DA55-300, misc old primes; Fuji X20.

noddywithoutbigears

Link Posted 07/12/2010 - 08:17
rparmar wrote:
To be honest I find using older lenses annoying, since the stop-down metering is rarely accurate. Better to just go full manual and be done with it.

That said, I do use old lenses in this way, when I want a different experience. But they are too slow and prone to exposure error for me to take to a gig.

If Pentax would fix the crippled mount and the metering the story would be different.

I recently came to the same conclusion and sold my little collection of M lenses on and are now in the process of replacing them with the A series, which are so much quicker and easier to use and as mentioned above I've had no exposure errors.
A poor life this, if full of care,

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gartmore

Link Posted 07/12/2010 - 09:35
Like others, I too have disposed of all my M lenses.
Ken
“We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson -

Pentaxophile

Link Posted 07/12/2010 - 09:49
To be honest I don't find the green-button metering of M-lenses that unreliable. My 135mm and 50mm seem spot on on my K-7. The most unreliable part is me - forgetting to press the green button when I move from one lighting situation to another!
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thoughton

Link Posted 07/12/2010 - 09:56
rparmar wrote:
To be honest I find using older lenses annoying, since the stop-down metering is rarely accurate. Better to just go full manual and be done with it.

That said, I do use old lenses in this way, when I want a different experience. But they are too slow and prone to exposure error for me to take to a gig.

If Pentax would fix the crippled mount and the metering the story would be different.

Actually I was just testing this on my K50/1.2 yesterday, and stop down metering on the K5 seems to be accurate at a wide range of aperture values, from 1.2 up to 22. My K20 wasn't very good, so it's a pleasant surprise.
Tim
AF - Pentax K5, Sigma 10-20/4-5.6, Tamron 17-50/2.8, Sigma 30/1.4, Sigma 70-200/2.8, Tamron 70-300/4-5.6
MF - Vivitar CF 28/2.8, Tamron AD2 90/2.5, MTO 1000/11
Stuff - Metz 58 AF1, Cactus v4, Nikon SB24, Raynox 150, Sigma 1.4x TC, Sigma 2x TC, Kenko 2x macro TC, Redsnapper 283 tripod, iMac 27”, Macbook Pro 17”, iPad, iPhone 3G
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rparmar

Link Posted 07/12/2010 - 13:50
It might be the newer cameras have fixed this. That would be great! The K50/1.2 is one of the lenses I used in the past, but I have now sold it off.
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Dangermouse

Link Posted 07/12/2010 - 13:51
I do think more recent DSLRs are more accurate in stop-down metering mode. My K-m seems pretty much on the money down to f11 or so but starts underexposing badly after that.
Matt

Shooting the Welsh Wilderness with K-m, KX, MX, ME Super and assorted lenses.

Pentaxophile

Link Posted 07/12/2010 - 13:56
I remember reading something Justin Serpico wrote about his K-7 metering much better with M lenses, he reckoned it was the new focussing screen.
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thoughton

Link Posted 07/12/2010 - 14:22
That's actually a really good point, I still have the stock focussing screen in my K5, in the K20D I had an ebay split screen which may explain the discrepancy.

Will report back when my new ebay split screen arrives!
Tim
AF - Pentax K5, Sigma 10-20/4-5.6, Tamron 17-50/2.8, Sigma 30/1.4, Sigma 70-200/2.8, Tamron 70-300/4-5.6
MF - Vivitar CF 28/2.8, Tamron AD2 90/2.5, MTO 1000/11
Stuff - Metz 58 AF1, Cactus v4, Nikon SB24, Raynox 150, Sigma 1.4x TC, Sigma 2x TC, Kenko 2x macro TC, Redsnapper 283 tripod, iMac 27”, Macbook Pro 17”, iPad, iPhone 3G
Flickr • Fluidr • PPG • Street • Portfolio site
Feel free to edit any of my posted photos! If I post a photo for critique, I want brutal honesty. If you don't like it, please say so and tell me why!
Last Edited by thoughton on 07/12/2010 - 14:23

Dangermouse

Link Posted 07/12/2010 - 14:55
I'd have thought the split screen would make things worse?

I know the cheap one I had was horrible in that it made the viewfinder very dark. I get the impression that they were fine on 35mm as the viewfinder was physically larger so would naturally gather more light, making up for the dark bit in the middle.
Matt

Shooting the Welsh Wilderness with K-m, KX, MX, ME Super and assorted lenses.
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