Mixing old and new

fotodiox Pentax K-mount to µ 4/3rds adapter

One of the reasons I bought my new Panasonic GF1 was the large amount of adapters for using old lenses on micro four-thirds cameras. I've been putting off buying some lenses for a while, mainly for financial reasons but also due to my inability to decide on a particular lens system to buy into.

That was until we walked into a thrift store and found three lenses for $12 each: a beautiful Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7, a generic 28-80mm f/3.5 zoom, and a generic super-zoom. A quick round of in-store Googling revealed the quaility of the 50mm so we bought that and took a punt on the other two.

The next step wass, of course, to buy an adapter to use these lenses with my GF1. I was expecting a $100-plus investment but luckily there are off-brand adapters available on eBay and Amazon. I ended up ordering this adapter from fotodiox. I had no idea how big the adapter actually is, but hopefully the picture above gives the sense of scale that was missing was I ordered it.

While I waited the for it to arrive the inevitable camera-purchase bug hit and I started looking for an old Pentax film SLR to match the lenses. I decided to buy a Pentax ME Super, and was lucky enough to find one on Craigslist for only $50 - including two more lenses, a flash, the original manual, leather case, carry strap and a few lens filters! I've yet to run a roll of film through the camera, but it appears to be in good working order and meter properly.

Besides the camera, the best bit about this purchase was the included Pentax-M 50mm f/1.7! This lens is the -M, or manual, version of the lens I bought from the thrift store. It's metal, rather than plastic, and more suited to my purposes. I can't even use the aperture control features added in the -A range of lenses with the adapter nor with the ME Super. The nice thing is that folks with the Pentax DSLRs prefer the -A range of lenses; meaning I should be able to sell the Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7 on eBay and recoup my entire investment.

So how does the GF1 perform with the adapter? Beautifully. The crop factor means the 50mm is effectively a 100mm lens, which is perfect for portraits and getting that little bit closer to things when on a photowalk. Have a look at the photos below for a taste, and head over to my Flickr for the rest.

I haven't played with the other lenses much yet, but Rae has played with the 28-80mm zoom and put some photos on her Flickr.

Sunflowers and smokestacks



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