A couple of days ago I purchased an M42 to Pentax K-mount adapter so I could use some of my classic M42 mount lenses on my Pentax K5 DSLR. One of the first lenses I wanted to try was my Auto Takumar 55mm f/2.2 which I acquired as part of the Pentax S1 kit I bought.
The adapter I purchased wasn’t one of Pentax’s own units and because I’ve read various scare stories about 3rd party K mount to M42 adapters getting stuck in the camera body, the first thing I did when I received the adapter was remove the locking spring so that I can easily remove the adapter from the camera body at all times. Although this means the lens isn’t ‘locked’ onto the body, for a lens as light weight as the Auto Takumar that isn’t a problem. I may have to revisit that if I mount a heavier lens like a large telephoto or zoom however.
The Pentax K5 is a great camera to use with manual lenses because it’s possible to set up one of the user modes to work in manual exposure mode with the camera’s settings pre-set to use the lens. For example, for the Takumar 55, I set up User Mode 1 to use Manual exposure and with the green button on the back of the camera to set the exposure to the correct setting for the aperture currently selected on the lens. It also remembers the focal length of the lens for the image stabilisation and makes it really easy to just select ‘User’ from the mode dial and then use the arrow keys on the back to select the setting called ‘Auto Takumar 55’. Using this setting on the K5 means I can set the aperture, focus the lens (and the focus confirmation LED in the viewfinder lights when focus is achieved) and then press the green button to set the exposure.
The results of my photography with the Auto Takumar are shown in the gallery above. I expected the lens to perform well, because all my Takumar lenses are pretty good, but even so I’m quite pleasantly surprised at just how good the results look. These pictures seem to have really good definition and contrast; in fact I’ve included a couple of quite high magnification crops from shots and they have produced quite usable and detailed images from a small section of the original picture.
The only area where I’m slightly disappointed is with the flare caused by the sun on a couple of the shots, however this is only a single coated lens so I shouldn’t really ask for too much.
The images on this post can be viewed by clicking on the index image above and then either use the arrow keys to navigate or click on each image to select the next.