I should interject here the main criteria for
me was that the digital camera have a 24mm x 36mm sensor. The reason for
this is because my lenses are made to cover a 24mm x 36mm image frame. A
different sized sensor would result in changing the effective focal length of
the lenses. From a practical standpoint that means that my ultra-wide
angle lenses would not yield ultra-wide angle shots. My normal lenses
would produce short-telephoto shots, and my long telephotos would become extreme
telephotos. That was not an option for me.
I was hoping
Pentax would eventually get on the
full frame sensor band wagon and produce a camera more in my price range.
As of this writing they have not done so and do not appear to have plans in that
Finally I grew tired of waiting. But all
this waiting did have it's merit. The lens adapter mount "industry", if it
could be called that, had made some advancements. When I first started
looking, the adapters simply bridged the gap between the screw mount lenses I
have and the bayonet mount of the camera. They adapters were nothing more
than flanges. And worse, many were imprecise resulting in cases where
infinity focus was not available.
Infinity focus is important because one needs
to be able to take pictures of subjects in the distance as well as close-up.
If the adapter does not give infinity focus, the photography using it will be
limited to close-working distances. This is not a full solution and
impractical for my needs.
I re-engaged my lens mount adapter search and
found that the new products had brought a new feature to the game - chips
mounted to "fool" the digital camera into "thinking" that there is a compatible
lens mounted, enabling assisted focus. What this means is that while the
camera cannot auto-focus legacy lenses like mine, with these adapters, it can
give a signal when the image is correctly focused. For me this is a huge
benefit, as I am very particular about having my images in good sharp focus.
It took me a considerable amount of time to
determine, to the best of my ability, which products of this type were going to
work. The web sites and discussion groups had information that in many
cases was out of date, not well researched, and in many cases, unreliable or
inaccurate. Sifting through this to make a purchase decision was tough,
especially because the products are fairly expensive (~$100 for a single
adapter). I decided I would roll the dice on the product that in my
research had come out the best.