Ok so being a photography enthusiast, I am quite excited by the changes that are happening in the world of photography, but also saddened by the losses at the expense of that progress.

I have quite a few cameras right now, and all of them get use.

My first serious camera was a Pentax Spotmatic II, my mother gave it to me in high school. I carried it around everywhere with me, it got to the point that my friends easily ignored the fact that I had the camera and was able to photograph them without repercussions. It was great. Over the years I acquired quite a few nice lenses (135mm F2.0, a 90mm-300mm f3.5, 24mm, 21mm, etc..). I love the camera and I love the lenses.

After that I had come into the possession of a Nikon D1. However, I tend to block out all memories of that camera… it was probably the worst introduction to the world of Digital SLRs that any one could have…. That camera also probably permanently warded me off of Nikon cameras for the rest of my life. I never got used to the physical interface of the camera, it was very counter-intuitive, and on top of that the image quality left much to be desired.

At the first chance I got, I upgraded to the Canon 10D, a marked improvement over that Nikon, in fact I ditched the Nikon as soon as possible. The 10D was faster, the image quality was MUCH better and the interface was very intuitive. I could not touch the camera for months at a time and pick it back up an know exactly was I was doing with it, For example the aperture and shutter speed are easily accessible at your thumb and fore-finger. While I love the camera, the selection of lenses that I have for it, save one, leave something to be desired. It could be that the lenses were hand-me-downs and well used past their prime, (as I know it to be the case of at least one of my lenses). But there is one lens in my collection of lenses for that camera, that is my crown jewel, it’s a Sigma 105mm macro, it’s sharp as a tack and has never failed me. There is one lesson I have learned in my acquisition of lenses and that is to stay the hell away from Tamron Lenses. The Tamron Lens that i do have, and have used have always been soft (and no they were not soft focus lenses).

The last cameras I acquired was coincidently made by Tamron, the Bronica ETRS. While I hate the lenses that they make for the Canons are shit, this is a damn good medium format camera. It always took gorgeous images for me. In actuality the ETRS is modular so I have two cameras and multiple film backs as well as a few lenses. They are work horses, they take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’.

I do have a few other cameras, some point and shoots but they are not worth mentioning in this conversation.

With film becoming more and more expensive and rare, and the ease of digital imaging, more of my worries were to the extention of life in my film cameras. One of the first things I looked for was an adapter for my Bronica ETRS to allow it to be used with a used digital back that my father was willing to let me use, the reasing being the fact that the infrared filter over the imaging sensor was chiped…I could live with that. Through My research I found an adapter but wall appalled to find out that the adapter was nearly $900. For the time being I’ve given up on that dream.

My next worry was for the lenses that I have for the Pentax Spotmatic, heck for the I worried about the camera, and the fact that i would not be able to use with out incurring great costs.. What I had hoped for was a company to come out with a device that would essentially turn your existing camera digital. One company tried to do that, their first idea was to create a module roughly the size and shape of film to fit in your current camera. But alas that film module was destined to become vaporware. The the second glimmer a hope was for a digital module that did not fit inside the camera but replaced the entire back of the camera. But that too suffered the same fate as it’s film sized module predecessor.

For me all hope was lost an i had resigned myself to shelling out hundreds, nay, thousands of dollars in new lenses for the Canon 10D. I constantly Scour the interwebs for deals on lenses for my camera, all the while mourning in the wake of potential obsolescence of my old Pentax Lenses.

Thursday April 3rd, 2008. Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design held a symposium. The Subject? The impact and challenges photographers face as digital technology supplants film. The speakers? Eric Oxendorf, Deone Jahnke, Tom Fritz, & Grace Natoli-Sheldon, local Milwaukee photographers. This symposium was less about the equipment, and more about the fear of the loss of a medium that makes up who they are. However in the reception prior to the discussion i was talking to some of my fellow attendees and i expressed the fear i felt about loosing the use of the equipment i have and love. One of the gentlemen I was talking to suggested that there might exist an adapter that would allow men to use my older Pentax Screw Mount Lenses on my Canon 10D. I was skeptical, and thought to myself that even if it did exist it would be prohibitively expensive, much like the digial back adapter for the Bronica. Even with my pessimistic thought, I put that idea of the adapter in the back of my mind for further retrieval, I was going to look this up.

I have an impending trip to Arizona, while I have little doubt that it will be fun , I could not decide on which Camera of mine I should take with me. The Bronica takes nice photos but is large and cumbersome. I could take the Canon, for ease of use and processing, but as I have said before the lenses leave me with something to be desired. The Pentax is small quick and I have lenses that I love to use with it, but I refuse to have any film go through the X-ray machine regardless of it’s film speed, but I also don’t want to have to go through the hassle of having the film hand checked by TSA.

By the time the symposium occurred I had still not decided on which camera to take with me on my trip. The day after I looked up this mystical adapter, lo and behold… it existed!!! Whoa!…..I slowed down my excitement and thought “This is too good to be true, it must cost a few hundred dollars.” I dug further and found that the adapter only averaged $25!! Hellz Yeah!!!

I bought one, and I told everyone around me how excited I was. I just save my self tons of money, and widened my selection of lenses by a huge margin! Through my research about these adapters, I found that the lens mount that Pentax used was not unique to Pentax, but the result of an effort by the still camera industry to standardize cameras. Unfortunately it did not work, as bayonet mount lenses proved to be more convenient. I also learned that I would not loose focus quality of my screw mount lenses due to the fact that Canon EF lenses focal point is at the same distance as the screw mount lenses.

As of today (4-08-08) I have not yet received my adapter, But when I do I will post my opinions of this hardware. Needless to say I am taking my Canon, and Pentax lenses with me to Arizona.


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