Pentax Multi Mount resurrects historic lenses from Nikon, Olympus, Contax and more—without an adapter
posted Monday, March 3, 2014 at 5:39 PM EDT
As photographers look for ways to get the maximum out of their camera, hacks like Magic Lantern and CHDK for Canon cameras, PTool for Panasonic models, and Nikon Hacker for Nikon's DSLRs are becoming increasingly common, if not yet mainstream. They are, perhaps, even beginning to receive some begrudging acceptance from the camera manufacturers themselves. But they all share one important attribute: They exist solely in the firmware domain. Hardware hacks are an altogether different -- and rarer -- beast, but a rather cool new hack has just landed for Pentaxians with some historic glass they want to use from another camera brand.
The Adaptist PK+MM Multi Mount is a replacement mount plate that allows you to attach Nikon F-mount, Olympus OM-mount, Contax or Yashica C/Y-mount, and Konica AR-mount lenses to Pentax DSLRs. And when we say "attach," we mean directly -- no image quality-degrading adapter is needed, and all but Konica AR-mount lenses can focus to infinity. Index marks are even provided for the different adapted lens types. Once mounted, the third-party lenses function as if they were native, fully manual K-mount optics -- with a few catches.
Most importantly, at the current time only non-weather sealed DSLRs are supported, ruling out the company's APS-C flagship models such as the impressive Pentax K-3. A variant for weather-sealed bodies is said to be in the works, though, so expect to see that limitation go away. There is also no lens release catch for adapted lenses. Instead, they all turn 50-degrees clockwise once mounted, and then remain mounted solely by tension.
And there are a few brand-specific provisos, as well. Nikon F-mount lenses need a small shim that sits on the rear of the lens' mount interface, ensuring adequate flange-back distance. (Two shims are included with the PK+MM Multi Mount kit, made from black Formex GK-10 polypropylene, an anti-fungal and electrically insulative material.) Olympus OM-mount lenses must have their aperture lever jammed at the open aperture position. Most invasive of the group are the Contax / Yashica lenses, which need a non-reversible modification to shorten the aperture lever by at least 3mm, so that it is possible to stop the aperture down. And for all mounts, you'll need to check that the rear element doesn't protrude beyond the metal mount flange, to prevent collision with the reflex mirror.
With those provisos aside, though, using the PK+MM Multi Mount kit looks to be pretty simple. Installation is a matter of removing five screws, lifting the existing mount off, and replacing it with the PK+MM mount using the provided screwdriver. Just as with the original, the replacement mount ring is made from chrome-plated brass, and so should be long-lasting.
Priced at SGD98 (US$77) plus SGD5 (US$4) shipping, the Adaptist PK+MM Multi Mount isn't the most affordable accessory you'll find, but for anyone with old glass they can't use any more (and a Pentax DSLR to mount it on), it'll doubtless be more than worth the cost. Once installed, you have a whole world of new lens options available to you, something that should get any enthusiastic photographer's juices flowing.