Old school. New school.

A little throwback today. To the right is the camera that was basically my photography high school and college, the venerable Pentax MX mated to an equally venerable M50/F1.7. Fully manual. I made plenty of mistakes with this little bugger and learned a lot because of it. I also took a lot of shots that I now cherish.

To the left, the Panasonic GH2 fitted with a Pentax DA40 F2.8 Limited via a Fotodiox adapter. No mirror, but a lot more electronics and much bigger battery to boot. Interesting that they are roughly the same size, the GH2 a bit chunkier in feel and the MX a solid lump of metal.

Haptically speaking, the MX has this wonderful mechanical feel and elegant simplicity. I don't have the owner's manual but I can imagine it being less than 10 pages with one page per movable part!

The GH2 confounded me at first with the surfeit of buttons and controls. But I'm getting the hang of it, tapping into 10% of its capabilities with a twitch of my right thumb. I can't see myself ever using many of the automated features though. At the end of the day there are just a handful of variables - the size of the hole, the speed of the curtain, the racking of the glass, and the amp of the sensor. I could live with a camera that gave me nothing more than direct control of those four things. Come to think of it, that's the camera on the right!

Panasonic GH2 with Pentax DA40 F2.8 Limited (via Fotodiox adapter) vs. Pentax MX with M50/F1.7


  1. John, how do you find the mentioned adapter and have you tried other brands? And how does it work with the DA lenses that lack aperture ring - is it always wide open? The Novoflex adapters have some sort of an aperture ring system, but they cost an arm and a leg.

  2. @Raffwal. The Fotodiox is not the most attractive or best made, but it does work. The website was kind of vague regarding aperture control, but someone online mentioned that it did, so I risked my $30 and purchased one. When I got it I was happy to see that there is an aperture ring. It's oddly labeled "Open --- Lock". At first I thought it was to lock the lens. There are 5 detents to its movement. The F-value of each detent depends upon the lens I guess, so I've just been judging how many stops from wide open I am shooting.

    I must note that one of the screws worked its way loose soon after I got it. I've tightened it down and it hasn't bothered since.

    Hope this helps.