Folks who follow my Flickr photo stream far too closely are probably aware that we’ve got two 35mm SLR cameras: a Canon Rebel XTi/400D (digital) and a Pentax K1000 (film). I’ve come to appreciate their respective strengths and abilities. I’ve also found that I really wish I could share lenses between them, more about but of course the K1000 uses Pentax K-mount and the XTi uses the EOS system EF mount.
For example, patient there are two Canon primes I’d like to get for the Rebel: the 50mm f/1.4 and the 28mm f/1.8. I’d get the 28mm lens to replace the 35mm f/2 we’ve got: it’s a little bit wider, vitamin a little bit faster, and has silent USM focusing. (Not that this is going to happen any time soon.) And the 50mm f/1.4, pretty much Just Because. (Probably not going to happen, period…)
Too bad I’ve got a 50mm f/1.4 lens for the Pentax, and intend to get a 28mm f/2.8 for it soon. They’d probably be really killer to use on the XTi. If only…
It turns out that the “lens registration” distance (the distance from the film surface to the lens mount) on the Canon EOS system is very short compared to many other mounts, which means that you can make a physical mount adapter which will allow many other lens brands to mount and focus to infinity. This means that there are mount adapters that allow you to put a K-mount lens on a Canon camera! (It really only works reliably with small sensor EF-S cameras because of the K-mount’s aperture stop-down lever. See the picture on the right… if you have no idea what that means, just take my word for it.) Some of them even have a chip on them that enable the focus confirmation lights in the viewfinder to work properly! But I have only been able to find them on eBay, sold from China, so far (relevent eBay search), and via one US vendor that sells them without focus confirmation for entirely too much money. Neither Adorama nor B&H Photo (both in NYC) offer this.
What the heck? I really, really don’t want to use eBay to buy this directly from someone in China, even if the price is reasonable. Then, I’d have to use paypal. I’m not “confirmed” on paypal because you have to “link” a checking account to it, which gives paypal entirely too much power over/access to your checking account. (See paypalsucks.com for all the reason that you really don’t want to do that.) Even if I was “confirmed”, the shipping address would have to be different than the billing address. We have a “private mailbox” at a store that offers that service, because we live in the city, and if UPS or FedEx left a package at our door, it would be stolen nearly instantly. The PMB receives our packages and holds them for us; it’s secure, convenient and inexpensive. A very legitimate reason to have a PMB, but apparently makes paypal suspect fraud. Screw ’em.
Isn’t there a reseller in the US that can sell me this thing without screwing around with eBay, paypal, and importing stuff from China myself, without ripping me off for over 3x the price while lacking important features?
So. All I want for Christmas is a legitimate US-based vendor to sell me a K-to-EOS mount adapter with focus confirmation chip. (Or, failing that, someone to get one for me. 😉 )