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06-20-2010, 09:09 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by JP_Seattle Quote
Thanks for all of your replies. I am going to do some testing of this lens against my Vivitar Series 1 70-210 f/3.5 (Kiron) and f/2.8-4 (Komine). I think they would be a decent match-up for the K 85-210 f/3.5 lens.

I have spoken with a couple other owners of this lens as well as a pretty knowledgeable local Pentax dealer who have all told me the lens with the included attachment filter and 2x rear adapter is worth $500-800 (depending on condition) and this one being mint would probably fall in the upper end of that.

Frederick9111 is correct, back then a zoom lens of this speed was very difficult and expensive to create, and therefore was expensive to buy. This lens was only produced by Pentax for 3 months in 1976 and the rumor is there were only 3,000 of them made. Can anyone either confirm or deny that with any evidence?

I will report back after I have had a chance to do some side-by-side testing with the Vivitar lenses.
I can only find one reference to this lens in my Pentax lens catalogues.

This one from 1976 has both versions listed of the K85-210 zoom.

Phil.

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Last edited by gofour3; 06-20-2010 at 09:17 PM.
07-01-2010, 07:12 AM   #17
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KEH currently has both versions of the K85-210 for sale:

Pentax Manual Focus 85-210 F3.5 SMC (67) WITH CAPS 35MM SLR MANUAL FOCUS ZOOM TELEPHOTO LENS - KEH.com

Pentax Manual Focus 85-210 F4.5 SMC (58) WITH CAPS 35MM SLR MANUAL FOCUS ZOOM TELEPHOTO LENS - KEH.com

Phil.
07-01-2010, 08:50 AM   #18
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No idea why I just bought that, Phil. I don't even need that focal range. Silly me.
07-01-2010, 04:28 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by hangu Quote
No idea why I just bought that, Phil. I don't even need that focal range. Silly me.
Couldn't get an image, or any details, via the top link (3.5 version)
Cheers, Pickles.

07-07-2010, 08:58 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by pickles Quote
Couldn't get an image, or any details, via the top link (3.5 version)
Cheers, Pickles.
Just received this lens because I have nothing above 135mm. Holy crap, it is HUGE! Fairly heavy too. I don't see myself using this lens often as I'm not a birder or wild life shooter....
07-07-2010, 11:20 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by hangu Quote
Just received this lens because I have nothing above 135mm. Holy crap, it is HUGE! Fairly heavy too. I don't see myself using this lens often as I'm not a birder or wild life shooter....
Nice pickup, post some pictures when you get a chance!! (Of the lens and pictures taken with it)

Thanks, Phil.
07-07-2010, 11:46 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
Nice pickup, post some pictures when you get a chance!! (Of the lens and pictures taken with it)

Thanks, Phil.
Hey Phil, well it's thanks to you that I picked up this lens. It's in great condition although one of the rings is loose. It's a 5 min fix fortunately.

It's actually bigger than my camera bag. I'm using a Slingshot 200AW and this lens won't fit in it.

It's par-focal which is great but the minimum focusing distance is atrocious. I'm not sure what exactly I'd shoot with this lens. The focusing and one touch zoom is very fun to use though.

I'll figure something out. I sold a Pentax A 70-210 f4 to finance this and I'm not sure that was the right choice. We'll see once I give this lens a test drive.
07-08-2010, 01:14 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by hangu Quote
Just received this lens because I have nothing above 135mm. Holy crap, it is HUGE! Fairly heavy too. I don't see myself using this lens often as I'm not a birder or wild life shooter....
Yes, it is a big (long!) lens...I have the 4.5 version, & it is a lot "longer", & I found it more cumbersome, than the A70/210 which I used when I had my bayonet gear.
I reckon that in some ways, it really is a "collector" type lens nowadays.....nothing wrong with the optics, just that there's probably more "usable" lenses around.
Still, I like the old screwmount stuff, that's why I've got mine.....something different than the norm.
Cheers, Pickles.

07-08-2010, 09:13 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by hangu Quote
Hey Phil, well it's thanks to you that I picked up this lens. It's in great condition although one of the rings is loose. It's a 5 min fix fortunately.

It's actually bigger than my camera bag. I'm using a Slingshot 200AW and this lens won't fit in it.

It's par-focal which is great but the minimum focusing distance is atrocious. I'm not sure what exactly I'd shoot with this lens. The focusing and one touch zoom is very fun to use though.

I'll figure something out. I sold a Pentax A 70-210 f4 to finance this and I'm not sure that was the right choice. We'll see once I give this lens a test drive.
Luckily for you camera bag you didn’t get a K135-600/6.7 zoom, there’s also a M42 version for “Pickles”.

Phil.
07-08-2010, 09:32 AM   #25
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My 300AW is on its way. If the lens doesn't fit in that bag, I'll really have to reconsider keeping this lens. It just looks ridiculous mounted on my small red K-x.

The 135-600mm would double as a baseball bat.
07-08-2010, 05:14 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
Luckily for you camera bag you didn’t get a K135-600/6.7 zoom, there’s also a M42 version for “Pickles”.

Phil.
Gofour....would you believe that when I had my LX & lenses,(& every LX accessory known to man!) years ago, I did own a 135/600 Zoom...it was the bayonet mount. I took it to the Pentax agent (C.R.Kennedy), where I got to know the service manager quite well, & he said he had only ever seen one other, which had been owned by A.S.I.O. (Aussie "Secret Service"!,...he said they used Pentax gear)
I bought it off an old guy who actually owned 2!..he had a screw mount as well.....if I had his number, I'd be speaking to him now, about the screwmount.
It's a HUGE lens, you couldn't carry it far, but I did actually take a few shots with it, & the "detail" was very very good.
Funnily enough, whilst I was thrilled to be able to buy it, & whilst I thought that $1000 Aus was good value, when I came to sell it, I had difficulty....because no-one wanted it....I wonder if the same situation exists now.
Cheers, Pickles.
07-09-2010, 08:32 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by pickles Quote
Gofour....would you believe that when I had my LX & lenses,(& every LX accessory known to man!) years ago, I did own a 135/600 Zoom...it was the bayonet mount. I took it to the Pentax agent (C.R.Kennedy), where I got to know the service manager quite well, & he said he had only ever seen one other, which had been owned by A.S.I.O. (Aussie "Secret Service"!,...he said they used Pentax gear)
I bought it off an old guy who actually owned 2!..he had a screw mount as well.....if I had his number, I'd be speaking to him now, about the screwmount.
It's a HUGE lens, you couldn't carry it far, but I did actually take a few shots with it, & the "detail" was very very good.
Funnily enough, whilst I was thrilled to be able to buy it, & whilst I thought that $1000 Aus was good value, when I came to sell it, I had difficulty....because no-one wanted it....I wonder if the same situation exists now.
Cheers, Pickles.
The K135-600 zoom would probably sell due to its unique FL range, but it may take awhile and also depends on the price. Our buddy “Kevin Cameras” had one and it seems to have finally sold, though it took over a year. I think it was priced around $1250.00USD, I considered buying it at one point but went for primes instead, K500 & K1000.

Phil
07-09-2010, 09:31 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by frederik9111 Quote
here some pictures taken with two of my FA*'s and the Dedicated Close Focus Attachement Lens of the Smc Pentax 1:3.5 85-210mm, which almost halfens the minimal focus distance.
As an owner of a K 85-210 I can honestly say that I am awestruck by these images. To put it bluntly, I have had no regard for my copy whatsoever because my tests showed it to be soft, riddled with CA /PF and a number of other issues which all worked to keep it as a collectors item.

But after seeing this, I'm wondering if I should look into having it adjusted...

PS. Most of me old Tamron's(even non SP ver) and Vivitar macro zooms, seem to run circles around the K 85-210 I have here and so I never really valued it at all tbh.
07-09-2010, 04:45 PM   #29
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I've taken a few shots with my "4.5" M42 version to make sure it "works" ok. I'm pretty happy with it, particularly the "close-up" attachment lens, which also actually works very well, although I'd reckon there'd be better ways of getting close ups than using this lens.
Cheers, Pickles.
07-09-2010, 08:47 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnBee Quote
As an owner of a K 85-210 I can honestly say that I am awestruck by these images. To put it bluntly, I have had no regard for my copy whatsoever because my tests showed it to be soft, riddled with CA /PF and a number of other issues which all worked to keep it as a collectors item.

But after seeing this, I'm wondering if I should look into having it adjusted...

PS. Most of me old Tamron's(even non SP ver) and Vivitar macro zooms, seem to run circles around the K 85-210 I have here and so I never really valued it at all tbh.

Do you have the 4.5 or 3.5? I did some test shots which I will post when I get back to my home computer on Monday against my Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm lenses (version 1 and version 3) and also against a Pentax-A 70-210mm f/4 and DA 55-300mm. I was blown away with the image quality of the K 85-210mm 3.5 lens. I have always been a huge fan of the Kiron and Komine made Vivitar Series 1 lenses and still use them regularly today in spite of owning modern AF lenses that cover the same focal range. If it was as light and compact as the DA 55-300 (regardless of it being manual focus), the K 85-210 3.5 would be my go to lens for most all of my telephoto needs. Even with the 2x K Rear Adapter, I get some great crisp and contrasty photos from it (with a K-x or Super Program).

My copy shows very little to no CA/PF and definitely not soft so maybe your copy needs cleaned or adjusted??

As for the weight and size issue.... yes it is fairly hefty but it feels more evenly distributed in front of my little K-x or Super Program than the shorter (but still heavy as a brick) Vivitar Series 1 70-210 f/2.8-4 (version 3). The weight of the K 85-210 3.5 actually helps with keeping your shooting steady when you are hand holding. If your not shooting hand-held, I guess weight doesn't really matter anyways.

My final verdict is: I LOVE IT! I was considering selling it because I have so many other lenses in this focal range and I have been offered upwards of $700 several times for my mint condition copy with the close focus attachment filter that lets it focus down to around 1.5 meters and the 2x K Rear Adapter but I think I might hang onto it, at least through the rest of summer. I know the second I would sell it, I would regret it and probably never find another copy in my life... especially not in mint condition!

I will post photos when I get home Monday. Thanks everyone for all your info and interest in this rare lens.
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