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08-17-2010, 09:32 AM   #1
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JC Penney 135mm - and another lens question.

I have an opportunity to purchase a JC Penney 135mm lens?. The markings are =55, no 799997 1:2.8 = 135mm.

It had a Takumar lens cap on it (miscapped?).

It looks really nice, dust on the outside lens but other then that seems perfect.

However (and it is something I have noticed on other pawn shop lenses) the apeture control (pin?lever?) device seems slightly bent. Is this normal?

The lens itself is $15. Seems like a win win even if that is slightly bent. I played with settings and it all seemed smooth.

There was another lens there that for the price seemed nice also... however one of the 3 ridges (yes im probably using the wring terminology) had a knotch in it. Is that actually a Pentax lens? It was I believe made by Vivitar.

Thanks for any advice.

08-17-2010, 09:53 AM   #2
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Take your K-mount body to the store and try 'em - just don't mount any lens that has a spring-loaded pin not found in the same position on your pentax lenses.

Make a few pictures at one stop above max aperture and judge for yourself.

H2
08-17-2010, 10:12 AM   #3
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I've now used the auto-aperture version of the JCP 135/2.8 for 23 years.

JC Penney 135mm f2.8 Multi-Coated Lens Reviews - Pentax Third-Party Lens Review Database

I like the lens quite a bit even though it won't mount directly to my K200D because of the aperture lever protector ridge thing. It's definitely worth $15 if you have a means for using it. It's a wonderful lens (focal length and function) on my old film Pentax camera.
08-17-2010, 11:17 AM   #4
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I saw that BGrace but it didnt look like the lens I was thinking about. All my marking were on the inner part of the lens lip.

Yours appear on the outside.

meh I will buy it anyway and repost with pictures.

Thanks for the replies.

08-17-2010, 01:52 PM   #5
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Well I got it and it works. Now to work on my SLR skills. And it was $10!
06-17-2011, 09:36 PM   #6
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I just bought a version of this lens. It was very cheap, and my expectations were pretty low. But I really like it. Not super sharp, but it's really easy to focus, and produces some very nice colors. I got mine for $25 on ebay...definitely worth it.
06-18-2011, 10:59 AM   #7
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Have you got a photo of the lens? I'd be interested to see if we can work out it's origin. I purchased a mystery 135mm from ebay which matched the pics in the user reviews of the JC Penney. It turned out to be a Focal MC branded lens. I can confirm it is identical, and has a 52mm filter thread. It's a nice lens.

I also have a Vivitar Komine 135mm f2.8 in OM moun, which is similar, but has the 55mm filter thread. Both lenses perform similarly, the Vivitar has the edge on sharpness wide open but then the Focal is fungussed up.
06-18-2011, 02:12 PM   #8
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The USA chain stores Sears, JC Penny, K-Mart (Focal brand), often bought and rebadged photo gear from the same makers that supplied Vivitar, Porst, Albinar, and many other marketers. Sears had the greatest variety (including stuff from Pentax and Canon and Agfa, sometimes badged as Tower) while K-Mart/Focal and JC Penny had much slimmer selections. It's not surprising to see the same lens badged with all those imprints, as well as Soligor, Lentar, Hanimex, Rokinon, and various no-names.

Those USA chain stores generally had good quality standards. I have yet to encounter a BAD prime lens labeled Sears or Focal; I haven't run across JC Penny lenses yet, but I read that they're equivalent. Older zooms with store- or marketer- badges suffer the same drawbacks as most (but not all) older zooms -- technology has much improved over time, and most newer zooms are notably better than most older zooms.

Those Sears and Focal 135/2.8's are usually pretty good. The six I've had were all fine. The JC Penny is likely from the same source as those and Vivitars and Soligors. Enjoy!

06-18-2011, 04:23 PM   #9
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RioRico's said it well. The common rebadged lenses from Sears, etc, are bargains. It was hard to screw up a 28, 50 or 135mm prime in those days and the zooms weren't too bad when used with discretion either.

I've got a Sears 135/2.8 that's as good as any other 135 of that era I've tried and it lives with a 25mm extension tube attached because I know its 'numbers' so well I don't even have to think about it after 20+ years.

H2.
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