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09-01-2010, 09:49 PM   #1
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Which MF prime for how much? (28 mm & 135 mm)

Dear All,

Just to play around I want to buy two "cheap" fast primes to play around with.
- Cheap is relative, so let me set my bounderies. I want to pay more for a faster and better lens up to a maximum of about 150 USD/Euro per lens.
- Both to be used on K-x next to kit-lens(es) and a new autofocus 50 mm F1.4

This is what I found so far (in Japan):
PENTAX SMC-A 28mm F2.8 for 120 Euro
PENTAX SMC-M 135mm F3.5 for 80 Euro

Are this reasonably good picks for a reasonable price?
- Hmm, just noticed the 28 mm lens is already sold...
- Or can you advice me to look for something else (which are typically available on the market)?

Some more questions are signing around in my head (having read a good about on threads on manual lenses on this forum):
  • What is effectively the benefit of A over M versions?
    • Newer lens is generally better...
      • But faster stopped down gives more flexibility)
    • With an A lens the camera can control Aperture, right? But what does that effectively mean?!?!?!
      • No delay / workaround needed on metering
  • How do m42 mount lenses work on K-x? Totally not?
    • Adapter but same manual functionality as K or M lens?
Hmmm, I also noticed Zeiss lenses (also 28 and 135 mm, both F2.8), effectively bidding not started yet, but how much would those go for (would I make a chance with my "budget")?

Thanks for your feedback,

Joep

09-01-2010, 11:27 PM   #2
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Controlling aperture means you can use any exposure mode with an "A" lens. With an "M" lens, it's "M" mode only (it's just coincidences that the letter "M" was used for two different things there). See the sticky thread at the top of the Beginner's forum for more on using manual lenses. I'd also suggest you browse this site, or the net in general, to find the excellent guides that exist explaining the different types of lenses out there.

Also suggest you check out the Lens Review section of this site for opinions on those and many other lenses.

But FWIW, I think you just named the two obvious choices given your stated desires and budget. That particular A28/2.8 might be gone, but there are tons of others - it's a very common lens, pretty much always in stock at KEH.com for instance. Or get the "M" versin to save a little.
09-01-2010, 11:43 PM   #3
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Thanks, I read reviews already, but not the beginner part (where I belong, at least on this aspect).

Thanks,

Joep
09-02-2010, 06:34 AM   #4
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28mm is my favourite all-purpose focal length. There are a couple of threads dedicated to 28mm lenses here:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/56451-great-vi...-bestiary.html

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/34654-vivitar-...placement.html

09-02-2010, 07:24 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
Gosh, that is long - long story.
- But interesting, I will read it!!! (but in the mean time maybe just buy the Pentax "A" 28 mm F2.8 - that one will probably keep its value as well - oh, for less than the price mentioned above)
09-02-2010, 06:31 PM   #6
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What is your location? If you're in Japan I can point you to some places I have seen some cheap pentax. For example, the Pentax-M 3.5/135 at around $35 and some others.
09-02-2010, 09:54 PM   #7
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I am in Nagoya and via internet found the following in the Netherlands to be so far most attractive:

28mm F2.8 A 80 Euro - condition Excelent
135mm F3.5 M 60 Euro - condition Excelent
200 mm F4.0 M 75 Euro - condition Excelent

The 28 mm I am for sure planning to buy and probably one of the other two (or both).

I also went to these to internet sites (in Japanese, but less attractive offers):
MF???

??????????????????????(??,??,??,??,??)??????PENTAX

But am open for more advice

Oh, guess this would be a nice lens FA* 85 mm F1.4, but although auto focus at > 100,000 Yen "slightly" out of my budget...
PENTAX?FA?85mm F1.4???????????????????????(??,??,??,??,??)

Best regards,

Joep

Last edited by JoepLX3; 09-02-2010 at 10:07 PM.
09-02-2010, 10:05 PM   #8
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The links in above post DO work properly (but the descriptions shown are strange...).

Oh, this one is cheaper (but would also cost me only 30 Euro's in the Netherlands):
PENTAX?SMC-TAKUMAR 55mm F1.8???????????????????????(??,??,??,??,??)

09-02-2010, 10:43 PM   #9
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QuoteQuote:
If you're in Japan I can point you to some places I have seen some cheap pentax. For example, the Pentax-M 3.5/135 at around $35 and some others.
Not to hijack, but I would like to find one of those. I have had little luck in the US. I used one from c. 1980 to 1988 and liked it. I don't recall what happened to it. I would like another, and if it came from Japan that would be really neat. Currently I am using a generic Hanimex 135mm, which works well, but I would like an M/135mm.
09-02-2010, 11:17 PM   #10
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Your Post is perfectly fine (as long as you don't buy my lenses away...)

How is your Japanese? Here you can buy one online
PENTAX?SMC-M 135mm F3.5???????????????????????(??,??,??,??,??)
- 7,800 Yen excluding shipping (but state is: 並品 Appearance typically not so beautiful, but no problems with operation so not too good)
09-03-2010, 01:45 AM   #11
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Hi Joep,

Although there's nothing as personal as a 'favourite focal length', I think that if you have a kit lens already, a 135 would be much more interesting as a first (cheap) prime than a 28. The longer focal length of the 135 combined with relatively fast aperture (f/3.5) makes for nice portraits (at least outdoors, as it's rather long), while the 28 gives you a bit more speed compared to the kitlens, and that's it.

Concerning the difference between M and A lenses, I'm finding that the effective gain of the A setting depends on the lens: I tend to use my M 85/2, 100/2.8, and 135/3.5 wide open a lot, and that works in Av-mode just like A lenses. So if a lens is usuable or good wide open, and it's a focal length that I tend to shoot with large apertures, I don't bother looking for an A version.
09-03-2010, 04:37 AM   #12
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Of course the 135 mm alone is a better add-on to the 18-55 mm kit lens, but I also have the 50 mm F2.0 of my father, so three including the 28 mm F2.8 would make a nice set. (a leave the kit lens to my wife...).
- I was just wondering if these are OK primes and reasonable prices

Oh, the shop is trying to make a deal with me he also has 200 mm F4 and now offers the three of them (28, 135, 200) for 200 Euro's.
- That will get me into the price ball park mention on the lens reviews here on this forum, guess the shop has a deal, 70 Euro each (including shipping) is not to bad for a rewarding hobby (better pictures of our kids and the world they grow up in).

For the real portrait I am considering a faster 50 mm auto focus prime:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/112973-sigma-5...-f1-4-a-2.html

(or later a Sigma 50-150 mm F2.8 / Pentax DA*50-135 mm F2.8)
09-03-2010, 01:25 PM   #13
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re: M135/3.5

QuoteOriginally posted by Oro Quote
Not to hijack, but I would like to find one of those. I have had little luck in the US.
Are you serious? This is one of the easiest to find lenses around. At any given moment there are *dozens* available on Ebay, and it's essentially never out of stock at KEH.com. Most pawn shops have one or two sitting in the display case. Usual price is $50-$75.
09-03-2010, 01:31 PM   #14
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The 28 and 135 I find better than the respective "kit" zooms that cover those focal lengths, as well as being a stop faster, no bigger, and just all around very useful. The M200/4 is indeed a stop faster than a typical consumer zoom at that focal length, but it's also quite a bit bigger and heavier than the 50-200, IQ is really no better to my eyes, and f/4 isn't fast enough to get excited about, and I'm seldom interested enough in shooting at 200m to want to buy a bigger bag and carry around a 400g+ lens just in case. But heck, those three lenses for the price is great, and you can always sell off the 200 for 50 euro or so if you eventually find you are happier with a zoom.
09-03-2010, 05:13 PM   #15
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I find my 200 interesting and nice to have--although I never shoot with it--because anything longer than that is totally ridiculous on an APS-C. If longer, you're doing birding or Peeping Tom stuff, and you would want to get into 400 territory anyway for that.

In other words, to ME, 200 is the longest Tak or any other lens I would ever shlep around, and suitable for handheld. (A pain in the ASS handheld, but still doable.)

It took me 40 plus years to finally realize how useless really long FLs are for most of what I shoot. I used to think it was "cool" to have such long lenses, but generally, the results are significantly inferior to the shorter lengths.

And when you consider today's resolutions and cropping, you just don't need the ultra-long stuff.

Unless, like I said, it's birding or Peeping Tom work.
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