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09-04-2007, 03:29 AM   #1
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Good MF A walkaround zoom

I'm looking for a good old manual focus lens in 28-100m range with A setting. What would You suggest?
I had a bad luck with Tamron 28-75 and it's going to travel to Tamron EU service, but now I need something, that I could call a walkaraound lens. All I need is A setting, exceptional wide open sharpness for a good price. I don't shoot landscapes, so 28-35 is wide enough for me.
I've read that Pentax-A 35-105 is fantastic lens. But it's not easy to find a good sample in ebay.
Vivitar S1 35-85 F2.8? (word "varifocal" scares me, but if it's good lens...)
Pentax 28-70 F4? (I've heard many good comments about it and I could live with sloppy focussing ring and auto focus)
What are other choices? I don't care about max aperture, I just need maximum sharpness for good price and a good old lens build quality would be realy great as I'm a manual focus lover.
Perhaps You have something good in drawer, that You don't use on digital body anymore? Make an offer!

Best regards!

09-04-2007, 04:46 AM   #2
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all three you listed are good. you might try the vivitar or kiron 28-105 also. i don't know if they have the A setting. mine does not.
09-04-2007, 04:47 AM   #3
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oh, the 28-85 and 90 are also very good.
09-04-2007, 05:20 AM   #4
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I was just waiting for lord of the vivitars, Roy
Have You heard something about S1 35-85/2.8

Here are S1 zooms Zoom Lens , but it is realy hard to see if there is an A setting or not. I have Vivitar 70-210 3.5 and I'm a bit tired of stop down mettering, thats why I'm looking for an A lens. So Vivitar 28-105/2.8-3.8, 28-85/2.8-3.8 superb, Kiron 28-105/3.2-4.5 superb are without A? And why 28-105 vivitar is not Superb ?
Roy, what would You choose if You were me?

What are other cheap, but good IQ zoom choices; pentax-a, tamron adaptall...?

09-04-2007, 05:39 AM   #5
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I would recommend smc Pentax-A 35-105/3.5 and smc Pentax-A 70-210/4 if you don't mind the weight.

I used to own both lenses and both are very very nice and sharp lenses wide open. I sold them because they are a little heavy for me.

cheers
Kenny
09-04-2007, 11:09 AM   #6
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What about Pentax 28-105 f/3.2-4.5

Is that a good walkaround lens from Pentax? It costs $199 from buydig.com and I seldom hear comments on this lens.

And all suggestions in this thread are very interesting to me as I am looking for replacement of walkaround lens. My criteria is sharpness and light weight at the same time. Other alternatives as mentioned include Tamron 28-75 and Sigma 17-70 but my budget seems to favor the Pentax one.

Thoughts and comments are appreciated.
Hin
09-04-2007, 02:44 PM   #7
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I would second the thougths about the SMC-A 35-105/3.5 I´m not a zoom guy, but this one is about as good as a zoom gets if you´re looking for manual focusing lenses. Macro featueand all.... Too bad it´s not much of a wide on DSLR´s.

// Mats
09-04-2007, 09:55 PM   #8
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Thank You, Mats! Now I only have to find a good A35-105. What would be a reasonable price for it?

09-05-2007, 03:56 AM   #9
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Haha the Varifocal ain't too bad but you need a good eye. Varifocal is where your focal scales change with zoom length. So in practice, you can't 'zoom in' to check focus and then zoom out to the desired setting.

I have the S1 28-90 (with a loose 2nd element..it likes to rattle haha) but the colours and sharpness is top notch. Its really hard to find this lenses now as the surge in K-Mount as almost certainly cleared any BINs and any left over are running into the triple digits for auction.

I heard that Leitz(aka Leica) ended up buying this design and thats when the stovepipe fever died off. I think its sitting in their R 28-90 ASPH lens right now probably with some modification. The S1 28-105 2.8-2.8 from Cosina's also a pretty good bet.

Later era S1 28-90s have the "A" setting. (Standard on the S1 28-105)

I second what kjao said. I have the SMC Pentax-A 70-210mm too and it's a solid performer. More of these and its Cosmicar rebranded cousin, CPC Phase II 70-200/4, floating around on ebay than a Vivitar S1 70-210 haha.

Both the S1 28-90 and the SMC-A70-210/4 weigh into the 600-700g area so your camera bag is going to get heavy fast!

Last edited by FotoPete; 09-05-2007 at 04:01 AM.
09-05-2007, 04:30 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by FotoPete Quote
Haha the Varifocal ain't too bad but you need a good eye. Varifocal is where your focal scales change with zoom length. So in practice, you can't 'zoom in' to check focus and then zoom out to the desired setting.
That's what I'm affraid of. perhaps it's not so bad, but i've never used such a lens.

QuoteOriginally posted by FotoPete Quote
Both the S1 28-90 and the SMC-A70-210/4 weigh into the 600-700g area so your camera bag is going to get heavy fast!
It's ok! I'm a strong guy . I can walk araund all the day with k10 and vivitar S1 70-210 hanging on my shoulder, so heavy medium zoom wouldn't be a problem.

As I understood it is realy hard to find 28-105 range vivitar with A setting, Isn't it? And Vivitar Series 1 2,8/35-85 which I'm looking at in ebay is without A too (can't see it in photos).
Got to find a good smc-a! Who has an unnecessary Pentax-A 35-105 ?
09-05-2007, 07:18 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by skaktuss Quote
Thank You, Mats! Now I only have to find a good A35-105. What would be a reasonable price for it?
I guess a nice one would set you back between 75 to 100 bucks on fleabay. I´ve seen some go for much less than that and if you´re in for a workhorse, it might be a good idea to get one that have seen some use, as long as the optics are fine.

// Mats
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