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09-23-2007, 09:16 PM   #1
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Spoiled by old SMC glass! Unhappy with new zoom.

I recently shot a soccer game with an old Pentax 135 3.5M as an experiment. Now I'm really depressed about my "modern" zooms. The only new lens I've seen that compares is the new DA 50-135, which is WAY out of my budget. My current "modern" long lens is a Sigma 70-300 APO DG 4-5.6. When post processed with some sharpening, contrast, and saturation adjustments it comes close to the SMC "look" but just doesn't quite get there in regards to sharpness. The 135 was sharp enough that I could crop it down to an effective 200mm and still beat the Sigma IQ.
Would a 1.4 TC still leave the advantage to the 135?
How does the famed Pentax 70-210 F4 A compare to the 135?

09-23-2007, 09:44 PM   #2
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Jason

I do not have any experience with the A70-210 but I could suggest going with the M 200 F4. It still can be found fairly cheap.

For a zoom the M 75-150 F4 performs really well also. They are both relatively light for their focal lengths. They are both about the same size overall.
09-23-2007, 10:01 PM   #3
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Just for a visual:

M135:
Focus on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
SoccerFun on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Sigma APO DG 70-300:
IMGP7561 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Sigma Soccer on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
09-23-2007, 10:07 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rico Quote
Jason

I do not have any experience with the A70-210 but I could suggest going with the M 200 F4. It still can be found fairly cheap.

For a zoom the M 75-150 F4 performs really well also. They are both relatively light for their focal lengths. They are both about the same size overall.

I have to admit, getting to at least an "A" would be nice. The manual focus is not a biggy - my day job is in pro Video so I'm used to using manual focus AND being dead on 99.9%. If only video and camera lenses didn't focus in opposite directions! Throws me every time until my motor memory "gets" it.

09-23-2007, 10:27 PM   #5
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QuoteQuote:
I have to admit, getting to at least an "A" would be nice.
I know the feeling. There is an A version of the 200mm prime. I wish there were an A version of the 75-150.

Wow that is a big difference between glass in your comparison. The 135 looks so natural.

Another alternative is the DA 50-200.
09-23-2007, 10:37 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rico Quote
I know the feeling. There is an A version of the 200mm prime. I wish there were an A version of the 75-150.
Yep, that A version is really desirable. Probably out of my $$$$. I'm starting to realize that they ARE worth it.

QuoteOriginally posted by Rico Quote
Wow that is a big difference between glass in your comparison. The 135 looks so natural.

Another alternative is the DA 50-200.
I played around a little with the DA at a local shop - and did find that it had a slight sharpness edge on the non LD DI Tamron there. I'm not sure if it will get me where I want, which is a DA 50-135 within my budget.

I might revisit them for a shootout with my Sigma. Anyone interested in a trade for a DA?
I'd hate to give up the extra range and "macro", but I'm kinda a sharpness freak it seems.
09-24-2007, 05:55 AM   #7
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no exp. with the 135/3.5 but the A70-210/4 is a great lens. i don't think you could go wrong with it. especially for the price. i find only 2 gripes about it and that's the zoom creep and no tripod mount. it's also built like a tank and would inflict serious blunt trama wounds.
09-24-2007, 07:54 AM   #8
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a70-210

I have an A70-210 and consider it one of life's great bargains. It is bigger than the 50-200 kit lens but is faster, sharper and with better color and contrast. Bokeh is not bad but not spectacular. It is not in the same league as the FA*80-200 but I feel the IQ is on a par with my Tamron 28-75. It generally goes for around $100 or less these days so it is hard to go wrong. I've attached a sample. Dave

09-24-2007, 08:15 AM   #9
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M 135/3.5

I also own the 135/3.5, I bought it locally as a "hold me over" lens while I save for a nice telephoto. Now I'm not sure I'll replace it. I may just by a 200/4 and an old tele-converter.
09-24-2007, 08:29 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by matiki Quote
I also own the 135/3.5, I bought it locally as a "hold me over" lens while I save for a nice telephoto. Now I'm not sure I'll replace it. I may just by a 200/4 and an old tele-converter.
Don't let the secret get out until we've snatched up all the old glass we desire.
09-24-2007, 08:50 AM   #11
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I used to have a 135/3.5 M lens, but sold it to a friend years ago because I wasn't using it that much. Now, in the digital age, I'd love to have it back. For it's size, it was a very sharp lens. I've been on the lookout in the pawnshops for a replacement.
09-24-2007, 01:29 PM   #12
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i just did a non-scientific test with thr 70-210/4. the first riow is at 70 mm and f4,f5.6,f8,f11, f16
second row is at 120mm same f-stops
third is at 210 at same f-stiops but i missed f5.6.

oops: forgot the link:
JalBUM
these are large files shot at jpg 4 *** about 1meg each.
i's an astonding lens across the range.

Last edited by roy; 09-24-2007 at 01:39 PM.
09-24-2007, 02:44 PM   #13
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135mm available for less than $50 on ebay

Since I have one I don't mind letting people know they are going for peanuts on ebay. A friend that is new to this forum picked one up for $30 yesterday. As for the rest of the primes, will you people stop talking about them until I fill out my needs for a reasonable price.

As far as zooms are concerned, I've got the A 70-210 and the A 35-105 and firmly believe I'd have to go to the new SDM lenses to equal the quality of these two lenses. And yes when it comes to walk around zooms the "A" is nice. That being said, if I have the time I still pull out the old primes.

Regards,

Ken
09-24-2007, 03:23 PM   #14
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Add me to the list!! I borrowed a 135/3.5 from Ken (see above ) when I first got my k100d. I thought for sure I wouldn't like using a manual lens since I am a TOTAL newbie to SLR (D or otherwise!). My first day out with that 135 and I practically had to stop wiping the drool off my chin the pics were so contrasty... bokeh so buttery... LOVES IT!!!!

I have put my kit lens on ONCE since trying primes and ripped it off within minutes in disgust when I wasn't getting that sharp contrast and great bokeh. I also hated how long the autofocus took... I can manual focus way faster...and quieter!!

...and not to brag or anything.... but I was the one who got that one for $30 Ebay yesterday

Last edited by lapeen; 09-24-2007 at 03:38 PM.
09-24-2007, 03:34 PM   #15
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Haha way to go Colleen! Its a bit tragic to how so many people are swept into the Autofocus Bandwagon nowadays. Nice to see another that sees the merit in manual focusing!
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