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12-02-2010, 02:05 PM   #1
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New Sears 135MM Lens...

I got a Sears 135MM/K mount today pretty much for free! I got it at Goodwill doing the pick and pack thing with my friend. I went to help her look for used toys. Our Goodwill has this pick and weigh room where you can go in with $5, rummage through a bunch of bins and come out with a ton of stuff? Usually we go looking for toys and stuff for her kids and my niece and she also sells some of the stuff on CL and out at the flea market.

Me, I'm always looking for good old camera bags in good shape that I can clean up and use. Today I found an old video cam bag and the lens was tucked inside a pocket! Not only that the person who'd previously owned it had put some velcro dividers in so it was perfect for a DSLR bag! It needs a good vacuum but it doesn't appear to have any visible mold, no musty smell and it was in very good shape actually for a bag that's probably 20 years old. (There was actually a tape with what I think is a beta label in the other pocket so I'm thinking it was pretty darned old!)

I also got an old canvas camera bag with a belt strap that is about the right size for my Vivitar flash, a little phone case, and another Case Logic type canvas camera bag that was probably for an old Polaroid but which will do me fine for carrying around just the DSLR with the kit lens for when I don't feel like lugging my whole *ist kit around.

Didn't exactly kill my wallet either. Weighed up, I spent just under $5 for it including the bag with the lens and all. Didn't give myself away in the store, but you can imagine how hard I was grinning out in the parking lot. The bag was perfect and that 135MM is a perfect addition to my K-lenses kit! Nice condition, no mold et all, seems to be working fine.

Looks good from the reviews too!

Sears 135mm f2.8 Auto Multicoated Lens Reviews - Pentax Third-Party Lens Review Database


Last edited by magkelly; 12-02-2010 at 02:15 PM.
12-02-2010, 02:51 PM   #2
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Oh yeah! Aren't those kind of deals so awesome? Love it!
12-02-2010, 04:17 PM   #3
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With all the respect, why the ricoh and not the takumar ?

Less cost? Well, it's reasonable. Another reasons?
12-02-2010, 04:43 PM   #4
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Why didn't I buy a Takumar? Absolutely it was all about cost. The Sears lens cost less than a buck. I'd do a Takumar, if I could afford one right now. I'd buy a wide angle, a 135MM and probably a 200MM or 300MM, all Takumar if I had the money to go there. I definitely love the 3 Takumars I own. But this lens came practically free. It fills a K mount niche. It looks like it's a bit better lens and is smaller than my M42 135MM Rikenon which I don't particularly like.

I don't have the funds to buy more Takumars at the moment. I do covet more, but they're just not really in the budget right now. I'm pretty happy with what I've got, for now. I finally have a proper Pentax DSLR in my *ist. I do have an adapter now (swap thing) so I can use my 3 Takumars on my *ist. I have a pretty good selection of K mount lenses and M42 lenses. Except for a fully working 28mm for my digital I'm set lens-wise. I have my film cameras also. I even finally have my light meter, and that was a complete and very nice surprise. I didn't even realize the P3 kit I'd bought on Goodwill had one in it!

My kit is actually looking pretty darned good considering I put it together on a shoestring budget. There's still room for the things I do want, like a K-x or K-r, more Takumars, a scanner and so forth, but I'd have to say I have at least 85% of what I feel I need at this point for my idea of a basic film/digital serious student's kit so no complaints here.

I still need to pick up a cheap 28mm for my *ist after the beginning of the year sometime and definitely one of those $50 negative scanners if I am going to continue to shoot at all with film, some lights, and studio stuff, but the rest can wait till I finish saving up for a K-x/K-r. That's my big goal for next year. To upgrade and relegate my *ist to second body status so I can start doing a bit more professional work come next summer. My mentor says I'll be ready for some portrait work by then but I'm going to need a newer camera than the *ist to go there I think. I'm going to need one with a warranty that I can rely on to be a workhorse for a year or two till I can afford a K7/K5 or whatever is in their place then. At that point I'll probably buy a basic light kit too.

I buy whatever my wallet can afford. But anytime I can get a decent lens for less than $5? You can bet I'll find the $$$ for it even if I have to raid the pet food budget and give them some of my own food that month to compensate, laugh.

12-03-2010, 05:25 AM   #5
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This Sears that you acquired is an excellent lens. I'd go as far as saying that it's among the best K-mount 135mm primes, edged out only by much more expensive lenses such as the K 135mm f/2.5 and the FA 135mm. In particular, it's much better than the Takumar 135mm f/2.5 and possibly even the M 135mm f/3.5.

Mind you, I am shooting film exclusively where the one weakness of the Sears, purple-fringing, is not an issue. The real 135mm is probably also more useful than the 200mm you will get on a crop body. Having said that, I haven't used it in a while and it might be time again. Here's my shots on flickr with that lens.

Note that the one other glaring weakness of the Sears is its diaphragm mechanism. I am now on my third or forth. The ones I had before all eventually had their aperture blades get stuck and this is a common problem regardless of whether your lens is made in Korea or Japan, whether it has a 52mm or a 55mm filter thread, macro versus non-macro etc. It seems they are all destined to fail eventually.

Cheers,
Tassilo
12-03-2010, 12:02 PM   #6
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I recently got the SMC-M and S-M-C Tak 135/3.5's, and KM Rokinon and M42 Sears Auto 135/2.8's, but haven't used them enough to form opinions. I've been using a KR Focal (K-Mart) and an M42 Opticam (2-ring presets) 135/2.8's for a couple years, and they're great. The KR Focal is probably of similar heritage as your KM Sears Auto and is a good performer, quite reliable, dead-on metering, etc. All my Sears and Focal glass is quite good. And that's being reflected in auction prices, where I've recently seen an M42 Sears Auto 55/1.4 sell for more than a Super-Tak 50/1.4. Yes, Sears is kewl now. What a world!
12-03-2010, 01:32 PM   #7
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Aside: The title of this thread had me briefly excited that Sears might be re-entering the retail SLR lens market.
12-03-2010, 02:10 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by nater Quote
Aside: The title of this thread had me briefly excited that Sears might be re-entering the retail SLR lens market.
Really?

Sears is lucky to still be in the retail market to begin with.

I think they'll be totally out of business within 2 years.

12-03-2010, 03:03 PM   #9
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I've worked for Sears twice in my life and I have to say that I agree with that assessment. If they don't get their act together they are going to go the way of the Montgomery Wards. The keep trying to update their image but you walk into the stores and it's the same old thing.

No clerks with any idea of what they are doing. No clerks around hardly. No proper customer service or merchandise that even looks vaguely current. Pricing sky high a lot of it getting to be like a high end department store, but they don't act like a high end store. It's like a bargain store but with department store prices.

The clothes are better than they were but the whole store comes off as stogy and oriented towards people over 65. Not that it's bad to want people over 65 for customers, but you're potential sales are in the ones coming up, not the ones getting older and older, and if the young crowd thinks Sears is only fopr their grandparents, and most 20 somethings do, then Sears is going to find they can't survive let alone grow the way they want to. That's a real shame because they used to be a good store known for their customer service and quality goods.

When I was a kid we shopping their all the time, but now they're lucky if they see us once in a year. About the only reason we go there is for major appliances and tools. I'd probably never go there for electronics. Why would I when there are too many places out there with better staff and lower prices?
12-03-2010, 04:44 PM   #10
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I've got that same lens, it's not bad wide open and the bokeh isn't half bad either. Focus is a pain though, need more practice

Here's one at f/2.8

12-03-2010, 05:01 PM   #11
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I got a shot of some wood chips in the garden with it that wasn't half bad. Pretty much like the pic above in terms of sharpness. What I like is how it seems to manage color. It seems nice and warm for a cheap off brand lens. The Pentax Nifty 50 1.7 beat it to shreds, but still it showed some promise. Definitely not regretting the buck it probably took me to buy it. I think I "did good" with this one!
12-03-2010, 10:45 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote

When I was a kid we shopping their all the time, but now they're lucky if they see us once in a year. About the only reason we go there is for major appliances and tools. I'd probably never go there for electronics. Why would I when there are too many places out there with better staff and lower prices?
When I was a kid the Sears was in the next town over, but it may as well have been on the far side of the moon, no more often than we were able to get over there. Always hated going anyway, since all it meant was going shopping for school clothes. In our town we had a Sears catalog store....something that strikes me so bizarre today that I have trouble believing it ever really existed. They had a very few items on display, mostly appliances and other such durable goods. But they had several volumes of catalogs containing seemingly everything under the sun. Customers would go to the counter and tell a clerk what they were looking for and be guided to the appropriate humongous catalog to leaf through. Orders would be placed and when the goods arrived the customer would be called to come pick up their junk. It was a step ahead of Lum & Abner's Jot-Em-Down Store, but not by much.
12-04-2010, 02:26 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
When I was a kid the Sears was in the next town over, but it may as well have been on the far side of the moon, no more often than we were able to get over there.
When I was a kid the Sears was two miles away down a busy street in an early 1950's suburban mall, easily biked or skateboarded to through the surrounding neighborhoods. I don't remember hanging out in the camera department and I couldn't have afforded anything there anyway.

Now I'm 500 miles from there. The county seat 1/2 hour away has a Sears catalog store one one side of town; on the other side, across the street from each other, are an always-crowded WalMart and an always-empty K-Mart, now owned by Sears. The K-Mart reputedly stays open because closing it would require an extensive toxic waste cleanup. I think Sears is looking for some sucker to buy the site and eat the costs.

But this has little to do with lenses. I have seen websites with lists of the camera models Sears sold under their logos, and the makers of those models. Does anyone know of a site with a comprehensive list of Sears-brand lenses and their makers? I know that Asahi Pentax, Tomioka, Ricoh, Canon, supplied optics at various times. A list would be nice.
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