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01-31-2011, 03:28 PM   #1
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best 135mm 2.8 for under 100$

Hey all,

I am looking for a 135 2.8 wich I could find on ebay for less than 100$ Wich one should I get, or should I place a lot more and save for a new pentax lens???

Tx a lot.

01-31-2011, 04:04 PM   #2
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I would look at Soligor and Vivitar. If you're into M42, Petri is decent. I have a Petri and a Vivitar and they both perform well, and my friend's Soligor (which looks just like, and may be, a Petri) is superb. It has Multi-Coatings.
But it's hard to go wrong with Vivitar, and, though I've not used one of their 135mms, Ricoh makes a good lens. If you're using a Digital, just watch for the
Ricoh Pin".
01-31-2011, 04:36 PM   #3
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Sears marketed a number of different 135 2.8s. Some with and some without an A setting. Some even have a pseudo macro mode. You can get one for less than $50.

The Auto Makinon also gets a high rating in its two reviews here.

Makinon 135 f2.8 MC macro
01-31-2011, 04:49 PM   #4
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My 135/2.8 keepers bear the names Sears, Focal, Opticam, and Rokinon, and none are bad. My Pentax Takumar Bayonet 135/2.5 was well under US$100 and while it's despised by some Pentaxers because it's not SMC, it's still better than much of the competition.

My 135/3.5 keepers are named Enna, Hanimar, Pentax-M and S-M-C Takumar, and none are bad nor cost anywhere near US$100. Vivitar is still reasonably cheap; prices on Ricoh and Sears are rising -- within the last hour I sold a PKM Sears 135/2.8 for US$45.

There's a history here. In the film era, 28-35-50-135mm were the most commonly-made focal lengths. Competition was fierce. Makers of cruddy lenses in those focal lengths, failed. So it's hard now to find a bad FF 135 lens. And don't forget to check the Russians.

02-01-2011, 02:52 AM   #5
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Why rule out the many excellent (and cheap) 135/3.5s? I think you'll find any affordable 135/2.8 or 135/2.5 will be rather soft wide open, so I don't think you'll be gaining much. Whereas the S-M-C Takumar and CZJ 135/3.5s (for example) are very sharp at all apertures.
02-01-2011, 06:16 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
My Pentax Takumar Bayonet 135/2.5 was well under US$100 and while it's despised by some Pentaxers because it's not SMC, it's still better than much of the competition.
I completely agree. I have used the f2.8 version of this lens and it's a fantastic tool for the price. It lacks some of the contrast of higher-end Pentax glass, but it's sharp and reliable. For under 100$, it's a great lens.
02-01-2011, 07:28 AM   #7
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I went on a search for a 135mm lens for my M42 kit a while back, and among other things read the posts in the 135mm lens club.

At present, I have 4 135mm lenses, the most expensive, aquired in 2007, was an SMC (K) 135F2.5. This is arguably the best 135 out there, but you won't find it anywhere near the price I paid now.

In looking for an M42 lens, I stayed away from the SMC Taks because I wanted something different.

First lens was a Rikenon 135F2.8 with 6 blade aperture. This lens has/had a serious reflection issue with the sensor, forming bright low contrast donuts in the middle of the frame. I ultimately tracked this down to a shinny black (not flat black) ring holding the rear group into the lens. I painted this flat black with acrylic craft paint, and the problem is gone. Other issues with this lens are it has a red-orange color cast, which is not natural, the 6 blade aperture collapses somewhat irregurarly into a semi triangle, and at any aperture it is 1 stop slower (based on shutter speed comparison) to any other 135 I have. It for me is a recommended NO BUY, even at the $35 I paid (not counting shipping)

Second lens I bought is a Tele Lentar 135F2.8 preset. This lens has a 15 blade aperture, and is very very sharp. Makes a great all round portrait lens for situations (outdoor mostly) where distance permits. Paid $60 for it and it is worth it. The other interesting thing, is (I think) the placement of the Iris at the front of the lens leaves the OFF rendering different than later designs. It seems at each aperture to have better foreground (in focus) to background (out of focus) seperation. If you can get one, I would recommend BUY

Last M42 lens I bought, was only because of the price. SMC Tak (remember I said I didn't want one) 135F3.5, plus SMC Pentax Skylight, and 15-30mm variable focusing helix all for $40. It is a good little lens, but I would rate it in sharpness only equal to the tele lentar, although I am sure that the coatings make it better in flare.

If you find an SMC tak for a price like that it is worth it, and usually these can be had for $60-100 because they are quite common
02-01-2011, 08:57 AM   #8
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I have a Yashica DX 135/2.8 that takes quite good pictures, very sharp stepped down (~5.6). Came with the original case, caps, UV filter, and even has a built-in hood. Cost $15 including shipping. Looks sharp too, chrome barrel with black hood and focus ring.

Also have a Rexitar 135/2.8 preset that I got as a part of a Spotmatic bundle on fleabay. Unfortunately, it has some fungus (which I'll try and fix this summer when the sun returns), but even then it's pretty sharp stepped down. Probably similar Lowell's Lentar, as it has 15 blades too. (I also have a Lentar 28/2.8 panda that I got as part of that bundle, and it's a neat lens).

I've seen NIB Pentacon 135/2.8 on ebay in the past month or so, IIRC the seller wanted $75 for them, had like 4-5 for sale.

02-01-2011, 09:20 AM   #9
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There's a clean m42 Takumar 135mm 3.5 available in town for $25. (preset aperture) Is there anything special about this formula? I'd be using it with digital and B&W film. I already have the equivalent Super-Tak.
02-01-2011, 09:38 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by c a sugg Quote
There's a clean m42 Takumar 135mm 3.5 available in town for $25. (preset aperture) Is there anything special about this formula? I'd be using it with digital and B&W film. I already have the equivalent Super-Tak.
the preset might give different bokeh

see my comment about the tele lentar. I have 3 presets at present, a takumar 200F3.5, the tele lentar 135F2.8 and a vernon-edonar 105F2.8, all have round apertures and different bokeh than newer non preset lenses which have less blades (i am sure for faster response) and a position more to the rear of the lens, for automatic action.
02-01-2011, 02:57 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
So it's hard now to find a bad FF 135 lens.
Well, I must be an overachiever then!

I picked up an M42 mount Accura Diamatic 135/2.8 a year or two ago at a photo swap meet for $5. I think the glass is uncoated -- or badly coated -- in that it reflects white light right back at me when I look at it.

I ended up taking it apart, with extreme prejudice. I wanted to see how the focusing helicoid and aperture mechanism worked, and that alone made it worth the $5. Good thing, because the pictures sure didn't -- not very sharp, low contrast, lots of flare.

The front elements now sit on my desk at work as a paperweight/magnifier.

Highly unrecommended.
02-01-2011, 03:50 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Quicksand Quote
Well, I must be an overachiever then!
I picked up an M42 mount Accura Diamatic 135/2.8 ...
Highly unrecommended.
Note that I also said: Competition was fierce. Makers of cruddy lenses in those focal lengths, failed. I guess Accura is one of those extinct luzers. Hmm. I'll have to check how bad my Accura Diamatic 28/2.8 is. Still need to do a shoot-out of my 28's. All 15 of them. Yow.
02-01-2011, 04:28 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Quicksand Quote
Well, I must be an overachiever then!

I picked up an M42 mount Accura Diamatic 135/2.8 a year or two ago at a photo swap meet for $5. I think the glass is uncoated -- or badly coated -- in that it reflects white light right back at me when I look at it.

I ended up taking it apart, with extreme prejudice. I wanted to see how the focusing helicoid and aperture mechanism worked, and that alone made it worth the $5. Good thing, because the pictures sure didn't -- not very sharp, low contrast, lots of flare.

The front elements now sit on my desk at work as a paperweight/magnifier.

Highly unrecommended.
QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Note that I also said: Competition was fierce. Makers of cruddy lenses in those focal lengths, failed. I guess Accura is one of those extinct luzers. Hmm. I'll have to check how bad my Accura Diamatic 28/2.8 is. Still need to do a shoot-out of my 28's. All 15 of them. Yow.
I'll have to try my Accura Diamatic 135/2.8. I got one along with a Sunset 35/2.8 and a Super-Tak 50/1.4 8-element. The Sunset is interesting in that it was made in 1987 and the Accura is interesting in that it uses the Y/S interchangeable mount.
02-06-2011, 10:26 AM   #14
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I sold my Sears 135mm and think that I made a mistake. The good thing is that you can still found it in ebay for less than $30.
02-07-2011, 06:26 AM   #15
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My Sears 135 cost less than $25 on ebay and it is a solid piece of glass.
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