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02-09-2011, 02:00 PM   #1
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Lens shootout

About a year ago I started shooting on a Spotmatic. Since then I've built up a decent selection of glass, but, to finance a recent K- body purchase and new lenses, as well as to make space, I have a few lenses I'm thinking about getting rid of, because they're redundant. Before I do, though, I want to do a shootout and see how they handle relative to eachother. What are some good subjects to test these lenses?
The lenses are
135mm F2.8 Auto-Vivitar "Bright-Band"
135mm F2.8 Petri Kuribayashi "Color-Corrected Auto"
and, in wide angle
28mm F2.5 Vivitar, Kiron-Made
35mm F3.5 Super-Takumar

I'd like to hear from anyone who has experience with these lenses. In the telephoto area, the Petri, WITH A HOOD is slightly shorter and lighter than the vivitar. With a hood the vivitar is massive. I've a slight preference for the Petri, because I have other lenses with the same filter size (58mm), which decreases the number of filters I need. I have a sneaking suspicion that the Vivitar has less flare. Sharpness is about equal, Petri handles shadow and cool tones really well.

In Wide angle I prefer the speed of the Vivitar, but the Takumar is very sharp, and much lighter and smaller. As well, it has filter compatibility with M series and other Taks. I have, in all, 4 lenses with 49mm threads, three pentax and a vivitar.

I'm a little attached to the Vivitar 135mm, it was the second lens I bought, but since I picked up the petri it rarely comes off the shelf. The Wide-angles? I could probably get rid of both and not miss them, nearly all my shooting happens with a 55mm or a short tele. I've used the Super-Tak about 7 or 8 times since I bought it, and the Vivitar, which I bought later, about 4 or 5.

Advice? Opinions? Stories of LBA?

02-09-2011, 03:09 PM   #2
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I can't comment on your 135's. I have copies of the 28 and 35. Both are quite good, the Tak35 is deadly sharp -- but neither is quite wide nor fast enough for my usual use, so they stay at home a lot. My bag usually contains a Vivitar-Kiron 24/2 and a Nikkor 35/2 instead. The Nikkor just arrived and reputedly is distortion-free and a PJ classic, but I haven't test-shot it against the smaller Tak35 yet.

I'd say that both the Viv's could be sacrificed, unless you expect to do any shooting where the 28/2.5's slightly thinner DOF could be exploited. I'll lust after the Petri, myself.
02-09-2011, 03:33 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
My bag usually contains a Vivitar-Kiron 24/2 and a Nikkor 35/2 instead. The Nikkor just arrived and reputedly is distortion-free and a PJ classic, but I haven't test-shot it against the smaller Tak35 yet.

I'll lust after the Petri, myself.
I'd be very interested in the test results, so I can mock (or perhaps hide from) my nikonian friends. Do you shoot on a Nikon, or are you exploiting the fact that Nikon lenses can allegedly be jammed onto a K mount?

Petri optics tend to be quite good, better than a lot of third-party manufacturers, and a little bit unique on color film. Something to do with the "color correction" I suppose. Too bad they're a bit rare in M42!
02-09-2011, 09:20 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by PGillin Quote
I'd be very interested in the test results, so I can mock (or perhaps hide from) my nikonian friends.
Test results will be delayed a bit due to system glitches -- like, my pictures+email laptop switches itself off after 5 minutes. So I get a 4.5 minute window to read mail, import pictures, develop RAWs, etc. Then I slam the top down to put it into standby, wait 20-30 minutes, open the lid, get another 4.5 minutes use from it (if it hasn't crashed during the last transition), slam again, ad infinitum. This slows down my workflow a bit...

I'm communicating now on an old super-laptop that is fine as long as the processors aren't called upon to do any actual work, like processing pictures. Let them overheat a little and CLICK! it switches off too. So I need a new computer -- but first I must sell some stuff -- but I can't process product shots, except in that 4.5 minute window. Bother.

[/me whines, moans, groans, bitches, cries, all to no avail]

QuoteQuote:
Do you shoot on a Nikon, or are you exploiting the fact that Nikon lenses can allegedly be jammed onto a K mount?
The latter. I've modded and jammed a few Nikon-mount lenses and haven't lost any yet. Some, like the Nikkor 85/2, needed slight surgery. Some, like the Nikkor-O 35/2, just get jammed -- after I pad-out the base a little, so the aperture ring isn't so tight against the PK mount. One of these day I'll try transplanting PK bases onto them. Yeah, that'll be Real Soon Now.

QuoteQuote:
Petri optics tend to be quite good, better than a lot of third-party manufacturers, and a little bit unique on color film. Something to do with the "color correction" I suppose. Too bad they're a bit rare in M42!
I was lucky there. I got a CC 55/8 (free!) in Petri bayonet mount whose aperture was stuck wide open. I glued an M42-OK adapter onto it and it worked just fine -- but only wide open. So I sold it for US$15 and found a an M42 Petri CC 55/8 for US$17. Yup, a great little lens!

02-10-2011, 12:20 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by PGillin Quote
About a year ago I started shooting on a Spotmatic. Since then I've built up a decent selection of glass, but, to finance a recent K- body purchase and new lenses, as well as to make space, I have a few lenses I'm thinking about getting rid of, because they're redundant. Before I do, though, I want to do a shootout and see how they handle relative to eachother. What are some good subjects to test these lenses?
The lenses are
135mm F2.8 Auto-Vivitar "Bright-Band"
135mm F2.8 Petri Kuribayashi "Color-Corrected Auto"
and, in wide angle
28mm F2.5 Vivitar, Kiron-Made
35mm F3.5 Super-Takumar

I'd like to hear from anyone who has experience with these lenses. In the telephoto area, the Petri, WITH A HOOD is slightly shorter and lighter than the vivitar. With a hood the vivitar is massive. I've a slight preference for the Petri, because I have other lenses with the same filter size (58mm), which decreases the number of filters I need. I have a sneaking suspicion that the Vivitar has less flare. Sharpness is about equal, Petri handles shadow and cool tones really well.

In Wide angle I prefer the speed of the Vivitar, but the Takumar is very sharp, and much lighter and smaller. As well, it has filter compatibility with M series and other Taks. I have, in all, 4 lenses with 49mm threads, three pentax and a vivitar.

I'm a little attached to the Vivitar 135mm, it was the second lens I bought, but since I picked up the petri it rarely comes off the shelf. The Wide-angles? I could probably get rid of both and not miss them, nearly all my shooting happens with a 55mm or a short tele. I've used the Super-Tak about 7 or 8 times since I bought it, and the Vivitar, which I bought later, about 4 or 5.

Advice? Opinions? Stories of LBA?

Test target: Tape a double page newspaper spread with lots of text to a wall. Put your camera on a tripod and move it so that the page fills the frame. Very carefully align the film plane so that it is parallel to the wall.

Use a cable release or self-timer.

Use a sharp fine-grain film like TMX or Ektar.

Run the lenses through all apertures and see what you get.

The only lens in your group that I've used is the Super Takumar 35/3.5. A very sharp, low-distortion lens. I used mine just a few days ago to copy some paintings. I don't think it would be wise to get rid of this lens as your approach may change, it's a great lens, and you won't get a lot of money for it.

Last edited by John Poirier; 02-10-2011 at 12:31 AM. Reason: grammar
02-10-2011, 12:30 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
I can't comment on your 135's. I have copies of the 28 and 35. Both are quite good, the Tak35 is deadly sharp -- but neither is quite wide nor fast enough for my usual use, so they stay at home a lot. My bag usually contains a Vivitar-Kiron 24/2 and a Nikkor 35/2 instead. The Nikkor just arrived and reputedly is distortion-free and a PJ classic, but I haven't test-shot it against the smaller Tak35 yet.

I'd say that both the Viv's could be sacrificed, unless you expect to do any shooting where the 28/2.5's slightly thinner DOF could be exploited. I'll lust after the Petri, myself.
I've used a Nikkor 35/2 quite a bit. It's sharp and low-distortion, but more prone to flare than most Pentax wide angles. A hood is a very good idea. I used to find highlight rendition when shooting slides inferior to Pentax as well. Highlights tended to be excessively contrasty. Looked good on a light table but not so good when printed.
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