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03-04-2011, 09:43 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Prox-iee Quote
pricewise, the best bang for your buck is the sears 135mm 2.8
Unfortunately, there is no "the" Sears 135, just as neither does "the" Vivitar 200/3.5 exist. I currently have different Sears 135/2.8's in M42 and KM mount. And I had another (different yet) in KM mount with a 'macro' lens-extension feature, which I sold. For US$45, a good price (for me). Sears, like Vivitar and other jobbers, distributed glass made by several leading lensmakers, and these varied over time. Almost all Sears primes I've encountered have been quite good, sometimes extraordinary values. I sold the 135 because it had more fringing than I liked, but the buyer was quite happy with its sharpness.

But as was pointed out, the OP made no mention of a Sears 135, so all this is irrelevant. Bother.

Last edited by RioRico; 03-04-2011 at 09:50 PM.
03-06-2011, 08:25 PM   #17
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Hi all,

thank you for your time to post here.

I don't have this focal length and i wanted to own 1.
Here's my list of lenses for your reference/info...

M28 2.8
Super Tak 3.5 3.5
A 50 1.4
Super Tak 55 1.8
135??? (last focal length i wanted)
18-55 kit
Sigma 70-300

My priority is really the IQ of the lens but shouldn't go beyond $60. I guess i am still in the range of these lenses except for the CZ which is about 100+ here and the K 135 (have not seen this lens in my life more so the price that goes with this Legend...

I am now leaning on the Super Tak (without the 4 on the aperture ring) and M135 respectively.

I am also including into the list this 2 lenses

Vivitar 135 2.8 and Sears 135 2.8

03-06-2011, 09:31 PM   #18
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OK, from your updated list, here is my opinion/ranking:

* The SuperTak135 and M135 f/3.5 are sharpest
* The Sears, Vivitar, Pentacon and Rikenon may be next best
* The Focal, JC Penny, Revuenon, and Quanteray (Tamron) aren't far behind

Those are all decent lenses. The Pentaxes are slightly slower but probably better for image quality, and will probably cost a little more. The others are probably from the same lensmakers, and will probably all be bargains. It is difficult to find a *bad* 135mm lens. But those Pentaxes are little gems.
03-06-2011, 11:07 PM   #19
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The M 135 has a longer MFD than other 135s - probably a tradeoff to achieve small size. It also produces PF easily.

I would suggest the Jupiter 37 - an excellent lens all around. Of the original list, I'd maybe pick the Rikenon - I was impressed by the quality of Sears lenses and they are supposedly made by Ricoh for Sears.

03-07-2011, 01:23 AM   #20
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M135f3.5 has stunning results between f5.6-f8. Beautiful bokeh, very very sharp, superior color rendition compare to zooms, small and compact size. My to-go lens in this focal in day light.
05-02-2012, 01:37 PM   #21
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The Jupiter

Just to confuse followers of this thread (!), I would like to mention Jupiter 37A, an M42 Soviet lens (135mm f/3.5) which is said to share its formula with a Leica of the same length. My copy turned out to be a lot better than the ones I compared it (a Takumar and a Pentacon). It is MC and sharp wide open. The rendering of out of focus highlights is simply beautiful. I am planning to test it against my DA Star 50-135mm (with dead SDM) at 135mm. It sure is going to be an unfair test; I just don't know unfair for which!!!
05-03-2012, 05:39 PM   #22
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My Choice For $60.00

Here's a football photo taken by panning with the M 135 f/3.5 @ f5.6.
Pentax K10D, M 135 f3.5 @ f5.6 1/350s ISO 100 - rbefly's Album: rbefly photos -
There's a slight motion blur on the ballcarrier's hands, but check the I.Q of his face and the insigna on his uniform and helmet. I just wish I'd set it for f4.5 and a half-stop faster shutter speed!
I see these regularly on eBay for under $75.00.
05-04-2012, 12:52 PM   #23

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I have the Vitivar 135mm F3.5. Good and quite cheap.

Vivitar 135mm F3.5 - a set on Flickr

05-04-2012, 02:26 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by bc_the_path Quote
I would like to mention Jupiter 37A, an M42 Soviet lens (135mm f/3.5)
+1 for the Jupiter, a very fine lens indeed. This is my review. Probably not the best 135 there is (which one is though, and by what metric?), but without a doubt one with a fantastic price/value ratio.
05-04-2012, 03:19 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
AFAIK the takumar and the M series lens are identical optically though the M series lens will be much quicker to use due to it having a K mount attached without having to use the frustrating M42 adapter, The two pentax lenses are likely to be the best of the lot even though they are a 1/3rd of a stop slower.
But the Takumar will let you use Av and TAv modes without stop down metering, so for me that trumps needing an adapter.
I haven't used my SuperTak 135/3.5 much on its own, but I love putting it on extension tubes.
05-04-2012, 11:43 PM   #26
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I had a Rikenon XR 135/2.8 that was quite good but heavy, which I swapped for the M135/3.5. That one was/is quite nice though my copy needs a click or two below wide open to shine. The 'trouble' is my Rikenon XR 70-150 f/4 - its IQ is as good and it's much more versatile for just a bit more bulk, so the 135 stays home. And the zoom cost right around $60.
05-05-2012, 09:48 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by subtle_goat Quote
It probably won't make any significant difference - 135mm is not a difficult focal length by any means.

I would choose either of the pentax, just for the reliable colour rendering. The m series in particular is a tiny lens with wonderful rendering.

100% agreement with subtle_goat. 135mm is just not a technically difficult lens. My copy of the M135/3.5 is quite sharp wide open, and I love the small size. It gives me room for another lens in my bag.
05-05-2012, 05:33 PM   #28
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I doubt there is a bad lens in the bunch but I typically pick the older Pentax lenses because all of them are very good and they are compact. The Sears lenses that I have are tanks for example. The M135 is very easy to handhold and as a bonus it contains its own hood. You might want to consider the M100/2.8. 135 is pretty long on APSC. You really need to back up if you want to take anything more than a headshot but I really like it for candids though.

Here is a shot wide open with the M135.

The takumar is also a good lens but it's heavier and M42 isn't that convenient.
05-07-2012, 09:44 PM   #29
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My gold standard of 135s is the Jupiter-11 135/4, slow and deadly sharp and pretty small. But nothing quite matches the big S-M-C Takumar 135/2.5.
05-07-2012, 11:53 PM   #30
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+1 for the M135 3.5

I picked it up dirt cheap and was plenty surprised with the fantastic IQ.

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