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05-08-2011, 10:50 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
I have the S-M-C Tak 105 version and it is easily one of the best M42 lenses in my collection. amazing lens. Which did you mean??
SMC 105mm one. It's good but not the best like some of the 85mm I have used, M85/2 and 85/1.9. I got some nice pics with 105mm but I like sharp lenses and SMC 105mm does not fall into that.

05-08-2011, 02:57 PM   #17
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I can't speak for all modern K-mount lenses because I only have one recently made AF one, but my Takumars are definitely better than my Tamron. So for that matter is my old 75-300MM Vivitar when you get right down to it. My Tamron is supposedly it's a good lens in it's own right, but it in NO way even gets close to the sharpness of my older lenses. I run into more lens flare with the older lenses, true, but that's easily compensated for by using a filter or lens hood and the difference in sharpness is definitely worth the bother, IMHO.
05-08-2011, 05:33 PM   #18
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I think the issue is not are M42 lenses better or worse than modern counterparts, but more to the point, whether the design trade off's to go from manual preset lenses, to autofocus automatic aperture, and HSM lenses, have resulted in lenses that produce more pleasing issues.

Sure, lens design has "improved"? from an art to a science, with the use of computers. Lens manufacturing has "improved"? through better machining and grinding processes, element technology has definitely improved with the ability to make complex aspherical elements, and optical materials and coatings have definitely improved.

BUT in sime cases cost over quality decisions leave excessive CA, decentralization, inferior parts, etc....

the lenses today should or could be much better than they are, and much more superior over legacy lenses than they are, but failing this is why the old lenses hold such an attraction.,
05-08-2011, 11:27 PM   #19
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Generally, modern primes will be superior in terms of coatings, colour/contrast and purple-fringing. M42 and other vintage K-mount primes can be just as sharp as their modern equivalents, and bokeh tends to be independent of "era".

Regarding zooms, both eras have their problems: vintage zooms tend to be very well made, but mostly will be optically inferior (but with some exceptions, notably the Vivitar Series 1 and some Pentax M and A lenses); modern zooms, particularly the mass-market ones, won't be so well made and are prone to decentring problems (but at least will have the better coatings and colour).

I would say that, given 2 images of the same scene, I would be able to distinguish between vintage and modern in an instant - just by looking at the colour (particularly if we're talking about Pentax/Takumar lenses). All my vintage lenses - particularly the Pentax/Taks - have subdued response at the red end. This won't affect the picture if there isn't too much red in it, but if there is a significant amount of red, the result will turn out looking very cool, and low in contrast. Modern Pentax lenses excel in this area, of course.

05-10-2011, 04:34 AM   #20
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Don't forget that some modern lenses have recently been made in M42 - the Cosina-Voigtlander SL range.

I have 3 lenses in that range -

APO Lanthar 90mm f3.5
Color-Heliar 75mm f2.5
40mm f2

They're all pretty good, but I wish I'd got them in Nikon AIS. I think a few were made in Pentax K.
05-10-2011, 08:21 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
I have the S-M-C Tak 105 version and it is easily one of the best M42 lenses in my collection. amazing lens. Which did you mean??
I agree. I was actually unimpressed by the 85/1.9, and sold it, while I've held on to the 105/2.8 and don't plan on getting rid of it.
05-10-2011, 08:21 AM   #22
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I suspect some old designs are still being churned-out in M42 by Chinese factories. I got a new-in-box M42 Hanimar Preset 135/3.5 (long tube) a couple years ago and I've seen the same listed on eBay more recently, typically around US$20-25. Maybe they're just new-old stock. Or maybe they're still being produced to meet demand by cheapskates!

Last edited by RioRico; 05-10-2011 at 08:30 AM.
05-10-2011, 07:45 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote
I can't speak for all modern K-mount lenses because I only have one recently made AF one, but my Takumars are definitely better than my Tamron. So for that matter is my old 75-300MM Vivitar when you get right down to it. My Tamron is supposedly it's a good lens in it's own right, but it in NO way even gets close to the sharpness of my older lenses. I run into more lens flare with the older lenses, true, but that's easily compensated for by using a filter or lens hood and the difference in sharpness is definitely worth the bother, IMHO.
Which Tamron are you comparing against?

Paul

05-13-2011, 01:04 PM   #24
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I have the notorious Viv I and I have to say fab image quality, but the PF is something chronic at times!
05-13-2011, 06:17 PM   #25
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I sometimes wonder if I have the right one of these bookmarked since there have been a few versions of this lens from what I can tell but I do believe it's a Tamron Zoom Wide Angle-Telephoto AF 28-200mm Super Zoom f/3.8-5.6 XR Di Aspherical IF Macro Autofocus Lens like this one. It seems to match up with what the lens and the box says anyway. Unfortunately I can't take a digital pic for you right now, Izzy being down for the count and all, but when I get my K-x, I will.

Tamron AF 28-200mm Super Zoom f/3.8-5.6 XR Di Lens AF031C700 B&H

It's not a bad lens, but it's definitely not been as good on my *ist as the older Vivitar. To be fair though that perception might change once I get my K-x. Izzy was clearly having some major issues before death so it could very well be the camera that was at fault and not the lens.

Izzy did rather seem to like the Vivitar better though as far as my zooms went. My pics were definitely sharper with the manual lenses all around. I've actually been wondering now if the AF on that camera was just off a bit? By rights the digital Tamron with AF should have been better than the older Vivitar, Takumars etc, but I definitely noticed a major difference in quality between when I used the AF and when I was doing the focusing manually with the older lenses.

I don't think I ever really bothered much with manually focusing the Tamron. (I tend to use my 50 1.7 and my Vivitar 75-300MM a lot actually. Far more so than anything else.) I do want to try that more on the K-x and see if it makes any difference.

I'm not much of an AF person so I'm admittedly probably not getting full use out of my Tamron or using it to it's best capacity. Super zoom, all round lens with that range it's really meant to be used that way more I think. For me the whole idea with a lens like that is just to put on the camera and go all day, letting the camera do the work most of the time.

That's just not really me. If I wanted to use my camera like a P&S I'd probably still be using my old Fuji. I'm more of a manually oriented person who likes to fiddle with my settings a lot. I tend to mainly ignore the scene/auto modes and to do a lot of my own choosing when it comes to aperture, iso, shutter speed etc. I turn the AF off about 75% of the time and I just found that using the Tamron that way wasn't as comfortable.

It can be used manually but it's just not the same feel as sitting there manually setting a Vivitar or a Takumar. The Tamron is totally plastic by comparison and I just never seem to get quite as sharp a focus with it as I do with my Vivitar no matter what I do. It's way better than this one older 75-200 old Korean lens I have, but the Vivitar 75-300MM just kicks it's arse otherwise and that lens is probably 25 years old!

I really expected more from the Tamron lens given the reviews I've read, shug.

QuoteOriginally posted by tibbitts Quote
Which Tamron are you comparing against?[/B]

Paul
05-14-2011, 07:51 AM   #26
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Different Horses for Different Courses

I tend to think the older lenses are better than the modern counterparts based on price and this allows for multiple lenses in a kit for those on a budget.

Some of the older lenses have unique qualities and some qualities are a result of abnormalities within the lens.

Below is an example of bokeh and close focus capabilities that a $20 Helios 44-2 (58mm f2) produces.



This was taken with a Jupiter 9 (85mm f2) M39 adapted to M42. This lens was made in 1964 but still manages to hold up for this flower image in my opinion.


Last edited by stover98074; 05-14-2011 at 07:59 AM.
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