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05-30-2011, 10:31 AM   #1
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Picked up Sears 135mm f2.8 at Flea Market Yesterday

I picked up a Sears 135mm f2.8 lens from the flea market yesterday for $15 dollars It's in near mint condition--glass is perfect.

I bought it cause it got fairly good reviews here, although this is the Macro version.

It takes some pretty sharp pictures with pretty good contrast. I am happy with the purchase. It might be all I ever need as far as 135mm go. Sometimes, under certain conditions there is a little bit of blue / purplish fringing but I can easily remove that with Photoshop I found.

The lens is a nice weight (heavy by some's standards)--14.0 oz or 395g. The focus throw is long, smooth and precise and stays put well. The focus ring has a very nice rubbery grip that just feels good on the fingers.

Some say the aperture ring is the weak point but on my copy (and this is the macro version btw, with no lens hood) it seems fairly solid to me--it moves only a hair easier than my Pentax-M and Pentax K lenses.

The minimum range is a little disappointing: around 1.5 meters.

I need to verify this but off hand it seems to do stop down metering better than my pentax m and k lenses, across all aperture settings except f22. This might be a good lens candidate for modification to make it an A lens

The following are links to pics I took with it; (I don't like how the attached images are displayed inline--they are blurry--so that is why I link them on flickr.) :

Trying out my new Sears 135mm f2.8 manual lens | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Attached are two photos of the lens.

Attached Images

Last edited by geekette; 05-30-2011 at 07:11 PM.
05-30-2011, 10:52 AM   #2
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Good buy!
05-30-2011, 11:33 AM   #3
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Great buy. Many Sears lenses are good. I think you will have exposure issues if you convert it to 'A'. Something about apertures on A lenses being linear and M lenses not, I don't remember exactly.
05-30-2011, 03:24 PM   #4
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I have had 3 different Sears 135/2.8's, each from a different maker:

* M42 (kept, made by Tomioka)
* KM (sold, because I didn't want to CLA it)
* KAR-macro (sold due to fringing, but the buyer loved its sharpness)

Your KM-macro is obviously yet a 4th version. It's probably by Samyang and probably pretty damn good. I have yet to get a Sears prime that is optically bad; many are superb. (Pentax used to make some Sears gear.) Word is getting out about Sears quality, so US$15 is a very good price for it.

No, don't convert it to an A-type. KA and KAR versions should be available.

05-30-2011, 03:37 PM   #5
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Nice buy there , I am constantly stopping in pawn shops and flea markets looking for lenses. About three weeks ago I totally screwed up and didn't have any cash on me and found a pristine K1000 with a takumar 100mm that was flawless and I told the guy I would think about it, I went and got cash and when I got back he was packed up and GONE! and this was a matter of just a few minutes, I am still kicking myself like Dale Jr last night running out of gas with the finish line right in his sights.
05-30-2011, 06:34 PM   #6
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I have an m42 version that I've used for stills and films.

I love it! It's a very nice lens. Sharp wide open with a smooth focus ring.
05-31-2011, 12:22 AM   #7
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Is that the version with the extra "macro" ring that turns on the front? If so it is a very sharp and very interesting lens.
05-31-2011, 12:46 AM   #8
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Yeah it has a macro ring; Macro Zone: 1:7 to 1:5. I haven't really done much with the macro aspect of this lens--for one thing it has a long minimum focusing range; so to me it is kinda pointless, but I don't know much about macro photography at all

05-31-2011, 12:55 AM   #9
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I have this lens too, in Ricoh mount with the A setting. I use it once in a while.
The macro ring makes the lens really dreamy and soft. Not what you want
for macro, but you might use the effect for other, more artistic purposes.

05-31-2011, 12:59 AM   #10
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Messing around with the stop down metering on this lens. For the particular subject I was photographing, at 800 ISO and wide open at f2.8, it set my shutter speed to 1/10 of a second--which was correct exposure. I then adjusted the aperture one full stop to f4 and it correctly set the shutter speed to (2 * 1/10) = 1/5 of a second--which is correct. I then moved up another stop to 5.6 and it correctly set the shutter speed to .4 of second (which is two times 1/5). So far so good.

However, I moved up another full stop to f8 and it remained at .4 of a second shutter speed (didn't change). Then I actually tried all remaining f stops--f11, f16, f22--and all have the same shutter speed of .4 of a second.

So what I am gathering from this is K-X stop down metering works up to f5.6 and anything beyond you just have to double the shutter speed for each stop past f5.6--I can do this in my head I guess.

I don't know why the K-X has this limitation. I am going to test other manual lenses now with this in mind.

UPDATE: Just tested out my K 55/f1.8 at f1.8 to f8+; same thing: correct exposures to f5.6 and at f8 and above all had same shutter speed at .4 sec. Perhaps the camera just doesn't give enough time when stop down metering.. like it reads teh light before the iris has a chance to fully close up.

Doing the math beforehand for f8 and on up gave me predictable results. For example I took a shot at f22 and calculated before hand it should be 6.4 seconds; so I set it to 6 seconds and sure enough correct exposure; f8 = .8 sec, f11 = 1.6 sec, f16 = 3.2 sec, f22 = 6.4 sec (just doubling each time).

Bleh the more I play with this with different lenses and different ISO and lighting conditions, it just doesn't make any sense. I need the formulas for all this so I can make a calculator on my iphone 4 lol. Where I punch in the reading at lowest aperture for a particular lens and it comes back with the CORRECT shutter speed for all the other f stops.

2nd update: ok sorry for all the blabbering .. umm.. I figured out the problem.. I was metering in low light conditions and there is a limit on how low of light in which the Pentax can meter. So in low light conditions, I'll just meter wide open and do the calculations in my head as increase teh f stop.

Last edited by geekette; 05-31-2011 at 01:49 AM.
06-01-2011, 03:48 PM   #11
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Another image from this sears lens.

Testing out Sears 135mm 2.8 (Made in Korea, Pentax Mount) | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
06-01-2011, 05:27 PM   #12
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Geekette, Yes it is a minimum EV limitation of 1 EV as I mentioned on your other thread.
Pentax film slr and dslr before k-7 and k-5 had a minimum metering light of 1 EV, as far as I read. I don't know about other brands
Read up on EV relationship to ISO and shutter speed. You won't even need an app.
The cameras can expose over a much wider range , as you did, but they can't set a shutter speed if light coming through your stopped down lens is less than EV 1.
06-01-2011, 07:39 PM   #13
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I bought this lens 3 years ago - snagged it for less than $30. Looked new - not even micro-scratches as far as I could see, no dust on elements - nothing. Came in the original box, with what seemed like all original packaging, wrap, Styrofoam, and original pricing from "back in the day."

Sweet lens - and solid :-)
06-01-2011, 07:54 PM   #14

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I had Sears 135mm and nice lens, a bit of PF but nothing much to complaint about.
06-02-2011, 03:44 PM   #15
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I just bought a Sears A 135mm macro for $40. A little soft wide open but sharpens up nicely with smaller apertures. Great colour and contrast, quite Pentax-like. I was surprised to find that it exposes properly. I have a couple of off-brand lenses, one A one M and they don't meter correctly.

I bought the Sears mostly to check out 135mm. I will use it in my prime kit sometimes instead of the D FA 100, with a DA 15 and 40mm Ltd. I'll also pair it with my Vivitar 28mm's just for something different. I wonder how it will get on with my Kenko 1.5X TC?

Last edited by audiobomber; 06-02-2011 at 06:47 PM.

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