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07-02-2011, 06:01 PM   #1
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What is your worst lens?

Actually it's a double question: WHAT is your worst lens, and WHY do you keep it?

Broken lenses don't count. Lenses filled with fungi, tapeworms, sawdust, also don't count. Neither do lenses that are inappropriate for your camera, like those 8mm cine projector lenses I can't use on my K20D.

No, your candidate must be something that was made for your camera, just not made very well. It might be a dog that you bought new, or a used one where you found too late why the seller was glad to be rid of it.

I'll throw in another condition: You must still possess it. I can't list many lenses as among my worst because I've already sold or exploded them. No, I want to know WHAT dog you still own, and WHY. That's all.

I'll start with my candidate.
WHAT: Pentax SMC-A 35-80/4-5.6 zoom. Plastic lens, sloppy build, lousy optics, etc.
WHY KEEP IT: Because reversed, it's a decent macro lens. And it's not worth selling!

07-02-2011, 06:39 PM   #2
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Actually I have 2 of them

Lens 1) rikenon 135 mm F2.8 M42 mount which suffered badly from sensor reflection and 1stop slower at any focal length plus an unusual color cast

Lens 2) sigma mini wide 28mmF2.8 which has the worst CA I have ever seen

I keep the Rikenon because for $30 that I spent I just can't be bothered unloading it. The 28 I have been experimenting with lens profiles and CA correction which makes this poor performer produce very good results that plus the KA mount make it worth keeping
07-02-2011, 06:44 PM - 1 Like   #3
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My worst lens...

Tamron AF XR LD [IF] 28-300 1:3.5-6.3 Macro

Why do I keep it? I'm too lazy to sell it and it is a benchmark of bad.
07-02-2011, 06:44 PM   #4
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Haminex 35-75mm, M42. It has a really nice case and it might make a useful junker lens for a mount switch out but as lens quality goes it's only a so-so performer at best. At least it was on my *ist, but to be fair I haven't tried it on my K-x as yet and maybe I should, because I have a couple of lenses that I had basically categorized as mediocre that really surprised me once I stuck them on my K-x. This one Ricoh 135 I got a while back? I thought it was a total dud on the *ist but on my K-x it's been almost like having another lens entirely.

07-02-2011, 06:45 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by LaurenOE Quote
My worst lens...

Tamron AF XR LD [IF] 28-300 1:3.5-6.3 Macro

Why do I keep it? I'm too lazy to sell it and it is a benchmark of bad.
Really? Darn I was actually looking at one of those as an alternative to the 55-300. Is it really "that" bad?
07-02-2011, 06:48 PM   #6
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my albinar adg 28mm f/2.8 macro, super soft until about f/8

got it for 10 bucks and im too damn lazy to sell it now.
07-02-2011, 07:11 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote
Really? Darn I was actually looking at one of those as an alternative to the 55-300. Is it really "that" bad?
The build quality is there and it's a nice lens per se, but I can't seem to get good results from it. Tuesday I should have my DA55-300 in my hands. Maybe I should sell it in the marketplace?
07-02-2011, 07:15 PM   #8
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My worst is the F 35-80 f/4-5.6
It was a kit lens with my wife's P30t which she rarely used. It is a nice light weight lens and focuses quick. But it is just toooo slow (f/ stops) and not quite wide enough for my needs.
On the other hand, my least used lens is the Takumar 135mm f/2.5
It is rather redundant sense I got the DA* 50-135.

07-02-2011, 07:18 PM   #9
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I'll pick a lens from my current top shelf( I keep a selection of lenses on my top shelf above my computer) - I have wayy too many lenses that I don't like, especially amongst the 178 50mm lenses I own.

my most hated 50mm lens from pentax:

Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7 - why do you ask? it has only five aperture blades, Plastic is the dominant material in it's construction and it is softer in the corners at f/4 than my SMCP-K 50mm f/1.2

Why do I keep it? because it is much smaller than my SMCP-K 50mm f/1.2
07-02-2011, 07:21 PM   #10
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I'd have to say the Chinon 28mm f/2.8 hasn't impressed me. I suspect it isn't awful but it doesn't work the way I use it, sure doesn't seem prime-like in IQ. A distant second is my Rikenon 50mm f/2 -- not that it's bad ordinarily, but the flare with most older lenses is awful. As long as I watch what (and how) I'm shooting it's really quite nice. I've a few low-grade zooms but since I don't use them and I'm trying to sell, I don't count them.

ps - I had the Tam 28-200 and found my copy to be unuseable after 120mm or so. I chose it over a Di 70-300, regret that decision even now..
07-02-2011, 07:42 PM   #11
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I have a 135/2.8 that's pretty bad. The lens has a brand on it but the letters are either not the English alphabet, or so stylized they're unreadable. The second word looks like Sicor and that works in Google. The lens is small for a 135/2.8, looks pretty typical otherwise, good build quality, M42 mount with M/A switch. What's bad is corner sharpness. Even on APS-C the corners are squishy-soft at f8.

I still have it because I don't see any redeeming qualities to mention in a listing. I'll probably give it away for shipping costs or include it in a flat-rate box.
07-02-2011, 09:49 PM   #12
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Mine is an old Sigma 135mm manual focus. It's contrast is really not good and it is a bit soft. The reason I keep it is that it makes a great paperweight. I'm being serious about that. When people come into my office, they see it and we usually start a conversation about photography.
07-02-2011, 10:11 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by AOShep Quote
My worst is the F 35-80 f/4-5.6
It was a kit lens with my wife's P30t which she rarely used. It is a nice light weight lens and focuses quick. But it is just toooo slow (f/ stops) and not quite wide enough for my needs.
On the other hand, my least used lens is the Takumar 135mm f/2.5
It is rather redundant sense I got the DA* 50-135.

That may be my worst lens too. Just after getting my *istD all those years ago I wanted a longer zoom to complement the FAJ 18-35 that went with the the camera in those early days. Big mistake. Pretty awful IQ and build quality off the scale (at the wrong end) - a bit has fallen off the front. Why have I still got it? Inertia.

Correction. On second thoughts my really worst lens is the cheapo Sigma 18-50 that was widely popular at one time. That's still sitting around somewhere. It gives the term 'centering defect' new meaning. The 55-200 that often went with it was much better.
07-02-2011, 10:24 PM   #14
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Sigma 18-50 f/3.5-5.6
Only ever got decent results with it in the most optimum of lighting conditions.
But that's for AF.
MF, I'm not sure - the Hanimex Auto 28-80 "macro" has got to be up there amongst the worst. It wasn't even sharp at f/8.
07-02-2011, 10:47 PM   #15
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Does it have to be Pentax K mount lens?

If not, then here's my candidate;
the Canon 17-85mm USM IS lens mounted on a Canon Xti.

Fast silent AF, great zoom range, relatively portable/lightweight, very effective Image Stabilization

Optically it trails behind the other K mount lenses I own such as the Tamron 17-50mm. Vignetting distortion, and poor corners really dog this lens in the 17-28mm range. Also, the build quality is just cheap plastic zoom. The Tamron is better and it's a third party lens maker. Would I buy it again? No. But it stays in the bag though because of all the pros and I have produced some memorable pics from it.

Which goes to show, sometimes, that IQ is not everything...
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