Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home

Show Printable Version Search this Thread
02-08-2012, 05:50 AM   #1
New Member

Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Tokyo
Posts: 19
What are your favorite SLR lenses for under $100?

A few months ago, I picked up an SMC Pentax K 55/1.8 for my Pentax K-x and really enjoy using it. Now I have the bug for inexpensive film lenses and I'm wondering what some of your favorites are if the price ceiling was around $100? I'm quite happy with full manual lenses. Along the same lines, I found a Rikenon P 35-70 lens (Ricoh 35-70mm XR Rikenon f/3.5 Lens Reviews - Ricoh Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database) tonight for about $50 (well actually 5,000 yen) and I'm wondering if it is worth picking up.

02-08-2012, 06:08 AM - 1 Like   #2
Senior Member

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Stockholm
Photos: Albums
Posts: 125
Oh there are many in that category, especially older manual focus lenses:

Pentax M 50mm f1.7
Tokina MF 28mm f2.8
Tamron Adaptall 80-210mm f3.8-4
Tamron Adaptall 135mm f2.8
Soligor 400mm f6.3

And some autofocus as well
Takumar F 28-80mm f3.5-4.5
02-08-2012, 06:11 AM - 1 Like   #3
Site Supporter
Nowhere Matt's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Nowhere Land
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,318
Just you wait until RioRico gets wind of this challenge. I'm afraid that anything I can add will be lost once his remarks are applied. I got an SMC-A 70-210mm for $30. That is a very nice lens for under $100 and I have taken some of my favorite images of my wife with it. Just beautiful!

I'm gonna bet that a common lens suggestion here will be one that is manual focus.
02-08-2012, 06:19 AM - 1 Like   #4
Senior Member
topace's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Stockholm
Posts: 197
Super-tak 55mm f/1.8 - Just awesome. I rarely use mine, but when I do, I always ask myself why not.

Meyer Görlitz Orestor 135mm f/2.8 - There's something about german presets that just rings with me. This 16-blade aperture monster continues to deliver impressive performance in any short tele situation.

Pentax SMC-M 50mm f1.7 - Sharper than most, a pleasure to use. Only lacks a bit in out-of-focus rendering. Otherwise they might as well have called it "Limited".

But my favorite must surely be the super-tak 50mm f/1.4 (and yes, I did get mine for under $100). Probably my sharpest 1.4, color rendering is awesome and the feel of that older-takumar focus ring gets me every time. I sometimes think about getting the eight-element version, but really, I don't see the need. Not so fun in cold weather, though. Lubricants have come a ways since the sixties.

Damn, I need to play more with my M42 gear.

Last edited by topace; 02-13-2012 at 06:21 AM.
02-08-2012, 06:26 AM - 1 Like   #5
Site Supporter
Arrvon's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Photos: Albums
Posts: 191
I will be following this thread with interest because I think I've caught the same LBA bug after picking up and using the SMC Takumar 55/1.8. What a brilliant lens!
02-08-2012, 06:31 AM - 1 Like   #6
Forum Member

Join Date: Oct 2011
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 94
Got my Pentax-A 50mm F1.4 for 75€ i.e 100$ at today's exchange rate, and I am pretty sure that it's almost impossible to find a lens with such a creamy bokeh and as much sharpness at a lower price !

Coupled with my K-5 it puts my friend's 7D to shame
02-08-2012, 06:34 AM - 1 Like   #7
Veteran Member
sterretje's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Roodepoort, South Africa
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,534
I have not paid more than US$100 for any second hand lens Below what I bought second hand and the favorites marked in blue italic

M50/1.7 @ US$30
M120/2.8 @ US$30; possibly the bargain of the century

SuperTakumar 55/1.8 @ US$60 (considered it expensive)
SMC Takumar 135/3.5 @ US$25
SuperTakumar 300/4 @ US$90

I have a pile of donated lenses and I will leave them out of the equation as I did not buy them. But one of the nicest ones is the Vivitar 55/2.8 macro (M42).

prices are converted from rands
02-08-2012, 06:40 AM   #8
New Member

Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Tokyo
Posts: 19
Original Poster
Thank you for the posts so far. Exactly what I am looking for! Along with the SMC Pentax K 55/1.8, I also picked up a Tamron 85-210 for about $10 and a Pentax 100-300 for $30. The 100-300 was in pretty good shape but the Tamron is showing a few scars from it's 30 odd years in service. Still, there is something very satisfying about using these old lenses that has me hooked. Keep the recommendations coming!!

02-08-2012, 07:03 AM - 1 Like   #9
New Member

Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 22
I'd recommend the Super/SMC Takumar 35/3.5. Small, very sharp with nice bokeh and colour rendering and, in the UK at least, can be found for under $100. The SMC M28/3.5 is also excellent (again sharp with nice colours), as is the SMC 135/3.5 (it exists in 2 K mount variations - the earlier K series is reagrded as slightly better than the later SMC M).
02-08-2012, 07:14 AM - 1 Like   #10
Site Supporter
twilhelm's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Florida
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 673
Yashica has some nice M42 lenses as well. I picked up a 50 1.4 and 135 2.8 for $28 mint condition. Love their rendering. But the K 55 1.8 is still my favorite "cheapie"!
02-08-2012, 07:17 AM - 1 Like   #11
Veteran Member
Docrwm's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Somewhere in the Southern US
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 11,275
I purchased both my ST50/1.4 and 55/1.8 for <$100 each and they are both terrific lenses.

I'd like to be a bit contrary and suggest that there are also off-brand AF lenses that are really quite good for <$100 too. I've got a Tamron 28-105 that is very sharp and has fast AF that was <$100. My Quantaray 28-90 Macro is very nice also and cost me <$40. Its the fastest AF lens I own. I'm waiting on delivery of an F35-70 that keeps getting rave reviews around here and it cost me <$40 too.
02-08-2012, 07:21 AM - 1 Like   #12
bluestringer's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Cotton fields of South Georgia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,438
Pentax M 100mm f4 Macro.........100.00..........sharpest lens I own
Vivitar 28-85 f2.8 "stovepipe".......20.00
Sears 80-200 f4............................10.00
Sigma 28-80 AF..................................15.00
Tamron 28-200 AF..............................70.00
Pentax A 50 f1.7............................25.00...............purchased with a program plus back in the late 80's.
02-08-2012, 07:21 AM - 1 Like   #13
Veteran Member

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Plymouth
Posts: 359
+1 for Tamron, I recently got a 70-210mm (the 'beercan') and it's much, much better than I expected. Also, +1 for the 50mm 1.7, that was one of the first smc lenses I got and it truly is a fantastic lens with great sharpness and bokeh. Focuses really easily too, and is great for low-light club 'n' gig photography.
02-08-2012, 07:28 AM   #14
New Member

Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 22
QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
I've got a Tamron 28-105 that is very sharp and has fast AF that was <$100.
+1 I've got one of these too that I really like. It's an excellent outdoor walkaround lens.
02-08-2012, 07:30 AM   #15
New Member

Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Tokyo
Posts: 19
Original Poster
I'm quite fond of the old Tamron lenses. I love the build quality and the Adaptall mounts. I'm still a bit fuzzy on the time ranges for Adaptall and Adaptall 2 though. I'm also curious how many lenses outside of the "Pentax family" the Adaptall mount allows for.

  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
k-mount, lens, lenses, pentax, pentax lens, ricoh, rikenon, slr lens, slr lenses
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Manual SLR lenses on D-SLR or Mirrorless AntonV Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 14 02-09-2012 01:58 PM
Favorite K-Mount Camera for Takumar Lenses Pentastic Pentax Film SLR Discussion 17 12-14-2011 02:24 PM
For Sale - Sold: Pentax Program Plus SLR, M 50/2, A 70-210/4, Ricoh 28-100/4 (US/CAN) nbu Sold Items 8 01-30-2011 12:45 AM
What are your 3 favorite lenses? Leya216 Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 56 10-04-2009 10:10 PM
Favorite lenses madisonphotogrl Pentax DSLR Discussion 19 03-14-2008 02:57 AM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:55 PM. | See also:, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]