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02-23-2012, 08:04 PM   #1
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Please recommend zooms for 35mm film camera

Hi! I just got Pentax MZ-6 camera and I would like to try film. Mostly for landscapes.

I have some Russian m42 primes, 37mm, 58 and 85mm but I would like couple of zooms for flexibility.

1. UWA. I understand there are two 19-35mm F3.5-4.5 zooms
a. Tokina AF193
b. Cosina/Vivitar/Promaster/Phoenix/Vivitar/etc
Is there a difference in IQ? If so, what is better? I found used Vivitar for $75, but Tokina is harder to find or more expensive.
There is also Pentax 18-35mm zoom for $120 but I understand that I will be limited to P and S modes and wouldn't know what aperture camera will use. I would prefer aperture ring.

2. Please recommend decent inexpensive longer zoom, up to 70-105mm (autofocus preferable). I try to keep minimum budget as I won't be using this often. My main camera is E-P3, micro 4/3.
From here
Pentax Autofocus Zoom Lenses -
is 28-80 F3.5-4.5 SMC F Macro good? I may not need macro but I though macro lenses are usually sharper.
If it's not true is non-macro 28-80mm OK?
Pentax Autofocus 28-80 F3.5-5.6 SMC FA AL (58) 35MM SLR AUTO FOCUS ZOOM WIDE ANGLE LENS -

Can I get decently sharp 16MP scans using these lenses?

Thank you

02-23-2012, 08:22 PM   #2
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Well since you can't really pixel-peep on film, as long as the lens is decent, you'll get decent shots. I'd try to get something relatively fast so that you can use faster shutter speeds also.

The Pentax 28-80mm lenses are all pretty bad:
28-80mm Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

If you want a quality zoom, get this one (it even has macro!):
SMC Pentax-F 35-105mm F4-5.6 Reviews - F Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

Or if you'd like to roll MF:
SMC Pentax-A 35-105mm F3.5 Reviews - A Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

Both are excellent lenses.

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02-23-2012, 08:31 PM   #3
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Several companies have very good 70-150 zooms, including Pentax. Mine's a Rikenon XR and it's f/4 at all focal lengths, has internal zoom and takes 52mm filters. Has a 1:4ish 'macro' as well. I paid maybe $60 for it, a real bargain.

Most zooms that with a 2:1 or 3:1 focal-length ratio give very good results, so that's a good shopping point for older models. I had a great Sakar 28-200 though, so ya never want to speak in absolutes about lenses! I also was quite happy with a Vivitar 28-105 (serial number started with 77) and a Rikenon-P 35-135; the latter two were my favorite m-focus zooms until the 70-150 came along.

I saw another Rikenon like mine at 'the auction site' a day or two ago, an f/3.5 fixed - but turns out those weigh over 700g, I'm quite happy with my little 450g lens.
02-23-2012, 08:39 PM   #4
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For landscape on 35mm film, I would suggest a 28mm prime. They are readily available, inexpensive, and most are capable of very good to excellent results. If you need to go wider, get a 24mm.

Brands? Pentax, Tamron, Vivitar, and Ricoh are good places to start. Price? Generally under $40 USD, often much less. Both my Vivitar 28/2.5 CF and my Tamron 28/2.5 are quite compact and light and are capable of fairly close focus.

Here are few film images from my Tamron 28/2.5 (02B):

...and a little pixel peeping at full resolution of a 4000 dpi on the first image (equivalent to about 13 megapixel). I would say that the Tamron holds up pretty well to the challenge of a decent scanner and a high resolution film. (Yes Adam, you can pixel peep film, though traditionally it was done with a light table and loupe )


Last edited by stevebrot; 02-23-2012 at 08:50 PM.
02-23-2012, 09:46 PM   #5
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This 28-80mm F Macro I think gets decent reviews:
SMC Pentax-F 28-80mm F3.5-4.5 Reviews - F Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
I'm just not sure if this is the same lens at KEH. Is it?
I'm new to Pentax and it's a bit confusing to see several lenses with similar names.

I'm not used to primes for landscapes so I would prefer to start with zoom. One of those 19-35mm or 18-35mm is a must for me because UWA zooms will be way more expensive for digital crop cameras.
Any recommendation regarding UWA zoom?

And then I'm used to 28-84mm equiv zooms on digital so I thought about 28-80mm Pentax. But I will certainly consider 35-105mm. And I can get 28mm prime if it's only $40. I just feel more comfortable when having zoom.
PS. I will probably be pixelpeeping 16MP scans, but not to the same degree I pixelpeep digital shots.

Thank you for responses.
02-23-2012, 10:28 PM   #6
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I have both an FA28-70 f4 and a F35-70 while I have not shot film with them yet they are decent lenses for the price. The F35-70 would take the nod for having better build quality (my fa28-70 fell apart while puting a rubber hood on), smaller (a little bigger than a 50mm prime) and a "macro" feature.

Last edited by Roob-N-Boots; 02-24-2012 at 01:37 AM.
02-25-2012, 05:15 AM   #7
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You should definitely use the chance and get an UWA lens, when using Pentax SLR. I'm quite happy with my Cosina 19-35mm, but I haven't compared it with the alternative lenses. I'd consider a 35-70 instead of a 28-80, since you'll have up to 35mm covered with an UWA lens anyway and it'll probably give better IQ and is more compact.
02-25-2012, 05:47 AM   #8
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If you are using an MZ-6, you can change/set apertures on the camera body instead of turing the aperture ring on the lens, just like we do on digital SLR cameras. So you should have no problem using the FAJ 18-35, which is pretty good UWA imo. For normal range zoom you can consider the FA 28-105/3.2-4.5 AL which is also very good quality lenses. Good thing is these lenses don't cost as much as they used to, so you can have both together for around $300 to $350. Both lenses are pretty light and compact, would match your MZ-6 nicely, especially the FA28-105/3.2-4.5.

There are a few versions of FA28-105, but only one got F3.2-4.5 aperture range, so you won't make mistake here.

02-25-2012, 12:11 PM   #9
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Thank you, all. I just ordered lenses.
I decided to start with cheaper ones. From what I read 28-80mm macro that I mentioned in the first post shouldn't be that bad. And Promaster branded 19-35mm too. Around $160 for both, Promaster is new.
28-105mm F3.2-F4.5 sells for $260 alone. 35-70mm would make me swap lenses more often.
The reason being cheap is that I don't know how film will do for me. Never shot slides, could be difficult. I'm too used to digital, will have to learn first. If everything goes well I can always buy couple of primes.
EDIT: Cancelled 19-35mm, ordered 18-35 F4-5.6 SMC FA J AL instead. Didn't realize that I would have aperture priority mode with this lens too. Should be better for $25 more.

Last edited by micksh; 02-25-2012 at 12:35 PM. Reason: update

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