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02-25-2012, 12:55 AM   #1
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Pentax m42 105mm vs 135mm

Finally got lucky and snagged me an m42 105mm 2.8. Lens takes great pictures. As soon as I got it, I thought "Wow, this will compliment my m42 135mm 3.5 nicely!" This immediately led me to thinking about all of the things that 105 would let me do that the 135 wouldn't... That's where I got stuck.

I'll be honest, aside from giving me a little more room in tight spaces and a wider aperture, I'm not really too sure what else I would do with the 105 that I wouldn't be able to do with the 135. This is where I come to you guys for help. I know those 30mm make a big difference, but I don't think I have enough experience to fully understand how. Can you guys help? I'd hate to let either one of those lenses' capabilities go to waste.

How would you use those lenses? Under what circumstances would you use one, and not the other? I don't really focus on one type of photography, so any advice would help.

Last edited by reivax; 02-25-2012 at 12:59 AM. Reason: Grammar
02-25-2012, 01:05 AM   #2
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30mm isnt that much of a difference, its only a 4 degree diagonal FOV difference (between 105mm-135mm) on APS-C
02-25-2012, 01:28 AM   #3
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I find the 105 is the top end for indoor portraits on ASP-C sensors, the 135 works well outside and for relative close ups of architectural details etc.
02-25-2012, 03:27 AM   #4
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Outdoors, you can usually make up for the small difference in FOV using your feet, so no major advantages there.
Indoors is a different story, as Lowell pointed out.
135 is the max you can go and still keep the lens size relatively compact (unless you find an M42 150mm, as I did). For my type of photography (landscape, architecture, cemeteries), I seldom need to go beyond 135 on APS-C.
When I shoot primes, I'll take my 135mm, 60mm and 35mm. I'm still seeking an 18mm or 20mm for wide angle (though I have plenty of Pentax film cameras, I'm shooting Nikon for digital). The jump from 60 to 135 works nicely for me.
Compare the qualities of the pix from your 105 and 135. It will likely turn out that you like what they have to offer (bokeh, contrast, sharpness, etc.) for different purposes.

02-25-2012, 07:56 AM   #5
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in my experience 105/2.8 lens is a good alternative to 85 and 135mm lens - if you wanna keep just one lens. If you want to add lens to your 135mm then 85mm would make much more sense. Focal lenght differences between 85-100/105mm and 100/105-135mm are rather small.
02-25-2012, 08:02 AM   #6
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Btw. I had all three lenses in K mount: 85/1.8, 105/2.8 and 135/2.5.
I would rather have 85 + 135 combo, but if you like to keep only one, than 105mm might be most universal of them.
02-26-2012, 05:10 AM   #7
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Sell both and get the 120mm
02-26-2012, 09:32 AM   #8
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I have the K Series versions of the following lenses, which are optically the same as the Takumar, except for all lens element SMC coatings.

On film the 105/2.8 is best suited as an indoor/outdoor portrait/short telephoto lens and is sharper than the 135/3.5. The 135/3.5 is more of a budget telephoto/outdoor portrait lens.

The 120/2.8 fits in-between the two and also has better optics than the 135/3.5. The best lenses in this range are the 85/1.8 and 135/2.5, which exist in Takumar and K series versions.


02-28-2012, 11:51 PM   #9
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My ST105/2.8 hasn't seen enough use, but I brought it on my current journey just to force myself to appreciate it. Of course I also brought my Enna Tele-Sandmar and Isco Westron 105/4.5s, but they're in a different league. And I left at home my magickal Meyer Trioplan 100/2.8. None of my 85-90s are Pentax so I won't discuss those here. On this trip I've brought only the S-M-C-Tak 135/2.5 and left behind the S-M-C Tak/3.5, Bayonet Tak/2.5, and M/3.5.

My observations: I notice FOV differences between 85-135mm lenses, but not between 85-105mm and 105-135mm. So I'll take a 127-135-140mm when that reach is important, or 85-90-100-105mm when such reach isn't vital. I'll use other criteria to decide which lenses to carry with me, and sharpness isn't necessarily the most critical. I use the tiny Enna Tele-Sandmar 100/4.5 (half the size of the SuperTak 35/3.5) because it doesn't LOOK like a tele. I carry the Takumar Bayonet 135/3.5 because of its built-in hood and because it focuses closer than any other of my 135s. I'll carry the M135/3.5 because if its compactness and built-in hood. Alas, I haven't found good reason to use the S-M-C 135/3.5 much. It may end up on my TO SELL list.

The reasons for using a 100-105mm rather than an 85mm or 135mm thus have less to do with FOV or sharpness, more with convenience and character. The ST105/2.8 does render nicely, although not as magickly as the Meyer Trioplan 100/2.8. The ST105/2.8 (280g) is only 60% the weight of the S-M-C-Tak 135/2.5 (470g) and that can make a difference to tired old hands. And the Tele-Sandmar (110g) is hardly there at all! But I look forward to wandering photogenic Bisbee Arizona with the ST105/2.8 just as I did with the Meyer Trioplan a couple years ago.

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