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07-29-2012, 07:51 AM   #1
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Your BEST SURPRISE, (LENSE)

Have you ever bought a lense, (for cheap) thinking it would just be "ok", and found out it was a wonderful piece of glass. Just curious of what your "diamonds in the rough" are.

07-29-2012, 08:47 AM   #2
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My Suprise

Hello JCamero,
Yes, I bought an F 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 after reading several recommendations here. Got it for around $50.00 on eBay.
I didn't really have high expectations, after all I already had zooms in the same range (nearly) and 28mm 35mm, 50mm primes.
What a suprise! This little zoom is a fantastic, underrated, undervalued piece of equipment. Super-fast A/F (you really have to use it to believe it!), very sharp and a full stop faster than the kit zoom or other "budget" zooms. Great contrast, color and rendition. A handy "Macro" function at the 70mm end that actually works. Plus, it's hardly bigger than a short prime. Takes 49mm filters, which fit my collection of "M"s and many other Pentax lenses.
Even when I'm taking primes that overlap the focal range, I bring this lens along, just for the versatility. And the fun factor.
Ron
07-29-2012, 08:59 AM   #3
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my adepts for 'cheap diamonds' are K 35/3.5 , A 50/1.7 and with some reservations K 135/2.5. All of them very nice lenses. Also two Contax lenses (although bit more expensive than Pentaxes) Planar 50/1.7 and Sonar 85/2.8 are magnificient lenses for the price, with rendering like the Limiteds. But the conversion of mount is bit expensive
07-29-2012, 09:17 AM   #4
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I do a huge amount of research on the lenses I purchase, so I usually have a fairly good idea what to expect. Since a lot of the inexpensive, older zooms tend to be over-praised, those lenses, in my experience, rarely live up to the lavish praise that is sometimes bestowed upon them. I found the F 35-70 to be a nice, dependable, piece of glass, consistent across its focal range (no mean feat), but I didn't think it quite lived up to the hype. I had similar reservations regarding the F 70-210. I figured it was another lens that was over-hyped; so when the lens turned out to be a very solid performer, particularly at the wide-end lens, where it is capable of producing stunning results, I was pleasantly surprised. I was also mildly surprised by the K 35/3.5. I knew it would be a pretty good lens from the start; but I was surprised at how good it turned out to be: simply spectacular, at f8 comparable to my best glass.

07-29-2012, 09:40 AM   #5
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FA 28-70/4 is the only zoom of mine that I consider usable. I think I got it for about 50GBP with a working MZ-5, great deal!
07-29-2012, 10:21 AM   #6
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My first copy of the K35/3.5 for $40.00. It's worth five times the price I paid, a Pentax master piece.

Phil.
07-29-2012, 10:24 AM   #7
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Hanimar Auto "S" M42, 200mm F3.5
at $10.00

Last edited by bobpur; 02-25-2013 at 03:26 PM.
07-29-2012, 11:35 AM   #8
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F70-210 ($100). Sometimes I wonder if my $900 DA 50-135 performs better...

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07-29-2012, 11:45 AM   #9
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I've had this happen at least three times.

Once with the FA 28-90 due to the horrible reviews here which I found out were mostly rubbish. The lens is basically all plastic, but since I paid all of $30 or so for it I'm not complaining.






Also with my Sears 75-260 close focus I paid $8 for. Bought it for the length, fell in love with it for the close focus ability.






Third time was with my Sears 50mm f/1.7 Bought it for $16 in order to try to learn manual focus on the K-x, and the lens pretty much found an almost permanent home on the camera.







07-29-2012, 03:20 PM   #10
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Got a auto Revunon 135/2.8 for $5, and it worked quite well for macro together with some cheap china made $10 extension tubes.


Not using that setup any longer as I got a Soligor K-mount bellows for $25, used with many other lenses. With bellows it is so much easier to control magnification and focus.
07-29-2012, 03:28 PM   #11
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Another vote for the F70-210, great bit of glass for what I paid for it. Much better than I was expecting for a slower, older, consumer zoom. Hope to some day use it on a full frame digital body.
07-29-2012, 03:50 PM   #12
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SMC-A 135mm f/2.8 (really f/1.4?)

I picked up a minty A-series 135mm f/2.8 today for $60. I wanted to see how well it performed wide open, so I put it on my K-X and set the lens on the A setting. I spun the aperture wheel to 2.8, but it kept going to 1.4! I thought maybe my camera was misbehaving, so I shot a series at different aperture settings, ranging from 1.4 to 5.6. To my surprise and delight, the camera responded properly by adjusting it's shutter speed accordingly.

When I checked the shots on screen, the bokeh changed accordingly as well. And the wide open shots were quite sharp. So for all practical purposes, I now have a wonderful 135mm f/1.4 A-series lens. Not sure if this is normal behavior for an A-series lens as this is my first, and I haven't seen any other reports of this on the forums.

If you want to check it out, here is a link to a Flickr set:

SMC P-A 135mm F2.8 - a set on Flickr

Here are some samples:
07-29-2012, 05:14 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by boblivious Quote
I picked up a minty A-series 135mm f/2.8 today for $60. I wanted to see how well it performed wide open, so I put it on my K-X and set the lens on the A setting. I spun the aperture wheel to 2.8, but it kept going to 1.4! I thought maybe my camera was misbehaving, so I shot a series at different aperture settings, ranging from 1.4 to 5.6. To my surprise and delight, the camera responded properly by adjusting it's shutter speed accordingly.

When I checked the shots on screen, the bokeh changed accordingly as well. And the wide open shots were quite sharp. So for all practical purposes, I now have a wonderful 135mm f/1.4 A-series lens. Not sure if this is normal behavior for an A-series lens as this is my first, and I haven't seen any other reports of this on the forums.
According to the chart on this page, the A135/2.8 (max aperture f2.8, min. f32) should have this set of contacts: 100*10
A lens with a maximum aperture of f1.4 and a minimum of f16 would be: 100*00

Features and Operation of the Ka Mount

So I'd see if you can set the lens to something above f16. Still, I think $60 is a good price. I have always wondered about this lens but was unwilling to pay more than $100.
07-29-2012, 05:49 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
So I'd see if you can set the lens to something above f16.
The aperture ring goes up to f32. When in the A setting, I cannot go past f16. I compared meter readings at f2.8 for both the manual aperture and A setting, and they were the same. So it seems that when using the lens with the manual aperture ring, it's a f2.8 - f32, but when the aperture ring is set to A, it performs like a f1.4 - f16. Not sure if this is really truly what's going on in the lens, and the chart you referenced made my brain hurt a bit. But nevertheless, for $60 I got an excellent lens...very sharp, great colors and contrast, and very nice bokeh. A very nice surprise indeed.
07-29-2012, 07:12 PM   #15
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I too do my research before a purchase, but I was still pleasantly surprised by my KMZ Helios 44M...




Steve
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