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08-14-2012, 06:05 PM   #1
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third party lens that is like M 135 3.5

I just "rediscovered" my pentax M 135 3.5 and can't believe the sharpness and colors (not sure why I put it away in the first place)
any how, I would like to get a similar lens that is auto focus, but will not bust the bank ... under $200 (hence, 3rd party)
zoom would be fine as long as it is around **-150mm
the most important part is the performance wide open (AF mostly so my wife can use it too)

any opinions welcomed
oh,ya, it will be for portraits and weddings so at least F3.5

randy

08-14-2012, 06:22 PM   #2
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Someone may suggest a lens that I'm not aware of, but I think your requirements rule out everything. The closest lens I have to that is a Tamron 52E 90mm f2.5 macro. It's the AF version of the popular 52B/BB Adaptall-2 lens. It's a really good lens, does 1:2 macro, and isn't too big. It has a focus-limiting switch to help with AF in ordinary non-macro use. The AF mount means I don't need to tell the camera anything to get SR to work, plus full EXIF data.

It might be tough to find this exact model since I've never seen another copy. I don't think anyone recognized it in the auction. Anyway, if you can be somewhat flexible on focal length and size, maybe an ugly copy of a Sigma 105mm f2.8 macro? The price is probably still too high.
08-14-2012, 07:27 PM   #3
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There aren't really any cheap options that are f/3.5 or faster in that focal length range and with AF. They're all f/2.8 and the cheapest/smallest is the F or FA 135/2.8. I bought my F for $550. Otherwise there's the DA 50-135/2.8 or Sigma 50-150/2.8 which are both rather more expensive.
08-14-2012, 11:26 PM   #4
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The Cosina 100/3.5 macro is too short, but it meets the other criteria. It's available in AF as well as MF versions. Prices are well under $200, unless things have changed drastically. You'll want to research all the brands it's sold under, so you can recognize one when it comes up for sale. Mine is an AF version sold as a Vivitar. I bought it NOS from a local camera shop for about $150 or less a couple of years ago.


Last edited by DSims; 08-14-2012 at 11:32 PM.
08-15-2012, 12:35 AM   #5
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Cheapest option is to installed the split screen to aid manual focus.
Speed might be critical in a wedding, but you may get paid - go and get the DA*50-135/2.8
08-15-2012, 04:17 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by msatlas Quote
There aren't really any cheap options that are f/3.5 or faster in that focal length range and with AF. They're all f/2.8 and the cheapest/smallest is the F or FA 135/2.8. I bought my F for $550. Otherwise there's the DA 50-135/2.8 or Sigma 50-150/2.8 which are both rather more expensive.
The FA 135/2.8 is a brilliant lens apart from some nasty fringing in high contrast situations wide open. BUT .. it's a lot heavier than the M135. It makes a big difference when you travelling, and I think the M lens using catch-in-focus might be the better option. I have a cosmetically beaten-up FA which I got for a good price. I'm surprised by how rarely I use it. Too heavy to lug around routinely.
08-15-2012, 05:27 AM   #7
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I agree with you on the fringing. While it may be heavier than the M 135, it's also a lot smaller than any zoom that covers the same focal length & max aperture. It's also smaller & lighter than both my Tamron 17-50/2.8 and F 70-210.
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