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02-12-2013, 05:12 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
The A100/2.8 (non-macro) could get up around 200 quid, but the M should be about half that. It is a nice lens however. Much better than the modern kit zooms.

I also had the A135/2.8. It isn't great, but it's nothing to disparage either. It took some pretty nice shots.


BTW, a trivia question - I know the origin of a "buck," but can you tell me where "quid" comes from?
Thanks very much, everyone. I think I am going to need to be patient in stalking a longer Pentax prime from the classic era. Some of the UK Ebay prices for old Pentax lenses are a bit startling, tbh, though I guess it's a form of flattery It's fairly easy to get a 50mm or 55mm for a reasonable sum, however. The M 100mm looks a good one to aim for, though. In the meantime, I have an old 55mm f1.8 to try out with bokeh porpoises in mind.

A "quid" is English slang for one pound Sterling, origin unknown apparently, though a popular etymology is that it derives from "quid pro quo" as a reaction to the statement on old banknotes "I promise to pay the bearer the sum of ...". It's our equivalent of "buck".

02-12-2013, 07:17 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
I wonder if anyone has some experience to share.

I've been looking at getting a slightly longer lens and maybe a classic one - a K, M or A series smc 100mm, 120mm or 135mm.

I've read the reviews in the database and looked at my local Ebay. Examples of these classic primes range from 140-180 or so pounds Sterling (around $220-280 US) for good examples from good sellers.

This isn't particularly cheap though that's not really the point. My question is whether I am really getting superior image quality from these old classics compared to the two obvious modern counterparts which don't cost that much more, the DA 50-200mm and especially the DA 55-300mm. It seems from comments in the lens database that lack of contrast and severe purple fringing in bright light afflict some of the old classics unless they are stopped down, but then if you stop them down you lose some of the advantages of using a prime. I know the build quality of the old ones will be superb as I already have a couple (28mm and 50mm) but I'm wary of spending the thick end of 200 quid on an M series 100mm (e.g.) if, in truth, I'd be better off spending a little more on a modern lens even if it's a zoom.
I have
K105/2.8 - excellent stopped down a bit, characterful (OK, soft) at 2.8
M100/2.8 - excellent throughout
M150/3.5 - maybe not quite as sharp as the 100 wide open, but not that much different. Excellent otherwise.
M200/4 - usable at f/4, better at f/6.7

I have the DA50-200 and DA55-300. The manual lenses may not be all that much sharper in the centre, but sure as hell they are better and more predictable at the edges. And they are delightfully compact. I travelled to Italy recently with the DA70 and the M150 as the longer weapons in my armoury, and the combination worked very well.

I used to have the M135 until it was nicked - punches well above its very low price. Bargain.

Last edited by timo; 02-13-2013 at 12:06 AM.
02-12-2013, 10:13 PM   #18
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I managed to snag a 200mm off-off brand lens for $5 over the summer. I was able to finally use it when I picked up a new camera, and discovered it to be blazingly sharp when stopped down. (wide open its... uh... best not used at infinity, and I'll leave it at that).

My general 'cheap manual prime' tactic is to just keep a $30 cap (including shipping) and go from there. Hits have been more and more rare as the 4/3 trend has blossomed, but every so often you'll find gold. As longa s you don't expect a modern equivalent in quality, you'll won't be upset when the lens is so-so, and be thrilled when its great.
02-13-2013, 01:22 AM   #19
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Over the last couple of years I have changed my Pentax lens collection from primarily manual focus lenses (mostly 'A' series) to autofocus lens, but I still hold on to a Pentax A 100mm f2.8 (non-macro). I believe that if the aperture had been larger it would have been designated a Star lens - it is absolutely superb optically, is well built, and has a nice smooth focus action. I have owned 3 of these over the years and each one has been stunning. I believe that the 'M' series 100mm is the same optical formula, so if you are happy to deal with the lack of aperture control it will be a much better buy (as they are usually quite a bit cheaper than the 'A' series).

Good luck with your hunting

02-13-2013, 01:44 AM   #20
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The pentax K 135 f2.5 is a great performer and can be found at very decent prices; it has been tested by photozone on the K10D here
Pentax SMC-K 135mm f/2.5 - Review / Lab Test Report
good resolution figures, some chromatic aberration - as all fst film-area lenses.
Nice bokeh too
02-13-2013, 05:28 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
A "quid" is English slang for one pound Sterling, origin unknown apparently, though a popular etymology is that it derives from "quid pro quo" as a reaction to the statement on old banknotes "I promise to pay the bearer the sum of ...". It's our equivalent of "buck".
Interesting - I'd never heard of it being short for "quid pro quo" - makes sense! The few Englishmen I've asked had no idea where it came from, and when I looked it up a while back all I could determine was that a quid was literally "something that is something" or "something of substance (or value)."

However, it's not quite the equivalent of a "buck," in that buck has an unambiguous origin (although most Americans couldn't tell you what it is). Since a buckskin used to be worth about a dollar, "a buck" became the slang term.

This situation is understandable, however, since many Englishmen (especially younger ones) have a tendency to forget the past. For example, if you ask them what time it is, they'll tell you it's "half four!"

Last edited by DSims; 02-13-2013 at 05:36 AM.
02-13-2013, 06:18 AM - 1 Like   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
This situation is understandable, however, since many Englishmen (especially younger ones) have a tendency to forget the past. For example, if you ask them what time it is, they'll tell you it's "half four!"
They just do that to make Germans think it's half past three!
02-13-2013, 07:36 AM   #23
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My take on Pentax Medium telephoto and telephoto

M100/2.8 = Sharp across apertures, bright, interesting color rendition (somewhat cool). Just sold my second copy.
K105/2.8 = My prefferred at this FL. Sharp enough bhut more character and color than M
X135/X.X = I've had the K and M 135/3.5 and I have the K135/2.5.. All are sharp, the 2.5 is sharper and a delight to focus. Decide on price.
X200/X.X = I"ve had the K and M 200/4. Neither was particularly exciting and neither was easy to focus (not very bright).
K200/2.5 = My favorite all-around manual focus lens. On the "cold, dead fingers" list, but I had to mortgage my first-born-son to get it.

Here's a case for the A35~105/3.5 Macro Zoom. At all FL's and across all apertures this lens performs as if it is a prime lens - extremely sharp, contrasty and great color. The Macro function is really a Close-Focus option. Currently clean copies are about $129 USD and plentiful. Has the A contacts so exposure works with digital cameras. Weighs a ton, though. I've had to practice to use this with my K-01, but now it rarely leaves that camera bag. I got a SF1n for $25 and a SuperProgram for $50 to use with this one.

02-13-2013, 10:18 AM   #24
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
My take on Pentax Medium telephoto and telephoto

M100/2.8 = Sharp across apertures, bright, interesting color rendition (somewhat cool). Just sold my second copy.
K105/2.8 = My prefferred at this FL. Sharp enough bhut more character and color than M
X135/X.X = I've had the K and M 135/3.5 and I have the K135/2.5.. All are sharp, the 2.5 is sharper and a delight to focus. Decide on price.
X200/X.X = I"ve had the K and M 200/4. Neither was particularly exciting and neither was easy to focus (not very bright).
K200/2.5 = My favorite all-around manual focus lens. On the "cold, dead fingers" list, but I had to mortgage my first-born-son to get it.

Here's a case for the A35~105/3.5 Macro Zoom. At all FL's and across all apertures this lens performs as if it is a prime lens - extremely sharp, contrasty and great color. The Macro function is really a Close-Focus option. Currently clean copies are about $129 USD and plentiful. Has the A contacts so exposure works with digital cameras. Weighs a ton, though. I've had to practice to use this with my K-01, but now it rarely leaves that camera bag. I got a SF1n for $25 and a SuperProgram for $50 to use with this one.
That's a helpful summary. The 35-105mm has always tempted me, too. I might well try that one. Much of my photography is "contemplative" (whatever that means; basically, "slow" in my case) so MF is often fine and AF not missed.

So far, I've scored a 75-150 M zoom for about $24, which will keep me occupied for a while, just for some fun. Translated into heavy contrast b/w street photography, I imagine the quality will be fine. There is a 135mm f2.5 coming up in a few days, so we'll see about that one. There are four 100mm M lenses on the local Ebay but as the cheapest is at least US $220 and three are from dealers, I will let them pass pro tem. I see my patience lasted about three hours, lol.
02-13-2013, 10:54 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
My take on Pentax Medium telephoto and telephoto

M100/2.8 = Sharp across apertures, bright, interesting color rendition (somewhat cool). Just sold my second copy.
K105/2.8 = My prefferred at this FL. Sharp enough bhut more character and color than M
X135/X.X = I've had the K and M 135/3.5 and I have the K135/2.5.. All are sharp, the 2.5 is sharper and a delight to focus. Decide on price.
X200/X.X = I"ve had the K and M 200/4. Neither was particularly exciting and neither was easy to focus (not very bright).
K200/2.5 = My favorite all-around manual focus lens. On the "cold, dead fingers" list, but I had to mortgage my first-born-son to get it.

Here's a case for the A35~105/3.5 Macro Zoom. At all FL's and across all apertures this lens performs as if it is a prime lens - extremely sharp, contrasty and great color. The Macro function is really a Close-Focus option. Currently clean copies are about $129 USD and plentiful. Has the A contacts so exposure works with digital cameras. Weighs a ton, though. I've had to practice to use this with my K-01, but now it rarely leaves that camera bag. I got a SF1n for $25 and a SuperProgram for $50 to use with this one.
I agree with monochrome regarding the m 100/2.8. It was wonderful for portraits in my film days a still gets good reviews from digital users.

I also have the K 135/3.5. It is a fine lens but the K135/2.5 is much more highly regarded. I have both the K 200/2.5 and the M200/4. The K 200/2.5 is better in every way and is my favorite manual focus lens of any focal length.

As for macro the M 50/4 macro is a brutally sharp lens which can be had for a little more than a hundred bucks as a rule. It is not a true macro as it only gets down to 1/2 life size but will be sharper than any macro zoom you are likely to find.

Tom G.
02-13-2013, 11:29 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
I wonder if anyone has some experience to share.

I've been looking at getting a slightly longer lens and maybe a classic one - a K, M or A series smc 100mm, 120mm or 135mm.

I've read the reviews in the database and looked at my local Ebay. Examples of these classic primes range from 140-180 or so pounds Sterling (around $220-280 US) for good examples from good sellers.

This isn't particularly cheap though that's not really the point. My question is whether I am really getting superior image quality from these old classics compared to the two obvious modern counterparts which don't cost that much more, the DA 50-200mm and especially the DA 55-300mm. It seems from comments in the lens database that lack of contrast and severe purple fringing in bright light afflict some of the old classics unless they are stopped down, but then if you stop them down you lose some of the advantages of using a prime. I know the build quality of the old ones will be superb as I already have a couple (28mm and 50mm) but I'm wary of spending the thick end of 200 quid on an M series 100mm (e.g.) if, in truth, I'd be better off spending a little more on a modern lens even if it's a zoom.
I don't have the two DA zooms you mention. I use the SMC Pentax-F 70-210mm f4-5.6 instead. (It would be nice to know how that compares to the DA 50-200 but I have no idea.) Anyway, here's a comparison from someone who uses the DA 50-200 a lot and had three M primes to compare:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/137220-shootou...ml#post1443290

He also has a review of the M120/2.8 in the review section. I think his results are right. I've had the M100/2.8, K135/2.5 and K135/3.5, and still have the M120/2.8, M135/3, an S-M-C Takumar 150/4 and a Vivitar/Komine 200/3.5. I find them sharp enough at wide apertures and definitely usable compared to the zoom. The fringing is worst with the Vivitar but fixable in software if it shows up. The primes are useful for lower light. The zoom is nice for convenience, AF and SR. At these focal lengths, I don't always have the perfect subject distance and a zoom helps with framing too. I can see a use for both, possibly getting a DA zoom first then waiting for a deal on some of the primes.
02-13-2013, 11:39 AM   #27
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Just thought I'd throw in a recommendation of the Tak-k 135/2.5. I picked mine up for $40 and have been very happy with it, and would be even if I'd paid more for it. I am using it right now for the 'Single in Feb' challenge... Bought it specifically with portraits in mind, but haven't really used it a lot for that yet, although I've been happy with the portraits I've tried.. I use it wide open a lot and the CA/PF is not any more an issue than other fast SMC lenses I've tried.. (Although I am conscious of the vulnerability and try to avoid it...)


02-14-2013, 02:36 PM   #28
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IMO the only cons of old time lens are MF and CA controlling.
However if you are not shooting something seriously, MF won't hurt; CA can be easily erased by LR.
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