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07-04-2013, 06:58 PM   #16
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I love the F 135/2.8 so much I bought it twice - same formula as A 135. It is magic for portraits in the 6-15 ft range at f2.8-5.6. Especially good in low light.

07-04-2013, 07:45 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by reivax Quote
As a guy whose, 3 out of his 5, closest friends are named Dave, all I can think of when I see your username is "No."

Back on topic, I've never used the 2.5. Do you think it's really a big difference in quality over the 3.5?
I did some careful testing and I would say no. By f5.6, barely distinguishable in a controlled test. That was on a 6mp sensor. I decided it wasn't worth repeating with more pixels. I might still track one down if I always wanted to shoot at or close to wide open and had extra money - they were $200 when I sold mine.
07-05-2013, 02:23 AM   #18
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The trouble is that with the stock Pentax focusing screen manual focusing can be a hit-and-miss affair. Swap the focusing screen for something better, such as the cut-down Canon ee-S and the cheap manual focus 135's become usable.

SMC Pentax M 135m f3.5 Set - a set on Flickr
SMC Pentax M 75-150mm f4 Set - a set on Flickr
07-05-2013, 05:31 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by icywindow Quote
I love the F 135/2.8 so much I bought it twice - same formula as A 135.
'A' and 'F/FA' lenses have completely different formulas.

A 135/2.8

F/FA 135/2.8 [IF]

I like my FA 135. I have K 135/2.5 as well, but use FA 135 more often.

07-05-2013, 05:42 AM   #20
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I use 135 fairly often, both as a stand alone lens and with extension tubes for macro. Always did like it. I have a Lentar M42 that I think is f2.8, excellent lens, and a Makinon that i never did like a whole lot but it does get a good shot now and then. I'd really like to get another 135mm in K mount.

Lentar 135mm M42 with 75mm extension tubes, f11 and flash

Stand alone lens

07-05-2013, 05:53 AM   #21
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I have two 135s now. Love them both.

There is a 135mm lens club where the focal length gets lots of love here
07-05-2013, 07:56 AM   #22
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Original Poster

Thanks to everyone who has posted, and the variety of 135mm lenses used for sample photos has been outstanding. Hopefully this may motivate some readers to dust off their seldom-used 135's.
Speaking of unused 135's...
I also own an M 135mm f/3.5, but it's rarely used since it has a (slightly) bent filter ring, a common occurance apparently. Not being able to use a CPL or ND puts a major cramp in my shooting technique, but otherwise it's a fine lens, sharp with beautiful color rendering, tiny and light (for an 'M' which is to say, no plastic). Since acquiring the A 135, the M has been retired, I'll send it out for shipping cost to anyone who will give it a good home. The A version is noticeably bigger and heavier, but still isn't huge by any standards.
Here's a couple more samples of the A 135mm, more skin tones and color rendering to compare!
Attached Images
07-05-2013, 09:48 AM   #23
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I have probably contributed to those comments about 135mm... I have used and owned the Takumar bayonet 135 f2.8, K135 f2,5, M120 f2,8, M135 f3,5 and M150 f3,5 before owning the DFA 100 macro. I have thus played a lot with primes around the 135 focal length. To me, 150 felt more comfortable as a medium tele, and 100 as a short tele. 120 was near to 120, but 135 felt like the oddball between.

Now don't get me wrong : these lenses are fine, pictures shot with them are fine, you can always zoom with your feet and take great pictures with any decent lenses. But 135 never really worked for me. In situations when I want to do close portrait it's too long (even 100 is tight), for tele it's too short (150, or even better the tele end of the 60-250) is better. So for me it falls in-between. That's just me, of course, to each his own. I'm glad my various lenses found new homes and happy users.

07-05-2013, 09:53 AM   #24
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Ah that's right - I let 135mm go because my 70-150 Rikenon XR was so good! but it's gone now so must reconsider.

Here's my old fave with the 135/2.8 Rikenon XR:

07-05-2013, 11:04 AM   #25
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If Pentax ever comes out with a FF DSLR then we are talking about a 200mm lens.

I only shoot film and have the K200/2.5, K200/4, A70-210/4, K80-200/4.5, K85-210/3.5 & the K85-210/4.5.

The K200/2.5 is a gem and I use it a lot for long distance street photography. Just park yourself on a bench and you can snap away without anyone noticing you. The fast f2.5 also helps if your are trying to freeze a moving subject.

07-05-2013, 01:05 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by rbefly Quote
No Love For 135mm?
I wouldn't have said that, I'm fairly partial to mine.

It's still one of my sharpest in the tool kit.
07-05-2013, 01:28 PM   #27
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I recently put an ad on a different forum board that I was looking for used manual M42 lenses. Out of all the replies I've received so far, 2 out of 3 offered to sell me their 135mm lenses. Go figure.
07-07-2013, 01:32 PM   #28
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The only time I shoot a 135mm prime lens is when I'm shooting 4x5 sheet film - for whatever reason, 135s on APS-C or 24x36 just doesn't work for me.
07-07-2013, 04:10 PM   #29
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More or Less 135's?

Thanks to everyone for posting! We're certainly getting some different viewpoints on the subject, as well as more sample photos.

Hello bdery, I understand your point, but there have been times when zooming with the feet just wasn't an option for me, like at some concerts. Without a press pass, I was restricted to the sides of the stage and pretty far from the performers. But I still managed to get croppable shots with the 135mm and f/2/8 was useable.
But if you don't favor this FL, I can understand that, too. If someone starts a thread extolling the many virtues of the 14mm FL, I might have to post and let them know it doesn't work well for me!
Jim, nice photo with the Rikenon 135- grear colors! Very unusal Bokeh, also.
Hi Phil, yes, 200mm is another handy FL, especially if it's a fast aperture. I have an 80-200 f/2.8, and it's great for outdoor shooting like airshows and racing.
To Kerrowdown, Thanks! Glad to have another happy 135mm user. By the way, I've enjoyed your street series of photos, very candid and revealing.
Hello Fotogenius, I agree, 135mm in M42 (and M mount, also) are easily available and sometimes bargains, if you know what to look for.
Gabriel_bc, It's true that different FL's appeal to different photographers. I feel the same way (as you do about 135's) regarding ultra-wide angles and fish-eyes. Just never rang my bell. Different strokes...
Anyway, a few more samples, these hopefully will show some other uses of the short tele; A couple suffer (on the EXIF data) from my brain lock in forgetting to input the correct FL, but they were shot with the Pentax A 135mm f/2.8.
Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K10D  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K10D  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-7  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K10D  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-7  Photo 
07-07-2013, 04:54 PM   #30
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My M135 is f2.8 and I really like mine. Here is another photo taken with that lens:

And the rest of them on my set at flickr.

Single in October 2012 - a set on Flickr

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