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09-14-2013, 01:04 PM   #1
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Pentax M/K/M42 Lens Collection Project

Hi Folks,
Since Pentax is going something big like the FF I decide to start collect some old gems like K/M and M42 lenses. I read some threads and most of the reviews, And I would like to see whether I can collect some of the followings:
28mm/2.8
35mm/2.8 (if any)
50mm/1.4
55mm/1.8
100mm/2.8

They are pretty classic focus lengths and the price seems to be affordable. So my question is
If I can only afford one series, which one shall I go? K, M or the M42? I used to own some M/A 50/1.4s but don't use them a lot. Now I only shoot with MX/FA43, and I'm thinking probably these collections can sit on the camera sometimes.
Thank you all

09-14-2013, 01:31 PM   #2
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You have to be a little flexible. K and M42 have 55s but no 100s, only 105s. There's no K or M42 35mm f2.8, you either have to get the f2 or the f3.5. Similar issues for 28mm.
09-14-2013, 01:52 PM   #3
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Toy also need to consider there are at least 5 series of M42 lenses

takumar presets, auto takumars, super takumar, super multi coated takumars, and SMC takumar

I like the presets, but the super tak 50/1.4 8 element version (oops, that's right some lenses had multiple versions too) is pretty good sharp but not as flare resistant as Later SMC versions.

I like K over M for build quality, but just slowly keep buying. I would take what ever you could find first, get all the focal lengths you want and then fill in the gaps
09-14-2013, 04:37 PM   #4
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.... Oh great, another competitor in the M42/K/M buying market.



Just kidding, to make a generalisation I really like the K series over the M's, but have yet to aquire any M42's due to the need for an adaport ring which i have yet to get. ($60AUD for a genuine adaptor being the main hurdle)

If talking specific lenses though I would suggest you fishout the best from each range instead of restricting yourself, as each range has lenses that really perform well.

09-14-2013, 04:56 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by hongzhibin1987 Quote
If I can only afford one series, which one shall I go? K, M or the M42?
Bear in mind that the K lenses do not form a single, coherent series.
Some are bayonet-mount versions of the later screwmounts,
while others, like the K24/2.8, are contemporaries of the M lenses.
09-14-2013, 05:56 PM   #6
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Unless you are interested in collecting per se, there's no need to stick to one series. You must like using your 43, so maybe you should start with the focal lengths that are substantially different. I.e., 35 and 50 are pretty close so you wouldn't gain much flexibility with those. The "K" 28/3.5 is an excellent lens and value. The "K" 105/2.8 is also a fine performer; it seems to have fallen out of fashion and the price has fallen accordingly. It can be had even more cheaply in the Super- and SMC-Takumar versions, which share the same optical formula. The M series equivalents are a bit more compact, but are optically different.
09-14-2013, 08:06 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Chaos_Realm Quote
.... Oh great, another competitor in the M42/K/M buying market.



Just kidding, to make a generalisation I really like the K series over the M's, but have yet to aquire any M42's due to the need for an adaport ring which i have yet to get. ($60AUD for a genuine adaptor being the main hurdle)

If talking specific lenses though I would suggest you fishout the best from each range instead of restricting yourself, as each range has lenses that really perform well.
Sorry for the competition, but gee really like the feeling of the old lenses.
Well I pass the K/M lenses. Now only want to focus on the M42,especially super tarks
09-14-2013, 08:07 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
Bear in mind that the K lenses do not form a single, coherent series.
Some are bayonet-mount versions of the later screwmounts,
while others, like the K24/2.8, are contemporaries of the M lenses.
Thanks man. So I take your advice----Pass the K series

09-14-2013, 08:10 PM   #9
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So after reading all your posts and others,
I decide to go for the followings:
TIER 1: Super taks 28/3.5, 35/3.5, 55/1.8 and 135/3.5
TIER 2: Super taks 50/1.4
TIER 3: Super taks 20/4.5 and 24/4.5

Thank you guys
09-15-2013, 12:30 AM   #10
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I will suggest getting M42 mounts.
They are easily usable on a Canon FF as well as any FF MILC that may come along.
Of course that is IF Pentax is not coming out with a FF (which is a possibility since they are always like us, only 'thinking' about it)

I'd suggest :
S.Tak 55/1.8 (many of the f1.4 50mm don't clear the 5D series mirror)
85/1.8 or 85./1.9
135/2.5 (either version)

I don't have experience with wider Takumars than 35mm.
I have an odd ball Soligor 17/4, which works fine on FF.


IF you want K mounts, to really hedge on the possibility of a Pentax FF (or at the least a Sony/Fuji one)
Then the whole Pentax lens legacy is there for you to choose.
Personal favorites :

K24/2.8
FA35/2
Any of the M/A 50/1.4
M85/2
Any 100/2.8 macro
FA135/2.8

of course, there are also the FA ltds.
09-15-2013, 12:43 AM   #11
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If I look at my M42 line up today, (yes, I do have LBA) and I know i am missing some gaps, I have

16/2.8 MC zenitar - great lens with excellent coatings, something legacy lenses may not, even with early SMC match
24/2.5 tamron adaptall II
28/2.5 vivitar, nice overall but lacks a little in contrast which can easily be fixed with JPEG settings or PP.
35/2 S.M.C. Tak. Great lens
50/1.4 super tak, version 1(8element).
50/4 S.M.C. Macro tak
55/1.8 SMC tak
58/2 Helios
85/1.9 super tak
105/2.8 Vernon edonar Preset
135/3.5 S.M.C. Tak
135/2.8 tele-lentar preset
180/3.5 Tele-Tokina Preset
200/3.5 takumar preset (favourite 200 out of all my lenses)
200/4 S.M.C takumar
Nikkor H 300/4.5 converted to M42 mount

I have tended to consider seriously going all preset. The longer lenses especially have very high aperture blade count, and perfect round sutures at all settings, this combined with the lens designs and aperture usually close to the front of the lens optically seem to yield better foreground to background separation than more modern lenses. I also find presets easier to use than later lenses because the preset stop down ring is close to the focus collar usually, as opposed to using the A/M switch which is at the mount, and usually obstructed by the flash housing

You should consider lenses above 100 mm as well, as they make great outdoor portrait lenses,

You will also note that I don't have many SMC tak's,

I also have a large K mount collection that includes K&M lenses from 24-300 mm, plus third party K mounts down to 8mm so I wanted something different in M42 .

Last edited by Lowell Goudge; 09-15-2013 at 12:51 AM.
09-15-2013, 06:00 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by hongzhibin1987 Quote
So after reading all your posts and others,
I decide to go for the followings:
TIER 1: Super taks 28/3.5, 35/3.5, 55/1.8 and 135/3.5
TIER 2: Super taks 50/1.4
TIER 3: Super taks 20/4.5 and 24/4.5
The only ones I have are the 55/1.8 and 20/4.5.
You won't go wrong with either.
The 20/4.5 has barrel distortion,
but it's easy to fix in PP.
09-15-2013, 09:48 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by pinholecam Quote
I will suggest getting M42 mounts.
They are easily usable on a Canon FF as well as any FF MILC that may come along.
Of course that is IF Pentax is not coming out with a FF (which is a possibility since they are always like us, only 'thinking' about it)

I'd suggest :
S.Tak 55/1.8 (many of the f1.4 50mm don't clear the 5D series mirror)
85/1.8 or 85./1.9
135/2.5 (either version)

I don't have experience with wider Takumars than 35mm.
I have an odd ball Soligor 17/4, which works fine on FF.


IF you want K mounts, to really hedge on the possibility of a Pentax FF (or at the least a Sony/Fuji one)
Then the whole Pentax lens legacy is there for you to choose.
Personal favorites :

K24/2.8
FA35/2
Any of the M/A 50/1.4
M85/2
Any 100/2.8 macro
FA135/2.8

of course, there are also the FA ltds.
Thank you. I have already got three-----28/50/135.
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