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04-14-2008, 11:37 AM   #1
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Advice on manual primes.

Hello,

Im looking thru a list of lenses that are available for me to purchase. I have a limited budget or I would buy them all. However I am starting with a 50-55 and a 100-135 lens.

This is the first manual lens buy for me and therefor I have very little experience with them, are there any on this list that you would recommend over the others or any that you think I should avoid? Thankful for help.

50-55 range
K:
Pentax SMC-M 50/1,7
Pentax SMC-M 50/1,4
Pentax SMC-M 50/2,0
Pentax SMC-M 50/4,0 Macro
M42:
Pentax SMC 50/1,4
Pentax Super-Takumar 50/1,4
Pentax Auto-Takumar 55/1,8
Pentax SMC 55/1,8
Pentax Super-Takumar 55/1,8

100-135 range:
K:
Pentax SMC-M 100/2,8
Pentax SMC-M 135/3,5
M42:
Pentax SMC Takumar 135/2,5
Pentax Super Takumar 135/3,5
Pentax SMC Takumar 135/3,5

I am also getting the Pentax Super takumar 85/1,9 i think.

04-14-2008, 12:00 PM   #2
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You should also post this quesiton at mflenses.com. You would likely to receive a faster answer, and more insightful info for each lenses, especially for M42.

I had 3 lenses from the list: SMC-A 50/1.7 (similar to the M), M 50/1.4, and SMC Takumar 55/1.8. The SMC Takumar is the sharpest of the 3 at wide open. Stopping down, you can hardly tell them apart. I sold both of my K-mount 50, and keep the SMC Takumar, partly because I got the 50/1.2.

From what I've read, the SMC Tak 50/1.4 is one of the sharpest 50 from Pentax.

There are other fine M42 lenses that you should consider as well such as the Zeiss Sonnar 135/3.5 Zebra style, Pentacon 135/3.5. For 50, you can go with Zeiss Pancolar 50/1.8. Those are, from the top of head, considered one of the finest in its class.
04-14-2008, 12:08 PM   #3
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I would recomend the M50 1.7. Very sharp, and plentiful on the second hand market. To be honest you cant go wrong with any of the M 50mm.

The SMC Takumar 50mm 1.4 has the advantage of a good anti flare coating..... something essential for use on digital. Make sure you buy the genuine Pentax adaptor.

I havnt used the M100 2.8 but have used the M135 3.5 plenty of times in the 30 + years i have owned it ...it is very good. Sharp and great to handle.

Make sure you get hoods to use with these lenses, if you dont want flare affecting your pictures. The M 135 f3.5 comes with a built in hood

You dont mention what camera you are going to use them on ?
04-14-2008, 12:10 PM   #4
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I have posted there too, but since I limited the list to Pentax lenses I thought Id post here. And yes, I have my eyes on some others aswell. But I want a solid Pentax prime base, just for the hell of it. A personal small pentax collection, if you will..

04-14-2008, 12:14 PM   #5
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I didnt read your signature otherwise i would see you intend to use these on a K10.

You will need to set the camera to "allow aperture ring use" in the menu.

Also you will find the M lenses progresively overexpose as you stop down. This is easily fixed by fitting a new focus screen such as one from a DS or the Pentax L80 screen range.
04-14-2008, 12:21 PM   #6
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watch out for the Takumar 50mm, the SMC and some Supers have radioactive elements that cause the back element to turn yellow. this can be fixed by leaving the lens upside down wrapped in foil in the sun for a week or so.

also when googling the 55mm i found that somebody had used a geiger counter on one and it was quite radioactive as well.

i personally have an M 50mm, lots of fun to use, but i find the metering fairly inaccurate. the M 50mm is small but still retains the smooth focus ring (but not Takumar smooth)
04-14-2008, 12:23 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
You dont mention what camera you are going to use them on ?
K10D for now, later K20D and im considering an K100D or something as a travelcamera
04-14-2008, 01:00 PM   #8
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[QUOTE=k100d;219644]watch out for the Takumar 50mm, the SMC and some Supers have radioactive elements that cause the back element to turn yellow. this can be fixed by leaving the lens upside down wrapped in foil in the sun for a week or so.
QUOTE]

I am not a Takumar expert but I understand that the SMC Takumar does not have the radioactive elements. I cannot vouch for the "super multi coated" (or S-M-C) or the super Takumar.

Confusingly, yes there is a difference between the "super multi coated" (or S-M-C) Takumar, and the SMC Takumar.

see Die Cast Pro - Pentax Lenses

04-14-2008, 01:52 PM   #9
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There is also a smc pentax 55/1.8 in K mount, not just in M42 mount. It is a very nice focal length on DSLR, almost the f.o.v. of a 85mm lens.
04-14-2008, 02:08 PM   #10
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I already had the following lenses (not at the same time) :

A50/1.7
M50/1.7
S-M-C Tak 50/1.4 (all metal)
SMC Tak 50/1.4 (rubber focus ring)
K55/2
(And now i found a little spare money and ordered the FA50)


Between the A50/1.7 and the M50/1.7 i found no real difference, they where both sharp, the too Takumars where very sharp, even wide open.

the worst of them all is the k55/2, mine is very soft wide open

The one i liked most was the S-M-C Takumar 50/1.4 all metal body, it feels awesome in the hand.

My advice, buy the one you can find in better condition and cheaper, you can't go wrong with any of them.
04-14-2008, 02:19 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by kjao Quote
There is also a smc pentax 55/1.8 in K mount, not just in M42 mount. It is a very nice focal length on DSLR, almost the f.o.v. of a 85mm lens.
Well the lenses I posted are available to me right now. So I just have to make the call .
04-14-2008, 03:45 PM   #12
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M100/2.8

One of my favorites. Very sharp and contrasty. Nice and small. Just feels right on the K10D. I like it better than the 135/3.5

ken
04-14-2008, 05:21 PM   #13
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I have 2 lenses on your list, one that you have omitted, and am looking for an SMC 85mm F1.8

The lenses I already own are SMC 50mm F1.4, SMC 105mm F2.8 and SMC 135mm F2.5

All are great performers, the 105mm is quite rate, and only ever made as in the origonal K mount.

Overall, in handling the manual lenses, I always found the M series lenses just don't feel right, SOme have commented about roughness in apature settings, and inconsistent focusing collar resistance.

You should also note that the 85mm F1.8 is not a budget lens, there is an M 85 F2 at adorama for $280 (I thinkl)
04-14-2008, 06:32 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
I am not a Takumar expert but I understand that the SMC Takumar does not have the radioactive elements. I cannot vouch for the "super multi coated" (or S-M-C) or the super Takumar.

Confusingly, yes there is a difference between the "super multi coated" (or S-M-C) Takumar, and the SMC Takumar.

see Die Cast Pro - Pentax Lenses
some of the SMC and S-M-C exhibit the problem as well.
the 50mm S-M-C has a metal focus barrel whereas the SMC has the rubber barrel although i believe i've seen exceptions on ebay

i would also recommend the 50mm Macro, I have the S-M-C Takumar version of that lens, very sharp not a bad word said about the lens. and the lens is very very recessed in the barrel, so good if you need to go to very bright places. only thing is that it's f4

Last edited by k100d; 04-14-2008 at 10:11 PM.
04-14-2008, 10:23 PM   #15
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The SMC Takumar (M42) 50mm f/1.4 and 135mm f/2.5 are amazing lenses. These along with the 85mm f/1.8 are in my opinion among some of the best lenses Pentax ever made.
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