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01-15-2015, 03:32 PM   #1
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What lens am I looking for?

So I'm seriously considering the k135 2.5 for my next lens as it seems to have a certain "look" to its pictures but I wanted to ask of there was something more suited to my needs than this.

First off, I'm kind of finding myself photography wise and spend most of my time in the woods. I don't do a lot of landscapes or wide angle shots. In fact, my 50mm is too wide for what I want. So the 135 seems perfect but I'm not married to that FL.
Sharpness is not my #1 concern. I actually prefer something a little soft but not blurry. Again, my 50 1.8 is too sharp. My favorite lens is my $40 promaster 70-300. I love how it's clear and distinct but not too sharp or overly clear. It has a certain graininess or haze to it that I love and can't get with any of my new lenses. Not sure if this is specific enough for any good advice but figured I'd ask. Thanks

01-15-2015, 03:47 PM   #2
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Have you checked out the Vivitars? Vivitar Lenses for Pentax: Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database
I am currently after a Viv. 85 f1.8 preset T-mount lens for a similar reason.
01-15-2015, 03:54 PM   #3
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I have a SMC-M 100mm f/2.8, which is a gem.
I think it has the features you like... it's very smooth... even in the in-focus area are rendered in a pleasingly smooth way... while at the same time having enough resolution to "fill" a 16MP sensor without breaking a sweat.
As such, it's a terrific portrait lens, but I've also used it for landscape details and sports cars.
Only thing, it's not all that cheap for an old lens... here in Italy I'd say 100+EUR...

Last edited by LensBeginner; 01-15-2015 at 04:00 PM.
01-15-2015, 04:18 PM   #4
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Have you considered the K105/2.8. A little soft wide open but wonderfully sharp stopped down. The K135/2.5 is a wonderful lens but I find it very sharp at all apertures. The K105/2.8 is a little more flattering wide open for portraits

I have 4 great k series lenses, the 50/1.4, the 105/2.8 and 135/2.5 in RH eshorter range and the 300/4 at the top end

01-15-2015, 04:30 PM   #5
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If you like a softer look, check out the K85 f2.2 soft. Might be more softness than you're looking for, but looking doesn't cost. I've never used it but it looks interesting in the lens database reviews.
01-15-2015, 05:02 PM   #6
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I have both the FA28 and FA85 Soft lenses. They're interesting, but it sounds like you don't want to go that soft. But again, worth a try.


Just stay away from macro lenses - that's the main thing. I believe you'd find the aforementioned M (or A, in my case) 100/2.8 non-macro to be wonderful. At least I did!

And later if you want AF, the FA77 isn't that different in character from the M/A100/2.8 - just a faster aperture. You'd want to stay away from the sharper-looking DA70.


EDIT: I realize you said 50mm is too wide, but I suspect the K50/1.2 (rather than the "optically identical" but actually slightly sharper looking A50/1.2) is exactly the kind of look you're seeking: http://pentaxphotogallery.com/photos/gallery/query?camera=&lens=2190

The K50/1.2 fits in great with the A/M100/2.8 and K200/2.5 to give great looking photos which have a look of ~classical beauty. And I think a few others, including ones that may have been mentioned (e.g. K105/2.8) might fit in great as well, though I've only used the ones I'm specifically suggesting. Keep looking at photos - especially on the Pentax Photo Gallery, PBase, and pixel-peeper.com.

---------- Post added 01-15-15 at 04:34 PM ----------

You may even find you're happier when you mate these lenses with an older DSLR camera body (unless you want to go with film), like a K200D, K10D, or K-7. The sensors are different and the images come out a little different. For example, I think my K200/2.5 matches up best with my K200D's 10MP CCD sensor.

Last edited by DSims; 01-15-2015 at 05:16 PM.
01-15-2015, 06:08 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by LensBeginner Quote
I have a SMC-M 100mm f/2.8, which is a gem.
I think it has the features you like... it's very smooth... even in the in-focus area are rendered in a pleasingly smooth way... while at the same time having enough resolution to "fill" a 16MP sensor without breaking a sweat.
As such, it's a terrific portrait lens, but I've also used it for landscape details and sports cars.
Only thing, it's not all that cheap for an old lens... here in Italy I'd say 100+EUR...
I will look into that lens. I actually seen it for around $100 so that is very affordable for me.

---------- Post added 01-15-15 at 06:09 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Have you considered the K105/2.8. A little soft wide open but wonderfully sharp stopped down. The K135/2.5 is a wonderful lens but I find it very sharp at all apertures. The K105/2.8 is a little more flattering wide open for portraits

I have 4 great k series lenses, the 50/1.4, the 105/2.8 and 135/2.5 in RH eshorter range and the 300/4 at the top end
No but I will look into this lens as well.

---------- Post added 01-15-15 at 06:11 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by beachgardener Quote
Have you checked out the Vivitars? Vivitar Lenses for Pentax: Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database
I am currently after a Viv. 85 f1.8 preset T-mount lens for a similar reason.
I haven't looked at these but to be honest, it sounds complicated lol. maybe just a little intimidating since I know nothing about preset lenses and how to deal with other mounts. But I will check them out.

---------- Post added 01-15-15 at 06:20 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
I have both the FA28 and FA85 Soft lenses. They're interesting, but it sounds like you don't want to go that soft. But again, worth a try.


Just stay away from macro lenses - that's the main thing. I believe you'd find the aforementioned M (or A, in my case) 100/2.8 non-macro to be wonderful. At least I did!

And later if you want AF, the FA77 isn't that different in character from the M/A100/2.8 - just a faster aperture. You'd want to stay away from the sharper-looking DA70.


EDIT: I realize you said 50mm is too wide, but I suspect the K50/1.2 (rather than the "optically identical" but actually slightly sharper looking A50/1.2) is exactly the kind of look you're seeking: PENTAX : Select a PENTAX interchangeable lens camera or a lens model

The K50/1.2 fits in great with the A/M100/2.8 and K200/2.5 to give great looking photos which have a look of ~classical beauty. And I think a few others, including ones that may have been mentioned (e.g. K105/2.8) might fit in great as well, though I've only used the ones I'm specifically suggesting. Keep looking at photos - especially on the Pentax Photo Gallery, PBase, and pixel-peeper.com.

---------- Post added 01-15-15 at 04:34 PM ----------

You may even find you're happier when you mate these lenses with an older DSLR camera body (unless you want to go with film), like a K200D, K10D, or K-7. The sensors are different and the images come out a little different. For example, I think my K200/2.5 matches up best with my K200D's 10MP CCD sensor.
I was first considering the tamron 90mm macro but I decided I don't really wanna do macro shots. So I started looking at other similar FL lenses. And I do plan on getting the 77 when my wife is done with school and I have the funds. Been wanting that lens since I started photography last year. And no Im not specifically looking for a soft lens. just something with a unique look to it. I checked out those pictures on that link. While some are a bit soft, others are perfect. Not sure how to describe the difference between shots with that lens and say my 50 1.8 but that's pretty much the kind of look that I am searching for. And obviously I don't want all my pictures to look that way. I do own a tammy 17-50 as well as my 50 1.8 and promaster 70-300 but the first two can not achieve the look I want sometimes. And I never thought about using an older camera. That is an awesome idea.
01-15-2015, 06:41 PM   #8
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Here are a few pics from my PM 70-300. While This lens has some subtle character to it, I still like it for some things over my new lenses.


Last edited by Another dyemention; 08-05-2017 at 12:47 PM.
01-15-2015, 08:06 PM   #9
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QuoteQuote:
I haven't looked at these but to be honest, it sounds complicated lol. maybe just a little intimidating since I know nothing about preset lenses and how to deal with other mounts. But I will check them out.

They are not all pre-set, most are K mount or M42
01-15-2015, 10:45 PM   #10
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If you are looking for a look in the transition region I think the 135mm f/2.5 is not a good choice. I use it for theatre photography and it is sharp but bland/not what you are describing. I cannot advise you for a prime of about 135 mm FL. The two that give this character (for me) are (for Pentax) a Vivitar Series 1 zoom (70-210 mm version 3) and [for NIkon FF (only used w/ film)] a Vivitar Series 1 200mm f/3.
01-16-2015, 09:53 AM   #11
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Just pulled the trigger on the 135 2.5. Got it for $120 so if I'm not happy with it, I'm guessing I can probably at least get my money back on it.
01-16-2015, 10:16 AM   #12
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Check out the Auto Sears 135MC 2.5... !
It has a pleasing "GLOW"....!
It also is somewhat soft .....
Only costs less than $45 too......
01-16-2015, 10:20 AM   #13
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Good price. You should be fine. BTW, I'll second the K50 1.2. I know you have a 50 already, but I find every 50 has character that makes them unique. I have 3, including the K50 1.2 and based on what you've said I'd put that one on my list of future buys.
01-16-2015, 10:43 AM   #14
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I definitely like the k1.2 over the da 1.8. I actually dislike the 1.8 and find it to be very "lifeless". However, it does shine when it comes to vibrant colors. Especially on a sunny day. I go to a lot of music festivals and all those hippies in colorfultie dyes make great subjects. But as for character, it doesn't have what I'm looking for.

---------- Post added 01-16-15 at 10:44 AM ----------

I am considering the 50 1.7 while waiting to save up for the 1.2. I'll have to research it some tho.
01-17-2015, 02:26 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Another dyemention Quote
I am considering the 50 1.7 while waiting to save up for the 1.2. I'll have to research it some tho.
I don't know what "the" 50 1.7 is, but the A version has nice colors and is reasonably priced. Perhaps the best IQ you can get for the money (along with the A/M100/2.8 and a few F or A zooms I can think of/own). The M50/1.4 is also a lens with a slightly unusual but very interesting character you might like. I sold it because I got it at the same time as the K50/1.2, and it was easy to choose between the two. But on its own it's rather interesting. http://pentaxphotogallery.com/photos/gallery/query?camera=&lens=3280#/carousel

Still, the amongst ~50mm lenses the FA43, DA*55/1.4, and K50/1.2 are in a class of their own well above the others. But each has a distinctly different character from the others, and the K50/1.2 is the only one with character similar to what you describe (in fact, one of the best examples of this character I've ever seen).

Last edited by DSims; 01-17-2015 at 02:36 AM.
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