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09-06-2015, 04:54 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by noelpolar Quote
How come no mention of the 31, 43 and 77? They're classic film era aren't they?
The FA limited lenses were all designed and produced in the early 2000's. Classic film lenses could be said to have been made from 1950s to the year 1999 - when the number of people using film professionally outnumbered digital photographers by 1000000 to 1. Back then digital imaging at least at the professional level that we know of today was nothing more than a pipe dream.

09-06-2015, 09:26 AM   #32
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Super Takumar 35mm f2; the first version, with the massive filter ring. It can glow really nice.

3d wise, I've always seen the M 50mm f1.7 as good for that.

Outside of Pentax, but still in m42 land, Soviet MIR-1 37mm 2.8 has a jittery bokeh and a certain pop to images, and the Helios 44 and 40 swirl The bokeh while being Sharp when you're in focus.
09-08-2015, 12:03 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by From1980 Quote
I can vouch for three that have been mentioned so far; the dreamy SMC 50 f/1.2, SMC 55 f/1.8, and definitely SMC 85 f.1.8 have that creamy bokeh especially at or near full aperture. The SMC 30 f/2.8 is one of the sharpest lenses ever made and exceptional characteristics of the SMC 35 f/3.5, SMC 105 f/2.8 and SMC 135 f/2.5 are often raved about. Although I have some great M lenses also, there is a build quality, balance, and general feel to the original K lenses that sets them apart. Some of the M optics were technical improvements for sharpness and especially contrast that probably suited the tastes of many in the `70s and `80s for the tendency to shoot mostly slides. The painterly magic in images shot with the earlier lenses and seldom seen since keeps the K lenses popular and the manual handling is a small price to pay for their beautiful and rare renderings.
Thanks again everyone. I've ordered a K50/1.2 & K55/1.8 to start with - off the back of these recommendations :-) The other lenses in early SMC K series though are nigh impossible to find! When I can I will definitely be seeking the 105, 135 & 85 plus possibly widers - & then the A/FA's! The respective M42 versions of the K SMC lenses seem a lot easier to find here in the UK - does anyone know if these greatly differ optically or will the rendering/colour be the same? I wondered whether these might be worth going for with an adapter (or even getting a Spotmatic)?
09-08-2015, 12:20 PM   #34
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It's completely irrational but this is my dream Pentax lens:

Asahi-Kogaku Takumar 83mm f/1.9 | Andreas Isenegger

09-09-2015, 01:41 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kerrowdown Quote
SMC Pentax-A 50mm F1.2, SMC Pentax-A* 85mm F1.4 and SMC Pentax-A* 135mm F1.8
I think they are top of the world lenses, on par with the best Leica & Zeiss lens but of course very expensive and hard to find I guess the new FF will bring these lens back to life and maybe upgrade them (with AF & WR ) then they'd be unbeatable ^^

---------- Post added 09-09-15 at 10:43 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by pentax_rob Quote
I've ordered a K50/1.2 & K55/1.8 to start with
you go the dangerous way with these, in no time you'll have a lot of 50mm and you will not be able to get rid of any of them =))
talking about 3D effect, my gf (who doesn't know any thing about photography) pointed at some of my photos and said "these are like in the 3D movie", the ones she picked are all shot with the FA 31mm ^^

Last edited by redcat; 09-09-2015 at 01:48 AM.
09-09-2015, 07:33 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentax_rob Quote
does anyone know if these greatly differ optically or will the rendering/colour be the same?
I would assume if they are SMC taks and they really are the same optical design as the K-mount successor, they should have very similar rendering and color rendition. However, while many K series lenses are essentially the same as the Taks they replaced, not all of them are. The K 28 3.5 is not the same as the SMC Tak 28 f3.5 -- it's a new design. The K 30 2.8 and K 20 f4 are new designs as well.
09-09-2015, 09:29 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote
I would assume if they are SMC taks and they really are the same optical design as the K-mount successor, they should have very similar rendering and color rendition. However, while many K series lenses are essentially the same as the Taks they replaced, not all of them are. The K 28 3.5 is not the same as the SMC Tak 28 f3.5 -- it's a new design. The K 30 2.8 and K 20 f4 are new designs as well.
Pretty much correct as far as what I have read over the years. In 1975 when K lenses appeared they were sold alongside Takumars for a while. Within months some new designs came out taking advantage of the larger diameter mount. With it, Pentax could make wider super wides and larger max apertures better. The Pentax Super Multi Coating was already leading the industry and apparently didn`t change much for quite a while.
09-09-2015, 11:06 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote
I would assume if they are SMC taks and they really are the same optical design as the K-mount successor, they should have very similar rendering and color rendition. However, while many K series lenses are essentially the same as the Taks they replaced, not all of them are. The K 28 3.5 is not the same as the SMC Tak 28 f3.5 -- it's a new design. The K 30 2.8 and K 20 f4 are new designs as well.
I did read somewhere that though many shared the same optical design, the K successors may have had slightly different coatings to the M42 SMC taks - though whether this is just conjecture, or marketing bluff from the period, or indeed makes any discernable difference I'm not sure!

---------- Post added 9th Sep 2015 at 11:18 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by redcat Quote
I think they are top of the world lenses, on par with the best Leica & Zeiss lens but of course very expensive and hard to find I guess the new FF will bring these lens back to life and maybe upgrade them (with AF & WR ) then they'd be unbeatable ^^

---------- Post added 09-09-15 at 10:43 AM ----------


you go the dangerous way with these, in no time you'll have a lot of 50mm and you will not be able to get rid of any of them =))
talking about 3D effect, my gf (who doesn't know any thing about photography) pointed at some of my photos and said "these are like in the 3D movie", the ones she picked are all shot with the FA 31mm ^^
Hi praise indeed, I will need to look further into those leica-esque lenses! The 31 Ltd is already high on my wishlist!
Quite interesting shooting with the 50/1.2 today, the dof is very thin, but the viewfinder image is not as crisp as I'm used to (I suspect due to age of these lenses). The focus on mine also seems quite loose towards infinity then gets very tight at the close end - not sure if this is normal or if it needs a CLA?

09-09-2015, 11:41 AM   #39
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You are only stuck with a 50 you bought if you intended to sell it when you bought it. There's nothing any more wrong with having several 50's for various purposes than with having several FL's for various purposes.

The focus helicoid on my K50/1.2 doesn't behave that way. It is universally firm and smooth through the entire range of travel.
09-09-2015, 02:56 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
You are only stuck with a 50 you bought if you intended to sell it when you bought it. There's nothing any more wrong with having several 50's for various purposes than with having several FL's for various purposes.

The focus helicoid on my K50/1.2 doesn't behave that way. It is universally firm and smooth through the entire range of travel.
That's a bit of a worry, hope I haven't got a dud! The 55/1.8 is relatively "looser" but consistent through entire range (feels similar to a Nikon E)
09-09-2015, 03:10 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentax_rob Quote
That's a bit of a worry, hope I haven't got a dud! The 55/1.8 is relatively "looser" but consistent through entire range (feels similar to a Nikon E)
If you are in the USA you could send it ti Eric at Home for his evaluation. He removed a tiny impact impression from the focusing helicoid on my K50.1,2 that had caused a really annoting 'hitch' in the action.
10-02-2015, 08:22 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
There's nothing any more wrong with having several 50's
No there isn't, even if you have as many of them as I do.
10-02-2015, 09:16 PM   #43
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I like my Pentax A 35-105 Macro zoom. I took, had and eventually lost a picture I took of Mount Rushmore, with my wife's K1000, a tripod and this lens. In my HO it was better than many of the pro pics of the famous visage(s) on this mount.

All the credit goes to the 35-105...also known as the stack of primes.
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