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09-29-2015, 12:43 PM   #31
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I had a Takumar 135mm f3.5 for my Asahi Pentax S. Stopped to f5.6, I thought it was the sharpest lens I had at the time. Also had an FA 135mm f2.8 whose mechanical design, with a pull-out lens shade, was particularly good (most longer A and some FA lenses had better hood designs than just about any modern lens except the 35mm macro). I did not think the FA 135mm was as sharp as the old f3.5 preset, but memory always improves the past.

09-29-2015, 03:21 PM   #32
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I currently have both (SMC Takumar BTW). In my subjective opinion, the FA is slightly the better of the two. This is not to say you're wrong, of course; your FA could be worse and your Takumar better than mine.
09-29-2015, 03:44 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
I currently have both (SMC Takumar BTW). In my subjective opinion, the FA is slightly the better of the two. This is not to say you're wrong, of course; your FA could be worse and your Takumar better than mine.
As I noted, it may also be a factor of memory enhancing reality.
09-29-2015, 09:04 PM - 1 Like   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
The regular lens seems to give better results in that configuration than the 200 f4 ED macro.
I get the impression you have never used the FA*200mm f/4 ED Macro before. It is easily the sharpest 200mm macro lens ever made.

Pentax K10D - Pentax SMCP-FA*200mm f/4 ED [IF] Macro @ f/8 ISO 160 1/320th

Along with the 50mm f/1.2 I would also like to see a D-FA* re-make of it. Though as things stand, prices for this lens in mint condition remain stratospheric...and for good reason.


Pentax K5IIs - Pentax SMC-FA*200mm f/4 ED [IF] Macro - 1/250th f/11 ISO 400


Last edited by Digitalis; 09-30-2015 at 12:36 AM.
09-30-2015, 04:28 AM   #35
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That would be a very, VERY subspecialised piece of glass,and I don't think you'd find too many people lining up to buy it solely for its design purpose. How do you find it performs as a general-use telephoto? I ask because I bought the 100WR macro for work and found the FOV too tight for some things, so I went to the other extreme and got the DA35/2.8 Limited (which suits perfectly). Now the 100 sees use photographing the occasional slimy thing my kids catch on nature walks and as a wet-weather telephoto lens until I get a WR zoom to complement it.
09-30-2015, 04:49 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
That would be a very, VERY subspecialised piece of glass,and I don't think you'd find too many people lining up to buy it solely for its design purpose. How do you find it performs as a general-use telephoto? I ask because I bought the 100WR macro for work and found the FOV too tight for some things, so I went to the other extreme and got the DA35/2.8 Limited (which suits perfectly). Now the 100 sees use photographing the occasional slimy thing my kids catch on nature walks and as a wet-weather telephoto lens until I get a WR zoom to complement it.

I use my old, MF 200 ED macro for the vast majority of field macro work, only sometimes switching to a 90mm Tokina f2.5 macro, another excellent lens. I suspect Digitalis similarly uses the FA 200 macro for field work, especially insects. Not sure which of these lenses has better IQ, as I've never seen a side-by-side review or comparison. The quality I get is limited by my technique at the point of releasing the shutter, not the lens. Focusing is extremely critical and a common cause of unsatisfactory results, with camera-induced vibration being second.
In my "studio" (= the basement) 200mm is too long. There I use a variety of lenses: 50mm 2.8 SMCA macro; 35mm f2.8 macro; bellows Takumar reversed on 200mm SMCA; several enlarging lenses (best is a 50mm APO Componon); several microscope objectives (most versatile is a 3X Nikon designed for microphotography, but best resolution is a 4X APO Nikkor if it's within the intended magnification range).
09-30-2015, 09:41 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
As a historic note, I believe 135mm was developed/introduced originally because it was the longest FL that could be accurately focused by a rangefinder camera, given the limit of the base length for the RF mechanism. Or at least, it was thought to be the longest FL that could be reliably focused via a parallax type rangefinder. I suspect that Leica pioneered the 135mm FL, perhaps with the "Hektor."
Hmmmm...I had never really thought about it, but that is definitely possible. For Leica M and LTM, 135mm is pretty much the limit as far as available coupled lenses and viewfinder image frame support. Zeiss made longer coupled glass for the Contax II/III (180mm!), but those cameras have a much longer rangefinder base. Nikon drew the line at 135mm for S-mount cameras. Ditto for the Soviets.


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09-30-2015, 11:31 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Hmmmm...I had never really thought about it, but that is definitely possible. For Leica M and LTM, 135mm is pretty much the limit as far as available coupled lenses and viewfinder image frame support. Zeiss made longer coupled glass for the Contax II/III (180mm!), but those cameras have a much longer rangefinder base. Nikon drew the line at 135mm for S-mount cameras. Ditto for the Soviets.


Steve
Zeiss definitely tried to one-up Leica with multiple features of the Contax II/III: longer base rangefinder; viewfinder & rangefinder a single unit; finger-wheel focusing with infinity lock; bayonet lens mount; concentric shutter release + wind dial + shutter speed dial (and it was a single non-rotating dial); vertical travel metal shutter curtain with top speed of 1/1250; etc. The Contax II/III were innovative, feature-packed, and had a no comparison set of lenses available. The big problem was that shutter, which was both unreliable and very expensive to repair. Zeiss made a similar error of over-stretching their engineering with the Contarex which allegedly had the largest number of individual parts of any 35mm camera ever made (over 1,000).
09-30-2015, 11:44 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
Zeiss made a similar error of over-stretching their engineering with the Contarex which allegedly had the largest number of individual parts of any 35mm camera ever made (over 1,000).
I pity anyone who had to do a CLA on that.
10-01-2015, 12:56 AM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
use my old, MF 200 ED macro for the vast majority of field macro work
I have never directly compared the A* to the FA* 200mm f/4 ED Macro lenses. My optics bench has difficulties dealing with long and close focusing optics the degree for error in MTF measurement is higher as the focus distance gets closer.

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
For Leica M and LTM, 135mm is pretty much the limit as far as available coupled lenses and viewfinder image frame support.
The Leicaflex was designed to get around this limit, but at that point you might as well be using an SLR...

QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
Zeiss definitely tried to one-up Leica with multiple features
I wish Zeiss would make a Digital RF...Leica is getting complacent. I had an interview with the Leica Representative for Australia, and pressed him about any further changes to the M line. Leica is clearly putting more development in the S,Q,T,X system cameras. One interesting tidbit I did get out of him was that Leica has a modestly priced entry level M Body on the horizon there is also talk of monochrome Leica S camera in the works.
10-01-2015, 09:25 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
The Leicaflex was designed to get around this limit, but at that point you might as well be using an SLR...
Ummmm...the Leicaflex was an SLR. Perhaps you meant the Visoflex (a reflex adapter for Leica mount cameras)?


Visoflex mounted to a Voigtlander Bessa T. Image lifted from cameraquest.com.


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10-01-2015, 09:31 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Perhaps you meant the Visoflex
yes, that thing. ( I should be asleep now, damn medically induced circadian rhythm disruptions)
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