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03-09-2017, 02:53 AM   #1
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Which Pentax (K) 135mm for Film Bodies

The reason for the rather specific question is because I'm in the market for a Pentax 135mm, there's a couple out there such as the SMC Pentax-M 135/3.5, as well as the Pentax-M 135/2.8 and Pentax-A 135/2.8.

However I've seen a couple posts mention the Pentax-A suffers quality issues on film yet seems rather nice for DSLRs. But that's the only one of the 135s I see mentioned with that difference between film and digital so when I'm searching thru sample archives, most of them are off of DSLRs and doesn't really give me a point of reference of clarity with a film body (guessing based on how the light falls).

I've seen the Pentax-M 135/3.5 go for around $30 to $50, and the Pentax-M 135/2.8 around $90 and up. But not sure if the price bump is just because it's ~2/3rd of a stop faster, or if it has better contrast/clarity.

I'm trying to aim at $100 or less for a telephoto (120mm+) prime to use on my MX as I already have a Pentax-M 28/3.5, Pentax-M 50/1.4, Rokinon 85/1.4, and a Tamron SP Adaptall-II 90mm f/2.8 1:1 Lifesize Macro.

03-09-2017, 03:48 AM   #2
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If you would consider another make than Pentax you will find your options of finding a "good" 135mm lens that has reviews on film cameras. Makinon (macro version, not macro but has "A" setting on apertures), Chinon and Cosina made and are pretty good for budget priced lenses. Reviews of images taken on film cameras are likely to be pretty sparse though for any old 135mm lens.
If you are willing to go with a M42 to K adapter, I usually like the Pentacon preset 135mm F2.8 (great bokeh) and the CZJ 135mm F3.5 with A/M switch (sharper) better than my Super-Tak 135mm F3.5. Though I sold both copies of my CZJ's and kept the Super-Tak....
I see a lot of Pentax-M 135mm F3.5 on Ebay that have sold at a price where you can think of getting another Pentax (with F2.8) and still come in around your $100 budget with a bit of luck!

Last edited by Skodadriver; 03-09-2017 at 04:14 AM. Reason: Added information
03-09-2017, 03:53 AM   #3
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I am quite pleased with my K 135/3.5. I am generally pleased with my K primes. I only have the 40/2.8 and 85/2 of the M series. They are both nice lenses but I suspect the K series are in generally superior to the M counterparts.
03-09-2017, 04:10 AM   #4
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I'll throw a curve in here:

Sears (Samyang) 135mm f2.8 with Macro Zone

I had this (along with a M135/3.5 and sold them both - don't care for the focal length) and it was a surprisingly good lens - they are solidly-built, have outstanding color rendition, and are usually cheap cheap cheap...

my flickr album of mine:

Sears 135mm f2.8 Macro | Flickr

03-09-2017, 04:41 AM   #5
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The main reason I did not consider brands like sears, jcpenny, cosina, Vivitar, etc is because I'm not sure if results from one is relatively close to a copy of another least with the Pentax, the lens of one series shown could reasonably be considered the same as another of the same lens in the series. That and considered them to be much softer wide open.
03-09-2017, 04:46 AM   #6
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I have owned the K135/2.5 and FA135/2.8. For bokeh quality and build quality, the former wins. For compactness, built in hood and auto focus (if your film body allows it, or if you want to use it on a DSLR), the latter wins.
03-09-2017, 05:04 AM   #7
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This one: SMC Pentax 135mm F2.5 Reviews - K Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database. There is also a Takumar version if you don't mind using the m42 adapter. Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 135mm F2.5 (model 2) Super-Multi-Coated TAKUMAR/Super-Takumar 135mm F2.5 Reviews - M42 Screwmount Telephoto Primes - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database (mind the model 2).
03-09-2017, 05:50 AM   #8
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There is no M-series 135mm 2.8. In the M-series for 135mm there is only the 3.5. I have this lens and it is a great performer for its price. The reason they are so cheap on ebay is there were loads of them produced.

Have a look here http://stans-photography.info/

The comments all relate to the lenses on film.


Last edited by pschlute; 03-09-2017 at 05:57 AM.
03-09-2017, 06:41 AM   #9
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I'm going to vote for the M135mm f3.5. I would place it next to the 50mm f1.7 as the "best-bang-for-the-buck" manual focus Pentax lens. That's not to say other 135mm lenses might not be better...but you're going to pay for the advances.
03-09-2017, 07:02 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
I'm going to vote for the M135mm f3.5. I would place it next to the 50mm f1.7 as the "best-bang-for-the-buck" manual focus Pentax lens. That's not to say other 135mm lenses might not be better...but you're going to pay for the advances.
I recommend the K135/3.5 if you come across one, but I would seek out the K135/2.5 as the best IQ/$ value, though pricier than the M.

Any of the three manual 135's except the Takumar Bayonet (avoid that) will be wonderful and affordable.

Last edited by monochrome; 03-09-2017 at 09:59 AM.
03-09-2017, 08:54 AM   #11
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Another vote for the K135/3.5 for a film camera. Good optics and you should be under the $100.00 mark. (The K135/2.5 & K120/2.8 are also excellent but cost way more)

Phil.
03-09-2017, 09:35 AM   #12
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I tested a bunch of 135mm lenses a couple of years ago on my K-01. I ended up liking, and keeping, the Ricoh XR 135mm 2.8.

Trouble is, it's probably a bit harder to find in most locales, than the Pentax lenses. Around here, Ricohs came with basic 50mm lenses, but most got kitted out with "house brand" zooms after that.
03-09-2017, 10:28 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Any of the three manual 135's except the Takumar Bayonet (avoid that) will be wonderful and affordable.
Ouch... that's the one I have!
03-09-2017, 10:36 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by klkitchens Quote
Ouch... that's the one I have!
It isn't a bad lens per se, it just doesn't have SMC coating so it is more subject to flare and veiling than the SMC coated 135's.

K-mount Page entry.
03-09-2017, 07:22 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
Another vote for the K135/3.5 for a film camera. Good optics and you should be under the $100.00 mark. (The K135/2.5 & K120/2.8 are also excellent but cost way more)

Phil.

Is the "K" the one marked as SMC Pentax-M ... or something else?
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