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08-11-2008, 03:01 PM   #1
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M42 lba -- 85mm or 105mm Takumar?

There's been a lot of action round these here parts regarding M42 Takumar lenses. I have myself a classical dilemma in terms of what to purchase next.

A little background first: I'm building up my Super Takumar lens collection and currently have:
  1. 28.mm f3.5
  2. 50mm f1.4
  3. 50mm f4 super-macro (on the way, thanks DonkeyPunch!)
  4. 200mm f4
  5. Asahi pentax M42 Bellows (on the way, thanks xs400!)
  6. Asahi Pentax M42 extension tube set

All are non-SMC for now as I don't find flaring too much of a problem given careful composition and a lens hood.

What I'm trying to decide is which lens to acquire next:
35mm f3.5 (have the 28mm, so this can likely wait)
85mm f1.9 (or 1.8 though I haven't seen one anywhere)
105mm f2.8
135mm f3.5 (or 2.5)

Any coating is of course fine with me, so SMC or not, any of the above in any version would be a good addition to my kit.

What I've got now are all terrific on my K10D and K1000, I use mostly digital as film is pretty expensive on my student budget (not a photography student).

I'm really drawn to either the 85mm or 105mm lenses after seeing some of the amazing shots on this forum. On digital, I guess 85mm would be closer to 135mm cropped and that lens sounds amazing from what I've read. I'd also like to learn about portrait photography and think that the 85mm would give me enough distance that neither I nor the subject need feel too awkward, plus it produces fantastic images. Just really pricey for that lens and wonder if it would be worth it? I toyed with the idea of a Jupiter9 85mm, but think I'll wait for the real thing.

I'm not sure I would need much over 100mm apart from the 200mm unit for long telephoto. I do like the long range stuff too though, see http://flickr.com/photos/jamonation/...akumar200mmf4/ so the 105mm unit might be just what I'm looking for in between 50mm and 200mm. It is cheaper by a fair margin than the 85mm, and it too (like all Takumar's I've seen so far) looks to produce stellar images (I know the photographer has more to do with this than the lens, but you're only as good as your tools no?).

Anyone have any thoughts on how I can resolve this dilemma? Ultimately I hope to acquire one of each but it will take a few months to save enough cash since both go for $100-200+ each. Anyone in Toronto have either lens who might be willing to let me borrow it for a day or head out with me sometime to try? Pretty please


Last edited by jamonation; 08-11-2008 at 03:55 PM.
08-11-2008, 04:23 PM   #2
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My own opinion: the 35/3.5 is so cheap you shouldn't avoid getting one, and it is one of the better Takumars.

Again, from my own pov, yours (and others') will vary: the 105 over either 85 or 135. Or the 85. 135's are fun but like you say, a bit long-ish. This would be the bigger $$ purchase.
08-11-2008, 04:48 PM   #3
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If going for the 135mm .. get the f/3.5 version ... there were issues with quite a number of the f/2.5 variants (ie: washed out colours ... not as sharp). It is a good outdoor lens however and produces some stunning shots.

The 85mm is going to be the most expensive out of the lot ... I managed to get my 85mm f/1.9for approx $250US ... so it seems to be the going rate going on the averages in the Pentax Lens Database for pricing.

The 105mm f/2.8 is a jem of a lens ... it is a must get lens.

Also when it comes to coatings ... and lack of ... I have read in a number of places that you are able to use multi-coated filters to compensate for this as well ... I haven't used any yet though ... but have found the hoods to work well ... and some are interchangeable with other lenses as well.
08-11-2008, 05:38 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nesster:
My own opinion: the 35/3.5 is so cheap you shouldn't avoid getting one, and it is one of the better Takumars.
Yeah, the 35mm I'm definitely going to pick up soon. I have an SMC-K 28mm f3.5 and Super Takumar 28mm f3.5 (both incredible), so I'd like to practise and use those first in the shorter focal range. Once I'm comfortable there then I'll be more appreciative of the tighter framing that a 35mm on digital affords I think.


Last edited by jamonation; 08-11-2008 at 05:40 PM. Reason: spelling
08-11-2008, 05:43 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mechan1k Quote
If going for the 135mm .. get the f/3.5 version ... there were issues with quite a number of the f/2.5 variants (ie: washed out colours ... not as sharp). It is a good outdoor lens however and produces some stunning shots.

The 85mm is going to be the most expensive out of the lot ... I managed to get my 85mm f/1.9for approx $250US ... so it seems to be the going rate going on the averages in the Pentax Lens Database for pricing.
Yeha, I saw one go for $450+ the other day on a certain site.. Waay outta my price range. I'd just save for an FA 77mm limited at that price.

QuoteOriginally posted by Mechan1k Quote
The 105mm f/2.8 is a jem of a lens ... it is a must get lens.
I'm leaning towards the 105mm as I think I might like the reach for outdoor stuff. I can use the 50mm f1.4 for portraits until I can afford the 85mm.

Have to see, under $250 for the 85mm and I'm all over it!
08-12-2008, 12:31 AM   #6
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Get the 135/3.5 and the 55/1.8 first. And do not forget about the 150/4.

You will get the 150, 135, 55, 35 for the same price as the 85. And to be honest, the 85 is not for crop cameras. It is a great lens, but when you read all the praising of it, remember that the most of the praising comes from the fullframe time. Meaning that you would get the "same" lens with the 55/1.8. If the people that praised the 85 back in the days, was shooting with todays camera, the 55 would get the praising.

The prices of the 55/1.8 is just wrong. I got 2 copies for 10$ each (one including overseas shipping).

In my opinion, the real miracles in the Takumar lineup is the 55 and the 135. Depending on what I do. The former for everyday portraits and the latter for street photography. Ofcourse the 105mm is sweet as sugar. But considering you get 4-5 other lenses for the same cash, it does not bang as high as the other, per buck.

So my advice is for you, if you want to grow the collection quick is to get 55,135,150,35,105,300,24,85, 50Macro,100Macro, 20,17,500,1000. In that order
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