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06-22-2017, 12:50 PM   #1
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Pentax A* 135mm f1.8

Is this lens really worth 2000$+ ? All the lenses listed on eBay are going for this. Collectors item? Or is it miles ahead of the Pentax FA 135mm 2.8 and Pentax F 135mm f2.8 in performance? Or is it both? Damn this lens got my interest.

06-22-2017, 01:22 PM   #2
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I think it depends on what you are looking for.
If you want a collectors piece with impeccable build quality then that lens is at the top of the heap.
But if you are looking for ultimate image quality, I would rather go for the Samyang 135mm.
06-22-2017, 01:33 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
I think it depends on what you are looking for.
If you want a collectors piece with impeccable build quality then that lens is at the top of the heap.
But if you are looking for ultimate image quality, I would rather go for the Samyang 135mm.
Really? The Samyang is that good?
06-22-2017, 01:57 PM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by SunnyG. Quote
Really? The Samyang is that good?
Yes it is.
Folks have tested it against the Zeiss 135mm APO and the Samyang was every bit as good and some say even better.
Now, you really have to be pixel peeping to notice the difference. But regardless, because the Samyang is even that close when the price discrepancy is so large shows what an awesome value the Samyang is.
Yes, the build quality is much cheaper for the Samyang, but heck you can buy 4 of them for the price of the A* 135.

06-22-2017, 04:14 PM - 1 Like   #5
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For an alternative, the SMC K 135/2.5 is "the poor man's A* 135/1.8".
06-22-2017, 04:18 PM   #6
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I had the K135/2.5, and I do love the rendering of that lens.
But when I had it, I missed the auto aperture control and its minimum focusing distance is a bit long.

However, on a budget, the K is a very nice lens.
06-22-2017, 05:34 PM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by SunnyG. Quote
Is this lens really worth 2000$+ ? All the lenses listed on eBay are going for this. Collectors item?
Collectors item. It is an exceptional lens but not that exceptional. It is also very dated as far as coatings and of course not AF. But still tempting if I ever win the lottery it is second on my list after the Pentax-A 200mm macro. On the other hand if you really need f/1.8 then this is pretty much the only game in town.
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06-22-2017, 05:55 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
Yes it is.
Folks have tested it against the Zeiss 135mm APO and the Samyang was every bit as good and some say even better.
Now, you really have to be pixel peeping to notice the difference. But regardless, because the Samyang is even that close when the price discrepancy is so large shows what an awesome value the Samyang is.
Yes, the build quality is much cheaper for the Samyang, but heck you can buy 4 of them for the price of the A* 135.
Pretty much no one makes 135mm primes these days.

---------- Post added 06-22-17 at 05:57 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by fwcetus Quote
For an alternative, the SMC K 135/2.5 is "the poor man's A* 135/1.8".
Is it better than the FA version??? Or just a tad behind it.

06-22-2017, 06:09 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
Yes it is.
Folks have tested it against the Zeiss 135mm APO and the Samyang was every bit as good and some say even better.
.
As far as I know, I may be the only person who has ever shot both of these lenses on a Pentax K1 camera. I suspect these other un-named testers did not do their testing on a Pentax camera.

First, the Samyang 135mm lens is indeed incredibly sharp. Is it sharper than the Zeiss 135 APO? Well, it just might be - but only by a tiny hair visible during extreme pixel peeping.

As most serious photographers know, there's so much more to an image than just "sharpness". When it comes to color fidelity, bokeh, and both global and micro-contrast, the Zeiss 135 APO bests the Samyang on my K1.

The Samyang 135 to be sure is an excellent lens. Zeiss 135 APO is world class and overall at a higher level.
06-22-2017, 06:29 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Collectors item. It is an exceptional lens but not that exceptional. It is also very dated as far as coatings and of course not AF. But still tempting if I ever win the lottery it is second on my list after the Pentax-A 200mm macro. On the other hand if you really need f/1.8 then this is pretty much the only game in town.
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There's a boat load of lenses I want to buy, but I don't wanna pay customs duty.

---------- Post added 06-22-17 at 06:32 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Fenwoodian Quote
As far as I know, I may be the only person who has ever shot both of these lenses on a Pentax K1 camera. I suspect these other un-named testers did not do their testing on a Pentax camera.

First, the Samyang 135mm lens is indeed incredibly sharp. Is it sharper than the Zeiss 135 APO? Well, it just might be - but only by a tiny hair visible during extreme pixel peeping.

As most serious photographers know, there's so much more to an image than just "sharpness". When it comes to color fidelity, bokeh, and both global and micro-contrast, the Zeiss 135 APO bests the Samyang on my K1.

The Samyang 135 to be sure is an excellent lens. Zeiss 135 APO is world class and overall at a higher level.
Lol La bataille des lentilles?

Last edited by Racer X 69; 11-18-2018 at 09:33 AM. Reason: Language
06-23-2017, 02:51 PM - 3 Likes   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by SunnyG. Quote
Is this lens really worth 2000$+ ?
Absolutely.
Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-1  Photo 

Last edited by Kerrowdown; 06-23-2017 at 03:01 PM.
06-24-2017, 11:44 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kerrowdown Quote
Absolutely.
You're showing off lol. If there is a photography God some where, she is watching you.
06-24-2017, 11:51 AM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by SunnyG. Quote
You're showing off lol. If there is a photography God some where, she is watching you.
Thank you.
06-25-2017, 01:08 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by SunnyG. Quote
Is this lens really worth 2000$+ ? All the lenses listed on eBay are going for this. Collectors item? Or is it miles ahead of the Pentax FA 135mm 2.8 and Pentax F 135mm f2.8 in performance? Or is it both? Damn this lens got my interest.
Here's my opinion:

The Samyang 135mm F2 goes for 490 EUR in PK with full guarantee and can be repaired easily. The best image quality I have seen so far in any lens on PK.

Any images I have seen of the A*135mm were significantly softer wide open, had bad color fringing CAs and not really flare resistant. You seem to need to stop it down to F4 for real good sharpness - and why buy a F1.8 lens then?
This is also the main reason why you will have such a hard time finding many full resolution images from this lens on 24MPx or 36 MPx bodies using the lens wide open. It's a collector's item and collectors don't want to show off how bad it is actually.

So for the much poorer image quality alone the A* would be rated at 2/3 of 490 EUR = 326 EUR.
For OEM equipment we usually pay roundabout a +30% OEM surcharge to exact same quality items from third parties, which means 424 EUR.
For used items loosing warranty even in mint condition and only a couple of days old you can demand roughly a -20% discount, so we are at 339 EUR.
For really old lenses with no spare parts around any longer you can demand an additional -15% discount, so we end up at 276 EUR fair price for mint quality A*135.

The difference between 276 EUR and what sellers want is collectors' fantasy.
06-25-2017, 04:21 AM - 3 Likes   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by beholder3 Quote
images I have seen of the A*135mm
So you don't actually own or have used one of these then... an interesting way to base an opinion on.
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