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05-23-2018, 08:04 PM   #1
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FA 135 2.8, K 135 2.5 or Samyang 135 F2?

After I consolidate and sell some of my unused lenses I'm looking to expand once again and this time I want a really excellent all around 135. Ever since I got my Takumar Bayonet this has become one of my favorite FLs, but the main problem with the Tak Bayonet is that it's really showing its age with the lack of SMC and tends to be a one trick pony in short to mid range portraits more than anything else.

I really want something utilitarian. Something that's good for portraits and good for landscapes. I want to be able to slap this thing to infinity or closest focal distance and get good results.

05-23-2018, 08:17 PM - 1 Like   #2

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Well, the m 135/3.5 certainly fits the utilitarian part of the bill, at $50 used it's cheaper than the options you list, and it's pretty sharp stopped down. It has SMC coatings and a built in hood too. I've never had problems with mine flaring, but I am aware it's not on par with modern lenses. I've used this lens both for portraits and for landscapes.

edit: including two samples of the 135/3.5 both at medium range; they're film and scanned with a flatbed scanner, so perhaps not the ultimate test of resolution

Last edited by aaacb; 05-24-2018 at 04:40 AM.
05-23-2018, 08:45 PM   #3
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I have the M135 3.5 and the A135 2.8 (plus a few others in the M42 variant). The M is small, lightweight and easy to use, but compared to the A lens, it's definitely a step or two behind, especially in contrast and color.
05-23-2018, 09:01 PM   #4
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People say the Samyang 135's sharpness can't be beaten.

05-23-2018, 09:08 PM - 4 Likes   #5
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Two with the M 135mm f/3.5. On a K-70. Haven't had this lens for very long. Have only used it for close shots. So far I'm a likin' it! Minimum focusing distance is about a furlong but it's a nice lens.
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Last edited by DW58; 05-23-2018 at 09:38 PM.
05-23-2018, 09:48 PM   #6
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Sometimes the 1.5m minimum focus distance of the K135/2.5 was annoying. I liked it otherwise. The Samyang is really good at 0.8m MFD.
05-23-2018, 10:27 PM   #7

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The Samyang 135 f2 is a good choice. It's the newest design of your 3 options. Someone else pointed out it has good close focus ability; it can reach approximately 0.25x magnification for semi-macro use. It's sharp close, at infinity, and everything in between.

05-23-2018, 11:19 PM   #8
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I have the m 42 super multi coated takumar 135 f 2,5 and the takumar bayonet 135 f 2,5. Maybe it is caused to sample variations but the m 42 is the better one. That is also the case with the 50 mm 1,4, but not the other fifties. I think that the m 42 50 mm f4 preset is heavyly overrated.
What about considering the m 42 105 mm f2,8. It is notning but great.
05-24-2018, 09:46 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
Sometimes the 1.5m minimum focus distance of the K135/2.5 was annoying. I liked it otherwise.
Pentax did have a solution for that, a T-95 close-up lens attachment. It cut down the K135/2.5's minimum focusing distance from 1.5 meters to 0.7 meters and also gives you magnification from 1/7.1 ~ 1/3.7. A bit of a pain having to carry around the attachment, but does the trick.

05-24-2018, 10:41 AM   #10
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...about the SMC PENTAX K 1:2.5/135:
neither the sharpest nor the fastest 135mm PK-Lens- but after i did owning it more than 2 years i rediscovered this lens last summer
for its FL, its 8 blade aperture and its plastic rendition.

It was sticky then on my K-1 for three month - until i found a K 1:1.8/85...

...all open with f/2.5 and (flickr-like) ooc:

My Dobi Koma
K-1 + K 1:2.5/135; @f/2.5; linked to out of camera jpg

Mrs 3586
K-1 + K 1:2.5/135; @f/2.5; linked to ooc jpg

Mrs 3586 II
K-1 + K 1:2.5/135; @f/2.5; linked to ooc jpg

Lord of the Flies
K-1 + K 1:2.5/135; @f/2.5; linked to ooc jpg.

K-1 + K 1:2.5/135; @f/2.5; linked to ooc jpg.

more distance, focus on foreground cattle
K-1 + K 1:2.5/135; @f/2.5; linked to ooc jpg.

more distance, focus on background horse
K-1 + K 1:2.5/135; @f/2.5; linked to ooc jpg.

...and 257 more ooc shots with this lens @f/5.6...a german doberman show 2017.08.06; a flickr album...
05-24-2018, 11:28 AM   #11
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After a lot of research on this subject, I recently acquired a K135 2.5 at a good price. It seems very nice, certainly fantastically well made with an extremely smooth and fine manual focus ring. Wide-open focus through the viewfinder is a definite challenge on the K1; works like a charm in live-view.

I am sure the Samyang is substantially better in many ways, including sharpness, flare resistance, light fall off and minimum focus distance. And while it is not advertised as such, it has been tested as an APO lens. It's also an A lens, which makes it preferable for use on DSLRs. For what it is, it is a great value, and surely the superior lens optically. If it is worth approx. 4x the cost and 60% additional weight is a decision one would have to make.

I am happy with the K135 for the moment as it isn't a focal length I use regularly, and it seems to be quite pleasant wide open for portrait and quite sharp stopped down for landscape use. I don't mind green button metering.
05-24-2018, 12:35 PM - 1 Like   #12
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Original Poster
Thanks for your insight guys! You have not made my decision any easier

Guess the only rational thing to do is buy all of them!

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