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10-30-2018, 11:59 AM   #121
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QuoteOriginally posted by mroeder75 Quote
Recently dad gave me his Pentax 50mm f/1.7 lens from the manual era. It should be even better
I have two iterations of this lens: The FA 50 f1.7 (autofocus version) and the M 50 f1.7 which is the manual focus version and for the purposes of this thread, my favorite vintage manual focus lens. Both are nice compact and very sharp lenses. You should enjoy using yours.

10-30-2018, 01:43 PM - 6 Likes   #122
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This thread managed to sneak by me, but here goes...

I guess one might want to define "favourite". What I prefer on digital is different than what I shoot with on film and choice of lens varies by subject. There is also the matter of "film-era". Two of my lenses are currently offered by Pentax for digital photography and work quite nicely in that capacity; both of which debuted after the first commercial dSLR, but four years before there was a supporting camera from Pentax.

As a result of the ambiguity, I am free to offer SEVERAL choices!

Most useful:
APS-C Digital -- Pentax FA 35/2
This lens was practically glued to my K10D and often enough, is my lens of choice as a walk-around for the K-3. It has a "normal" FOV, is quite good optically, is compact and light, and fairly fast. What's not to like?




35mm film -- Pentax-M 50/1.7
Originally acquired new in 1982 (attached to Ricoh XR7), I have logged thousands of wilderness miles with this lens and shot thousands of photos along the way. Excellent optical qualities along with excellent build and compact form factor make for a lens that is so, so, easy to leave on the camera.


Most amazing results:
APS-C Digital -- KMZ Helios 44M 58/2
Yes, it is hard to work with (stiff focus ring + stop-down metering --> slow), but I get wonderful results with this lens courtesy of former-Soviet pixies. Close runners up include: Pentax-FA 77/1.8, LZOS MC Jupiter-9 85/2, Tamron 70-150/4 (20A), and KMZ MC Zenitar 16/2.8 Fisheye.




35mm film -- Pentax-M 50/1.7
Part of the credit goes to the range of subjects (f/8 and be there), but the lens never gets in the way of an accurate capture of the spectacular.


Most fun:
APS-C Digital -- KMZ MC Zenitar 16/2.8 Fisheye
Yes, fishiness lends the novelty aspect, but beyond that, the Zen simply is a pleasurable ultra-wide on crop format that virtually invites compositions that simply work and does so without excess bulk and weight.




35mm film -- LZOS Jupiter-12 35/2.8
Yes, I know, this is a rangefinder lens and part of the fun factor might be simply traceable to the type of camera, but I really do like working with this lens (I have two copies) and can't complain about the results from either. Special mention to the Pentax-FA 35/2


Of course, I do love all my lenses, with the possible exception of a certain Tamron 70-210/4-5.6 (158A), and generally do good work with them all, so singling even a few out for favor is hard.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 11-01-2018 at 09:22 AM.
10-30-2018, 02:10 PM - 1 Like   #123
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QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote
That's in Capitol Reef National Park in Utah. Here's another K 28/3.5 shot from the same place:
What caused you to get the f/3.5 instead of f/2.8 variant?
10-30-2018, 02:50 PM - 3 Likes   #124
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Interesting thread and difficult question. So hard to narrow down to one, thought currently my vintage experience is limited to M series only. But it helps a little that it's about favorit, not about best or most used, as it gives me possibility to choose M*300/4. Hard and demanding lens to use. And then there's the size, so it's often left home. Definitely not a tool for everything. Still there is certain charm in it, that separates it from other great M lenses.





10-30-2018, 03:13 PM - 2 Likes   #125
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QuoteOriginally posted by reh321 Quote
What caused you to get the f/3.5 instead of f/2.8 variant?
I bought the f3.5 version based on its reputation. At the time, I still owned one of the 2.8 variants, the M 28/2.8 v.1, which my parents bought for me for my 14th birthday. The thing about the M 28/2.8, it's a nice enough lens, as sharp as the 3.5 versions and all that, but it is rather generic in terms rendering, color, contrast, etc. The f3.5 28mm Pentax primes are generally thought to be "better" than the 2.8 variants. The f3.5 variants certainly have better color and contrast, and produce nicer looking images. Looking back on it, I kind of wish my parents had bought me the M 28/3.5 instead. Maybe then I wouldn't have sought out the K 28/3.5 (it's harder to find). But the M 28/3.5 was only about $30 cheaper than the 2.8 version, and my parents thought, as most people do, that the faster aperture lens has to be better, so that's what they purchased.
10-30-2018, 03:40 PM - 1 Like   #126
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Nice to see some more Helios and Jupiter additions to the thread. I'm enjoying all of the responses, but I guess no-one will be surprised that I perk up when I read about Soviet lenses
10-30-2018, 04:02 PM - 5 Likes   #127
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My favorite

is the SMC A ☆ 400 F2.8 ED[IF]. Many of my PF posts will reflect this. I have taken this lens on 20 mile hikes, with my lens case, my heavy Bogan tripod, and my camera bag. It goes without saying I do not need to go to the gym and work out..... When you get the focus right and no vibration [all gimbals have some but you can compensate for it, just takes practice] it takes stunning images, smooth bokeh but the depth of field needs some practice for close up shots! I wish everyone on Pentax Forums had a chance to try this lens or any of the long telephotos Pentax use to make.They are wonderful if you can master them...

Two images from today.....no post processing....
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10-30-2018, 11:31 PM - 1 Like   #128
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I've just gone through the recent posts.
The feedback given by a significant number of pentaxians falls pretty much in line with my own findings/opinions.
We either influence each other or there is a widespread agreement on which are the most significant MF lenses available for the PK/M42 mount!
Even when it comes to zooms, the chosen ones are most of the times the same ones:
Pentax-A 35-105 and 70-210, plus the Tamron SP model 19AH and 23A.
I guess this thread will stand for long as a valuable source of information to those seeking advice about vintage manual lenses.
Kudos to the OP for opening up such interesting exchange of opinions and experiences.
It is a great addiction to a nice, civilized, generally helpful forum.

I end my post with two lenses that recently found their way up to my personal Olympus (intended as the God's mountain, not the camera maker!) of pre-bayonet era optics:
Sankyo Kohki Komura 2.8/135mm
Tokina-made Soligor C/D P 2/28mm
Both are sharp, have good bokeh, and are not plagued by CA.
Considering the age, and the fact that they beat more recent projects, it's quite an achievement!

10-31-2018, 09:50 AM   #129
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QuoteOriginally posted by cyberjunkie Quote
Sankyo Kohki Komura 2.8/135mm
I have this lens (or very similar) in Exakta mount, but have not yet given it a try. Have you posted photos of the lens or photos taken with it?

Edit: I found the example photos...nice results


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 10-31-2018 at 09:56 AM.
10-31-2018, 10:13 AM - 1 Like   #130
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Hello again, everyone. I haven't posted in a while.

My favorite film era lens, is my Tak 55mmf2.2.

It's a nice focal length, and at wider apertures, it has such nice bokeh. The colors are slightly different too. Pentax colors.

It's best used on a tripod, so it's not a quick lens to use, but the results are worth it.

I'll have to find an example, and post it.

Mike
10-31-2018, 11:47 PM - 2 Likes   #131
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I have this lens (or very similar) in Exakta mount, but have not yet given it a try. Have you posted photos of the lens or photos taken with it?

Edit: I found the example photos...nice results
What's really amazing is that it shows very little fringing, gone at medium apertures.
I compared it with the highly regarded KMZ Apo-Telezenitar-M 2.8/135mm. Of course the russian lens has an edge regarding CA, but at minimum focusing distance and wide open the Komura simply trashes the sharpness of one of the best russian lenses ever.
I believe the Apo Telezenitar is NOT optimised for close focusing, and gives its best stopped down at least one stop, so I think that at 100 times the focal length and stopped down to its sweet spot the picture would be quite different, though I'm really impressed by the performance of the humble Komura.
Such quality is not generally expected from a preset tele from the very early seventies.
I have a number of Komura lenses, I love them and I appreciate the way most of them are built. However some of them are not as great.
I have two preset 200mm, one f/3.5 and the other f/4.5. The former is barely adequate, and the latter is quite terrible (but it's wobbly, misaligned/misplaced elements could be the cause of the lack of sharpness).
Lenses that are almost 50 years old have a dramatic variability. Some examples work as new, others are totally out of whack.
Sometimes fixing them is not worth the effort. I just keep them as collection pieces.
11-01-2018, 08:05 AM - 1 Like   #132
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QuoteOriginally posted by cyberjunkie Quote
Such quality is not generally expected from a preset tele from the very early seventies.
Komura's offerings are attaining somewhat of a cult status. Mine is preset as well, but dates from the early 1960s. Time to take the Exakta for a stroll.


Steve
11-06-2018, 11:20 AM - 1 Like   #133
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I typically complain a lot about all glass that lacks all the nice new features of modern lenses. K1 was my first Pentax without interchangeable screens making manual focus in the viewfinder difficult, so only wide angle manual lenses work fast enough for me.
BUT, I have a M 2/28 on K1 and it performs extremely well. There will be no Pentax D-FA* large aperture lens in that area any time soon, so I will keep using it. Very sharp, very nice bokeh, very famous.
11-06-2018, 02:47 PM - 3 Likes   #134
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Cannot say it is totally my favourite old lens (too many to choose from), but here is one taken with the Pentax K 85mm 2.2 Soft. Takes a bit of getting used to as the focus ring is closest to the camera, and the step-less aperture ring is at the front. There is no stop-down linkage so the screen darkens as you close the aperture, thus enabling you to control the softness of the image. i have not given it a try yet on the K1 but will do at some point. This was taken last year on film with a Super-A. I think it has a very special rendering.

11-06-2018, 03:01 PM - 1 Like   #135
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QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
Cannot say it is totally my favourite old lens (too many to choose from), but here is one taken with the Pentax K 85mm 2.2 Soft. Takes a bit of getting used to as the focus ring is closest to the camera, and the step-less aperture ring is at the front. There is no stop-down linkage so the screen darkens as you close the aperture, thus enabling you to control the softness of the image. i have not given it a try yet on the K1 but will do at some point. This was taken last year on film with a Super-A. I think it has a very special rendering.
The rendering on that is absolutely beautiful. Certainly not one for "everyday" photography, but in the right circumstances, lovely
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