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01-19-2008, 05:23 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by rfortson Quote
I think any of the old manual focus 135's are great bargains. I found a Sears 135 f/2.8 for $5 that took nice pictures, and my SMC-A 135 f/2.8 (probably the least favorite 135 out there) has taken some of my best photos. For the equivalent reach and relatively fast aperture, I don't think you can beat them.

I know everyone's probably seen this shot, but I don't think any other lens could have done much better with this subject in available light - taken with the SMC-A 135mm f/2.8 lens.
Is that George Benson? The beautiful Ibanez caught my eye. Nice shot.
I'm getting the same lens too.

01-19-2008, 05:55 AM   #17
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I'm going to agree with the OP about the M50 f1.7, the M85 f2, the A35-105, and the M135 f3.5. The first three are mainstays in my digital kit and I've been snooping around for a 135. I had a M135 that I used on film, but sold it when I bought a 200 f4. Now, I wish I had it back. It was always a great combination of size and sharpness.
01-19-2008, 05:57 AM   #18
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The SMC-M 50mm f/1.4 is the best bargain lens I have ( 40 USD ) with superb quality.
01-19-2008, 06:33 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by mer Quote
The SMC-M 50mm f/1.4 is the best bargain lens I have ( 40 USD ) with superb quality.
Same here. If Pentax stuck a metal barrel on the FA50, I'd buy three.

01-20-2008, 12:07 AM   #20
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My manual lens kit

Actually all the lenses in my manual lens kit fit the description. They are:
Zenitar 16/2.8 FE, Tokina 17/3.5, M28/3.5, M50/1.7, K85/1.8, M100/2.8, K135/2.5, and M200/4. I have chucked in K85/1.8 in the list because I got it just before the price went crazy. I got it for $300 about 2 years ago and last time I checked on eBay, it was going for $500+!!!

Some from my AF kit fit the description too:
FA28/2.8, FA50/1.7 and FA135/2.8. Again, I got my FA135/2.8 before the price went up.

cheers
Kenny
01-20-2008, 05:42 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by kjao Quote
I have chucked in K85/1.8 in the list because I got it just before the price went crazy.

That's somewhat true for ALL the old Pentax glass. Seems like nothing is much of a bargain anymore. I think you almost have to look to the M42 lenses to find great deals. Maybe I should amend that to be "online" deals. It's still possible to pick up Pentax lenses in other places for bargain prices, but put that same lens in an online auction and the prices go crazy!
01-20-2008, 07:25 PM   #22
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Pentax SMC-A 135mm F2.8 - a precision instrument.

Pentax SMC-A 135mm F2.8 - a precision instrument.

the rock-star of all lenses I've owned (or tried), including the limiteds. never to be sold.

very fortunate that mine's just like it left the factory, ie: from a time capsule.

very sharp fully open, and just renders... well, like the Voigtlander APO Lanthar 125... which is good enough for me.


Also, the SMC-A 50 1.7, which feels cheap, but it's glass matches anything, regardless of money.
01-20-2008, 07:52 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by 123K10D Quote
Pentax SMC-A 135mm F2.8 - a precision instrument.

the rock-star of all lenses I've owned (or tried), including the limiteds. never to be sold.

very fortunate that mine's just like it left the factory, ie: from a time capsule.

very sharp fully open, and just renders... well, like the Voigtlander APO Lanthar 125... which is good enough for me.


Also, the SMC-A 50 1.7, which feels cheap, but it's glass matches anything, regardless of money.
Surprisingly the A 135 f/2.8 is a lens that doesn't seem to get a too much positive comments on the internet. Well I'm eagerly awaiting for mine to arrive.

01-20-2008, 09:02 PM   #24
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My A 28/2.8 should be coming in soon, and I'm happy with the ratings given.
01-20-2008, 11:15 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by DAP Quote
Hi,

It seems like the expensive limited and star series lenses are constantly being recommended (err… praised, worshiped, etc.) on this forum. While I do believe that these are great chunks of glass - I think that the "modern legend" status they have been developing recently is a bit exaggerated. I have owned a couple of star lenses in the past and at one time owned all 3 of the original limiteds (the only one that I kept was the 31mm) - yes they are great lenses, but IMHO they weren't worlds apart from some of the more common, slower Pentax offerings. I find that so many people today are obsessed with "getting the best" (stars and limiteds) that they overlook some truly great bargain lenses. I'm interested in hearing everybody’s picks for the best bargain lenses currently available for pentax.

One stipulation before we start - only list lenses if you have actually used them and have seen the results - No rehashes of 2nd hand web reviews

Ok......here is my list (in no particular order):

1)Pentax 28/3.5M - This has to be one of the best 28mm lenses that Pentax has ever made. It is small, light, and feels better made than any of the auto focus era limiteds or * lenses (well.....this is true of almost any manual era pentax lens). I debated over giving the honors to the 28/3.5 K version of this lens, but in the end the M takes the day. Sure, the K version is commonly thought to be better (I have both - I haven't really noticed any real world difference in picture quality between the two), but the K is relatively hard to find and goes for 2-3x the cost of the M version - just not worth it IMHO.

2)Pentax 50/1.7M - Awesome picture quality at dirt cheap prices. Probably the best bargain currently found in the Pentax world.

3)Pentax 85/2M - This lens gets a really bad rap, but I think it is just misunderstood. Consider this a special purpose lens - IMHO this is one of the best "portrait" lenses that Pentax has ever put out. Yes it is a bit soft wide open, but the images it produces certainly are not mush - and truthfully this softness is what makes it a great portrait lens (who wants to see every zit or wrinkle on the face of the person you are photographing?). When you move past the fast apertures and arrive at the middle apertures it is just as sharp as any other lens. Picture quality aside, its construction is top notch and it is amazingly small for a short telephoto - easy to put in your pocket if you are traveling with a bare bones kit. The street price for this lens may not be cheap but compared to the other Pentax 85mm lenses floating around it is by FAR the most affordable. This is one of those lenses that I will never get rid of (did I mention that it is a GREAT portrait lens ;-P).

4)Pentax 135/3.5M – Easy to find, cheap, good picture quality, probably the smallest 135mm ever made. Yeah, the 135/2.5K may be a hair sharper (and about 3x the cost), but I would much rather carry the M around than the K tank.

4)Pentax 35-105/3.5 A – One of the best manual focus zooms Pentax ever made (maybe the best). Great picture quality, high quality build, a joy to use. Only downside - Heavy!

5) Pentax SMC 70-210/4-5.6 F – Sure it is ugly (looks like it was designed by RoboCop), the autofocus is slow, and the focusing ring is cheesy, but the IQ is FANTASTIC (and it reportedly contains ED glass).

BTW – I shoot film, so I have no idea how these perform on digital – if they suck let us know (actually that would be a great topic for a thread…..”Great Pentax film lenses that are mediocre on digital”)
1. 28/3.5 M - a GREAT lens. Agreed. Almost no distortion and sharp as a tack. It's on permanent loan to my daughter in law along with the reverse mount for real macro work.

2. No experience
3. No experience

4. 135/3.5 M - I was pleased with mine. It worked well and was sharp enough for me.
4. No experience with the 35-105 zoom
5. No experience with the F. I bought the A 70-210 for the f/4 at the long end. I still have and use it.
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