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03-21-2019, 05:04 PM   #1
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Travelling with a K-1: M75-150/4 or M80-200/4.5?

I've just acquired these two lenses with the intention of travelling with one of them, but don't have a lot of time to test them. I'll be using a K-1, FA20-35 & FA43 lenses* for the wide to standard shots (which will be the majority), and one of these lenses when I need longer reach. Before buying the K-1, I used to travel with an M135/3.5 (film & APS-C) but feel I need longer reach and the flexibility of a zoom.

They get similar scores in the reviews, but the comments about the 75-150 seem to be more enthusiastic. An old (LX era) BJP review of the M80-200 gives it a good write-up for the time.

Another option is the M200/4, but I feel a zoom would be preferable as 200mm is likely to be a bit long some of the time.

* It may seem odd to take a K-1 and two FA lenses but going back to M lenses for a zoom, I like the build quality and engineering that goes into these zooms and I need an aperture ring for my film cameras.

Any thoughts?

03-21-2019, 06:04 PM   #2
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Just take the one who performs best at the long end.

03-21-2019, 06:07 PM - 1 Like   #3
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I own a copy of the M 75-150 and have taken a half dozen shots with it on the K-1. It's a nice lens, with attractive, realistic colors and beautiful rendering. It's not particularly sharp (the FA 20-35 and the M 135 are sharper), but it's not soft either, and from what I could tell, what sharpness it does exhibit goes all the way to the edges and corners. Despite the difference in sharpness, I prefer the images of the M 75-300 from what I've gotten from the M 135/3.5 K-1. The M 75-300 images just look better — more natural, more attractive color. I have no experience with the M 80-200, though I doubt there's a huge amount of difference between these two old zooms.
03-21-2019, 06:23 PM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote
I own a copy of the M 75-150 and have taken a half dozen shots with it on the K-1. It's a nice lens, with attractive, realistic colors and beautiful rendering. It's not particularly sharp (the FA 20-35 and the M 135 are sharper), but it's not soft either, and from what I could tell, what sharpness it does exhibit goes all the way to the edges and corners. Despite the difference in sharpness, I prefer the images of the M 75-300 from what I've gotten from the M 135/3.5 K-1. The M 75-300 images just look better — more natural, more attractive color. I have no experience with the M 80-200, though I doubt there's a huge amount of difference between these two old zooms.
I’ve been pleased over many years with my M75-150 for the reasons described above, though I consider it a sharp lens in the context of film era manual lenses. My sharpest remaining M lens (I prefer K lenses) left is the M150/3.5. The. 75-150 comes close to the M150, which is a true sleeper lens, I prefer the 150 to the zoom because I have other prime lenses that cover the short end of the 75-150.

IMO the 75-150 is so much easier to handle and more compact that if pressed for space I carried it instead of a longer zoom and sacrificed anything that required the reach. I had an 80-200 many years ago but sold it for lack of use. As I recall from K10D days I wasn’t all that impressed - good lens but not unique or outstanding. If in your situation I would take the 75-150.

03-21-2019, 07:16 PM - 1 Like   #5
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Thanks for the prompt replies, so far they seem to mirror the comments in the reviews. I preferred the M135/3.5 for travel due to it's size, built-in hood and 49mm filter thread instead of the K135/2.5 which is bulkier and has a separate hood. The various comments about the M135/3.5 have prompted me to rethink, I may decide to take both the M135/3.5 and M200/4 instead of either of the zooms (the 75-150 seems to have the most going for it).

Last edited by johnha; 03-21-2019 at 07:36 PM. Reason: Clarity
03-21-2019, 09:13 PM   #6
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Nothing wrong with using FA lenses with the K-1, I have a few I particularly like and are always in my bag (because they are small!).

I don't have a M 80-200 currently, but I do have a M 75 - 150. I think the 75 -150 is probably the somewhat sharper of the two (based only off samples I have seen) but have not verified this myself.
I have tried the 75-150 on my K-1 and its decent performer (decent sharpness across the frame and focal range - although not stunning sharp). If I didn't have a DFA 28-105 and a Tamron 70-200 f2.8 (Ok the Tammy doesn't get used often because of size), I would probably use it more. Colours are pretty good too.
03-22-2019, 01:23 AM   #7
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I have both zooms and used them on film and K20.
Comparing them?...everything monochrome says above - ditto
03-22-2019, 08:49 AM   #8
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Yep I have both as well, but my 80-200/4.5 is the original K Series version. (Same optics as the M Series)

The M75-150/4 is preferred as well.

Phil.

PS The best old MF zoom that I have in a similar focal range is the A70-210/4.

04-09-2019, 03:25 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the replies and suggestions. In the end (despite the recommendations for the 75-150) I took the 80-200 for the extra reach, but given the comments about the M135/3.5, I took that as well. Overall it was the right choice for that trip, the extra bulk & weight over the 75-150 wasn't significant and in the brief testing I could do, I couldn't spot a difference between them. I can't help feeling a 150 prime would be better if I was travelling lighter.

Thanks again for all the help.
04-09-2019, 05:47 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnha Quote
Thanks for all the replies and suggestions. In the end (despite the recommendations for the 75-150) I took the 80-200 for the extra reach, but given the comments about the M135/3.5, I took that as well. Overall it was the right choice for that trip, the extra bulk & weight over the 75-150 wasn't significant and in the brief testing I could do, I couldn't spot a difference between them. I can't help feeling a 150 prime would be better if I was travelling lighter.

Thanks again for all the help.
Good call - glad it went well

As I posted above, the M150/3.5 is a special lens - a real sleeper that few know about. Very sharp, excellent M-Class color rendition, small and light, a wonderful medium telephoto!!
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