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10-27-2008, 06:25 PM   #1
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Pentax K 45-125mm F4 vs Takumar A 28-80mm vs Takumar M 135mm F/3.5

Hello I have a few money to spend and do not know what to choose for a lens. I saw those 3 at my price range:
  • Pentax K 45-125mm F4
  • Takumar A 28-80mm 1:3.5-4.5
  • Takumar Asahi Pentax M 135mm F/3.5
Which one is sharper and has the best IQ?
I love my 50mm f/1.4 because it is so sharp, and I would like to get something similar on quality even if there is not auto focus.

My main interest would be to take one lens when going on a walk with my family and not carrying the whole bag! Also I like to take portrait.

The 28-80mm as a macro function, which would interest me as well. Though I heard the Pentax 45-125 was very sharp!

Also, since they are all Manual, is it like working in Manual mode or is there other things that need to be set? How does the setup work?

Thank you,

10-27-2008, 06:42 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by YJD Quote
  • Pentax K 45-125mm F4
  • Takumar A 28-80mm 1:3.5-4.5
  • Takumar Asahi Pentax M 135mm F/3.5
The focal lengths are so different, I can't imagine any difference in sharpness would be more important than the difference in focal length.

QuoteQuote:
My main interest would be to take one lens when going on a walk with my family and not carrying the whole bag!
Of the ones you list, only the 28-80 would work OK for that. Probably not as generally useful a range as the DA18-55 usually sold with the camera, since it lacks a wide end, but of course it does provide extra telephoto. The other lenses you mention are telephoto *only*. No way would you want either of them as your only lens to take with you most of the time.

QuoteQuote:
Also, since they are all Manual, is it like working in Manual mode or is there other things that need to be set? How does the setup work?
You have to use "M" mode and set aperture using the aperture ring and hit the Green button (AE-L on models with no Green button) to set the shutter speed, except with the second one, which you can use in the other exposure modes too.
10-27-2008, 06:56 PM   #3
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What I've read about the 45-125mm has been rather positive. I have a Pentax-A 35-70mm that surprises me, so I know not to write off all old zooms like some people do. And the 45-125mm focal range is rather ideal for portraiture, although a bit long for a walk-around lens.

For image quality and sharpness, the only thing you listed that will beat the 135mm is your 50mm. As good as some zooms are, Pentax primes are better.

The 28-80mm zooms have a poor reputation. The Takumar-A was a lower priced version for the mass market, lacking the SMC coating and probably the build quality of other 28-80mm zooms. (The Takumars with bayonets, like the Takumar-A, are cheap lenses; the Takumars with a screw mount are top-shelf lenses.) I wouldn't consider buying the Takumar-A, especially if I already had the 18-55mm and 50-200mm lenses.

However, with the Pentax-K and Pentax-M lenses (not just the ones you list, but all of those generations) the aperture must be set on the barrel. This means that the camera cannot set the aperture, and so the program modes (P, Tv, Sv, TAv) cannot be used. Many people don't find this to be a problem, but some do. To use non-A lenses, you need to enable "Use Aperture Ring" in the settings and use stop-down metering; you can learn more about these things with a search. :-)

In sum, the 18-55mm which you already own is the one I'd take if I could only have one lens and not know what kind of subject matter I'd be shooting. I don't see the 28-80mm as being competitive in this company. The 135mm is an exceptional value for its image quality, but can be an awkward focal length. The 45-135mm overlaps with your 18-55 and 50-200, so if you find yourself swapping those two frequently, wanting an intermediate lens, it might be a good purchase.

Hope this helps.
10-27-2008, 07:18 PM   #4
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I have the first two lens with Pentax K 45-125mm f/4.0 and Takumar A 28-80 Macro zoom. I would suggest to ignore the Takumar A 28-80 if you already have a kit's lens. The IQ would be better in kit's lens or DA 50-200.

I like the Pentax K 45-125mm f/4.0. Though it is not as fast in aperture, it is sharp wide open and the lens in K version should deserve some attention if the copy is in good condition. One caveat that you should know about that lens is on its front heavy with zoom falling to the front when you carry it around. But if you can get it between $110 to $150 for a good copy, I will recommend it.

I wrote about these past lens of mine in my blog page:

I think the M 135mm f/3.5 is a good lens from what I heard from others. But there are many 135mm to choose from, some are better than others. I will suggest you nail down the focal length that you want. You can also make reference to my LBA past and current lens collection

Regards,
Hin


Last edited by hinman; 10-28-2008 at 09:44 AM.
10-28-2008, 06:37 AM   #5
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Thank you to all!

Hinman, I have read your website for the lens before I wrote here, thank you for your great job and support through that site.

I guess I'll wait for more comments, right now, I remove the 28-80 from my list.
10-28-2008, 09:06 AM   #6
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are you willing to put up with the fuss of having to meter manually? because that's what you'll need to do with all those lenses

if you're into an "all in one" approach, how about a tamron xr if 28-200mm? you can find those for ~100 if you look around. i had one for a while and it was not bad.

otherwise, your budget seems to be quite tight based upon your choices i would just suggest sticking to what you have, because the kit lenses do a really good job and both cover a wide range.
10-28-2008, 09:25 AM   #7
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k100d, those were my questions earlier this morning. Those manual lenses looks good, but I've never played with the M mode, I sometime play with the Tv or Av mode after looking what Auto gives me as a value.

What I'm really looking at is too have a sharp lens for a cheap price. Like I said, travel lens and portrait lens are my primary usages (I like pictures of bird and thing like that, but those lens are too expensive).

Let's say I want to save more money and go up to $200, what lens should I look at?
For my walk around I do have the kit lens, which is good enough for now, so I will be more aiming for a portrait lens (though, any of your advice will be welcome).

Thanks!
10-28-2008, 11:25 AM   #8
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If I may suggest lens, I would encourage to find MF lens in the prime instead of zoom. While some zooms like the K 45-125mm f/4.0 is outstanding, there are caveats in using a MF zoom -- the process of entering accurate SR focal length. With a prime fixed in 50mm, 85mm or 135mm, you only need to enter the SR focal length once at startup, whereas with a zoom, when you move from one end to the other, you can do "menu" -> "up arrow" -> "shake reduction focal length" to change SR focal length it on demand. It is a hassle but it can be done. If you want an average, try to register the middle one or a lower value not to overcompensate. In field test with experience, I find middle value and lower value good enough for me.

With your lens collection, you already have a good set, especially with a two kit's combo and a Raynox 250. I almost want to suggest Tamron 70-300 Di LD 1:2 Macro as that is my best value lens with 1:2 macro with the caveats of occasional and more showing of PF. Since you have DA 50-200 and Raynox 250, you better off to save for the DA 55-300 in the future, or the Sigma 70-300 APO 1:2 Macro to cover your 300mm need on a budget.

I would suggest a good prime in MF to learn manual focusing such as a good 24mm, 28mm or 35mm. Don't overspend the money. I find more use on a 24mm or 28mm than 135mm and hence the suggestion. You can reference some of my prime lens in 20mm, 24mm, 28mm and 135mm in my blog page Hin's Camera Gear and search for the focal length in 20, 24, 28, 50, 85, 135, 200 etc.

But before you do anything into buying, you need to figure out on the focal length first.


Last edited by hinman; 10-28-2008 at 12:13 PM.
10-28-2008, 11:44 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by YJD Quote

Like I said, travel lens and portrait lens are my primary usages (I like pictures of bird and thing like that, but those lens are too expensive).

Let's say I want to save more money and go up to $200, what lens should I look at?
For my walk around I do have the kit lens, which is good enough for now, so I will be more aiming for a portrait lens (though, any of your advice will be welcome).

Thanks!
For birds, I use Tamron 70-300 Di LD 1:2 Macro with Promaster 1.7x AF TC that you have.



#1
Tamron lens only, without TC




#2
Tamron lens with 1.7x TC --> 510mm rig





For landscape, I recommend $110 lens from Tokina 19-35 AF f/3.5-4.5, your DA 18-55 already does very well for landscape, a step up will be something sharper and a bit faster.


#3



For portraits, I recommend Tamron 28-75 f/2.8. Actually many of your lens can do well already in portraits, especially the DA 50-200 in good lighting and FA 50 f/1.4 for indoor. A significant step up will be the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8




All the best,
Hin

Last edited by hinman; 10-28-2008 at 12:14 PM.
10-28-2008, 12:00 PM   #10
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himman, thanks for those remarks! I didn't know my lens set was good enough. It is true I need something around the 300mm. On your site, you seem to like the Tamron 70-300, is the Sigma better?

As you have seen, I have the TC X1.7 from Promaster (I bought that one after reading may site including yours, thanks again!).

After getting a 300mm lens, I think I will have to 'just' take pictures... I guest we all have that problem, always wanting a new lens but forgetting to take pictures!

Thanks!
10-28-2008, 12:43 PM   #11
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I guess you were replying while I was doing the same!

I saw your Tamron 28-75 review, I like it, but not on my budget for now.
I'll keep your respond close to me for next purchase. Thank you so much!!!
10-28-2008, 01:42 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by YJD Quote
himman, thanks for those remarks! I didn't know my lens set was good enough.
I agree the 50-200 is fine for casual portrait taking - it's pretty darned good around the typical portrait focal lengths (60-90 or so). You can't the nice out-of-focus background effects you can get with a wider maximum aperture, but the FA50 will give you that. The focal length might be a bit short for most photography, but if you care about blurring the background, often it's because you actually plan to have a significant amount of background in the shot, meaning 50mm might be just about right.

So I also agree that in general, until you have a much clearer idea of what exactly you want to be able to do that you *cannot* do now, it is probably best to wait to buy anything new.
10-28-2008, 01:59 PM   #13
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Waiting is good, though I can spend $100 on something I want... and like all of you, I want to buy a new lens or something for my camera!

I guess I'll wait Christmas or something like that and find a lens that can reach 300mm and have some macro capabilities. Then I'll see to get a walk around lens (something like 28-80) and a portrait prime lens (maybe a Tamron 90mm f/2.8 macro, I'll guess that will work?).
10-28-2008, 03:02 PM   #14
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I sent PM to YJD for helping me to unload my buying frenzy into getting too many lens. If you are scared, you can check my feedbacks. My LBA is unmanaged if no one buy my lens that I explored. I recently get these two lens that I think anyone on low budget should use as a interim upgrade. And I extend to you budget minded for an early x-mas present

Pentax FA 28-80 f/3.5-4.7 power zoom ($20 + shipping)
Pentax F 35-135mm f/3.5-4.5 ($95 + shipping)
If interested, please PM me. If anyone buy two together, free shipping with regular mail parcel; otherwise, shipping is $10 with usps + tracking.

Warmest,
Hin
10-28-2008, 04:59 PM   #15
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I've sent you a private email.
I'm interested in both lens.

Thanks!
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