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06-23-2020, 04:00 PM   #1
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120mm- M vs K

Okay-- as a starting point, I don't need a 120mm lens. But if'n I was to pick one (and yes, I've read the reviews), do I go with the size and reputation of the K version, or the compactness and integrated hood of the M? Opinions and arguments in both directions appreciated and encouraged.

06-23-2020, 05:17 PM - 5 Likes   #2
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I have the K version. I agree with the reviews that the K is a sharp lens. I get great results (my opinion) at all stops. Colors are on the warmer side (my opinion) which I really like.
I still use it every so often, but bought for indoor High School band performance pictures. Which worked well for me at f2.8.

I don't think you would be disappointed with the K, even if you don't need it.



A few examples

At f2.8



At f4


At f8
06-24-2020, 08:34 AM - 2 Likes   #3
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This is a tough call. Both are pretty good and the difference is likely to be subtle. The "big" difference lies in the recipe for SMC which changed, meaning that colors are a little different. The K is slightly warmer AFAIK.

My answer would depend on what you already have. I am taking the completionist stance on this. If you already have a bunch of M lenses, get another M. And vice versa.

This one was made with my K 135mm f/3.5. It was my only K lens when I got it. The rest of my collection are mostly M series. That bothered my inner completionist no end until I got hold of a K 50mm f/1.2, but I feel slightly better now. I do feel the need for the K 85mm f/1.8 and one of the K 35mm lenses (not picky about aperture). Maybe a 24mm too. See where this goes?


Last edited by Wasp; 06-24-2020 at 08:43 AM.
06-24-2020, 09:15 AM - 2 Likes   #4
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Although I did not test these against each other, I expect the behavior to be like most K versus M lenses : K better image over the whole 24x36 frame, the M good in the centre, less in the edges/corners.

06-24-2020, 10:54 AM - 1 Like   #5
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I understand "completionist." I'm happy that I'm not at home to see where the gaps in the K collection are... Knowing the availables led to a buncha Takumars...
06-24-2020, 11:47 AM   #6
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I have no experience with K lenses, so can't do comparison between models. I have the M120 and I think the reviews don't do it justice. I have almost all M primes and I found 120 to be the best tele in series, if we consider M*300 as supertele and M85 as portrait lens.

I just shot a month with it in Single In Challenge: SIC 2020 05 Pentax M120/2.8 FF | Flickr
06-24-2020, 02:24 PM   #7
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^^^^^
Yeah, it's probably your fine work in the SIC that started the problem/search for me in the first place.

06-24-2020, 03:43 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wasp Quote
This is a tough call. Both are pretty good and the difference is likely to be subtle. The "big" difference lies in the recipe for SMC which changed, meaning that colors are a little different. The K is slightly warmer AFAIK.

My answer would depend on what you already have. I am taking the completionist stance on this. If you already have a bunch of M lenses, get another M. And vice versa.

This one was made with my K 135mm f/3.5. It was my only K lens when I got it. The rest of my collection are mostly M series. That bothered my inner completionist no end until I got hold of a K 50mm f/1.2, but I feel slightly better now. I do feel the need for the K 85mm f/1.8 and one of the K 35mm lenses (not picky about aperture). Maybe a 24mm too. See where this goes?

I started with the K 135mm f3.5 as well... I've added: 24mm f2.8-- 30mm f2.8-- 35mm f3.5-- 50mm f1.4-- 85mm f1.8-- 105mm f2.8-- 120mm f2.8-- 135mm f2.5-- 200mm f4-- 300mm f4.
A 35mm f2 will be arriving in a couple days to add to my collection. (Still waiting on a 50mm f1.2 deal and 200mm f2.5)


Sticking with the same series K or M will also reduce your filter collection as well ( If a polarizer or ND is used).

06-24-2020, 03:58 PM - 1 Like   #9
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I have the 300/4 from the film days. On the lookout for a 24/2.8.
200/2.5? Dadgummit.
--
Okay, looked up the cost of that one...I'm good.

Back to the 120...

Last edited by MXLX; 06-24-2020 at 04:15 PM.
06-24-2020, 11:05 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by MXLX Quote
^^^^^
Yeah, it's probably your fine work in the SIC that started the problem/search for me in the first place.

Sorry, didn't mean to Since you have mostly K series I might stick with that.
06-25-2020, 04:47 AM   #11
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I forgot that I have a K 200mm f/2.5. The looks of it is more like the M series than the K. The lettering around the barrel, I mean.
06-25-2020, 07:00 AM   #12
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I would doubt there's a huge difference between them optically. The M is very nice and not that common, I've never seen a K for sale so they must be very rare indeed. I suppose in the K series it had to compete with the 135/2.5 which is superb (better than the M 120) so fewer were produced.

I bought mine to replace the M 135/3.5 as a compact telephoto lens for travel (even on digital) as the more modern, slow zooms weren't cutting it in the image quality department. The M 135mm was better in that regard but the 120mm is better still, plus faster and a little shorter, which is better in most situations (180mm equivalent instead of 200mm equivalent).

Last edited by Jonathan Mac; 06-25-2020 at 07:25 AM.
06-25-2020, 07:19 AM   #13
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@Riggomatic--I had looked at your pics several times before I saw the "baseball" in the last one.
06-25-2020, 05:24 PM - 1 Like   #14
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Thanks for the info, all. I happened upon a K 120 for a price well below the average in the reviews. On its way.
06-25-2020, 05:50 PM - 1 Like   #15
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Good choice. I have the Takumar, and it's my favorite M42 tele...

-Eric
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