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01-12-2009, 12:47 PM   #1
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Your biggest surprise lens of 2008

My biggest surprise lens in 2008 is a used picked up SMC Pentax-FA 135mm F2.8 [IF]. It has excellent sharpness and good colour rendition and focuses quick as lightning and accurately. This is really the quickest AF lens I ever used on a Pentax DSLR (and I tried the 50-135 SMD). It remindes me to my old Minolta 80-200 G 2.8.
A pure joy!

My bears like it very mutch for portraits at f2.8

Also outdoor its a fine glass

Whats your biggest surprise lens in 2008?


Last edited by TKH; 01-12-2009 at 01:01 PM.
01-12-2009, 01:26 PM   #2
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Easy - Super Takumar 55 f/2. Supposed to be a cheapie, but it's a goodie.

01-12-2009, 01:39 PM   #3
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I knew the Sigma 24-60 would be a servicable lens because I had seen some images with it on Penatx bodies. I just didn't expect it to be this good! I mean this lens is really good, as in almost as good as my DA*50-135 good. I'm still amazed at how cheap this lens is. It's worth double what I paid for it.
01-12-2009, 01:42 PM   #4
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fa43... didn't expect to be using it all the time
now i've switched to film, that's always my first choice of lens, esp for B&W

01-12-2009, 01:43 PM   #5
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For me, it would be leica 90mm f2 which is surely a joy to use. This has triggered my LBA on collecting these lenses.
01-12-2009, 01:55 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by roentarre Quote
For me, it would be leica 90mm f2 which is surely a joy to use. This has triggered my LBA on collecting these lenses.
Leica-R or Leica-M?
01-12-2009, 02:32 PM   #7
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your first photo shows nice bokeh, which of course makes me lust for this lens. So please tell me, how much would a used one go for (clean glass but well used) ?

your pics always look excellent (the same goes for Abbaz and many other people here), so tell me: Why should I believe you :-)

I was looking for the Summilux R 80/1.4 but have given up in the meantime. Hoping you show something from your lens, I suppose it's the Summicron R 90/2 ?

Here's another Summicron, but to be fair the best overall score for lenses still belong to the Takumars, be it built or picture quality. Nevertheless, I got myself a 35 year old Summicron R 2/50 this year. It's the first version and it went for 100,- €. I've put an M42 backplate on it and then onto the K100D. Conversion should be easier now with the ready-made backplates from This lens has its flaws and it's a diva for sure, but I do not have another lens like this. It does the 3D thing like no other and it starts right at f/2.

This one is around f/5.6 (good guess for center + border optimum) no postprocess gimp downscale

Best, Georg (the other)

Last edited by georgweb; 01-12-2009 at 02:46 PM.
01-12-2009, 02:41 PM   #8

I am sure you all are sick and tired

of hearing it...

But for me it is Jay's old Helios-44m It is gonna take me breaking down and buying a DA* 50-135 to get this thing off of my camera...
OH and starting to use my raynox 250 again on the old primes

And re-discovering my raynox 250 to stick on the front of all my primes... this on on the Helios 44-M

Last edited by Igilligan; 01-12-2009 at 03:05 PM.
01-12-2009, 02:43 PM   #9
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Well, I was pretty sure I'd love the DA40, so no big surprise there. And the A50/1.7 was just replacing an M50/1.7, so no surprise there at all. The M28/2.8 was a *bit* of surprise, because I was looking for either the M28/3.5 or the A28/2.8 version when the M28/2.8 fell into my lap, and even though I had heard various stories of it's inferiority, I find I love this lens. Further research shows that the reputation of the other two as "better" is maybe not as well-deserved as I had thought. Anyhow, I got exactly what I was looking for: a very good and reasonably fast 28. So I can't really call it a surprise.

So, the *real* surprise is clearly the M100/2.8. It's surprising for several reasons. One, I didn't mean to buy it :-) - I was actually bidding on an M85/2, but while browsing for those, I came across the 100 and placed what I thought was a lowball bid on that while I was at it. I didn't win the 85, and I more or less forgot about the 100, but next thing I knew my lowball bid had won.

Almost instantly, I had regrets. My fears were that would be both longer than I wanted for concert photography when close up *and* shorter than I wanted when further back; that f/2.8 wouldn't be enough improvement over the f/3.5 of my M135/3.5 to seem worthwhile; that I'd find it too short to be a general replacement for the 135 in my everyday kit; that it would be too long for portraits and thus make me still crave a portrait lens; and that it wouldn't be all that sharp wide open.

Somehow, I managed to be wrong on all counts, and just as surprisingly to me, this has become my most-used lens. I guess not *terribly* surprising because its numbers are inflated by all the concert photography I do, but I'm finding it *surprisingly* versatile for other purposes, too.

So, without further ado (that was enough already), some of my M100/2.8 shots:

(I'm relatively certain the EXIF lies here - I probably forgot to change the SR focal length. But if I'm wrong and this really was the 28 - there's a little love for it too!)
01-12-2009, 02:55 PM   #10
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by georgweb Quote
your first photo shows nice bokeh, which of course makes me lust for this lens. So please tell me, how much would a used one go for (clean glass but well used) ?

Best, Georg (the other)
Hallo Georg,

I picked up a very good copy from a Pentax friend in Passau I knew from the DFN Pentax forum in Germany. Its flawless and I know from him that it works perfect. So I payed 290 Euros. This is not a bargain, but when you knew you will recieve a like new lens its OK. There are only a few in a year I see to buy in the market. An importend point for me is the little weight and dimension of the lens. I will take it in my backpack this year on the West-Highland-Way walk in scotland in may. DA200 would cost and weight me more than twice...

01-12-2009, 03:12 PM   #11
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For me it was the Volna-9. It does bokeh like no other lens.
01-12-2009, 07:03 PM   #12
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My biggest surprise was the Sigma 70 macro. I love everything about this lens, except that it's a bit bulky.

I mostly use it alongside my FA77 and FA50 for various portrait shots.

Can't recommend the Sigma enough...

01-12-2009, 07:39 PM   #13
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Tough call, either the 35/2 or the 12-24 or the 58mm something I used at the Toronto meet up. Probably the 58 as I had NFI how good it was. Nokton was it?

I kinda knew the 12-24 was solid from my research but the 35/2 surprised me, it really does leave the 50/1.4 for dead.
01-12-2009, 08:53 PM   #14
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My biggest surprise lens of 2008 is the FA 31mm LTD. Not because it's build and image quality are outstanding, since that was expected, but because I was actually able to get one.

Of course, even though I expectected it to be outstanding, it is surprising just how outstanding it is when it's actually in the hand and on the camera.
01-12-2009, 10:14 PM   #15
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I found an MZ-S at a great price and it had an FA 20-35mm lens on the front. I never knew the lens existed, so of course had never wanted one, and even if I had I think the small range and the slow aperture (F/4) might have put me off. But as it turns out I love it, both on film and digital, it has become my #1 main lens. Go figure!

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