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01-17-2009, 08:32 AM   #1
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Is the M 120/2.8 worth buying?

I have a chance to buy a Pentax M 120/2.8 in excellent condition at a very good price, but there doesn't seem to be much information at all on the net about this lens, and there are no reviews in the lens database on here. I assume that this isn't a very common lens.

Does anyone know anything about this lens - is it worth getting, or is it a dog that isn't worth the money?

Thanks,
Carl

01-17-2009, 09:14 AM   #2
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You can read something about it on here Alex's Library: Photo Tips
Just go down to the 120mm section.

I have the M 100mm F2.8 and it is my most used lens - Love it. Sorry I haven't experienced the 120mm but most of the M series glass is pretty good and I don't know of any that would be called a dog of a lens.

My advice would be to grab it if the price is good.
01-17-2009, 09:34 AM   #3
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Carib the M120 is an excellent lens. If condition and price are right you should buy it.

It is a very compact lens for the focal length which easily fits into any kit. It has stellar bokeh with the sharpness, contrast and color to match.
01-17-2009, 09:36 AM   #4
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I agree with Falcons. If you don't mind manual focusing I think the M 120m 2.8 would be a nice addition as a mid range telephoto. It is faster than the M 135/3.5 and has more reach than the M 100/2.8. Like the M 150/3.5 it is an oddity and therfore fairly rare.

Tom

01-17-2009, 09:44 AM   #5
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I guess the selling point of the M120/2.8 is that it is the longest f/2.8 "M" lens, and is presumably at least as good and/or at least as small as the various 135/2.8's out there. My take on that is if the focal length works for you and the price is right, then it's likely to be fine. But for me, based just on specs, it doesn't seem like a lens I'd use much. I too love my M100/2.8 and it's my most used lens - I find the focal length wonderful for lots of things. It can of course be slightly long for portraits, but still usable in a way a 120 might not. And when the 100 not long enough, it's generally *really* not long enough, and a 135 would be better than a 120 - and 150 better than 135. My M135/3.5 gets little use since buying the 100; I suppose I should think about replacing it with the M150/3.5 (the M200/4 is just too big and heavy for me to use much).

In general, lots of good info on various older lenses here (mostly based on experience with 35mm film):

Stan's Pentax Photography

But the 120 doesn't seem to have much said about it not a very common lens, I gather.
01-17-2009, 02:56 PM   #6
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The M120/2.8 has 8 aperture blades like the M135/3.5, while the M100/2.8 only has 6. In terms of focal length, 120 is so close to 135, it's hard to see a real "need" for it.

I would apply my general rule of thumb: if it's in good shape at a good price, why not try it out yourself. You'll know exactly how it works for you and you can always sell it if it doesn't work well.
04-16-2009, 01:52 AM   #7
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Sorry for dredging up an old thread but there's an update to my original post:

I originally passed on this lens after reading these comments and deciding that there were some more pressing things that needed doing at that time. I was back at the camera repair place today and I was offered this lens for 120 Aussie dollars (approx $US 90). I have a bit of "windfall" cash on me at the moment, and at that price it was too good an opportunity to pass up, so I should get it in my grubby little paws tomorrow when I pay for it.

It's in excellent condition and shows the usual top-shelf build quality that the M lenses seem to have
04-16-2009, 03:25 AM   #8
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Sounds like a great deal carlb. At that price you can't go wrong. Enjoy it.
Let's see some images soon.

Tom G

04-16-2009, 04:11 AM   #9
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You won't be disappointed

You won't be disappointed.

here a couple of shots with my M120 2.8



04-16-2009, 07:02 AM   #10
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At this price - get it. I regret selling mine since it is such a nice lens. Damn sharp wide open with great color rendering...
04-16-2009, 01:53 PM   #11
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Interesting to see this post come back, as I probably should take back what I said about not thinking it would be a useful ofcal length to me. That was before I got my DA70 :-). Now I look at my M100/2.8 as being enough longer to be worth carryng it when I have the DA70, but my M135/3.5 is still longer than I need much of the time, and that extrra half a stop I lose bugs me at times. I'm thinking DA70 + M120/2.8 = ultimate concert combo. But I still like the M100/2.8 as the best single lens for this purpose for me.
04-16-2009, 02:22 PM   #12
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Marc

...so many lenses....so little time !!
04-17-2009, 08:47 PM   #13
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I picked this up today, as well as an M 28/2.8 that the guy also had for $50. Both are in exceptional condition with no marks on them that I can see (both still have the "passed" stickers on the barrel). There are a few dust particles in each of them but I'd expect any lens of that vintage to have some dust in it.

I just love the build quality of the M's - they feel a step up from the A series in that regard.
04-17-2009, 09:52 PM   #14
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You gotta love the M's. Once you start with one you want to collect them all.
04-21-2009, 03:14 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxtic Quote
You gotta love the M's. Once you start with one you want to collect them all.



I beginning to know the feeling


cheers
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