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02-10-2009, 08:10 PM   #1
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Substitute for 135/2.8 A?

I have had 2 (still have 1) copies of the SMC Pentax-A 135/2.8 lens. I really like the look and feel of the lens, but the CA really bothers me on certain shots, especially in the slightly OOF areas. I have the SMC Pentax 135/2.5 and it's great when I want to get serious, but sometimes for convenience it is nice to just plug on the A series and shoot in a program mode. I was curious if anyone had a good recommendation for an A-compatible lens that would perform better optically than the A-lens?

I would be happy finding an F/FA series 135/2.8, but those in nice condition are tough to track down, and the price of one could put you nearly halfway towards an 80-200/2.8 3rd party lens. I am mainly looking for a solid (build quality is very important to me) 135mm lens that will deliver good results.

I'm not super familiar with the Tamron adaptall line-up, but aren't the later adaptall lenses aperture communication enabled? Maybe there is a decent 135 there that won't cost and arm + leg. Any other suggestions?

Thanks!

02-10-2009, 08:20 PM   #2
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The F/FA 135/2.8 got CA problem too at wide apertures, otherwise a great performer w/ super fast AF.

Since you already have two excellent 135mm lenses, I think the best option for you is the A*135/1.8 It's really hard to find another 135mm lens which is optically better than the K135/2.5 ...
02-10-2009, 08:38 PM   #3
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The A* 135mm is one of my dream lenses. I get sad everytime one sells , for one because I want it and for two because so much $$$. But I guess that is how it goes when a lens is so wonderfully made.

For the K135/2.5, I have no complaints about it optically. People tell me that there was some green fringing on high-contrast borders in some of my shots, but I couldn't see it b/c I am a bit red-green colorblind ...so it didn't bother me at all . Makes me wonder what else I'm missing...
02-10-2009, 10:19 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by arpaagent Quote
. . .

I'm not super familiar with the Tamron adaptall line-up, but aren't the later adaptall lenses aperture communication enabled? Maybe there is a decent 135 there that won't cost and arm + leg. Any other suggestions?

Thanks!
They requier the PKA adaptall mount to work that way, but yes. Have you thought about the Sears 135mm f2.8 "A" lens?

02-11-2009, 07:50 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
They requier the PKA adaptall mount to work that way, but yes. Have you thought about the Sears 135mm f2.8 "A" lens?
I have seen the Sears lenses before on eBay, etc, but I wasn't aware that they made an "A" version. Maybe I'll check that out and see if it performs well.

Although, thinking about this made me set up a few quick tests to see the difference between the A 135 and the K 135 for sharpness and bokeh. I'll make a new thread later tonight when I'm back at home and have the pics, but I'll summarize with a couple points what I found out.

- "A" version is sharper wide open (2.8) than "K" version wide open (2.5)
- "K" version stopped down to first notch matches sharpness of "A" version wide open. I believe the f-stop here is 2.8 based on the exposure, specular highlights, and DOF compared to the "A" wide open.
- "A" version has significant purple fringing wide open, "K" has slight green fringing wide open
- "K" version bokeh + specular highlists are much smoother and less distracting

- Jim
02-11-2009, 08:08 AM   #6
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The model number on the sears "A" lens is 202, and cat number 73681. I have a couple of these that I bought new in 87. One I have used and one as a spare because I liked it on my film bodies for portraits etc. They do have a Ricoh pin. The one I use isn't a problem on the dSLR bodies and the spare one is. I haven't removed the Ricoh pin because I'm eventually going to sell the spare. The A version has a so called macro setting which is actually a 1:5, 1:6 and 1:7. That is the best way to tell them apart in pics and on ebay.

Edit: It is made in Korea.
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