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02-11-2009, 09:29 PM   #1
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A 135 vs K 135 (w/ Test shots)

Ok,

So I got curious the other night after deliberating over what 135mm I want to carry around. I have several...A 135/2.8, K 135/2.5, M 135/3.5, SMCT 135/2.5...

Mostly just tested the A135 and K135, but did a few shots with the others as well.

some non-IQ related observations:

A 135/2.8:
- More compact, lightweight than 2.5 cousins
- Has "A" setting
- Has pull-out hood, wimpy but better than nothing I guess
- Close focus of 1.2m, about 1:4 magnification I think...so OK macro in a pinch

K 135/2.5:
- Solid but heavy
- Very smooth focus
- Looks serious on the camera

M 135/3.5
- Smallest, lightest of the bunch
- Has pull-out hood, also wimpy like the "A"
- Cheaply replaced in case of accident

SMCT 135/2.5
- Solid but heavy
- Smoothest focus
- IMO, looks the coolest on the camera out of the bunch

So here's the lineup.



And, now for some tests. These shots are not quite 100% crops, but pretty close. First series to show the sharpness on the watch and some blur + specular highlights in the background. I took several shots with each one and made sure that I have representative samples that are well-focused. Also, forgive me for shooting ISO800 but I was indoors and was lazy to get out the flash, instead settling for a desk lamp. It doesn't really harm the comparison IMO.

Thoughts and comments are welcome. Just wanted to share in case anyone else was interested.

- Jim

A135/2.8 @ 2.8


A135/2.8 @ 3.5


A135/2.8 @ 4


K135/2.5 @ 2.5


K135/2.5 @ 2.8


M135/3.5 @ 3.5




Now for some more serious bokeh tests. This time, the watch if OOF and is full of specular highlights.

A135/2.8 @ 2.8


K135/2.5 @ 2.5


K135/2.5 @ 2.8


SMCT135/2.5 @ 2.8


SMCT135/2.5 @ 4


SMCT135/2.5 @ 8


02-11-2009, 09:51 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by arpaagent Quote
...
SMCT 135/2.5
- Solid but heavy
- Smoothest focus
- IMO, looks the coolest on the camera out of the bunch
...
That makes me laugh, because I always thought the same thing when I used mine. I still have the hood, which does make the slide-out hoods look wimpy.

I have a Vivitar TX 135/2.5 that appears to have less CA than my K135/2.5, but I have never taken the time for a more thorough comparison.

Thanks for the comparison. I've seen very few technical comparisons with the A version, just vague comments that it's not great.
02-11-2009, 10:00 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
That makes me laugh, because I always thought the same thing when I used mine. I still have the hood, which does make the slide-out hoods look wimpy.

I have a Vivitar TX 135/2.5 that appears to have less CA than my K135/2.5, but I have never taken the time for a more thorough comparison.

Thanks for the comparison. I've seen very few technical comparisons with the A version, just vague comments that it's not great.
I have the screw-on hood for the SMC Tak as well, and it is quite hefty. Makes me happy I am a sucker for quality built equipment.

As for the A lens, I think people tend to only see the negatives (too much CA) of this lens since it isn't outstanding. Other than that issue, it is still a solid performer. It is just as sharp and contrasty as the K135 with both at f/2.8. Both wide open the A is even sharper...so it does have a few things going for it. But like I said, since it isn't exceptional, it doesn't get a whole lot of positive press, but it is much easier to mention to few negative things about it.

Although I have never used my A135 on film, I bet it's very good since the CA shouldn't be as much of a problem on that medium. I should throw it on my super program next time I shoot some film.

- Jim
02-16-2009, 06:49 AM   #4
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k20d - k 135

k20d and k 135mm f/2.5 performance

my link >> https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/47876-legendar...tml#post491086

01-04-2013, 06:38 AM   #5
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Looks like those flickr images are lost. Are those comparison images available somewhere else?
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