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02-19-2009, 09:30 PM   #1
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Sears Mod. No. 202 Magic!

Ok,

So I wanted to try something a little different in the 135mm range that had the "A" setting, have the A135/2.8 but wanted to see what else was out there. I received a few suggestions to give a Sears or JC Penny "A" lens a shot. So I found a Sears Mod. No. 202 135/2.8 on *Bay for less than $20 shipped, so what was there to lose?

I received the lens today, and after removing the dreaded Ricoh pin, I tried it out a bit. It is quite interesting. First of all, it has 3 "macro modes"...the tip of the barrel can rotate and click into 3 extra positions that allow the lens to focus closer, with a max magnification of 1:5 or so. Nothing spectacular about that. But what is spectacular is that the macro setting acts basically like a softness filter, and allows for some very nice effects, especially for portraits. Below are a few examples of what I am talking about.

Portrait in regular mode, at f/2.8...focus (erroneously) landed on the eye one the right. Pretty good wide open, no softness to complain about. The sharpness actually creates a portrait that is not very flattering for normal skin imperfections.



Now...slap this baby into the macro mode, and readjust your focus...and all of the sudden you have a flattering portrait! (Maybe a bit too soft, but read below for to see that it is controllable) No PP on this shot at all, straight JPEG out of K200D.




Now, here is a better example of what kind of control you can get over the softness. The following were all shot at f/4. The first is in regular focus mode, and then halfway to the first macro mode, and then in macro modes 1, 2, and 3. Notice the very nice increase in softness as I progress to the furthest macro mode. (of course this sort makes the whole "macro" mode useless for actual macro work, since it can be really soft...not bad after stopping down quite a bit though)

FYI, the colors may seems strange due to a combination of incandescent and flash lighting.

Regular:


Halfway to first macro mode:


Macro Mode 1:


Macro Mode 2:


Macro Mode 3:


02-19-2009, 10:44 PM   #2
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Woah - That's weird! Thanks for sharing the info - it's a service to the comunity.

Who'd a thought that "macro" mode would be soft??? Looks decently sharp in normal mode though (weird, weird, weird ).
02-20-2009, 10:31 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by heliphoto Quote
Woah - That's weird! Thanks for sharing the info - it's a service to the comunity.

Who'd a thought that "macro" mode would be soft??? Looks decently sharp in normal mode though (weird, weird, weird ).
Yes it is really quite interesting. It is almost like a cheap man's soft focus lens, seemingly having a good amount of control to the soft affect. And it does still retain details even though it is soft...you can see that in the eyelashes, etc.

I'll definitely be playing around with this lens some more and hopefully will be able to share more of my results/thoughts.

-Jim
02-20-2009, 03:23 PM   #4
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Can you post a pic of the lens? I think someone had posted one, but nooooo idea who.

Might keep a lookout for one. What is the minimum focus distance?

02-20-2009, 03:32 PM   #5
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this is very interesting indeed. that would be a lot of fun to use.
02-20-2009, 03:37 PM   #6
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Mmmm...just thinking about (hoping for!) a 1m minimum distance or throwing a short extension tube on it for macro...my mouth is watering a little...
02-20-2009, 07:33 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by ryan s Quote
Can you post a pic of the lens? I think someone had posted one, but nooooo idea who.

Might keep a lookout for one. What is the minimum focus distance?
Ok, here is the eye candy for you. I took several shots that show the lens and how the "macro" mode mechanism works.

straight on


oblique


focus @ infinity (front/back)


focus @ close distance (~1.5m in normal mode), then macro modes 1 and 3 (2 would be in between, of course)



As far as the close focus distance goes, in regular mode it is about 1.5m. It is hard to say what it really is in macro mode 3, but here is a little example to help. First one is shot at close focus in macro mode 3 with the sears lens. The second shot is with the A135/2.8 at close focus (~1.2m), so the sears obviously focuses closer than that. Both at f/8.
02-20-2009, 08:21 PM   #8
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Verry nice report, thanks for sharing your experience.
I have the non macro non A 135mm sears.
I think its a verry good lens.

02-21-2009, 01:17 AM   #9
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This has my interest piqued, thanks for all the helpful images and explanations

That macro method is somethin else. I assume the focus changes between modes (well, it would have to) but does it change a lot? My Tamron macro at large magnifications does. I don't know if that makes sense? lol
02-23-2009, 10:02 AM   #10
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interesting, very interesting............

excellent post.....
does anyone have this lens for sale....
i'm interested........ gives me another reason
to get outta da house......
02-27-2009, 09:15 AM   #11
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hi.... i just acquired this lens from a fellow pentaxian.....
i've toyed around with it a bit...... i don't quite understand why the lens creates these
dreamlike macro shots though....
i've never had a true 1:1 macro lens, perhaps my next acquisition.....
but i've seen many posts with those using macros and the shots are spot on sharp....
any tips on improving (if possible) macro shooting with this lens???

Last edited by dcmsox2004; 02-27-2009 at 11:26 AM.
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