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03-13-2009, 04:38 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gooshin Quote
is it just me, or is this lens impossible to find?

also while we are on the subject, is the FA 85 F2.8 "soft focus" the only cheap alternative to the FA* 85? within the "FA" lineup?
This F/FA135 is supposed to have one of the fastest implementations of the screw drive autofocus, it goes as close as 0.7m at 1:4, and is said to be optically much better than the A135/2.8 (which was is a dog with the same optical solution as the takumar byonett 135's...). So I suppose that those who have them just want to keep them. I'd like to have one.

As for cheap alterantives to the FA*85...I think that the lens line up was already suffering then from that most cheap alternatives was zoom lenses. Less and less decent compromise budget primes over the years

03-13-2009, 04:55 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gooshin Quote

so that leaves A and FA

the price difference of which is pretty negligable, considering. Also FA lenses (exclusing the FA Limiteds) have nice rubbery MF grips which are pretty responsive to focusing.

so FA it is!

(atleast until i can afford Zeiss )
sorry gooshin but you've forgotten the F series. Some decen glass in there too

03-13-2009, 05:14 PM   #18
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The FA 135mm f/2.8 is the reason why I sold off my DA* 50-135mm f/2.8. Super duper fast focusing, punchy FA colours and good sharpness in a well built and compact package makes it a winner in my book. A must have lens for the serious Pentax collector/shooter.

It took me a looooong time to get hold of my copy and have no plans to sell it until and unless Pentax can come up with something better. Its rarity is because as most consumers gravitate towards tele zooms, the 135mm focal length gets less attention, which is a shame because on APS-C it makes an excellent lens for candids and outdoor portraits. I just wish Pentax can come out with a 135mm f/2 version in the future, now that would be something to die for.

The FA is better than the F version because the exterior of the F is covered by the tacky dated grey rubber covering that can peel at the edges, though they are optically similar. The A 135mm f/2.8 (which I also had) isn't as good optically as the FA/F version but isn't as bad as what many people say online. In my book the FA is so much better than he older M 135mm f/3.5 or older non-PKA versions because it is so fast to use. I can pick up the camera, switch AE modes on the fly and fire off a few frames even before the subject realises it. It also does a decent close-up too, especially with extension tubes.

Last edited by creampuff; 03-13-2009 at 05:25 PM.
03-13-2009, 10:31 PM   #19
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I recently picked up an F135/2.8 in very nice condition...basically no marks or anything on the body to speak of. I paid $350 including shipping for it, which was about as much as I was willing to pay, but I have really been wanting one. I wanted the F version over the FA version mainly for aesthetics reasons...I like the more vintage look of the gray F lenses over the FA lenses. The lens is solid as a rock and has a very nice pull out hood.

A keeper if you ask me Haven't had too many chances to shoot with it, but one of these days I'll post some shots with it.

03-14-2009, 02:20 AM   #20
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The latest "new" price was about 450 .
When it sold out I was lucky to get one for 350 .

Optically it is very good.
Mechanically it is not so good.
Very shaky focus ring, with a rattling noise, not good for manual focussing.
Very fast AF, though.

Wouldn't buy it again today, but take a 50-135 instead.
03-14-2009, 03:52 AM   #21
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I've got the F 135 f2.8 and love it. (I got it as part of a big package from Goodwill for about $200.) It is heavy and the barrel is easily scratched, but it gives it character.
03-14-2009, 04:32 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by jedperkins Quote
It is tiny as a 200mm f/2.8 equivalent on a APS-C sensor.
That's the thing: it's compact--way less obtrusive than any other fast AF at that FL. If I tried to shoot with the Sigma 70-200mm at family gatherings, my in-laws would be ducking under the furniture: with the FA, they just throw things at me ;~)
03-14-2009, 04:52 AM   #23
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I got the F135/2.8 a few months back for 150eur, which was a good price for me . Here's some of my shots with the lens: Flickr: pasipasi's stuff tagged with smcpf135mmf28if

Sometimes I wish that it was a stop faster though.


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