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04-19-2009, 05:56 AM   #1
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The Vintage Pentax Short Tele Shootout!

The wife is out, the kids are taking their afternoon nap. So, here goes - the Vintage Pentax Short Tele Shootout!

Participants:

Super Tak 100/2.8
K 100/2.8
M 100/2.8
M 100/4 macro
Super Tak 85/1.9
S-M-C Tak 85/1.8

Images are center crops


I can't for the life of me find a hosting place that allows embedding/direct linking that doesn't resize. Let me know where to go, and I'll move it. For now, you'll have to through the link below - make sure you view full size.

Picasa Web Albums - Jens - Lens tests

Full size jpegs (uncropped) are here:

4shared.com - online file sharing and storage - download short_tele_shootout.zip

All shot at f2.8 and f4, 85's also at 1.8/1.9.

Subject intented to show bokeh, sharpness and handling of high contrast. No PP - straight from K10D Raw into Lightroom, exported with "sharpen for screen".

Something seems off with the exposure of the last Super Tak 85 shot. I ran out off battery just before that, changed the battery and must have messed something up.

My opinions:

Of the three 100's at 2.8, the S Tak shows some PF, which I suppose is due to the lesser coating. Between the M and the K, it's a tough call, both are nice, but at f4, the M stands out as having more contrast. On the other hand, the bokeh of the K may be a little softer/nicer. The S Tak seems to have the nicest bokeh at f4.

The macro is actually less contrasty than the M, which suprised me.

Looking at the 85's I think that my MF skills are lacking at 1.8/1.9 - dof is really shallow, and it's hard even though I'm using a split screen. The S-M-C does seem to have the upper hand wide open - more contrast and a lot sharper. Also, the bokeh has less "ring" effect. I can't tell if the colour cast on the S-M-C is due to CA or the fact that the elements have some yellowing. Both are great.

All in all, I'd have to say that the humble M 100 wins the "most overlooked performer/value for money" race. But then, there's the Bokeh of the S-M-C tak.


Last edited by jensm; 04-19-2009 at 08:28 AM. Reason: Added link to zip
04-19-2009, 08:23 AM   #2
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Marc Sabatella's Avatar

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Thanks for this! I know that performing these sort of tests is always more work than it looks.

As you may recall, I ended up getting the M100/2.8 shortly after you. I agree, it's really a great performer wide open, and I at least am perfectly happy with its bokeh. I haven't seen the CA/PF issues you had mentioned earlier as being an issue (I *have* run into this on the M135/3.5 - not all that often, but when it's there, it's *terrible*). It's one of my most-used and favorite lenses.

One knock on the M100/2.8 that your test here doesn't show is that while already surprisingly sharp at f/2.8, it doesn't sharpen up further as you stop down as much as one might expect. I suspect some of the other lenses listed might beat it at f/5.6 or f/8.

I do suspect you have focusing issues on the 85 shots - sure, I expect them to be soft below f/2, but *that* soft? If that's really the best they can do wide open, it could be worth shooting at a click between wide open and f/2.8, if they provide one, just to see if there if there is any useful aperture below f/2.8 on these.

I suppose the most interesting lenses missing from the test are the M85/2 and A100/2.8 macro. I have no interest in the macro, but I'm always curious about that 85. BTW, I assume the lens is you as K100/2.8 is really the 105?
04-19-2009, 08:32 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote

I do suspect you have focusing issues on the 85 shots - sure, I expect them to be soft below f/2, but *that* soft? If that's really the best they can do wide open, it could be worth shooting at a click between wide open and f/2.8, if they provide one, just to see if there if there is any useful aperture below f/2.8 on these.

I suppose the most interesting lenses missing from the test are the M85/2 and A100/2.8 macro. I have no interest in the macro, but I'm always curious about that 85. BTW, I assume the lens is you as K100/2.8 is really the 105?
I've just added a dl link for the full jpegs. Looking at the 85 2.8 files it's easy to see that they aren't focused as they should be, one is front and the other back focused. Also, I've seen much better from the S-M-C than this. I think I'll redo it some time, but as you said, it takes ages.

The 1.8/1.9 files actually do appear to be in focus - if you get the full files and look at the wing-screw-thing above and the concrete below on the umbrella stand, it seems that the book cover is what's in focus.

The K100 is of course the 105 as you pointed out.

/Jens

Last edited by jensm; 04-19-2009 at 08:42 AM.
04-20-2009, 07:16 AM   #4
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you are missing the M42 105mm F2.8, and all the 135mm lenses plus there is a K120mm F2.8

if you expand the list I have a K105mm F2.8, a K135 F2.5 and an M100mm F4 macro where I can do a comparison.

for fun, I could also add shots taken with my 28-105 FA 4.5-5.6 and my series 1 70-210 F3.5

04-20-2009, 08:04 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by jensm Quote
I've just added a dl link for the full jpegs. Looking at the 85 2.8 files it's easy to see that they aren't focused as they should be, one is front and the other back focused. Also, I've seen much better from the S-M-C than this. I think I'll redo it some time, but as you said, it takes ages.

The 1.8/1.9 files actually do appear to be in focus - if you get the full files and look at the wing-screw-thing above and the concrete below on the umbrella stand, it seems that the book cover is what's in focus.

The K100 is of course the 105 as you pointed out.

/Jens
I think the Super Tak 100 is also a 105. I have the Super Tak 105/2.8 and the 100/4 Macro.

I had a look at the full size jpegs too for the 85's--if you look at the texture on the round stone (which is perfect for judging focus, btw!), it looks like the focus might be behind the book?

Oh, and thanks!!! Sorry to rush to the criticism and corrections Very nice comparison!

Last edited by farfisa; 04-20-2009 at 08:05 AM. Reason: forgot to say thanks, just rushed to the criticism--sorry!
04-20-2009, 08:09 AM   #6
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Well something is wrong with the Super Tak 85 shots. There is no way that it would be worse at f4 then f2.8. I use the lens daily and I have never seen such a PF as those crops show.

I also have the preset Takumar and SMC Takumar 100/2.8 none of them would outperform the 85/1.9 like that. Sure, they are very good. But the 1.9 and the S-M-C 1.8 outperform the 105's both in sharpness and fringing. So thats a bad copy of the 85 or something else is being odd.
04-20-2009, 10:59 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
you are missing the M42 105mm F2.8, and all the 135mm lenses plus there is a K120mm F2.8

if you expand the list I have a K105mm F2.8, a K135 F2.5 and an M100mm F4 macro where I can do a comparison.

for fun, I could also add shots taken with my 28-105 FA 4.5-5.6 and my series 1 70-210 F3.5
The Super Tak 100/2.8 mentioned is of course the 105.

/Jens
04-20-2009, 11:01 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by farfisa Quote
I think the Super Tak 100 is also a 105. I have the Super Tak 105/2.8 and the 100/4 Macro.

I had a look at the full size jpegs too for the 85's--if you look at the texture on the round stone (which is perfect for judging focus, btw!), it looks like the focus might be behind the book?

Oh, and thanks!!! Sorry to rush to the criticism and corrections Very nice comparison!
I don't know what went wrong there... Both the K 100 and Super Tak 100 are of course the 105's.

As for the focus - you might be right, the 2.8 shots are off for shure, but I find the 1.8/1.9 harder to judge.

/Jens

04-20-2009, 11:02 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zewrak Quote
Well something is wrong with the Super Tak 85 shots. There is no way that it would be worse at f4 then f2.8. I use the lens daily and I have never seen such a PF as those crops show.

I also have the preset Takumar and SMC Takumar 100/2.8 none of them would outperform the 85/1.9 like that. Sure, they are very good. But the 1.9 and the S-M-C 1.8 outperform the 105's both in sharpness and fringing. So thats a bad copy of the 85 or something else is being odd.
Seems like I'll have to redo the test with focus bracketing. I also found the result somewhat contrary to my everyday experience with these lenses.

It's a little difficult for me to find the time, but I hope to get around to doing it soon.

/Jens
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