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05-14-2009, 08:11 PM   #1
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Sears 135mm f2.8 Macro question

Hi everyone, i just got a copy of the Sears 135mm f2.8 Macro lens after i saw some nice macro photo from it. Lens worked nicely in none macro mode . but when i switched to Macro 1:5-1:7, the image gets very soft(burr) from f2.8-f4.5,it gets sharper at f5.6 and up. Is that normal for this lens or i have a bad copy? thanx

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05-14-2009, 09:13 PM   #2
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with my little experience I can tell you that any macro lenses in that large aperture would be blurry.

its completely normal . for a decent macro you should stop down as much as the light allows you .
so with a long lens like that you would also need a tripod for macro shoots
05-15-2009, 09:32 AM   #3
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I politely disagree with redpigeons

With most of my macro lenses the subject is still pretty sharp at the wider apertures, but the dof gets a lot thinner so the area just outside the focus point will look softer. The main reason I stop the lens down to F11+ is to get a little more DOF in macro shots.

I am not familiar with this lens, is it soft at those apertures even when not shooting macro?
05-15-2009, 09:45 AM   #4
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Just to throw a third opinion into the mix, I suspect the real problem is that the OP is hand holding the lens, and with a lens like the 135, and narrow DOF, at minimum focising distance, he moves off the focal point as he presses the shutter.

My advise, GET A TRIPOD.

Otherwise, I agree with both Igilligan and redpigeons.

DOF is very shallow, but this does not mean that wide open, a macro should not be sharp in the focl zone,

but i also agree with the fact that wide open, this lens may be a little soft. It is not a true macro, at 1:5 and with a minimum focusing of 5 feet, I don't know how they can call it macro, unless you are by "switching to macro" changing the internal geometry of the lens by moving some elements. In this case, what ever you get is a real compromise, and not a true macro.

05-15-2009, 09:54 AM   #5
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There was a thread here on that lens. The conclusion is that yes, it is "soft" in some macro modes.

If you want to get rid of it, let me know

Edito: Check it out here https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/51676-sears-mod-no-202-magic.html
05-15-2009, 09:56 AM   #6
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I just did some more test at a sunny day, I guess that's the limitation of this lens, because at f2.8 at macro ratio 1:5 and 1:6, it's pretty much blurry,it's ok at 1:7 and regular mode it's awesome, but when i set it to f8 or up, it works fine at all Macro Ratio. over all nice lens. I attached 3 pics for comparison, all hand held at ISO200

1) f2.8 Macro 1:5
2) f8 Macro 1:5
3) f2.8 none macro.

For conclusion, this lens is more useful at none macro mode, it's much sharper and has nice bohek.
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Last edited by winglik; 05-15-2009 at 10:06 AM.
05-15-2009, 11:24 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Igilligan Quote
With most of my macro lenses the subject is still pretty sharp at the wider apertures, but the dof gets a lot thinner so the area just outside the focus point will look softer. The main reason I stop the lens down to F11+ is to get a little more DOF in macro shots.

I am not familiar with this lens, is it soft at those apertures even when not shooting macro?
I completely agree with you.

by blurry I meant DOF blurry... I try to explain that its not an optic problem just shallow DOF
05-15-2009, 11:35 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Igilligan Quote
With most of my macro lenses the subject is still pretty sharp at the wider apertures, but the dof gets a lot thinner so the area just outside the focus point will look softer. The main reason I stop the lens down to F11+ is to get a little more DOF in macro shots.

I am not familiar with this lens, is it soft at those apertures even when not shooting macro?
QuoteOriginally posted by redpigeons Quote
I completely agree with you.

by blurry I meant DOF blurry... I try to explain that its not an optic problem just shallow DOF
Normally, you'd be right. However, with this Sears piece it's definitely an "optical problem".

It's a weird beast. It's not a "Macro" lens. At 1:5 magnification it's not even remotely close to a Macro lens. Our 18-55mm Kit lens has a much higher 1:3.5 reproduction ratio, if memory serves me.

I don't know how this lens got elevated to the status it has but it's pretty silly. To re-cap. It's a good 135 f2.8 prime lens, with a "Soft Focus"/ "Dream Sequence" mode that's mislabeled as a "Macro" mode.

Regards,
Mike

05-15-2009, 11:41 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by winglik Quote
Hi everyone, i just got a copy of the Sears 135mm f2.8 Macro lens after i saw some nice macro photo from it. Lens worked nicely in none macro mode . but when i switched to Macro 1:5-1:7, the image gets very soft(burr) from f2.8-f4.5,it gets sharper at f5.6 and up. Is that normal for this lens or i have a bad copy? thanx
Yes - I've had a couple copies of this lens, and that "macro zone" never got used after a little while, it's like turning on a soft filter, or something.

That lens does just fine in non-macro mode, though, it's actually quite sharp.

Check out The Sears Lens Club for examples from this baby. Duh-Vinci among others makes that lens sing.


.
05-15-2009, 11:48 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by X Man Quote
It's a good 135 f2.8 prime lens, with a "Soft Focus"/ "Dream Sequence" mode that's mislabeled as a "Macro" mode.

Regards,
Mike
I own one and this is the best description i've seen of this lens. just sums it up nicely. Not everyone will like it, but mine will remain as long as i own a pentax camera.
05-15-2009, 12:08 PM   #11
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I agree with other, even this is not a True Macro lens, but it's a very nice 135mm lens with great sharpness and bokeh. and the price.

I create this thread just to see if mine was broken or what not. thanx all for the info.
05-15-2009, 04:06 PM   #12
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I like the "Soft Focus"/ "Dream Sequence" description... now I need one of these lenses
05-15-2009, 05:24 PM   #13
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Heres a sample from this lens on a windy day. hard to beat for around $40

Last edited by ivoire; 10-04-2010 at 03:59 PM.
05-15-2009, 05:52 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by X Man Quote
Normally, you'd be right. However, with this Sears piece it's definitely an "optical problem".

It's a weird beast. It's not a "Macro" lens. At 1:5 magnification it's not even remotely close to a Macro lens. Our 18-55mm Kit lens has a much higher 1:3.5 reproduction ratio, if memory serves me.

I don't know how this lens got elevated to the status it has but it's pretty silly. To re-cap. It's a good 135 f2.8 prime lens, with a "Soft Focus"/ "Dream Sequence" mode that's mislabeled as a "Macro" mode.

Regards,
Mike
sorry about that ... I tried to help
05-15-2009, 06:20 PM   #15
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Oh yeah, this piece, as evidenced by the last sample is a full-on psychedelic experience! I should have known you'd be along shortly, inquiring about an inexpensive lens that'll blow the minds of every Dead Head that experiences it.

Regards,
Mike
QuoteOriginally posted by Igilligan Quote
I like the "Soft Focus"/ "Dream Sequence" description... now I need one of these lenses
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