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07-14-2009, 10:45 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by 2Thumbs Quote
The 135mm f/2.5 is a lovely lens (great looker too with that mahoooosive front element), but I've also heard that's quite soft wide open too. It's equally as sharp at the 135mm f/3.5 at the same stops though, so it's up to you if the extra expense is worth it for the 'brighter' lens.
I don't think it's soft anywhere. In my tests, it was better than everything, including the f3.5 M42 version.

You might be interested in this test, where it is compared to the Canon 135/2 L:

135mm Lens War

In that test, it's not clear which version he used. There are two, and they look very similar. The better one has number 43812 stamped into the camera side of the auto/manual switch. The weight and focus distance scales are also different.

A nice test of the better version in K-mount:

Pentax SMC-K 135mm f/2.5 - Review / Lab Test Report

CA is not as good as a modern lens, and it is easy to misfocus on an APS-C viewfinder.

07-14-2009, 11:04 AM   #17
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I love all of my Taks ... there is not a bad one in my kit.

My favourites.

35mm f/3.5
55mm f/1.8
85mm f/1.9
105mm f/2.8
135mm f/3.5

I really still love my other ones ... but the ones I have listed are my most used.
07-14-2009, 11:30 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by 2Thumbs Quote
The 135mm f/2.5 is a lovely lens (great looker too with that mahoooosive front element), but I've also heard that's quite soft wide open too. It's equally as sharp at the 135mm f/3.5 at the same stops though, so it's up to you if the extra expense is worth it for the 'brighter' lens.
It's funny, I have both the K135F2.5 and K105F2.8. the 105 is soft wide open but the K135F2.5 is tac sharp at all apertures. the biggest problem with both these now, for portraits, is that the crop factor has you backing up beyond the studio wall. Even my 85 F1.4 is a little tight some times for indoor shots.
07-14-2009, 01:03 PM   #19
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One non-Pentax lens to seriously consider is the Vivitar series 1 7-210. If you find one in good shape they are unbelievable for a zoom. Of course they weigh ~85 tons, so you should keep that in mind if you are sensitive to weight.

07-14-2009, 03:21 PM   #20
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I've got a lovely Yashinon/Tomioka 60mm macro that I picked up at an estate sale. It's a little beat up but it's a pretty stunning performer. There are lots of unlikely gems out there... just gotta try 'em.
07-14-2009, 08:44 PM   #21
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Also the CZJ 35mm f/2.4 is very nice, although I have heard that on film the corners can be soft. My exerience on digital is rock solid.
07-14-2009, 08:52 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve Beswick Quote
One non-Pentax lens to seriously consider is the Vivitar series 1 7-210. If you find one in good shape they are unbelievable for a zoom. Of course they weigh ~85 tons, so you should keep that in mind if you are sensitive to weight.
Is this a one touch zoom/focus ring? I believe I may have had one years ago in a Canon mount and it was. I don't recall it being too heavy though, so maybe it was a standard one and not the Series 1.

Anyone have any brands to stay away from? There are so many I see on ebay:

Pentacon
Exakta
Porst
Soligor
Helios
MR-1
Albinar
Jupiter
Chinon
Angenieux
Fujinon

Also, I thought there were Zeiss M42 lenses that weren't Jena's? All I ever see are Jena's. Are the others that scarce?
07-14-2009, 09:46 PM   #23
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Chinon prime lenses don't usually cost much but they perform well (at least the one's I've had) and generally everyones experiences with them seem to be positive. .

07-14-2009, 10:09 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by 2Thumbs Quote

Here's the first shot I took with the 200mm at f/8 to test sharpness and bokeh. No PP except a resize.

2Thumbs...taking a shot like that.....the 200mm....bad for the LBA....

I have the
28 3.5
85 1.8
105 2.8
120 2.8
135 2.8

and some older ones that I wouldn't write off.....

I'd recommend any of them but for all but the 28 you have to spend a lot of time searching for one that isn't a little more pricey. Even with that said....the most pricey....the 85 1.8 is less than a new lens and for me, much more rewarding.

I haven't tried the 105.....it's coming....but wow...it is really hard to find cheap.....but everyone raves about it...I hope I will too

Hope that helps.

Last edited by SteveM; 07-14-2009 at 10:16 PM.
07-15-2009, 03:25 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by smc Quote
2Thumbs...taking a shot like that.....the 200mm....bad for the LBA....
Louisiana Bankers Association?
07-15-2009, 03:29 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve Beswick Quote
One non-Pentax lens to seriously consider is the Vivitar series 1 7-210. If you find one in good shape they are unbelievable for a zoom. Of course they weigh ~85 tons, so you should keep that in mind if you are sensitive to weight.
yeah they are heavy, but, my series 1 70-210 (first version) is lighter than my sigma APO 70-200F2.8 EX.

fortunately I only take eithe MF or AF out at any one time, or I would need a truck.

The only reason I got a new zoom is that I decided after 20+ years I deserved new one.


It just goes to show if you buy quality it lasts.
07-15-2009, 05:44 AM   #27
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+1 on the Viv Series 1.

I had the version 3 - Komine built, and a rare few of those V3's ( only the V3's ) had an 'A' aperture.

I had one of those very few and it was a beauty. I then discovered the Tam SP 70-210, and sold the VIV for 4 times what i paid. A lot of the Viv's series 1 70-210's also suffer from zoom creep. Mine did a bit. No such creep with the SP Tam.
07-15-2009, 06:41 AM   #28
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In M42 mount, the 50 mm that I recommended are:

1- CZJ Pancolar 1,8/50 - zeiss colors, superb.

2- Any takumar 1,4/50 - if you prefer the extra 1,4.

3- Pentacon 1,8/50 - cheap lens and great one, the best second lens for me.,

4- Any takumar 1,8/55 - if you prefer the 55 mm over the 50 mm.
08-09-2009, 02:41 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by K-9 Quote
Is this a one touch zoom/focus ring? I believe I may have had one years ago in a Canon mount and it was. I don't recall it being too heavy though, so maybe it was a standard one and not the Series 1.
It's not unbearably heavy, it's just really heavy for a 70-210 mf zoom. Of course it is a constant f3.5, so it needs a fair amount of glass in it. I guess I'm just acustomed to my suprisingly small quantaray 70-210. It is really quite dainty for a zoom in it's range.

The Series 1 70-210 is a one touch configuration, but it is backwards from what you would expect. 70mm is with the slide all the way out, and the focus turns backwards from a pentax lens.
08-09-2009, 03:04 AM   #30
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i have only used 55mm f1.8 and i am super impressed by it.

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