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01-06-2010, 09:40 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
Lowell, at last count, the 600/4 is still available on special order.
I know but it is not in their catalog, and it costs as much as my daugthters university, and the other lenses like 400 F2.8 and 300 F2.8 are gone, The point I was making is that the lens line up is greatly reduced from what it was

I think the fullest ranges were the K, A, and F ranges. FA was only a subset of F, and F was only a subset of A.

the K range was pretty good, but A was much bigger and better,

01-06-2010, 09:47 AM   #32
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I really have nothing to add to the excellent discussion so far... save this: the older glass is probably at the bottom of its depreciation curve, and possibly on its way back up. Whereas, except for some highly desired recently discontinued modern ones, most newer lenses are still on the downslope.

Which is a long way of saying: you're likely to get your money back from the K135 if/when you sell, while you may lose some on the DA70 (unless the new pricing trend continues its upward trend).
01-06-2010, 09:52 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nesster Quote
I really have nothing to add to the excellent discussion so far... save this: the older glass is probably at the bottom of its depreciation curve, and possibly on its way back up. Whereas, except for some highly desired recently discontinued modern ones, most newer lenses are still on the downslope.

Which is a long way of saying: you're likely to get your money back from the K135 if/when you sell, while you may lose some on the DA70 (unless the new pricing trend continues its upward trend).
I would qualify this with one condition, until such time as pentax re-introduces introduces a 135mm fast prime.

a great example of this same issue currently was with sigma's APO 70-200 F2.8 EX DG. they were selling for or above retail price used, when sigma had not yet made available newer models in pentax mount. once the new model came oout the price dropped by 50%.

BUT I'm glad I didn't sell mine because I am not convinced the newer ones are optically any better.
01-06-2010, 10:11 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by kiwao Quote
Thanks again for all the info. I went ahead and bought an M 135mm f3.5 and after taking some test shots it seems as sharp wide open as my DA 70 Ltd. I now have to get used to focusing manually. This will be good practice because my 70 in Auto focus is far from perfect. Now all I have to do is make sure the diopter is set up correctly?

Thanks again
Set viewfinder diopter without lens attached for sharpest view of focus screen markings.

01-06-2010, 12:00 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
You got that one right! I was all set to get a Tamron 70-200/2.8 until I saw the focus throw. If it is 45 degrees, I would be surprised.

Steve
A bit like the DA 17-70.

I use the FA35/2 in MF a surprising amount of the time. At least it has that little rubberized ring and a nice long throw. MF is really the only way to be sure that the shutter will fire in low light at the right moment, rather than starting the AF on a hunting expedition.
01-06-2010, 02:29 PM   #36
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I’m not sure I have a lot to add to this thread. Certainly nothing quantitative but just some impressions arrived at over the years. I agree with Albert that the old Pentax glass has a special look to it. Back in 1982 when I bought my first camera I was drawn to the appearance of the old Pentax MX and M series lenses. I didn’t know a lot about cameras at the time but the Pentax gear just looked and felt better to me than Nikon, Canon or any others I was able to try out at that point. It was that look and feel which brought me into the Pentax camp and has kept me there.

Fortunately, the camera and lenses worked as well as they looked and continue to do so today. As Steve noted above the old Takumar, K, M and A series glass offer great value for the money. The build quality of these precision machined, hand-assembled primes is by-and-large superb as is IQ. These old lenses, such as my K 200/2.5 and K 24/2.8 just scream quality. Unless I drop one on the ground or dunk it in the lake I expect my old manual focus prime lenses to last a lifetime. They have already worked well for thirty years. There is virtually nothing that can go wrong with the helicoid and aperture mechanism being the only moving parts. I doubt very much that the same will be said of the current generation of Pentax glass. Already we are hearing of problems with various SDM motor malfunctions.

I don’t get quite the same build quality feeling from the DA Limiteds or DA* lenses I have held so far. In terms of IQ I suspect the modern Pentax glass has benefitted from decades of research in lens coating and optical design. It would be hard to believe we have moved backward in this area. Some focal lengths/designs have benefited more than others. I have no doubt the new DA* 300/4 is better in almost every way than my old K 300/4. On the other hand, in the lens review area, the K 200/2.5 apparently compares quite favourably to the DA* 200/2.8 in terms of IQ if not convenience. Some old designs have fared better than others it seems.

Lest I be accused of being a Luddite I am also a fan of newer lenses and technology. I would love a DA* 16~50 and DA* 50~135. I hope to add one or both to my collection soon. It is hard to beat the convenience of these modern lenses.

Kiwao’s initial question was “would it be wiser to buy older lenses over new lenses?” As with all questions featuring terms such as “better than” or “wiser than” it depends. It will depend on your budget, yours needs, your level of experience and many other factors. Only you can answer these questions. New or old I don’t think you can go far wrong with the better Pentax lenses from any era since the 1960s and possibly even earlier.

Tom G

Last edited by 8540tomg; 01-07-2010 at 02:27 PM. Reason: typo
01-06-2010, 06:09 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
I use the FA35/2 in MF a surprising amount of the time. At least it has that little rubberized ring and a nice long throw...
So true! I have several non-AF K-mount film bodies and the FA 35/2 is quite at home mounted to them. Great results too.

Steve
01-06-2010, 06:13 PM   #38
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Tom G...Thanks for your excellent summary. I think you said it all!

Steve

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