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03-21-2010, 08:47 AM   #1
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is this Rikenon 200mm worth carrying around?

or should i buy a much lighter Pentax 55-300mm?

i have some really old M42 lenses and this Rikenon 200mm/3.5 is one of them. it's the first time for me using something longer than 100mm so i can't compare the results.

here are some test shots handheld at ~f5.6 and some of them through a window. the camera is a k-x.

would a Pentax smc DA 55-300mm a big improvement over this lens? (beside AF and longer end)?











Last edited by testlord; 03-21-2010 at 09:21 AM.
03-21-2010, 09:23 AM   #2
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As you can see, the optics are just rotten. It's a lousy lens. Just send it to me and I'll dispose of it for you, at no charge. That's how kind I am. You're welcome.
03-22-2010, 09:18 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
As you can see, the optics are just rotten. It's a lousy lens. Just send it to me and I'll dispose of it for you, at no charge. That's how kind I am. You're welcome.
Better yet, send it to me and I'll pay the shipping!
All kidding aside, keep the lens for a while and use it. You will probably want an AF long zoom anyhow so if you want that 55-300, get it. The zoom and the AF will allow you do things the manual 200 won't. I have a 200/f4 Tak and while I don't use it often, I get enough use to justify keeping it and the optics are top notch. There's not a big dollar investment in these old lenses so I don't think you will get anywhere near enough selling it to buy the zoom. I bought my Tak for around $50 and I still see them in that price range.
03-22-2010, 10:59 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
I have a 200/f4 Tak and while I don't use it often, I get enough use to justify keeping it and the optics are top notch. There's not a big dollar investment in these old lenses so I don't think you will get anywhere near enough selling it to buy the zoom. I bought my Tak for around $50 and I still see them in that price range.
You mean like the Super-Tak 200/4 (560g) that I got for US$37? I also have a NEW Jupiter-21M 200/4 (950g, $24). What a beautiful beast! But what I use the most in that range (all M42) is a Tele-Tak 200/5.6 (410g, $29) that is light and just razor-sharp. With a flanged adapter it still focuses out to 200m wide open, and trap-focus is easy. Or I'll add slight macro-tube extension, maybe 12mm, which narrows the working range to 1.5-3m and really thins the DOF -- great for closing in on wee beasties.

Yeah, old 200's in the 3.5-5.6 range are cheap and fun, worth buying but not worth selling. And like any prime, they force you to see and think and move around. With some of us, if it wasn't for old primes, we'd never get any exercise at all.

03-23-2010, 09:00 AM   #5
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thanks reeftool and riorico for your thoughts.
the weight is exactly my main motivation to find a replacement for this 1kg Rikenon.. it's a fun to use lens but if it comes to bring it along to a trip a 300g Pentax would be a big improvement.
my only question is if a Pentax 55-300mm will surpass my old Rikenon or if i would get "only" similar results?

what is a macro-tube extension?
03-23-2010, 09:47 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by testlord Quote
thanks reeftool and riorico for your thoughts.
the weight is exactly my main motivation to find a replacement for this 1kg Rikenon.. it's a fun to use lens but if it comes to bring it along to a trip a 300g Pentax would be a big improvement.
my only question is if a Pentax 55-300mm will surpass my old Rikenon or if i would get "only" similar results?

what is a macro-tube extension?
Testlord, I have the DA 55-300mm, I can say honestly, that is the one of the best lens for that price and versatility. This is far (subjective of course) better than the other variations (Tamron and Sigma - tried that with my friends) including the DA 50-200mm (I also own) and also lighter (easier to carry around) among others in the same range. The optics are better with flare control. NOTE also that older primes are also fun to try and keep (I have the vivitar) because they are cheap. But I wouldn't carry it around too much if it is too heavy though - just occasionally try it for fun.

Last edited by aleonx3; 03-23-2010 at 10:49 AM.
03-23-2010, 10:08 AM   #7
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I have a Takumar 200/3.5 and i got it out recently for a "takumar shooting party" where i got out wiith it and some other takumars for the day. I would say it was a terrible idea to bring the whole bunch for a 10km walking trip, but can say that it's an excellent lens even taking its weight into account. Also, the f/3.5 is a nice addition for low light and/or DoF control.
03-23-2010, 10:25 AM   #8
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Yeah, fairly fast old teles are heavy. Glass and metal, that's why. I read one guy say he'd traveled all over India with his K20 mounting a Vivitar Series 1 70-210 -- my ver.1 only cost US$32 but it weighs 880g! I only carry that kind of weight when I'm driving. That's why I like that slow sharp Tele-Tak. I think it was designed for 1960's-era backpackers.

QuoteOriginally posted by testlord Quote
what is a macro-tube extension?
There are a couple of ways to shoot macro. You can put a close-up adapter in front of a lens. You can reverse the lens. Or you can extend the lens further from the film or sensor plane. Macro lenses let you do that mechanically -- just keep focusing out till you're at the desired magnification. Or you can put a lens on a bellows and have a great deal of control over the extension. Or you can use extension tubes.

An extension tube (or a bellows) mounts between the lens and the camera body. Tubes often come in sets of three, maybe 12mm and 20mm and 36mm, and they can be stacked to reach a desired amount of extension. Some (expensive) ones maintain communication between a K-mount lens and the camera. I use cheap ones. They screw into a M42 adapter to mount on the camera. I put an M42 lens on the end. Whoopee! A 50mm lens with 48mm (12+36) of tubes gives me 1:1 magnification. And I've paid maybe US$25 for the whole setup.

On a much longer lens, a little extension doesn't provide much magnification. I am NOT going to put 200mm of tubes on a 200mm lens! But if I put a 12mm tube on that 200mm lens, it changes the focus and DOF dramatically. Now I can have thinner DOF at 1.5m-3m working distance. That makes my cheap little Tele-Tak 200/5.6 sweet for portraits, flowers, etc. And the macro tube can always double as a napkin ring.

03-23-2010, 10:50 AM   #9
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For that matter, Pentax K-mount is fun to own (with so many cheap options to explore and learn) - none of this sort of thing happening in the other camp.
03-23-2010, 11:30 AM   #10
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back to the question from the OP

for what he has invested the lens is worthwhile keeping, and procuces good images. One thing I note is that it does not suffer from reflection off the sensor like my 135mmF2.5 Rikenon, so good for the OP

while he can go longer, with the 55-300 he will give up something, simply put new lenses are not really lighter than older lenses at the same maximum aperture.

I did a comparison, and the new DA300f$ is heavier than my SMC 300F4.

at the end of the day glass is glass and it takes a certain amount of strength (weight = strength) to hold the elements.

many old fast lenses are very good and very sharp, although subject to a little CA if shot using a bright background.
03-23-2010, 12:12 PM   #11
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I have buy an auto chinon (not MC) 3,5/200. I found that is a medium to low contrast with not saturated colors but sharp.

Not any 200 matches my 135s. I don't like the 200 focal very much.
03-24-2010, 06:34 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by testlord Quote
thanks reeftool and riorico for your thoughts.
the weight is exactly my main motivation to find a replacement for this 1kg Rikenon.. it's a fun to use lens but if it comes to bring it along to a trip a 300g Pentax would be a big improvement.
my only question is if a Pentax 55-300mm will surpass my old Rikenon or if i would get "only" similar results?

what is a macro-tube extension?
Testlord, I took the 55-300mm out for test drive today. Here is a snapshot at our neighborhood park. You be the judge straight from the camera jpeg just resample to fit here - but I do know it is lighter than the old glass.
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03-24-2010, 06:44 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by aleonx3 Quote
Testlord, I took the 55-300mm out for test drive today. Here is a snapshot at our neighborhood park. You be the judge straight from the camera jpeg just resample to fit here - but I do know it is lighter than the old glass.
but it is also slower at 200mm. you gain weight with speed
03-24-2010, 06:59 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
but it is also slower at 200mm. you gain weight with speed
George, 100% agree. I sometimes struggle with that - is DOF important or shutter speed important - for example, I can get away with F5.6 at the long end, with SR, like in the last image, I got away with 1/15 hand held at 230mm focal length - not quite possible without SR.
03-24-2010, 07:09 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by aleonx3 Quote
George, 100% agree. I sometimes struggle with that - is DOF important or shutter speed important - for example, I can get away with F5.6 at the long end, with SR, like in the last image, I got away with 1/15 hand held at 230mm focal length - not quite possible without SR.
Perhaps, and I have also posted a shot using the SMC300F4 plus 1.7x AF TC (510mm effective) hand held at 1/40th. No way possible without SR, but, and here is the real issue, I shoot a lot wide open to get shutter speed because regardless of how good SR is, especially on my K7, it does nothing if the subject moves.

For subject motion, you need shutter speed, and that only comes, at the end of the day, with bigger heavier, faster glass, although this is somewhat being offset with better and better high ISO quality the technology is not happening fast enough yet.
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