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03-29-2010, 07:20 AM   #1
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Pentax F. 35-70mm



I just bought this for £20 from the local pawn shop, it looks like a nice lens for the price.

I haven't had a chance to try it out properly yet, but a quick play at the desk has impressed me so far.

03-29-2010, 08:57 AM   #2
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This is an under appreciated lens and is so compact that it may as well be IF. I had one for a couple of years but sold it recently because I ended up shooting at 35 or 70 with it and after I had the 35mm ltd and 77mm ltd, it wasn't getting used much. The 3.5-4.5 aperture isn't too bad either.
03-29-2010, 03:06 PM   #3
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It is indeed a marvellous lens (for the money) - I suppose the weird grey plastic look and slowness puts people off. I see the MF version going on ebay for more money! I've taken some really nice sharp shots with this lens, and it's taught me what a great focal length 35mm is.
03-29-2010, 03:37 PM   #4
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They don't look that gray in reality and actually look better than photos . . . I guess its just not photogenic. Its made as well as the F/FA 50mm f1.4, 35mm f2 etc.

03-29-2010, 04:41 PM   #5
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It's a nice, compact lens, as others have said, much under appreciated.

03-29-2010, 11:37 PM   #6
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It's one of those under rated treasures. Great colours and usually sold for dirt cheap. Enjoy using it Lloydy.
03-30-2010, 06:49 AM   #7
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I've got one of these It's a handy lens if you want AF, but the manual 'A' version is much better, it has a constant f/4 for one thing which makes it better for studio and manual exposure work (particularly with something like an MX). It also focuses down to 0.25M and is sharper.

You don't realize how annoying a variable aperture zoom lens is until you use one such as the Kiron 28-105mm f/3.2-f/4.5 which has TWO marks for the aperture and you have to think every time.... have I got this set to f/8 or f/11 or what percentage am I between? You have the same problem with all variable aperture zooms, it's just that the manufactures weren't honest enough to put the two marks there.

Try this with your 35-70mm or any manual zoom. Don't use the 'A' setting set f/8 on the aperture ring (this exercise is just to show the difference between the two types of zooms) Get a large white card or use a wall. If indoors set the exposure to give you approx. mid gray say f/8 at 1/5th sec. 100ISO. Don't bother about focus or camera shake, your not recording any detail. Take a shot of the white card at the 35mm end and the without changing anything another shot at the 70mm end, then look at the previews and look at the histograms... there will be a full tone of the Zone scale difference between the two and the difficult bit is which one is f/8? I can tell off the Kiron one mark has a T next to it the other has a W.

Obviously you would set f/8 on the camera and use the A setting on the 35-70mm lens in which case the camera will always set f/8 correctly. If you set f/3.5 at the 35mm end it should automatically change to f/4.5 as you zoom to the 70mm end. Just be careful if you ever use it on a pre A series film body or with extension tubes.

shim

Last edited by shim; 03-30-2010 at 06:52 AM. Reason: Ice cream on my fingers ;-)
03-30-2010, 07:42 AM   #8
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Shim, there are actually 2 A 35-70mm lenses. The one with the fixed aperture of f4 has a different optical formula. The one that shares the optical formula with the F also has f3.5-4.5.

This is the A/F f3.5-4.5




This is the f4




Here are review in the PF data base.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/lensreviews/SMC-Pentax-A-35-70mm-F3.5-4.5-Zoom-Lens.html

https://www.pentaxforums.com/lensreviews/SMC-Pentax-A-35-70mm-F4-Zoom-Lens.html

The formulae diagrams are from Dimitrov.

I personally think the best Pentax 35-70mm lens is the AF 35-70mm f2.8 but that's another thread.

03-30-2010, 07:55 AM   #9
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I like my F 35-70mm a lot, even though it doesn't get much use. This is more a reflection of my collection of lenses and their usability on the APS-C sensor than the lens itself. It is a very useful lens for film and I like the fact that it can do both. My only complaint about it is that the bokeh can get pretty weird at times.
03-30-2010, 07:57 AM   #10
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man F series lenses are butt ugly. sorry, I know that isn't on topic, but I just felt I had to say that. I have actually nearly purchased this lens on a number of occasions, due to its cheap price. everyone says its a good lens.. I wonder if I should have bought one?
03-30-2010, 08:20 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
man F series lenses are butt ugly. sorry, I know that isn't on topic, but I just felt I had to say that. I have actually nearly purchased this lens on a number of occasions, due to its cheap price. everyone says its a good lens.. I wonder if I should have bought one?
Some people think the cameras they went on were but ugly also!
03-30-2010, 09:10 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
Some people think the cameras they went on were but ugly also!
Oh, they're worse. The F series lenses have kind of a homely sort of charm to them, but the bodies! Sorry, Pentax, but the SFX is just utterly beyond redemption. Then again, every camera manufacturer made truly awful looking cameras in the late 80's/early 90's. Brr!
03-30-2010, 09:17 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
man F series lenses are butt ugly. sorry, I know that isn't on topic, but I just felt I had to say that. I have actually nearly purchased this lens on a number of occasions, due to its cheap price. everyone says its a good lens.. I wonder if I should have bought one?
Too each his/her own. The F series has that chunky "waffle stomper" look that appeals to some.

I got mine for $35 shipped, which is a fantastic bargain. I've seen them go for ~$90 recently on Ebay. If you can get one cheap, I'd snap it up. Besides -- the look grows on you.
03-30-2010, 09:30 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by twokatmew Quote
Too each his/her own. The F series has that chunky "waffle stomper" look that appeals to some.

I got mine for $35 shipped, which is a fantastic bargain. I've seen them go for ~$90 recently on Ebay. If you can get one cheap, I'd snap it up. Besides -- the look grows on you.
hey, I wont knock someone for liking them, but well, compared to my beautiful Auto-Takumars... ok im spoiled in that regard. I can imagine they do grow on you, but they would have a lot of growing to do.
03-30-2010, 02:28 PM   #15
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It's a nice little lens.





I'm restoring an 80 year old Welsh Dresser made by my grandfather at the moment and I used the lens today to record the work.
It was a bit long in the confines of my workshop, but it's a nice easy lens to use and the results are fine.
I actually got far better pictures with the 18-55 kit lens, but that was mainly down to the wider angle, but the 'macro' works ok.
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