Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
07-15-2007, 06:23 AM   #1
Veteran Member




Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Ontario
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 630
What are the legends? The sleepers?

Please do enlighten me...what do you think are the legendary Pentax lenses? I mean the ones with a following? I know there is lots of very high quality glass...but I'm thinking as compared to minolta, which have garnered a cult-like following for one reason or another, and not necessarily because they're uber-expensive.

Minolta had the 35/1.4, 100/2, the 'beercan' 70-210/4...maybe the 200/2.8.

And what about the 'sleepers' which often get overlooked (because of price), but deserve to be in a class near the top?

I'm thinking of minolta 24-85 f3.5-4.5 (~$100), 100-200/4.5 ($40), and so on.

I ask because I had the 200/2.8 G lens on two different occasions, but my award winning photographs were shot @200mm with a 100-200/4.5, a lens costing 35 TIMES less than the white minolta!

07-15-2007, 07:54 AM   #2
Administrator
Site Webmaster
Adam's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 40,984
The legendary Pentax lenses are in the FA* and A* series, including lenses such as the A* 135mm F1.8, FA* 85mm F1.4, FA* 80-200mm F2.8, FA* 200mm F4 Macro, FA* 300mm, FA* 600mm, and so on

I've been enjoying using some of these lenses on my trip this summer, and I can tell you that the images they can produce are breathtaking!

Adam
PentaxForums.com Webmaster (Site Usage Guide | Site Help | My Photography)



PentaxForums.com's high server and development costs are user-supported. You can help cover those costs by donating. Or, buy your photo gear from our affiliates, Adorama, B&H Photo, or Topaz Labs, and get FREE Marketplace access - click here to see how! Trusted Pentax retailers:

07-15-2007, 08:28 AM   #3
Veteran Member
GaryML's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Diego, California
Posts: 441
QuoteOriginally posted by Mo Quote
The legendary Pentax lenses are in the FA* and A* series, including lenses such as the A* 135mm F1.8, FA* 85mm F1.4, FA* 80-200mm F2.8, FA* 200mm F4 Macro, FA* 300mm, FA* 600mm, and so on
There was also one M* lens, the SMC Pentax M* 300mm f4, that was the beginning of the "*" series and deserves mention. Another M series lens that might be considered a legend is the SMC Pentax M 40mm f2.8 "pancake." This lens was popular for its unique flat design. Both of these lenses can be bought used for a reasonable price. The original K mount SMC Pentax 15mm f3.5 may also be considered a legend, especially the first version that is rumored to have an aspherical element (quite rare in 1972-unlike the molded glass or compound glass/plastic aspherical elements that are common today).

In addition to the * lenses, there are the "Limited" series of lenses. These are still in production, so they may not have the same cult status as the rare and difficult to find older lenses. The first was the SMC Pentax FA 43mm f1.9, followed by the FA 77mm f1.8 and the FA 31mm f1.8. All three are for 35mm film cameras but are also popular for use with DSLR cameras. This was followed by three DA Limiteds for digital cameras only: the SMC Pentax DA 21mm f3.2, the DA 40mm f2.8, and the DA 70mm f2.4. These are also compact enough to be called "pancakes" (especially the 40mm, which is pretty much the same optical design as the original M 40mm pancake).
07-15-2007, 10:28 AM   #4
Veteran Member
FotoPete's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,710
If you are talking price and in the operating budget of an average joe...

UNDER $100

-Any of the Pentax/takumar 50mm1.4
-Most Pentax M and a some A
-Vivitar 28-85 or S1 28-90 or S1 70-210 (anything Vivitar made by the likes of Kiron/Tokina/Komine are likely to be very good)
-Russian M42 Lenses (almost all are based/derived/copied off of German lenses like Zeiss most notably)
-SMC A70-210/4 (our own beercan?..or metal club?)
-Some Ricoh XR lenses. (Equivalent to our Pentax "M" lineage) I saw a Ricoh 28/3.5 and it was very sharp and contrasty. Couldn't help but to think Tak 28/3.5.

Above $100..but not too much.
-The rest of the Super, Super-Multi-Coated, SMC Takumars
-Some more of the A series Pentax Lenses
-Zenitar fisheye and other Russian Ultrawides like the Mir-20 or Mir47
-Helios-40 85mm 1.5
-Tair 3 (300mm f4.5 commonly found off photosniper kits.)
-Russian Pentacon6/Kiev60/Kiev88 lenses (Kiev 88 = Hasselblad)
Lots of big lenses...maybe too big for 35mm use. $100-200. Never tried with adaptors but smells like Ziess.
-Russian Mirror lenses.

The list can run on and on. I'm one of those average joes that doesn't quite seem to get why the lenses cost more than the camera and so I've kept it that way. (yea yea I know the whole deal on why lenses are so friggin expensive but still..:P)

Every lens I've bought has cost under $100 with the exception of the SuperProgram + A50/1.4 + 70-200 kit and the Zenitar 16. (In the mail). (Haven't broken the $200 yet)

and these lenses aren't bad. Many of their designs persist to present day crowned in plastic, wires, and gearwork, labeled with alphabits but its all the same deal. Sure, especially in todays world you can be called a 'cheapskate', which I have for using an empty dessert cup instead of dropping $70 on a gary fong lightsphere for a diffuser, but the biggest difference is how much heavier your wallet leaves the camera store.

What really matters is your visual system and your creative side. How can you capture a moment to tell a story? You got a bed of flowers in a garden...do you go wide? focus on a certain one or on the kid bending down to smell one? I've seen many many photographers on campus. a professional with like 5+kilos..got his D2X, D200, and w/e lenses. student photographers..some with really expensive auto glass too and I mean if you are all about the auto...who's taking the picture? you or the camera?

I totally agree with you d.bradley about the lens thing and maybe it just boils down to "ok..heres what I got...how to make the best of it" rather then..."OMG THAT LADY'S PURSE JUST KNOCKED MY LENS!!"

07-15-2007, 03:54 PM   #5
Pentaxian




Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: West Chester, PA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,420
QuoteOriginally posted by FotoPete Quote
I'm one of those average joes that doesn't quite seem to get why the lenses cost more than the camera and so I've kept it that way.
I ran into a guy using a Nikon D200 today, and he had on some Sigma variant of a lens. I couldn't help but think, if you can afford a $2,000 camera (his was most certainly prior to recent price drops) why not the extra $500 for the Nikkor glass? I initially thought it was silly to put a $1,000 lens on a $600 camera, but now I think quite the opposite.

Cameras come and go - lenses are forever!
07-15-2007, 04:12 PM   #6
Senior Member




Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Kamloops, B.C.
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 226
QuoteOriginally posted by carpents Quote
I ran into a guy using a Nikon D200 today, and he had on some Sigma variant of a lens. I couldn't help but think, if you can afford a $2,000 camera (his was most certainly prior to recent price drops) why not the extra $500 for the Nikkor glass? I initially thought it was silly to put a $1,000 lens on a $600 camera, but now I think quite the opposite.

Cameras come and go - lenses are forever!
This kind of thinking is actually rather worrisome and misguided.

Just because someone has something, doesn't mean they are automatically able to have anything else. Perhaps this guy scrimped and saved for months upon months to get a camera body he truly desired, instead of settling for something else. Maybe he had that Sigma laying around from an old film body. Maybe it was given to him as a gift. Maybe he's scrimping and saving *again* to be able to afford a lens he truly wants and the whatever he has now is perfectly fine for him. Maybe he's just happy using Sigma lenses.

So, "Why not spend the extra $500?" All of the above could explain that.

*EDIT* I certainly don't hope that when I have the K10D out with the Tamron on it that people don't automatically think, "Boy, why didn't he just spend the extra $1000 for the FA* 28-70mm f/2.8, he can obviously afford it carrying around the K10D!"
07-15-2007, 04:14 PM   #7
Pentaxian




Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: West Chester, PA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,420
That I own:
Legends:
FA* 85/1.4, FA 31/1.8 Limited, and the winner of the Normal Lens Shootout (TBD).

Sleepers (IMO this means amazing, inexpensive, maybe not the quality of the true Legends above but worth every penny):
Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 135/2.5 (second version), Super-Multi-Coated/SMC Takumar 50/1.4, SMC Pentax-A 24/2.8, Super-Multi-Coated Fish-Eye Takumar 17/4 (<--arguably not inexpensive).


That I don't own, so I can only call these potential Legends:
Any of the 300mm and greater fast A*/FA* lenses (like the FA*600/4 or A*300/2.8), the FA* 200/4 Macro, A* 135/1.8, Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 85/1.8.


Now, if you wanted to start a really controversial topic, ask for a list of over-rated lenses!
07-15-2007, 04:17 PM   #8
Pentaxian




Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: West Chester, PA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,420
QuoteOriginally posted by Artyste Quote
This kind of thinking is actually rather worrisome and misguided.
Valid point, and I did in fact think some of those things. Also keep in mind that I routinely walk around with lenses that cost less than $10 on my camera. I was kind of wondering if this sort of lens infatuation wasn't more endemic of Pentax/Minolta people (which are the only people I hang out with).

**EDIT - No, they'll be saying "wow, what a smart man who saved all that money on the Tamron that is a better lens than the FA* version!"**


Last edited by carpents; 07-15-2007 at 04:19 PM. Reason: Praise for the Tamron in question!
07-15-2007, 04:20 PM   #9
Senior Member




Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Kamloops, B.C.
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 226
QuoteOriginally posted by carpents Quote
Valid point, and I did in fact think some of those things. Also keep in mind that I routinely walk around with lenses that cost less than $10 on my camera. I was kind of wondering if this sort of lens infatuation wasn't more endemic of Pentax/Minolta people (which are the only people I hang out with).

**EDIT - No, they'll be saying "wow, what a smart man who saved all that money on the Tamron that is a better lens than the FA* version!"**
LOL. Hopefully.

Sorry for coming across a bit strong. I've been inundated with "Holier than Thou-ness" on the internet lately.
07-15-2007, 04:23 PM   #10
Pentaxian




Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: West Chester, PA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,420
QuoteOriginally posted by Artyste Quote
I've been inundated with "Holier than Thou-ness" on the internet lately.
If it's holier, it sure ain't me!
07-15-2007, 05:32 PM   #11
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Boston, PRofMA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,053
Was there ever any fast 2.8 SMC long glass? E.g., 300/2.8?
Or were computers required to design stuff like that? :-P
Trying to find something long/fast that's affordable ;-)

Last edited by kenyee; 07-15-2007 at 06:53 PM.
07-15-2007, 05:38 PM   #12
Pentaxian




Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: West Chester, PA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,420
QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
Was there every any fast 2.8 SMC long glass? E.g., 300/2.8?
Or were computers required to design stuff like that? :-P
Trying to find something long/fast that's affordable ;-)
Tamron SP 300/2.8.
07-15-2007, 05:46 PM   #13
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Philippines
Posts: 1,399
I've been meaning to build a collection of inexpensive lenses and make a small site showcasing the capabilities of those lenses. I have no money for the likes of * lenses (if I even find one on eBay).

Of course, I'd love to own some of those legends one day, but for now, I'm content with trying to find underdogs.
07-15-2007, 06:53 PM   #14
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Boston, PRofMA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,053
QuoteOriginally posted by carpents Quote
Tamron SP 300/2.8.
Wow...looks like this isn't a sleeper any more :-)

eBay: TAMRON SP 300/2.8 LDIF PENTAX NIKON CANON LEICA EXC++ (item 170129987705 end time Jul-21-07 12:00:00 PDT)

I didn't realize Tamron made anything that huge ;-)
07-15-2007, 07:03 PM   #15
Veteran Member
FotoPete's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,710
QuoteOriginally posted by vinzer Quote
I've been meaning to build a collection of inexpensive lenses and make a small site showcasing the capabilities of those lenses. I have no money for the likes of * lenses (if I even find one on eBay).

Of course, I'd love to own some of those legends one day, but for now, I'm content with trying to find underdogs.
Check out the russian lenses :P
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
k-mount, lens, minolta, pentax lens, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Pentax Legends dopeytree Pentax News and Rumors 3 07-17-2009 05:38 AM
Legends John Kovarik Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 2 03-26-2008 12:43 PM
For Sale - Sold: Affordable legends jsherman999 Sold Items 9 02-10-2008 01:43 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:14 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top