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07-08-2013, 04:25 PM   #1
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Testing some of my older lenses on my K5's

I have been checking out some of my older lenses on my K5 and K5-IIs. Here are some of the results.

Sigma 400mm f5.6 APO. - Has a cloudy surface on an interior element. Major bummer. It affects the contrast, but the lens is still very sharp. Ruberized coating getting sticky. I may invest the money to get it cleaned. I have always liked this lens but it gets very little use. I don't see them listed as being manufactured anymore. In manual mode, the K5-IIs exposure was a lot better than the K5. The K5 was over exposing by about a full stop or even a little more. In any of the auto modes, both were pretty good. The manual mode of the K5 handled the shorter focal lengh tlenses without any problems.

An old Tamron dedicated K-mount 135mm f2.8. - Clean throughout and sharp too. A nice surprise.

SMC Pentax M 50mm F1.5 K-Kount. - Clean throughout. Nice and sharp.

55mm f1.8 screw mount. - Seems a little sharper than the 50mm above. Felt like I had found a long lost friend. It mainly sits on my old Spotmatic II.

Tamron 70 - 210 F3.5. - Fungus inside and not as sharp as I had hoped. Probably going into retirement. Not worth getting repaired. The lens is heavy and has no tripod mount on it.

Sigma 70 - 210 f4 - 5.6 - Not much good to say about it at all . Rubber coating really sticky too. May go in the garbage. I purchased this lens as a light weight travel lens and I have never been that pleased with it. Not really sharp and the contrast is pretty weak too.

Polar 18 - 28mm f4 -4.5. Continues to surprise. It is essentially a Kalimar. Got it cheap in Korea and the whole front lens groups has a nice wobble to it, but I still like this lens. Sky's come out looking like you used a polarizer in front of the lens. Nice color and contrast too. I paid all of $120 for this brand new at the Kimpo Airport duty free shop some 20 years ago.

To me it looked like the K5-IIs was less forgiving than the K5 when shooting the long lens. I was hand holding all of these shots and the slightly better resolution of the K5-IIs seemed to make the camera less forgiving of wobble. This is a purely visual test of what I saw looking at the images when fully magnified on the Silkypix software that came with the cameras. Kind of makes sense that a the higher resolution go the K5-IIs would show any wobble more than the K5. It should also be noted that I turned off the anti-shake function on both cameras. With a fast shutter speed and no wobble the K5-IIs was a bit sharper.

My Tamron 300mm f2.8 lens is heading to Colorado soon to get the internals cleaned and the fungus removed. Hopefully it can be restored to it's former glory. I just may pack up the Sigma 400mm lens with it.

I have to make some decisions to make regarding new glass. I am pretty pleased with my 12 -24mm Pentax DA lens. Not sure as to what to get next. I may wait to see if Pentax comes out with a full frame version camera before making any decisions in this area.

07-08-2013, 05:15 PM   #2
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I doubt that much can be done for the Sigma, they were well known for element separation.
07-09-2013, 02:55 PM   #3
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My Siggie 300 4.5 is separating too. I've used less than 8 times since '82.

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