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06-03-2013, 12:13 AM   #1
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Sears 135 Macro f2.8

Now this lens seems to work rather well when not in Macro , and I think it would be hard to criticize as it performs above kit lens levels .
I only just go this lens and am trialing it on my istD . Its a very dark and dreary day and the lens is performing rather well . In all fairness , its a fast lens ( f2.8 ) .
My main reason for getting this lens was for the Macro or close focus ( truer ) feature . So lets check it out , I took quite a few test pictures ...
So lets start with f2.8 and maximum macro and as close as possible to the subject ..

Now in Macro , the images are soft up to about f6.3 , and down right Halo-ish to f4 , its sure does offer scope for experimenting ( lens ) especially if your using a higher MP camera that allows ISO-800 or higher without getting overly grainy , the little istD has hit the wall @ 800 , and there is little room for cropping at this ISO .
The images in non Macro mode dont appear to suffer and even at f2.8 are relatively sharp , which makes this a nice fast lens . 135mm is a little much for a general purpose lens , but for landscapes etc .
If you can find one cheap enough , certainly worth while having in the kit . I paid a little more since postage hurts some what from the USA , so I went for the cleanest looking lens I could find on Ebay that came within my price range ..

Lens was as near mint as I can tell
Tight and smooth .
Korean Manufactured ( Not Japanese - or is it Korean Assembled ? ) either way stamped Korea .
For the price , nothing to complain about . Except the Macro halo @ f2.8 to f4 ( but thats personal )

Overall id rate it a solid 9 - 10 , beats most kit lenses ...

Last edited by old4570; 06-03-2013 at 12:36 AM.
06-03-2013, 10:58 AM   #2
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Good Halo or Bad Halo?

Hello Old4570,
I see you got a copy of the Sears Macro 135. This lens is famous (or infamous, take your pick) for just the effect you pointed out, the halo at wide apertures. In fact, this version (the same lens was made in a non-macro version) even has a suitable nickname, "The Glow". Some treasure the angelic, ethereal look, others avoid it by stopping down.
Speaking of stopped down, your macro shots at smaller apertures are very sharp and clean, good work!
Personally, I like the glow for certain subjects, especially when complimented by back-lighting; It's the main reason I bought a copy. But over time I found it was a 'one trick pony' in that there are sharper macro telephotos available and while it is a good bargain, most 90-105mm macros from major brands will deliver sharper, cleaner images at any camera-to-subject distance.
So, within its limitations it's a good lens, and if used correctly will provide good rendering. There are several reviews of 'The Glow; in the lens reviews.
Enjoy it!
06-03-2013, 05:10 PM   #3
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No I bought it for the glow as well , and depending on how much glow you want , you can step down ...

I think its a worth while lens , but yeah , I do want a 90-100mm Macro lens thats sharp .. Unfortunately all the old lenses go for quite a bit ?? of $$
So Im looking to save some $ for maybe the AF Tamron 90mm f2.8 Macro 1:1
01-04-2015, 03:18 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by rbefly Quote
...this version (the same lens was made in a non-macro version) even has a suitable nickname, "The Glow".
The macro and non-macro Sears K-mounts are totally different critters, made by different manufacturers.

The non-macro Sears k-mount 135mm was made by (I think) Tokina, and the macro by someone else (rumor has it Samyang). I own all three versions of teh K-mount Sears 135 - the non-macro which is built like a tank, and is all metal, the non-"A" macro version with the twist front and its Ricoh-pin clad cousin which is virtually identical.

The non-macro version should essentially be treated like an entirely different lens, because it is one.


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