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06-20-2016, 12:46 AM   #1
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Having a K1, now is the time to shop for vintage glass

Having a K1, now is the time to shop for vintage glass. I'm looking for a good 135mm vintage portrait manual lens that given an original vintage special character, to mount on K1.
I looked here ( http://stores.ebay.com/Foto-Koeberl-Graz?_dmd=2&_nkw=135mm+M42 ) on ebay, there are plenty of old manual M42 lenses of all kind of brands, but I have no clue which one is a lemon and which one is good enough. Could anyone having a good knowledge of manual lenses recommend a couple of lenses that aren't too expensive, decently sharp in the center and given a special vintage style. I'd like to shot manual for portraits only to achieve vintage style prints (do different from everyone else using a Canikon 70-200 to do portraits).


Last edited by biz-engineer; 06-20-2016 at 12:56 AM.
06-20-2016, 01:03 AM   #2
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The Pentax M135/3.5 has a nice vintage feel to its images, I feel. That might be a good starter, it's very cheap, too.

I also like the Carl Zeiss Jena 135/3.5, which also renders beautifully. The Jupiter 135/4 is very similar but you can get versions with 10 aperture blades for round bokeh.

Speaking of which, the lens particularly acclaimed for its bokeh and number of aperture blades is the Meyer Orestor 135/2.8, also sold as Pentacon. However, only the earlier versions have 15 aperture blades, later versions only have 6 of them. Also, even if you decide to go for a later version, beware the rebadged Japanese Pentacon 135/2.8 - I once accidentally bought it and it was absolutely horrible.

I don't have any pictures handy now, but you can surely find plenty on here, Flickr and all over the Internet.
06-20-2016, 01:15 AM   #3
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The Pentax M135/3.5 is a cracking little lens, but needs to be used carefully to avoid purple fringing in very high contrast areas. So long as you can work with or around that, the general IQ and bokeh are very pleasing indeed...
06-20-2016, 01:30 AM - 6 Likes   #4
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According to Kerrowdown, it's hard to take a picture with the A * 135 f1.8 because the golden light shaft from the sky and the choir of angels singing is very, very distracting. ☺

06-20-2016, 02:03 AM   #5
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I imagine that there are quite a few options in 135mm that are good for portraits and a trawl through the internet will throw up a lot. Something with a wider aperture than 2.8 is likely to be expensive (relative to 2.8's and 3.5's) so if you want to try something on the cheap I recommend that you should think of trying the PENTACON 135mm F2.8 (M42) (Or earlier variants as mentioned by antipattern).


The lens feels robust and you will know you have it on your camera as it is quite large and heavy but;
It boasts 15 blades, it is a preset that you can set the aperture to and have clickless aperture ring movement down from wide open to your choice of aperture.
The focus ring is virtually 360 degrees and has a nice separation from the aperture ring so easy to use.
It seems to be easy to dismantle, I removed the front and back glass elements on mine to wipe off some fungus.
It is quite sharp stopped down.
I found mine for less than a tenner here in a charity shop and am well pleased with this purchase (though I did originally have misgivings about dismantling it to clean out the fungus, I am a clutz with things).
06-20-2016, 03:02 AM   #6
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The Pentax K 135mm F2.5 excellent. (The s-m-c Takumar 135mm F2.5 second version with six elements is optically the same). Tair 11, great bokeh lens.
06-20-2016, 03:13 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
I'm looking for a good 135mm vintage portrait manual lens
QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
According to Kerrowdown, it's hard to take a picture with the A * 135 f1.8 because the golden light shaft from the sky and the choir of angels singing is very, very distracting.
Based on that high praise... I can only recommend "Lady Luck” (SMC Pentax-A* 135mm F1.8).

Last edited by Kerrowdown; 06-20-2016 at 03:19 AM.
06-20-2016, 03:14 AM   #8
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perhaps I can contribute by saying what not to go for (this is a relative statement so don't get too upset with my thoughts)

Suggest avoiding the Takumar Bayonet 135mm f2.5 and, to a lesser extent, super takumar 135mm lenses (these show reduce contrast due to poorer lens coatings).

But, whatever you do, make sure you use a hood on the older glass as flare and contrast loss can feature. Once you use the glass with finesse you will get big rewards.

Oh and the A*135/1.8 are dripping of trees, should be easy to pick one up (NOT)

06-20-2016, 03:18 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wild Mark Quote
Oh and the A*135/1.8 are dripping off trees, should be easy to pick one up (NOT)
Oh they are out there... but unfortunately they have become a bit expensive these days.
06-20-2016, 03:19 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kerrowdown Quote
Oh they are out there... but unfortunately they have become a bit expensive these days.
Stop gloating

I will get my unicorn oneday
06-20-2016, 03:22 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wild Mark Quote
Stop gloating
No you misunderstand... not gloating at all, just thinking out aloud if anything untoward ever becomes of her, what it would cost me to replace her.
06-20-2016, 03:36 AM   #12
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in regards of the M42 I will put my bet on 6-element version of SMC-Takumar 135mm F2.5 but that guy in Graz doesnt have it.

Just a friendly advice: If I were you I will not get anything from him (foto-koeberl-graz)... hate sellers when they separate hood from the lens to make more money (in his case he separated hood from 135mm Super-Takumar F3.5 and listed separately for another 19 Euros!)
06-20-2016, 03:44 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kerrowdown Quote
No you misunderstand... not gloating at all, just thinking out aloud if anything untoward ever becomes of her, what it would cost me to replace her.
I realise that - I was only jesting (hence the smiley). They are hard to come by because, as you say, you will need a lot of cash.
06-20-2016, 03:47 AM   #14
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I have a Tamron fixed K-Mount 135 f2.8 lens that I got new for about $50 way back when. I tried it in my K1 other day and was pleasantly surprised at the results.
06-20-2016, 04:32 AM   #15
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+1 for the M135/3.5 - compact, sharp, lovely colours. I don't use mine that much but that is only because it's not a focal length I go to all that often - whenever I do use it on film or digital I love the results. IMO given the good results that lens gives, the hefty price hike for the f2.5 examples doesn't seem worth it but YMMV.

A left field choice would be the Cosina Cosinon-T 135/3.5 - incredibly cheap and also very good results.
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