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10-05-2011, 10:05 AM   #1
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Suggestions for 2-3 lens kits to keep with 645N

I need some input of wisdom from forum friends in 645N. I initially got my 645N and started with only one lens with A 75mm f/2.8 which I love dearly. I later got FA 45mm f/2.8 and A 55mm f/2.8 which I also grown to love though I use more with the 45mm for the wider view. And I repeated my past mistakes with LBA, I bought gear too fast and before I know it, I have acquired LS 135 f/4.0 and later with A 120mm f/4.0.
  • FA 45mm f/2.8 -- #2 to keep
  • A 55mm f/2.8 -- I don't use as much, need your inputs
  • A 75mm f/2.8 -- #1 to keep
  • LS 135mm f/4.0 -- ? not sure, I love the size
  • A 120mm f/4.0 Macro -- ? , need your inputs

I need your input to think of #3 candidate to keep. I know that the 120mm is likely the best candidate to keep but I find it difficult to use, maybe that is the nature of macro with heavy lens. I am not sure if the 150mm f/3.5 will fit me better as a 3 lens set up in 45, 75, 150. I like the size of the 135 and it is much easier to hand-hold and quite alright for portrait. The LS feature got me into the LBA thinking but I have not put it into real use. Any fan on LS usage on your LS 75 and LS 135? How does the LS 135mm f/4.0 compare with A 150mm f/3.5 in sharpness and handling?

The main reason for trimming is finding enough fund for my digital upgrade for Pentax K-5 as I do more digital than film. But I plan to keep the 645N as digital bodies come and go and the good film body and lens are hard to come by in reasonable price.


Your thoughts and suggestions are much appreciated.

Hin


Last edited by hinman; 10-06-2011 at 07:05 PM.
10-05-2011, 01:11 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by hinman Quote
I need some input of wisdom from forum friends in 645 on film. I initially got my 645N and started with only one lens with A 75mm f/2.8 which I love dearly. I later got FA 45mm f/2.8 and A 55mm f/2.8 which I also grown to love though I use more with the 45mm for the wider view. And I repeated my past mistakes with LBA, I bought gear too fast and before I know it, I have acquired LS 135 f/4.0 and later with A 120mm f/4.0.
  • FA 45mm f/2.8 -- #2 to keep
  • A 55mm f/2.8 -- I don't use as much, need your inputs
  • A 75mm f/2.8 -- #1 to keep
  • LS 135mm f/4.0 -- ? not sure, I love the size
  • A 120mm f/4.0 Macro -- ? , need your inputs

I need your input to think of #3 candidate to keep. I know that the 120mm is likely the best candidate to keep but I find it difficult to use, maybe that is the nature of macro with heavy lens. I am not sure if the 150mm f/3.5 will fit me better as a 3 lens set up in 45, 75, 150. I like the size of the 135 and it is much easier to hand-hold and quite alright for portrait. The LS feature got me into the LBA thinking but I have not put it into real use. Any fan on LS usage on your LS 75 and LS 135? How does the LS 135mm f/4.0 compare with A 150mm f/3.5 in sharpness and handling?

The main reason for trimming is finding enough fund for my digital upgrade for Pentax K-5 as I do more digital than film. But I plan to keep the 645N as digital bodies come and go and the good film body and lens are hard to come by in reasonable price.


Your thoughts and suggestions are much appreciated.

Hin
I would keep the macro.


Steve
10-05-2011, 07:03 PM   #3
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+one keeping the macro...and I would also as you say keep the 45mm instead of the 55mm

...so Hin, you realize of course that bigger format just mean bigger LBA...
10-06-2011, 01:31 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I would keep the macro.

Steve
Thanks for the suggestion. I only have about 5 test photos just finished development from Dwayne's photo. I did my scanning last night with my flatbed on Canon 8800F. Most of my test shots are overexposed along with other shots from my A 55mm f/2.8 in a test roll with Fuji Acros 100.

I only have few test shots on both the 120 and 55, and I did rush finishing the test roll before sending my 645N your way for your trial. I may have to try few more test rolls on 55, 135 and 120 to narrow down my list to two or perhaps three lens as a kit to enjoy 120 films.


#1

A 120mm f/4.0, fuji acros 100, 2400 dpi


#2

A 120mm f/4.0, fuji acros 100, 2400 dpi


#3

A 120mm f/4.0, fuji acros 100, 2400 dpi

The 120 macro is harder to use in hand-holding and I will re-try it next with tripod.

Thanks,
Hin


Last edited by hinman; 10-06-2011 at 02:01 PM.
10-06-2011, 01:36 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Douglas_of_Sweden Quote
+one keeping the macro...and I would also as you say keep the 45mm instead of the 55mm

...so Hin, you realize of course that bigger format just mean bigger LBA...
Agreed to that about LBA magnified with film and MF gear. But I digress as I do enjoy films and it is something especially unique in b&w. And unlike digital, the long process with films do slow me down and hopefully train me with patience and critical vision.

Hin

Last edited by hinman; 10-06-2011 at 01:50 PM.
10-06-2011, 03:51 PM   #6
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I'm hoping soon to scan results with the 135mm, but my scanner has been in storage since January already... That said, I have the impression that it is quite a good performer. You know, the 120mm is not good for everything. Portraits are better with the 135mm. I do not mind the lack of an A setting myself on the 135mm. I planned to use it for fill-in flash outdoors.

The 3.5/150mm, which I sold for the 2.8 FA, is actually very sharp and pleasant as well. Does not focus as close as the 2.8.

It depends on your needs. In sharpness, the 120mm is outstanding. But the other two you mention are certainly not poor choices.
BTW, I do have the 120 and (2.8) 150 as well. The 120mm has a quality about it that is so stunning I did not sell it (as I had expected to do, because I am not a macro shooter).

Last edited by Smolk; 01-23-2012 at 05:52 AM. Reason: typo
10-06-2011, 03:53 PM   #7
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Oh, and I ended up selling the 55mm, now using the 35 / 75 and one of my short telephoto lenses as a combo.
10-06-2011, 04:47 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Smolk Quote
I'm hoping soon to scan results with the 135mm, but my scanner has been in storage since January already... That said, I have the impression that it is quite a good performer. You know, the 120mm is not good for everything. Portraits are better with the 135mm. I do not mind the lack of an A setting myself on the 135mm. I planned to use it for fill-in flash outdoors.

The 3.5/150mm, which I sold for the 2.8 FA, is actually very sharp and pleasant as well. Does not focus as close as the 2.8.

It depends on your needs. In sharpness, the 120mm is outstanding. But the other two you mention are certainly not poor choices.
BTW, I do have the 120 and (2.8) 150 as well. The 120mm has a quality about it that is so stunning I did not sell it (as I had expected to do, because I am not a macro shooter).
Thanks for the input. I will keep shooting more on the 120 macro to find out. I occasionally shoot macros but I find it a drag when a heavy duty tripod is involved. It is something that I need to grow up with.


QuoteOriginally posted by Smolk Quote
Oh, and I ended up selling the 55mm, now using the 35 / 75 and one of my short telephoto lenses as a combo.
In the same test roll with my 120 macro, I had few shots with the A 55mm f/2.8. Many are overexposed and I did some PP in LR. The ones from 55 come out quite alright for me and I think my A 55mm f/2.8 seems sharper than my FA 45mm f/2.8 but I like the view in the 45mm better. And I can't afford the 35mm that you have.


#4

A 55mm f/2.8, Fuji Acros 100, 2400 dpi


#5

A 55mm f/2.8, Fuji Acros 100, 2400 dpi

#6

A 55mm f/2.8, Fuji Acros 100, 2400 dpi

I will hopefully find the time to test more on 55, 135 and 120 to decide. Thank you for the valuable feedbacks.
Hin


Last edited by hinman; 10-06-2011 at 07:06 PM.
10-07-2011, 12:00 AM   #9
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For some reason, the 645A 55mm was never reincarnated with AF until the D. I've never figured out if that was a decision based on optical shortcomings, or if it simply wasn't a particularly popular lens at the time. IIRC, the only other focal length from the A-series not to make it with AF was the humongous 645A*600mm f/5.6.
The LS lenses are a different story of course. I once had the 75mm LS, but figured the regular one suited me better since I had no need for fast-synch flash.
Today I have both the FA 150/2.8 and the 120mm macro, and I tend to use only the macro even for general purpose photography. It seems like too much of a bother to carry both.

Enjoy your testing. I wouldn't be surprised at all if you decide to keep everything.

best,
Jostein

Last edited by alunfoto; 10-07-2011 at 12:01 AM. Reason: 600mm f/4 corrected to f/5.6
10-07-2011, 05:08 AM   #10
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45 mm 75mm 135mm you do not need the other two and stop doing tests to optically choose. 45 mm is not the greatest lens but you clearly like it
10-07-2011, 06:28 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by alunfoto Quote
For some reason, the 645A 55mm was never reincarnated with AF until the D. I've never figured out if that was a decision based on optical shortcomings, or if it simply wasn't a particularly popular lens at the time.
Perhaps the zoom, 45-85mm, proved more popular? I understand this camera was often chosen by wedding photographers, and a zoom would make sense in that context, especially one as sharp as the 45-85mm.
10-08-2011, 09:08 AM   #12
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the 120 macro is an amazingly versatile lens, with or without a tripod...have used one for almost 30 yrs for portraits, and produced superb images both in and out of the studio..plus, they are cheap!
10-10-2011, 03:30 AM   #13
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If you find the macro lens difficult, then that's the one to sell - for you! Pentax had a very nice set of extension tubes...

Based on what you like so far, I'd say the 135 LS stays... Gives you another option with the leaf shutter too.

45/55 - for whatever reason the old Pentax 28mm equivalents don't have the admiration the other focal lengths do. Same for the 45 here. Yet, if the FOV works better for you, it is the lens for you! (I've had trouble seeing 35mm but less so 28mm... OTH lately I'm mainly liking the normal and 35mm FOVs, so go figure)...
10-10-2011, 10:46 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeffrey Sklan Quote
the 120 macro is an amazingly versatile lens, with or without a tripod...have used one for almost 30 yrs for portraits, and produced superb images both in and out of the studio..plus, they are cheap!
Thank you for the valuable feedback. I will take the 120 and try it on portraits to help with my decision.


QuoteOriginally posted by Nesster Quote
If you find the macro lens difficult, then that's the one to sell - for you! Pentax had a very nice set of extension tubes...

Based on what you like so far, I'd say the 135 LS stays... Gives you another option with the leaf shutter too.

45/55 - for whatever reason the old Pentax 28mm equivalents don't have the admiration the other focal lengths do. Same for the 45 here. Yet, if the FOV works better for you, it is the lens for you! (I've had trouble seeing 35mm but less so 28mm... OTH lately I'm mainly liking the normal and 35mm FOVs, so go figure)...
Thank you for the valuable comment. I do like the A 55mm f/2.8 and it appears to give good sharpness. I share your view in liking the different FOV in different times. It is an odd thing.
10-24-2011, 10:03 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nesster Quote
If you find the macro lens difficult, then that's the one to sell - for you! Pentax had a very nice set of extension tubes...

Based on what you like so far, I'd say the 135 LS stays... Gives you another option with the leaf shutter too.

45/55 - for whatever reason the old Pentax 28mm equivalents don't have the admiration the other focal lengths do. Same for the 45 here. Yet, if the FOV works better for you, it is the lens for you! (I've had trouble seeing 35mm but less so 28mm... OTH lately I'm mainly liking the normal and 35mm FOVs, so go figure)...
I have currently made the decision to keep my 55mm longer and the one lens that I pick to let go is the A 120mm macro. The reasons are simply that I don't do that much macro on film and I already love what the LS 135 do for me on portraits and candids.

If I manage to trade in more of my lesser use 135 gear, I may opt to keep the 120. Thank you for all of your help.

Hin
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