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12-22-2010, 07:17 PM   #1
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Pentax 135mm 1:2.5 lens capabilities

Hello all, this is my first post. I bought a new k-x last week because I was sick of taking crumby pictures at birthday parties and over the holidays. I also picked up a 135mm f2.5 lens on craigslist for $40 including the k1000 it was mounted to. Can anyone help me with the best setting to take indoor pictures of my family during the holidays without the use of a flash? Also, is there a place where I can see what different lenses will do when shot at different settings? I have the kit lens and the 135mm. And lastly, how do I adjust shutter speed? All I see is ISO on the panel. Thanks in advance.


ps- this camera is pretty awesome compared to the cybershot p&s I have been using for two years.

Rob

12-22-2010, 07:59 PM   #2
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To adjust the shutter speed, go to Tv mode.

Also, so this the K 135mm lens, or the Takumar 135mm lens? There's quite a big difference - see the lens database.

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12-22-2010, 09:00 PM   #3
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I just looked at it and it says Takumar. I assume that is the worse of the two?
12-22-2010, 09:53 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by robdrobd Quote
I just looked at it and it says Takumar. I assume that is the worse of the two?
i got 1 too lol, yeah, I think you got the worst of the 2 (mine says bayonet on it).

12-22-2010, 10:04 PM - 1 Like   #5
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Rob,
As someone who also recently transitioned from a point & shoot to a k-x here are a few things you might think about.

1) You need to read the manual. I know, you never did with the p&s but seriously you need to read the manual.
2) Invest in a book on DSLR photography. I can recommend "Understanding Exposure" by Brian Peterson. It is well written and understandable.
3) There is a serious learning curve to get the most from any dslr. P&S means just that, point it and get an OK picture. I found when I first got my k-x that the quality of pictures I took with it were noticeably WORSE than with my p&s. Not the camera's fault, totally operator error. I am now better than with the p&s and maybe someday I'll be good enough to live up to the camera.

The 135mm lens you have is probably this one , although there are a number of 135mm Pentax lens and you might have something else. The k mount 135mm Takumar generally gets poor reviews compared to the earlier M42 mount lenses and the later models. I have one and don't find it to be too bad as long as you understand its quirks. You do understand that this is an all manual lens? Manual focus and you will have to set the aperture manually. You'll also have to set the focal length for image stabilization.

If you want a more certain identification of the lens either post a picture or post exactly what it says on the lens. If it says "Takumar (Bayonet) 1:2.5 135mm then you have the one in the link I included. If it is I would probably sell it and look for one that works better with your camera but that's just me. It isn't a bad lens at all for the price if you want to learn how to use manual lenses though.

Good luck

Last edited by jatrax; 12-22-2010 at 10:28 PM.
12-22-2010, 10:11 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by robdrobd Quote
I just looked at it and it says Takumar. I assume that is the worse of the two?
Not necessarily...the keywords for the good one are "SMC" or "Super-Multi-Coated". If the latter, check the camera side of the diaphragm switch. 43812 is better than 43802. SMC is same as 43812 but bayonet mount.
12-23-2010, 06:14 AM   #7
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The lens is set wide open (2.5), in Av mode. I am manually focussing and getting a beep upon focal confirmation. Here are two pics I took last night with the 135mm Takumar lens. The one of my son was shot at 1600 ISO, the one of my daughter and her nebulizer (sp?) was taken at ISO 800. I am not a photographer so I don't know if these are good or not. Nothing else adjusted, shot indoors with typical low light. I thought the steam coming out of the nebulizer was pretty neat though.


ps- Is photoshop the editor of choice for cropping? I have the Pentax program, but I don't really like it.
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12-23-2010, 06:15 AM   #8
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by the way, the top pic was taken before I realized that I would get a beep when the image was in focus


Last edited by robdrobd; 12-23-2010 at 07:10 AM.
12-23-2010, 11:52 AM   #9
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The Takumar Bayonet is good enough for you at the moment. Yes, there are better lenses out there, but you got a good deal and can learn a lot from this lens. Start with the basics, how to get the lens to work on your camera:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-beginners-corner-q/110658-using-ma...x-dslrs-f.html

You asked for some help with settings. For the lens to work best, you'll have put the camera in M mode. That allows you to control shutter speed with the thumb wheel and set the aperture with the lens's aperture ring. Page 100 of the manual talks about this mode, except with this older lens you have to ignore its advice on aperture setting. Page 90 of the manual covers setting ISO. It looks to me like Auto ISO doesn't change in M mode, so you may have to choose this setting yourself.

It's amazing how dark it is indoors to the camera. I suggest setting the lens to f2.5 at first, which lets in as much light as possible. It would be great to have shutter speeds higher than 1/125 sec., but you probably won't have enough light for that. ISO is going to have to be pretty high, around 1600 like your sample photos. Each setting has an impact on your photos and how hard they are to take.

Aperture: The lens does let in a lot of light at f2.5, but at a cost. The biggest factor is Depth of Field, which is the big difference with a DSLR. Look at your example photos and see how the background is not sharp. This makes your photos have a third dimension and look better. The area that's in focus changes - increase the f number and increase the area in focus or depth of field. But increasing the f number cuts the light entering the lens, and you may not have enough to do that. With this lens, if you're really close to your subject and at f2.5, depth of field (DOF) is going to be only a few inches. You can easily get an ear in focus but the nose will be blurry. Or if you make a mistake focusing, you'll miss your subject. Distance will help increase your DOF, and practice will help focusing.

Shutter speed: This needs to be high enough so nothing moves while the photo is being captured - unless that would be cool. One big factor is you, and how much you move the camera when you take the shot. The rule of thumb suggests 1/200 sec. for this lens, and SR will help you go slower than that, so I mentioned 1/125. With some practice and not too much coffee, I can do 1/30 pretty reliably, but some people can't. If you find yourself needing to use a slow shutter speed, concentrate on holding the camera steady below 1/125, think about using a tripod below 1/60. Kids will probably move too much if you get slower than 1/20.

ISO - This setting affects the visible noise in the photo. If you go too high, you can get a soft image, blotchy color and limited range between bright and dark. The impact is reduced in smaller prints or web-sized images, so you might not notice it. A lot of photos are just nice to have even with some noise.

One more concept: bracketing. This hedges your bets on settings. Say you aren't sure your focus is perfect. Take a shot, then focus a little one way and take another, then focus a little the other way and take a third. It works for all settings. The worst part is looking through lots of photos on the computer.

That should be enough to get some holiday photos. Photography can be an endless discussion of technical detail beyond that, but save it for 2011.
12-23-2010, 02:20 PM   #10
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Wow, thanks for that wealth of camera knowledge. I love tinkering with this camera. I am going to get it out right now.
12-23-2010, 03:18 PM   #11
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Excellent advice above!

'Worst' lens? The Tak-B (without SMC) isn't as desired as the more fabled SMC versions, but it's still better than most of the non-Pentax competition. Because its coatings are MC and not SMC, it is more susceptible to flare when pointing into a light source, and may produce lower contrast. So, don't shoot into light sources unless you want the effect.

And shoot in RAW; contrast is easily adjusted in development. Or shoot JPG with contrast boosted in-camera, and/or boost contrast a little in PhotoShop or PaintShopPro or GIMP or whatever photo editor you choose. Those are the main quirks: glare and contrast, both easy to work with.
12-24-2010, 12:59 PM   #12
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Yeah, that 'Takumar bayonet' isn't a true Takumar as we speak of the screw-mount line with a certain amount of reverence, but that 135 is still a high-quality piece of glass. What it lacks is for the most part the advanced coatings that both made the SMC Pentax versions special for their time and also a lot more forgiving for digital.

They're well worth having, I think, (Some of the Takumar-Bayonet, and Takumar-A lines really gave the whole bayonet Tak line that terrible name: later models tended to actually be not-put-together well,) ...it's just less desireable in general. Those 135s are quality in some ways, behind on performance in others. Kind of like an old roadster: obsolete by some standards, but there's a charm factor if you know how to drive and learn to love the quirks. Got mine for a bit of fun and to see what interesting qualities I could find: see what looks I could get (I notice you've kind of replicated some of the look of old color films through older lenses there with your sample shots. ) Not everything has to be all deadly-serious. )
12-24-2010, 02:09 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
Yeah, that 'Takumar bayonet' isn't a true Takumar as we speak of the screw-mount line with a certain amount of reverence, but that 135 is still a high-quality piece of glass. What it lacks is for the most part the advanced coatings that both made the SMC Pentax versions special for their time and also a lot more forgiving for digital.

They're well worth having, I think, (Some of the Takumar-Bayonet, and Takumar-A lines really gave the whole bayonet Tak line that terrible name: later models tended to actually be not-put-together well,) ...it's just less desireable in general. Those 135s are quality in some ways, behind on performance in others. Kind of like an old roadster: obsolete by some standards, but there's a charm factor if you know how to drive and learn to love the quirks. Got mine for a bit of fun and to see what interesting qualities I could find: see what looks I could get (I notice you've kind of replicated some of the look of old color films through older lenses there with your sample shots. ) Not everything has to be all deadly-serious. )
seriously, it's a freaking 135 f/2.5, you trying getting it in some auto version and see how much that cost (I've been through all the different brand, let just say it's not cheap ).

On a 1.5 crop factor it's not exactly useful (way out of range for most indoor stuff, a little long in the house and a little short in an auditorium) but it's still a very fast lens at that range.

if the OP think he got a deal from that package, I should throw my package up and get 50-60 bucks lol. I got the same lens + some other manual that I won't ever use.
12-24-2010, 02:51 PM   #14
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Well, for the record. I got a k1000, a 50mm f2, a Vivitar 200mm zoom, the Tak 135mm, and a nice padded case for $40. Is that a better deal? I kinda like the 135mm. It is growing on me. Makes me feel like a real photographer when I actually have to do everything manually.
12-24-2010, 03:38 PM   #15
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A quick search of completed listings shows only one that sold for cheaper than that, with scratches and dents. And others that sold for $99.95. It's not worth $99.95. I'
d put the K1000, 50mm f2, case and zoom back on Craigslist for $50 and pick up the Pentax-M 50mm f1.7 for $50.

One advantage of this lens is the minimum focus distance, about a foot shorter than the typical manual 135mm. That helps when using this lens indoors.
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