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07-20-2008, 07:30 AM   #1
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What's the worst lens ever made?

I want to play around with taking horrible-quality, but artsy photos. Are there any really, really bad K-mount lenses? Vignetting, low contrast, slow, soft, etc. Are there any plastic lenses? Those would probably be perfect.

07-20-2008, 07:45 AM   #2
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My badest lens is the FA-J 18-35, that was the kit lens sold with the *istD. Main problem was low contrast and very soft lens.
07-20-2008, 07:50 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by joefru Quote
I want to play around with taking horrible-quality, but artsy photos. Are there any really, really bad K-mount lenses? Vignetting, low contrast, slow, soft, etc. Are there any plastic lenses? Those would probably be perfect.
You could always try a lensbaby.

Lensbabies >>> Selective Focus SLR camera lenses

I don't think there are any really bad Pentax made lenses. Some are definitely a lot better than others, but none are downright awful.
You could look around for cheap third party lenses. Some of the larger chain stores in the 80s put out house brand lenses that could be pretty bad.
Ummmm, check eBay for a Sima Soft Focus Lens.
That might be just what you want.
This guy has a nice portfolio of examples:
Sima 100mm Soft Focus Lens Photo Gallery by Yu-Lin Chan at pbase.com

There are also a lot of ways to take the edge off of a decent lens.
You can put plastic sandwich wrap onto a filter, or take the glass out completely and replace it with some sort of diffusion material.
An old school method that I have used with great success is to take a cardboard frame foe a filter gel and put some material from an old nylon stocking into it. You control the level of diffusion by stretching the fabric, and you can also burn a few holes in it with a lit cigarette to give a less diffused effect.
07-20-2008, 07:52 AM   #4
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You could also try scouting around for lenses with problems...fungus, elements that are separating, that sort of thing. The good part is that you ought to be able to pick them up for almost nothing. lol

07-20-2008, 08:05 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by joefru Quote
I want to play around with taking horrible-quality, but artsy photos. Are there any really, really bad K-mount lenses? Vignetting, low contrast, slow, soft, etc. Are there any plastic lenses? Those would probably be perfect.
IMO, in general, the worst Pentax lenses are mostly those lenses designed and made in recent years at the Pentax factory at Vietnam and many of those are digital lenses. Also, especially for those "co-developed" with Tokina. Not all of them are bad, but the proportion is high.
07-20-2008, 08:07 AM   #6
RaduA
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QuoteOriginally posted by joefru Quote
I want to play around with taking horrible-quality, but artsy photos. Are there any really, really bad K-mount lenses? Vignetting, low contrast, slow, soft, etc. Are there any plastic lenses? Those would probably be perfect.
The worst name in K mount world seems to be awarded to the FA J series. Some of them are here: Pentax Lens Review Database - FA J Series
It's not nice to generalise but ...

Radu
07-20-2008, 08:36 AM   #7
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Vaseline on a cheap UV filter?
07-20-2008, 08:40 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Vaseline on a cheap UV filter?
Ughh. If you are going to do that, put another UV filter on the one you have polluted to hopefully minimize the possibility of having the stuff spread to where you don't want it.

07-20-2008, 08:46 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Vaseline on a cheap UV filter?
QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Ughh. If you are going to do that, put another UV filter on the one you have polluted to hopefully minimize the possibility of having the stuff spread to where you don't want it.

Back in the day, that was a common solution if you did not have a soft affect filter. Good point, however regarding keeping the goo where it belongs.

Another approach might be to take clear plastic food wrap secured in place over the front of the lens with a rubber band. Poke a few holes for the regions that you want to look better.

Steve
07-20-2008, 08:52 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by RiceHigh Quote
IMO, in general, the worst Pentax lenses are mostly those lenses designed and made in recent years at the Pentax factory at Vietnam and many of those are digital lenses. Also, especially for those "co-developed" with Tokina. Not all of them are bad, but the proportion is high.
I guess I was just lucky with my purchases. I have all three "pancake" lenses (made in Vietnam) and all three are great. I wonder which specific lenses you are referring to and what your evidence is.

Richard
07-20-2008, 09:18 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by RiceHigh Quote
IMO, in general, the worst Pentax lenses are mostly those lenses designed and made in recent years at the Pentax factory at Vietnam and many of those are digital lenses. Also, especially for those "co-developed" with Tokina. Not all of them are bad, but the proportion is high.
Actually the question was "worst K mount lens ever made" and the "Brand" was excluded. I'm sure some old "focal" or newer old Vivitars are in the running. Not to mention some east german or russian or early korean ect.
Are you sooooo anxious to throw in an insult that you won't even bother yourself to read a question????
Even for me this is getting old.
To the OP:
Look here for some ideas.......
http://www.outdoorphoto.co.za/forum//showthread.php?t=8580

Last edited by jeffkrol; 07-20-2008 at 09:33 AM.
07-20-2008, 09:59 AM   #12
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Holga makes a lens that fits the K mount. Its kind of a lens cap mount with a plastic lens.

There are also the old Soviet lenses. Understand that these are not bad lenses, or by any means the worst ever made. Far from it they can be extreamly sharp, and produce great photos. But, few of them were coated, some are very soft wide open, many have fully manual "contiuously variable" apertures. They often can produce diferent, and strange flare effects, softer focus, and unique bokah. A couple of the soviet macro lenses have star shaped apertures, that shows up in the bokah (industar 61 L/Z). They can also be VERY inexpensive.

There is also the Takumar 1.4/50. Many of them have yellowed with age (result of thorium used in one of the elements. Radiation you know.) The darker yellow lenses will cast a yellow colour over the photo. as a sided note, exposure to UV light will remove the yellow from the lens.

You can also follow RiceHigh's advice an buy the Pentax DA* 16-50. You might get lucky and be one of the rare few that gets one that made it out the factory doors with a de-centered element. This will produce a soft effect to one side of the lens or other. And only 700-800 bucks. What a helpfull fellow he is. But then again, most of these lenses are corectly made, and they produce a sharp image from corner to corner. Useless for artistic expresion. You might need to return a couple hundred "useles" lenses before you get a decentered gem. But the effort would be worth it.
07-20-2008, 10:00 AM   #13
RaduA
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QuoteOriginally posted by RiceHigh Quote
IMO, in general, the worst Pentax lenses are mostly those lenses designed and made in recent years at the Pentax factory at Vietnam and many of those are digital lenses. Also, especially for those "co-developed" with Tokina. Not all of them are bad, but the proportion is high.
Damn, RH you're losing the touch!

I was about to bet that you'll say that the worst lens ever in K mount is FA 31 Limited.

Man, you kind of become sloppy in your work!

Radu
07-20-2008, 10:15 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeffkrol Quote
Actually the question was "worst K mount lens ever made" and the "Brand" was excluded. I'm sure some old "focal" or newer old Vivitars are in the running. Not to mention some east german or russian or early korean ect.
Right. And I said it like that because I didn't imagine Pentax ever made a lens as bad as what I'm looking for. I'm thinking Lomo or Holga... toy stuff. And when I said K-mount, I meant to include M42 as well.

I was just wondering if anyone else was into this type of photography and wanted to share their lens experiences.
07-20-2008, 10:16 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by RiceHigh Quote
IMO, in general, the worst Pentax lenses are mostly those lenses designed and made in recent years at the Pentax factory at Vietnam and many of those are digital lenses. Also, especially for those "co-developed" with Tokina. Not all of them are bad, but the proportion is high.

Really? Pics, or GTFO.
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