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12-21-2014, 07:33 PM   #1
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Best m42 wideangle lens choice?

I have a Sears TLS film camera, which iss pretty much a Ricoh TLS, made for Sears (M42 mount) and been looking at wide angle lenses online that would be good for cityscape/landscape photography. This is a 2 part question.

1. Film lens wise, what's the widest lens that won't give too much of a fish eye look/show too much distortion?
From what I've read online, seems like the 24mm is the best choice, since anything wider seems to show distortion or give a fisheye look.

Found two extreme WA/wide angle lenses that are in M42 mount, a Phoenix 19-35mm lens (around $65 bucks on amazon) which I'm leaning toward since it also covers 3 prime wides: 24, 28, & 35mm. The second lens is a 24mm prime for $100 on (don't know the brand name, they don't show the name).

2. Which would be a better choice of the two WA's? The 19-35mm zoom or the 24mm prime?

12-21-2014, 07:54 PM   #2

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The 15mm f3.5 is the widest and seems to be rated exceptional but quite expensive compared to the others you are listing and not a zoom.

12-22-2014, 07:38 AM   #4
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I'd avoid a zoom of that vintage, as the image quality is unlikely to be very good compared to modern zooms. I'd skip the Cambridge one at $100 unless you can get them to verify the brand so you can confirm if it's any good or not. If it's a complete no-name, you might end up with a real dog.

I was going to mention the Vivitar 19mm f/3.8, but I believe that it is the same lens as the Cosina 20mm Therion already mentioned and does have some bulge in the middle of the images it produces. There is also a Kiron-made Vivitar 24mm f/2 that is quite good, albeit a bit pricey these days. At a bit narrower an angle, the common and inexpensive (60 bucks or so) Vivitar 28mm f/2.5 is an absolutely fantastic lens.

12-22-2014, 11:14 AM   #5
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The Jenna Flextogon is legendary!
I think you need to understand how wide you want to go and look for any of the ones mentioned below

28mm are quite common and will give you a very good bang for the buck; and they used to be in everyones shooting bags
I'm partial to the Takumar 28/3.5 but there must be a few others that are realy good.. Vivitar 28/2.5 I think was very good but I never had one

For zooms, try getting the ones made in the 80s, such as the Vivitar series 1.... I never had one untl the 90s, never needed it

Last edited by titrisol; 12-23-2014 at 08:18 AM.
12-22-2014, 11:38 AM   #6
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The best bang for the buck is the 28mm f/3.5. I have the S-M-C version Takumar and use it all the time.
12-22-2014, 02:49 PM   #7
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I'd second the S-M-C Takumar 28mm f/3.5. On film, 28mm is a great wide-angle focal length without many of the more entertaining effects an ultra wide provides. Depends what you want to use it for of course... I have the k-mount version of the 15mm. Great lens but doesn't see that much use.

Best wishes, Kris.
12-22-2014, 03:48 PM   #8

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SMC Takumar 28/3.5 is definitely a good choice. The Chinon 28/2.8 (the one with the wide, flat front element) is good too.

12-22-2014, 04:18 PM   #9
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The 28/3.5 is always good. I also enjoy using a Vivitar Series 1 19-35mm 3.5.

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