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04-21-2010, 03:37 PM   #1
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Screwmount lenses

Hello,
I'm new to the forum, but, as a beginning film student, I'd like to humbly request some advice on lenses. I have currently a Honeywell Pentax Spotmatic, which, surprisingly, functions perfectly. It came with the (outstanding, I must say) 55mm F1.8 Super Takumar. It's a great, really fast lens, has great bokeh, focus, and contrast. Really fast. I've taken night shots with the lens wide open and a roll of fuji 800, and they came out nice. All in all, no complaints at all about the super tak, but I need some more lenses to round out my kit, which is, right now, my Spotmatic and a Kuribayashi rangefinder. I'm looking mainly for a wide angle lens and something with a longer focal length, I.E. 70mm or above. However, if there is a standard lens that is just that amazing that I NEED TO HAVE IT OMG I'd like to know. Basically, do you more experience Pentaxians and Film Photographers have any favorite lenses or recommendations for solid buys in wide angle and telephoto M42 lenses?
Thanks-
Patrick

04-21-2010, 03:44 PM   #2
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Patrick, if you have the 55 you don't really need the 50/1.4 ... yet

Excellent Takumar lenses: the 35/3.5 and 28/3.5 both - the 35 is better but 28 is wider.

On the longer side, the 85 is well-appreciated (both in esteem and in $$), the 105 is excellent and can be had for less, and the 135 is ubiquitous and can be had cheap.

Outside of Takumar, if you luck into some Yashinons, great! Vivitars are all at least decent. Another way to go is to get an M42/Pentax screw mount (or Fujica screw, they are all the same on a Spottie) adaptall-2 and then the whole world of Tamron Adaptalls is open.
04-21-2010, 04:37 PM   #3
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Nesster has steered you in the right direction. I want to emphasize that the 105mm f2.8 is a good lens and can be had for over 1/3 the price of the various Tak 85mm lenses. Also, when looking at the Super Tak 28mm and 35mm f3.5 lenses, there are three versions with a couple of variations possible on those.
04-21-2010, 05:53 PM   #4
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Sounds like good advice, Super Takumars have a good reputation. What about third-party lenses, Fujinons, Vivitar, etc.?
Any hidden gems or solid picks in that area? Super Taks in screwmount aren't too harsh on the wallet, but it seems like a lot of third party glass can be bought for a song. Is this because of quality or because it's a more or less a dead mounting?

04-21-2010, 06:09 PM - 1 Like   #5
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Like I said, Vivitars are at least decent - some very good, there's a thread over in lenses about all the variations... Then there are store brands like Focal (K-mart sold these) and a ton of various makes... I taught myself about lenses by buying a few different makes, each for well under $10. What the third party lenses have going for them: often closer focus than Takumar, often slightly faster maximum aperture. But they aren't as well made and many are 'flavorful' rather than 'good'. But trying them out is part of the screwmount fun. There are literally dozens of brands, many made by the same bunch of Japanese or later Korean makers.

Fujinons tend to be expensive because of their rep, and they have an annoying notch in the mount that sticks to non-fujis. A bit of filing may be required. Yashica lenses are very good, if you can find some cheap. The DX is the earliest and has a a/m switch, the DS is a later series and lacks the a/m, and then the DS-M is the multicoated one.

M42 is cheap because you have it, it went out of fashion in the later 70s. And they are cheap because so many were made. You know you get top quality with a Takumar, with the others, maybe not so much - either optically or mechanically, or both. But it's fun to try them out.
04-21-2010, 09:20 PM - 1 Like   #6
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Don't rule out a Rikenon or Mamiya/Sekor either if your come across one. And of course there is the Zeiss Jena stuff and <hold on> Russian M42 glass!


Steve
04-21-2010, 09:38 PM   #7
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I'll give a +1 for the Fujinon lens that come with the Fujica cameras. I have two one older 50mm F1.8 and a 55mm F2.2. Both take awesome pictures in terms of quality. The notch that Neester was referring to are found in the later generations. These are the ones multi coloured numbers on the aperture ring. The older one that I have with the silver coloured ring does not have the notch. Price wise they are expensive on ebay. But you may find some cheap locally as they do not have a manual/auto selector and on DSLRs they can only be used wide open.

But since your using a screwmount camera it really doesn't matter.
04-22-2010, 04:54 AM   #8
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*oh and by the way - screwmounts are often far cheaper when attached to a camera - especially when you're talking fuji, yashica, mamiya...even pentax

04-22-2010, 07:21 AM   #9
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I'll chime in with three comments. I have a 28/3.5 Super Takumar which gives an interestingly smooth but cool rendition to colors. I'm not comfortable using it for ordinary snapshots but it sure is fun when experimenting with images. The contemporary Pentax rectangular lens hood is a bit wonky looking and lacking in "not fall off the lens out on the trail" confidence but I'm also positive about using some type of hood with all of the Super Taks when shooting in outdoor sun.

I'll remind myself that we're talking 35mm without a crop factor here. The 100-105-135 Pentax lenses seem to be a good choice for a moderate telephoto. My K-mount JCPenney 135/2.8 is a wonderful up-and-close lens for walk-abouts. The old rule of thumb was selecting lenses using a guide of 2x for focal lengths so a 105 would be a good choice to pair with a 55.

Finally, experimenting with off-brand M42 lenses can be fun but also frustrating. The Vivitar 300/5.6 I found for $10 with caps at a camera show has been fun but I could have spent those $10 on something else and been okay.
04-22-2010, 07:43 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Don't rule out a Rikenon or Mamiya/Sekor either if your come across one. And of course there is the Zeiss Jena stuff and <hold on> Russian M42 glass!


Steve
Just remember that while the Mamiya Sekor lenses are fine glass, one of the newer series has automatic aperture without the A/M switch which cause problems with a normal m42-K adapter. There is a special adapter available from the UK and other work arounds, but you need to be aware of this. Its the SX series.
05-02-2010, 10:40 AM   #11
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I've found that at least some of the Mamiya-Sekor m42 lenses tend to bump the "stop-down plate" (for lack of a better term) on Pentaxes as they're screwed in. I think that the pin is a little longer that usual. Has anyone else noticed this?

Last edited by c a sugg; 05-02-2010 at 10:42 AM. Reason: typo
05-02-2010, 10:46 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by c a sugg Quote
I've found that at least some of the Mamiya-Sekor m42 lenses tend to bump the "stop-down plate" (for lack of a better term) on Pentaxes as they're screwed in. I think that the pin is a little longer that usual. Has anyone else noticed this?
ALWAYS make sure that the meter switch is off when attaching/removing lenses. While many M42 bodies feature a slight ramp on the "stop-down plate", it is not really intended to be in the engaged position when mounting/removing a lens.


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05-02-2010, 10:51 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by c a sugg Quote
I've found that at least some of the Mamiya-Sekor m42 lenses tend to bump the "stop-down plate" (for lack of a better term) on Pentaxes as they're screwed in. I think that the pin is a little longer that usual. Has anyone else noticed this?
Also remember that the SX series don't have an A-M switch whens makes them A all the time.
05-03-2010, 08:50 PM   #14
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I have a 135mm Super Tak which gives a smooth picture. I'm not comfortable using it for ordinary snapshots but it sure is fun when experimenting with images. Mostly used in outdoor photography as this is a moderate telephoto lens.

The rule of thumb was selecting lenses using a guide of 2x for focal lengths. Since you already have the 55mm, so a lens with between 100mm - 120mm would be a good choice to pair with. Or you can try the 135mm too.
05-04-2010, 06:52 AM   #15
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I am personally partial to the 35mm f/2 in the Super Takumar flavor.

I am also partial to the 105mm in all but SMC.

One of these days I really need to run a 24mm Takumar to ground.

On off brands I also am a fan of Isco Gottingen...

woof!
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