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Takumar 135mm F2.5 Bayonet Review RSS Feed

Takumar 135mm F2.5 Bayonet

Sharpness 
 8.7
Aberrations 
 7.4
Bokeh 
 8.8
Handling 
 8.6
Value 
 9.6
Reviews Views Date of last review
59 192,337 Sun December 9, 2018
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
93% of reviewers $54.91 8.14
Takumar 135mm F2.5 Bayonet
supersize


Description:
This is a a budget lens; it is slightly faster than the non-SMC 135mm F2.8 telephoto lens.
This lens has no "A" setting and thus does not support aperture automation (Tv and P modes), only Av and M exposure modes can be used.

Takumar 135mm F2.5 Bayonet
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (no A setting)
Diaphragm
Automatic, 8 blades
Optics
4 elements, 4 groups
Mount Variant
K
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F2.5
Min. Aperture
F22
Focusing
Manual
Min. Focus
120 cm
Max. Magnification
0.15x
Filter Size
52 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 12 ° / 10 °
Full frame: 18 ° / 15 °
Hood
Built-in, slide out
Case
Soft leather
Lens Cap
Coating
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
64 x 79 mm (2.5 x 3.1 in.)
Weight
395 g (13.9 oz.)
Production Years
1980 to 1988
Engraved Name
TAKUMAR (BAYONET) 1:2.5 135mm
Product Code
23830
Reviews
User reviews
Notes
No SMC coating
Features:
Built-in HoodAperture RingFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Price History:



Add Review of Takumar 135mm F2.5 Bayonet
Author:
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 59
Forum Member

Registered: February, 2015
Posts: 84
Lens Review Date: December 9, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, build quality, small size
Cons: ?
Sharpness: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10   

I have the Taiwan version. This is a good lens, at least in my limited testing. Wide open it appears to best my SMC Tak 135 2.5 (first version) which I really like. At 2.5 it will clearly resolve the stitching on my camera bag from 30 feet and the very small printing on a bottle from 20 feet is pretty crisp. I'm very surprised! Colours and contrast seem good. It is coated but I'm sure there'll be lots of fringing in harsh light. I put an over size hood on it (the built in one is inadequate) so hopefully that will help. Not that it matters much because I mostly shoot film. This was a great purchase!

On further testing, it's sharper wide open than my M 135 3.5 and K 135 3.5 as well. Not that sharpness is the most important thing in a lens always. I also noticed that it's not really a 135. Maybe a 120 or 125mm, I'm not sure how to measure that...
   
Site Supporter

Registered: December, 2015
Location: Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
Posts: 2,776

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 4, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros:
Cons:
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-1   

HULK LIKE LENS.













SOOC




85mp


Ok ok... this is what I have found after a week of playing with it.

f2.5 is acceptable if shooting something within 3m or so, basically shooting flowers, petals or even a portrait and zoning in on the eye, things will look real swell at 2.5 if the subject is close and is pretty still.
If the subject is further away, such as 5m or more, f2.5 is insanely hard to nail focus, to the point it feels more like chance (and I have a 1.22 magnifier attached, and have tried LV as well etc, it's just really damn hard). The feedback from the OVF or VF is not enough, so often the shots comes out soft when in the OVF it doesnt appear you could get it any sharper, in fact rotating the focus ring a tad in each direction doesn't look like it makes a difference (but it obviously is), it's just you can't see far enough down to see, so many shots are a tad soft (tho often still acceptable). I think this accounts for reviewers differing over the sharpness quality for this lens. It really depends on the distance to the subject and sometimes a bit of luck!
I would also have thought f2.5 was just 'soft' had it not been for an unusual determined take of 20 or so pics (or more) of something static 5-7 meters away and getting that one shot out of the 20 that actually showed some real extra perceived nice sharpness! So it can happen. Of course when shooting something within 2-3m away, there is so much more to see and gain in terms of focus feedback that f2.5 shots look swell and the success in nailing these shots is far higher.

So... when shooting things further away I recommend getting into Manual mode and choose f2.8-5.6, I often find f4 works well, you need the slightly greater DoF that helps get things more sharp when they are further away.

f2.8 is significantly and noticeably sharper than 2.5 as well (with not much deterioration in bokeh), also purple fringing seems to almost disappear at 2.8 whereas its quite pronounced at 2.5 and made worse if you miss the focus even a teeny tiny bit. How I wish I could shoot f2.8 in Av mode with this lens!

So whilst I think this is a fantastic lens it does involve a little more thinking when approaching the shot. I can nail f2.8 with the DFA 100 when the subject is really far away, not so much this lens.

F2.5 up to 2-3m, further than that I recommend bumping the aperture up (down?) heh.

I think that sums this fella up.

I've never owned a K Mount before, and doubt I will again. I can be in Av mode at 2.5 but that's it. I wish I could be in Av mode at 2.8 or f4 with this, then it would be a killer lens! So I've learned something, 'A' settings on a lens matters, more than I thought. Cest le vie!
   
Junior Member

Registered: February, 2013
Posts: 46

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 22, 2018 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $45.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Soft portrait lens. If you guess with lighting that gives an excellent result.
Cons: Not sharp
Sharpness: 5    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K-01   

   
New Member

Registered: March, 2016
Posts: 5

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 2, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $45.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: F2.5, Small, Very sharp at 2.5
Cons: Cromatic aberrations, short hood
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K3II   

Great lens. Nice bokeh and very sharp at 2.5. Is not easy to focus with it but with some training I have the trick. You must past the focus confirmation on clockwise, the more near the subject the more you need to past the confirmation.

Negative: the cromatic aberrations are here. The lack of contrast (easy to correct in post) can be solved with a bigger hood.
   
New Member

Registered: May, 2015
Location: Setúbal (near Lisbon)
Posts: 5
Lens Review Date: October 28, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $62.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: compact, bokeh
Cons: no MC, no A
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: Pentax K-1   



@f/2.5
   
Site Supporter

Registered: August, 2013
Location: Axton, VA
Posts: 322

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 17, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $39.99 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast, build, bokeh, compact and color saturation
Cons: Long focus throw (even for a manual lens)
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: K50 K30 K3   

This lens has a very unique and pleasing bokeh. One of the best long portrait lens I have used. It is built like a tank. The focus ring is smooth with good resistance ( the long focus throw is the my only complaint. The apeture ring has a nice click for each setting. It does not have an A setting. To me this is a non factor. Any lens I buy that is 2.8 or less stayers wide open 95% of the time. For an older film lens it is relatively sharp. Wide open it is soft at the edges. For portrait work this is a desirable trait. For the price you will be hard pressed to beat this lens when used to it's strengths.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2014
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
Posts: 276
Lens Review Date: September 25, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $20.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: build quality, inexpensive, sharp when stopped down
Cons: manual focus, flares when open, CA when open
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-1   

I like this lens because it is inexpensive and fun to mess with. I've taken some very sharp photos with it. The lens requires a hood or shade of some sort. Once you stop it down to f/8 or so it gets sharp. It works well with the Pentax K-1.
   
New Member

Registered: September, 2016
Posts: 3

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 14, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Beautiful skin tones
Cons: Not for the JPEG shooter
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-30   

This lens is a horrible performer in many ways: it is NOT sharp at all at f/2.5, without post-processing shots often come out way over- or underexposed with unacceptable loss of contrast and it's unusable in harsh sunlight.

At the same time some of my absolute favorite shots have been made with this lens. You won't get any keepers SOOC with this lens but put a few minutes into post processing the raw files and you'll discover that it has a character of its own and renders skin tones very well.

Love/hate relationship, shots are either hit or total miss. Guess that's better than every shot being ok but nothing special, though, and accordingly I'll keep the lens.



EDIT:
Raising the grades for this lens. Long story short: I actually sold it when switching gear to m43 as the 2x crop factor turned this into too long of a lens. Now I have reordered it from ebay after getting a focal reducer (which effectively turns it into a 200mm F1.8 FF equivalent - not bad!). I did so because when looking through my photos from the past years the one with this lens really shines when it comes to people photography. Most of my absolute favorite portrait photos of my kids are taken with this lens.

Maybe it does so well because it compresses the midtones - no smc coating probably does this - leaving you with a very flat base image that responds exceptionally well to raw processing. Metering and white balance can be somewhat off also, at least on the K-30, but that's very easily corrected in PP when shot in RAW. I find that it's easier to put some some punch back into a flat image, compared with going the other way and try to dampen the output of modern "high contrast" lenses, which can feel borderline clinical/artificial. In the era of digital PP this is a must have lens IMO, especially considering the price/performance ratio. Film/jpeg shooters better stay away though, as illustrated by the before/after pics below.

   
New Member

Registered: July, 2015
Posts: 1

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 28, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp wide open
Cons: Some CA but not heavy
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Sony A6000   

I had to register to leave my two cents about this very good lens.
It is sharp wide open, great contrast, not heavy CA. Very good lens, the problem is not with the lens but with people that never used MF lenses before and now they are evaluating something that they cannot handle.This is very sad and good at the same time. We can buy good lenses for cheap! Took this picture @ F2.5 the focusing was not perfect the bird was about 5 meters away and moving all the time but one can see the possibilities. Cheers!

Will upload my picture later today.
Sorry! There is no easy way to attach a picture, one have to read for 3 hours to do that and I'm not going to do that. I'm sure many more people come to this forum but left after encountering this kind of design.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/133606804@N04/26488303756/in/dateposted-public/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/133606804@N04/25882186694/in/dateposted-public/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/133606804@N04/25733699533/in/dateposted-public/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/133606804@N04/25969948240/in/dateposted-public/
   
Pentaxian

Registered: June, 2014
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,273

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 23, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp, good wide open performance, BOKEH, Colors, Rendering
Cons: Flaring, very bad contrast in harsh light, requires a bigger hood
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10   

Great lens, a solid performer for the price. If you're willing to forgive its shortcomings in harsh light then I think you will love this lens.
I will stress though if you need a 135mm lens that has to shoot into direct mid day sun this is not the lens for you.

The handling of this lens is also quite nice, it feels very much like my Pentax-M 200mm, although this is much easier to focus with

But I will let the pictures do the talking






   
Veteran Member

Registered: December, 2007
Location: In the most populated state... state of denial
Posts: 1,102
Lens Review Date: August 20, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $25.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Size, aperture
Cons: Oily blades, heavy
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 6    Handling: 6    Value: 8    Camera Used: KX (film)   

Not a bad lens, but not a killer
Nice mid-tele but it lacks the feeling of all the other SMC-Pentax lenses of the era
I think an off brand 135/2.8 will out perform it
   
Senior Member

Registered: June, 2015
Posts: 235

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 18, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $10.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, Nice contrast, build quality, focus,bokeh
Cons: none
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-30 K-5   

I have to give this lens a 10 because for the insane price I paid, I have one of my sharpest lenses, and a nice telephoto. It handles well with a nicely dampened focus ring, and is very nice to use with live view or VF. Optics must be nice on this because I get pin sharp results on the K-5 when using macro tubes and taking floral shots. Only issue with it is the coating as it isn't SMC but that's fixable by using an external hood(the one attached doesn't go out far enough) and a nice UV filter. I find that combo to pretty good when shooting towards the light. Overall I have to recommend this lens because it is sharp, easy to use, and fairly cheap for a high quality tele.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: May, 2014
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 1,373

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 8, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Well built, relatively compact, K-mount
Cons: Flares up, lack of contrast
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Camera Used: K5-IIs   

I wanted a lens that would fit in the range between 100mm and 200mm. Since I rarely use a focal length above 100 except for sports and wildlife I wanted a cheap lens that would tide me over until I could afford the DA 200mm.

The 135mm focal length is the equivalent of 200mm on a ASP-C sensor, which is about as far one can go without carrying a tripod/monopod.

After reviewing a bunch of Manual lenses in the 135mm range, I took a chance and settled on this one because it had a K-mount. I didn't want to be bothered by the added expense of an adapter.

I purchased this lens from KEH in practically brand-new condition which is not always good, because it could mean the owner ditched it before they even had a chance to get some dust on it.

In any case, I was impressed by the build and weight of this lens ! Everything worked smoothly from focus ring to aperture. It took me a while to get the hang of using the Green button to get the aperture, but after a while it became fairly easy. You just have to remember to use it every time the light changes.

Despite my eyes not being as good as they use to be, I was able to focus very easily with this lens. Although, the Focus Confirmation light really helped.

Like others have said, this is not an easy lens. Depending on where you point it, it can flare up pretty badly. I would say avoid pictures with a lot of bright sky in them, or a lot of bright head-lights and you should be OK.

The sharpness is a little duller than on some of my other lenses, but that can be easily improved by just bumping up the sharpness in the camera a notch or two. The contrast is not as good as some of my other lenses, but it's not really a show stopper, because you can boost the contrast inside the camera. Maybe a really good UV filter might also help.

At first I was a little disappointed by the pictures tell you the truth, and was seriously thinking about sending the lens back, but after I did this(boost the sharpening/Contrast in-camera) things improved a lot. So I figured, why bother since it's only an intermediary lens anyway.

Having said that, for less than 80 bucks I have a decent lens that will take me a little further than my Pentax 100mm f2.8. Optically there is no comparison between the 2 lenses, but that's because the 100mm is an extremely sharp modern Macro lens. The thing I like about this Takumar 135mm Bayonet however, is that it render images with that Retro look, that really smooth look that works great with portraits and certain subjects.
   
New Member

Registered: January, 2015
Location: California
Posts: 2

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 25, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $8.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, good bokeh, fast, pretty cheap
Cons: A tiny bit soft wide open, heavy CA under some conditions
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-5ii, MX   

I obtained this lens as part of an auction lot along with a Pentax MG, M50/1.7, bag, and Minolta accessories. The lot cost me $20, and I scrapped the MG for parts, so I'd say I paid about $8 for this.

My copy has an oily aperture. The lens will often refuse to stop down, but it loosens up after a couple minutes. I usually use it wide open, I only really stop down for DOF reasons, not sharpness. It makes pretty bokeh bits, as long as you don't shoot bright, reflective things. The flare from this lens can actually look good under the right circumstances, but usually you just get nasty CAs. This focal length is more useful on film, but is still very handy on APS-C. The focus ring is heavily dampened, making it pretty easy to focus, even without a magnifier or split-prism screen.

Pictures:

The lens itself:
Takumar(Bayonet) 135mm f2.5 by Owen Fort, on Flickr

Sample Shots:
Squash by Owen Fort, on Flickr
IMGP9440 by Owen Fort, on FlickrIMGP9388 by Owen Fort, on Flickr
IMGP4933 by Owen Fort, on Flickr

Demonstrating the fairly significant CA problems(expected, it isn't a SMC lens):
IMGP4938 by Owen Fort, on Flickr
   
New Member

Registered: August, 2013
Posts: 3
Lens Review Date: December 8, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros:
Cons:
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-30   

I'd say it's my standard lens for most photography I do or at least my preferred one unless i need a different focal length. I got it from my father who took pictures with this lens on an old k1000 and after all that time it's still a mighty fine piece of glass. This right now is a lens that if I have a kid and they want to get into photography and is old enough I'd pass it on to them and I think it would still preform great.
Add Review of Takumar 135mm F2.5 Bayonet



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