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Chinon 135mm F2.8 Multi-coated Review RSS Feed

Chinon 135mm F2.8 Multi-coated

Sharpness 
 8.6
Aberrations 
 6.6
Bokeh 
 8.8
Handling 
 8.2
Value 
 9.6
Reviews Views Date of last review
7 62,184 Sat March 11, 2017
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $51.17 8.29
Chinon 135mm F2.8 Multi-coated

Chinon 135mm F2.8 Multi-coated
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Chinon 135mm F2.8 Multi-coated
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Chinon 135mm F2.8 Multi-coated
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Description:
Max Aperture: F2.8
Min Aperture: F22
Min Focus: 150cm
Filter Thread: 52cm
Mount Type:
Price History:



Add Review of Chinon 135mm F2.8 Multi-coated
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New Member

Registered: March, 2015
Posts: 21
Lens Review Date: March 11, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $52.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: bokeh, build-quality
Cons: aberrations, to some degree
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 6    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-5, K2   

I bought this one used in a camera store, in almost mint condition. It is an Agfa-branded K-mount version, named AGFA COLOR MULTI-COATED 1:2.8 f=135mm ⌀52mm. I mainly bought it for shooting film, as a more compact alternative for my much bulkier F 100mm macro (sometimes space is an issue). I haven't finished the roll in my K2 yet, but I made a bunch of test-shots on the K-5 today.

Construction & handling
From what I can see without taking it apart, the over-all build quality is excellent; not far away from a Takumar. It has a built-in metal hood that easily slides along the barrel (but doesn't lock in place in any position).
  • Aperture and focus ring turn in the same direction as a normal Pentax lens
  • The focus ring turns about 200, with the first 180 covering the range from MFD (1.5m) to about 10m/30ft. I don't find it particularly hard to judge focus, at least at medium distances.
  • The focus ring runs smoothly, but requires a bit more force than I'd like. If my M 50/1.7 runs "buttery smooth", this one is still butter, but has been lying in the fridge for quite a while. But as my copy obviously hasn't seen much use before, it's quite possible that it'll loosen up a bit over time.
  • The focus ring is pretty wide, but I would wish it would extend a bit more further away from the camera. It's a bit awkward to hold/focus for me compared to, say, the D FA 100mm WR or its F version.
  • The aperture ring has clicks for full stops only.
  • It has 6 slightly rounded aperture blades
  • No A-position on the aperture ring, so need for green-button metering on DSLRs

Sharpness
I haven't made any directcomparisons against other lenses yet, but so far I'm very pleased with it. It isn't terrible wide open, gets noticeably better at F4 and is plenty sharp from F5.6 across the frame (at least on APS-C). Much better than expected, actually.

Aberrations
I was able to provoke pretty bad purple fringing wide open, but under normal shooting conditions it actually seems to be quite well-controlled. It also gets much better from F4 and what remains can be easily cleaned up with the defringe tool in Rawtherapee.

Bokeh
I'm certainly not a Bokeh-Connaisseur, but OOF backgrounds look very nice to me. Specular highlight are only completely round at F2.8, but due to the rounded aperture blades it takes a lot of stopping down to turn them into actual hexagons (up until about F8 they're more like Reuleaux hexagons).

Over all, I like it very much so far. Chances seem good for it to replace the F 100mm as the default short tele in my walk around film kit (but not as a macro lens, of course).
   
Veteran Member

Registered: May, 2010
Posts: 5,905
Lens Review Date: June 19, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $20.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very Sharp, Lovely Color Rendition
Cons: Weighs A Ton!
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 2    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 10    Camera Used: K5II   

The only reason I would not make this a 10 is because it's a bit difficult to hand hold and MF. I put this lens in this category because it's a variant on this lens, HOWEVER, from what I've seen my copy which is GAF branded and which came with a GAF/Chinon, SLR is a much larger lens than the later versions which have more plastic.

It's a bit of a beast this lens, all metal, heavy, well made, hard to hold. It has the leatherette on the focusing ring and it does not say multicoated at all so I am figuring it has to be an earlier variant on this lens. I've never seen another one of these labeled with GAF in a red box actually branded like this as on the GAF cameras. It does say "Made In Japan" but I do get the impression it just might be a better lens than those that followed. From the reviews I've read I'd definitely have to say it's a sharper lens for sure. It's definitely a near 10 lens.

The bokeh is fine, slightly on the creamy side, at least in the pics I've taken so far. The color rendition is really, really nice. Like my similarly built Chinon 55 it's got very nice color, not too saturated, just right. I think the reds and greens are particularly well done. They seem very faithful to the objects I've photographed with it.

I was surprised actually by this lens. I did not expect the lens to be this sharp given the reviews I've read. Either this is a different lens from the ones that they made later for K mount or this one is an exceptionally good copy because I cannot see this lens as an "8" at all. It's a bit of a trade off because of the weight. I will likely need to use the tripod with this one a lot. On the K5II it's just too heavy for me to use it for long without one, but in terms of the quality of the lens I think it's worth it. I haven't tried it for portraits yet, but I have a feeling it will be a nice lens for that, very flattering. I think this lens just may have a bit of the pixie dust thing going on....

More later when I am done testing it out. I'll have to take some good pics of the lens too so you can see what I mean...
   
Veteran Member

Registered: June, 2013
Posts: 1,458

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 18, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $80.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: super clarity, beautiful bokeh, sweet design
Cons: some violet vignetting when shooting against bright white light
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: k5&k3   

I am amazed by this lens, as I am amazed by the few reviews that don't get it. Even if this wasn't a bargain for the price, I would recommend it, The photos never stop amazing me. OK, its definitely not a walk around, but what 135mm prime would be. The quality and detail of the design and the glass, is very impressive, but the sharpness, really sets it off. Do yourself a favor, if you see it around, grab it. I am super glad I did!
   
Junior Member

Registered: September, 2012
Location: Ulm
Posts: 47
Lens Review Date: November 2, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $30.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Nice (if potentially colorful) bokeh, very clear
Cons: Average sharpness, heavy longitudinal CA / fringing
Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 8   

I have an AGFA-branded OEM version, with the characteristic Chinon OEM rubber grip (same style shared by AGFA MC 28mm 2.8 and Auto Revuenon MC 50mm 1.4, plus the Chinon version of the Auto Revuenon MC 135mm 2.8). This lens performs much the same as its RMC Tokina counterpart from the same time (~1980); both appear to employ 4 elements in 4 groups (apart from sharing a rounded 6-blade aperture and 52mm filter thread). The Chinon appears to be only marginally less well-built, but unlike the Tokina, its focusing runs in the same direction as for Pentax lenses. (Which is why I tend to prefer it, no kidding.)

There's even more longitudinal CA and associated fringing wide open (and it wasn't weak in the Tokina), but in return there is a fraction less green tint, though both rank among my clearest lenses. Contrast is somewhat better, too, apparently due to better-performing internal blackening. Sharpness is pretty average for both; at least it's fairly even across the APS-C frame. (Modern-day telezooms tend to be equally good or even better.) There is a bit of lateral CA, though it's not too bad.

Bokeh seems pretty nice though, which makes sense considering that 135s tended to be common portrait teles.

Sounds pretty negative? Well, try finding an old 135 that's better without costing an arm and a leg - this one seems to be pretty typical for "generic" ones of the time. The Pentax-M 135/3.5 obviously weighs much less (270g vs. 390g) but is no sharper in real life, and the K 135/2.5 isn't sharper either from what I've seen. It would take at least an A 135/2.8 (or its Takumar Bayonet cousin), preferably an F 135/2.8 for a noteworthy improvement. Better-performing old 135s do seem to exist, but generally aren't easily adapted to Pentax.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2010
Location: California
Posts: 2,222

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 4, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $80.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, great IQ, solid built, AF, fast, beautiful, unbelievable IQ
Cons: None, I do not find any CA
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

I have two copies of the Auto Chinon 135/2.8 lens, apparently made by Tomioka. Yes, my two copies do not look completely like the photo above. The focus grip is made by a rather week crocodile leatherlike plastic that shrinks often (I have the same on my Auto Chinon Tomioka 55/1.4 with the Tomioka label in the front filter ring). The curious thing is that the first one I got had a legend MADE IN KOREA, which told me that I may not have been made by Tomioka. Then I got another exact copy on Ebay with the legend MADE IN JAPAN. Both are exactly the same in quality and sharpness. Below are some pics taken with boths. This lens is as good as the Carl Zeiss Jena Sonar 135/35. No bad shots.
-------------------
These are from the Japanese version copy:


Auto Chinon 135/2.8 Japon Version by Palenquero, on Flickr


Auto Chinon 135/2.8 Japon Version by Palenquero, on Flickr


AutoChinonTOmioka135mmf2.8vJapan@f4-Candle-1 by Palenquero, on Flickr


AutoChinonTOmioka135mmf2.8vJapan@f2.5-Candle-1 by Palenquero, on Flickr

====================

These are from the Korean version copy:



Sailing Ship at the Dana Harbour by Palenquero, on Flickr


AutoChinon135mmf2.8-Arabesco-1 by Palenquero, on Flickr


Auto Chinon 135/2.8 Korea Version by Palenquero, on Flickr


Auto Chinon 135/2.8 Korea Version by Palenquero, on Flickr
   
New Member

Registered: January, 2010
Location: London
Posts: 15

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 13, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $45.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Well made, sharp when stopped down
Cons: very soft wide open

I really didn't appreciate this lens until recently. It is a little beauty for portraits. It is really quite soft wide open, but when you use it for portraits the effect is lovely. Creates a warmth that I can't seem to artificially create it.

The CA is bad in high contrast situations and if you are shooting towards a light source, but if you keep the hood on, and avoid shooting into the light it is ok. Considering how cheaply you can pick this lens up I would recommend it.
   
Senior Member

Registered: April, 2009
Location: Uppsala
Posts: 111

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 8, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: nice focal length, it was free
Cons: purple fringing

I originally had an older M42 version of this lens, but traded with a friend and got this version instead. It's quite sharp, even wide open (well, sharp enough for me) and the focal length is great for street portraits - but it does have quite bad PF in some cases.

The aperture can only be changed in full stops. The built-in hood is about 1/2".

A 135mm prime is nice to have, and this one can probably be found quite cheap.
Add Review of Chinon 135mm F2.8 Multi-coated



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