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Porst, Spiratone, Apollo al  (Mitake) Tele M 135mm F1.8 Review RSS Feed

Porst, Spiratone, Apollo al (Mitake) Tele M 135mm F1.8

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5 54,593 Sun October 8, 2017
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $218.00 9.00
Porst, Spiratone, Apollo al  (Mitake) Tele M 135mm F1.8

Porst, Spiratone, Apollo al  (Mitake) Tele M 135mm F1.8
Porst, Spiratone, Apollo al  (Mitake) Tele M 135mm F1.8
Porst, Spiratone, Apollo al  (Mitake) Tele M 135mm F1.8

Superfast 135mm MF portrait lens.

DSG wrote in this thread:
"There were at least four different optical designs employed in all the various 135mm f1.8 lenses produced before the Pentax SMC-A (135mm f1.8).
Soligor used a simple optical design of 5 elements in 3 groups to produce their unique (as far as I am currently aware) version.
Mitake used an optical design of 5 elements in 4 groups to produce the following optically identical but differently branded versions:
Spiratone Plura-Coat, Porst, Computar, Promura, Kenlock, Formula 5, Eyemik, Apollo, Ultra-Unitor, Accura, Varo, Vivitar and Weltblick. (there may be even more brands that I don't know about yet).
An unknown manufacturer (possibly either Goyo optical (owner of Sun optical since 1976 onwards), Yoshida industries (Owner of the Raynox brand), Tomioka industries or one its subsiduaries, Tokina, or some other Japanese company yet to be discovered) employed a slightly more complex design of 6 elements in 4 groups to produce the following optically indentical but differently branded versions:
Spiratone (the normal version), Polaris, Raynox Polaris, Carena, Beroflex and Samigon. (again, there may be even more brands that I don't know about yet).
All the above 135mm f1.8 lenses have an 82mm filter thread, weigh between 1-1.2kg and have an MFD of about 6 feet (1.83m).
Sigma used a more complex Sonnar design, of 6 elements in 5 groups, to produce the Sigmatel Multi-Scalematic and the optically identical Sigma XQ version. Compared to any of the 82mm filter thread versions mentioned above, Sigma's design allowed for a smaller physical size (a 77mm filter thread), a lighter weight (about 820g), a shorter MFD of about 4 foot 3 inches (1.33m), greater sharpness and much better control of CA."

Manual aperture, manual focus

Focal length: 135mm
Aperture range: f/1.8-f/16
Diaphragm blades: 8
Minimum focus: 1.7m
Weight: about 2kg
Length: about 15cm
Diameter: about 90mm
Filter thread: 82mm
Mount: m42 (42mm thread)
Coating: Multi-coated
Mount Type: Pentax K
Price History:

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Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2013
Posts: 456

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 8, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $250.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Solidly built, unique bokeh wide open, artist's lens
Cons: Not a general purpose lens, soft, every aberration known to science
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: Pentax K30 and K5 iis   

I have the Formula 5 version. This is not the Spiratone 135mm 1.8 reviewed elsewhere although Spiratone, Weltblick, Eyemik and a cast of other characters also rebranded the Mitake. Spiratone 135mm by Mitake will be marked on the front of the lens. The other Spiratone has a different optical design.

For a host of reasons one would not use this lens as your go to 135mm. A reviewer on another site mentioned that the Formula 5 had every known aberration. It is heavy and the aberrations do not clear up until you stop down which means that you can carry a relatively lightweight 135mm lens and get decent shots at 2.8 without the weight.

On the other hand, one can use those aberrations to advantage, producing thoroughly surreal and painterly photos that respond very well to a bit of tweaking in LR. Pictures are better than writing. All shot wide open at 1.8 mostly on a K30. This is a lens you paint with, hence the seeming disconnect between the numbers and the recommendation. It seems other folks are figuring out about this lens. Current prices (October 2017) are much higher than what I paid, ranging from $399-$568 and I've seen higher.

IMGP6387-Edit.jpg by David Miley, on Flickr

IMGP6352.jpg by David Miley, on Flickr

IMGP6397-Edit.jpg by David Miley, on Flickr

IMGP4733-Edit.jpg by David Miley, on Flickr

Registered: December, 2011
Posts: 3,086
Lens Review Date: December 30, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $220.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: nice bokeh
Cons: low contrast, but can be PP'ed
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10   

Nice manual lens and on the cheap side for it's data.

Focussing is very smooth and about 180 degrees from end to end.
As DoF is pretty much that of a 85/1.4 if you can handle those lenses manually then you can also use the 135/1.8.

Very good for head only portraits a couple of steps away, allowing less intrusion on the subject and more natural situations.

Stopped down to F4 it is not really worse than the DA*50-135/2.8 and sharpness on APS-C goes right into the edges and corners.

Interestingly it can be stopped down to F16 without loosing significant sharpness compared to F8.

Best thing is the very soft bokeh, for which I bought it:

(the signpost is about 70cm high)

And here a simulation of a full body shot (signpost here is 175cm):

Funny thing is a bit on the big side:

(compared to Sigma 85/1.4)

There are more versions with only M42 mount around, but there is also the PK version (tested here).

Front cap is screw on and the original lens is is also screw on.

As far as I could read the lens was actually manufactured by Tomioka, which fits to the lens engraving "Lens made in Japan".

Solid full metal build.
New Member

Registered: December, 2011
Location: Padova
Posts: 8
Lens Review Date: August 18, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $140.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: great bokeh (but distracting for someone), f1.8
Cons: big, heavy, prone to flare, 1.7m as minimum distance, not the sharpest lens (but that's ok for me)
Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 6    Value: 8   

I have the K-mount version that is more convenient and confortable to use with a regular film or digital Pentax K camera, in my opinion.
This is a great lens for me. At all apertures shows less contrast and less sharpness then any other prime lenses that I tried, but in real life isn't an issue.
I used this big lens both with film (Pentax Super Program) and digital (Pentax K5) cameras and does always great performances.
Surely it's heavy and big like a monster, but is sturdy like a tank.
It's very prone to flare, so use huge lens hood!!
Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2010
Location: California
Posts: 2,223

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 26, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $360.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, excellent IQ, superfast, easy to use, great bokeh
Cons: It is a f1.8, so the dof is very thin....if not properly focus, it could look like soft, but it is not soft.

I just got this lens after I realized I could not afford the Pentax A* 135mm f1.8. This lens is wonderful, it comes in a M42 mount that works wonderfully with the genuine Pentax/M42 adapter (remember, the adapter goes on the camera first, then the lens is easily screwed in or out.) I will be posting some photographs as soon as I have the time. I strongly recommend this lens. Get it before it goes up in price.

Porst135mmf1.8-Heron by Palenquero, on Flickr

Porst 135mm f1.8 - Fountain with finch by Palenquero, on Flickr

Porst 135mm f1.8 - Rose Bokeh by Palenquero, on Flickr

Sculpture in Laguna by Palenquero, on Flickr

Porst135mmf1.8-CandleHolder2 by Palenquero, on Flickr

f1.8-Porst135mmf1.8-Caracol by Palenquero, on Flickr

Rancho Santa Margarita by Palenquero, on Flickr

Porst135mmf1.8-VistaPrimera by Palenquero, on Flickr

Porst135mmf1.8-Grapevine by Palenquero, on Flickr

Porst135mmf1.8-Colibri5 by Palenquero, on Flickr

Porst135mmf1.8-TreeRSM1 by Palenquero, on Flickr

This is an edit to confirm that I love this lens after several months of using it. Here are some samples, after I went through the learning curve of how to deal with the narrow dof of the lens wide open:

Porst135f1.8@f1.8BkgrdFountain-2079 by Palenquero, on Flickr

Porst135f1.8@f1.8Tomate-2055 by Palenquero, on Flickr

Porst135f1.8@f1.8Beauty1-2032 by Palenquero, on Flickr

Porst135f1.8@11GreenTomato-2066 by Palenquero, on Flickr
Veteran Member

Registered: July, 2008
Location: Var, South of France
Posts: 1,074
Lens Review Date: July 28, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $120.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: fast, sharp, smooth, cheap!
Cons: size, weight, m42 mount...

Pros : Bokeh is pleasant, focus is smooth.
Cons : fairly strong axial CA wide open on a digital body : everything before the focus plan takes a reddish fringe, and greenish behind.

Apart from this, it's quite sharp and distortion-free on a digital body:

But beware: this is a beast of a lens! On a K10d, my arms were burning after a 15min use... Add a flash, and you'll be ready for the next Olympic games.

Some pics with 35mm films:

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