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Sears 135mm f2.8 Auto Multicoated Review RSS Feed

Sears 135mm f2.8 Auto Multicoated

Sharpness 
 8.0
Aberrations 
 7.3
Bokeh 
 8.1
Handling 
 9.0
Value 
 9.5
Reviews Views Date of last review
14 65,991 Mon February 15, 2016
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $30.00 8.00
Sears 135mm f2.8 Auto Multicoated

Sears 135mm f2.8 Auto Multicoated
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Sears 135mm f2.8 Auto Multicoated
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Description:
Sears marketed a number of forms of this lens, most probably manufactured by Samyang. It has similarities to a number of other 135/2.8 lenses which may have come from the same manufacturers or been copied from them. Tokina 135/2.8 looks particularly similar. The macro version should probably be reviewed as a different lens.
Focal length: 135 mm
Aperture range: f2.8 to f22 in half stop increments except f19. Not set from camera.
Aperture blades: 6
Filter thread: 52 mm
Lens elements and groups: 4/4?
Mount: Pentax K (no A setting)
Minimum focus: ~1.5 metres
Focus action: ~250 (reverse to Pentax) moves all elements as a group. No auto-focus.
Construction: All metal with non-rotating bezel and slide out metal hood
Mass: 375 grams
Length (excluding mount): 83 mm + 14 mm at minimum focus + 15 mm built in hood
Diameter (max): 61 mm
Origin: Korea
Model No.202.737370
Mount Type:
Price History:



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New Member

Registered: January, 2014
Posts: 13

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 15, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: fast-ish, sharp-ish, handling
Cons: contrast in lower light, CA-ish
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10   

A pretty swell lens if you find a way to squeak the right shots out of it!

Mine was in a kit with a Sears-Ricoh KSX in mom's closet a decade ago.

Reasonably sharp at even wide aperture-- sharpness is aided by the lens's ability to catch a distant subject in a relatively narrow DOF (at 135 and f2.8). Colors can be a little muted but the lens still manages to bring out some poppy colors, especially on a desaturated or OOF background.

SERIOUS magenta/green CA even stopped down, and it's sharp enough that you can get actual dupicate images of thin veritcal branches. Fixable in PP but JEEZ.

Despite fast aperture, doesn't perform too well in low light. Low contrast and can have weird WB. Use 2.8 for DOF composition, not light.





   
Pentaxian

Registered: September, 2010
Location: MD
Posts: 855

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 4, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $20.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Center sharpness, quite good at f2.8
Cons: soft edges, green/red coma
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 8   

I can compare this lens to a SMC Takumar 135mm f3.5, Takumar Bayonet 135mm f2.5, and a DA 18-135 at 135mm.
The strength of this lens is its center sharpness, especially at fast f-stops. It is quite good even wide open, and noticeably better than the others up to f5.6 when things start to get closer.
BUT... both the TakBayonet and the SMCTak have noticeably better borders and corners at all f-stops. Further, there is green/red coma--of which they all have some--that never entirely goes away even when stopping down. (Fixable in pp)
Of the 3 primes, the Takumar Bayonet may be best compromise overall, but if the most important aspect is shooting at f2.8-5.6 and center sharpness, this Sears does the best job.
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2012
Location: Medina, OH
Posts: 2,068

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 19, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $20.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness, quality build, color rendering
Cons: No A aperture setting, not auto-focus, not sharp wide open
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K5II   

I have this lens left over from my film days with the Sears version of (I think) K-1000 camera. I travelled the world with this camera and lens for nearly 15 years, but mainly used the 50 mm lens, not this 135. I have not used it very much in digital days because the field of view is a little too narrow for most of my work. However, this morning I decided to mount it (on my camera, I mean) and give it a try. Actually, I was a little shocked at its sharpness, clarity, and color rendering in fairly low morning light. My shots were all hand-held, Manual mode, catch-in-focus, ISO 400, and around 1/60, and f 5.6. It seemed to me that the lens was very robust in terms of aperture and shutter speed; I mean once I made those settings, there was hardly any need for changes even when the target subject seemed a little lighter or darker. I have read that the lens was made by Samyang, which makes sense as I like their lenses very much--generally well built, few frills, mostly manual focus with large focus ring grip. I have generally liked all the Samyangs I have tried including some telephoto zooms that I have received along with film camera purchases. I am resolved to try this lens for some portrait work, and suspect it will do a great job. It makes me happy about Pentax K-mount interchangeability every time I run across one of these old inexpensive treasures. This Sears 135 is a real classic lens treasure for the low price you pay for a copy on eBay or elsewhere.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: March, 2014
Posts: 976

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 9, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $25.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp and Cheap
Cons: None
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: k-30   

I was out and about look for a lens to buy and saw this lens ,I remembered the review from rickyfronvegas and his exemplary photos so I put on my camera and tried it out and then bought it. I havr to say I am happy I did she is very sharp and I believe she is a direct copy of the takumar version. Just a suspicion. After reading further on the WEB it turns out that it is made by Samyang and that cannot be BAD AS SAMYANG makes great Lenses.
   
Senior Member

Registered: November, 2012
Posts: 166

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 17, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: N/A 

 
Pros: Handling, Build, Coating, Fast
Cons: Could be a bit sharper, Hood could be longer
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

This lens handles nicely. The focus grip is large and easy to grip. The dampening is smooth. I like the solid build feel although I don't like the rubber grip as much as the Takumar metal grip if you need to touch the rubber knobs for a long period of time. It can get like those prickly massaging sandals =P. I like that this lens handles glare fairly well. I just wish it was a bit sharper at larger apertures. It is nice to have the larger aperture though. It's a good solid lens worth taking a look at.
   
New Member

Registered: December, 2012
Location: Novi Sad
Posts: 1

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 15, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $30.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Cheep, solid build...
Cons: wide open performance...
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 9   

Cheep lens... Solid build, but poor wide open. At f5.6 is drasticly more sharp, contrasty, and usable...
My lens has funny mrena at front glass group

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8079/8381254053_61f6af4ae4_b.jpg
   
Veteran Member

Registered: May, 2011
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 366

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 14, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $35.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Not bad at all.
Cons: 1.5m minimum focus, "meh" color rendering.
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 10   

I actually bought this lens as a mistake.
I thought I was getting the one with the Macro Zone, but got this one instead.
Seeing as I have other 135mm lens, there was no need for this one, but thought to check the lens out nonetheless.
A bit surprised at its performance. Contrast lacks a bit, but a hood might help. The built one hood is pitifully short, extends about 1.5cm.
It's quite compact, and the build quality is good. Focus ring has a good feel to it. The focus ring is wrapped in tiny rubber studs, your fingers won't slip.

It's not that sharp open wide, but gets quite nice one or two steps slower.
It has about 1.4 meter minimum focus, so that is somewhat a con.
Check the images below. Shot at 1pm under a bright sun. I believe they are shot open wide, but it could very well be anywhere from f2.8-f5.6.


Auto SEARS MC 135mm f/2.8 by RickyFromVegas, on Flickr

Auto SEARS MC 135mm f/2.8 by RickyFromVegas, on Flickr

Auto SEARS MC 135mm f/2.8 by RickyFromVegas, on Flickr
   
Inactive Account

Registered: May, 2011
Posts: 28
Lens Review Date: May 23, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $27.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Cheap! Sharp
Cons:

This is the first manual focus lens I bought. It has more than lived up to my expectations (given the $27 I spent, including shipping). I am not experienced enough to be a lens connoisseur, but here's my two cents:

It meters well with the ol' Green Button in manual mode, and Catch-in-Focus works like a champ. This little guy has sent me spirling into cheap manual focus LBA.


A couple sample photos on flickr.
   
Forum Member

Registered: April, 2009
Location: Sterling, VA
Posts: 70
Lens Review Date: April 10, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $75.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Great lens for the price
Cons: Poor image qualithy wide open

While not in the same league as some other brands, this lens is pretty good. Image quality and color is excellentg stopped down to 5.6 and beyond, and compares favorably with similar lens from Pentax. The lens is built solidly but not so heavy as to prevent me from using the lens as a basic 135 for everyday shots.
   
Junior Member

Registered: February, 2011
Location: California
Posts: 30
Lens Review Date: April 10, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $30.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Cost, Built in hood, solid construction
Cons: No "A" setting, long focus min.

I got this lens in an old kit which contained a camera and four lenses. It was a pleasant surprise and after some initial testing I think I will get more than my money's worth from it. The large aperture give some challenges and a chance to be creative. What ever corner fringing mentioned in other reviews there might be is minimized by the sensor in the K-5 I was using it on. From the details of construction and marking I expect that the same maker built this lens as did most Albinar Lenses. It was Korean made.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: December, 2009
Location: Illinois
Posts: 455
Lens Review Date: December 19, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $30.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp, smooth focus, compact
Cons: Low contrast wide open, manual focus, stop down metering required

The Sears MC 135mm f/2.8 is probably one of the best "bang for the buck" purchases I've made.

The lens is made of metal and feels quite solid, and has a large and grippy focusing ring. There is an integrated hood that slides out into place, although it's usefulness is limited on aps-c cameras. Even on film, it's most likely too small to be optimally effective, but it's still nice to have. The aperture ring glides and clicks into place, but does so less securely than comparable Pentax M series lenses. I've never had it change on me unknowingly, but the aperture ring seems to be the least solid aspect of the lens.



The front element contains a beautiful green coating that is quite unlike any I've seen in other lenses. It appears to do a good job of protecting against flare, although it is most likely not as effective as SMC coatings, given that contrast can be low at times.

Performance overall is quite good. At f/2.8, if you can nail the focus photos are sharp but somewhat lacking in contrast, especially in the out of focus areas. Stopping down improves this, but shots taken will benefit from some post processing.

The lens does exhibit some purple fringing in high contrast situations, but generally it can be fixed in PP. This behavior is fairly typical of most older lenses which haven't been optimized for digital, so it isn't that great of a concern to me.

I haven't noticed any bothersome distortion or vignetting.

The bokeh can be nervous and a bit crazy at times. Since bokeh is fairly subjective, you can see some shots I've taken with the lens to judge for yourself.

Sample Images

For the 30.00 USD I paid for this lens, it covers the moderate telephoto focal length very well. Prices tend to hover around this range as well, which is around half the price of an M 135mm f/3.5. While I've never used the M lens, this Sears is a half stop faster and is still quite compact. If you see one, don't hesitate to pick it up and give it a try!
   
Junior Member

Registered: August, 2009
Location: Lexington, KY
Posts: 29
Lens Review Date: October 30, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $8.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: A perfectly workable 135mm f/2.8
Cons: Resale value?

My copy is styled quite a bit differently (an earlier M42 version), and has a dent in the front thread, but the same general sentiment applies: this lens is undervalued. There isn't anything magical about it, but neither do I see any obvious IQ flaws. Perhaps this is yet another proof that 135mm lenses are easy to get right? Compared to other lenses in general this lens is an 8... it's a 7 here because it is slightly below average among the 135mm lenses I've used. Build quality, IQ, etc. all easily outclass modern zooms.

The roughly $8 cost included shipping (it came with two other lenses). Wow.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: December, 2007
Posts: 8,228

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 5, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $45.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Sharp, nice contrast, f/2.8
Cons: Some CA

This is a very nice lens for the money - sharper than most people realize.

If you want a cheap-but-very-good 135 for some street shooting or flora, this is a nice little number.



   
Veteran Member

Registered: February, 2008
Location: Hawkesbury
Posts: 372
Lens Review Date: December 20, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $15.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Sharp, contrasty and good colour in right conditions, compact, precise focus control
Cons: No "A" setting, can show light colour fringing at corners, aperture mechanism (in mount) looks fragile, minimum focus is too long
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 7    Value: 9   

The Sears 135/2.8 seems to be a useful little lens. Definitely good value for money.
I really like the fine focus control. Consistently sharp in the centre. Colour fringing towards the edges is a little extreme when wide open but fine when stopped down. Might become a problem on full frame.
My recommendation is largely influenced by the performance for the price. I am still on the lookout for an "A" lens in the 135-150mm/f2-f2.8 range. The Sears seems to be a good stop-gap.
This rating is preliminary. I hope to use it at a sporting event and will finalise my rating then. Mine has Serial No. 830805568.

Here is an example at minimum focus distance. Might have been f5.6.



Edit: The more I use this lens, the more I like it. If only it was an "A" I'd make it an 8. I'm going to have a shot at adding the required "A" pin and a couple of dabs of non conducting paint...
Add Review of Sears 135mm f2.8 Auto Multicoated



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