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Tamron 689/T-135 Auto Adaptall 1 (1st gen) 135mm F2.8

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3 12,741 Sat May 14, 2016
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100% of reviewers $56.67 9.00
Tamron 689/T-135 Auto Adaptall 1 (1st gen) 135mm F2.8

Tamron 689/T-135 Auto Adaptall 1 (1st gen) 135mm F2.8
Tamron 689/T-135 Auto Adaptall 1 (1st gen) 135mm F2.8
Tamron 689/T-135 Auto Adaptall 1 (1st gen) 135mm F2.8

Structurally distinct from the more common CT135, with a perspex distance ring and lettering around the front end as for the adaptamatic instead of a nameplate, but optically very similar (identical?) - a standard 4 element design. All metal construction apart from the perspex, there are both black and silver versions. Although the optical diagram on an original box indicates 5 elements the rear element is just a flat/filter with a ~33mm threaded ring holding it in.
The "689" reference number is off an original accompanying case. However a user manual accompanying another example was labelled "T-135".
Note that the rubber grips tend to perish with age.

Focal length: 135mm
Open F value: 2.8
22 Minimum aperture: 22
Minimum focusing distance: 1.5m
Focus: ~ 320deg, anti-pentax.
Filter size: 55mm
Weight: 375g
Maximum diameter X Overall length: 64.5mm x 77mm
Aperture blades: 9
Built in small extendable hood

Like all 1st gen adaptalls, this has a M42 style A-M (auto-manual) aperture switch. When using this lens with PK-M mount in manual (green button), or with PK-A mount in aperture priority (Av) mode, make sure this is set to "A". To use Av mode with PK-M mount, set to "M" (flick to "M" to stop down at the moment of taking the picture).
Mount Type: Third-party (adapter required)
Price History:

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Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2012
Location: North Wales
Posts: 2,088
Lens Review Date: May 14, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $30.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: solid performer, solid construction, adaptall= choice of P-KM, P-KA, M42...
Cons: not great at f2.8, persistent fringing possible, stiff focus seems common
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 9    Camera Used: K5, NX20   

I acquired a silver one as one of a lot of three of the authentic 1st gen adaptalls, all in the original boxes. All nice acquisitions for the collection. All were essentially unused but were still showing their age - deteriorated grips specifically, and stiff focus movements on the 28mm and this 135mm.
I have several 135mm and it's a reliable focal length for good IQ - the design is relatively simple. This 135mm measures up, it's a good lens, but I have to say it's probably not quite my best. I think the adaptall-2 03B pips it (a very similar spec lens actually, the adaptall 135mm didn't change much through the years), and my "sonnar" jupiters and CZJ edge it too. But really there's not a lot in it - all these lenses tend to be tack sharp stopped down. This, and the 03B, do show a marked drop in IQ wide open however. These crops illustrate the case.

Very noticeable drop in contrast and resolution, distinct purpling of the lettering at f2.8. Mostly ameliorated at f4, consistently good from f5.6. The other thing I noticed on the contrast transitions was persistent fringing, even at f11.

The other reviewers remark upon good colours and "pop", I don't disagree, I just get that with the other 135's too.
So in the end I hardly use this lens, not because its not worthy, just because I have too many other options, including my other 135mm f2.8, a panagor, that has a similar performance profile apart from cooler colours, but exemplary handling and feel that puts the slightly stiff focus on this into the slightly irritating category.
Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2016
Location: central Iowa
Posts: 786
Lens Review Date: May 12, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: scary sharp, rich color
Cons: long focus throw
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 10   

I picked up this lens (the black version) at a local photo shop for $40. It had an original adaptall Pentax ES mount, which I replaced with an adaptall-2 PK mount.

The sharpness blows me away, and colors are rich and vivid. Exposures are pretty much spot-on; no need for EV compensation like with some other older lenses. The focus throw is pretty long, though (at least a full turn), and on my copy, the focus ring is stiffer than I'd like. Probably needs to have the old grease removed and new put in.

But, oh my .... such great photos out of the box. The colors just pop.

I'm keeping this lens.

New Member

Registered: August, 2013
Posts: 11

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 30, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, bokeh, colors, vintage lens, very rare
Cons: IQ wide open

This lens is a mystery, I don't really know in which Tamron category it should be (adaptall/adapt-a-matic) since I didn't find any clue on it; it is visually different from the other 135mms.

Edit : It's an early adaptall derived from the adaptamatic (thanks Marcus )

However it is a real pleasure to use it, the focus ring is perfect and allows to focus quickly.

The IQ is great : from F4 it give very good sharpness, few AC and the colors are warm.

Here some examples

f5.6 1/750

f5.6 1/1500

Add Review of Tamron 689/T-135 Auto Adaptall 1 (1st gen) 135mm F2.8

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