135mm prime comparison


sorted78

Link Posted 08/03/2012 - 21:53
I recently got an SMC Pentax-A 135/2.8 and noticed it bore a striking resemblance to my Takumar Bayonet 135/2.8. I had read that they appeared to share an optical scheme here but the Takumar Bayonet lacked SMC coating.

I had a few minutes this afternoon and set out to compare the Takumar Bayonet and SMC-A and then decided that it might be interesting to add a K135/2.5 and zoom to the mix and ended up comparing the following:




1. Sigma 70-200/2.8 EX (first edition, no HSM or OS)
2. Pentax-A 135/2.8
3. Takumar bayonet 135/2.8
4. Pentax K 135/2.5
5. Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar 135/3.5 (a bit of a wildcard - I've always liked it, but don't use it much since getting the K135/2.5)

The shots below are JPGs, taken straight from the camera, so are a bit rough and ready in places and pretty subjective, but may be of interest.

Out of focus rendering (wide open)


Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX



Pentax-A 135mm f/2.8



Takumar Bayonet 135mm f/2.8



SMC Pentax 135mm f/2.5



Carl Zeiss Jena 135mm f/3.5




Out of focus rendering (f/5.6)


Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX



Pentax-A 135mm f/2.8



Takumar Bayonet 135mm f/2.8



SMC Pentax 135mm f/2.5



Carl Zeiss Jena 135mm f/3.5





Wide open, 100% crop


Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX



Pentax-A 135mm f/2.8 (some purple fringing, but looks slightly back focussed)



Takumar Bayonet 135mm f/2.8 (note fringing of out-of-focus areas)



SMC Pentax 135mm f/2.5



Carl Zeiss Jena 135mm f/3.5 (completely missed focus on this one, sorry)




Wide open again, 100% crop


Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX



Pentax-A 135mm f/2.8



Takumar Bayonet 135mm f/2.8



SMC Pentax 135mm f/2.5



Carl Zeiss Jena 135mm f/3.5





f/8, 100% crop


Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX



Pentax-A 135mm f/2.8



Takumar Bayonet 135mm f/2.8



SMC Pentax 135mm f/2.5



Carl Zeiss Jena 135mm f/3.5

Transit

Link Posted 08/03/2012 - 22:46
Interesting real world comparison thanks !
I can see why you prefer the K lens though the A seems to have great 'pop'
cheers
Pete
K-1 K-01 Q-7
some len

Close to the Edge
Down by the River

sorted78

Link Posted 09/03/2012 - 07:15
It's interesting to see the difference the SMC coating makes to the colour and contrast between the Pentax-A and Takumar Bayonet. The Takumar Bayonet is not a bad lens though, perhaps adding weight to the old addage that it's difficult to make a bad 135mm lens.

I took a few shots trying to induce flare, but it turns out to be quite difficult to do that on an overcast day! I'll add some more pictures if we get some more sunny weather.

Algernon

Link Posted 09/03/2012 - 10:04
Nice test It shows that there isn't a big difference
between these lenses. The non-SMC Takumar looks better than
I ever thought it would be. The 'A' lens is possibly on the
poor side of these lenses.

If I were to pick any I would go for the CZ because
it has much better bokeh and 3D look.

I can't see why people rave over the Sigma zoom based on
these pics anyway
Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

Pentax K-1 + K-5 and some other stuff

Algi

bwlchmawr

Link Posted 09/03/2012 - 10:40
What an interesting exercise. The colour is the main difference, I think. Not sure which I like best. In truth most would be happy with any of them. After a bit of level work sharpening in Photoshop who could separate them?
Best wishes,

Andrew

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K10D

Link Posted 09/03/2012 - 12:30
Great comparisons. I have a 135mm f/2.5 and must use it more.

Algernon wrote:
I can't see why people rave over the Sigma zoom based on these pics anyway

I would agree based on the above pics. My 70-200 EX Mk1 is somewhat different or it may just be down to my istD.




with ext tube







Best regards

sorted78

Link Posted 09/03/2012 - 12:32
Quote:
The non-SMC Takumar looks better than
I ever thought it would be. The 'A' lens is possibly on the
poor side of these lenses.

There are two variants of the non-SMC Takumar Bayonet, the earlier f/2.5 and this one, the f/2.8. I've had the f/2.5 version in the past and it's nowhere near as good as the f/2.8 (low contrast and lots of fringing wide open) so I think that both versions get unfairly maligned because the first one wasn't great.

Quote:
I can't see why people rave over the Sigma zoom based on
these pics anyway

I don't think it comes out too badly against what are (in the case of the K135 and CZJ Sonnar, anyway), some pretty well-regarded primes. The main weakness I can see is that the bokeh isn't as nice, but then it is a zoom.

Quote:
The colour is the main difference, I think.

I agree, although I think that if I had had the time to shoot them in RAW format and do some post-processing, that they would be closer. I've noticed in the past that ordinary K mount lenses seem to give cooler/more muted colours in JPEGs straight from the camera than PK/A mount lenses.

Jonathan-Mac

Link Posted 09/03/2012 - 14:48
Nice comparison. I'd say the K & CZ are the winners and the A & K-Tak are the losers. The Sigma looks ok but seems to have a green tint to the pics.

I've seen the CZ rated as the best legacy 135mm there is, but the K seems just as good and faster too, though much more expensive.
Pentax hybrid user - Digital K3 & K200D, film 645 and 35mm SLR and Pentax (&other) lenses adapted to Fuji X digital
Fan of DA limited and old manual lenses

sorted78

Link Posted 09/03/2012 - 15:53
Quote:
I've seen the CZ rated as the best legacy 135mm there is, but the K seems just as good and faster too, though much more expensive.

I think there isn't a lot in it - a lot of the choice between them comes down to sample variation and subjectivity. I prefer the K135 as the combination of nicer mechanical engineering and the extra speed make it a comparative pleasure to focus.

Rowdy

Link Posted 06/04/2014 - 12:04
Anyone tried a direct comparison of the SMC K 135mm f3.5, SMC K 135mm f2.5 and the SMC M 135mm f3.5

davidstorm

Link Posted 06/04/2014 - 12:27
Rowdy wrote:
Anyone tried a direct comparison of the SMC K 135mm f3.5, SMC K 135mm f2.5 and the SMC M 135mm f3.5

No, but I have compared the SMC Takumar 135 F3.5 with the SMC K135 F2.5. For outright IQ and colour rendering the SMC Tak is right up there with the K135, possibly even beats it. For out of focus rendering, particularly highlights, the SMC K135 F2.5 is much better.

I don't have any direct comparison pics to show you because I deleted them, but here's one image from each lens:

SMC Takumar 135mm F3.5, Pentax K-x





SMC K135 F2.5, Pentax K-5IIs




Regards
David
Flickr

Some cameras, some lenses, some bits 'n' bobs

Rowdy

Link Posted 06/04/2014 - 12:44
Nice - I have the K 135mm f2.5 but was thinking it might be worth also trying the K 135mm f3.5, which is allegedly better than the M version.

kh1234567890

Link Posted 06/04/2014 - 13:35
Sometime ago I had a go at comparing lenses from my collection at 135mm f5.6, mainly looking for sharpness at infinity.
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Offertonhatter

Link Posted 07/04/2014 - 19:32
Interesting comparison, The clear loser for me is the Sigma, but that is probably due to the compromise of being a zoom in the first place.

Big surprise is the Carl Zeiss Jena. But then again having owned one of these lenses, I am not surprised. Shame the blades stuck on mine (it is now sat on a shelf). I have always loved this lens. Maybe I might get another, or blow some money and get it fixed. Hmmmm.

I have the Takumar bayonet, and the shots do show its abilities. But then again it is a lens that you have to work with. It all comes down to the light I have found. Warm contrasty light in an early evening it comes into its own, as it does with portraits in any light. But flatter light, or even bluer light, it can struggle.

I just wish that Pentax would bring out a DA*135 prime, in the range of F1.8-2.5 as it would be a big seller. In the meantime, I will enjoy my DA*50-135, TAK-K 2.5 and Cosinon 135 F2.8 M42.
Some Cameras

Stuey

Link Posted 07/04/2014 - 20:41
I have an m42 Tokina 135 f2.8 - not used it much but when I used it on a portrait shoot a couple of weeks ago I was amazed at how well it performed - only used it at f4 on that occasion though

I'm looking forward to using it again next week now

I like these comparisons
K10D, K5 plus plenty of clueless enthusiasm.

My Flickr site link
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