SMC M lenses


philstaff

Link Posted 20/05/2016 - 15:35
Hi all forgive me if this is a daft question. Does the old lenses give as much in terms of sharpness, Col and over all IQ quality as the more modern day lenses. I ask this never owning the newer lenses but do have a selection of the older SMC M type. I have been happy with the IQ of the old lenses. But wonder if there might be any benefit in upgrading to the newer models.

Regards Ian

McGregNi

Link Posted 20/05/2016 - 15:49
Yes, plenty of benefits. Autofocus is the obvious one. Newer coatings and optics are generally better at controlling flare, aberrations, give better colour reproduction and micro-contrast.

Some older lenses are of course super-sharp and will outperform cheaper modern ones, particularly cheaper zooms in that department.
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver

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johnriley

Link Posted 20/05/2016 - 17:48
Older lenses can be superb. The M series are beautiful to use, silky smooth in operation and very often great optics as well. Not all designs from the film era in general will look good on digital. Not all lenses will be good anyway as they are quite old now and can have been severely mishandled in their lifetimes.

Get a good one though and it might surprise you.
Best regards, John

philstaff

Link Posted 20/05/2016 - 21:18
johnriley wrote:
Older lenses can be superb. The M series are beautiful to use, silky smooth in operation and very often great optics as well. Not all designs from the film era in general will look good on digital. Not all lenses will be good anyway as they are quite old now and can have been severely mishandled in their lifetimes.

Get a good one though and it might surprise you.

What would you suggest John as a nice landscape lens and for general use.
regards Ian

Jonathan-Mac

Link Posted 20/05/2016 - 21:36
Newer models may have better colour or contrast and autofocus but they are less enjoyable to use. For landscape or night photos old lenses are often better because they don't focus beyond infinity.

I have plenty of AF lenses but I love using my M and K and other old manual lenses too, on both film and digital.
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

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LennyBloke

Link Posted 20/05/2016 - 22:28
philstaff wrote:
.... Does the old lenses give as much in terms of sharpness, Col and over all IQ quality as the more modern day lenses........ I have been happy with the IQ of the old lenses. But wonder if there might be any benefit in upgrading to the newer models.....

Many of the older lenses are on a par with current lenses for the particular characteristics you've mentioned, If you can't find flaws or limitations then I'd stick with what you've got. I tend to use newer lenses for 2 reasons - WR and Autofocus, but if I could focus manually properly I would have more MF lenses. The ones I do use are superb - the A 100/2.8 is incredibly under-rated, as is the A 50/1.4. The K 28/2.0 and 3.5 produce results that I doubt would be bettered by the newer equivalents, and I'm currently struggling with deciding whether I should sell my K 85/1.8 or FA 77/1.8 - the quality is so similar.

Yes the benefits of an upgrade are worthy for some situations, but if you're happy why change
LennyBloke

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philstaff

Link Posted 20/05/2016 - 22:53
LennyBloke wrote:
philstaff wrote:
.... Does the old lenses give as much in terms of sharpness, Col and over all IQ quality as the more modern day lenses........ I have been happy with the IQ of the old lenses. But wonder if there might be any benefit in upgrading to the newer models.....

Many of the older lenses are on a par with current lenses for the particular characteristics you've mentioned, If you can't find flaws or limitations then I'd stick with what you've got. I tend to use newer lenses for 2 reasons - WR and Autofocus, but if I could focus manually properly I would have more MF lenses. The ones I do use are superb - the A 100/2.8 is incredibly under-rated, as is the A 50/1.4. The K 28/2.0 and 3.5 produce results that I doubt would be bettered by the newer equivalents, and I'm currently struggling with deciding whether I should sell my K 85/1.8 or FA 77/1.8 - the quality is so similar.

Yes the benefits of an upgrade are worthy for some situations, but if you're happy why change

Thanks Lenny I will keep and eye out for those you mention.

philstaff

Link Posted 20/05/2016 - 22:56

ronniemac

Link Posted 20/05/2016 - 23:39
Just the inflated price.

johnriley

Link Posted 21/05/2016 - 01:22
Quote:
What would you suggest John as a nice landscape lens and for general use.

Hard to say. One photographer might have a style that suits wide angles, another might go for a telephoto look. It's what we make out of it that counts.
Best regards, John

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davidwozhere

Link Posted 21/05/2016 - 02:10
You can do a lot worse than browse Ebay. You can pick up umpteen manual lenses for peanuts and try them out. That's how I got most of mine and how I learned which were the best - like Takumar 55mm f1.8 (equivalent but better to your M50mm) Helios 44M-7 (stunning - needs a small modification but will take on all comers) Pentacon f3.5 30mm (which is a Meyer Optic 'Lydith') Jupiter 11A 135mm (knocks spots off a Zeiss Sonnar). None of these should cost you more than 20. And finally, the really el-cheapo Miranda 28mm macro (Ex Dixon's Bargain Basement - except it's a little gem). Just put M42 in the search box under Cameras and Photography.
Both the *istDS and the K5 are incurably addicted to old glass

My page on Photocrowd - link

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frob

Link Posted 21/05/2016 - 06:47
I love the quality that the 'old' lenses give me, and the fun. I broke my 50mm 1.7 'M' last week, which I adored but found a 1.7 'A' on the bay which cost me 35.00 incl postage. Once it was set up I would be pushed to say my 250 plus 2.8 35mm Ltd is giving better results. I fear not. I have to say, though, I am a great beliver in 'catch in focus' with my manual. I am also loving having the feedback the 'A' lenses give.

Best wishes,
Rob

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McGregNi

Link Posted 21/05/2016 - 08:00
Yes, it was all so wonderful it's hard to understand why any company bothered to design any new lenses after 1979 ...(deliberate sarcasm. ).

This could have been a good opportunity to compare pros and cons of old and new, not just another gushing session for ancient lenses. We all know and love some old lenses, and that commitment may well be the whole reason for using Pentax for some, but a dose of perspective and reality is surely needed!?

I'll give some .... I love going out with the old M75-150 F4 in the City or Croydon and shooting architecture, taking time to focus, green button metering, aperture adjustments on the ring, shutter adjustments for exposure ... Good fun .....but ..... It's utterly useless for family shots, even static portraits (supposedly static ) as the whole palaver of using it plus the focusing/zooming difficulties just screw everything.

So the F35-70 or Tamron 70-300 are the only choices there because of what their more modern designs offer.

It depends on who you are and what you do as well. For the unwary poor quality old lenses can produce low contrast, greeny/purply faded looking shots that need a lot of processing, and frankly the unwary are mostly the ones who can't do the processing anyway. There are some gems of course .... But its about knowing about them .....
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver

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1stEverPentax

Link Posted 21/05/2016 - 11:03
It's worth going onto the US Pentax forum for the plentiful reviews and many images that actual users have posted there. You can get much feedback on how a particular lens performs with a particular Pentax body.

Its also useful i've found for drawing up a 'wishlist' of suitable targets for purchase whilst also allowing you to make a list of the lemons so that when you are next trawling through hundreds of lenses on Ebay at least you've got some insight as to what to look for and a guide as to whether the price looks reasonable or not.

johnriley

Link Posted 21/05/2016 - 11:22
Buying, trying and sometimes reselling old lenses can be fun. There are, as we've all said, some gems at ludicrously low prices.
Best regards, John
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