SMC M lenses


McGregNi

Link Posted 21/05/2016 - 11:31
philstaff wrote:
...... But wonder if there might be any benefit in upgrading to the newer models.

Regards Ian

That was the question. ..... Reading here the main response seems to a clear 'no' .... Does that actually reflect the real world photography situations faced by a range of people, and is it a fair perspective on things ?
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
Last Edited by McGregNi on 21/05/2016 - 11:31

McGregNi

Link Posted 21/05/2016 - 12:44
Just to elaborate on my perspective with this. ....

Not looking further than a particular era and lens type can be photographically limiting, not just IQ wise but subject matter as well, and environments available to you .... Think ultra wide angle for dramatic architectural /urban images ..... Low light events where you can't see enough to focus ...... P-TTL automatic flash on-camera for high quality bounced soft light in dynamic situations for portraits , well you can forget that with any SMC M series lens.

It's about where you set your own limits, what you see are your possibilities.

Another angle is the capabilities of specific lenses. For example, my macro solution is an old Tamron Adaptall 135mm f2.8 (from the early 1970s) plus manual extension tubes ... Great super budget plus high IQ, all manual operation but its slow and enjoyable to do it in those situations. It's good for portraits too in soft light, but get any high contrast backlight in behind or the sun in the 'wrong' position and the colours go purply and the bokeh turns nasty and speckled.

It's about pairing specific lenses to their strengths and taking advantage of their possibilities, otherwise we limit ourselves.
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
Last Edited by McGregNi on 21/05/2016 - 13:03

smudge

Link Posted 21/05/2016 - 12:52
Well I hardly use my manual focus lenses (except for macro) because I find manual focus more difficult with DSLRs than it was with film cameras. A slightly out of focus image will not be as good as an in focus image. Older lenses are usually more prone to purple fringing. That said they do feel very nice to use, when I get it right.
Regards, Philip

philstaff

Link Posted 21/05/2016 - 14:46
1stEverPentax wrote:
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.

Yes been on the site from time to time. Its always interesting to see the thoughts re the lenses.
Regards Ian

melness

Link Posted 28/05/2016 - 07:41
ronniemac wrote:
Just the inflated price.

+1
Thanks
Sean

johnriley

Link Posted 28/05/2016 - 08:56
Ultimately, older lenses are fun to play with and can be excellent in terms of image quality.

In a practical sense, I wouldn't use them routinely for jobs that need to be done. Then it's new AF lenses that have, as I think Nigel mentioned, better coatings and optics more suited to digital cameras.
Best regards, John

microlight2010

Link Posted 28/05/2016 - 10:29
Absolutely agree, John. I'm very impressed with the K50/1.2 - but it's a special-use lens, not my normal walkabout.
K-3II - HD DA20-40 Limited, HD DA55-300PLM, SMC DA10-17 Fishy, AF201FG Flashy

womble

Link Posted 03/06/2016 - 08:16
If I am out-and-about specifically to take photos for fun, I mainly use my older manual primes including Takumars, K, M and A series lenses. Which I take is a mixture of thought and randomness. If I am at an event, like the county show last weekend, I tend to use one or two zooms so I don't have to keep changing lenses. I took almost everything with the superb DA* 50-135mm lens last Saturday.

The one exception to this is at the very wide end. Lenses like the K15/3.5 are very heavy and unwieldy, and I tend to use the 12-24mm instead. The K17 fisheye isn't very fishy on digital. I tend to use those two lenses on film where the impact of the wide angle is as intended.

Hmmmm the 17mm on the K1... anyone tried it?

Essentially, it is courses for horses. There are times where AF and extra coatings etc. don't matter and the older lenses will do just as good a job. There are other times when the convenience wins out.

K.
Kris Lockyear
It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head. Henri Cartier-Bresson
Lots of film bodies, a couple of digital ones, too many lenses (mainly older glass) and a Horseman LE 5x4.

My website

McGregNi

Link Posted 03/06/2016 - 08:46
Yes and that convenience can work the other way as well ....a good recent example, kids birthday party in a dim room with a mix of natural light and tungsten. Even at ISO 1600 (the most I'm happy to go to on the K7) I still needed a wide aperture to get acceptable shutter 'speeds' of around 1/30thsec.

And my only lenses that go wide enough to F2.8 are all manual. So it was the A28 f2.8 that was used for the whole party. I got the exposures well, although missed focus sometimes. An AF wide zoom with F2.8 might have been better overall (although the A28mm is sharp and the colours look great) .... But I don't have such an autofocus zoom! .....

So its picking the best on balance for each job.
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

andrewk

Link Posted 03/06/2016 - 09:57
McGregNi wrote:
I got the exposures well, although missed focus sometimes. An AF wide zoom with F2.8 might have been better overall (although the A28mm is sharp and the colours look great)

Just a thought, but do you use catch-in focus? I have rediscovered it recently and it seems to work outstandingly well for longer focal length lenses - a Vivitar 200mm f3.5 (Komine version) and a XR RIkenon 300mm f4.5 APO that have been lying around for a quite a while just gathering dust. It also works well with a Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm f3.5 (Version 2) that I picked up recently for very little money. (Testing out a few possibles for future use with a K1 - maybe)

I have tried catch-in focus with shorter lenses, such as the Sigma 24mm f2.8 Superwide II, but it doesn't seem to work any better than focussing by eye. Best of all with that lens on a tripod is focussing using live view, but obviously that would not work so well at a party.

Andrew
Flickr photostream
Last Edited by andrewk on 03/06/2016 - 09:57

McGregNi

Link Posted 03/06/2016 - 10:09
You're right Andrew, it's a very good feature. I've also found the same as you, not so good at 28mm but it works well with my Tamron Adaptall 135mm.

I'd say catch in focus is perhaps not so suited to something like a party where I find you have to 'focus past' people first to get the one you want in focus. But it works very well for portraits, or even single moving subjects when they stand out from the surrounds.

I realise I said 'IT works well', but that makes it sound like autofocus. More the case that the photographer has to 'work well with it!
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
Last Edited by McGregNi on 03/06/2016 - 10:13

frob

Link Posted 03/06/2016 - 10:22
There is another aspect to this question of older lenses which has been the dominating factor in my using pedominantly cheap prime 'm' or 'a' lenses, that being the variable quality control that seems to bedevil not only 'AF zoom' lenses, but the cameras themselves. When buying anything resarch into the product is highly advisable, but when you constantly get comments alluding to either good or bad copies it is very disconcerting when you are asked to risk quite large (to me, anyway) sums on a product that could be a total disaster. Yes there are poor copies of older lenses, but I would rathjer lose £25.00 than £250.00.
And, to agree with the above, catch in focus is top draw, even down to my 50mm A, 1.7
Regards,
Rob
Last Edited by frob on 03/06/2016 - 10:25

johnriley

Link Posted 03/06/2016 - 10:34
There were always good and bad examples of any lens, but most are good.

The biggest problem with older lenses is the mishandling over the years that we know nothing about. Some people really trash their kit, others leave it looking unused.

At least with Pentax lenses there isn't much that can be damaged by incorrect handling, unlike some older quite complex designs where operation in the wrong order can cause serious damage. Rollei 35 cameras are a classic example of this, where the camera must be wound on before the lens is retracted. Failure to do this breaks linkages and renders the camera useless.
Best regards, John

davidwozhere

Link Posted 03/06/2016 - 23:05
I use more manual than auto lenses but, that said, if a faster focus is needed, my old eyes can't cope and so I use a Tamron 28-200 AF. Otherwise, I absolutely adore my extensive collection of MF lenses and I match them to the task in hand.
As to John's comment regarding how hard people have used their 2nd hand lenses, the front element of my 'stack of primes' SMC 35-105mm looks like it has undergone a meteor bombardment but the results from it are consistently very good. On the other hand, an SMC 'A' f1.7 50mm that I have is a complete lemon despite it looking like a near mint bargain.
Given the cost of these on E-Bay (peanuts) you will be daft not to try them out. If you don't like it, what have you lost? Sell it on. You pay "a lens a month" worth for your mobile phone, so why not pay the same and get some value from it
Both the *istDS and the K5 are incurably addicted to old glass

My page on Photocrowd - link

davidstorm

Link Posted 04/06/2016 - 12:13
I've mentioned this many times on the Forum before, but my favourite manual lens is the M28 F3.5. Superb landscape lens and I suspect even better on a K1 which will allow the wider perspective. I've taken a lot of my favourite shots with this lens. It is particularly good with green landscapes as it renders the green colour spectrum extraordinarily well, without giving any colour cast to the overall image.

These lenses are not common, but can be found quite easily on ebay for around £40 for a good example.

Regards
David
Flickr

Nicola's Apartments, Kassiopi, Corfu

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