KM mount lenses.......

Discussion in 'Pentax' started by jason_inskeep, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. I have had a K1000 for a while now but have not gotten to use it hardly at all due to my lenses being stolen from my
    brother and law when he was taking a photo class. the lenses were not that big of a deal since most of them were of
    the JC Pennies variety.
    I recently bought a 50mm f/2 from a guy in europe somewhere. I have only had it two days and only but one roll of
    film through the camera with that lens on it and I have to say that it is absolutely amazing. It doesn't seem quite as
    sharp as some of my canon stuff but that could just be the scans ( I would be curious to see what prints directly
    from the negative would look like.) but the color and every thing I get with this lens are amazing. I dont really
    understand the difference but I was amazed at my first roll of film with this lens.
    My question is I am now thinking of getting a couple more lenses for this particular camera and was wondering if all
    their old primes were like this or if there were certain ones I should watch out for. I am particularly looking for a 28mm
    and an 80mm, may be a 135....
    Any advice.
  2. The 50mm f2 version is the old kit lens from the film era. This is a very good (and under-rated) lens but there were a couple of 50mm's that are even better than this lens. So you are just getting a small sample of how good Pentax glass really is. You should see how great many of these old lenses work on today's D-SLR's (all Pentax glass from the 1950's to today will work on a Pentax D-SLR). One of the things that sets the Pentax glass apart from 3rd party Pentax mount lenses is the lens coatings. SMC coatings are exclusive to Pentax (but not on all of the old lenses) and the colour,contrast and flare control is top notch.

    So you can look for just about any lens you want as long as you see SMC or Super Multi Coated (older Takumars) printed on the lens around the filter ring. There are very few "dogs" across the lens lineup (only the 135mm f2.5 Takumar comes to mind) as far as primes are concerned. The are a couple of exceptional standouts (50mm f1.2 or 85mm f1.8 or 1.4 but forget trying to find these older ones) but most are collected and held by owners that would rarely part with them.

    As for zooms, that is a much bigger question. Most are fine to excellent, There are a couple to avoid and mostly because they were consumer grade kit lenses built to a price instead of to a standard where the retail price was set by the quality. On the most part the zooms are very good quality. Just skip the 28-80mm

    There are numerous older screw mounts that will also work on the K1000 as well as today's newest D-SLR's Many are labeled Takumar but also feature SMC coatings. Get an original Pentax K mount to M42 screw adapter (B&H) and you can use them on any camera. After you get a few lenses, you need to get a new digital body and see what all the fuss is about in the Pentax camp.
  3. The colour you get with that lens is mostly due to the SMC coatings that Pentax used (and still does), so I would expect you to get the same results with any SMC lens, be it a K, M or A series.

    The Pentax 28mm f/3.5 is highly regarded (I've never had one). Getting an 85mm f/2 will be tricky and maybe a bit pricey; the Pentax-A* 85mm f/1.4 is regarded as one of the best lenses ever made, but that will be REALLY expensive ($800-1000 in the US). I don't know if there are any particular 135mm that are better than others.

    I'm sure someone with more experience using these lenses will chime in and give you better info.
  4. My advice would be to go for the Pentax M 35mm f:2.8 and the Pentax M 135mm f:3.5, if you want to cover both the wide angle and the tele range. Also, why not try to find a 50mm f:1.4? It's a really amazing lens.

    As soon as I get my 300mm f:4, I'll treat myself to a "strut my kit" thread! ;-)
  5. The M series 28mm F3.5 is quite nice, and not too expensive. The F1.7 version of the 50mm is even a little better than the f2, but I am not sure if it is worth trading up. The "Takumar" 135mm F2.5 is not great, as Michael mentioned. I have heard that the M 135mm F3.5 is great but do not have one. My zoom collection is limited (and not in a good "Limited" way :) but the A 35-70mm zoom (F3.5-4.5) is a nice lens for a film camera. These cameras are a lot of fun to play with - Good luck!
  6. Because the K-1000 was a "consumer" camera, Pentax glass was always highly underrated. I've got a 135 that kicks @ss, a 24, and a 50. I've also got the 40mm pancake, which some people say is a dog. In a way, they're right. It doesn't pack a lot of contrast, but it's so small that it's a perfect street photography or simple walkaround lens. Here's something I shot years ago with a 50mm 1.something. John
  7. To clarify the "Takumar" issue: Super Takumar was the brand used for the (excellent) multi-coated, M42 mount lenses that were sold along the Spotmatic cameras in the 60s and 70s. Then, in the 80s, Asahi Pentax used the name "Takumar (Bayonet)" for non-SMC, K-mount lenses. Why on earth they did that is anybody's guest. In this line-up, only the 135mm f:2.5 met some commercial success, certainly because of its wide nominal aperture (SMC Pentax-M 135mm only opened at f:3.5 - and is a great lens by the way). I haven't heard much good about the 135mm f:2.5, even though some people on the 'bay keep trying to sell it at overblown prices...
  8. I think you may find a dearth of available primes in the short telephoto range--unfortunately all the 85mm variants seem relatively hard to come by these days--not impossible but perhaps at inflated cost. For this reason you may want to include a zoom. I like the A 35-70 f/4 for walkaround duty on a manual-focus body which has a fairly useful "macro" close focus feature.
  9. Seems like everyone's answering pretty well already, but i suppose i'll throw my small amount of experience into the mix:

    I own a K1000 and the SMC-M 50mm f/1.7, and LOVE it. absolutely tack sharp at all apertures and an overall joy to
    use. I'm hoping fervently that my recently ordered DA 35mm will give me the same satisfaction on my DSLR.

    I have also used --- but no longer own, as my bank account just couldn't handle me keeping them :( --- the SMC-M 28
    f/3.5 and the SMC-M 135 f/3.5, and was blown away by the IQ of both. The 28mm is, in my experience, SHARPER than
    my 50/1.7, and that's no small accomplishment. The 135 is equally impressive (and beats the pants off of the venerable
    super-tak 135/3.5, by the way).

    That being said, I seriously doubt you'll be disappointed with ANY of the M series glass. They are outstanding across
    the line.
  10. I don't know whether the 28/3.5 M lens was ever imported to the U.S. The first K mount Asahi 28 was an f/3.5 SMC Pentax. This was, if I am not mistaken, the same lens optically as the last 28/3.5 SMC M42 model. It is collectible and expensive. The Takumar Bayonet line was a series of budget lenses. It included a 28/2.8, 135/2.8, 135/2.5 and a zoom which I think was an 80-200/4 or 4.5. I have the f/2.5 model. It doesn't have as many elements as the 135/2.5 SMC Pentax but I find it nice for portraits. I don't remember seeing an M version of the 135/2.5.

    I have two slightly different versions of the 50/2 M. The earlier ones were made in Japan. I don't really like this lens. When it's closed down to f/4 it's OK. The 50/1.7 M is very nice and much better than the 50/2. My favorite standard lens? The 55/1.8 SMC Pentax. It has the same design as the last 55/1.8 SMC M42 lens. The 55/2 SMC Pentax is, as far as I can tell, the same as the 55/1.8 but with a different f/stop marking and is also excellent. My other M lenses include a 28/2.8, 35/2, 135/3.5 and 200/4. These are all nice. I especially like the 35/2. My K collection isn't huge so I have filled it in with non-Asahi lenses. These include the 28/2 Vivitar (22XXX...), Vivitar 200/4, Vivitar 55/2.8 Macro, Vivitar 75-205 f/3.8 one-touch, Vivitar 28-85 Variable Focusing, 50/1.4 Sears (Ricoh), 35-70 Vivitar and some others.
  11. Hello:

    For a nice working zoom lens you could try finding a 35-105mm f4.0. It's considered by some as Pentax's
    workhorse lens. I use it with my SuperProgram as my 'walking' around lens. And unless someone is willing to
    tell me otherwise this lens' quality is good enough that I was able to ''Frankenstein" a working lens from two
    damaged ones. The film images I got back were as good as anything I could produce with other lenses of the same
    make in my collection.

    But the other ones, like the 85mm/f1.8 and 135mm/f1.8, good luck and hope you have deep pockets. And from what
    little research I've done the 135mm /f2.8 isn't one of their better ones. According to one source it tends to be
    a bit hazy when opened up.

    Best of luck.


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