Pentax 135mm f/3.5 question

Discussion in 'Pentax' started by el baroda, May 1, 2004.

  1. Hi, folks

    Would anyone please comment on the Pentax 135mm f/3.5 (i.e., (1) its
    mechanical and optical quality and (2) its suitability as a portrait
    lens? I've been looking for a good Pentax portrait lens (85 mm or
    100mm) and just spotted this one. Thanks a lot.
  2. stemked

    stemked Moderator

    It is very light, has a built in hood, and uses 49mm filters-cute as a button. It doesn't focus particularly close and I ultimately sold mine along with an MX for a faster 135s. I found I rather preferred a cheapie 135mm screw mount Spirltone (a $5 purchase) myself for portraits. Actually, I ultimately sold the lens because I just wasn't using it a lot for its intended use.
  3. I like the lens a lot. It's light weight, portable, and sharp (talking about the M series--not sure if there are other versions or not). I find it to be very nice for head shots, and it's a nice size to just carry around for candid street portraiture. Mechanically it is very well built. It is hard to beat for the price--it is typically one of the cheapest (but quality) lenses out there.

    Another nice portrait lens is the 105mm f2.8.--although it is quite a bit more expensive as it wasn't as common. For the average Joe, the 85mm's are starting to be priced out of range. . .a 90mm macro from a reputable third party might be a good substitute.
  4. I have this lens and find it to be quite good as a portrait lens, sometimes if you are shooting just portraits you have to stick a small extention tube to get in closer. The lens is quite good optically, wide open it doesn't render the shot too sharp. It is very small and light, has the built in hood and mechanically is just like other M series lenses, very well built. The cool part about this lens is the price. I think I paid 15 bucks for it off epay.

    For much nicer portraits and the ability to shoot 3d like images that render pleasing backgrounds I would look at the 77limited. It is an absolutely superb lens and focuses very close.
  5. It's a great lens with an excellent resolution. For me it's one of the better lenses between different brands. Indeed it's the better 135mm.
    For portrait I don't think that it's the best because the sharpness becomes at f3,5. So it depends about you'll expect. All details of the face appear if you focuses correctly.
  6. El, the 135mm focal length is usually regarded as a little too long for classical portrait work because it tends to flatten facial features somewhat (although that may be useful for some faces) and the working distance between the camera and subject is a little distant. That's why the 85mm and 100mm focal lengths usually get the nod. I own the M 85mm f2 lens and it provides wonderful head and shoulder framing from a comfortable distance and is easy to hand hold. The wide aperture is useful for throwing the background into a blur. I'd hang out for an 85mm or 100mm, but admit the 135mm is a cute lens for distance shots. Regards, Rod
  7. Thank you all for your input. Based on your comments and suggestions, I think I should wait for a Pentax 85mm or a 105mm lens to come along. The used 135mm M lens that I saw is expensive - $125 (Australian) or roughly US $90.00. In the meantime, I'll try and see what my old third-party (Kalimar) 80-200mm f/4.5-5.6 zoom lens can deliver as a portrait lens. I've had this lens for nearly 15 years but never used it. Hopefully, it will serve my intended purpose. Any further comments? Again, thanks a lot.
  8. Just picked one up on e-Bay - not at give away price - for 36 pounds sterling - about Au$100 when postage included. Just arrived - looks, feels beautiful, and so light, compared to a 35-105 f3.5 Pentax A macro zoom I found in pawn shop for Au$40. I'll be experimenting to see which gives the best closeup portraits.
  9. Hi, Martin

    Thanks for the info. I'm very interested to know how the lens performs as a portrait lens. Please let me know? Thanks again.
  10. Hi, everyone

    Just a short note to let you know that I'm so pleased with the portraits (full body and head & shoulder shots, all by available-light) that I took with my un-rated Kalimar 80-200mm f/4.5 -5.6 lens this weekend that I've decided not to buy the Pentax 135mm f/3.5 lens. Again, thank you all very much for your input. Cheers.

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