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Lenses




A good lens is a good lens is a good lens - but what is it?
Here I list a summary of the lenses I use, used, bought and scrapped. I ordered them from wide to tele, from bright to dark. Zooms are in the second part of the table, followed by converters. All comments are my own, personal taste. Look at the samples to judge for yourself. Unless otherwise noted, the comments are based on the use on my Pentax *ist DS. Other cameras may differ and the use of these lenses on film may yield totally different results.
The test shots are not intended to be scientific. I shot them on different days, with different light and some might question the subject choice. Each specific lens page contains samples at different apertures and some real photos shot with the particular lens - if I have some worth showing.
Please note that "Porst" and "Revue" are trading brands, as I explain on my cameras page.

If you are interested in the difference between the field of view of a lens on digital versus on film, may I suggest the comparison done by Adam and Ole: themotec.com/Ole/WEB_Gallery34/

One word about my build-quality remark: I only have one copy of each lens and I do not disassemble them. Thus, I judge things like focus feel, zoom feel and external build quality. I also do not know what the lenses had to live through with their former owners... So take these ratings with a cup'o'salt! ;)
Primes
Tamron Adaptall SP 17mm 3.5 151B Tamron Adaptall SP 17mm 3.5 151B
Mount: Tamron Adaptall
Build quality: good
Filter thread: 82mm (in extra lens hood)
Infrared Mark: yes

The #151B is the successor to the 51B and is one of the widest lenses available in M42. It does away with the internal filters of the early model. It is fairly well-regarded on film. My tests on the Pentax *ist DS show that the compromises for a full-frame ultrawide are not ideal for reduced coverage cameras. My copy does not work correctly with a P/K-A adapter on my DS, the aperture numbers are incorrect. Exposure seems ok, though.
Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 20mm 2.8
Mount: M42
Build quality: good
Filter thread: 67mm
Infrared Mark: yes

This is _the_ legendary superwide on film. However, many criticize it and say it is hyped and way too soft. My tests on the Pentax *ist DS confirm these sceptics.
Cosina 20mm 3.8 Cosina 20mm 3.8
Mount: M42, Auto aperture only (->Adapter)
     (Pentax PK available, too.)
Build quality: good
Filter thread: 62mm
Infrared Mark: yes

This is a budget super wide. It works surprisingly well on a film M42 body. On the *ist DS, barrel distortion is visible even with the 1.5x crop factor. Becomes a rather slow but useable 30mm wide angle. Cheapest and smallest rectilinear super-wide in M42!
Tokina RMC 24mm 2.8 Tokina RMC 24mm 2.8
Mount: M42, Auto/Manual
Build quality: good
Filter thread: 52mm
Infrared Mark: yes

To close the gap between my 20mm and 28mm, this 24mm just came at the right time.
Sigma 28mm 1.8 Sigma 28mm 1.8
Mount: P/K-A
Build quality: good
Filter thread: 58mm
Infrared Mark: no

One of the fastest 28mm lenses made - and quite sharp. It's manual focus (current versions are Auto Focus) and requires only a very brief turn to focus from near to infinity - takes some time getting used to.
Tokina RMC 28mm 2.0 Tokina RMC 28mm 2.0
Mount: M42, Auto/Manual
Build quality: good
Filter thread: 58mm
Infrared Mark: yes

Just when I was impressed with my Tokina 24mm, I found that superbright 28mm on ebay. It's now one of my favourite lenses.
Beroflex 28mm 2.8 Beroflex 28mm 2.8
Mount: M42 Auto/Manual
Build quality: good-ok
Filter thread: 62mm
Infrared Mark: yes

Don't let the silver paint fool you, this is actually a rather good lens.
Porst 35mm 1.8 Porst WW 35mm 1.8
Mount: M42 Auto/Manual
Build quality: good
Filter thread: 58mm
Infrared Mark: yes

A superbright 35mm that becomes a fast standard lens on the *ist DS. Fairly large but well built.
Isco Göttingen Westron 35mm 2.8 Isco Göttingen Westron 35mm 2.8
Mount: M42 Auto/Manual
Build quality: average
Filter thread: 49mm
Infrared Mark: no

Plastic makes it "cheapy" but light. Strange construction and use, ok pictures.
Porst ColorReflex 50mm 1.7 Porst ColorReflex 50mm 1.7
Mount: M42 Auto/Manual
Build quality: good
Filter thread: 49mm
Infrared Mark: yes

The smallest bright standard lens I have. It takes a 49mm filter and matches the *ist DS: Small but capable.
Domiplan 50mm 2.8 Domiplan 50mm 2.8
Mount: M42 Auto/Manual
Build quality: almost good
Filter thread: 49mm
Infrared Mark: yes

I mainly use this lens reversed with extension rings as a macro lens. It stops down to f/22 for an idea of depth of field, that's why.
Revuenon 55mm 1.2 Revuenon 55mm 1.2
Mount: Pentax PK
Build quality: good
Filter thread: 58mm
Infrared Mark: yes

Super bright, super cheap, surprisingly good. Takes some practise to truely utilize this lens when wide open. Portraits are great with it.
Porst Reflex 55mm 1.4 Porst Reflex 55mm 1.4
Mount: M42 Auto/Manual
Build quality: good
Filter thread: 55mm
Infrared Mark: yes

Asahi Optical Co. 55mm 2.0 Asahi Optical Co. 55mm 2.0
Mount: M42 Auto/Manual/SMC Takumar
Build quality: good
Filter thread: 49mm
Infrared Mark: yes

Eventhough it is a rather old design, it lives up to the Pentax fame.
Hartblei 80mm 2.8 Tilt Shift Hartblei 80mm/2.8 Tilt Shift
Mount: M42 Manual
Build quality: good
Filter thread: 62mm
Infrared Mark:

This thing is a tank-like Tilt/Shift lens. See my detailed lens page for more info.
Zenit Helios 40-2 85mm 1.5 Zenit Helios 40-2 85mm 1.5
Mount: M42 Manual
Build quality: good
Filter thread: 67mm
Infrared Mark: no

One of the legendary Russian "extreme lenses", probably the most extreme. It is so large, it does not fit the DS without modifying!
Zenit Jupiter-9 85mm 2.0 Zenit Jupiter-9 85mm 2.0
Mount: M42 Manual
Build quality: good
Filter thread: 49mm
Infrared Mark: no

This lens has a good reputation - rightly so.
Vivitar Series 1 90mm 2.5 Macro Vivitar Series 1 90mm 2.5 Macro
Mount: M42 Auto/Manual
Build quality: good
Filter thread: 58mm
Infrared Mark: yes

Macro lenses often carry a legendary reputation. So do Vivitar Series 1 lenses. But when two legends meet, small things will fill your screen!
Beriflex 135mm 2.8 Beriflex 135mm 2.8
Mount: M42 Auto/Manual
Build quality: yuck
Filter thread: 55mm
Infrared Mark: yes

Not nearly as terrible as it looks, handles and feels.
Pentax SMC Takumar 135mm 3.5 Pentax SMC Takumar 135mm 3.5
Mount: M42 Auto/Manual/SMC Takumar
Build quality: very nice
Filter thread: 49mm
Infrared Mark: yes

A great lens, but a bit too tele on the Pentax *ist DS for my liking.
Meyer Optik Görlitz Orestegor 200mm 4.0 Meyer Optik Görlitz Orestegor 200mm 4.0
Mount: M42 Manual
Build quality: good
Filter thread: 58mm
Infrared Mark: yes

This one is famous for a reason.
Zooms
Pentax DA 12-24 f4
Mount: Pentax KAF2, APS-C
Build quality: very good for a plastic lens
Filter thread: 77mm
Infrared Mark: no

"Turn zoom", front element does not turn when zooming or focussing.
This is a reduced-frame (APS-C) superwide zoom. Rumour has it that this is the Pentax version of Tokina's 12-24. Anyway, it's a great lens!
Sigma 18-125mm 3.5-5.6 Sigma 18-125mm 3.5-5.6
Mount: Pentax KAF2, APS-C sized CCD only!
Build quality: ok to good
Filter thread: 62mm
Infrared Mark: no

"Turn zoom", front element does not turn when zooming or focussing.
Revuenon 28-70mm 1:4 Revuenon / Exakta 28-70mm 1:4
Mount: M42, Auto aperture only (->Adapter)
Also available as P/KA
Build quality: good
Filter thread: 62mm
Infrared Mark: no

"Turn zoom", front element does not turn when zooming, but when focussing.
Hanimex 28-80mm 3.5-4.5 Hanimex 28-80mm 3.5-4.5 Macro
Mount: M42, Auto aperture only (->Adapter)
Build quality: ok
Filter thread: 72mm
Infrared Mark: no

Beware! There is an almost identically looking version with improved closest focus distance which is reportedly much better. "Push zoom", front element does not turn when zooming, but when focussing.
Tamron 35-80mm 2.8-3.5 Tamron 35-80mm 2.8-3.5 QZ-35M
Mount: Tamron Adaptall, Auto/Manual
Build quality: almost good (Zoom barrel is loose on my copy)
Filter thread: 62mm
Infrared Mark: yes

Push zoom, front element does not turn when zooming, but when focusing. Nice Macro of 1:2 without any tubes. Tamron Adaptall allows use of this manual focus lens with most cameras. On the Pentax *ist DS, it works as an M or A lens, depending on the adapter you use.
Hanimex 80-200mm 4.5 Hanimex 80-200mm 4.5
Mount: M42, Auto/Manual aperture
Build quality: almost ok
Filter thread: 52mm
Infrared Mark: yes (all focal lengths)

"Push zoom", front element does not turn when zooming, but when focussing. Got this one for free - a fair price.
Tokina 80-400mm 4.5-5.6 Tokina 80-400mm 4.5-5.6
Mount: P-KAF
Build quality: Yeah, baby!
Filter thread: 72mm
Infrared Mark: no

"Turn zoom", front element does not turn when zooming, but when focussing.

Let's make it short: A great lens!
Converters
Panagor Makro Converter Panagor Macro Converter
Mount: Pentax K
Build quality: good
Filter thread: -
Infrared Mark: -

Intended to give live-size macro with 50mm lenses set to infinity, you can indeed get larger than life when focussing the lens closer. The nice thing about _this_ Panagor is that it has a collar where you can attach a flash to. I use my "old" Metz 32 CT3 and a TTL extension cord. Set the shutter speed to 1/180 and the aperture to f/16 (or whatever you want) and you're ready to go. You can focus with the aperture wide open, which eases getting precise focus very much.
Vivitar Macro Focusing Tele Converter
Mount: Pentax K and KA
Build quality: good
Filter thread: -
Infrared Mark: -

Makes any lens a macro lens, originally intended for 50mm lenses I often use it on my 100mm Macro lens for a magnification of up to 2.4:1. Quality is surprising good and it makes for a versatile kit. Read my brief test of this fine accessory.





copyright 2005 by jensroesner.de