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Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by laverdure, Feb 15, 2007.
I'm in the market. What do you all think of the options?
No doubt you will get a bunch of opinions, but here's mine: 105mm F 2.8 Super Takumar.
Yes, I'm curious about the 105, because I like the Takumars, and because I've heard so little about this one. What's it like?
I have the new 90mm C/V Apo Lanthar and the 125mm Macro C/V Apo Lanthar lenses in 42mm thread mount. They are both excellent lenses.
I also love the 105 2.8 super-takumar.
Its very sharp, and has great boke.
The 105 f2.8's a nice lens. It's a little soft wide open, but contrast and sharpness firm up by f4. And it's well built and handles well.
I like mine.
If you can go a bit shorter: Helios 40 - 85 mm f 1.5. I have one in an m39 Zenit mount which I use on my Fujica ST605 with an adapter.
Yeah, I could go a bit shorter. Anything between 85 and 135, more or less- I just don't know what's out there. I was considering the Helios 40, but I'm concerned about the size- they say it's quite something.
The takumars are great, but they do have some chromatic aberrations when used wide.. The preset version ("takumar" not "super") is a beauty too...
My favourite 105 is the Soligor. It's an old, single coated thing with a T-mount, but it's brilliant!
If you go up to 135mm the things are often cheaper then a lens cap. I've got the Mamiya SX [I think it's SX] 135mm F/2.8. It's the same lens they made for Rollei I think. Was it Rollei? Not exactly common but very nice. Of course the various Pentax 135mm.
The Fujica 100mm EBC 2.8 is very nice and quite small and compact - it is a good lens to carry round. This would be my first choice
I can also vouch for the sharpness of the Super Tak 105mm - it is a bit larger but easy to find
A little more unusual is the Schacht Travenar 90mm which is a pre-set lens with a 16 blade aperature iris - nice and sharp and has good colour rendition
I have an old Prinz m42 mount 100mm f2.8 which I bought at a camera fair sometime ago, and cannot remember what I paid but it wasnt much. I really dont know who the manufacturer was but it is a solid metal barrel with very smooth focusing. Pleasantly surprised by the sharpness and colour rendition of this lens. Not a bokah expert so cannot comment on that. Also use it on my Mirandas with an adaptor.
If money's no object, I believe that the 100/2 Planar is about to be released in M42. I rather like my old 85/1.9 Takumar, though.
I like my Vivitar Series 1 135mm f2.3. Although it is large and heavy and has a very long focus throw.
I second Peter Schauss' suggestion: get the Helios 40. It's an FSU lens of classic Biotar formula:
You'd need the Canon 1.2/85 EF-L II lens at 10x the price for better portraits, softer colors and smoother out of focus areas. Don't be mistaken, it's not a soft lens; it is very sharp, even wide open. This Helios is a killer lens!
The Helios 40 sells for around $150 but you will need an adapter because it comes only in M39 mount. The newer Helios 40-2 is a bit more expensive, but it's multicoated and comes in standard M42 mount. As usual with FSU lenses, quality may vary a lot from sample to sample. Make sure you get the lens from a reputable dealer with a solid return policy.
There is a great page on the Helios on Dante Stella's website.
I have a 105/2.8 Super Takumar and it's nice. If I had to choose only one lens in this range in M42 mount I would get the Vivitar 90/2.5 Series 1 macro. I have this lens in Canon FD mount. It's much heavier than the 105/2.8 Super Takumar and some people think it's a little too sharp for portraits but I like it. I have several Vivitar 105/2.8 T4 lenses as well as a 105/2.8 Soligor T4. These need to be stopped down a little to be sharp. Somewhere I have the M42 Adaptall II adapter for using my 90/2.5 Tamron SP (2nd version) macro lens. This is also a very nice lens.
Nikkor 105mm f2.5
135mm goes well with m42
The 135mm lens was a classic focal length for SLR shooting in the M42 days before zoom lenses that included that focal length became popular. A great street and landscape lens, it is a bit long for head-shot portraits, but for head and torso it gives you fine subject/background focus control.
Although SMC lenses cost more on the used market, I've found that a Takumar 135mm f/2.5 (without Super Multi-Coating) is fine as long as you pay attention to light sources and maybe even use a lens hood.
I have heard a couple people absolutely rave about the Fujinon EBC 100mm f/2.8.
Sadly, one never appears to become available on e-Bay.
If you are willing to look at 135mm lenses, I've a bit to say about a couple Pentax Super Multi-coated Takumars that may be of interest.
Pentax Super Multi-Coated Takumar 135mm f/3.5: Hard to beat as a carry-around general-purpose 135mm telephoto. Not the fastest lens, obviously, but very sharp even at f/4.5 and it performs very well focused at near distances. Contrast is very high. Very well-built with smooth but well-damped focusing and very nice handling (takes 49mm filters!). It's bokeh is not quite as good as I'd like. Even so, I think this may be among the best values in the M42 world because it can be had for 45 USD on e-Bay.
Pentax Super Multi-Coated Takumar 135mm f/2.5: If you are trying to seduce a beautiful woman...take her picture with this lens.
It excels as a portrait lens. Nice, fast aperture, and very good to excellent bokeh. It's build quality is also excellent and its focusing action is similar to it slower brother described above. It's slightly harder to handle as it's heavier and accepts 58mm filters. I've only used this at its wider apertures (say, f/2.5 - 5.6) and it doesn't seem to be quite as sharp and contrasty as the f/3.5 lens and it's near-focus performance is, similarly, not as strong in that range. Again, that isn't unexpected for a portrait lens. And it really, really does great work for portraits. Figure 70-90 USD on e-Bay.
I have heard, however, that above f/5.6 this becomes an extremely sharp lens and contrasty lens - more so than the f/3.5. I just haven't put it through its paces in that aperture range yet.
Hope it helps.