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Old Feb 4, 2006, 9:09 AM   #1
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Hi, just trying to get some input on older AF Pentax Lenses. I am on a tight budget so new lenses are rare purchases, and I must admit that I liked the more solid feel of the older lenses, so, an observation and some questions.

First the categories:

1 - SMC Pentax-F these are the first generation Pentax AF system lenses with the high-end SMC coating.
2 - Pentax-F these are similar designs to the SMC lenses but did not have the SMC coating and may have had simpler optical design (these may not have been available in the US, just Canada and other markets such as the UK).These lens seem to have thevery high mechanical quality of the SMC lenses but get mixed reviews on image quality and flare resistance.
3 - Takumar-F apparently these are identical to the Pentax-F (number2 on my list) but were rebadged as Takumar for the US market.

One of the better AF Pentax zooms seems to have been the SMC Pentax-F 70-210mm f4-5.6. These lenses regularly sell used for about $200. I was wondering if anyone was using the much cheaper Takumar/Pentax-F 70-200mm f4-5.6 lens? This is a simpler design optically, and of course it does not have the SMC coating, but it seems well built.What I really want to know is will this Takumar lens perform better than my Sigma with regards to AF performance? The Sigma hunts a great deal more than my similar aperture SMC Pentax zooms, would the Takumar behave better due to better communication with the camera.

Ira
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Old Feb 5, 2006, 4:09 PM   #2
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Hello Ira!

Can't help you with the direct answer to your question, but I do have the SMC Pentax-f 70-210mm zoom and it is spectacular... (just wanted to brag I guess).

Bought it around 1984 or so with my SF1.

A few weeks ago I attended a roast for our senior pastor who is retiring sort-of (which is why he is the senior pastor :lol and I was at the back of of hall about 60-80 feet away. With the 70-210 and the AF360FGZ flash, I got some great shots. Even at about 120mm and cropped the images are excellent.

Regards, Rich
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Old Feb 5, 2006, 4:41 PM   #3
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Rich

Pastors are like doctors, they never really retire, they just limit their practice.

Thanks for the brag, I expect the Takumar will function as well as your SMC but the images will not have the sharp contrast and edge-to-edge sharpness. I had a Takumar A lens that was better than other budget lenses.

Thanks

Ira
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Old Feb 5, 2006, 5:00 PM   #4
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i would be interested in the answer to this question also, since all my current lenses, even my M42 lenses are SMC and I always wondered if the coating is up to its hype.

Tom
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Old Feb 5, 2006, 6:08 PM   #5
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I have the Pentax 70-200 and I can't get decent focus out of it. There is a lot of lens creep. But I have heard that the 70-210 is the better lense. Believe it or not the sharpest tele I have in the bag is a Tokina 35-200. Sharp as a tack at all settings

Hope this helps somewhat.

TedP
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Old Feb 5, 2006, 7:14 PM   #6
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TedP, if it is the non-SMC Pentax that you have it is the same lens as the Takumar, hopefully mine will display better manners (and focus). The Takumar-A I had was the much-maligned 28-80mm f3.5-4.5 macro zoom. No it was not a wonderful tack-sharp lens but it was fairly fast and produced decent contrast (it does have multicoated front and rear elements but they are not the SMC process, and apparently internal lens faces may only have a single coating). What I am really hoping is that it is at least as good as my Sigma without the mechanical woes that lens has.

Tom, I doubt if this lens will approach the high-end SMC glass you have, but I will not be capturing those great avian shots you are regularly posting (not really interested in that type of photography at the moment but when I have more time on my hands in a couple of years...who knows?). What I really want in a good 50mm f1.7 (or f1.4...dream on) F or FA lens for a reasonable price. I can pick up 50mm fast primes for Minolta for less than half of what a good used Pentax lens will cost.

I am currently practicing my manual focus skills so I can make use of my 50mm f1.7 SMC-M lens and my Rikenon XR 135mm f2.8 and 28mm f2.8. I also have a cheap manual focus Samyang 500mm f8 mirror lens which can be quite sharp but not very contrasty, for the occasional foray into the wilds.

I am hoping the lens will arrive tomorrow and that it is in the condition stated on the auction, if so I should have sample images by mid week.

Thank you all.

Ira
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Old Feb 5, 2006, 7:56 PM   #7
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i've got a takumar 135m,f2.5, K mount. no smc coatings and all i can say is, it sucks. soft, bad contrast, etc. anyway i look at it, it sucks..... i haven't used it much but from the little i have i've come to the conclusion that it sucks..
hey, did i mention this lens sucks??????
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Old Feb 5, 2006, 8:05 PM   #8
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Thanks alot robar, Seriously though the 135mm f2.5 K-mount Takumar is listed on most Pentax sites as a really awful lens, the Takumar-F 70-200mm is just noted as not-as-good as the SMC lenses. Hopefully it will be better than the older model.

Ira
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Old Feb 6, 2006, 9:11 AM   #9
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Takumar Lens and SMC Pentax are in general the same optically but Takumar is not simply rebadged ones for US market. The main difference is that it lacks SMC coatings which the SMC Pentax have.

I agree with you that older SMC F lenses are having superb SMC coatings. The F 70-210 is a fine lens but do have a look at the later F and FA version of 80-200/4.7-5.6 which I found to be much lighter and smaller and optically is fairly good. I have the F 80-200 btw.

Furthermore, older Pentax F AF lenses do have an older commnunication protocol and it sends out less lens data and the data is less precise too. But optically and mechanically, they are more superior, IMHO.

For more info about different generation of Pentax lenses and body mounts, see my article below:
http://www.geocities.com/ricehigh/K_...ure_Bases.html

Anyway, for Sigma lenses, my humble recommendation is to avoid them as far as possible, whenever there is a Pentax option!

Cheers,
RiceHigh
http://www.geocities.com/ricehigh
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Old Feb 6, 2006, 10:06 AM   #10
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RiceHigh, thank you for your response, I already had your article printed and have read it. I am glad to hear that the F series lenses are well constructed although they do not share as much data with the camera.

I think you misread my original statement, I did not say that Takumar were re-badged SMC Pentax lenses, what I said was that the non-SMC lenses were sold as Pentax (with no SMC printed on the lens) in most world markets and as Takumar in the US. I had both a Pentax-A 28-80 and a Takumar-A 28-80 at one point in time and they were Identical, the Pentax was NOT an SMC Pentax (no SMC reference anywhere on the lens). If you check out http://www.bdimitrov.de/kmp/you will find reference to all of the brand names Asahi Optical (or whatever its present name is) used for its non-SMC lenses, as well as a fairly complete list of SMC Pentax (M, A, F, FA and even DA) lenses, complete with optical information.


Thanks

Ira

BTW, it arrived, here it is on my DL. The rim around the lensis a 49-52mm step up ring so that my 52mm filters and lens caps will fit (a lens cap was not included and the only 49mm I had was the one on my 50mm f1.7 M lens shown in the picture.

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