So, educate me on Pentax K- mount lenses and third party quality or lack of it

Discussion in 'Pentax Lenses' started by benhasajeep, Sep 19, 2017.

  1. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ok, looking to add to the Pentax lens stock. I have 2-50mm f/1.7 SMC-M's, 135 f/3.5 SMC-M, 35-70 f/3.5 SMC-M, 80-200 f/4.5 SMC-M all Pentax lenses.

    I also have Vivitar 28mm f/2.0, and Vivitar 70-210mm f/4.5. I am on fence with the Vivitars. I was under the impression when I was younger the Series 1's were decent lenses (mine are not series 1). Now I would like some more primes in K mount. And I know / read enough to stay away from Sears, JC Penny, Focal branded K mounts. But how about some of the others? Tokina lenses from back then ok quality? There are dozens of names of companies that have their names on K mounts. Which ones are decent, and which ones to stay away from?


     
  2. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    It's hard to make a blanket statement that all Flaremaster lenses are terrible and all Pinsharp glass is fantastic.

    Pretty much all manufacturers have good lenses and have crappy lenses.
     
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  3. pendennis

    pendennis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    A lot of the older Pentax lenses, especially the older M42 Super Takumar and Super Multicoated Takumar lenses are very sharp. This also goes for the K Mount SMC lenses. I get great results using them on 2 70's vintage Spotmatics. I also have some great SMC's with K mounts, and they provide great results.

    Vivitar lenses were made by a number of manufacturers. Quality varied, since some manufacturers were able to hold to Vivitar's (Ponder & Best) specs, some not so good. Tokinas were originally near clones of Nikkors, since the founders of Tokina were mostly ex-Nikon. The original lenses from Sigma weren't so hot. I own a Vivitar 200mm f3.5 telephoto, a fine lens, made by Tokina.

    K Mart and Sears both had great photographic departments in the 70's and early 80's. Even their store branded lenses were good quality. Soligor, another import (Allied Impex) had some decent lenses, again somewhat dependent on the contract, specs, etc.

    Here's a link to the Vivitar manufacturers. The first two positions of the serial number (until the early 1990's) denoted the manufacturer.

    Vivitar serial numbers - Camera-wiki.org - The free camera encyclopedia

    Not to belabor, but the non-OEM manufacturers could be a crap shoot. I've done a boatload of research the last three years to gain some knowledge, especially what to avoid. If your Vivitar 28mm f2.5 has a serial number prefix of "22", it was made by Kino Precision.

    A lot of the older Pentax lenses are somewhat scarce, not so much because of low production, but the lenses are very popular with folks shooting 4/3 format and mirrorless.
     
  4. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ok, the Sears, JC Penny, Focal were from what I read on several forums as I was researching. So, not all is lost with them. I did not know so many companies made Vivitar. Looks like the 28mm f/2.0 is Komine, and the 70-210mm f/4.5 is Kobori.

    I have some older Tokina MF lenses for Nikon Ai mount. They are good lenses. Would suspect they are good on Pentax as well.
     
  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    135mm f/2.8 lenses of the older era are usually pretty good, even if they are Sears or JC Penny brand. Same with macro length primes from Vivitar.

    I dunno...most lenses were made by decent Japanese optical companies, but a lot of the older zooms, and many of the wide-angle cheapie models are nothing special.

    As mentioned, there were some prety cool Soligor lenses made, including some fast-aperture primes in 135mm and 200mm lengths.
     
  6. GeorgeInGeorgia

    GeorgeInGeorgia TPF Noob!

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    3rd party lenses can be very good. For example I have a K mount Tokina manual focus 80 to 200mm f2.8 zoom. All metal, big, heavy - could be a defensive weapon! - sharp.
    I've been very pleased with my Sigma 10-20 used on my K-5. Excellent image quality; surprisingly low distortion at 10mm. I also have the manual focus K mount Vivitar 100mm f3.5 macro. With its matched plus lens it focuses from 1/2 life size down to life size; without the plus lens if focuses infinity to 1/2 life size. I have an ancient Tamron 200mm f3.5 42m tele which is excellent; tripod mount, all metal. It was from Tamron's first interchangeable mount lenses. Sad it can't be adapted for the K mount.

    On the other hand, I have a Accura 28mm 42m which is/was mediocre, as is a M42 Haminex 135mm f2.8. But, the M42 f1.8 50mm which came on my Praktica LTL is excellent, it does needed a CLA.
     
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