Bottom Line Up Front…
The Pentax-M 135 f/3.5 is not the sharpest but super well built, lovely and compact even with the adaptor. It comes with a built in lens hood too! It’s absolutely not the sharpest wide open, but gives a nice character none the less, it does sharpen up considerably when stopped down though.
You can pick these guys up off e-bay for absolute peanuts so you just as well get one and give it a go!
Pentax-M SMC 135mm F/3.5 sample images…
- Well built and compact.
- Nice Bokeh
- Not sharp wide open.
- Hood is not much use.
- Not the best IQ (- but so cheap!)
I managed to find this for about £20 off ebay. Listed as mint condition I took a punt (it absolutely wasn’t mint condition) but it was a great learning experience taking it apart and cleaning it up. The same seller was flogging some old fridge magnets on there as well, so should have known better really…
HOWEVER, I always have a lot of fun with it because I’m not afraid to bash it about. On APC-S you get an equivalent FOV of around 200mm, so it’s quite a long lens and opens up lots of creative opportunities. Obviously, this kind of FL lends itself to being used outside. It would be a stellar portrait lens because the bokeh is lovely, it gives great background separation and it doesn’t matter that its not the sharpest offering.
This lens is built beautifully – and its absolutely tiny too! It is so easy to throw into a bag and take along with you for extra reach if you think you might need it. I have had a couple of vintage 135mm lenses and this is the one I have kept hold of – even over the weird looking Jupiter lenses. My advice would be to pick one up if you can for a reasonable price, you definitely wont regret it!