Pentax SMC-K 135mm f/2.5 - Review / Lab Test Report - Analysis
Lens Reviews - Pentax
Article Index
Introduction
Analysis

Distortion

Typical for most fix-focal tele lenses the SMC-K 135mm f/2.5 produces only minimal distortion which are nothing to worry about in the field (0.5% pincushion distortion).

The chart above has a real-world size of about 120x80cm.

Vignetting

Thanks to the sweet spot behavior on the K10D vignetting is well controlled. However, regarding the very large aperture vignetting is still a little stronger at ~0.64V at wide-open aperture - at times this may be visible in very critical scenes. From f/4 and up the problem is negligible.

MTF (resolution)

The SMC-K 135mm f/2.5 may be old but the resolution figures are still quite impressive. At f/2.5 the results are already very good and fairly even across the frame. Stopping down improve the quality further till it peaks around f/5.6 with an excellent (just) center and very good borders.

Below is a simplified summary of the formal findings. The chart shows line widths per picture height (LW/PH) which can be taken as a measure for sharpness. If you want to know more about the MTF50 figures you may check out the corresponding Imatest Explanations

Chromatic Aberrations (CAs)

Low CAs were surely no design objective in the late 70s so it isn't really surprising that this is a weakness of this old lens. CAs (color shadows at harsh contrast transitions) can be fairly visible at times with an average pixel width around 1.3px at the image borders.

Verdict

The Pentax SMC-K 135mm f/2.5 is surely not a mainstream lens on modern DSLRs. Stop-down metering only, no aperture reading in the viewfinder and the lack of AF doesn't really make such a lens a really desirable package. However, the cheap price on the used market may do. The principal performance of the lens is very decent. The resolution figures are very good, distortions are no problem and vignetting is well controlled. Relatively high CAs are a weakness though. The build quality is excellent and it's still fun to use such a Methuselah - occasionally at least.

PS: Please don't bet on many more non-DA/FA tests though - I would surely die testing the zillion of old Pentax lenses ...

Optical Quality:
Mechanical Quality:
Price/Performance:discontinued



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