PENTACON auto 2.8/135mm M42 on a NEX-F3 camera body

Eksovichea Tito Hak 

 

  The box looks very vintage. In fact I 'm not even sure if the box actually belongs to the lens that came with it. Generally the external physical appearance of the example that I had was very clean and in almost excellent condition considering how old these lenses are supposed to be. The only major noticeable external flaw was a slight little nick on the underside of the extendable lens hood just above the unique serial number. 

 

 This lens was certainly compact and very dens feeling (if not substantially weighted). It has an all metal German manufactured construction and would probably cause some severe damage if you launched it at somebody's head. Not that I would want to potentially damage the lens in any such way. 


The optics were very clean with no signs of fungus or excessive dust. However there were a couple of very noticeable specs amidst the slight amounts of dust on the inner lenses that did bug me a little which I couldn't find anyway to reach and remove. There was also some very subtle translucent patterns of crystallization (like tiny snow flakes) spread over the secondary inner lens that could be seen at certain angles when held to the light whilst really scrutinizing it. The kind of very subtle patterns of translucent surface crystallization that you might see on binocular lenses. However none of these things (as I found out later) affected image quality in any way shape or form when actually taking pictures. All I had to do now was wait for the M42 to NEX E-mount adapter to arrive whilst I amused myself with taking pictures of the lens.

 

 The next day the adapter arrived. The whole routine of piecing the adapter to the NEX camera body, attaching the lens to the adaptor with a satisfying click, and securing the 4 bolts that kept the lens attached to the adaptor with an allen key made me feel I like I was setting up to do a hit or something. I have to say that the lens looks incredibly bad ass on the Sony NEX-F3 body. 

 The lens also has a very-very long throw over the rotational focal bezel control ring, this makes it extremely ideal for fine tuning settings with absolute precision. The f stop click ring for aperture control on this particular example was very smooth and also very accurate. All in all this particular lens was in excellent condition as far as the mechanical side was concerned.  It does say its an auto lens on it, however this only refers to aperture adjustment which requires a camera body that can use it. But since the NEX camera bodies don't have an M42 auto aperture control feature I could simply just control the aperture within the actual lens by switching the lens to manual mode. As mentioned before there is a click f stop control ring on the actual lens for manual control of aperture. 

 Speaking of the aperture, this particular later iteration has a 6 blade iris unlike the very early vintage models that have 15 blades. I can't really say how the vastly older optics of the 15 blade version would compare to this 6 blade version, but I guess owning the vintage version would only really be a big deal if you wanted smoother bokeh whilst playing with the 15 blade iris for focus. 

Summary

More then just sentimental hype as there's substance to the image quality claims using this glass with the NEX-F3's APS-C sensor. Also touted as being excellent for portrait snaps. get this lens if you like manual control with a long throw over the control focus ring for greater accuracy that's fast. Also great indoors where it remains pretty fast at full aperture dilation.

 I don’t think this lens was specifically created for the photography of wildlife, and as soon as I peered through the fixed lens whilst making some fine adjustments it was clear that it was something that might have been created and used for surveillance purposes.


 Image quality was extremely crisp and sharp. Also as expected it was in fact a very fast lens. Predictably it was also very fast and crisp indoors too when set to full aperture dilation.  I generally like using manual lenses so its definitely something I'll be holding onto. The high level of accuracy over a long throw on the focal ring makes it even more ideal for precision manual control use. 

 
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