135mm seems to have been a very common focal length of lenses. There are many to choose from. Because there was fierce competition, many of them are of good quality. Let see if this lens is one of the good ones…
I bought the lens on Tradera (swedish ebay) for SEK 57 (about £5) + shipping, without seeing much of it in the images of the ad. I was lucky, it is in good optical condition and only fault is that it is sometimes a little stuck at the aperture. Good ones is seen on ebay almost every day, so it’s a quite common lens.
Pentacon Electric 135mm/2.8 manufactured in a factory in Dresden, which was the former Carl Zeiss. A slim lens that are well built. It has a M42 screwmount that makes it easy to fit the EOS with an adapter. I guess you could find these on a Praktica-camera. The Electric version has zebra-type finish (like some Meyer and Zeiss also have). Early versions have close relation the Meyer equilant and more aperture-blades.
The resistance in the rings is ok in spite of a certain age. Sometimes apertureblades get stuck, but it is easily fixed through a little twist. The focus is very long to turn – this lens is not for fast focusing ;)
Thanks to the aperture ring sits closest to the camera, it is a bit difficult to see the scale because of the Canon EOS built-in flash, which shoots out over the aperture ring. There are of course only a compatibility problem, the lens and the camera was not made to fit together.
I’ve used this a lot from march to beginning of June 2008. It is supposed to be a great lens for portraits, but I’ve also used with success on landscapes. The best landscapes I’ve taken with this lens was in gray/blue days.
It is a sharp lens with good colour reproduction. According to information on the Internet, it has very good bokeh, I even saw the words “monster of bokeh” being used. It does have really good bokeh, but earlier versions of this lens is supposed to be even better.
135mm on my digital EOS-sensor with crop the focal length is 216mm, that is closer to tele (but not enough for tele, closeup birdphoto and the like, in my humble opinion… on the other hand I shot swallows with 50mm lens the other day).
I like this lens, but I like the Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar 135mm better, with it’s fast focus and clear image. The Pentacons built in hood seems a bit fragile.
Pros and cons
+ Good colors
+ Good bokeh
+ Built-in lens hood (good against backlight of course)
- Long focus
- Sticky aperture on my copy (though I can live with that)
- As in many lenses EOS-flash sticks out over the aperture ring scale, making it difficult to adjust.
- Built-in lens hood (fragile feeling and awkward with filters)
- Discussion at manualfocus.org
- Review at mflenses.com
- 135mm lens war
- Review at Fotosidan.se (swedish)
- Digital World Review
- A flickr-set