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edmund j. kowalski | profile | all galleries >> Galleries >> Three Prime Lenses Tested tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Three Prime Lenses Tested

This Pentax ME Super body has a nearly worn out mirror release and stop down mechanism, shutter locks up when a K-Mouint lens is attached, but works kind of okay with m42 screw mount adapter installed into the bayonet mount.

Test was with three 42 mm screwmount prime focal length lenses:
135mm / f:4 Carl Zeiss Jena Triotar, nickled or chromed body, manual set aperture, unknown original application...
58mm / f:2 Helios-44 Russian built, manual preset type aperture, for Zenit SLR...
and 35 mm / f:2.8 Japanese Vemar, manual preset type aperture, Universal application.

All three of these lenses are OLD.
Glass is rather clean on all of them.
Manual aperture mechanism makes them very reliable for exposure control, and I let the aperture priority mode (center-weighted) of the Pentax body handle the metering.

Test was conducted at the Museum of Transportation in St. Louis County, Missouri, on Friday the day after Thanksgiving.
Lens used for each image is identified in the title of the image as either "Zeiss," "Zenit," or "Vemar."
I stood in the same spot to capture groups of three while I changed through the lenses.
No tripod was used, all was handheld.
I kept the same aperture for all three in each group.

I think the Zeiss 135 mm showed a slight edge in overall quality, maybe followed by the Vemar from Japan. The Zenit lens wanted to flare a little on bright subjects, even with clean near perfect glass and coatings, and use of a lens shade.
However, looking at the images, I say all three are definitely "Keepers."

Please click on thumbnails to see enlarged.
All images are 2009 E.J.Kowalski.
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