Pentax 645 A 120mm f/4.0 Macro Test Roll

I am doing some soul searching on my 645N gear. I initially got my 645N and started with only one lens with A 75mm f/2.8 which I love dearly. I later got FA 45mm f/2.8 and A 55mm f/2.8 which I also grown to love. I use more with the 45mm for the wider view but the 55mm gives sharper pictures. And I repeated my past mistakes with LBA, I bought gear too fast and before I know it, I have acquired LS 135 f/4.0 and later with A 120mm f/4.0.

  • FA 45mm f/2.8 -- #2 to keep
  • A 55mm f/2.8 -- ? not sure, like its sharper images but it competes with 45
  • A 75mm f/2.8 -- #1 to keep
  • LS 135mm f/4.0 -- ? not sure, I love the size and images
  • A 120mm f/4.0 Macro -- ? not sure, like its macro but I don't shoot enough macro on films

I need to think through for #3 candidate to keep. I know that the 120mm is likely the best candidate to keep but I have least use of macro on films. I am not sure if the 150mm f/3.5 will fit me better as a 3 lens set up in 45, 75, 150. I like the size of the 135 and it is much easier to hand-hold and quite alright for portrait. The LS feature got me into the LBA thinking but I have not put it into real use. And I wonder how my LS 135mm f/4.0 compares with A 150mm f/3.5 in sharpness and handling.

The main reason for trimming is finding enough fund for my digital upgrade for Pentax K-5 as I do more digital than film. But I plan to keep the 645N as digital bodies come and go and the good film body and lens are hard to come by in reasonable price.

I only have about 5 test photos just finished development from Dwayne's photo. I did my scanning last night with my flatbed on Canon 8800F. Most of my test shots are overexposed along with other shots from my A 55mm f/2.8 in a test roll with Fuji Acros 100. I did the post processing in LR.

A 120mm f/4.0 macro, fuji acros 100, 2400 dpi

A 120mm f/4.0 macro, fuji acros 100, 2400 dpi

A 120mm f/4.0 macro, fuji acros 100, 2400 dpi

Impressions & Notes
  • My test shots are not doing the justice for this wonderful macro lens. All are hand-held test shots and I did it in a rush

  • The lens is sharp and I think I will get great bokeh and color when I have a chance to try it on color film

  • The lens is heavier than my other 645 lens that I have used. Though I have not tried it, others have used it to a great extent for portrait use. I have the LS 135mm f/4.0 and I will prefer the LS lens for portrait as it is easier to hand-hold the LS lens.

  • The focus throw allows great precision while providing ease of focusing. This lens reminds me of the wonderful macro experience with Pentax SMC 100mm f/4.0 1:2 Macro in K-mount


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