09 November 2009

An oldie but goodie: Rikenon 135mm f/2.8

I've been tied up with work and as a result I have all but neglected posting for a while. Well I'm going to kick start with a recent lens that I happened to get for next to nothing. The lens in question is the Rikenon 135mm f/2.8, an old K-mount manual focus lens made by Ricoh. Outwardly it was in fine condition but there was a spot of fungus on one of the internal elements.

Seeing that it would be a waste to junk it and wanting to restore it, I sent it for cleaning at a photo repair shop. Just three days later, to my pleasant surprise the lens was ready for collection. They did such a fine job that not a trace of the fungus remained.

Eagerly wanting to find out how images from the Rikenon would turn out, I did a couple of quick shots with it at a park. The lens is similar to the Pentax K or M series in that it lacks the A setting on the aperture ring, so shooting in Manual mode with the Green button to determine exposure is needed. Being a manual focus lens, use of a third party focus screen like the Nikon K-3 with the split image rangefinder and microprism collar is recommended for quick and sharp focusing. Overall the lens gives a fairly cool rendition in terms of color. Sharpness is good and there are no particularly nasty lens aberrations. A good result and a bargain considering the price I got it for.