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LENS PORN: Sigma-Z Pantel 200mm f/3.5 (1981)

Sigma-Z Pantel 200mm f/3.5
Sigma-Z Pantel 200mm f/3.5



I found another rare lens and there's very scant information online about it, other than the database from Sigma UK indicating it was released in 1981. What makes this lens a standout is that it stops down to f/64. It made me wonder... who uses f/64? Reading in online forums, most of them say that f/64 is useful for medium format, but not for SLRs.


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Specs


Year Made: 1981

Focus: 100% Manual
Focus Throw: 360 degrees

Minimum Focusing Distance: 9 feet / 3 meters

# Aperture Blades: 6
Aperture Run: f/3.5 - f/64

Filter Thread Size: 62 mm

With built in metal hood

Made in Japan

Sigma-Z Pantel 200mm f/3.5

Sigma-Z Pantel 200mm f/3.5

Sigma-Z Pantel 200mm f/3.5

Sigma-Z Pantel 200mm f/3.5

Sigma-Z Pantel 200mm f/3.5

Sigma-Z Pantel 200mm f/3.5

Sigma-Z Pantel 200mm f/3.5

Sigma-Z Pantel 200mm f/3.5


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Summary

Pros

Nice and sexy build

With built in hood

This is a metal and glass lens, its bent filter thread shows that it was probably dropped by the previous owner and survived.



Neutral

Some say f/64 is a gimmick. It does make everything in focus, near and far, but you will need lots of sun, a steady tripod or a long exposure for that.

Colors appear neutral and muted.

Sharpness and contrast is 'okay'



Cons

Long Minimum Focusing Distance



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Conclusion


This lens came in M42 mount. I used an adapter without glass because I heard it degrades image quality. At most, I can focus up to 10 meters, but with f/64, the whole world seems to be in focus. Besides, at f/64, you will also need a steady tripod and a long exposure.

Overall, I like the build of this lens, it feels very sexy and still looks more beautiful than today's lenses. Image quality is good, nice sharpness.

The one major turn off with this lens is the MFD. Even if this is a lens meant for portrait, it would still add more versatility if Sigma allowed close focusing with this lens. You can have a DIY alternative by using macro filters or a macro extension tube.

It was also impossible to convert this lens to a Nikon mount, since some aperture mechanisms are dependent on the mount that I would remove (eg. the click stops). Therefore, I just left it as it is and sold it, hoping that someone with an M42 mount would find more use than I do.


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Further Reading


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