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10-12-2010, 02:05 AM   #1
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Lets Talk 28mm

After lots of looking around the forum and reading the lens reviews, I have some questions and was curious what people thought:

I really like the 28mm focal length on APS-C and was kind of hoping (though knowing it probably wouldn't happen) that Pentax would announce a DA version update. But, since it was not to be I was curious what people thought of the existing crop.

Mainly I would really like to know if anyone has compared the FA 28mm vs. the F 28. I have read reviews for both lenses that claim it is better than the other. Not sure if there is any consensus about it (or maybe they're just equal?) Also, I hardly see anything about the Sigma 28mm f1.8. Any thoughts about how this lens compares to the Pentax lenses?

Thanks kindly in advance!

10-12-2010, 02:41 AM   #2
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hmmm, this serves as a bump.
but i seem to have read a few threads on the F28 and FA28. maybe you could search.
I have just received a used F28 in mint condition and am very pleased with the quickness of focus, color rendering and sharpness. Now some have mentioned that they sold their copies because there were "only 5 diaphragm blades". I dunno. but i'd ditch my copy only if 1 of the blades weren't working.
the auto-focus sigma is much much larger and heavier. they say it is sharp and good, but not conducive to being carried around.
10-12-2010, 02:47 AM   #3
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I have an A 28mm and and FA 28mm but I haven't had a chance to try an F 28mm. The A and FA are both nice enough lenses but I've been finding them more interesting on film than on digital. The A lens can be a bit challenging to manual focus precisely wide open.

I considered the Sigma 28mm but couldn't find a store anywhere near me that had one in stock. At the time they seemed to be special order only in Canada and I wanted to try the lens before committing to a purchase.

At this point it might be worth waiting to see how the new DA-L 35mm f/2.4 turns out when it hits the market in volume. The focal length isn't all that much longer and the lens will be cheaper and faster than the F and FA 28s. If it turns out to be a good enough lens I could even see it pushing prices for the older 28s down a little bit seeing as they haven't had any low cost AF competition at a "standard" aps-c focal length up until now.
10-12-2010, 04:38 AM   #4
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I believe, based on compasirons of other "similar" F and FA lenses, that the differences will be marginal, if you can find any differences at all...

For most of the F to FA upgrades, with identical specs, the changes are mainly : cosmetic; AF gear; coatings "improvements" (but Takumars still have good coatings).

The optical formulas usually remain the same.

10-12-2010, 04:51 AM   #5
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Ah loves my Pentax-M SMC 28/2.0 with its proper rectangular hood...

MF is a little fiddly compared to a modern lens, but it's very capable and produces excellent images at all apertures. If offered in a similar form factor, I'd seriously consider buying a DA 28/2.0 for use on my K-7.

Cheers...

Last edited by Michaelina2; 10-13-2010 at 07:33 AM. Reason: clarification
10-12-2010, 05:11 AM   #6
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From what I've read/heard:
FA28AL is not as good as the older non AL design of A & F 28/2.8. F28 is generally regarded as best of these because of it's good performance and AF/AE capability.
The best 28mm by pentax is generally agreed to be the K. So officially SMC Pentax 1:2 28mm. Closely followed by it's M & A cousins...
From personal experience:
The best 28mm lens out there is SMC Pentax-FA 1:1.8 31mm Limited
10-12-2010, 05:16 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
I believe, based on compasirons of other "similar" F and FA lenses, that the differences will be marginal, if you can find any differences at all...

For most of the F to FA upgrades, with identical specs, the changes are mainly : cosmetic; AF gear; coatings "improvements" (but Takumars still have good coatings).

The optical formulas usually remain the same.
In general this is true, the FAs were the Fs with updated chip, transmitting more data to camera, but the optics remained the same for all primes (50/1.4, 50/1.7, 50/2.8 Macro, 85/2.8 soft, 100/2.8 macro, 135/2.8 IF, 300/4.5 ED IF, 600/4 ED IF) with one exception! The FA28/2.8 AL is all new 5-5 design as opposed to the older 7-7 design used on M - A - F versions...
10-12-2010, 06:13 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
From what I've read/heard:
FA28AL is not as good as the older non AL design of A & F 28/2.8. F28 is generally regarded as best of these because of it's good performance and AF/AE capability.
The best 28mm by pentax is generally agreed to be the K. So officially SMC Pentax 1:2 28mm. Closely followed by it's M & A cousins...
From personal experience:
The best 28mm lens out there is SMC Pentax-FA 1:1.8 31mm Limited
What is interesting is that the FA28 is (according to what i have read on the other forum) a design by the 'legendary' Jun Hirakawa. The view that it was not up to the others is not universally held (see Stans Pentax photography, for example). I think it's one of those forum 'well known facts' that has to be challenged from time to time. I used to have one - it was very slightly soft (or more accurately lacking contrast) at 2.8, but excellent from f4 onwards. A bit of light falloff but that never worried me. Wish i still had it - a mistake to sell.

10-12-2010, 06:20 AM   #9
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Hence I wrote: From what I've read/heard. I have never tried 28/2.8 AL. Nor F28. The only Pentax 28 I have tried was the M28/2.8. Which seemed quite impressive compared to Tokina RMC 28/2.8 which I had at the time....
10-12-2010, 12:19 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by timo Quote
What is interesting is that the FA28 is (according to what i have read on the other forum) a design by the 'legendary' Jun Hirakawa. The view that it was not up to the others is not universally held (see Stans Pentax photography, for example). I think it's one of those forum 'well known facts' that has to be challenged from time to time. I used to have one - it was very slightly soft (or more accurately lacking contrast) at 2.8, but excellent from f4 onwards. A bit of light falloff but that never worried me. Wish i still had it - a mistake to sell.
You'll find many wonderful lenses in that focal range: K28/3.5, K28/2.0, K30/2.8 and FA 31mm F1.8.

Kind regards
.lars
10-12-2010, 12:42 PM   #11
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A lot of speculation here... I found the following link by searching Pentax Forums and reading the threads.

Comparison Pentax FA28 versus F28

Original thread here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/117473-does-an...m-f-2-8-a.html

I have an F 28mm. I guess I'll be keeping it. Sharp as a tack and lovely colors.

woof!
10-12-2010, 05:00 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by woof Quote
A lot of speculation here... I found the following link by searching Pentax Forums and reading the threads.

Comparison Pentax FA28 versus F28

Original thread here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/117473-does-an...m-f-2-8-a.html

woof!
Yep - that bears out precisely what I said. Identical from f4 on. Still useable at2.8. His test shows exactly the sort of bleeding over very high contrast edges that my 50 1.2 used to do fully wide. You only notice it in certain shots, and sometimes it can create quite an atmospheric effect.
10-13-2010, 02:19 AM   #13
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I faced the same problem once ago and finally bought M 28/3.5 in excellent condition. It is not very rare lens, you can find it below 100$. This lens is considered to be the sharpest Pentax 28mm after the legendary sharp K 28/3.5 (and sharper than any f2.8 versions). But unlike K version it is small. The hyper focal starts at f8 and 10m, so for landscapes and architecture the manual focus is not an issue at all. At f3.5 it is very sharp and produce good bokeh, if needed. It is probably too dark for indoor shooting, though.

Another good lens is 28/2.0 (e.g. A or M version), but they are expensive and hard to find.
10-13-2010, 06:40 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by timo Quote
Yep - that bears out precisely what I said. Identical from f4 on. Still useable at2.8. His test shows exactly the sort of bleeding over very high contrast edges that my 50 1.2 used to do fully wide. You only notice it in certain shots, and sometimes it can create quite an atmospheric effect.
I suspect that a hood would improve on this significantly. It's worth a try. Read the following. It seems quite clear that a hood improves the performance of the lenses tested, esp. the f/1.4 which seems to be lacking in... contrast... near wide open.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/81528-fa50mm-f...tml#post829168

I use an old rectangular Takumar hood originally made for the f/3.5 28mm. It works very nicely. In fact it works well as a hood for my F50 f/1.7 as well. It's a slip on and tightens by turning. Perfect hood for this lens.

woof

Last edited by woof; 10-13-2010 at 06:45 AM.
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