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11-03-2010, 11:10 PM   #1
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Have M 28/2.8 - worth buying M 28/3.5?

As the title states, I have an M 28mm f2.8 lens, which I understand was the most basic Pentax 28 in itīs day, and that it is bettered IQ-wise by the f3.5 version, which is in turn bettered by the (extremely rare) f2 version. But I have the opportunity to get the 3.5 for around €50, in good condition.

Though it is slower, I understand that it is sharper (from wide open) & has better colour & contrast. I see from pics that, strangely, the front element of the 3.5 is much larger than that of the 28, though I would expect the opposite, and maybe this is indicative of a better quality lens. Is this all a fair assessment? Is it worth it to have both? Does anyone have both (or equivalents with the same optical formula) to compare?

Many thanks

11-03-2010, 11:22 PM   #2
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The 28 f3.5 is a damn fine lens.

11-04-2010, 01:25 AM   #3
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I have the M 28/3.5 and like it very much. I have not tried any of the other M 28mm lenses though. The 3.5 is very sharp, has nice colors, good contrast, low distortion and is reasonably resistant to flare. The only downside is that it is slow. You will have a large depth of field.
You can simply buy the lens and check for yourself. You can always resell it for the same price if you don't want to keep it.
11-04-2010, 01:30 AM   #4
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If it's good wide open then Av becomes a viable option
Pete

11-04-2010, 01:36 AM   #5
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The M28/3.5 is better than the M28/2.8, but both are left way behind by the excellent K28/3.5.
11-04-2010, 03:46 AM - 1 Like   #6
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FWIW, check out this page: Alex's Library: Photo Tips
11-04-2010, 06:23 AM   #7
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Mine is in the mail. :P I actually bought it looking for a small k-mount wide angle, I have the M35/2 but sometimes it's too big to carry around (I'm spoiled from the M50/1.7). Since the M35/3.5 is selling for more I decided to pull the trigger in this one.

The M28/2.8 is a little smaller though, which is weird, being a faster lens. Now I'm thinking of completing the M series set-up with a 200/4 and a 85/2 but I don't use the teles too much and have the 77 so it's not essential right now.

Photo_guy, nice link. Thanks.

Last edited by summonbaka; 11-04-2010 at 06:35 AM.
11-04-2010, 06:28 AM   #8
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I quite like the A 28 2.8, which is said to be inferior to some versions of the M 28 2.8. However, it is not a killer lens... simply a good upgrade from the kit. PS - This lens simply does not preform without a hood. Some lenses you can get away with it... but this one just flares up like an infected eye. If you are noticing poor contrast and colour, ask yourself whether you bother using a hood often.

Colour tone tends to be neutral, sharpness is good but not exemplary. The taxi was shot wide open (2.8). I doubt the 2/3 stop here is going to be a real issue - if you are using this lens for landscapes and you require sharpness, then I would buy the 3.5 based on other's reviews.

Is there anything that bothers you about the 28 2.8? If I was you and swapped for the 3.5, I would try to sell the 2.8... if the 3.5 really takes nicer photos, I can't imagine you ever reaching for the 2.8 lens for low light.

I might suggest that if you are happy with the 28 2.8, save those 50 pounds towards a future rarer, more collectible lens. Some people around here play Pentaxemon and gotta catch em all (and power to them!), but if your primary directive is to take pictures, there are certainly better choices out there than either the 28mm 2.8 or the 28mm 3.5...

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Last edited by paperbag846; 06-10-2011 at 03:12 PM.
11-04-2010, 06:33 AM   #9
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There is not a lot in it, at least, I had a 2.8/28 v1 and have the 3.5/28 and tested them side by side, tripod mounted, on text at about 3m distance from me. Resolution looked identical. Nevertheless, in the Pentax lens brochure, the 3.5 is described by Pentax as being optically outstanding. Maybe I am imagining it, but I think the 3.5 has higher contrast, but this is difficult to quantify without special equipment for MTF curve measurement, but I'd bet that the MTF curves would be higher for the 3.5 than the 2.8. From the film perspective, it does produce some cracking shots, and I would say that in combination with a 2/35, would be ideal. For low light, the 2/35 would come to the fore, but for wide angle performance, the 3.5/28 is great.
11-04-2010, 03:37 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by hoojammyflip Quote
There is not a lot in it, at least, I had a 2.8/28 v1 and have the 3.5/28 and tested them side by side, tripod mounted, on text at about 3m distance from me. Resolution looked identical. Nevertheless, in the Pentax lens brochure, the 3.5 is described by Pentax as being optically outstanding. Maybe I am imagining it, but I think the 3.5 has higher contrast, but this is difficult to quantify without special equipment for MTF curve measurement, but I'd bet that the MTF curves would be higher for the 3.5 than the 2.8. From the film perspective, it does produce some cracking shots, and I would say that in combination with a 2/35, would be ideal. For low light, the 2/35 would come to the fore, but for wide angle performance, the 3.5/28 is great.
Thanks for the reply. Where did you get the Pentax M line brochure? I did a quick google but didn't find anything.
11-04-2010, 04:12 PM - 1 Like   #11
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try "pentax manuals" in google...I think its the mid M one you want, but you may as well download the lot.

http://www.pentax-manuals.com/literature/lenses_mid_m.pdf

password is Pentax

check out some of their old super tele lenses...simply awesome 8/1000 with optional wooden tripod...looks more like a baseball bat

Its disgusting that there are these twerps on ebay trying to flog these manuals when they are available for free on the web.
11-05-2010, 08:37 AM   #12
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Thanks for the info everyone. I just paid for the lens

As itīs in good condition & the place originally listed it as a 2.8 rather than the rarer & apparently better 3.5, I think they underpriced it so I got a bargain (29GBP plus postage). If I decide to sell one or the other of the 28s I will lose very little if anything on what I paid. I also got an AF200T flash (I already have one) to add to my off-camera flash experimentation. The variable power compared to the much more common 200S is very useful.
07-04-2014, 05:16 AM   #13
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I have owned M28 f2.8 (with silver ring - earlier version) from quite some time but never really used it in the field. Sigma 19mm almost always occupies that space. However after getting A7 & A7r, I couldn't resist to get a better wide angle as M28 f2.8 is often not considered good by most reviewers. So spent some money and got both K28/f3.5 and M28 f3.5 based on forum reviews and famous ranking by Yoshihiko Takinami

At the risk of being ridiculed, I can say that all the lenses are pretty close in IQ. Both f3.5 lenses are indistinguishable while f2.8 is touch less contrasty (and a touch more PF only when you pixel peep hard) but somehow I find that greens are better on f2.8. It also has an advantage of being smaller than the rest of the two. All three are capable of producing stunning pictures only limited by the skills.

Also, all three are better than Sigma 10-20 on APS-C but none is as good as Sigma 19mm.
07-04-2014, 05:58 AM   #14
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Was it really necessary to post to a thread that's been dead for 3 1/2 years?
07-04-2014, 06:43 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
Was it really necessary to post to a thread that's been dead for 3 1/2 years?
I think it's as relevant as it was three years back and maybe it can save some money for someone.

Last edited by yusuf; 07-04-2014 at 07:30 AM.
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