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12-18-2010, 01:27 PM   #1
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Just got my first manual lens! SMC M 28mm f2.8 VII

Ohh its nice!! Well built, pretty and small!

Very minty! I paid a bit much for it just to be able to wallk into my local brick and mortar to get it.

Its in fantastic shape, and best of all it is the Version II of the lens, which means it has the SMC-A optics and even seems to work in Av mode in terms of the camera adjusting shutter speed.

Getting used to MF, catch in focus is great! Although seems to be finicky, likely the way im setting things.

Otherwise seems to be very sharp, nice/interesting bokeh and character.

Price aside (I know I paid about $40-50 too much) did I pick a nice first MF walkaround lens for my K-r?

"This lens is extremely interesting. Its lens mount is of the "original K-mount" type, and its name associates it undoubtedly with the M-series of K-mount lenses. On the other hand, the lens shares its most important characteristics with the later SMC-A lens: the linear aperture mechanism and the updated optical formula. Even the focusing ring is of the A-style.

Guesses can be made that in 1982 Pentax was already hard at work developing the A-series bodies and lenses, and when parts for the "original" M 28/2.8 lens were depleted, it was decided to switch to production of the new lens, but without exposing the externally visible A-series features — electrical contacts on the lens mount and "A" position on the aperture ring. Still, this lens with its low production numbers is a rather unique piece of K-mount history."


http://kmp.bdimitrov.de/lenses/primes/wide-angle/M28f2.8-ii.html

12-18-2010, 01:56 PM   #2
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My first lens purchase after the kit was the A 28mm 2.8. It's a great lens. The perspective it gives is a little boring, maybe, but incredibly useful. At a stop faster (and quite usable wide open) it's a big step up from the kit.

I'm glad you have version II of the lens. It is incredibly sharp, corner to corner. This is my favorite landscape lens (right now). It renders incredible details. It's also great for candids of people. This lens on digital is the FOV that the FA 43 LTD was meant to produce on film... which might be a nice thing to keep in mind . The focal length means that the FOV is fairly easy to manually focus without losing too many shots, and it's also very flexible. I also quite like the neutral colour rendering... which resembles a film-like palate to my eyes over the hyper-modern look of the DA lenses.

My version is supposed to be optically-identical, but of course, has the automatic aperture. Yours is likely a little better built. One thing to keep in mind: AV mode will only shoot at f2.8, no matter where you set the aperture ring. If you want to stop down, you will need to go into M mode.

Luckily, f2.8 is pretty useful. Oh, and use a hood with this lens. It flares up quite a bit and pretty much requires a hood.
12-18-2010, 02:15 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Deimos Quote
Ohh its nice!! Well built, pretty and small!

Very minty! I paid a bit much for it just to be able to wallk into my local brick and mortar to get it.

Its in fantastic shape, and best of all it is the Version II of the lens, which means it has the SMC-A optics and even seems to work in Av mode in terms of the camera adjusting shutter speed.

Getting used to MF, catch in focus is great! Although seems to be finicky, likely the way im setting things.

Otherwise seems to be very sharp, nice/interesting bokeh and character.

Price aside (I know I paid about $40-50 too much) did I pick a nice first MF walkaround lens for my K-r?
Good job!!! I've been collecting fully manual lenses for awhile now and I think it's made me a better photographer. My new favorite is a $10 Craigslist find, m42 Soligor 45-150 3.5 Macro/Zoom and I seem to have it on my camera all the time.

Your SMC-A will work in Av mode just make sure you have aperture on the A setting and fire away, if no A setting you can still use it but only wide open. Focusing, once you get it down, will make all the difference. Having a prime like your 28 will make you think twice about composition rather than just clicking. The Pentax-A lenses are sought after more so than the M's.

Currently I have the 28 3.5, 35 2.8 and 50 1.7 Pentax-m's. A couple of others, Chinon 50 1.9, Chinar 135 2.8, Sears 135 2.8 and the soligor round out my Manual Lens Collection and I love them all!!!
12-18-2010, 02:22 PM   #4
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The version 2 has linear apperture, so if you fix the mount with contacts to mimic f2.8 it will actually measure correctly in all program modes.

12-18-2010, 02:25 PM   #5
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I have the F version, same optics in an AF package. It's a great little lens for walkaround. Yours should have f8 marked in orange and orange distance markings on the scale, for hyperfocal shooting. It's basically "just set it here and everything will be good enough". Version 2 is easy to spot: no serial number in front.

I don't find flare to be a problem: http://home.comcast.net/~davidstewart298/Lenstests/28VivFlare.jpg

Only 5 aperture blades seems like it should be missing something. It's not really something to worry about.

I always wondered whether the version 2 could be modified into an A equivalent. It has the right aperture arm movement, it just needs to tell the camera it's an A lens.
12-18-2010, 02:30 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
Only 5 aperture blades seems like it should be missing something. It's not really something to worry about.
I read somewhere that if your lens has an odd number of aperture blades, then it will render as if it has double the aperture blades. In my limited experience, this appears to be true.

Makes me wonder though... why has 8 blades when you could use 7?

Not sure if the F version has improved coatings, but I can tell you that my A version gets it's fair share of veiling flare. Hood fixes everything.
12-18-2010, 02:40 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
I read somewhere that if your lens has an odd number of aperture blades, then it will render as if it has double the aperture blades. In my limited experience, this appears to be true.

Makes me wonder though... why has 8 blades when you could use 7?

Not sure if the F version has improved coatings, but I can tell you that my A version gets it's fair share of veiling flare. Hood fixes everything.
More aperture blades tend to give better bokeh. Also, when shooting at light sources and stopped down aperture, odd numbers of blades produce stars that have twice the number of points as the number of aperture blades, while even numbers of blades produce diffraction stars with the same number of points as the number of aperture blades.
12-18-2010, 03:27 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
More aperture blades tend to give better bokeh.
Maybe. It could be a matter of focal length, but I find that my A 28mm 2.8 gives a smoother bokeh than my 50mm 1.7... the difference between 5 blades and 6. I might be referencing the starbust discussion, though, w.r.t. the "twice the number of blades" observation.

12-18-2010, 04:22 PM   #9
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Nice purchase! The 28mm focal length is pretty useful on aps-c.

Something to keep in mind is the M 28/2.8 or any M lenses can work in Av mode, but they'll only meter wide open regardless of where you stop down.
12-18-2010, 11:41 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
I read somewhere that if your lens has an odd number of aperture blades, then it will render as if it has double the aperture blades. In my limited experience, this appears to be true.

Makes me wonder though... why has 8 blades when you could use 7?

Not sure if the F version has improved coatings, but I can tell you that my A version gets it's fair share of veiling flare. Hood fixes everything.
Ha! I have a 28mm prime with 7 blades too! So when I find a photo which can only be rendered properly with 7 blades or its artistic integrity...

No, just kidding. I can't decide which to sell. I have an f1.8, an f2.0, an f2.8, 5, 6 or 7 blades, K, KA or KAF mount, flare, more flare or very little, 55mm, 58mm or 49mm filter, really just too many choices. That's why I like 35mm better; I sold everything else and have one lens I like.
12-20-2010, 06:54 AM   #11
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Thanks guys. That explains why catch in focus was acting a bit weird in Av mode. What is required to make the contacts right for all program modes? Is it hard or easy to do?

Otherwise its seems, M mode + green button and catch in focus, works a treat! Hyperfocal shooting is cool.

So I guess I need to find a hood for this thing? Any suggestions? Ive seen a thread or two about hoods for these lenses.
12-20-2010, 09:14 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Deimos Quote
What is required to make the contacts right for all program modes? Is it hard or easy to do?
Essentially, you need to buy the A version of that lens (which is why they are so much harder to find).

As for a hood, I just use a 10 dollar screw in rubber hood. Works like a charm, and actually works for my 50mm 1.7, as well.
12-20-2010, 05:03 PM   #13
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I picked up an M28/2.8 as my last binge LBA a month ago. It's a duplicate lens to my Vivitar but I was looking for a cheap film camera and this came attached (and incorrectly labeled in the auction) for $50. both are in mystery condition but if I didn't live overseas I don't think there is anything to curb my LBA of legacy glass (specifically the bargain prices).

It's still awaiting transport however since I've moved within Taiwan and am shortly leaving for a long vacation. I'm not interested in losing packages in the mail.
12-20-2010, 07:46 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Deimos Quote
What is required to make the contacts right for all program modes? Is it hard or easy to do?
In theory, you can drill two holes in the mount that will tell the camera it's an f2.8 lens, filling them with epoxy. Then figure out a way to tell the camera that it's an A lens, which involves some way of shorting out the pin used by the camera for this. The A28/2.8 mount looks like this:



The lens may even have a place internally for the spring loaded ball contact that Pentax uses to tell the camera it's an A lens.

What makes the conversion tempting is that version 1 M28/2.8s not only have older optics, they also have a different aperture lever movement. If you made the electrical mods, exposure would be off somewhere. So it's not really worth the effort. The version 2 mod should work, though of course the actual A28/2.8 is readily available and not a lot more, so it wouldn't make financial sense.
12-20-2010, 08:25 PM   #15
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Is this true of all M lenses? Or just the version 2 M28/2.8?

From what I've seen the A lenses usually sell for 50-100% more than M lenses so it does make some financial sense as long as you don't screw everything up...
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