Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
01-08-2011, 08:48 PM   #1
Senior Member




Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Leeds
Posts: 152
Pentax M 28mm 2.8 (and other M lenses)

Hi,

I am a little confused about the M prime lenses. I understand that these lenses should be pretty top quality.

However, I bought an M 28mm 2.8, and was disappointed, particularly by the lack of contrast. It seemed to be in excellent condition (pretty much looked like new) but as I say, it just seemed to lack contrast, and was disappointing.

I also bought an M 100mm macro f4 and had the same experience - though in this case the lens wasn't in good condition, and had clouding in the lens. Obviously I would have just put it down to that, but because of my experience with the 28mm as well, I wondered if the old M lenses do just have less contrast than modern lenses, or something like that.

Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts on this.

01-08-2011, 09:35 PM   #2
Veteran Member




Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: central Singapore
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 409
QuoteOriginally posted by rob_k20d Quote
Hi,

I am a little confused about the M prime lenses. I understand that these lenses should be pretty top quality.

However, I bought an M 28mm 2.8, and was disappointed, particularly by the lack of contrast. It seemed to be in excellent condition (pretty much looked like new) but as I say, it just seemed to lack contrast, and was disappointing.

I also bought an M 100mm macro f4 and had the same experience - though in this case the lens wasn't in good condition, and had clouding in the lens. Obviously I would have just put it down to that, but because of my experience with the 28mm as well, I wondered if the old M lenses do just have less contrast than modern lenses, or something like that.

Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts on this.
Stopped down a bit all mine are contrasty enough (28/3.5, 50/1.4, 50/1.7, 100/2.8, 200/4). Fully wide the 28 loses a bit of detail contrast at the extreme edges, the 50s lose some contrast all over, the 100 is remarkably good at all apertures, and the 200 is pretty good wide open but at its best tighter than 5.6.

The M28/3.5 stopped down to f/8-11 is a great landscape lens.

What aperture were you working at? My K105 2.8 loses contrast terribly at f/2.8 (albeit producing a sort of romantic veil), but at f/4 something miraculous happens and it sorts itself out.

Even when these lenses are not at their best, a dab of sharpening in PP works wonders, and they're all fully usable wide open.
01-08-2011, 09:46 PM   #3
Veteran Member
jsherman999's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 8,228
QuoteOriginally posted by rob_k20d Quote
Hi,

I am a little confused about the M prime lenses. I understand that these lenses should be pretty top quality.

However, I bought an M 28mm 2.8, and was disappointed, particularly by the lack of contrast. It seemed to be in excellent condition (pretty much looked like new) but as I say, it just seemed to lack contrast, and was disappointing.

I also bought an M 100mm macro f4 and had the same experience - though in this case the lens wasn't in good condition, and had clouding in the lens. Obviously I would have just put it down to that, but because of my experience with the 28mm as well, I wondered if the old M lenses do just have less contrast than modern lenses, or something like that.

Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts on this.
.



Actually I find that the M 28 f/2.8 is a very contrasty lens for an older design - I wonder if you may have had a bad copy, or one with element separation or cleaning marks?

Here are some M 28 2.8 examples fropm my old copy:

.











01-08-2011, 10:08 PM   #4
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
stevebrot's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vancouver (USA)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 27,503
I will echo Jay...Are you sure there is not an issue with your lens? Haze and/or fungus perhaps? Contrast with the M series Pentax primes is usually not an issue.


Steve

01-08-2011, 10:14 PM   #5
Veteran Member
Jewelltrail's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Rhode Island
Photos: Albums
Posts: 4,180
My copy of the M 28, 2.8 had plenty of contrast, @ all apertures.
01-08-2011, 11:18 PM   #6
Senior Member




Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 157
m28 2.8

I love the contrast of my copy as well. It is truly under-rated.
01-09-2011, 02:16 AM   #7
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Southern England
Posts: 495
In my experience, very few vintage lenses can match the contrast and colours you expect from a modern Pentax lens, and the M series is no exception.

I wouldn't worry too much though, because most of these lenses are very sharp (if you focus them accurately!), and the contrast and colours can easily be adjusted in PP.
01-09-2011, 02:36 AM   #8
Veteran Member
jolepp's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Finland
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,196
I understand that using a hood would be especially adviseable with these to avoid flare or at least improve contrast.

01-09-2011, 02:46 AM   #9
Senior Member




Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: amsterdam
Posts: 130
A hood is important indeed.
For my m28/3.5 I use a Pentax 50mm hood,
which is sufficiŽnt for 28 on crop-sensor use.
01-09-2011, 09:15 AM   #10
Senior Member




Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Leeds
Posts: 152
Original Poster
Thanks for the responses.

As I say, I am not at all convinced that it wasn't a problem with my particular lenses. One, however, did appear to be in excellent condition (but I am no expert).

I'm afraid I don't have either anymore (returned the one that was clearly damaged and sold the other).

Maybe it was just a bad copy, or maybe M42man is right and modern lenses will have more contrast (but it just needed a bit of a tweak).

Either way, thanks for all the responses.
01-09-2011, 09:45 AM   #11
Veteran Member
paperbag846's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,396
QuoteOriginally posted by rob_k20d Quote
However, I bought an M 28mm 2.8, and was disappointed, particularly by the lack of contrast. It seemed to be in excellent condition (pretty much looked like new) but as I say, it just seemed to lack contrast, and was disappointing.
This is a flare problem.

When I first bought my 28mm I was very dissapointed because I was used to my kit lens which is actually pretty good with flare, and came with a hood to boot.

Buy yourself a rubber hood designed for 50mm lenses. The 28mm's flare badly but in the right light they have plenty of contrast.

The one thing you might notice is a lack of colour saturation. Compared to the average pentax prime, the 28's are pretty realistic. The saturation will be less than some of your other lenses, but the contrast should be on par.
01-09-2011, 05:39 PM   #12
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
stevebrot's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vancouver (USA)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 27,503
QuoteOriginally posted by rob_k20d Quote
maybe M42man is right and modern lenses will have more contrast
I wondered about his assertion. I have a fair amount of vintage glass and have shot most of my photographic "life" with such being fairly vintage myself. I don't know that I can make a clear distinction between old and new regarding contrast. Perhaps it is because I don't have enough modern lenses to compare to? For example, my K 55/1.8 and M 50/1.8 both have as much snap as my FA 77 Limited. Ditto for my Russian Helios 44M whose design roots reach back to pre-WWII Germany. I shot some this last summer with a Super-Tak 28/3.5 that is every bit the equal to my FA 35/2.

As for flare resistance, there have been improvements to the SMC coatings since the mid-1970s, but the second generation coatings found in the early K-mount lenses are quite capable of quenching flare. That being said, I concur that almost all lenses benefit from using a hood. I find this particularly true with the digital sensor.


Steve
01-09-2011, 05:57 PM   #13
Veteran Member
paperbag846's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,396
Steve, I find the DA series have the most contrast of any lens line I have tried on Pentax. It's a starkly modern look compared to any of the film lenses, including the FA series.

Some really nice vintage film lenses (K55 1.8, e.g.) might be better lenses overall, but the kit lens has more contrast. I always assumed it was a coatings thing, but I have no idea really.
01-10-2011, 03:07 AM   #14
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Southern England
Posts: 495
QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
Steve, I find the DA series have the most contrast of any lens line I have tried on Pentax. It's a starkly modern look compared to any of the film lenses, including the FA series.

Some really nice vintage film lenses (K55 1.8, e.g.) might be better lenses overall, but the kit lens has more contrast. I always assumed it was a coatings thing, but I have no idea really.
I should think the coatings would be the most likely explanation, and I think it's more a case of when the lens was made, rather than a DA/FA thing: I've got a late copy of the lowly FAJ 75-300, and it really does show up my vintage lenses regarding contrast/colour (actually, it's quite sharp too, so I must have been lucky!).

If I could figure out how to post an image, I would be able to show you what I mean...
01-10-2011, 03:17 AM   #15
Senior Member




Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Leeds
Posts: 152
Original Poster
I don't think it was a flare issue - many of the photos were indoors.

Regarding the distinction between contrast and saturation, it is possible that I wasn't being discerning enough, and may have been a saturation issue, rather than contrast. I guess it just looked kind of dull, lacking something - but perfectly possible I mis-diagnosed what was lacking.

Regarding DA lenses versus other lenses, I have an FA 50 1.4 and an F 35-70 3.5-4.5, and have also had 2 old helios M42 lenses, and I think it was only the M lenses I have had an issue with.

Maybe I did just get unlucky.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
28mm, condition, contrast, experience, k-mount, lack, lens, lenses, pentax lens, pentax m 28mm, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
For Sale - Sold: Lenses:TAmron 28mm 2.5,Pentax 135m 3.5... mayoapo Sold Items 0 06-26-2008 09:57 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:38 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top