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05-22-2011, 08:54 AM   #1
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Best wide angle lens (between 24 and 28)

Hello guys, I was wondering which in your opinion is the best wide angle lens for film in the range 24mm-28mm. I own an M 28mm f3.5 and I'm quiete happy with it, but you never know...

I read several enthusiastic reviews of the k28 f2, but it is indeed very rare, heavy, large and...expensive! It should be a sort of Zeiss project, very similar to Distagon, so no surprise it is an astonishing glass.

I found other very good reviews about FA28, K28 3.5 and, of course, FA24...are these significantly better than my 28M 3.5?

Ciao
Domenico

05-22-2011, 09:05 AM   #2
axl
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I have tried K24/2.8 and FA*24 from Pentax glass.
The K is very good IMO, just tad softer at f2.8 but very nice colours, nice size. Only issue I had was that on APSC it was hard to focus. The ring travels only few degrees between 3m and infinity and I found it wasn't enough to differentiate in the small APSC VF.
FA*24 is different beast. It's bigger but not too bit unless with hood. Still fits well into hand but I have to say I felt more comfortable with it on my old K10 than on K-7. If this lens focuses well it's plenty sharp from wide open, although some would have you believe it's soft until f3,5 or thereabouts. Personally I find CAs more of a concern. In harsh light the green/red outlining pops out very easily where you would expect it. If you can live with that, it's actually very good lens IMO. One of my most used ones since I owned DSLR. AF is very fast too...

as for the other ones, FA20 is louded to be great. From the 28s. K series is a cult on it's own, due to the Zeiss cooperation, and F28 is reportedly very good lens. One I was trying to track down before I stumbled upon stupidly cheap 31. But many, and I would included myself in this group, would say that if you are willing to go up to 28 mm why not going to 31? The 31ltd is all it's written about! One of the best lenses (I'd say best along K50/1.2) I have ever had the pleasure to shoot with!
05-22-2011, 09:21 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
But many, and I would included myself in this group, would say that if you are willing to go up to 28 mm why not going to 31? The 31ltd is all it's written about! One of the best lenses (I'd say best along K50/1.2) I have ever had the pleasure to shoot with
Oh yes I know, but I already own the FA35 that isn't
so bad... 31ltd means far better construction, mith, pleasure...but it still remains very expensive.
05-22-2011, 09:29 AM   #4
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My favorites in the region are:

* Vivitar MC WA (Kiron) 24/2 -- mine in PK-M mount was under US$150. Nearly always with me.
* Paragon PMC (Cimko) 24/2.8 -- mine in modded N/AI mount was under US$10. Quite good.
* Vivitar CF WA (Komine) 28/2 -- mine in modded N/AI mount was under US$20. Very very good.
* Tamron BBAR 28/2.5 -- mine in Adaptall2-PK mount was under US$5 (I was lucky!) - very good.
* Vivitar WA (Kiron) 28/2.5 -- mine in M42 mount was under US$20. Very good.
* Sears (Tomioka) 28/2.8 -- mine in M42 mount was under US$3. Very good.

I would use the slower (f/2.5-2.8) lenses more, but the f/2's just smoke them. The Viv 24/2 is just one of the sweetest wide-ish lenses around. The Viv CFWA (Close-Focus Wide-Angle) 28/2 is one of my sharpest, ever.

Good 28's abound and are fairly cheap. Good 24's are not so common and not so cheap, usually.

05-22-2011, 09:34 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Domenico Quote
..... It should be a sort of Zeiss project, very similar to Distagon, so no surprise it is an astonishing glass.
You also have another set of options - actual original Zeiss glass. Zeiss produced glass for the Contax SLR system, which went out of production in 2005. They produced a 25mm f2.8 and 28mm f2.8 Distagon (essentially a full line of lenses from 15mm to 300mm), which are still quite available and affordable, that can be converted to the Pentax K Manual mount (for a reasonable cost). They are relatively small and light, full metal bodies and glass lenses, with an superb overall build quality. Do some searches for Contax Carl Zeiss Distagon T*. These lenses are the match and equal of the FA 31 Ltd..... for about a third of the cost (YMMV).
hope that helps...
05-22-2011, 09:37 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Good 28's abound and are fairly cheap. Good 24's are not so common and not so cheap, usually.
They were cheap before as the Sigma 24mm usually just cost about $50-$60.
Since sellers now know that these can work on digital SLR Pentax's, the prices shot up same as the Pentax-A 50mm or Pentax-M 50mm's.
They got wind of this since buyers just paid top price for them no matter how high the price was.
05-22-2011, 09:44 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by GerryL Quote
They were cheap before as the Sigma 24mm usually just cost about $50-$60.
As I said, my very sharp Paragon (Cimko) 24/2.8 was under US$10. I also have two M42 Sigma 24/2.8's, one labeled Super-Albinar (under US$30) and one a Sigma-Z (under US$5). These Simga's are both decent but not exceptional, about the same as the DA18-55 @24mm @f/5.6 and beyond. So I could sell those for well over US$50 each? That is quite tempting...
05-22-2011, 10:07 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
So I could sell those for well over US$50 each? That is quite tempting...
Definitely. 24mm's are quite expensive nowadays. I think you can easily get at least $70 for each.

05-22-2011, 10:23 AM   #9
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why not go a bit wider? I love the 20 f4, mine is almost distortion free.
05-22-2011, 12:51 PM   #10
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i do have 20 f4 m, indeed very good. I dont use it quite often as to my taste 20 is often too wide (but it is always in my bag). I am looking for something spectacular between 24 and 28...maybe fa24 is the guy.
05-22-2011, 01:48 PM   #11
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I have tried many of the Pentax 28's. At one time or another I have had the K3.5 and the M3.5. These were/are very different lenses in terms of construction and character. The K version is much sharper and a better performer. I have tried most of the 2.8 from the M to the F and the FA. The M version through to the F are not bad but none of them stand out. The FA is better. All of those have now gone. The 2 28's I have kept are the K F2 and the A F2. The K 28/2 is an outstanding lens even wide open. The A version is not as good wide open but it is more compact and with the A setting more user friendly on the MZ-S and Digital bodies.

As far as the 24's are concerned, again the K 24/3.5 is very good and very sharp but I prefer the 2.8 version and have this in both the K and A guises. There is little difference between them. The FA 24/2 is another outsatnding lens.

As others have said the 31Ltd has a character of it's own. however on the film bodies, I do prefer the K28/2.

Kim
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