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11-21-2011, 10:02 AM   #1
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28mm lens?

Yes my LBA seems to be starting off quite nicely here HAHA. so, I love the 50mm lens and what it can do, but being that I live in the city, and do a lot of city scape, architecture and whatnot, I am thinking about acquiring something a little wider too... would the 28 mm lens be a good choice? or something even wider? i was looking at ebay, and there seem to be a lot of 28mm/ 2.8 lenses out there for decent prices. is the sears version of that any good too?

thoughts? tips?

11-21-2011, 10:10 AM   #2
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28 is as wide as is practical to buy in old lenses, anything wider and the new product is generally better value (Wider than 28 was pretty limited production in Film days)

As for a recommendation I haven't used the sears (there are probably a lot of different ones both reasonable and bad)

I use an M 28 f3.5, much sharper than the 28 2.8 which i got rid of
should still be affordable (mine was an exceptionally low $14 or so), don't limit yourself to ebay, my best deals have come from junk shops

for a modest idea of what it can do have a look at my Single In January album

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/members/eddie1960-albums-single-january.html

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/members/eddie1960-albums-sij-alternates.html
11-21-2011, 10:16 AM   #3
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28mm is a good choice for a normal field of view on a Pentax DSLR, very versatile focal length. For architecture most shooters use something wider. Good ultrawides don't come cheap. Do you have the 18-55 kit lens and if so what focal lengths do you find yourself using most often with it? Or do you wish you could go wider than 18?
11-21-2011, 11:02 AM   #4
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28mm is the 'normal' focal length (equal to the sensor diagonal size) for my K20D. APS-C sensors vary slightly in size in different cameras; for some, 30mm is 'normal'. Whatever -- that's close enough. Anyway, 28-31mm delivers an image with the least distortion to an APS-C sensor. I use 28s for 'scapes, either individually, or stitched together into panoramas. 24mm is also good for 'scapes although the edges will be stretched slightly. Alas, 24mm lenses are usually rarer and costlier than 28s.

Zillions of good cheap 28s abound. Sears contracted lenses from many makers, but usually excellent makers; I have yet to encounter a less-than-very-good Sears prime. Other cheap brands to look for include Focal (K-mart -- many of the same makers as Sears), Vivitar, Toyo / TOU Five-Star, Chinon, Soligor, and Tamron. Many of these are PK (Pentax bayonet) mount; some are M42 screwmount and would require an M42-PK adapter.

Yes, the DA18-55 kit.lens is quite useful. If you look at published collections of 'scapes (land, sea, sky, city, etc) you'll find that most are shot in a focal range equivalent to the 18-55. Use it between 21-50mm and at f/8-f/11, and you'll get quite sharp decent pictures. As baro-nite suggested, if you track the focal lengths used with the kit.lens, you'll get an idea for which focal lengths you'll want faster lenses.

That said, here are some suggestions:
  • Other than the kit.lens, the only AF I can recommend is the Tamron 10-24, great for tight spaces at the short end and for 'scapes towards the long end.
  • The Zenitar-K2 16/2.8 (K2 means it's in PK-M mount) is fast, sharp, slightly fishy, good with careful usage -- beware leaning/bent stuff along the image edges.
  • The Tokina-made 21/3.8 (mine is Lentar in M42 -- also branded Vivitar, Soligor, etc) is great for from-the-hip daylight shooting -- set f/11, prefocus to 2m for DOF from 1m to infinity.
  • The Kiron-made Vivitar 24/2 in PK-M mount is a real sweetheart of a lens, and my favorite for shooting my hopping-around grandkids in their native habitat (indoors).
  • The Tokina-made 25/3.5 (mine is Lentar in M42) is about the least expensive in its range. No earth-shaker, but quite adequate.
  • Various Vivitar 28's by various makers, usually Komine or Kiron: 28/2, 28/2.5, 28/2.8, some are CFWA (close-focus wide-angle) -- my Viv-Komine 28/2 CFWA is exceptional and cheap.
  • Other 21s, 24s and 28s can be found by Pentax, Sigma, Tamron, but they usually cost a bit. Avoid Meyer|Pentacon 29s, they have an less-than-great reputation.


11-21-2011, 12:19 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
28mm is the 'normal' focal length (equal to the sensor diagonal size) for my K20D. APS-C sensors vary slightly in size in different cameras; for some, 30mm is 'normal'. Whatever -- that's close enough. Anyway, 28-31mm delivers an image with the least distortion to an APS-C sensor. I use 28s for 'scapes, either individually, or stitched together into panoramas. 24mm is also good for 'scapes although the edges will be stretched slightly. Alas, 24mm lenses are usually rarer and costlier than 28s.

Zillions of good cheap 28s abound. Sears contracted lenses from many makers, but usually excellent makers; I have yet to encounter a less-than-very-good Sears prime. Other cheap brands to look for include Focal (K-mart -- many of the same makers as Sears), Vivitar, Toyo / TOU Five-Star, Chinon, Soligor, and Tamron. Many of these are PK (Pentax bayonet) mount; some are M42 screwmount and would require an M42-PK adapter.

Yes, the DA18-55 kit.lens is quite useful. If you look at published collections of 'scapes (land, sea, sky, city, etc) you'll find that most are shot in a focal range equivalent to the 18-55. Use it between 21-50mm and at f/8-f/11, and you'll get quite sharp decent pictures. As baro-nite suggested, if you track the focal lengths used with the kit.lens, you'll get an idea for which focal lengths you'll want faster lenses.

That said, here are some suggestions:
  • Other than the kit.lens, the only AF I can recommend is the Tamron 10-24, great for tight spaces at the short end and for 'scapes towards the long end.
  • The Zenitar-K2 16/2.8 (K2 means it's in PK-M mount) is fast, sharp, slightly fishy, good with careful usage -- beware leaning/bent stuff along the image edges.
  • The Tokina-made 21/3.8 (mine is Lentar in M42 -- also branded Vivitar, Soligor, etc) is great for from-the-hip daylight shooting -- set f/11, prefocus to 2m for DOF from 1m to infinity.
  • The Kiron-made Vivitar 24/2 in PK-M mount is a real sweetheart of a lens, and my favorite for shooting my hopping-around grandkids in their native habitat (indoors).
  • The Tokina-made 25/3.5 (mine is Lentar in M42) is about the least expensive in its range. No earth-shaker, but quite adequate.
  • Various Vivitar 28's by various makers, usually Komine or Kiron: 28/2, 28/2.5, 28/2.8, some are CFWA (close-focus wide-angle) -- my Viv-Komine 28/2 CFWA is exceptional and cheap.
  • Other 21s, 24s and 28s can be found by Pentax, Sigma, Tamron, but they usually cost a bit. Avoid Meyer|Pentacon 29s, they have an less-than-great reputation.
I have that Lentar 21, in m42 mount. decent little lens actually, I was thinking of moving it on but you make me think i should take it back out for a while hmmm (and if you find one it'll be well under the 200+ any big brand 21 will be)
11-21-2011, 12:43 PM   #6
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The Sears 28mm that I have says "Auto Sears Multicoated 1:2.8 f=28mm", with a 52mm filter size, 6 aperture blades, and a basic K-mount. It focuses down to 0.2m/8" which is closer than typical. It's not tremendously sharp wide open but I liked using it. The first attempt:
11-21-2011, 12:47 PM   #7
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nicely done, i have a b*tch of a time getting Blu (my cattle dog) to sit that still
11-21-2011, 05:35 PM   #8
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The following (and a 50mm f4 macro) are my most used lens (excepting live theatre shots where the 21mm gets some use).

I find the pentax takumar 28mm f3.5 on my k20d to be great walk around lens--use zone focus and auto exposure (aperature priority). You can buy cheaply (maybe $40.), I suggest getting the nice square official hood. But this is basically a 42mm equivalent on 35mm.

The other lens mentioned above is the 21mm f3.8 (maybe 100.-200) Except that bright lights show up as very unattractive flare, it is a super lens. The following site has pictures and discussion. All of which I agree with. But you will need to work out a way of closng the lens down--it cannot be put into manual (it is a T4 adapter lens--anyway my vivitar is) so a M42 to K adapter with an inner flange, "lens surgery," or strong tape to hold the M-A switch closed is required.

(fro the 21mm f3.8) gabriel.mp3-tech.org/blog/index.php?entry=entry090320-154132

BTW my prices are gut feeling as I have not specifically followed/priced them.

11-21-2011, 06:12 PM   #9
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Original Poster
hi all.. very informative, and thank you! lots of options to look at. I think i am going to keep my eye out for a cheapy 28mm on ebay, and see how i like it. if i still feel like i need something wider after that, i will think about it. but after looking at some of the exif data of some of my photos, rarely does it show that i was shooting at even as wide as 18mm.. most times it was between 20-50 as another poster mentioned. so the 28, should do well i think. going to give a try!
11-21-2011, 07:09 PM   #10
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RE: your decision to get 28mm ... very wise. But a caution about Vivitar lenses.
After Pentax itself I really like Vivitar, but some of their lenses (e.g., the 28 f2 with as I recall 55 or 58 mm [filter dia.]) have an oversize rear shield that prevents fitting on Pentax dslr's. It can be easily removed with proper screwdriver--but easiest is to avoid these. Vivitar 28mm f2 by Komine (believe is 49mm) are fine, Actually all the Komines I have used are good-to-excellent (in Vivitar lenses serial number begins with 28 if made by Komine).
11-21-2011, 09:16 PM   #11
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The Sigma Mini-wide is a nice 28mm f/2.8. They make it is a lot of different mounts, though, so be careful. One that I had needed a little trimming of the fin on the back. The mini-wide II or 2 has A contacts, so you can use all different shooting modes. I would look for one of those, or the M 28/3.5 mentioned above.
11-21-2011, 11:40 PM   #12
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I would endorse dms's recommendation for a Komine-made Vivitar (f2.8 or f2) - they're pretty easy to find, and work very well. The other two Vivitar suppliers worth mentioning are Tokina (serial number 37......) and Kiron (serial number 22......). However, against the Tokina 28 is the fact that I have an early one which suffers from terminal flare, making it almost unusable on a DSLR - so I can't recommend it (but there may be other Tokina-sourced versions around which don't have this problem). Against the Kirons is the fact that I've lost count of the number of times I've read (in this forum) of problems with oil on the aperture blades (i.e. sticky aperture) - so I wouldn't recommend one of these either.

So, if it's a Vivitar, the best bet will be a Komine.
11-22-2011, 05:05 AM   #13
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In looking at the comments here, I agree with some and strongly disagree with others

If you truely want a 28mm, then I would say look for a Vivitar F2.5 or kino (kiron) made F2, but look out for sticking aperture blades. I would avoid at all cost the Sigma Mini Wide II which has severe lateral CA. If you have the cash, you can't go wrong with the SMC-M 28/2.8 either and it is by far the most compact of those I have listed.

I have all the lenses I have mentioned so this is not just a "shot in the dark" with respect to comments.

I also agree that 28 is not wide enough for architecture. Although not cheap, a good performer is the samyang 14/2.8. Youo can get them brand new and they have reasonable coatings, but they are more expensive and somewhat large (about the size of the kit lens but also burdened with a non detachable hood)

The problem with legacy lenses in the sub 20mm range is they are neither cheap or common, I have been looking for a long time to fill in the below 24mm range in both my K mount kit and my M42 kit. Thie samyang is a compromise but a good one

Edit Note:

I also have a tamron adaptall 2 28/2.5

Last edited by Lowell Goudge; 11-22-2011 at 06:24 AM.
11-22-2011, 05:52 AM   #14
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My 28mm adventure took this path: M42 28/2.8 --> M 28/2.0 --> F 28/2.8... If I had it to do over again, I'd go for the F 28/2.8 and tip-toe past the temptation to fuss with the rest. Don't read this wrong... the others are excellent... even dazzling... I have no regrets, but the F version - for the money - is the most versatile and satisfying to use ... read the reviews in this forum... It took some time to find one, but the wait was worth it.

Cheers...
11-22-2011, 06:31 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Michaelina2 Quote
My 28mm adventure took this path: M42 28/2.8 --> M 28/2.0 --> F 28/2.8... If I had it to do over again, I'd go for the F 28/2.8 and tip-toe past the temptation to fuss with the rest. Don't read this wrong... the others are excellent... even dazzling... I have no regrets, but the F version - for the money - is the most versatile and satisfying to use ... read the reviews in this forum... It took some time to find one, but the wait was worth it.

Cheers...
While I don't disagree that perhaps an AF lens would be worthwhile, I suspect the OP might be looking for something older and less expensive.

If you add up all my 28mm lenses, the total cost is something like $100, that is for the M28/2.8, the sigma mini wide 28/2.8(KA mount), an M42 Vivitar 28/2.5, a K mount Vivitar 28/2.5, the Tamron 28/2.5 in KA mount, and A Kiron 28/2.

If yuou look a lot of these lenses can be had cheap.

As I said the only regret was tie sigma mini wide, due to the lateral CA (i ran a thread on CA removal in different software, using this lens for the sample image) but i got it due to the KA mount.

The Kiron 28/2 is a nice lens, but I got mine cheap due to stuck aperture blades, which are problematic on the Kiron and vivitar (by kiron) 24 and 28mm lenses from the early 1980's.

The lenses that impress the most for the cost (~$10 each) are the vivitar 28/2.5 lenses.

My tamron is OK but, does not really do anything for me. Again it only cost about $15 so no loss.

The M28/2.8 is a very nice lens, but it will cost more, i got mine along with an M135/2.5 as a pair for $105. Lets say 50-60 is a good price for one.
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