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02-08-2012, 06:51 PM   #1
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28-35mm Fast, Cheap Lens

I'm looking for a 35mm (or slightly wider) that is really cheap and has nice bokeh (not distracting). I don't care how old or what brand it is, cheap is ideal. If I can trade my 50mm 1:1.7 for it, that'd be best. I'm really wanting it to be as quick as possible (1:1.2 or 1:1.4). If that doesn't exist cheap, I'd still like to know about it. Thanks!

02-08-2012, 07:25 PM   #2
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You might have to define cheap. And specify if you need auto-focus. For auto-focus Sigma 30mm f/1.4
02-08-2012, 07:26 PM   #3
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Around $100 or so. No autofocus at this price point I would assume...
02-08-2012, 07:43 PM   #4
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Nope, no AF. And most manual focus are from the film era, so lots of 28mm @ f/2.8 or f/3.5 but faster than that I don't know. Anything wider than 28mm starts to be expensive from film days. Bower makes a 35mm that I think is available in k-mount but it isn't that cheap.

Maybe somebody else will have a suggestion but best I can think of is a Super-Takumar or S-M-C Takumar 28mm f/2.8 that should be available in that price range.

02-08-2012, 08:02 PM   #5
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You might want to look for a Vivitar 28mm f2 for just over $100. I don't think you'll find anything faster or cheap in that range.
02-08-2012, 08:16 PM   #6
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As krp suggested, a Vivitar 28mm f/2 lens might come in under $100, on a good day. Some of them were made by Kiron, and there are some for sale with the Kiron brand as well. There are a few Vivitar 24mm f/2 lenses as well, but more rare and likely to be slightly more expensive as well as wider than what you want. M42 mount might be cheaper, if you can deal with that. A super Takumar 35mm f/2 might go for as little as $100, I suppose, if it looked like heck.

Sigma made a few different 28mm f/1.8's, but those tend to cost a bit more, especially those with AF. Fast wide angles weren't in high demand in the film era, so there just weren't that many produced - unlike the amazing 50mms, which give incredible value.
02-08-2012, 11:00 PM   #7
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Yeah I figured, if I had full frame it'd be simple enough to get the desired result. Ultimately I'm looking to acheive something like this:

Google_photo_005 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Google_photo_001 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

That is, somewhat wide angle but really shallow depth of field. These were done on a D700, with 50 year old 50mm 1:1.2 lenses. I figured 35mm 1:1.2 was about as close as I would get to that.

For the record, I do have the Tamron 28-75 1:2.8, so I don't see a ton of benefit in a 28mm 1:2.8. For this one it would need to achieve the desired effect, otherwise it would just be redundant.

On the other hand, I realize that these are FF and it will be difficult to get that DoF, I just love the large amount of "context" in the photos with such a singular subject.

Lastly, I may just need to practice more on my 28-75, I've only had it a month after all...
02-08-2012, 11:35 PM   #8
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F/1.2 lenses at focal lengths other than 50mm are rare, and even at 50mm, we're talking about the better part of $1000.

02-08-2012, 11:50 PM   #9
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I got mine cheap, with some effort. Some options are:

* Vivitar-Kiron or Vivitar-Komine or Sigma 24/2 (but they aren't cheap anymore)
* Vivitar-Komine CFWA or Vivitar-Kiron 28/2 (though the Kiron reputedly gets sticky iris blades)
* Vivitar-Kiron or Tamron BBAR or Sigma 28/2.5
* my Nikkor-O 35/2 was easy to mod to PK mount

But you just will not find fast (f/2.5 or better) cheap lenses wider than 50mm unless you're real lucky and/or persistent. Same goes for slower lenses wider than 28mm. Too much demand, too little supply. My advice: Find some legal way to obtain more money for lenses. Become a political consultant or televangelist maybe.

But even miracles won't let you get the FF 50/1.2 effect on an APS-C camera. That would require something like a 35/0.8 lens. Rotsa ruck there. I've actually built such an optic, cheap, by stacking +dioptre closeup lenses. The result? Ultra-suck, but fun, in a sado-masochistic way. Slightly less nauseating is to stick a front-loading wide converter onto your 50/1.2. Image edges will be crappy but we don't usually care that much about the edges when we're grabbing such thin DOF. I got a (Kodak) Schneider Xenar 0.7x strap-on (cheap!) with 55mm thread -- I'll have to try that on my K50/1.2.

EDIT: The K50/1.2 is packed, so I threaded the Schneider onto my Tomioka 55/1.4 for an effective 38/1.4. Results: Nothing to write home about. Incredible glare wide-open. It's better stopped-down, but then why bother? No, this is Not Recommended. Good luck!

Last edited by RioRico; 02-09-2012 at 12:15 AM.
02-08-2012, 11:51 PM   #10
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After looking at your example photos and taking into account your price range, you might want to consider a manual 50mm f1.4. Sure it will be a little more telephoto but often you can adjust your position if you need a little wider framing.
02-09-2012, 08:46 AM   #11
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The price doesn't need to be cheap, I was just hoping it would be. Since that seems less possible, are there good more expensive options?

The 50mm is a good idea, I do have a 50mm 1:1.7, but if I got one that was quicker I might be able to make it work. Is the SIgma 30mm 1:1.4 a great lens?
02-09-2012, 09:13 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by soppy Quote
Is the SIgma 30mm 1:1.4 a great lens?
Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC Lens Reviews - Sigma Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database

Some love it, some not so much.
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