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08-23-2012, 09:53 PM   #1
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Whats a Pentax A20mm F2.8 really worth?

I'm seriously considering hunting for one of these but I don't expect to find one for less than $300, or probably more than $400 for a good one. There are many other lenses I could get for the same money but for various reasons I only buy Pentax A lenses and this is one I want for its super wide view without being a fisheye, and its reasonably fast aperture. Honestly if I weren't strange in the head about sticking to Pentax A lenses I would say its not worth it but consider it in that context.

I see in the reviews its fairly well rated but how much does it really do for you once you have it? I use my A24-50 F4 on the wide end rather a lot on my DSLR due to the blasted crop sensor and I find I am occationally frustrated by its semi slow speed in lower light. I REALLY like wide angle, I want the lens to swallow the whole world if possible in every picture (I think it gives a better sense of being there).
I have considered the A35mm F2 and the 28mm F2 (I wouldn't bother with the slower much more reasonably priced versions for various reasons and if I'm going with F2.8 it might as well be 20mm rather than 24mm). A15mm F3.5 is out of my price range btw.

Someone in the reviews mentioned the colors can be a bit bland with this lens?

Also why the hell would anyone pay what the MH-RB 67mm lens hood for this sells for (when you can even find it), its so flat you could use a black paper plate with a hole cut in it for the same effect. I see it doesn't appear to be outside threaded for a filter either, would a filter behind that hood cause vignetting?

EDIT: From someones review of this lens on this excellent site: http://stans-photography.info/LongComments.html
"On the other hand, its "official" "dedicated" hood is sort of a screw-in "big round pie plate with a hole in the middle", and I do wish that Pentax had come out with a rectangular hood for this lens instead. (I don't use the hood too often on the lens, but I am able to get 75 satellite channels on it when hooked up to the TV.)"
Hysterical


Last edited by PPPPPP42; 08-23-2012 at 10:03 PM.
08-23-2012, 10:10 PM   #2
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As one afflicted with LBA, and having not used that lens, I say go for it. You like wide; a 20mm would be appreciably, but not substantially, wider than your 24-50 at 24mm. And a whole stop faster. Of course, there's always the 15/3.5.

Go hunting. Find a decent quality lens at a price at the low end of what they range for. If you don't find it worth the money, you can probably sell it for +/- 10% of what it cost you. Or, if Pentax releases a 135-frame camera, that'd probably be between +10% to +50% of what it cost you. I haven't priced that lens, but if your range is accurate, I'd search for a lens in the $330 range.

The hood designed for it was designed for 135-frame film. You could get away with a hood designed for a 28mm lens and almost certainly be just fine with your K20D. I'd guess that if it is overpriced, that's due to collectors' value, not photographers' worth.
08-23-2012, 10:49 PM   #3
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This is from the FA version, same lens formula, I didn't have any complaints about bland colours.
08-23-2012, 11:30 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by selar Quote
This is from the FA version, same lens formula, I didn't have any complaints about bland colours.
I absolutely must have this lens, is that a crop sensor pic or a scanned full frame film pic?

And its not so much the price of the lens hood as the fact that it basically isn't a hood and all being that flat and is damn near worthless since it would only block light from a near flat angle.
At least it will share 67mm filters with my A35-105 F3.5 which is nice because they get rather impossibly overpriced by that diameter.

EDIT: I think it may actually be the MH-RA (A is wide angle one) 67mm hood I want not the B but everything says B that I see for this one.


Last edited by PPPPPP42; 08-23-2012 at 11:51 PM.
08-23-2012, 11:58 PM   #5
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I have the FA version too - I think you should consider it as well. However, it does cost more.

Mine looked like it was in great physical condition, and it was. However, something just didn't look right about the images, although I didn't know quite what it was or how to describe it. So I sent it in to CRIS, they adjusted it for $50, and my "poor" copy suddenly became a great copy that gave results like the nice images I'd seen taken by others. It was a good lesson for me - that many "poor" copies of lenses may merely need a simple adjustment, and it can sometimes be fixed even if I can't give an adequate description of the problem!
08-24-2012, 12:12 AM   #6
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I've bought it used recently and I think it is very sharp even at f2.8 and quite good at handling shooting towards the sun, but I find it somewhat difficult to focus correctly (even with the EE-S focusing screen). Sometimes the colors are really bland -- I noticed the same for A24/2.8 and A135/2.8, A50/1.2 doesn't exhibit this so often. Overall I think DA21/3.2 has more "personality" in the resulting images so unless you wait for a FF I would suggest to consider it as well.
08-24-2012, 03:11 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by PPPPPP42 Quote
I absolutely must have this lens, is that a crop sensor pic or a scanned full frame film pic?

And its not so much the price of the lens hood as the fact that it basically isn't a hood and all being that flat and is damn near worthless since it would only block light from a near flat angle.
At least it will share 67mm filters with my A35-105 F3.5 which is nice because they get rather impossibly overpriced by that diameter.

EDIT: I think it may actually be the MH-RA (A is wide angle one) 67mm hood I want not the B but everything says B that I see for this one.
Crop sensor. If you see the full size image you can see the windows of that house with the red roof.

I wouldnt bother with the hood, useless on crop sensor anyway and i dont see what shading it would provide even on full frame.
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