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02-22-2008, 02:20 PM   #1
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Pentax K 30mm f/2.8: any other experiences?

Hello one and all!

New to the forums, and very happy to be part of this awesome community!

So, now that I'm finally a DSLR owner, I wanted to immediately start getting together a collection of great lenses, and have dug into the Manual focus primes, because alot of my interest is indoor shooting, and the kit lens of my K100D is just fine to take out for a walk-about with the wife and have some fun.

I was so lucky to get my hands on a Pentax K SMC 30mm f/2.8 lens from a local rare and used photo equipment dealer, along with a Pentax-M SMC 28mm f/3.5 for a whole $75.00! I was so excited, and I can't get this lens off the camera, except for that super-bokeh Pentax-M SMC 50mm f/1.4, which I scratched the heck out of the front coating with a tiny bit of God Knows What in my cleaning cloth. The 50mm is still useable, though- I put a rubber lens hood on it, and only in extreme backlit conditions does it wash out, so I'm lucky!

Anyways, back to the 30mm- I'm just wondering if there is anybody else out there with any experiences with this lens? I find it quite pleasing, rendering a great 3d feeling to shots, and I find it handles distortion very well at infinity focus. Sometimes the colors are intense- here are a few shots that I've color-corrected a bit ( some saturation/desaturation, and a bit of sharpening for fun). I do find that sharpening with this lens is a whole lot of fun, since it's color rendition is so fantastic and the gradations are so smooth. Shooting wide open, you can keep that dreamy quality to a shot with super-smooth bokeh (suprising for a 6 blade aperature!), yet sharpen the details a bit, really popping images forward.

Anyways, I'd love to hear any other opinions, and here are a few snaps I took the other day:







02-22-2008, 02:39 PM   #2
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WOW!
What a steal!
This lens normally goes for 150 Euro or more.
Quite a rare lens, too.

It is one of the best Pentax lenses ever.
It has the best contrast of all wide angle lenses I have ever tested, even (slightly) better than the DA21, which is already exceptional.
Resolution also very good, of course.

It's the mother of all 28/2.8 Pentax lenses.
02-22-2008, 03:21 PM   #3
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Thanks so much for the confirmation!

Oh, that's such good news- it really "felt" like a gem when I started shooting with it, and after reading what scarce information I could find out about it online, I thought I had a winner, and a steal to boot!

I'm starting a business where I'm doing CMS websites for Bed and Breakfasts/Inns, and I wanted to have a great set of lenses to work with indoors, as I want to up the quality of the photography for smaller establishments. I really think I've hit on a winner here- I don't want to shoot with strobes/flash, I want to capture the essence of a space with natural light, and I think this lens will fit the bill just fine.

It does seem to be able to focus down to about 8 inches, also, which is fun..

And with the 50mm f/1.4, then I have a bokeh-monster at f/2.0 to f/2.8 to do those tight "Here's our beatiful furniture and decoration" type of shots...

Just curious, blende8, in how you feel the distortion is on this lens? I really don't have a lot to compare to other than the kit lens, but I feel the 30mm is quite good in this regard, also!
02-22-2008, 10:35 PM   #4
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The K30 is an amazing lens, it really has that 3D look. Sharp, great bokeh, amazing color and contrast. For $75, you got a steal, enjoy it..

02-23-2008, 02:27 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by virgilr Quote
Just curious, blende8, in how you feel the distortion is on this lens?
It's pretty normal for that focal length, I would say.
In Photoshop one has to apply a correction of +1,4 (Filters - Lens correction), which is nothing to worry about. Everything below 2 isn't visible at all in normal shots.
02-23-2008, 07:10 PM   #6
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Thanks one and all for the info!

Just wondering- anybody know if there is a sane way (not too costly) to knock down little hazing scratches in the MC of a lens? I didn't hurt the 30 at all, don't worry- but I recently got my hands on a M 50mm f/1.4 that I scratched up the front element due to a tiny bit of grit in a cleaning cloth.

Any ideas?
10-27-2008, 03:04 AM   #7
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I just bought one two days ago for 50$! There was a photo fair here in Croatia, so I found it fo about 63$ (50€). I bought Hoya 49 mm polarizer from same man and asked if I could get the lens for atleast 50$ (40€). He said Ok and I got it, altoguh I didn't know about its reputation. It has some small damage on filter thread, but filter can be mounted with only some resistance. When I got home I noticed that there are also some minor, and really small marks on front elements, but they don't seems to affect picture at all. But I still have to make some pics first 'cause I didn't have some time in last two days
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