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01-28-2013, 11:52 PM   #1
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20mm SMC

I'm poking around for something wide, have been looking at the Samyang, and of course the 15mm limited. I ran across a 20mm SMC that is clean, and not quite half of what a 15 would cost. Is it worth considering?

01-29-2013, 12:05 AM   #2
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Is it an A, M, K or FA? They're all SMC lenses, although the K and M are f4s and the others are f2.8s. I have the FA, which I regard fairly highly, in spite of its plastic construction.
01-29-2013, 12:06 AM   #3
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You mean like this one?
SMC Pentax-M 20mm F4 Reviews - M Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

It's pretty good, and probably worth it if it's less than half the price. Definitely take a look at the reviews. One other thing to note is that it won't feel nearly as wide: the field of view is more than 10 degrees narrower compared to the 15mm.

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01-29-2013, 12:45 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by derekkite Quote
I ran across a 20mm SMC that is clean, and not quite half of what a 15 would cost. Is it worth considering?
From the information you've given us, it could also be M42 (20/4.5).

Can you help us out more here?

01-29-2013, 05:50 AM   #5
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I donīt have any version of the 20mm but before buying the M42, K or M version, perhaps the kit lens is quite close anyway? (leaving size aside)
01-29-2013, 06:00 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by carrrlangas Quote
perhaps the kit lens is quite close anyway?
I had a chance to compare the (newer) kit lens at the short end with the M20/4, both at f/8.
The kit lens seemed slightly sharper, at least in the center and after auto CA correction,
but the rendering and colors from the M20 were far more pleasing to the eye.
01-29-2013, 06:34 AM   #7
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I own the SMC FA 20mm and love it. It's light, sharp, relatively fast at F/2.8 and has excellent close focus. I find it especially good for architecture. Check out my "single in June" album for shots.
FA 20mm shots

NaCl(it's the lens that finally made me want a full frame camera)H2O

Last edited by NaClH2O; 01-29-2013 at 06:41 AM.
01-29-2013, 07:45 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
Originally posted by carrrlangas
perhaps the kit lens is quite close anyway?
I had a chance to compare the (newer) kit lens at the short end with the M20/4, both at f/8.
The kit lens seemed slightly sharper, at least in the center and after auto CA correction,
but the rendering and colors from the M20 were far more pleasing to the eye.
Thatīs exactly the opposite of what I supposed. I guessed that due to better coatings, the kit lens (mine is the WR version and is always surprisiming me vs F28, M135/3.5, M35/2.8 but not F50) would have better colors. And the 20, being a prime would show better sharpness (not as important as color and contrast for me)

01-29-2013, 08:20 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
I had a chance to compare the (newer) kit lens at the short end with the M20/4, both at f/8.
The kit lens seemed slightly sharper, at least in the center and after auto CA correction,
but the rendering and colors from the M20 were far more pleasing to the eye.
Thanks, that is what I was looking for. It doesn't seem special. It seems none of these wide angle lenses are inexpensive, so I just have to suck it up.

I think it is an M, or maybe a K. BH photo has it in their used listings.

Oh well.
01-29-2013, 10:22 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by derekkite Quote
Thanks, that is what I was looking for. It doesn't seem special. It seems none of these wide angle lenses are inexpensive, so I just have to suck it up.

I think it is an M, or maybe a K. BH photo has it in their used listings.

Oh well.
I hate to say it, but by far the best bang for your buck at the wide end is the kit lens. Sure there is some vignetting, but that is one of the easier things to fix in PP. I've owned a couple of older wide angle primes (M20 and Tamron 17mm adaptall) and I was not convinced either was any better than the kit lens, although the size of the M20 was perfect. Although the Tamron looks pretty badass with its enormous front element and the two screws holding the gigantic hood in place...
01-29-2013, 10:25 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by derekkite Quote
Thanks, that is what I was looking for. It doesn't seem special. It seems none of these wide angle lenses are inexpensive, so I just have to suck it up.

I think it is an M, or maybe a K. BH photo has it in their used listings.

Oh well.
Looks like the B&H 20mm is the K20/4. I have it and it's a good lens, a bit on the rare side so that's why the price is higher. Note it has a 58mm filter thread.

Phil.
01-29-2013, 10:46 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by carrrlangas Quote
Thatīs exactly the opposite of what I supposed. I guessed that due to better coatings, the kit lens (mine is the WR version and is always surprisiming me vs F28, M135/3.5, M35/2.8 but not F50) would have better colors. And the 20, being a prime would show better sharpness
Just because the coatings on the kit lens are newer doesn't make them better. Pentax does not use the exact same coatings on all DA lenses. They used cheaper coatings on the kit lens and it shows. According to lenstip.com, the kit lens blocks 18% of the blue part of the spectrum, and 35% of the violet part. The M 20/4, on the other hand, used the very best coatings of its time; and, even more importantly, the coatings were combined, not to meet some metric standard of "accurate" color as determined by a computer, but to create results that are pleasing to human perception.

I own the M 20/4 and used to own the kit lens (both versions). I've found the M 20/4 to be easily more sharper, with better microcontrast, better rendering, and significantly better color rendition.
01-29-2013, 11:40 AM   #13
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Smc 20/4

I agree with northcoastgreg....I currently have K20/4 and DA17-70....both great lenses, but in terms of sharpness I would say the old prime has the edge definitely. It is pretty good lens considering its age. If the price is allright, I would recommend it without hesitation. Only downside of this lens for me is its 5 elements aperture, so it cant produce any starbursts at all, but other than that its fine....nice reolution, great colours rendering, quite good flare resistance, although it flares occasionally and distortion is not too disturbing. I had a chance to compare it to well regarded FA20/2,8...and even pixelpeeping didnt reveal any noticeable difference. Great lens for landscapes and street photography....
01-29-2013, 01:08 PM   #14
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I must admit, the M20/4 is a bit of a peach. I was selling mine recently (I needed the money!) but after little interest I withdrew it because it's such a gem, and as JSherman stated on my sales thread; maybe when (if?) FF comes around it will really earn it's keep! So it's staying with me!
01-30-2013, 11:36 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by ihasa Quote
I must admit, the M20/4 is a bit of a peach. I was selling mine recently (I needed the money!) but after little interest I withdrew it because it's such a gem, and as JSherman stated on my sales thread; maybe when (if?) FF comes around it will really earn it's keep!
The problem with the M20/4 on full frame is the mustache distortion.
It even shows up to a milder extent on APS-C.
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