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06-28-2013, 04:24 PM   #1
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Pentax SMC A 28mm 2.8 vs DA 18-55 II

This question is late as I've already purchased the Pentax A 28mm 2.8 , but I was wondering if the A 28 is sharper than the DA 18-55 II (at the same 28mm focal length). I paid $77 for the SMC A 28mm.

I was looking for a good price on a prime wide angle lens, although I suppose that's pushing it for the 28. This lens will be my interim lens until I purchase the DA 21.

06-28-2013, 04:42 PM   #2
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The A 28 is better in every way than the 18-55, especially wide open. At F/8 you can focus it to 10 feet and everything from 5 feet to infinity is in focus...

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/lens-sample-photo-archive/208059-pentax-s...m-f-2-8-a.html

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/229082-machinery-some-rare-machines.html
06-28-2013, 06:55 PM   #3
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The kit lens is actually very good between 24-30mm. but at 24mm the maxium aperture is f/4. So the A28 is 1 stop faster and being FF lens, corners will be sharper at wider apertures.
06-28-2013, 07:14 PM   #4
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Not at F8-F11 and in the center. The A28 will win at apertures F2.8-F8, and in the corners.

06-28-2013, 07:23 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
Not at F8-F11 and in the center. The A28 will win at apertures F2.8-F8, and in the corners.
I don´t think I could tell them apart from f/5.6 onwards.

Also, the kit lens must be more flare resistent, Use a hood on the A28
06-28-2013, 07:42 PM   #6
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I have both, but use the 18-55 more as a cheap 18-21 f/4 since I can't afford any wide primes. So the way I use the two lenses, they don't really compete directly. That said, I love the A28 and it is my everyday lens on the K-7. I'm no pixel-peeper, but its IQ is great as far as I'm concerned. Sharpens up from wide open, naturally, but f/2.8 is eminently usable. I definitely second carrrlangas' comment on the hood--it is a requirement for this lens.
06-28-2013, 07:46 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by carrrlangas Quote
I don´t think I could tell them apart from f/5.6 onwards.

Also, the kit lens must be more flare resistent, Use a hood on the A28
My opinion as well, though I would suggest using a hood on both lenses! I would think that the main advantage with the A28 would be easier manual focus and the extra stop at maximum aperture. Oh...and there is also the matter of weight/size/handling.

So, driline...when are we going to see the comparison photos?


Steve


(FWIW, both lenses attain the hyperfocal at f/8 and 184 inches with near focus at 98.5 inches on APS-C.)
06-28-2013, 08:24 PM   #8
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I don't have the lenses of the op.
I have the SMC pentax-M 1:2.8 28mm and the SMC Pentax DA 1:3.5 ~5.6 18~55mm AL
I did a test with the K-01 bolted to a heavy duty (LF) slik tripod.
Both lenses were set to f/4. and the 18~55 was set as close as I could to the frame of the 28mm.

I found that the -M lens was easier to manual focus, in low light, of course, because it has a wider aperture.
In the following test shots the K-01 could not AF the 18~55 so I set it to Manual Focus.
To focus the 18~55 I had to front focus it very slightly manually on the K-01 to get approx same DOF

Observations:
The 18~ 55 has more pincushion distortion than the -M 28 mm
The -M seems to have better color fidelity than the 18~55
The 18~55 has better flare control at the transitions of the strong lights.

3MB k-01 jpgs
The -M 28 mm
https://www.box.com/s/u7twvirr5wj7mtlqxha7
The 18~55 mm
https://www.box.com/s/jp0edfd1mtcd6j9wgxdl


Last edited by wombat2go; 06-28-2013 at 08:39 PM.
06-28-2013, 08:29 PM   #9
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I compared my F28/2.8 to my WR version of the kit lens, and the prime is definitely sharper until f8. I got less flare from the prime, which is pretty good at flare rejection but not immune. The optical diagrams look the same for F and A versions, coatings probably different, probably can't call them exactly the same. A hood is pretty easy:




The only dependable answer is to check your lenses yourself. I've seen a couple of As with loose front elements. I'd check that.
06-28-2013, 08:41 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
So, driline...when are we going to see the comparison photos?
As soon as I get the lens from Ebay I'll post some comparison photo's. Hopefully sometime next week.
07-02-2013, 03:40 PM   #11
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I just received the Pentax SMC A 28mm 2.8 in the mail and took a couple of office shots. All images shot in RAW Auto white balance NO PP....RAW image only.

Pentax SMC A 28mm at 5.6


Pentax DA 18-55mm II at 5.6


Pentax SMC A 28mm at F8


Pentax 18-55mm II at F8


Pentax A 28mm at 2.8


Pentax 18-55mm II at 4 ( lowest F stop)


Looking at my 27" iMac it looks to me like the A28 is a brighter lens overall while the kit lens is a bit more dull but offers better contrast. I'm not really sure if the A 28 kills the kit lens, but it does seem a bit sharper and brighter. Perhaps with some PP it may shine even more?
07-02-2013, 03:46 PM - 1 Like   #12
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After adjusting both lenses in PP at F5.6, the A 28mm is noticeably sharper. And the lens gets +1 because the manual focus is smooth and fun to operate
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