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08-04-2013, 09:39 PM   #1
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Is the Pentax-A 20mm /2.8 worth it?

So I've been trying to get ahold of a wide angle Pentax-A lens, and I just got outbid for a Pentax-A 20mm /2.8. The auction went up to about $400, and I just wasn't sure it was worth that much so I held back.

My question is simple: those of you with the A20mm, how much is it worth to you? Those of you who had and sold the A20mm, why'd you sell it?

(People always make alternate suggestions in posts like these, so I should say something about what kind of lens I'm looking for. I want to stick with the Pentax-A series. Why? Well I have the A50mm /1.4 and the A100mm /2.8, so I'm used to their look and feel. I shoot film and these work well on my MX, but I also like how they work on newer dSLRs. Also: yesI've read the reviews here on the site.)

08-04-2013, 11:47 PM   #2
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The A 20mm F2.8 doesn't come up for sale too often so that pushes the price up. I have the 'FA' version, same optics, and paid $500 for it almost 10 years ago.
I would pay $400 for the 'A' version (if in excellent condition) if I didn't have the 'FA'.

The original lens hood is even harder to find than the lens! Good luck!
08-05-2013, 12:00 AM   #3
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I was bidding on that as well. I stopped at $275. It`s a lovely lens but $400 is more than I paid for da 21mm.

Unless you are anticipating FF Pentax I don`t think it is worth that much. I think it is collection value not real value driving the price.
08-05-2013, 12:28 AM   #4
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I had this problem, I was after an FA20, but they go for silly money over here (400-500) so plumed for a an FA20-35 instead which is doing quite well for me at the moment.

08-05-2013, 01:02 AM   #5
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I paid around $350 for my A 20mm f2.8 because I can't find M 20mm f4. I used it with Super Program and I think it really shine when you use it to shot well lit indoor architectural. Even then I seldom use wide open, I always push the film. And I prefer 24mm-35mm range for outdoor. For me it is replaceable with my other lens. Will I sell it? No, I use it as my WA lens on K-01 now.
08-05-2013, 04:22 AM   #6
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How rare is the M 20/4?
08-05-2013, 09:14 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by keyofnight Quote
I just got outbid for a Pentax-A 20mm /2.8. The auction went up to about $400.

My question is simple: those of you with the A20mm, how much is it worth to you?
Since I prefer MF on wide-angle lenses,
the A20/2.8 is worth at least that much to me.
I also have the M20/4.
Boz Dimitrov describes both as available "several times a year."

The distortion on the A20/2.8 is easier to correct,
just plain barrel distortion, as opposed to wavy on the M20/4.

The main downside of the A20/2.8
is its minimal resolution 15mm off-center,
right at the corners of the APS-C frame.

It can be a bit flat at times,
but the contrast can be boosted PP.
08-05-2013, 02:48 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by keyofnight Quote
Is the Pentax-A 20mm ƒ/2.8 worth it?
I love my "Good Lady" to bits, quite recently I paid about $450 for mine and for the original hood another $90. I use it almost exclusively now for all my street work, my "Mistress" the SMC Pentax-A 15mm F3.5 now gets left behind.

See the https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/lens-clubs/230693-20-mm-lens-club.html for more.


Last edited by Kerrowdown; 08-05-2013 at 02:54 PM.
08-05-2013, 05:32 PM   #9
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M20/4 availability

QuoteOriginally posted by jcdoss Quote
How rare is the M 20/4?
I found 4-6 in ebay. All BIN and the cheapest one is around $450. I would say, rare to find one reasonable priced
08-06-2013, 04:40 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Unless you are anticipating FF Pentax I don`t think it is worth that much. I think it is collection value not real value driving the price.
I'm not sure I follow. When I had a Pentax *ist D, I really wanted a wider manual focus lensthe crop factor puts it at about 30mm, right? I also wanted the "A" setting so I could use the camera's aperture/shutter controls and metering. Now that I shoot film mostly, that 20mm's FOV looks pretty nice.

QuoteOriginally posted by kerrowdown Quote
I love my "Good Lady" to bits, quite recently I paid about $450 for mine and for the original hood another $90. I use it almost exclusively now for all my street work, my "Mistress" the SMC Pentax-A 15mm F3.5 now gets left behind.
Mark my words, I will have my own "lady". (;

QuoteOriginally posted by on9ye Quote
I found 4-6 in ebay. All BIN and the cheapest one is around $450. I would say, rare to find one reasonable priced
Damn. I might have to take drastic measures, then.
08-06-2013, 05:09 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
The main downside of the A20/2.8
is its minimal resolution 15mm off-center,
right at the corners of the APS-C frame.
I was wondering if my copy of the lens was deficient -- the corner resolution even on APS-C is poor, and I hadn't seen this mentioned elsewhere; doesn't bode so well for its use on full frame. Other than that I like the images I get from it, but in all honesty the DA16-45 is probably a better performer; I'll have to compare them directly sometime. OTOH I should try this out on film for the fun of the ultra-wide perspective.
08-06-2013, 05:48 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by baro-nite Quote
I was wondering if my copy of the lens was deficient -- the corner resolution even on APS-C is poor, and I hadn't seen this mentioned elsewhere; doesn't bode so well for its use on full frame.
Actually, the resolution starts to improve again
beyond 15mm as you move out to the edge of FF.

I'm working on a review of the lens,
and will post the MTF curves there when it's ready.
08-06-2013, 07:13 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by keyofnight Quote
I'm not sure I follow. When I had a Pentax *ist D, I really wanted a wider manual focus lens—the crop factor puts it at about 30mm, right?
What I meant is that the DA 20mm limited is a better value with more features if you are APS-C only. If you use film or anticipate a mythical FF digital then that is different and Pentax-A 20mm becomes much more valuable. But I still think the current $400+ price is driven by collectors not users.
08-06-2013, 11:45 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
What I meant is that the DA 20mm limited is a better value with more features if you are APS-C only.
If, like me,
you want a good manual focus in a wide-angle lens,
then the A20/2.8 is better.

I do have the DA 15,
but I'm never quite sure where it has focused,
unless I'm using live view.
08-06-2013, 12:18 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
If, like me, you want a good manual focus in a wide-angle lens, then the A20/2.8 is better.
Well, with those parameters I would agree with you. And if I could get one under $300 I would own it, but $400 is too steep, for me.
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