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09-16-2013, 05:02 PM   #1
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Pentax FA 28 2.8 VS F28 2.8

I've read the reviews and the F 28 gets the nod over the FA 28. I currently own the A 28 2.8 but don't like the fact I have to manual focus. I was wondering if the IQ (sharpness) of the F or FA 28's are that much better than the A 28?

Does anyone have real experience with either or both lenses?

I've also noticed that both lenses are about the same price used as the DA 21 (which I'm contemplating on purchasing).

DA 21 used $350

F28 used $300

FA28 used $300

Since they are all similar in price maybe it's best to just get the DA 21???

09-16-2013, 05:08 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Driline Quote
Since they are all similar in price maybe it's best to just get the DA 21???
Yes
09-16-2013, 05:13 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
Yes
I knew you'd say that. You told me last time to quit screwing around and get the damn DA 21 and be done with it I'm paraphrasing of course
09-16-2013, 05:26 PM   #4
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I just got the F28...

My lens line up is as follows... DA15mm Limited, DA21mm Limited, F28, DA 40mm Limited, F50 f1.7, DA70mm Limited.

In my opinion you definitely want both in your bag and I am not just saying that. At times the 21 is too wide and then you step up to the 40 and that isn't wide enough... I have been searching for a lens to plug the hole for a while now and the F28 seems absolutely awesome so far. The focal length is one of it's biggest strengths. The 21 has it's place but the 28 is shining right now. (Maybe because it's the new child in my bag). That said, I won't give up either lens.

The 28 is faster which is nice...and for general walking around the 28 is better as well. I have had the A 28mm in the past... and I can say without hesitation you will be happy with the F28. I got a pristine copy for $275 to the door.

Depending on what kind of shooting you are doing the 28mm is a much more useful focal length in my opinion. Please note I am not knocking quality in any regards... all of the lenses are fantastic. The limiteds are just superb... but the 28 is great too.

I was on the cusp of getting the 31mm not too many days ago but I couldn't bring myself to spend that much on a lens...I still might get it anyway (which means I will eventually talk myself into it) but I am very happy with the 28mm now. Big time.

09-16-2013, 05:48 PM   #5
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Here is more information about my lens line up...

Lens=FF equivalent=FOV FF Lens=FF FOV
15mm=22.5mm=77degrees 20mm=84 degrees


21mm=31.5mm=59degrees 28mm=65 degrees


28mm=42mm=46 degrees 35mm=54degrees, (40mm lens=48 degrees)

40mm=60mm=33 degrees 50mm=40 degrees


50mm=75mm=27 degrees 77mm=26 degrees


70mm=105mm=19 degrees


In the end of the day the 31mm is the closest thing to the same FOV on a crop sensor as a 50mm lens is on a FF camera. There is only 2 degrees difference. (The FOV on the 31mm on a crop camera is 42 degrees and a 50mm on a FF is 40 degrees)

The 21mm lens is roughly equivalent to a 31mm FOV on a full frame sensor, being only one degree narrower.

The 28mm lens is equivalent to a 40mm lens on a FF camera with only 2 degrees difference.

Now the reason why I put all this up there is because WHAT YOU SEE through the lens matters. It's the FOV that matters. 31mm is fantastic on a crop camera because it almost mimics a FF 50mm lens...31mm on a FF camera will give you a MUCH wider field of view... which is essentially what you have with the 21mm lens...

IE if you look through the 21mm lens it would be like looking through the 31mm on a FF camera. If you look through the 28mm lens (on your crop sensor camera) it will be about like looking through a 40mm lens on a FF camera.

Last edited by alamo5000; 09-16-2013 at 05:55 PM.
09-16-2013, 06:11 PM   #6
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I own both the F 28 and the 21.

They are both fine lenses, but I find myself enjoying the pictures I take with the F 28 more. It may just be that I prefer the focal length, though ...

By the way, I think that you could pick up an F 28 for about $250 if you want to be patient. I didn't, so I paid about what you list above
09-16-2013, 06:36 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by drugal Quote
I own both the F 28 and the 21.
Are you kidding me? You guys prefer the F 28 over the DA 21? Is Sandy screwing with my mind?

I do like the FOV of my A 28 and the lens does double duty as both an indoor family gathering low light as well as my "landscape". Do you think the F 28 takes better pictures inside with lower light than the DA 21?

Remember I'm used to quality lenses like my DA*50-135 and FA 43. Whatever lens I buy will complement the FA 43 in my Domke bag. I'm planning on dumping the Kit lens as soon as I purchase either the F 28 or DA 21.
09-16-2013, 06:38 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by alamo5000 Quote
In my opinion you definitely want both in your bag and I am not just saying that
I'm only going to buy one. It's either the F 28 or DA 21. So which lens would you choose???

09-16-2013, 06:43 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Driline Quote
I'm only going to buy one. It's either the F 28 or DA 21. So which lens would you choose???
F28mm

It's much easier to photograph people with this focal length. Much more useful.
09-16-2013, 07:33 PM   #10
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I see the F 28 lens for sale on ebay went from 4 viewers per hour to 12 viewers per hour and then SOLD. All because of this thread And no I didn't buy it but I'm sure someone here did. It went for $275 in excellent condition.
09-16-2013, 07:49 PM   #11
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There have been several (and there are several F28 lenses) on eBay recently. Even here on the forum some guy sold one for under $250.... going rate is about 250 if you get a great deal and about $275 is average... my lens is pristine and perfect...and I paid $275... that's been the target lately... I monitored them for a month or more before I bought....
09-16-2013, 08:56 PM   #12
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In a similar boat. My A28 is my widest prime. I love the FL, but sometimes I just want AF! Plus it is prone to veiling flare. Like you, my kit lens only serves as my wide angle lens. For that reason, I'm looking at the DA21 as my next lens purchase.

Again, I do love the 28mm FL on APS-C, but I can live with the A28 for now.

Get the Limited!
09-16-2013, 09:08 PM   #13
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I really enjoyed the F 28 when I had it. To me, that focal length on APSC was the perfect sweet spot, pretty much smack in the middle between 35mm and 50mm on a full frame. It was horribly susceptible to flare though. I suspect the old coatings were to blame for that.
09-16-2013, 09:19 PM   #14
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I have both the F28 and the DA21 and while they are both good lenses I find that I use the 28 more than the 21. The 28 just seems to be a more versatile focal length, at least for me.
09-17-2013, 05:40 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Driline Quote
Since they are all similar in price maybe it's best to just get the DA 21???
Yes Especially if you find it at 350$.

QuoteOriginally posted by Driline Quote
I'm only going to buy one. It's either the F 28 or DA 21. So which lens would you choose???
I've opwned and compared the FA28 and DA21. Honestly the FA28 surprised me, it is an excellent lens. Sharp enough, decent bokeh, fast AF, no surprises.

What it lacks when compared to the 21 is personality. The DA21 has amazing colour, saturated and contrasted, while the FA28 are neutral but a bit bland. The DA21 focuses faster, is a tad sharper, has a slightly off-looking bokeh, produces more pleasing starburst effect around light sources. It's better for landscapes, night photography, it's more compact, it can focus close, and (I repeat myself) the colours are amazing. It's that last point which sold me.
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