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09-23-2013, 08:44 PM   #1
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A24/f2.8 in strong sunlight

I recently acquired SMC A24/f2.8. While it's a good lens, performance in strong light is really disappointing. Here's some pictures in strong sunlight, both against and behind the sun, all at f8. Interestingly M24-35 performed much better against this highly acclaimed lens. I loved the size of this lens and help me if something which I can do to get better out of A24, it's fine in normal light though.

First I tried against the sun, without any hood.



Dramatic improvement using a rubber hood but still leaves something to be desired, still some ghosting there (another side effect is, it starts vignetting with hood on FF/Film although doesn't apply here). Here is a shot with the hood



Now compare this against M24-35 without and with the hood - much better.

Without hood


with hood (actually don't have hood for 24-35 but used my hand as a hood)


Two more shots using A24 & the hood at f8, although, the sun is behind in this shot, seems like strong sunlight reflected from the white wall made it suffer.



And this shot, sunlight coming from the top left corner.


Same shots using M24-35 without hood.





Last edited by yusuf; 09-23-2013 at 08:54 PM.
09-23-2013, 09:07 PM   #2
dms
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I generally try to use the most efficient hood I can--particularly w/ a lens as you find w/ the 24mm (A f/2.8). I would suggest getting a 52mm to 49mm step down ring, then trying a takumar 35mm (square hood). With the crop factor it should be OK--but only way is to try it.

You can buy takumar square hoods from KEH--for example. Takumar hoods are metal and seem better made than latter (K) plastic ones. Another option is an adjustable hood--such as the Ambico Shade+ w/ appropriate adapter ring. I use these two as well as the takumar 28mm and 24mm hoods. The latter clamp on the lens/filter--so if you use a step down ring you also you need to remove the glass from filter (and mount the glassless filter--for the hood to clamp on).
09-23-2013, 09:20 PM - 1 Like   #3
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My advice is to shine a flashlight through the lens (first from one side then the other)--it is posible the lens has a little bit of haze in it which is causing this when hit directly by the sun but otherwise not noticeable.
09-23-2013, 09:34 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by dms Quote
I generally try to use the most efficient hood I can--particularly w/ a lens as you find w/ the 24mm (A f/2.8). I would suggest getting a 52mm to 49mm step down ring, then trying a takumar 35mm (square hood). With the crop factor it should be OK--but only way is to try it.
....
This is the hood I use.



QuoteOriginally posted by macTak Quote
My advice is to shine a flashlight through the lens (first from one side then the other)--it is posible the lens has a little bit of haze in it which is causing this when hit directly by the sun but otherwise not noticeable.
Yes, this looks like a possibility, let me check when I reach home today.

09-23-2013, 09:37 PM   #5
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My A24/2.8 is a nice lens and fun to use, but I more often go with the DA16-45 in its midrange; the more modern coatings can make such a difference in tough lighting. I recently used the 24mm for a bunch of indoor images near windows, and the glare definitely took the shots down a notch overall. Others with inferior but newer gear showed better results. Mine has a few pin-point 'scratches' that can only make matters worse.
09-23-2013, 09:59 PM   #6
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I have a K 24mm f/2.8 which has similar problems in strong sunlight - and frankly the only way to improve it is to use a suitable lens hood.
09-24-2013, 12:05 AM   #7
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I agree with Mac Tak.

You'll probably find that the lens has some haze or clouding, most likely caused by the deterioration of the glue holding the cemented pair together, third group from the front.
09-24-2013, 01:22 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by tom1803 Quote
I agree with Mac Tak.

You'll probably find that the lens has some haze or clouding, most likely caused by the deterioration of the glue holding the cemented pair together, third group from the front.
Sure, I will check that tonight. Looks like the case.

If this the case, is there any way to recover this lens?

09-24-2013, 01:23 AM   #9
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The issues with the A24mm that you describe are exactly the reasons why I sold my (optically identical) K24mm/2.8. In bright sunlight the K24 had heavy, crude, blocky contrast that clogged up too easily in shadow areas and tended to give blown highlights. In effect, the clumsy contrast characteristics of the lens reduced the camera's available dynamic range. I've found that in real-world photography the M24-35mm/3.5 suits me better, despite its limitations wide open. I've always assumed that I just had a bad copy of the K24mm/2.8, but the comments in this thread are making me wonder if it really is as over-rated as I thought it was.
09-24-2013, 04:54 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by yusuf Quote
Sure, I will check that tonight. Looks like the case.

If this the case, is there any way to recover this lens?
Repair of cemented elements requires separation of the lens, cleaning and re-cementing. It can be done but not many lens repairers have the necessary knowledge or skill to do it. Even if you do find someone that can, it will most likely cost you a bit of money as it's not a straight forward process.

I have also come across in some rare cases where the clouding cannot be completely removed even after cleaning. However, the residual clouding is usually minor enough to be of little concern.
09-24-2013, 06:05 AM   #11
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Here's how a good copy of the K24/2.8 handles hazy sun right in the frame:

09-24-2013, 07:18 AM   #12
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Same happened to me. Thatīs why I sold the A24 and after the DA21 now.
09-24-2013, 07:40 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by carrrlangas Quote
Same happened to me. Thatīs why I sold the A24 and after the DA21 now.
Looks like more people have experienced this issue. Can any existing A24 owner please take and post some picture in strong sunlight?
09-24-2013, 08:31 AM   #14
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I have a SMC Pentax 1:2.8 24mm (called a K lens) that has that same problem.
Looking down into the lens with strong light I can see almost regular white-ish spots. I think it might be partial lens separation.
So yesterday Midwest Camera here in Michigan gave me a quote to look at it.
I will take it over to them next time I am down on south side of Detroit
09-24-2013, 08:51 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by yusuf Quote
Looks like more people have experienced this issue. Can any existing A24 owner please take and post some picture in strong sunlight?
I think that being a 135 format wide angle lens, a hood is mandatory. More so when using it for smaller formats such as APS
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