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10-01-2013, 07:23 AM   #1
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$200 for A 28 f2.8?

As the title says, is an Unused old stock of Pentax A 28mm 2.8 worth the price of $200?
Please let me know your thoughts. Seen on ebay. got my vivvy 28m already and thinkin of gettin
a Pentax 28mm as well.

10-01-2013, 07:58 AM   #2
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IMO, no. With patience you can find an FA28/2.8 for around the same price, or a little higher. In addition to AF, the FA lens also has a different optical formula and is widely considered optically superior to the A version.
10-01-2013, 11:53 AM   #3

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You can find a detailed FF test of the SMC-A 2.8/28 here
SMC Pentax-A 28mm f/2.8

As posted before, the 2nd version of the M-28, the A-28, and the F-28 share the same optical formula, and reviews suggest that differences in IQ may be just copy variations. The FA-28 has a simpler optical formula (Pentax added one aspherical element to reduce the overall number of elements).

The Ken Rockwell review (linked above) of the A-28 is in line with all reviews I could find, and also with my own experience with this lens: good to excellent center sharpness at all F-stops, a bit soft corners at F2.8, only slight corner softness at F4, gone at F5.6, stellar sharpness all over the frame at 8-11.

I haven't tried out myself, but the sharpest of the Pentax 28mm lenses seems to be the K-3.5/28, equal to the Zeiss Distagon. Monitoring eBay, it also seems to be the most expensive one.

I bought my SMC-A 2.8/28 two years ago in near mint condition on eBay for €68 (was about $80), after monitoring prices for a while. Presently, European eBay auctions for this lens still end at €65-€80, so nothing has changed.

Prices for the FA-28 are MUCH higher.
Here is a chart of the outcome of German eBay auctions for the FA:

Last edited by RKKS08; 10-01-2013 at 12:21 PM. Reason: Info added
10-01-2013, 07:06 PM   #4
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I have the A 28 2.8 and paid $77 dollars for it off Ebay just a couple of months ago and it is in pristine condition. $200 is a ridiculous price IMHO.

10-02-2013, 06:16 AM   #5

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$200 sounds a lot, but if it is really new old stock, and there is warranty on it (from a commercial seller, in EU there would be automatically by law), it is at least not ridiciously high.
I estimate it to be less than the factory price of the time when this lens was produced (inflation considered).
So, even at $200, some one along the line will have lost money.

But as it is a lens to be used rather than exhibited, I would also prefer to buy an used one in good condition. The more as lenses not touched for many years are more prone to develop aperture problems.

Last edited by RKKS08; 10-02-2013 at 07:11 AM.

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