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01-16-2014, 11:01 PM   #1
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28mm f2.8 and 35mm f3.5 dilemma?

I'll be going to Taiwan/Seoul in April and I was planning to bring my Pentax k1000 along with me and only one lens (maybe 2 if I give in) so I'm stuck trying to decide which lens to buy. I plan to take some landscapes as well as street. I'm not sure which one I should get, and I've read many things online, like will you really be all up in people's face if you use a 28mm to take shots of people?? etc I would get a 35mm but apparently it's quite rare on the 2nd hand market/the f3.5 isn't sharp enough (or so my photographer friend says).

So should I invest in the 35 anyway or go for the more 'available' 28mm? And any opinions about Takumar lenses?


01-17-2014, 01:18 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by monstros-city Quote
really be all up in people's face if you use a 28mm to take shots of people??
That will only happen if you are taking a 28mm portrait. Most of the time okay if taking scenes of street happenings.

QuoteOriginally posted by monstros-city Quote
f3.5 isn't sharp enough
Which lens are you referring to? If you learn to shoot with hyperfocal length, then most of the time you'll be shooting at f/8 or 11 (for landscape as well) so softness at f3.5 doesn't really matter.

Take a 28mm unless you found a 35mm same price, or unless you get an adapter and Takumar (many has legendary sharpness, I have a good 135/3.5 but cannot comment on 35mm)

Enjoy the trip!
01-17-2014, 01:31 AM   #3
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Why not also check out these user reviews, if you haven't already?

Pentax K Prime Lenses - Reviews and Specifications - SLR and Interchangeable Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
01-17-2014, 02:23 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by monstros-city Quote
the f3.5 isn't sharp enough (or so my photographer friend says).
Your friend mustn't be talking about Super (or S-M-C ) Takumar 35mm f3.5 - I own both of these lenses and they both are extremely sharp from f3.5 onwards. The only reason why I bought and I keep Zeiss flektogon was for extra speed and close focusing capabilities. But where size and weight matters - S-M-C Takumar goes --manntax

01-17-2014, 03:53 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Over the years I've travelled far and wide with a K1000 and 35mm lens, and as a single lens option I think it's much more flexible than a 28mm.

The M35mm/2.8 is well worth considering. It can be picked up cheaply these days because it's under-rated by the sort of people who agonise over 100% corner crops of test charts. In actual real-world photography, I can't see any meaningful difference in sharpness between my M35mm/2.8 and my S-M-C Takumar 35mm/3.5. My choice of which of the two to take would be based on rendering rather than sharpness. If I was going somewhere mostly sunny and I was aiming for a bright colourful look, I'd take the M35mm because it gives a vibrant rendering to that type of scene. If I was going somewhere more moody and atmospheric I'd take the Takumar. But it would be a purely aesthetic choice, based on the way the lenses handle colour and light rather than their sharpness.

Sadly, the one combination I wouldn't take travelling is my K1000 and original Super Takumar 35mm/2.0. It gives the most beautiful results of all, but I'd need a wheelbarrow to handle the weight.
01-17-2014, 01:25 PM   #6
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Are you saying the 28mm f3.5 is not sharp?

I have the super takumar (ST) and its sharp/great colors/etc. The 28mm f/3.5 (K) has one more element--so not the same formula--but I believe the reviews in this case--and it is supposed to be excellent also--said to be even better.

Which focal length do you prefer should be deciding factor. I happen to have the 28mm f3.5 (ST) and the 35mm f/2 (K). For zone focusing and aperture priority (fast street photography) I take the 28mm. For more careful composing at night w/ strong lights the 35mm (it has interesting/useful defect way lights "bloom").

For me the 28mm feels a bit wider than the equivalent field of view 42mm on FF, and the 35mm feels like a 50/55mm on FF (and it is an equivalent to 52mm on FF).
01-17-2014, 01:37 PM   #7
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One more thing--I think the takumar 35mm f/3.5 is said to be superb and same as K, and f/2 is same in Takumar and K; but for me this is too long a FL to be comfortable zone focused in a Takumar, so I would suggest the K lens (e.g., hyperfocal distance at f/11 is 14 feet which is somewhat longer than I like) but this slows you down as it cannot be in aperture priority mode.

The A lenses address this but are different optical formula/not as well regarded as I recall--I have 2 dozen lenses but none are Pentax A's so the difference in feel/use is something I hear about but cannot speak to. The K's and Takumar's are delights to handle.
01-17-2014, 01:52 PM   #8
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In my experience and from reading the posts of experienced users in the 90's and 00's (on a LIST_SERVE) the K28/3.5 is one of the 2 sharpest 28's Pentax ever made (K28/2 is better, but $600) and the K35/3.5 may be the best Pentax 35 ever, especially rendering on color film. That one is currently $129 neighborhood and shows up a couple times a month here or eBay.

Last edited by monochrome; 01-17-2014 at 02:25 PM.
01-17-2014, 01:54 PM   #9
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I am sorry--just realized you said K1000!

I think a 35mm is perfect all around lens. For me a 28mm on FF, which is like a FOV of an 18-20mm on dslr, is uncomfortably wide. And Zone focusing a 35mm on FF is fine (like zone focusing a 28m on Pentax dslr).
01-17-2014, 02:57 PM   #10
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I've only used 4 28mm lenses, all of them being 2.8: Pentax-M, Pentax-A, Rikenon XR and Focal MC (on my Minolta - not a bad lens actually!).

By far my favorite is the Rikenon. But don't take my word for it - there is this lady on Flickr called Georgie_grrl. Check out what she does with a K1000 + Rikenon 28mm f2.8 combination:

Flickr Search: k1000 rikenon 28mm 2.8

There's none on Ebay right now, except for the P version, which doesn't seem as well regarded, at least from the couple of reviews on this site. Also, the P version has the Ricoh pin, which you would have to extract, to be able to use the lens on a Pentax camera.

By the way, I would also take a small sharp 50mm lens with me. You can't go wrong with the Pentax-M 50 1.7 - it's small, almost like a pancake lens, super sharp (very similar design to a Summicron - in fact the back half of the lens is an exact copy of the Summicron). Or, I have a lens that is even smaller and I like just as much: my Ricoh-made Auto Sears 50mm f1.7. I call it the "original plastic fantastic" When I put that lens on my ZX-M, the camera+lens combination weights next to nothing.

Last edited by ChristianRock; 01-17-2014 at 03:29 PM.
01-17-2014, 03:16 PM   #11
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If you only take one lens, then 35mm is probably the most useful of the two. If you can be tempted to taking two (really one and half), you could consider a 28mm and the M40/2.8 'pancake' - which is very compact. This gives you much more versatility for only a fraction more bulk/weight.
01-18-2014, 07:05 AM   #12
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Thanks for the response!

I've purchased a M 35mm f2.8 (just to test the waters first, if I don't like it I'll sell it off).

QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
By the way, I would also take a small sharp 50mm lens with me. You can't go wrong with the Pentax-M 50 1.7
Oh yes I have a 50mm and I will most likely bring it along with me as well
01-28-2014, 07:18 AM   #13
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I've had so many primes during my LBA years and if i only need to keep a single lens then it will be the K28 3.5. The super tak 28 3.5 is sharp but this lens is way out of the taks league...

Consider this, i'm not into wide primes but this will be my last lens (this should mean something)...

Sharpness even at wide open, color check... I only hope everyone can try this awesome lens...
Anyone can compare the K28 and K35 here? just curious...
01-28-2014, 08:04 AM   #14

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QuoteOriginally posted by HoBykoYan Quote
Anyone can compare the K28 and K35 here?
I have both lenses. They're both superb. I can't detect any difference in resolution between the two lenses. Both very good, particularly when stopped down. The K28 has a slightly richer, almost technicolor color rendition and is slightly contrastier. It's also more resistant to CA issues -- surprisingly excellent in that way for so old a lens. The K35, perhaps because of its fewer elements, produces slightly brighter colors.
01-28-2014, 08:12 AM   #15
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I don't think you'll regret it if you take a K35/3.5...

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