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11-21-2016, 08:32 PM   #1
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FA* 28-70 - how good is it?

Hi,

Please tell me your experience with the FA* 28-70 lens.
From what I have seen the FA* lenses are rated very well.
However, the 28-70 is rated under 9!

Whereas the new DFA 24-70 is rated over 9.5 (user reviews).

And then there is the DA* 16-50 with WR.

Which one of these would you choose?

I have someone locally selling the FA* 28-70 for $450.
I already have many kit lenses and Tamron 17-50 f2.8.
But I keep on hearing about the Pentax magic of the FA* series. It just seems like the 28-70 is not as magical per the user reviews.
Please shed some light on this...especially if you can compare the 28-70 to other "similar" lenses like
1. Pentax 16-50
2. Pentax 24-70 (new)
3. Tamron
4. Sigma.

Thanks so much in advance!

radman

11-21-2016, 09:01 PM   #2
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It's a fantastic lens, and $450 is an absolute steal.
11-21-2016, 09:29 PM   #3
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I have that lens and its awesome - some of the negative comments are related to price and weight - I paid considerably more than $450 myself. The majority of the overall rating are 9 and 10s one rating of 5 skews the ratings and there is always the possibility of a bad copy. Can you test it first?
11-22-2016, 01:15 AM   #4
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Unless the price of the 24-70mm is prohibitive for you, I'd go for the newer lens. Considerably wider and better IQ all around, plus silent AF and access to quick shift. I wouldn't say the difference is as dramatic as the D FA* 70-200mm vs the FA* 80-200mm, but it's definitely there.

Note that most user reviews of the 28-70mm are for APS-C, where it performs quite well.


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11-22-2016, 04:49 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by dcshooter Quote
It's a fantastic lens, and $450 is an absolute steal.
Hi dcshooter,

Thanks for the advice. What are your feelings about the ratings on PF? Does it compare well to the other lenses with similar range.
The ratings are similar to the tamron and sigma that cost so much less, I am not sure why.

Thanks,

---------- Post added 11-22-16 at 06:53 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by rkappleby Quote
I have that lens and its awesome - some of the negative comments are related to price and weight - I paid considerably more than $450 myself. The majority of the overall rating are 9 and 10s one rating of 5 skews the ratings and there is always the possibility of a bad copy. Can you test it first?
Hi rkapleby,

Thanks for the information. I noticed the 5 rating also, and agree that the low rating skews things. But I see that happening often in the user ratings section.
Many of the other lenses reviewed offset that lowballer with high ratings. The 24-70 has a 9.5 with over 50% of the ratings a 10.

I notice that the tamron and sigma in the 17-50 and 17-70, etc are scored very similar to the Pentax 28-70 despite the much lower prices.
Probably 2 big factors are the higher price and weight like you said.

Thanks,

---------- Post added 11-22-16 at 06:59 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Unless the price of the 24-70mm is prohibitive for you, I'd go for the newer lens. Considerably wider and better IQ all around, plus silent AF and access to quick shift. I wouldn't say the difference is as dramatic as the D FA* 70-200mm vs the FA* 80-200mm, but it's definitely there.

Note that most user reviews of the 28-70mm are for APS-C, where it performs quite well.

Hi Adam,

Thanks for your comment and recommendation.

I just recently made some "big" lens purchases and cannot afford the 24-70 in the $1000+ range. I have not priced it on the used market, but I imagine that it is demanding around $1000.
I may be able to get the local used 28-70 for $400 or so (asking is $450)

I use a K3 and not a K1 yet, so I imagine per your original comment that the 28-70 would be a good performer on the K-3.
I could test it out before I buy it. I have never done that. In fact, I would not even know how to do that properly.
I am not well versed in CA, aberrations, corner sharpness, etc.

Does anyone have a good resource or checklist on the best way to test a lens - especially for a first timer?

Best,

radman
11-22-2016, 05:19 AM   #6
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I have used the FA*28-70/2.8 on both the K-3 and the K-1, and I'd say it throughly deserves the star designation on both systems. I haven't tried the D-FA24-70/2.8, so I can't compare the two from my own experience but, at $450, you would have a great bargain, provided it doesn't have any issues. My (very) used copy didn't look too flash, but it's good optically, and everything works. Its power zoom will work on the K-3.
11-22-2016, 08:49 AM   #7
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I don't have the 28-70 but do have Sigma 17-50, Pentax 16-85, 35mm, Sigma 70 macro and many copies of 50mm. Unless the 28-70 is optically out of this world which I doubt because of the age, I pick the Sigma 17-50 without hesitation any day. Besides, you can get a like-new copy for well <$300.
11-22-2016, 09:33 AM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pixelhdr Quote
I don't have the 28-70 but do have Sigma 17-50, Pentax 16-85, 35mm, Sigma 70 macro and many copies of 50mm. Unless the 28-70 is optically out of this world which I doubt because of the age, I pick the Sigma 17-50 without hesitation any day. Besides, you can get a like-new copy for well <$300.
Well, now we know what folks who don't own and have never handled the 28-70 think. And we can assume, with an attitude like that, he never will even give one a chance.

But for the record.... there are single copies of A* (two generations before FA lenses going for more money than this fellow's entire camera collection, and the people buying them are not at all concerned about their age. They are buying optics.

11-22-2016, 10:14 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by radman Quote
Hi dcshooter,

Thanks for the advice. What are your feelings about the ratings on PF? Does it compare well to the other lenses with similar range.
The ratings are similar to the tamron and sigma that cost so much less, I am not sure why.

Thanks,


I think the biggest slams against it, both in the reviews, and in general, are the size/weight (largely a result of the PZ assembly), and the generally high price. Obviously with your offer, the second isn't as much of a consideration.

I used mine on a recent trip to Spain with a K-1, and since I prefer a heavy, stable combo, it worked out quite well for me. Sharpness and colors are fantastic across the whole frame, with very few aberrations, and the zoom range is perfect for a FF walk-around lens. Focusing is as fast and accurate as on any Zoom in its range I've used.

As far as the ratings go here, take them with a grain of salt - they are from self-selected groups of owners who choose to post here, so they are hardly scientific, and like I said above, they artificially give factors like "value" (completely subjective) or weight greater bearing on the overall score than they might for other users. Keep in mind that generally those who pay more money for a more expensive lens tend to be harsher critics as well.


Presuming everything is intact, $450 is less than half of what these typically sell for, so why not make the purchase and try it out? If you don't like it, you can always resell it on eBay at a tidy profit.
11-22-2016, 10:37 AM   #10
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Its a fantastic lens in my K5iis and k3 and deserves the * . Only negative thing is frontal element rotate when focus and can be difficult work with filters. I use handhold filters tactic with this lens
11-22-2016, 11:04 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Well, now we know what folks who don't own and have never handled the 28-70 think. And we can assume, with an attitude like that, he never will even give one a chance.

But for the record.... there are single copies of A* (two generations before FA lenses going for more money than this fellow's entire camera collection, and the people buying them are not at all concerned about their age. They are buying optics.
Show me a convincing comparison. And I mean a true side-by-side comparison, not a picture here and a picture there at different time and different day. I am not talking about brick wall either. Prove me wrong if you can.

I own and have handled many nice glasses, but artistic skills trump equipment every time. I have used older fixed FL lenses and they are more than acceptable. However, I have serious reservation about older zooms. I generally ignore opinions from people with excessive equipment biased attitude like above.

---------- Post added 11-22-16 at 01:09 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Well, now we know what folks who don't own and have never handled the 28-70 think. And we can assume, with an attitude like that, he never will even give one a chance.

But for the record.... there are single copies of A* (two generations before FA lenses going for more money than this fellow's entire camera collection, and the people buying them are not at all concerned about their age. They are buying optics.
There are also people buying classic cars that do not move. Cost is irrelevant. BTW, I only quoted the portion of my collection that is relevant to this focal length.
11-22-2016, 11:11 AM   #12
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Hi All,


Thanks for all the wonderful feedback and advice.


I was going to make an offer - the great things I read (from the above) about it, including the thought given to me from dcshooter (try it and considering selling it on ebay if desired) made me want to pull the trigger. However, when I went to pull up the listing, I can no longer find it


The seller either retracted the lens, or another Pentaxian came to his/her senses more quickly than I did.


Best regards,


radman
11-22-2016, 11:16 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pixelhdr Quote
I pick the Sigma 17-50 without hesitation any day.
Have fun trying to use that 17-50mm on the day you buy a K-1. Unless you really like big black vignettes around your images. The build quality of that particular lens also suuuuuuuuccccks. Only knock on the 28-70mm FA build is the PZ switch, which often falls off.
11-22-2016, 11:42 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by dcshooter Quote
Have fun trying to use that 17-50mm on the day you buy a K-1. Unless you really like big black vignettes around your images. The build quality of that particular lens also suuuuuuuuccccks. Only knock on the 28-70mm FA build is the PZ switch, which often falls off.
I have not tried yet tried to take pictures with a piece of rock. It is sad that you have to rely on and only talk about equipment.
11-22-2016, 11:43 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pixelhdr Quote
Show me a convincing comparison. And I mean a true side-by-side comparison, not a picture here and a picture there at different time and different day. I am not talking about brick wall either. Prove me wrong if you can.
You made the statement, why should I try and prove you wrong? You've got this backwards. After all the testing I've done I would never say something as daft as "old glass doesn't compare with new."

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/312892-your...mm-images.html

Research convinced me that given choice between old and new a full 66% preferred the rendering of an older lenses than new. My conclusion is, to comment on lenses, you can't use assumptions, based on anything other than image comparisons. SO what I'm saying here is , some folks are going to prefer the rendering of the FA*28-70, in some of my tests a few people have preferred the images of the 18-55 kit lens, I bet a lot more will prefer the rendering of an FA*.

If some reader is one of those that prefers the look of the FA*28-70, I hope he isn't influenced by your post.

Now if you have some new information that would suggest a certain person won't like an FA* over a newer version, let us have a look. By the way, test chart evaluation is completely un-related to whether or not a person enjoys an image, as far as I can tell, as are DxO evaluations. They measure what they can measure, but it would seem, in many case they aren't measuring what's important to people. It's how everything works together that's important to people, not how good the little bits are.

Last edited by normhead; 11-22-2016 at 11:51 AM.
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