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12-16-2019, 01:58 PM   #1
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Why is the SMC Pentax-A 28-80mm F3.5-4.5 so hard to find?

I can find only two on ebay. Both in the states. The non-smc Pentax-a and Takumar-A lenses are ubiquitous. Even the reviews over here are probably not all of this lens but of a non-smc version. It has a 13 element 12 group design opposed to the 8 element design of the non-smc versions. Also only 5 aperture blades opposed to 8 in the non-smc versions. Does anybody have this lens and some sample pictures?

12-16-2019, 02:50 PM   #2
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It is a pretty rare lens to find, contrary to its non SMC counterpart, I guess it was produced in low numbers.
12-16-2019, 04:06 PM   #3
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Everybody sells the non-SMC and the Takumar-A (which are also the same lens, basically - 8 elements in 8 groups on both) because, having had one, I can say it's the worst lens I've ever used. It's also built like a brick so very unlikely to break... so, in other words, there's a lot of them around and a lot of people who use them can't wait to pass them on.

The SMC version of the lens is totally different (12 elements in 9 groups) and is said to be sharp. Not a lot of people know about it though... and I think it was quite a bit more expensive than the Takumar and non-SMC A versions - and people bought those thinking the only difference was the coating. So first, not a lot of those are available, second, people don't think they're good because of the bad experiences with the bad version and they don't know fhis one's different so they don't command good prices; and third, since it's a decent lens and decently fast compared to the models that go to f5.6 at tele, people are probably holding on to them.

That's my 2 cents...
12-16-2019, 10:52 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by D1N0 Quote
I can find only two on ebay. Both in the states. The non-smc Pentax-a and Takumar-A lenses are ubiquitous. Even the reviews over here are probably not all of this lens but of a non-smc version. It has a 13 element 12 group design opposed to the 8 element design of the non-smc versions. Also only 5 aperture blades opposed to 8 in the non-smc versions. Does anybody have this lens and some sample pictures?
Hi,

I have one in my collection, but I have not used it!

Regards,
Gordon.

12-17-2019, 01:32 AM   #5
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When the A 28-80 was released, it just was not a lens to start with. You would start with a Pentax 50 mm prime or a 35-70 / 4.0 or you would go with a Tokina 28-70 SD or a Tamron lens. When you had an 35-70 and later needed the 28 mm you would just buy an additional prime and not the whole zoom range.

I guess the 28-80 was not the cheapest one as well.
12-17-2019, 01:54 AM   #6
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I will keep my eye out for one. I've just pulled the trigger on a Tamron 27A (28-80 3.5-4.2) but I was researching a Pentax alternative. The lens seems more related to the Stack of primes 35-105 than the Takumar-a version. Here one I found on ebay with an also very good SMC Pentax-A 70-210mm F4. But I already have that one and shipping and import duties make it expensive for me. Pentax Super A Camera SMC 28-80mm F3.5-4.5 70-210mm F4 zoom lens SuperA Program | eBay
12-17-2019, 07:41 AM   #7
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You might as well try to catch an A 28-135 mm / 4.0. They are quite common used. Don't ask me why. Perhaps those where in the same price range like the 28-80 mm? That would be another explanation, why the 28-80 is hard to come by.
12-17-2019, 10:50 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Papa_Joe Quote
You might as well try to catch an A 28-135 mm / 4.0. They are quite common used. Don't ask me why. Perhaps those where in the same price range like the 28-80 mm? That would be another explanation, why the 28-80 is hard to come by.
I still got my eye on another Tamron 28a in an auction. If bidding is lacklustre I might snap it up The A-28-135 somehow doesn't appeal very much to me.

12-18-2019, 01:58 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
The SMC version of the lens is totally different (12 elements in 9 groups) and is said to be sharp. Not a lot of people know about it though... and I think it was quite a bit more expensive than the Takumar and non-SMC A versions - and people bought those thinking the only difference was the coating. So first, not a lot of those are available, second, people don't think they're good because of the bad experiences with the bad version and they don't know fhis one's different so they don't command good prices; and third, since it's a decent lens and decently fast compared to the models that go to f5.6 at tele, people are probably holding on to them.That's my 2 cents...
It seems Pentax did the same trick with the Pentax-F 28-80 Only the SMC version has a 12-9 design, the others 8 elements. The SMC F reviews are probably much poluted by that.
12-18-2019, 02:18 PM   #10
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The A version was replaced by the F version after a year as AF became the feature of choice. Although it was still around after the F version was introduced it really only had a short sales life which has limited availability today.
12-26-2019, 11:58 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by D1N0 Quote
I still got my eye on another Tamron 28a in an auction. If bidding is lacklustre I might snap it up The A-28-135 somehow doesn't appeal very much to me.
I had an SMC-A 28-135 when I was working as a photojournalist, it was replaced very quickly with a Tokina AT-X 28-70. The 28-135 has horrible distortion and severe vignetting at 28-40mm or so. Definitely not a lens Id ever want as a shooter.
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