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12-09-2008, 05:15 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
probably the next thing I'll do is get a 2.8 zoom, or maybe a little pile of stopgaps
I'd suggest going directly to the f/2.8 zoom. Zooms are generally much better than they used to be, and being able to change sensitivity (ISO) on-the-fly is a huge advantage for digital. You might not need as many fast primes in your Pentax K20d kit as you need in your Canon FD kit.

12-09-2008, 05:26 PM   #17
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Hello RML!

I have a Vivitar 24mm f/2.8 lens that I like in that role. It's a little wider than your initial question but one can always crop digital, expecially a K20D. Tamron makes an Adaptall lens that is 24mm F/2.5 with very similar image quality, too. I bump the contrast and saturation a bit, usually, but pitcures are reasonably sharp. You may be able to find one of those two options less than $100. Just a thought!

Nick
12-09-2008, 06:57 PM   #18
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I listed a few of those lenses for your consideration:

1. Pentax SMC 28/2 k version. This is one of the best 28mm ever made. Sharp wide open and perfect colour / contrast. Problem is its hard to find and very expensive these days. I paid over $400 one year ago and I consider it's lucky.

2. Vivitar S1 28mm f1.9. This is best version of 28mm made by Vivitar and it also pretty good wide open. You can probably find one in either P/K or M42 mount and cost less than $150.

3. SMC-M/A Pentax 28/2. They are just not as good as the k version but much compact. Wide open is very much useable and colour is not bad.

4. Olympus OM 28/2. It could be adapt to pk mount. It has reputation of very good wide open and cost just a little less than pentas k verion of 28/2.

5. Kiron 28/2. You will not regret if you can find one less than 100. Come with both pk or m42 mount.

6. Vivitar 28/2. Less expensive. I don't have experience with. Come with both pk or m42 mount.

I am not too familiar with auto focus alternatives. Therer are a bunch of 28/2.5 manual lenses, but they are just not as good as the faster ones.
12-09-2008, 10:01 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by vanchaz2002 Quote
I listed a few of those lenses for your consideration:

1. Pentax SMC 28/2 k version. This is one of the best 28mm ever made. Sharp wide open and perfect colour / contrast. Problem is its hard to find and very expensive these days. I paid over $400 one year ago and I consider it's lucky.
...

3. SMC-M/A Pentax 28/2. They are just not as good as the k version but much compact. Wide open is very much useable and colour is not bad.
...
That's an interesting ranking of the two Pentax 28/2 designs. The only formal test I've seen of these two designs has it the other way around, at least in terms of sharpness:

http://www.takinami.com/yoshihiko/photo/lens_test/pentax_28-30.html

These tests suggest that the K version has to be stopped down to f4 to become as sharp as the M/A version wide open. I'm not entirely convinced by those results, but they may be of interest to others.

I have owned the Kiron 28/2, which I believe is the same optical design as the Vivitar that you mention. I wouldn't buy another one. It was good (not great) when new, but soon developed two serious problems: a centering defect, and sticky blades. It seems a bit delicate.

Dan

12-10-2008, 04:39 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dan Quote
That's an interesting ranking of the two Pentax 28/2 designs. The only formal test I've seen of these two designs has it the other way around, at least in terms of sharpness:

http://www.takinami.com/yoshihiko/photo/lens_test/pentax_28-30.html

These tests suggest that the K version has to be stopped down to f4 to become as sharp as the M/A version wide open. I'm not entirely convinced by those results, but they may be of interest to others.

I have owned the Kiron 28/2, which I believe is the same optical design as the Vivitar that you mention. I wouldn't buy another one. It was good (not great) when new, but soon developed two serious problems: a centering defect, and sticky blades. It seems a bit delicate.

Dan
Stan's Pentax Photography - an old compilation of comment threads from the PDML List_Serve (there's an ancient technology!).

Still quite interesting and useful information on the manual Pentax K-mount Lenses.

Here's the main gateway - it uses some HTML to call comment sections from the left frame Stan's Pentax Photography

Here's the 28mm section Pentax Best 28mm - Brief Comments

Last edited by monochrome; 12-10-2008 at 12:31 PM.
12-10-2008, 04:42 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dan Quote
That's an interesting ranking of the two Pentax 28/2 designs. The only formal test I've seen of these two designs has it the other way around, at least in terms of sharpness:

http://www.takinami.com/yoshihiko/photo/lens_test/pentax_28-30.html

These tests suggest that the K version has to be stopped down to f4 to become as sharp as the M/A version wide open. I'm not entirely convinced by those results, but they may be of interest to others.

I have owned the Kiron 28/2, which I believe is the same optical design as the Vivitar that you mention. I wouldn't buy another one. It was good (not great) when new, but soon developed two serious problems: a centering defect, and sticky blades. It seems a bit delicate.

Dan
I have both k and m 28/2. Based on my experience, K version is much sharper than m one.

Vivitar 28/2 is made by Komine if I still remember.
12-10-2008, 07:57 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by troyz Quote
I'd suggest going directly to the f/2.8 zoom. Zooms are generally much better than they used to be, and being able to change sensitivity (ISO) on-the-fly is a huge advantage for digital. You might not need as many fast primes in your Pentax K20d kit as you need in your Canon FD kit.
Banking on that somewhat, already, actually. Some of this depends on what the AF can do: it's kind of like, the better it can work under certain conditions, the less I really need the speed just to focus. Not that I can't always find some work for lens speed, of course, but I know that 'sharp wide open' doesn't come cheaply.

It's nice to know that I can 'push' by bumping up the ISO if need be, though. I can run some T-max p3200 at around ISO 2000 pretty comfy, but it's not particularly cheap stuff and it could mean keeping an otherwise-not-really-favored developer around, too.

....


(thinking intensely for about an hour and a half, visualizing a lot of samples of A Day In The Life Of One Oddly-Rodent-Affiliated Person. )

Why, thank you, Troy, ...You're entirely right. And that's why I think I'll do the opposite of what you and my sensible sense of sense suggest, if I get the chance, cause that 28 f2 is just too useful , I think, ...and I think zooms are where I can cheap out for a little while.

There'll be time to check things out, anyway,as regards seeing about the speed and focal length thing.

One thing that did come up... Does anyone think much of Sigma's 30 1.4? Don't seem to hear much about it, maybe cause it's kind of in competition with that 31, and the price is kind of toward that league.

(Hey, by the way, speaking of trying things out ...if I were to set my FA 50 to a regular aperture number, and turned off the AF, would this work just like a non-A lens? I learned on stopdown metering, so I may be happy to do a lot of jobs with M lenses if that works out OK. )
12-10-2008, 08:38 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nick Siebers Quote
Hello RML!

I have a Vivitar 24mm f/2.8 lens that I like in that role. It's a little wider than your initial question but one can always crop digital, expecially a K20D. Tamron makes an Adaptall lens that is 24mm F/2.5 with very similar image quality, too. I bump the contrast and saturation a bit, usually, but pitcures are reasonably sharp. You may be able to find one of those two options less than $100. Just a thought!

Nick
Hi, Nick!

Yeah, 24mm is OK by me, really, (for real wide angle, on film I actually prefer that, but I haven't prioritized one, cause I usually don't want to carry a heavy wide angle. I have a love for old Canon SSC lenses, but their weight adds up pretty quickly. I'm actually sort of in the market for a 35 f2 like that for much the same purpose as we're talking about here. )

Anyway, there's nothing wrong with 24 in this circumstance. Sort of the ideal might be to run primes that would be equivalent to 28ish, 40ish, 60ish, and 85ish.

So, 28 vs 24 straddles that 40mm equivalent area, a little wider would be fine... but speed's the priority.

I could see ending up eventually using a 21 DA, a 28 f2, an FA 43, and maybe a 58 Nokton or the new 55. Maybe with something faster around the 30 range, eventually. It's kind of anyone's guess right now how often I'll be leaving the Canon gear home and just carrying a little Pentax film body like that ME Super you sold me, (couldn't resist the bargain) but that 77 is actually pretty droolable for the double duty. But, anyway, if I had a healthy sum to drop all at once for primes and live with for a while, the kit'd probably look something like that.

BTW, the corrosion you were worried about is coming off pretty good, I've been just rubbing it out with a bamboo skewer, ...mostly it isn't even leaving a trace you could see. There's just a coat of brass or something the chrome finish is adhered to, and some of that copper migrated through to the surface over time. Nothing to worry about if nothing got inside. I wouldn't feel guilty about refinishing, but it's cleaning up nice.

12-10-2008, 08:59 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by vanchaz2002 Quote
I have both k and m 28/2. Based on my experience, K version is much sharper than m one.

Vivitar 28/2 is made by Komine if I still remember.
At least some of them, yes, I'm pretty sure that's so. I had the Komine-made 28 2.8 (Well, actually, I still have that one, but the poor thing got damaged some time back. My first wide angle ever. I'm pretty sure it was a very nice little lens, though I sort of limped along with it for a long time after its accident, so that colors the impressions ) Anyway, some of the 28/2s look just like it, only bigger glass,obviously.

Could be a pretty viable option, those, too.
12-10-2008, 10:35 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote

One thing that did come up... Does anyone think much of Sigma's 30 1.4? Don't seem to hear much about it, maybe cause it's kind of in competition with that 31, and the price is kind of toward that league.
I'd say the Sigma 28/1.8 EX DG is a lot more tempting than the sigma 30/1.4 EX DC -- the 30/1.4 is much more expensive, doesn't work on film and, ummm..., lacks a good reputation for border and corner sharpness.

Here's an interesting thread
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/37790-sigma-28...-35-f-2-a.html

QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote

(Hey, by the way, speaking of trying things out ...if I were to set my FA 50 to a regular aperture number, and turned off the AF, would this work just like a non-A lens? I learned on stopdown metering, so I may be happy to do a lot of jobs with M lenses if that works out OK. )
Yes, you can make an FA lens work like an M lens by doing this.
12-10-2008, 10:56 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
I had the Komine-made 28 2.8 (Well, actually, I still have that one, but the poor thing got damaged some time back. My first wide angle ever.
Late coming to this thread, but must point people in the direction of the rather extensive Vivitar thread.

In short: several manufacturers built lenses for Vivitar, but of the 28mm K-mounts the two to look out for are Komine f/2 and Kiron f/2. In my testing (click blog link below) the f/2 lenses are revealed to have much better IQ than the f/2.8 varieties. They are small, well-made (harder to find a good Kiron sample, but the Komine have aged well), low distortion and close focusing.

The FA31 tests out closer to 32mm, which is distinctly different from 28. Likewise I have a Vivitar 24mm f/2, but this is also noticeably different from the 28mm. Depends on how important to you the actual field of view is.

Prices are going up on the used market as people realise how nice these manual focus optics are.

The super-fast Sigmas have poor sharpness out of centre unless you stop them down a lot. Depending on what you use them for, that could be ok. Doesn't suit me though.
12-11-2008, 07:31 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote

In short: several manufacturers built lenses for Vivitar, but of the 28mm K-mounts the two to look out for are Komine f/2 and Kiron f/2. In my testing (click blog link below) the f/2 lenses are revealed to have much better IQ than the f/2.8 varieties. They are small, well-made (harder to find a good Kiron sample, but the Komine have aged well), low distortion and close focusing.

The FA31 tests out closer to 32mm, which is distinctly different from 28. Likewise I have a Vivitar 24mm f/2, but this is also noticeably different from the 28mm. Depends on how important to you the actual field of view is.

The super-fast Sigmas have poor sharpness out of centre unless you stop them down a lot. Depending on what you use them for, that could be ok. Doesn't suit me though.
Hrm. That, ...could be disappointing for something costing so much, but not necessarily a deal-killer. I do use an old Canon 50 1.2, the non -L version, and those are notoriously soft when you actually shoot with that extra stop of speed: one tries to stay off that stop wherever possible, but it does let me get shots I otherwise just couldn't now and again. The real reason I got it was for the snappiest possible focusing, anyway: when my eyesight started suffering, this was particularly critical... it turned out I was suffering worse than I had to cause I was getting the wrong eyeglass prescriptions till a few years ago.

With the Sigma, you mean by 'a lot' more than f4? I think I saw a review of it somewhere I could read up on if I get to that point, anyway.

With FOV, well, I have my habits and preferences with 35mm, some stronger than others. Like... I like the neighborhoods of 24, 40, 60, and 85. As I mentioned above, I carry around a little 28 a lot, though, cause the 24 I like is just that heavy. There's room for some flexibility there on crop, especially cause there's a lot of 'odd' focal lengths available out there for Pentax.

One unexpected little boon is I just found out I'm probably getting the kit lens out of the deal with my K20, so I'll be able to check out all these FOV's pretty well just by turning the zoom ring. It also means a little more money to maybe play with some bargain primes (I'd been thinking I might go for the old version kit zoom, they aren't much, but there's some money I was unenthusiastic about spending back in my budget. Maybe I'll get a couple of fun little old things while mostly saving for that fast 28. Putting a 135 2.8 on there would be outside my usual repertoire, but that could be neat, and there's a million of em out there.
12-11-2008, 04:22 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
With the Sigma, you mean by 'a lot' more than f4? I think I saw a review of it somewhere I could read up on if I get to that point, anyway.
The Photozone test for the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX DC HSM AF reveals it has twice the barrel distortion and three times worse vignetting than the FA31 even at f/2.8. Chromatic aberration is two to three times as poor. The centre resolution is very good and gets excellent by f/2.8 but the border resolution only gets as good as the Pentax wide open when stopped down to f/8.

Perhaps it's not fair comparing those two lenses. And if the differences were small I wouldn't sweat it. But being at f/8 compared to f/1.8 to get the same resolution is not a small difference.

Unfortunately, info on the Vivitars is not so forthcoming. Gary Reese's Olympus lens site was lost in the AOL shutdown, but can be found via the Wayback Machine. His resolution tests for the Kiron f/2 give it a C+/C rating wide open (centre/corner), but B+/B stopped down one and A-/A at f/4. In case you're wondering, that's better than the Super Tak 50mm f/1.4.

From what I have been able to gather, the Kiron f/2 is similar to the Vivitar Kiron f/2 and the Vivitar Komine f/2.

My own tests are more informal; if someone out there has more accurate measurements it would be nice to see them. (Though generally I am happy looking at the photos the lenses produce.)
12-11-2008, 09:33 PM   #29
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Well, that certainly is a big difference... Too bad the FA 31 is just a long way out of reach for me, right now. But hey. There may be a chance for one or two of those gems here and there over time: it's good to not really be a lens fiend.

How that Sigma compares to more standard 35mm fare might be a more useful comparison, though that does just sound a bit disappointing, ...You'd think a cropped sensor would be easier to cover. For some of the low-light work, it might be acceptable, but it sounds like it's no great shakes for other jobs I'd want it to do, for the money. Think I'd rather bump the ISO and or rely on SR a bit with a 28/2 for now.

Kirons are certainly nice, a brand I always liked.
12-11-2008, 11:28 PM   #30
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Cameta Camera no longer has the Sigma 24-60mm f2.8 listed on Amazon for $199, but they do still have an ebay listing for $245.
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