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09-04-2009, 03:04 PM   #1
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Looking for a f/2 or better normal-wide (24-28mm) prime

I already have the M 3.5/28 and while this lens is very good I wouldn't call it a speed monster (in fact I don't call any lens anything) so I'm looking for a lens that at least can match its quality while being faster - I currently try to get a 16-50 or 24-70 so f/2.8 doesn't cut it.

What are my options?
The lenses I know are Pentax' SMC "K" 28mm f/2 (but this is more of a collector's item than an actual lens - with matching price tags - so not really an option),
the Pentax FA* 24mm f/2 (also way too expensive for its performance),
the Cosina MC Cosinon-W 28mm f/2 (either I was looking for the wrong keywords or there isn't anything about this lens on the net - so is this lens any good?)
the Vivitar K01 28mm f/2 MC CLOSE FOCUS WIDE ANGLE (my favourite so far) and
the Sigma 24/28mm f/1.8.

The lens I'm looking for hasn't to be perfect wide open (the only option would be the FA Ltd. 31 then) but it should be useable wide open (as good as the 50mm @f/1.7).
Weight and size aren't an issue but I'd prefer manual MF lenses.
My budget isn't really limited (to a reasonable point of course) but I'd like to keep it cheaper - ~150€ for the Sigma would be my limit of comfort.



Last edited by Egg Salad; 09-05-2009 at 04:24 AM.
09-04-2009, 07:57 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Egg Salad Quote
The lenses I know are Pentax' SMC 28mm f/2 (but this is more of a collector's item than an actual lens - with matching price tags - so not really an option
I wouldn't go that far. I forget what the "K" version goes for, but the "M" or "A" versions are generally available on KEH.com for around $400 US, which actually isn't bad for a lens of these specs.

QuoteQuote:
The lens I'm looking for hasn't to be perfect wide open (the only option would be the FA* 31 then) but it should be useable wide open (as good as the 50mm @f/1.7).
According to Yoshihiko Takanami's tests:

http://www.takinami.com/yoshihiko/photo/lens_test/index.html

The 50/1.7 scores in the 62-69 range (corners - center) wide open, and the M28/2 scores 55-78. Which is to say, the 28 is weaker in the corners but stronger in the center than the 50. The "A" version should be optically identical to the M.

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 09-05-2009 at 08:07 AM.
09-04-2009, 09:11 PM   #3
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I'm always under the impression that A50/1.7 is better than 31/1.8 wide open in terms of sharpness (discounting bokeh and rendering). Maybe I'm being blasphemous... Anyone care to enlighten me?
09-05-2009, 04:19 AM   #4
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If you consider the Vivitar K01 sells about 100$, 400$ (or 700$ for the "K") is a lot more.
But I will look out for the M 28/2.0 - wasn't on my list before and seems like a very fine lens.
If Yoshihiko Takanami's results are representative (he only tested one lens each) the f/2 version is indeed impressive - being sharper than any 50mm lens is something they can be proud of.

Andi, if you want to shed this shame of a lens I would even pay the shipping to free you from it.

But does anybody know anything about the Cosina?
The opinions on the Sigma are very mixed - some say it is very sharp and even useable wide open while others say it never gets sharp, the bokeh is hideous and it is contrast-less (its sensitivity to flares seems to be a fact however).


09-05-2009, 05:40 AM   #5
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If you find anything better than the K01 for anything near the price, you'd better let me know!
09-05-2009, 08:17 AM   #6
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Didn't know the Vivitar was that cheap - guess I should finally check out that Vivitar / 31 Limited thread to see what all the fuss is about!
09-05-2009, 09:33 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Egg Salad Quote
Andi, if you want to shed this shame of a lens I would even pay the shipping to free you from it.
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Unfortunately someone else have freed me from the A 50/1.7 and I have yet to hold a FA 31 Appreciate the offer though.
09-05-2009, 11:41 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Egg Salad Quote
If you consider the Vivitar K01 sells about 100$, 400$ (or 700$ for the "K") is a lot more.
But I will look out for the M 28/2.0 - wasn't on my list before and seems like a very fine lens.
If Yoshihiko Takanami's results are representative (he only tested one lens each) the f/2 version is indeed impressive - being sharper than any 50mm lens is something they can be proud of.

Andi, if you want to shed this shame of a lens I would even pay the shipping to free you from it.

But does anybody know anything about the Cosina?
The opinions on the Sigma are very mixed - some say it is very sharp and even useable wide open while others say it never gets sharp, the bokeh is hideous and it is contrast-less (its sensitivity to flares seems to be a fact however).
As Marc mentioned I would look at the M or A28/2 as an option. The K28/2 is an outstanding lens but is very pricy, because of its unique (for Pentax in 1976) floating element optical design. The K28/2 is also twice the weight of the M or A version, so if you are not used to the size of k series lenses you may find them too heavy.

Phil.

09-05-2009, 01:03 PM   #9
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Nope - as I said weight and size aren't an issue. If a lens is good I don't mind if it is heavy. I already have the "K" 135/2.5 and I don't find it too heavy.

I was slightly wrong about the Vivitar - I meant 100 not $. But there was an auction for a near new PK-A lens which closed at 72 (if the link works http://cgi.ebay.de/NEW-VIVITAR-28mm-f2-0-WIDE-ANGLE-CF-LENS-PENTAX-PK_W0QQit...%3A3|294%3A200).

Marc if you look for the Vivitars consider the Komine-made ones are said to be better (Komine = SN starting with 28 - complete list here Photografica).


Tough fate, Andi.
09-05-2009, 01:24 PM   #10
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Kiron

I know Kiron made a 24mm and a 28mm F2 in a K-mount. That said, I have no idea what quality images they produce......

mark
09-05-2009, 01:58 PM   #11
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What's wrong with the FA*24? For $500 it's definitely a good buy (I've had one for about 1.5 years). I'm not sure how much they cost now used.

Considering other Pentax MF lenses are close to as much, you get the benefits of AF, AE, and good MF too for not much more. If price is an issue then you might want to consider the 3rd party options although I do not know much about them.
09-05-2009, 02:01 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Andi Lo Quote
I'm always under the impression that A50/1.7 is better than 31/1.8 wide open in terms of sharpness (discounting bokeh and rendering). Maybe I'm being blasphemous... Anyone care to enlighten me?
I gave my 50 (the one you mention) to a friend after awhile, but like all typical 50s you get the same dreamy and flare-y images if you shoot in good light. The 31 does not do this nearly as much, but for the $40CAD I got it for, I wouldn't complain
09-05-2009, 02:50 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by jslifoaw Quote
I gave my 50 (the one you mention) to a friend after awhile, but like all typical 50s you get the same dreamy and flare-y images if you shoot in good light. The 31 does not do this nearly as much, but for the $40CAD I got it for, I wouldn't complain
I see One more reason to hunt for the FA 77....

And FA*24 have pretty much stayed the same price.
09-05-2009, 03:26 PM   #14
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If you look at Photozone's review (Pentax SMC-FA* 24mm f/2 AL [IF] Review / Lab Test Report) of the FA* 24 it doesn't look that good - pretty high distortion, too much vignetting, poor corner performance - and as a personal opinion a toyish look.
With these flaws it seems to have I would pay 250$ max.

I solved the lacking auto exposure with my all manual lenses so I'm not gaining anything with A-lenses over it (tin-foil on A-pin gives you all A-functions).

My problem is that I rarely see the Vivitar on ebay and I don't know anything about the Cosina and not enough about the Sigma (24 or 28mm) to simply buy one.
09-05-2009, 05:23 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by forensicscientist Quote
I know Kiron made a 24mm and a 28mm F2 in a K-mount. That said, I have no idea what quality images they produce.
I have the Kiron 28/2 which is excellent and identical to the Vivitar designated K11. The only issue is that some report it failing over time with oil on blades. I have heard not one similar complaint for the Komine builds.

I do not have the Kiron 24/2 but do have a Komine made Vivitar 24/2, in KA mount even. That was my golden lens find. I would shoot with it all the time, except my DA12-24 is more versatile and the Vivitar K01 very appealing.

Still, some examples:

the blue wood




power transmission

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