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02-05-2010, 10:49 AM   #1
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Looking for a f/2 or better normal lens (~28mm) - again.

I'm looking for the best fast 24-30mm lens: Nothing slower than f/2 and with 0,3m or less minimum focusing distance. And of course sharp and contrasty. So, all in all a multipurpose normal lens.
It doesn't have to be auto focus, though it would be nice, same goes for A setting, it doesn't even have to be in Pentax mount originally (but it has to be moddable then)
But I'm also a metal lens fetishist so decent build quality is a must.

I know I should just be happy with what I have. But I can't. Albeit nicely made and in almost perfect condition I don't like the feel of the Sigma Aspherical 28mm f/1.8 - it looks and feels quite cheap and with only 60 of focusing turn manual focus is no fun.

The Sigma 30mm f/1.4 is out because it only offers 0,4m MFD, Pentax' 31 ltd is simply too expensive.

Viewed strictly there is no lens that fits all of my requirements but they are all very close.
These are the Sigma 28mm f/1.8 EX DG Aspherical Macro with only 0,2m MFD, Vivitar 28mm f/2 Close Focus Wide Angle (K01/K02 - not sure) with 0,23m MFD
and Pentax M 28mm f/2 which has only better build quality to offer (and I've never seen one selling).
Zeiss Distagon* T 28mm f/2 / SMC Pentax 28mm f/2 are out of the race because for their price I could just buy the 31 ltd. Also very interesting to me are Nikons's 28mm f/2 and Konica Hexanon AR UC 28mm f/1.8 with only 0,18m MFD.
I very much like the Konica (it has everything except Autofocus and A-setting) but first of all it probably gets quite expensive as it is a rare lens and besides I would feel bad mutilating such a lens. It's just as wrong as the Canon and Sigma users who cut aperture levers off to use Pentax lenses on their cameras. If there was a reversible way I'd do it.

So as I see it this only leaves Sigma's Macro and the Vivitar Close Focus. With the Sigma I'd have a great all purpose lens with two more aperture blades (9) but with almost the same weaknesses I see in my current Sigma: manual focus and build (probably better than mine). The Vivitar is slightly slower, doesn't have either AF (and depending on the model) or A-setting but it's all metal (except the glass) and focuses closer. I don't know about the Konica - I like how it looks, it is full metal and it offers the closest focusing of all lenses but is the wrong mount.

Of course I'm also open toward other suggestions.

Links to lenses:
Konica •Ž@‚j‚‚Ž‚‰‚ƒ‚‚‚‚@‚P‚R–{‚ / ‚t‚b@‚g‚d‚w‚`‚m‚n‚m@‚`‚q@‚Q‚W‚‚@‚e‚PD‚W ‚*‚‚‚‚‚‚/ƒEƒFƒuƒŠƒuƒƒO
Nikon Nikon 28mm f/2 Review
CarlZeiss Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 28 mm f/2.0 ZF/ZK/ZE review - Pictures and parameters - Lenstip.com
Sigma PentaxForums.com Third-Party Pentax Lens Review Database - 28mm F1.8 EX DG ASPHERICAL MACRO (AF Lens)
Vivitar (as f/2 version) PentaxForums.com Third-Party Pentax Lens Review Database - 28mm f/2.8 Close Focus



Last edited by Egg Salad; 02-05-2010 at 11:59 AM.
02-05-2010, 11:14 AM   #2
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Hey did you know there's another guy in this forum who wants to sell his 28/2 for $70? That's what I heard at least!



(Sorry for threadcrapping, I say go for the Vivitar CF 24-28/2 if you can find one)
02-05-2010, 11:26 AM   #3
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The various Pentax 28/2's show up from time to time at KEH.com
02-05-2010, 01:25 PM   #4
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Wallyb I know I tried to get him to trade it in for my Sigma - without success.
I would have wondered if he said yes.

Marc, yes I know KEH is a great source but only if you live in the US.
Shipping if possible at all would make at least $30 and also there could be fees and taxes. This pretty much spoils every deal you can make. So I didn't look there and also I pretty much forgot this site existed.

Does anybody know additional lenses that fit my criterion?
Or has any opinons on the ones I listed?

I know of the Kiron made Vivitars but I try to avoid them because of their lesser sharpness and sticky/oily aperture problem.

02-05-2010, 06:40 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
The various Pentax 28/2's show up from time to time at KEH.com
I'm just not sure how often a K28/2 would appear anywhere though. but I think it's worth more than $300 bucks. the "M "however, doesn't look too pleasing enough to merit it around $150 or more.
02-05-2010, 07:18 PM   #6
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You seem to have laid out all the contenders. I don't think we're going to be able to help you further with this decision. There is no perfect lens to go for.

For me the Sigmas are way too soft anywhere but the centre until you stop down to f/8. That may be OK in a portrait lens, but not at this FOV. I suppose if you want a wide angle portrait lens then they are the ticket. But I don't like how bulky they are and getting a good one is a crap shoot. But I speak with little experience, only repeating what others have said.

So that leaves you with the Vivitars, which I am a big fan of. But please don't expect to use an Vivitar f/2 wide open unless you like smudges and halos. All of the Vivitars I have tried need to be stopped down one to be any use. Some need to be stopped down two, but luckily the f/2 variants tend to be much better in that regard.

So you are in fact getting a lens that you should consider as f/2.8 and f/4 for a nice crisp image. I am totally happy with that, even though I have the DA12-24 which is great wide open and so competes at f/4. The difference is that a metal prime has a different feeling in the hand and influences me as a photographer in a different way.

I use both depending on why I am shooting. For street shots the Vivi gets the nod since I can set the hyper-focal distance and be done with worrying about focus.
02-05-2010, 07:19 PM   #7
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smc PENTAX FA* 24/2.0 meets your criteria I'd say:

Pentax Lens Review and Specification Database - 24mm F2 AL [IF]
02-06-2010, 11:32 AM   #8
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Well yes, the FA* has almost everything but it's also quite rare and therefore way above my comfortable price range - 200 would be my limit.

As for the Sigma's - it seems to be their ideology to make them very sharp in the center even wide open while neglecting everything off-center. Heavy flaring is also a common weakness. Huge size however is no con to me.

But what seems to be a fact is that there is big sample variation or it's simply different standards - so while some like you say it's too soft others say it's even sharp wide open and perfectly useable. Opinions differ strongly. Sample variation wouldn't strike me this much since I'm not going to buy any of these lenses new (out of question for most of these anyways).

If it's true what you write about the Vivitars then I'll just stay with my M 28mm f/3.5 which is very good.
But in the comparison shots I've made between the M and my new Sigma there isn't much difference detecteble - except different distortion patterns.

The Sigma has less sharpness off-center like mentioned before but this could also be due to stronger field curvature.

Still remainig question: does anybody know anthing about the Konica and if it's worth the hassle?

02-06-2010, 12:44 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Egg Salad Quote
If it's true what you write about the Vivitars then I'll just stay with my M 28mm f/3.5 which is very good.
I have seen great shots with that lens. IIRC Jay is a big fan.
02-06-2010, 01:21 PM   #10
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I'm not saying it's not good but besides low distortion and better edge performance it's inferior to the 16-50. If it was f/2 this thread probably wouldn't exist.
02-06-2010, 01:26 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Egg Salad Quote
Marc, yes I know KEH is a great source but only if you live in the US.
Shipping if possible at all would make at least $30 and also there could be fees and taxes. This pretty much spoils every deal you can make.
I don't see how $30 shipping on a lens that is likely to cost $400 is going to be that big a deal. Not sure who'd be charging fees and taxes and what they base that on, but wouldn't that be true no matter where you buy?

Anyhow, I haven't seen a 28/2 there for a few months, but like I said, they do show up - I'm pretty sure I've seen all three versions.
02-06-2010, 03:42 PM   #12
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It's not the seller who are to blame for possible taxes and various fees - it's the border patrol (don't know how this would translate but you get the idea..).
And no there a only import taxes from countries outside the EU. For every country inside there's only actual shipping to be paid.

But there is something fundamentally wrong in your thinking - but that's my fault - I don't want to spent that much. And with a lens that "only" costs $100-150 $30 make a big difference.

Right now I'm looking out for every lens on my list - and if it is priced well I buy it.
My favourites right now are the Vivitar and the Macro version of my lens but at least on ebay both show up very seldom.
02-07-2010, 12:30 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Egg Salad Quote
And no there a only import taxes from countries outside the EU. For every country inside there's only actual shipping to be paid.
Gotcha - I thought you were implying that KEH was somehow different from any of the other 90% or so of dealers who are outside the EU.

QuoteQuote:
But there is something fundamentally wrong in your thinking - but that's my fault - I don't want to spent that much. And with a lens that "only" costs $100-150 $30 make a big difference.
Gotcha again. In which case, you can definitely scratch the Pentax 28/2's off your list, unless you happen to run across one being sold by someone who has no idea what these things actually go for. Although really, I kind of doubt you'll find anything worth buying for that little - again, unless you happen to get lucky.
02-07-2010, 04:50 AM   #14
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In a recent thread I participaded in (totally selfless) somebody wanted to know the estimated resell price for his M 28mm f/2 - so there are people who could be tricked into selling it too cheap.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/89262-what-wou...m-28mm-f2.html

I didn't really consider this very lens a contender. If it is hard to find it probably is expensive once there's one.
Again, to clarify: $400 is too high even at the Dollar's recent course but $250 is just accepteable.
Within this price range fall both the Vivitar (70+ if A-version) and the Sigma (some time again there was one selling for 185/~$250)
For the unlikely case the Nikon non AI f/2 stays within my range this would also be an option. Still don't know about the Konica - Nikon is clearly easier to adapt.
02-07-2010, 11:53 AM   #15
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I don't think that there's a trick into selling a lens too cheap. it's a matter of how a person puts value into the lens. you can't expect to go to a garage sale person, old owner or a thrift store clerk that they are pricing their products way way below the market price.

there are only 3 possible choices that a person maybe willing to sell or acquire a lens; a bargain, market price, and a rip-off price.
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