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12-01-2023, 11:20 AM - 1 Like   #1
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28mm

Hello, all. Through laborious theorycrafting and a good deal of low-grade instant coffee, I have determined that the K3iiiM is to be my nightclub/concert project camera, and, further, that 28mm will be the lens. (I am a sucker for low-40s shooting, as per Weegee, 43mm/1.9, et al.)

It will be here on Thursday. (God willing and the creek don't rise, as they say.)

To this end, I am wondering what experience you might have with the various 28mm options and how they render in monochrome. I believe I'll have enough wiggle-room that speed is not a concern, so what I am really looking for is contrast and corner-to-corner performance.

I've got the Pentax-M 28 2.8, an m42 Vivitar 28/2.8 Wide Angle, both of which I will be testing out as a first step, but I'm open to quite literally anything, from the Zeiss/Hollywood on down, so anything you might be able to suggest, or experiences you might have in their use on the K3iiiM, would be most welcome.

Thanks in advance!

12-01-2023, 11:29 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Well since part of the reason for the monochrome K-3 is it better optimizes contrast and sharpness. Therefore, in order to take advantage of that capability in the body, you might want to consider pairing it with a sharp and contrasty lens. I have the old FA-28 which is nice, but it is NOT contrasty (though reasonably sharp). Here is an fairly (!) B&W pic taken in spring fog with it (K-70, I think, or maybe a K-50, body). While it IS foggy and all, you can see the lens isn't great at contrast...



What range do you like to photograph in? Look for sharp and contrasty lenses.

Last edited by jgnfld; 12-01-2023 at 11:36 AM.
12-01-2023, 11:48 AM   #3
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There are two versions of the M28/2.8 (SMC Pentax-M 28mm F2.8 Reviews - M Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database). Even though they have the same number of lenses/groups, they have somewhat different optical formulas. The second version is the same as the A28/2.8 which I have. I will note that this lens can be tricky to get sharp, especially at distances not near infinity as it has a very short focus throw, so it is really hard to dial in a precise focus.
12-01-2023, 11:53 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by jgnfld Quote
Well since part of the reason for the monochrome K-3 is it better optimizes contrast and sharpness. Therefore, in order to take advantage of that capability in the body, you might want to consider pairing it with a sharp and contrasty lens. I have the old FA-28 which is nice, but it is NOT contrasty (though reasonably sharp). Here is an fairly (!) B&W pic taken in spring fog with it (K-70, I think, or maybe a K-50, body). While it IS foggy and all, you can see the lens isn't great at contrast...



What range do you like to photograph in? Look for sharp and contrasty lenses.
I like it - not heavy contrast and goes well with the overall weather depicted in that scene.

12-01-2023, 12:08 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by manishved Quote
I like it - not heavy contrast and goes well with the overall weather depicted in that scene.
Yah...Not much of a Catholic here, but I like the way this one works as it's more dreamy-ish.

But to my mind in general, with monochrome, I like to bring out and use lines. This is more of a broad swoosh up and to the right.
12-01-2023, 01:04 PM   #6
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FA 28mm is a good bet. I like it's output on APSC.
12-01-2023, 01:06 PM - 1 Like   #7
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The 2.8 28mm was my first lens on my K1000. Always enjoyed it; a very versatile lens. This was shot with that lens.


12-01-2023, 02:51 PM - 1 Like   #8
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I hope you're able to find something that benefits from SAFOX 13.
While there is an abundance of manual glass is out there, one of the remarkable improvements on the K3iii is the AF.
Looks like there is a sigma 30mm f1.4 DC HSM ART for the K mount is the only silent offering (must be one of the last one models released) might be a choice, though I've never held, never mind used it.
I have owned the F 28/2.8 - solid lens, sold it, then bought it again because I shouldn't have sold it(!). Maybe I'll pop it on my K3iii and see how it benefits from modern AF technology. (I normally use it on K-1 now).

12-01-2023, 03:19 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattt Quote
I hope you're able to find something that benefits from SAFOX 13.
While there is an abundance of manual glass is out there, one of the remarkable improvements on the K3iii is the AF.
Looks like there is a sigma 30mm f1.4 DC HSM ART for the K mount is the only silent offering (must be one of the last one models released) might be a choice, though I've never held, never mind used it.
I have owned the F 28/2.8 - solid lens, sold it, then bought it again because I shouldn't have sold it(!). Maybe I'll pop it on my K3iii and see how it benefits from modern AF technology. (I normally use it on K-1 now).

The Sigma is on the short-list, as is the Irix 30mm. I've got that exact Sigma on my Quattro SD already, and presumably the image quality is similar: which is to say, pretty great.

The thing keeping me from buying it is that I don't like the idea of having two copies of the same lens, which is a problem only insofar as it's not exactly what I want. (Which is to say 28mm.) I have the Irix 11mm for my K-1ii, and it's a fun lens that I usually pull out once per shoot, just for its audaciousness. I wish I had a chance to use it more, but 11mm is... well.... 11mm. So the Irix 30mm is tempting because it'd give me a chance to use more Irix glass. (And it's on sale!)

If it was an Irix 28mm, I'd have bought it two days ago!
12-01-2023, 05:29 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by tlvx Quote
Hello, all. Through laborious theorycrafting and a good deal of low-grade instant coffee, I have determined that the K3iiiM is to be my nightclub/concert project camera, and, further, that 28mm will be the lens. (I am a sucker for low-40s shooting, as per Weegee, 43mm/1.9, et al.)

I'm a huge fan of determining lenses in theory, and am impressed to see that you have a Quattro. I have the DP2 and DP3 Merrills, which a friend called "the dial-up internet of cameras." Lovely photos; dreadful but still somehow nice machines.

A practical consideration if you're looking at low-light work with semi-wide lenses – Adobe Lightroom's distortion correction can add some really wild patterns to the grain. Efforts to lighten the photo then get very, very unfriendly. This applies to both lenses with profiles or with manual adjustments. You may never run into it, but it is a weakness that caught me by surprise. (I haven't been motivated enough to seek out another raw converter to see how they handle distortion, so it can't be a very big deal.)

My favourite lens on my Monochrome is the DFA21/2.4, which… is not a 28mm. But it's very nice, if you ever want something very different from what you're asking about.
12-01-2023, 05:51 PM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by greyscale Quote
I'm a huge fan of determining lenses in theory, and am impressed to see that you have a Quattro. I have the DP2 and DP3 Merrills, which a friend called "the dial-up internet of cameras." Lovely photos; dreadful but still somehow nice machines.

A practical consideration if you're looking at low-light work with semi-wide lenses – Adobe Lightroom's distortion correction can add some really wild patterns to the grain. Efforts to lighten the photo then get very, very unfriendly. This applies to both lenses with profiles or with manual adjustments. You may never run into it, but it is a weakness that caught me by surprise. (I haven't been motivated enough to seek out another raw converter to see how they handle distortion, so it can't be a very big deal.)

My favourite lens on my Monochrome is the DFA21/2.4, which… is not a 28mm. But it's very nice, if you ever want something very different from what you're asking about.
[Insert Adobe Rant]

My workflow is probably going to be somewhere on the Affinity->DxO Photolab->Niks/Neo spectrum. Not dissimilar from working with Foveon files, really! Preliminary tests with Affinity seem to avoid these wild patterns. I guess I'll find out.

That DFA is also on the short list. Best-case-scenario would be a 28mm 0.8. Anything that's not that is a deviation from optimal, which winds up including lots of stuff. Wider is better than tighter, smaller is better than bigger, faster is better than slower, and there's a non-zero chance I'll just wind up using my FA 24-70. But I'd like to keep it smaller. (To this end, I will almost certainly get the DA70 at some point, just because I am tickled by the audacity of its wee existence.)
12-01-2023, 06:38 PM - 2 Likes   #12
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My hands down favorite is the Vivitar 28mm f2 close focusing lens. I originally bought it as a fast wide for night shooting.






It's pretty much my go to lens for anything now. Monochrome?






It does good close ups.




and I'm particularly pleased with the stitched panoramas this lens creates.




12-02-2023, 10:28 AM - 2 Likes   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by tlvx Quote
My workflow is probably going to be somewhere on the Affinity->DxO Photolab->Niks/Neo spectrum. Not dissimilar from working with Foveon files, really! Preliminary tests with Affinity seem to avoid these wild patterns. I guess I'll find out.
I cringe-laughed at that. Ah, Sigma Photo Pro…cessor… I do not miss that. It hear it got better after I stopped using it, naturally, but my two Merrills both have failing control wheels and half of my dozen-plus batteries are bulging and aging out. Still, aside from everything else, the Foveon per-pixel sharpness combined with colour data really is the best of both sides of the argument between the monochrome sensor and converting colour data for B&W post-processing. But I digress.

I tried a file that had processing artifacts with Lightroom, and Affinity Photo had no problem with it, even with comical amounts of distortion correction thrown at it. I'm still using v1.1, so I'm sure v2 is equally capable if not better. For me this would be a significant awkwardening of my workflow, but it's nice to have that as an option. I'm about to use the 20-40 on a trip, and its varying distortion levels is one of the things I'm worried about. (I'm really into straight lines and geometrics.) I was consoling myself by remembering that I'll mostly be using it in the day, where this problem doesn't show up.

(The way I said that makes it seem like these files are hard to find – they are not. Anything with distortion correction and visible noise, call it iso20,000 plus, give or take, can show the Adobe Rings. Like all noise, it's particularly noticeable when the shadows are boosted. Not doing distortion correction with Adobe solves the problem, so I only use lens correction at lower sensitivities, which I define as "iso values that are at the top of what my Fujifilm cameras can do".)


QuoteOriginally posted by tlvx Quote
That DFA is also on the short list. Best-case-scenario would be a 28mm 0.8. Anything that's not that is a deviation from optimal, which winds up including lots of stuff. Wider is better than tighter, smaller is better than bigger, faster is better than slower, and there's a non-zero chance I'll just wind up using my FA 24-70. But I'd like to keep it smaller.
Hmm… from your list, the DFA21 is wider… slightly faster than typical for Pentax, perhaps… and not particularly small. But it is a lovely lens, and could do very nicely against point lights indoors. I thought it would significantly over-lens my Monochrome – I hear it's good on full-frame cameras, too – but physically it is a very nice match. And it's quiet. I'm burying this admission in a long block of text where fewer people will notice it, but I really dislike screw-drive lenses and will avoid them any time there's an alternative. They're so loud. Even the quiet ones are loud. I didn't like them with my Nikon primes, and with Pentax I can't do tabletop/macro photography at night when the house is asleep. But the DFA21 is art, all on its own, even before it records any photos. That's the lens that I really want to take on my trip next week, but I'm held back by its size and the fact that if something happens to it I would be deeply sad and then need to buy another. I can't say that about my other lenses.
12-02-2023, 10:48 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by greyscale Quote
I cringe-laughed at that. Ah, Sigma Photo Pro…cessor… I do not miss that. It hear it got better after I stopped using it, naturally, but my two Merrills both have failing control wheels and half of my dozen-plus batteries are bulging and aging out. Still, aside from everything else, the Foveon per-pixel sharpness combined with colour data really is the best of both sides of the argument between the monochrome sensor and converting colour data for B&W post-processing. But I digress.

I tried a file that had processing artifacts with Lightroom, and Affinity Photo had no problem with it, even with comical amounts of distortion correction thrown at it. I'm still using v1.1, so I'm sure v2 is equally capable if not better. For me this would be a significant awkwardening of my workflow, but it's nice to have that as an option. I'm about to use the 20-40 on a trip, and its varying distortion levels is one of the things I'm worried about. (I'm really into straight lines and geometrics.) I was consoling myself by remembering that I'll mostly be using it in the day, where this problem doesn't show up.

(The way I said that makes it seem like these files are hard to find – they are not. Anything with distortion correction and visible noise, call it iso20,000 plus, give or take, can show the Adobe Rings. Like all noise, it's particularly noticeable when the shadows are boosted. Not doing distortion correction with Adobe solves the problem, so I only use lens correction at lower sensitivities, which I define as "iso values that are at the top of what my Fujifilm cameras can do".)




Hmm… from your list, the DFA21 is wider… slightly faster than typical for Pentax, perhaps… and not particularly small. But it is a lovely lens, and could do very nicely against point lights indoors. I thought it would significantly over-lens my Monochrome – I hear it's good on full-frame cameras, too – but physically it is a very nice match. And it's quiet. I'm burying this admission in a long block of text where fewer people will notice it, but I really dislike screw-drive lenses and will avoid them any time there's an alternative. They're so loud. Even the quiet ones are loud. I didn't like them with my Nikon primes, and with Pentax I can't do tabletop/macro photography at night when the house is asleep. But the DFA21 is art, all on its own, even before it records any photos. That's the lens that I really want to take on my trip next week, but I'm held back by its size and the fact that if something happens to it I would be deeply sad and then need to buy another. I can't say that about my other lenses.
I'll buy whatever full frame Foveon Sigma decides to sell. The SD is my "I'm going to take 30 considered photographs" camera versus my usual style of spraying-prayerlessly, and I'd love something mirrorlessly Foveonic for all my dumb/weird old glass.

PKwise, I've been running around with my K-10 testing the lens pile and have determined that the first line of attack will be to (finally) put this ВариоЗенитар through its paces. (After seriously considering the 20-40, which is particularly enticing at its current price.)

I'm not really any sort of purist, having been forged in the fires of High Volume Quick Deliverables Las Vegas Wedding Photography. My workflow is and has always been sorta kludgy. I haven't figured out a good way to mass-transmogrify DNGs to TIFFs, but hopefully something will pop up. If not, Sigma has trained me well in the arts of painfully-slow-processing. All good.
12-02-2023, 10:50 AM   #15
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Forgot the photo. Maybe it's for the best. Ah well.

Last edited by tlvx; 12-06-2023 at 10:45 PM.
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