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09-04-2014, 10:33 AM   #1
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DA 28-45mm First Impressions..

Received the lens yesterday, unboxed it and ran some tests.
I cannot afford the time to compile the results at the moment,
but these are observations based on thorough testing (an engineer by training).

1. The lens is insanely big, it dwarfs the D-FA 25mm. It looks even bigger than the 645z body.
You will have a hard time finding a space in your bag or taking this up to mountains.
2. For its size, it almost feels light.
3. The build quality is excellent.
4. The front protrudes at the wide end, but not a lot.
5. The hood comes off like conventional lenses.
6. The lens doesn't vignette with a thin B+W screw-in filter and wide angle Lee adapter ring stacked.
7. Optical Performance

- Chromatic aberrations are well controlled (far better than the D-FA 25mm).
- Field curvature is well controlled as well (far less noticeable than the D-FA 25mm or FA 25mm).
- At the wide end (28mm), it suffers from mild filed curvature, I recommend carefully taking multiple shots with slightly different focus settings and studying them.
- The lens design appears to be optimized at around 35mm.
- Superb image quality from 30 to 45mm.
- At around 35mm, even f/5.6 seems to offer superb corner to corner sharpness.
- Other than around 35mm, the lens is sharp from corner to corner from f/7.1-f/9.0.
- The D-FA 25mm is wider and sharper than the zoom at the wide end (28mm), but it also has more chromatic aberrations and noticeable field curvature.
- The A 35mm comes close, but the zoom outperforms the prime in every aspect.
- The FA 45-85mm has a narrower view angle than the DA 28-45mm at 45mm, and the DA 28-45mm offers almost identical image quality.

To sum up, the DA 28-45mm delivers great IQ in most of its focal range, but does not replace the D-FA or DA 25mm.
It outperforms both A 35mm and FA 35mm by a margin, and offers similar or slightly better IQ than the FA 45-85mm.
Kudos to Pentax for producing a great piece of glass, but the weight and size will limit its usage and put your tripods and
bags to the test.


Additional pics : when mounted









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Last edited by harklee; 09-11-2014 at 06:21 PM. Reason: fix grammar / add pics
09-04-2014, 01:07 PM   #2
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Thanks for sharing your findings!
09-04-2014, 02:36 PM   #3
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Great to hear that it's no slouch in performance, especially given that price!
09-04-2014, 03:38 PM   #4
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Interesting. I will see mine next week.

I am cutting down my kit to just the 28-45 and 80-160.

Perhaps I might need to get an RRS long lens support for both of them.

09-04-2014, 04:59 PM   #5
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Original Poster
Added some pics of the lens mounted to the 645Z, and real-life samples will follow in a few weeks. Despite the IQ advantages, I am still torn. The weight and size are quite overwhelming, and I can't see myself hauling this up to the Sierra on a backpacking trip.
09-04-2014, 11:46 PM   #6
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Your findings correspond pretty much to mine regarding this lens I am now using since a week.

The lens is definitely larger and heavier than what I expected. But then, my main goal with it is to gain flexibility without having constantly to swap the lenses between the 25mm and 55mm lens. Either in event photography when there is little time to swap lenses or on travel where sometimes the highly dusty environment makes me prefer to not swap lens, this 28-45 is for me a very welcome alternative to the use of the primes.

I used in on a longer hike in the mountains last Friday as well as to cover an event over the weekend, the size and weight was finally not so much of a problem. Carrying both 25mm and 55mm and constantly swapping would have been more of a hassle.

Just in case interested, the photos are under http://www.bydoms.com/-/galleries/events/schaferwochenende-2014-belalp, most taken with 645z with DA645 28-45 and a few with DFA645 90. There are also some photos with K-3and DA*60-250.
09-05-2014, 10:12 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by harklee Quote
Added some pics of the lens mounted to the 645Z, and real-life samples will follow in a few weeks. Despite the IQ advantages, I am still torn. The weight and size are quite overwhelming, and I can't see myself hauling this up to the Sierra on a backpacking trip.

My objection to the current 645 system. Impossible to get a wide wideangle without an excessive weight and size penalty. My Pentax 33-55/4.5 weights only 500g.
Maybe they should replace the 25/4 lens witrh a 25/5.6 for a cropped sensor (the 25/4 civers the whole 645 frame).
09-05-2014, 10:31 AM   #8
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Just looking at shots I've taken today on the LCD the lens is insanely sharp. I can see the SR as being useful, but if they could have saved 500g by not including it I'm sure there would be more benefits. Am still shooting so haven't had chance to look at them on a computer yet.

It is massive and doesn't sit very well on my camera when I have the shoulder harness on so the camera will have to live in the bag and to fit snugly in my bag the hood will need to be reversed which makes using it more complicated and slow straight from the bag. The 25f/4 is weighty but better balanced on the camera and I have no fears having it on the camera when I have my black rapid strap on. I think the 28/45 is going to live on my camera much of the time.

09-09-2014, 04:13 AM   #9
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Should the 28-45mm have been designed with a collar? It seems to put a great deal of stress on the camera mount.
09-09-2014, 06:06 AM   #10
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Have you found the reversed focus/zoom rings bothersome?

QuoteOriginally posted by harklee Quote
The FA 45-85mm has a narrower view angle than the DA 28-45mm at 45mm, and the DA 28-45mm offers almost identical image quality.
This is impressive considering the generational gap between the two lenses.
09-09-2014, 06:52 AM   #11
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Is this lens really designed only for a crop sensor as people have been saying? Looking at the size of it on photos and video it does seem huge. Perhaps Pentax know a larger sensor will be available in the future and designed it to be somewhere around 17-28mm on a larger medium format sensor. That's the kind of lens I'd need to make me consider giving up my D800 +14-24mm.
09-09-2014, 09:22 AM   #12
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An alternative perspective on the weight of the 28-45 was given to me in response to a few questions that I had on a different thread. If it replaces 1 or 2 other lenses as well then it isn't that much heavier in the bag. Point takn on he lens collar, it does seem to be an awful lot of weight hanging out front but then again given the weight of the 645z it could be viewed that if you mounted it on the collar then the camera weight is causing issues.
09-09-2014, 10:47 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by GarethC7 Quote
An alternative perspective on the weight of the 28-45 was given to me in response to a few questions that I had on a different thread. If it replaces 1 or 2 other lenses as well then it isn't that much heavier in the bag.
There has bveen Pentax 645 zoom lenses before. They weight a third or half the weight of the 28-45. The 33-55,which is its predecessor for the full frame 645 format, weigths only 500grams.
I have the 33-55 and the 75mm for my 645NII. They weight 500g and 215g respectively.....
09-09-2014, 12:00 PM   #14
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And the 80-160 comes it at just over 1kg, so the 28-45 is only 50% heavier

In 35mm space the Nikon 70-200 F/2.8 is the same weight as the 28-45 but longer in length.

Yes it is big - but hopefully not too big to return stunning results :-)
09-09-2014, 12:47 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by MrPhil Quote

Yes it is big - but hopefully not too big to return stunning results :-)

My experience with heavy lenses is that they ultimately stays at home....
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