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10-07-2010, 10:18 PM   #1
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28mm lens

What would be the best 28mm lens for under $100US? I have no preference between manual/auto focus, M42 vs. regular mount, etc. I will use this for landscape photos mostly, so something that needs stopped down is no big deal.

Thanks in advance for any insight.

10-08-2010, 02:03 AM   #2
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If you can lay your hands on one for the money, the Kiron 28mm f2.0 is a very nice manual lens.

Kiron 28mm f2.0 - a set on Flickr

I know I've seen a similar (if not exact same) Vivitar version on ebay.

The A or M 28mm f2.8 is also a worthy lens that I know can be had for under $100.

Some photos with one of mine shown here. Just look at the filename to see what is what.

1A_Compare 28 to kit lens - a set on Flickr

I don't have any real samples from it yet but I just picked up a Spiratone 20mm f2.8 that looks promising.

Then of course, there are the Taks but I don't own any of them..

10-08-2010, 02:16 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
I don't have any real samples from it yet but I just picked up a Spiratone 20mm f2.8 that looks promising.
Let me know how that 20 works for you. I have an 18 that gives me problems with infinity focus.
10-08-2010, 07:03 AM   #4
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Thanks Jeff! I appreciate it!

10-08-2010, 09:09 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
Let me know how that 20 works for you. I have an 18 that gives me problems with infinity focus.
I Have taken a few pictures with it but nothing I would call a real test where I actually know all the exposure and actual focal point info 5 minutes after taking the photos. Like many other wide angles, I do find it somewhat difficult to focus at infinity. For the most part, I set it, used catch in focus, and hoped for the best. I think the AF area used for CIF is so large compared to anything I took pictures of, that wasn't the best idea in the photographic world. It is also entirely possible that this copy needs some sort of adjustment. I watched one sell on ebay last week for about $80 if I remember correctly.

Anyway, Here are some full sized (processed from PEF RAW) shots.

opiet70, I have to wonder, your sig says you have the DA12-24. Why spend the money on a 28mm? If it's just because you want to or for size, I can understand that. If you're thinking it's going to get you better photos, I'll question that.

10-08-2010, 10:59 AM   #6
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The M28/2.8 is often on eBay for around US$25. A decent Cosina 28/2.8 just sold for $11.50 (my bid was $2.50!) and decent 28's badged as Vivitar, Soligor, Sears, Focal etc are often in the $25 area. You'll see that 28's, 50-55's, and 135's are the most common primes available. Most are OK.
10-08-2010, 02:49 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
The M28/2.8 is often on eBay for around US$25. A decent Cosina 28/2.8 just sold for $11.50 (my bid was $2.50!) and decent 28's badged as Vivitar, Soligor, Sears, Focal etc are often in the $25 area. You'll see that 28's, 50-55's, and 135's are the most common primes available. Most are OK.
Show us.

10-08-2010, 02:57 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
The M28/2.8 is often on eBay for around US$25.
You mean, broken, for parts?

10-08-2010, 03:21 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
Show us.
Look under COMPLETED LISTINGS for the last few weeks. Ok, maybe I should have said US$35 -- but I see some 2.8's and the higher-rated 3.5's in the $20-40 range.
10-08-2010, 03:45 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Look under COMPLETED LISTINGS for the last few weeks. Ok, maybe I should have said US$35 -- but I see some 2.8's and the higher-rated 3.5's in the $20-40 range.
Well, Actually I did. The least expensive is the most recent at $42. That's a lens where the seller says the front element is scratched.

Pentax SMCP M 28mm f/2.8 Lens - Good condition - eBay (item 380274843110 end time Oct-08-10 15:20:39 PDT)

The average price for the Pentax M 28mm f2.8 is over $50, twice what you said they go for Often.

10-08-2010, 10:59 PM   #11
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Look around local antique malls and resale shops. I got a decent Gemini MC Auto 28mm 2.8 (likely a rebranded \/ivitar CF) for $5 at a local resale shop, and in great condition.
10-09-2010, 02:24 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by opiet70 Quote
What would be the best 28mm lens for under $100US? I have no preference between manual/auto focus, M42 vs. regular mount, etc. I will use this for landscape photos mostly, so something that needs stopped down is no big deal.

Thanks in advance for any insight.
From what I have read on the web (and I did extensive research on older 28mm lenses a few months back), I would say that Pentax M 28/3.5 is the best. Even if it isn't sharper than the M 28/2.8 (and I suspect it is), from the photos I've seen taken with it on the web, it has better color rendition. I seriously thought of buying the M 28/3.5 to replace my M 28/2.8, but opted for the more expensive K 28/3.5.
10-09-2010, 04:47 PM   #13
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M28/3.5 or Sigma Mini-wide 28mm f/2.8. The former has a little better contrast and color straight out of the box, but the latter is available with "A" contacts (Sigma Mini-Wide II) and with tweaking can usually match the M. I have never had an M 28/2.8, but I hear these are decent as well and any of the three should be less than $100. $25, I don't know, maybe with good luck.
10-10-2010, 10:01 AM   #14
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One word:
Vivitar

There are a number of threads on this site devoted to the Viv 28mm lenses (there are numerous variants), but all of them are very decent performers with nice build. I can personally vouch for those made by Komine (serial numbers begin with 28) and Kino (Kiron) (serial numbers begin with 22). I own one of each.

I would also include the Tamron Adaptall-2 28/2.5 (02B) on your short list. The Tamron is compact and very well-built with excellent optics. When new, the Tamron cost half again more than the Pentax-M 28/2.8 if price is any indicator of quality. The only issue in my mind is the need for a compatible adapter that can inflates the price somewhat.

And, as a final consideration, you might simply try bottom feeding. 28mm is one of those focal lengths where it is tough to find a bad lens, even with minor or off-brands. Think Sears, Rikenon (Ricoh), J.C. Penny, and such. In M42 screwmount, the options are huge. Think Mamiya/Sekor, Rikenon, Yashinon and maybe even Zeiss Jena. My feeling is that if the build and condition are good, the lens may well be too. The main issue is usually a degree of barrel distortion. Back in the day, anything wider than 35mm was likely to suffer from that ill. In any case, at the price that these often go for, it is worth a try.

Steve

P.S. If you can manage the f/3.5 maximum aperture, the Super-Takumar 28/3.5 and similar Pentax-K 28/3.5 is the best 28mm I have ever shot with.

Last edited by stevebrot; 10-10-2010 at 10:18 AM.
10-11-2010, 07:19 AM   #15
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Steve brought me here, so now it's my pleasure to introduce the OP to the thread Vivitar 28mm As FA31mm Replacement?, in which the wonders of the Vivitar manual focus 28mm lenses are expounded -- at length! The Vivitar Bestiary lists all known variants. Not all are equal, but many do a nice job. Of course the standard Pentax A 28/2.8 is also decent. Even if it is not as nice as the Vivitars can be, it is better than other off-brands.

As an example of what can be easily achieved, here is a shot hand-held in low light with the Vivitar 28mm f/2.8 Close Focus [aka K02].


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