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12-03-2012, 02:19 PM   #1
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2nd lens: SMC-A 24mm f/2.8 or Distagon 28mm f/2.8?

Good evening,

I have come up with quite a wired question. I'm using using a k100d and a FA 50mm f/1.4. I don't use flash, and focus with a split-image screen, so the availability of a big aperture is quite crucial. Too often I'm missing a wider lens, and now I saved for a quite a while and want to get a second lens. Budget is ~ 200 euro.
Before I started studying 2.5 years ago, I was in the middle east for a year, and used a FA 35mm f/2 whenever I had time to go out. I sold it immediately when I moved. I had the impression that for most situations, it was too short (then I used the 50mm), or still slightly too long. Then I really didn't like how it rendered the parts not in focus. The good thing was the aperture of f/2, and that it was easy to focus, and did not have too much CA.

Now I'm looking for a second wide-ish prime which shall become the lens I use in most situations. I don't care if its fully manual, auto A or auto focus&A, and, just to give a first direction of ideas, thought of a Pentax SMC-A 24mm f/2.8 or a Zeiss Distagon 28mm f/2.8. I could get each for about the same price of ~200 Euro used, the Zeiss being slightly more expensive in the end because of the Leitax adapter I'd have to get.
I looked at many pictures on Flickr shot with these lenses, and the 28mm Distagon seems to provide the sharpness I'm looking for; but it seems still a tad too long; the 24mm Pentax seems to provide the frame I'm looking for, even has auto A which can be very comfortable, but seems overall softer than the Distagon.
And both are not really fast.

What are your opinions, what would you suggest? I guess I'm asking for a decision between two lenses that are difficult to compare; but, with my budged, which lens would you got for?

Best wishes,

12-03-2012, 03:24 PM   #2
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I am also a manual shooter. In your case, i would go for the A24/2.8.

There are many good, above average, 28mm out there. Vivitar has 20+ different versions, some with close focus are among the good ones. Also kiron made 28/2 can be found.
If you want a 28mm, save and go for A28/2. The K28/2 pentax-distagon might be hard to find and expensive.

Zeiss are among the best, but you need leitax mount and can be expensive. Also there are many zeiss versions for 28mm.
12-03-2012, 04:09 PM   #3
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I have the SMC-M 24mm f2.8 and have been very pleased with its rendering on film. On digital the "A" version would be nice.
12-03-2012, 04:49 PM   #4
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Check out the Sigma AF Super Wide 24/2.8 or the non AF version, they're supposed to be quite good.
The Pentax-A 24/2.8 is quite good too.

12-03-2012, 06:26 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Swift1 Quote
Check out the Sigma AF Super Wide 24/2.8 or the non AF version, they're supposed to be quite good.
The Pentax-A 24/2.8 is quite good too.
Also the Kiron 24 and 28mm f/2.0 lenses, available with A contacts if you're lucky.
12-03-2012, 07:25 PM   #6
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The Sigma Superwide II 24/2.8 and Kiron 24mm f2.0 are sharp enough and easily fit in the budget. The Sigma is available in K, KA and KAF mounts, the Kiron in K and KA, also sold as a Vivitar with serial number starting with 22. Don't get the Vivitar 24/2 with a 28xxxxxx serial number, they aren't anywhere close to the Kiron sharpness. There's a Tamron Adaptall-2 24mm f2.5 that's probably close to these two.

The coatings on those lenses won't be as good as the Pentaxes, especially for flare. Price probably means you'll have to accept f2.8 if you go with Pentax. I've never had one but no one ever complains about them.

Isn't there a Zeiss 25/2.8? If that fits in the budget it is probably a good idea.
12-04-2012, 07:34 AM   #7
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Hey, thank you very much for your feedback.
I think I won't save for the 28 /2.0 - It sells for more than 300, which is 50% more than my budget, which to me seems already now too high. Maybe on day if I shall be old and rich... .
The Kiron 24mm /2.0 seems to be available from time to time for a little less than 200 euro, but I couldn't find any recent offers in Europe; I'll definitely keep my eyes open - the same seems to be true for the Sigma Super Wide, for a little less than 150 euro.
Yes, there is a Zeiss Distagon 25 / 2.8; but sells for twice the price as the 28 / 2.8, so it's out of range.

Still, it's not easy - though it seems that most probably different lenses would all make me happy in the end.
The Zeiss 28 / 2.8 seems to be a good deal at 200 euro incl. the Leitax-Adapter; so does the Pentax 24/ 2.8 SMC-A, and so would (as soon as there'll be offers in Europe) the Kiron and the Sigma.
Certainly, I could go now for the Pentax / Zeiss, and if I don't like it, resell it and try an other one, given that they don't loose value too fast..

If you have further thoughts or suggestions, I'd be happy to hear them!
12-04-2012, 01:39 PM   #8
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Another option would be the Pentax-A 28/2.8
They can be found around here for about$80-$100 US. It is a great performer from what I've read.
I have the Pentax-F 28/2.8 and I think they are the same optical design. I love my F 28/2.8, if you can find one of them within your budget you might like that.


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