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SMC Pentax-FA 28mm F2.8 AL Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-FA 28mm F2.8 AL

Sharpness 
 9.1
Aberrations 
 8.6
Bokeh 
 8.4
Autofocus 
 9.3
Handling 
 8.6
Value 
 9.4
Reviews Views Date of last review
26 107,230 Wed March 1, 2017
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
92% of reviewers $180.63 8.85
SMC Pentax-FA 28mm F2.8 AL

SMC Pentax-FA 28mm F2.8 AL
supersize
SMC Pentax-FA 28mm F2.8 AL
supersize

Description:
The smc PENTAX-FA 1:2.8 28mm autofocus lens succeeded its F-series counterpart and incorporated a new optical design featuring an AL element.



SMC Pentax-FA 28mm F2.8 AL
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (A setting)
Diaphragm
Automatic, 6 blades
Optics
5 elements, 5 groups
Mount Variant
KAF
Max. Aperture
F2.8
Min. Aperture
F22
Focusing
AF (screwdrive)
Quick-shift
No
Min. Focus
30 cm
Max. Magnification
0.13x
Filter Size
49 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 55 ° / 46 °
Full frame: 75 ° / 65 °
Hood
PH-SB49
Case
S70-70
Lens Cap
Coating
SMC
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
65 x 40.5 mm (2.6 x 1.6 in.)
Weight
185 g (6.5 oz.)
Production Years
1991 to 2004
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-FA 1:2.8 28mm AL
Product Code
22527
Notes
One aspherical element
Features:
Screwdrive AutofocusAperture RingAutomatic ApertureFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Sample Photos: View Sample Photos
Price History:



Add Review of SMC Pentax-FA 28mm F2.8 AL
Author:
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 26
New Member

Registered: September, 2014
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: March 1, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $210.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, small, easy to use
Cons: ?
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K30   

Very good lens.
   
Junior Member

Registered: January, 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 32
Lens Review Date: June 21, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: I.Q. at f2.8, light, cheap
Cons: Never exceptional, focus ring
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K10D, Kx   

Inexpensive light lens.
What I really like is the very good I.Q. (all parameters) at full aperture.
But it barely improves at smaller apertures.
The focusing ring is inadequate: badly placed, too thin, rubbery and lose
Also, the hood is 'screw-in', I prefer a baionet or telescopic.
All in all, this is a very pleasant lens: it can be used without restriction at full aperture.
It is markedly superior to the older 28mm 2.8 A and M.
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: March, 2015
Posts: 5,926
Lens Review Date: June 18, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: More than adequately sharp; fast; good AF response; (see review)
Cons: Discontinued!
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-5   

I bought this lens because I wanted a wide-field-of view AF lens in this focal length to be able to take pictures of dogs and small children in a hurry - my eyes aren't good enough to do it without a split-prism screen.

The demands I place on the lens aren't harsh or exacting and I'm not a pixel-peeper, so if you are, perhaps look to another review. I'm more than happy with this lens.

Image quality: I see no specific flaws on full-screen monitor viewing, which is good enough for me.

Focus: AF is fast, with a minimum focusing distance of just under 1 foot/30cm, although it feels a few cm closer. Not a macro by any means, but you can certainly get close. Manual focus is reasonable; I could focus well enough on a particular close object that a narrow aperture would get me acceptable results. Beyond a couple of metres, you are very quickly into hyperfocal distance at any aperture.

Bokeh: At close distances and wide apertures, out-of-plane images are smeared into diffuse zones of colour. Good enough for me.

General notes: It's a film-era lens with an aperture ring, so it's full-frame ready and unlike the D-FA 100mm macro it's completely backwards compatible. It's also relatively inexpensive. My copy seems "bright" in low light, as if it occasionally needs -0.5 EV to bring it in line with what my eyes are seeing, but I consider this an advantage.

I had been considering buying the 21mm or 15mm DA limited, but after a short period owning a 28mm manual lens I realised that this was as wide as I needed to go for my purposes. IMO Ricoh should seriously consider re-establishing the production line for this lens.

I can recommend it to anyone looking for a second-hand wide angle prime for casual hobby or family photography. Undoubtedly the current crop of DA Limiteds are better, but I don't think the extra cost can be justified unless you're doing professional/commercial work or take your amateur photography much more seriously than I do (entering competitions, etc).
   
New Member

Registered: March, 2014
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: May 17, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $120.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp at 2.8, compact size, light weight
Cons: little plastic
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K5IIS, MZ-S, SuperA   

Sharp at 2.8, easy to use in low light condition, no auto focus error in low light condition, compact size and light weight
   
New Member

Registered: April, 2014
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: April 22, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $125.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp at 2.8, compact size, light weight
Cons: problems with lenshood, problematic manual focusing for people with big hand
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 7    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-500   

Very good lens, very sharp in wide aperture, its is also light and compact.
   
New Member

Registered: January, 2012
Posts: 15
Lens Review Date: September 22, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp at 2.8, compact size, light weight
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: New   

Sharp at 2.8, easy to use in low light condition, auto focus error in low light condition, compact size and light weight
   
New Member

Registered: October, 2011
Posts: 5
Lens Review Date: February 21, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp at F/2.8, Great focal length for APS-C, looks good on DSLR bodies
Cons: Build quaity average, plastic casing, AF could be quieter, manual focus ring is tiny.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K-r   

A downright beast of a lens. Sharp at 2.8, sharper still at F/4, scary pin sharp at F/5.6. Focal length on APS-C is perfect (42mm), colour rendition is spot on.

Manual focusing is an afterthought here, and the build does feel cheap. But these are quibbles on a lens that really does the job. Highly recommended!

N.B. Worth considering for K-r users shooting under low tungsten light, as even wide open this lens finds focus well.
   
New Member

Registered: August, 2012
Posts: 6

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 17, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great color, contrast and sharpness. Light and compact.
Cons: Plastic body.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-01   

Performance-wise this is a great lens. Produces very contrasty image and typical Pentax color. For its size and weight and equivalent focal length, it serves perfectly as the walk-around lens for my K-01.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2010
Location: Mumbai, India
Posts: 397
Lens Review Date: June 27, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $190.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Weight, IQ,FOV
Cons: None
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-x   

Fast, snappy AF on my K-x. Makes a good walkaround or group lens.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: July, 2010
Location: Yorkshire
Posts: 1,501
Lens Review Date: January 13, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharper wide open than my Tamron17-50-f2.8... Great focal length on DSLR
Cons: Hunts in LowLight -
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: Used   

I've not had the FA28 long but I'm a little in love with it...

I'd been watching this one on a 'Buy it Now' for a few weeks - It was put up a couple of times and each time the seller reduced the price slightly...
I bid on another copy and missed out... Thought "what the hell!" and pulled the trigger on it...
Lens is used but PRISTINE.... So I was instantly impressed...

The focal length on my K-x is almost perfect... I tend to crop quite a lot but I'm finding it really easy to frame shots with this lens in a way that I don'tneed to crop at all

It's considerably sharper at f2.8 than my tamron-17-50 is; and at the moment I can't see it coming off my K-x for a while...

The AF is pretty quick but does hunt a little in lowlight... Gets there though...

The colour that it produces is nothing more than stunning!

I'm definitely getting a 'thing' for standard FA primes and tempted to sell all my DA/F/A/M and 3rd party lenses to help fund FA20-f2.8; FA35-f2; FA100 macro 2.8

I'm in love with my FA28
   
Inactive Account

Registered: October, 2011
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: October 13, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp even open wide
Cons: none so far
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-r   

I bought this lens a couple of days ago because i didn't get warm with the DA 35/2,4. I guess it was the plastic feel not the imagequality.
I stopped over this lens because it has a nice focal range of 42 mm on crop. It does well with my K-r and i was surprised by its sharpness and the colour reproduction. With the "vivid"-setting on my cam it produces very punchy and nicely saturated pictures with almost no chroma noise or visible abberations.

Pictures tend to have some sort of 3D Look when open wide.

I recommend this lens to anyone who searches something within the "normal" focal range without the sometimes "boaring" field of view 35 mm (50mm on Crop) lenses have.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: March, 2008
Location: Quebec city, Canada
Posts: 5,865

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 9, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Small, light, smooth bokeh, fast AF
Cons: Feels a tad cheaply made (just an impression)
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 6    Value: 9    New or Used: Used   

I'm pleasantly surprised by this lens. And that's saying a lot, considering that I also own the DA21 Limited...

Build quality

The lens is ok... no more. It's well made but doesn't feel that way, sadly. Nothing will fall apart, nothing is loose, everything works as expected but it lacks the feeling of tight tolerances every DA lens I've seen has, and it lacks the rock-hard feel of the manual focus era lenses.

The focus ring is small (the lens doesn't allow for a larger ring) but decently damped. The throw is very short. The aperture ring feels as weird as do all the F or FA rings I've seen. Anyway, there is no reason to use it at any setting except A...The central body is plastic, not as cheap as I feared (but worse, far worse than the metal on my FA 50 macro). The focus distance window is very classy and enhances the general look of the lens.

It's a very light lens, surprisingly so (thanks to the plastic). It's a few dozens grams heavier than the DA21. It's almost twice as thick but that's not saying much, given the size of the 21. The lens looks very good mounted on the K20D, more so than an F lens, say.

AF

AF is surprising : very fast and accurate. I find it very reliable. It seems a tad slower than the DA21 but is seems to spend less time double-checking its position, so all in all it's almost a draw. Impressive. The short focus ring throw helps with this. the closest focus distance is 0.3m, not bad but sometimes when taking advantage of the f2,8 aperture, you find yourself wishing for closer focus capabilities.

IQ

Image quality is pretty darn good. Colours are rich and well saturated, contrasts are deep but not overdone like with the 18-55 WR. The DA21 has more punch, that little something that is rightly associated with the Limited label. But in itself, the FA28 is excellent, surprising and pleasing.

Bokeh is smooth, smoother than the DA21 (but lacking the 3D effect many like). Nothing special here, it's not creamy like the FA50 macro, but it's not distracting either. Anyway a wide lens is not meant to be used in difficult bokeh conditions (for me at least).

Sharpness is not quite up there with the DA21, but it's more than good enough. It's quite good even at f2,8, though it definitely improves at f4 and beyond. To my informal testing it seems better in the center than in the corners, but the differences are not very important.

CA and distortion are not objectionable in the test shots I have taken. They are not absent but not bothersome at all.

The focal length is very comfortable on an APS-C sensor, I like it a lot.

Final word

This lens has surprised me. I did not expect it to perform this close to the DA21. It's not quite on the same level, but they are not in different leagues. The rich colours, in particular, are typical Pentax but I did not expect them to be so pleasing.

I will probably end up selling the lens considering I own the DA21 and like it more, but by itself, that lens is a keeper. The build quality could be better, but that's really the only downside of this lens. A well-deserved reputation!
   
Pentaxian

Registered: April, 2010
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Posts: 795
Lens Review Date: May 28, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, great colour and contrast, small, fast accurate focus, super IQ
Cons: None at all
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used   

Better than my A28/2.8.
Centre field sharpness at 2.8, sharp from corner to corner at 3.5 and above.
Gorgeous colour, image rendition.
Review have stated that it is closer to 30mm FL than the stated 28mm, if this is the case, I don't need a FA31 limited.

You won't be unhappy with this lens.
I'm giving it a 10, because I can't fault my copy, and I feel the rating needs to be lifted!
   
Inactive Account

Registered: February, 2008
Posts: 6
Lens Review Date: March 4, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $160.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, contrasty, lightweight, great colors
Cons: Hard to find, Ugly plastic feel, Performance wide-open

It's my first fixed lens. It is really good if we close a little. The only problem for me is the build quality.
   
New Member

Registered: February, 2009
Location: Mexico City
Posts: 2
Lens Review Date: May 18, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $225.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Lightwheight, great focal length in ASP-C
Cons: Low contrast at f2.8, Ugly plastic feel

Weird bokeh if backlight is strong, as well as CA in the OOF areas also only if highlighted.

The pros: Superb performance from 3.5 and up, super lightwheight practical lens!

Great contrast from 3.5 to 11 (not tested yet beyond that).

Irak
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