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Pallas 28mm f/2.8 Magenta AM M42

Reviews Views Date of last review
1 1,984 Sun May 19, 2019
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $35.00 5.00
Pallas 28mm f/2.8 Magenta AM M42

Pallas 28mm f/2.8 Magenta AM M42
Pallas 28mm f/2.8 Magenta AM M42
Pallas 28mm f/2.8 Magenta AM M42
Pallas 28mm f/2.8 Magenta AM M42
Pallas 28mm f/2.8 Magenta AM M42

All metal construction, six-bladed iris, aperture max f/2.8 and min f/22, min focus distance 0.35m, manual/auto switch, 62mm filter thread.
Mount Type: M42 Screwmount

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Registered: November, 2015
Location: Connacht, Ireland
Posts: 267

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 19, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $35.00 | Rating: 5 

Pros: Great construction, inexpensive, man/auto switch
Cons: Coma wide open, poor corner performance at any aperture
Sharpness: 5    Aberrations: 5    Bokeh: 3    Handling: 8    Value: 5    Camera Used: Various Pentax DSLRs and Pentax z70 film body   

This lens is an enigma in so many ways.

I'm not sure who the manufacturer was, but it has some of the same build characteristics of some of the Chinon and Revuenon lenses of the late 70s and early 80s (but not the optical performance, at least of the Chinons of the era). The aperture steps are in half stops and the focus ring has a depth of field scale. The lettering is engraved and the overall look and feel is high quality. There are several variants of 28mm lenses with this name. Mine has a 62mm filter thread and a correspondingly large front element with little to no coating visible on the surface. I have seen versions of this lens with 55 and 58 mm filter threads and smaller front elements for sale over the years.

The Pallas Magenta 28mm is as solid as a rock in terms of construction and overall handling. It's a very pleasant M42 lens to use because it has a nice, big focus ring that's perfectly damped and a great A/M switch. That's where the pluses end I'm afraid.

Wide open, I can only describe the output as "through a fog". Coma is brutal and contrasty areas have a broad halo, especially when they are in close focus. On the other hand, this lens is capable of generating very sharp images between f/5.6 and f/11 in good light, but only in the center. The edges, even on APS-C, never really get sharp at any aperture, but they are acceptable at ~f/8 on APS-C. On a film body, the edges are genuinely bad at all apertures.

On a film body, this lens can give an interesting "old fashioned" look to centrally-oriented subjects when one wants to use the poor corner characteristics as a tool. However, the rendering of the out-of-focus areas is quite "frantic" and not really that pleasant (especially on a digital sensor). I don't like the look of many images I've produced with this lens and I think it's the odd rendering characteristics that push my feelings in that direction.

It's worthy of a a bit of experimentation if you run across one on the cheap. That's why I will still recommend it even though I don't like it. Someone might feel that the odd characteristics of this lens could be exactly what they are looking for.

Here are some examples of images I've made with this lens on Pentax bodies as well as on a mirrorless body:

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