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Pentacon 29mm / 2.8 MC Auto (M42)

Sharpness 
 8.2
Aberrations 
 7.6
Bokeh 
 8.2
Handling 
 8.4
Value 
 9.2
Reviews Views Date of last review
14 96,818 Mon November 21, 2016
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
86% of reviewers $46.40 7.92
Pentacon 29mm / 2.8  MC Auto (M42)
supersize


Description:
WA lens made in Germany (the former GDR).

Focal length : 29 mm
Max. aperture : f2.8
Min. aperture : f22
Iris : 6 blades
Half click-stops available
Auto/Manual sliding switch
Multicoated glass
Min. focus : 0,25 m
Filter diameter : 55 mm
Weight : 204 g
Mount Type:
Price History:



Add Review of Pentacon 29mm / 2.8  MC Auto (M42)
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Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-14 of 14
Site Supporter

Registered: September, 2016
Posts: 3
Lens Review Date: November 21, 2016 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $35.00 | Rating: 5 

 
Pros: Inexpensive. Certain retro-look to images.
Cons: Next to useless in bright sunlight
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 4    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 6    Value: 7    Camera Used: K-30   

Negatives:
  • It's got barrel distorsion.
  • My copy is not sharp at f2.8 but ok above that.
  • Flares enormously in brigh light with both ghosting and veiling (pic 1)

Positives
  • "Made in the GDR" spelled out in large writing on the bezel adds to the hipster factor
  • Because of the abberations your pics get a certain retro look that's not as clinical/neutral as modern glass.
  • Nicely saturated colors except in bright light.

Neutral:
  • Bokeh seems to differ depending on lightning and motive, it's not uniformly creamy but can be pleasant at f2.8 (pic 2). But it doesn't calm down too busy pf a background ie foilage, city street.
  • Handling is ok, not Pentax manual lens quality but certainly robust. My focus ring offers a lot of resistance but I think that is due to years gone by.

Conclusion:
It's fun to play around with the flares sometimes but for any other use I'd pick any other 28-30 mm lens over this one.

   
New Member

Registered: April, 2016
Posts: 4
Lens Review Date: April 21, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $15.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharpness, color rendition
Cons: flare
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: Samsung NX / Pentax K-r   

Bought it with a 135mm (Pentacon auto, not preset) and a Super Takumar 50mm f1.4 to complete my beginner set
And i absolutely love it...it has a don't-know-what "vintage" effect that gives something special. My copy is tack sharp, i did some nice macro shots with it, and mostly use it for family and street purpose



   
Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2013
Posts: 112
Lens Review Date: April 8, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $52.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Great color, effective closeup lens, sharp with smooth bokeh stopped down
Cons: flare, squirrely bokeh wide open, not sharp until really stopped down
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: Pentax K30   

I had somethings specific in mind when I bought this lens - getting to bubbly bokeh with some degree of sharpness. As it turns out, you can't have both at the same time. The lens simply is not sharp even close to wide open when the bubble factory is in full swing. As a normal lens for everyday shooting, it is fairly ho-hum. And if that were the whole story, I would probably consign it to ebay and try for something else.
Why I'm keeping the lens if for it's closeup capability. Not a macro, but it is possible to get really close. With a 45mm 35mm equivalent FOV this can produce some engaging pictures. If you shoot at f10 or so it provides a real sense of foreground depth (dare I use the term 3D) and the background blur is completely smooth. The colors are nice too, even when I haven't done a little LR manipulation. This picture (click url), while not great art, illustrates the point.

So this lens has a niche use in giving small things like flowers a sense of vitality from a slightly unusual perspective. For that its worth keeping in my bag. Overall an inexpensive lens to have some fun with.

Mine is the m42 auto version. Just as a note, you need an m42 adapter that will depress the auto switch or you can glue tape or surgerize the lens. I'm using the Kipon adapter with auto aperture depress that seems to do the job.
   
New Member

Registered: November, 2014
Posts: 6
Lens Review Date: August 12, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: warm tones, romantic stills, balance, handling, good construction
Cons: none
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10   

It is a decent lens. It has its own personality and performs very well in short distance romantic, land/sea-scape and flower photography. It creates a slightly diffused and warm effect. I have used it on two Nikon DSLRs and a Minolta SLR (film shooting). It offers good balance and handling, it is not extremely sharp but I like it!
   
New Member

Registered: February, 2015
Posts: 7
Lens Review Date: April 23, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $20.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness
Cons: Nothing really
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10   

I got this as part of a bundle, and only got round to using it today. I have to say it's incredibly sharp on my GF1. Here is a 200% crop straight from the camera, no editing at all other than the crop. It says it better than I could.
   
New Member

Registered: November, 2013
Posts: 5
Lens Review Date: March 12, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $30.00 | Rating: 5 

 
Pros: stopped down good sharp
Cons: CA's flare
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 5    Bokeh: 6    Handling: 8    Value: 6    Camera Used: spotmatic   

the Zeiss 1.8/50 and even 2.8/50 are much more better

stopped dowt to f8-11 it is a good performer, but flare and CA's are its problems.

not so content with it. I sold it.
   
New Member

Registered: February, 2015
Posts: 5
Lens Review Date: February 24, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp, nice bokeh, cheap, close focus
Cons: flare, soft on corners
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: Fuji X-M1   

Il don't own the same one. I have this one :


I really like this lens. Short focus, quite sharp. I don't regret my money


(clic to enlarge)

my complete review (in french) with all the pics here
   
Forum Member

Registered: December, 2012
Posts: 94
Lens Review Date: December 29, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: N/A 

 
Pros:
Cons:









Image quality filming
   
Pentaxian

Registered: March, 2010
Location: Frankfurt am Main
Posts: 1,095

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 14, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: N/A 

 
Pros: See Review
Cons: See Review

I don't own this lens, but want to add some missing information.

This lens is based on the "Meyer Görlitz Orestegon 2.8/29". When the East German Government melted all the smaller optical companies into one, they renamed most of the lenses to "Pentacon". Only what was seen as premium lenses got (or stayed with) the label "Carl Zeiss Jena".

As an Orestegon, the lens had not been multi-coated. However, the general opinion here in Germany is, that - despite the added multi-coating - IQ had suffered as a Pentacon lens. I cannot judge myself, but in German photo blogs many say quality control had become worse, and some also think they started using a cheaper quality of glass.

Most (or all?) of the Orestegons are in "Zebra" design.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: April, 2011
Location: Lost in translation ...
Posts: 16,583
Lens Review Date: October 13, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: WA, Solid build, Inexpensive, Close focus, Sharp enough ...
Cons: Flare, Soft corners
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10   

Bonjour,

I picked up a good copy at my favorite thrift shop for next to nothing and quite happy with this find.

Previous reviews are correct, thus I would add too much other than to mention that this lens will "close focus" relatively well (see image below). Minimum distance is at 0.25m and works well here IMHO.

If you find a copy "cheap" then do not hesitate, a good solid performer from what I seen thus far ... worthy of an "8" in my books.

Allez et salut, John le Frog

K-5, No flash ...



K-5 with pop up flash ...

   
New Member

Registered: November, 2011
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: December 5, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $52.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, solid, smooth focus ring, cheap, good colors...
Cons: Prone to flare, soft on the edges, a tad difficult to focus on infinite because it goes beyond infinite...
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10   

"PENTACON auto 2.8/29 MULTI COATING", m42 mounting, serial: 8098xxx

I brought this lens on ebay, front coating has a pinch but its very small, in the second group of lenses 1/6 of the lens had a small translucent colony of fungus, but made the image a lot more soft on the edge, after cleaning and a small tightening on all screws and lenses holders, it has become a very nice lens...

I love the bokeh, not perfect as it big brother, Pentacon 135mm f/2.8 (preset), but really nice.
At center and wide open is very sharp but a tad soft on the edges, even in small apertures this problem remains.

This lens is so easy to use and focus that even a 8yo girl can literally with ease obtain a focused portrait using the live view on modern dslr (with m42 mounting adapter).

P.S.-sorry if my English it's not clear ...
   
Pentaxian

Registered: November, 2009
Location: Strand
Posts: 1,366
Lens Review Date: November 22, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp and good lens, inspite of bad reviews
Cons: A bit difficult to focus near infinity
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10   

The text imprinted in my lens: "PENTACON auto 2.8/29 MULTI COATING". in M42 mount.

I got this lens in a lens lot. The lens was in bad shape: loose base, dirty, scratches, loose front element.
After cleaning, tighten all screws i can find, clean and tighten the front element, it turns out to be a totally different lens.

In spite of bad reputation of the lens, I found mine is good, and better than the Tokina 28/2.8. It is ok sharp wide open, sharper one click down.
In longer distance, 3+ meters, it is a bit difficult to have exact focus. Mine is going slightly beyond infinity.

Bokeh at 2.8, f4, f5.6 has insignificant different at closer distance. The lens is usable/good at f2.8-f4-f5.6. While the Tokina 28/2.8 is soft wide open and still get soft one or two click down, this lens delivers higher contrast, not as soft, and sharper step down one click. Generally good enough for indoor use.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: June, 2007
Location: Singapore
Posts: 348
Lens Review Date: October 13, 2010 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $130.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: above decent performer, value for money, fun to use an old manual lens from time to time!
Cons: flare control - as with all old manual lenses

I had the electric version of this lens for a short while. It is a very decent performer, with no obvious flaws except for its tendency to flare when used wide open without a hood (but the majority of old lenses are prone to this problem). Sharpness wide open is alright, bokeh is alright too. All in all, a very decent performer. Problem is, there is nothing exceptional about this lens, and I already have the 31mm Ltd and at that point the FA*24mm, so this lens did not compare well with either. However, it is a good lens in its own right, and can be quite a bargain at a lower price.

Some sample pictures I got on film from this lens:





   
Forum Member

Registered: August, 2010
Location: Belgium
Posts: 60
Lens Review Date: October 2, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $30.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Compact, cheap, good definition
Cons: Prone to flare, despite coatings

(When reading this review, please bear in mind it's only my opinion about one single sample of a lens.)


This WA prime is convenient and makes a goog walk around lens when mounted in front of an APS-C sized sensor.
Definition, contrast and colour rendition are good, but the lens is prone to flare with backlighted scenes, despite the multicoating. It may be a weakness of my sample (I bought it used), of course, but IMO the coatings (a nice blue / purple combination) are far from reaching the S-M-C standards !

Bottom line : a good lens if you can find it at low price. Lens hood recommended !

Two pics in backlight conditions. The first one shows good colour rendition, but some flare (above the horseback). The second shot has been made with a small point of direct sunlight behind the leafs. (jpg files from K100D, downsized, no p.p.)






Add Review of Pentacon 29mm / 2.8  MC Auto (M42)



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