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Wide angle lenses (film)

Discussion in 'Pentax Chat' started by Zou, Jun 4, 2007.

  1. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    I've seen a decent listing here but can anyone tell me which ones are the better ones to look out for? I'd like to try a really wide angle (between 18mm and 26mm) but I want it to be a decent lens, nice and sharp (sharp for its time is fine, it doesn't have to be 21st century sharp).
  2. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    Ffordes have a couple of 28mm lenses for under £50 - not as wide as I wanted, but at that price it is tempting. Are they any good, or cheap for a reason?
  3. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Which one? I've got an old M series 28mm f2.8, and it's pretty decent - no complaints.
  4. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    f2.8 SMC M (both of them)
  5. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Well that's what I have, and as I say, no complaints - it's as good as most (Canon, Olympus, Minolta), better than many (all the cheap ones), not quite as good as the best (Zeiss) that I've used. And cheaper and lighter than most...
  6. The Circle Of Confusion

    The Circle Of Confusion Well-Known Member

    I've got that lens too, I'm very happy with it. I think I got it for about 40 quid on fleaBay.
  7. oliver28

    oliver28 Well-Known Member


    I have the SMC-A 28mm f/2.8 which is excellent, but it hardly ever gets any use since I bought a Tokina 19-35mm f/3.5-4.5. If you want to try a really wide lens, this is a good one to start with. It's pin sharp across the zoom range and great fun to use. 19mm is in quite another league from 28mm, much more dramatic. The only dowside is a bit of barrel distortion between 19 and 24mm, but I can live with this and you wouldn't get better unless you spent twice or three times as much. I bought mine for £150 but I've seen it for as little as £100 new. There's a "mint" one on ebay for £65 with 9 days left


    There are quite a few pictures at 19mm in my gallery


    Good luck!
  8. Tacitus

    Tacitus Well-Known Member

    Late addition:

    The most eagerly sought wides are the Pentax-M 28mm f3.5 and 35mm f3.5: these are reputedly better (sharper) than the 2.8 versions and are accordingly more expensive - often 2x or 3x the cost of a f2.8 lens. They are also hard to find. Illumination fall-off is slightly higher with the f3.5 lenses than the faster ones, but evens out at f5.6 onwards. I find the 28/3.5 gives 'nicer' images than the 2.8.

    Pentax-A lenses often have improved coatings compared to Pentax-M, but also have plastic components in the aperture ring detents. The Pentax-A 28mm f2 is a rather nice lens and widely regarded as sharper and with better character than the Pentax-M 28mm f2.8 at equivalent apertures. (The coating on it almost makes the glass seem invisible).

    The best build quality, and by all accounts the best optical characteristics, are ascribed to the Pentax 'K' series lenses (which preceeded the Pentax-M). The K 24mm f2.8 is a very good lens from f5.6~f11 in my opinion (at 2.8 it shows a few weaknesses) - it takes 52mm filters and a hard to find square hood.

    The 20mm f2.8 is apparently great - and always expensive. The 30/2.8 and 35/2 versions are rare - I've never seen either, except for the f2 in screw mount (a super lens, even if a 'touch' radioactive). 16mm lenses appear infrequently: nice coverage, but with all the concommitant issues of edge sharpness and light fall-off - £££$$$ too.

    The Pentax-M 40mm 2.8 semi-wide 'pancake' is a good lens, but not outstanding in any regard: I find the out-of-focus rendition rather harsh in some circumstances. It's value is in its size, but it is fiddly to use. It is often overpriced.

    As for other brands, the Sigma Synchro 24mm f2.8 is a very good lens and the 28mm f2.8 isn't far behind it: they have a different (slightly colder) colour rendition to the Pentax lenses. The Tamron 24mm and 28mm f2.5 are good lenses, but not quite up to the Pentax equivalents: again there is a different (warmer) colour cast: corner sharpness is a touch softer than desirable wider than f5.6: the 24mm is much the better lens. Tokina 24mm and 28mm SL lenses are pretty good, with the 24mm being rather rarer: both are pretty contrasty and acceptably sharp where it matters (central 2/3rds frame) though corners appear soft on the 28 up to f8. The Tamrons are more evenly sharp across the image than Tokinas, but this is not always evident in practice. These lenses can be very cheap. Most Vivitars and many other brands are in a lower league but there are a few stars - but much research is needed, and life is really far to short to bother about them muchly.

    The cult classic is the Kiron 28mm f2 - rarely seen and invariably expensive - though I'd assume/hope the Pentax-A 28/2 outperforms it.

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