Q: Pentax F 28-80/3.5-4.5 & FA 28-70/4 AL, or ??

Started Sep 10, 2008 | Discussions
Ari Aikomus
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Q: Pentax F 28-80/3.5-4.5 & FA 28-70/4 AL, or ??
Sep 10, 2008

Hi,

I need a little help my friends...I had to sell my trusty Tamron 28-75/2.8 Di, because of my bad finance at this moment. And now I want to buy something cheap in place of it. Right now I have only DA 18-55II kit to cover this "normal" focal length range, but it's a bit too slow and short for my needs ( I also have DA 55-300, but I don't want change lenses between Kit-lens and long tele zoom all the time - range 24-80mm serve my "all-around lens" needs quite nicely).

I know something about Pentax F 28-80/3.5-4.5 & FA 28-70/4 AL lenses (mostly because of Stan Halpin's Lens Comments Site)...

http://www.bdimitrov.de/kmp/lenses/zooms/short/F28-80f3.5-4.5.html

http://www.bdimitrov.de/kmp/lenses/zooms/short/FA28-70f4.html

http://stans-photography.info/

Obviously those are not very bad zooms, but how good those actually are ? My local camera store have F 28-80 for 70€ and new FA 28-70/4 for 100€.

...Or are there possibly some other good and cheap zooms to consider ?
(must be AF and not slower than f/4.5 and at least 70mm at long focal lenght)

Any comments/user experiences much appreciate.

Ari

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CarlosRG
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Re: Q: Pentax F 28-80/3.5-4.5 & FA 28-70/4 AL, or ??
In reply to Ari Aikomus, Sep 10, 2008

That's a tough question, Ari. I had the Fa 28-70 4.0 and now I have the SMC-F 28-80 3.5-4.5

First thing is that if you are going to buy the F 28-80, make sure it is the SMC-F. The Pentax-F is a completely different animal, it has no SMC coatings and its optical formula is completely different.

Now for your question: both lenses, the SMC-F 28-80 and the Fa 28-70 are good zooms. As you probably know, the FA is smaller and lighter and focuses closer than the SMC-F. The latter's closest focusing distance is 80 cm. although it has a close focusing "macro" mode which only works at the 80 mm. setting and allows it to focus at 40 cm. or so. The SMC-F is better built, but heavier. Both of them focus fast, at least fast enough for my needs, being the SMC-F a bit faster, I think. Both of them flare very little (SMC coatings are excellent).

They are about equally sharp, but the FA is slightly better at 28 mm. and the SMC-F is slightly sharper at the tele settings. The FA is remarkably colour neutral, whilst the SMC-F has a warmer and more saturated native colour rendition.

I think any of them would serve you well. I am not in your case, because like I said I only have the SMC-F and sold the FA some time ago, but i would try them both and would choose one based in how they feel once mounted in the camera and in real use.

One last note: some FA 28-70 4.0 lenses develop a problem after some time, one of their element groups tends to unglue and separate. Have a look through the lens, back to front, with the diafragm fully open, and if you see some white veil when looking towards a source of light, the lens is affected and in that case don't buy it.

I hope this helps a little.

Carlos

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Ari Aikomus
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Thank you much Carlos ! BTW - photodo's MTF results....
In reply to CarlosRG, Sep 10, 2008

Hi,

CarlosRG wrote:

That's a tough question, Ari. I had the Fa 28-70 4.0 and now I have
the SMC-F 28-80 3.5-4.5
First thing is that if you are going to buy the F 28-80, make sure it
is the SMC-F. The Pentax-F is a completely different animal, it has
no SMC coatings and its optical formula is completely different.

ah...OK. that was really good to know!

Now for your question: both lenses, the SMC-F 28-80 and the Fa 28-70
are good zooms. As you probably know, the FA is smaller and lighter
and focuses closer than the SMC-F. The latter's closest focusing
distance is 80 cm. although it has a close focusing "macro" mode
which only works at the 80 mm. setting and allows it to focus at 40
cm. or so.

How you like their macro features - what comes to image quality? Example 18-55II kit has also macro feature, but it produces quite soft results...

The SMC-F is better built, but heavier. Both of them focus

fast, at least fast enough for my needs, being the SMC-F a bit
faster, I think. Both of them flare very little (SMC coatings are
excellent).
They are about equally sharp, but the FA is slightly better at 28 mm.
and the SMC-F is slightly sharper at the tele settings.

That's quite interesting (tele range is important for me), because I just found photodo's MTF results...

http://old.photodo.com/prod/lens/detail/PeSMC-FAZoom28-70_4-614.shtml

http://old.photodo.com/prod/lens/detail/PeSMC-F28-80_35-45-582.shtml

And these gives slightly better values (at tele end) to FA 28-70/4 lens !
Could be some sample variations, though.

The FA is

remarkably colour neutral, whilst the SMC-F has a warmer and more
saturated native colour rendition.

That's also good to know...

I think any of them would serve you well. I am not in your case,
because like I said I only have the SMC-F and sold the FA some time
ago, but i would try them both and would choose one based in how they
feel once mounted in the camera and in real use.

Do you remember what kind of bokeh they produces (if compare together)?

One last note: some FA 28-70 4.0 lenses develop a problem after some
time, one of their element groups tends to unglue and separate. Have
a look through the lens, back to front, with the diafragm fully open,
and if you see some white veil when looking towards a source of
light, the lens is affected and in that case don't buy it.

Okey - that was really good info, must check this lens again!

I hope this helps a little.

Indeed it does. Thank you very much for your opinion.

Ari

Carlos

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kikivrany
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Re: Q: Pentax F 28-80/3.5-4.5 & FA 28-70/4 AL, or ??
In reply to Ari Aikomus, Sep 10, 2008

Hello Ari Aikomus

These lens are just at Ebay. I don't now if you like Ebay, but if so, look under the category 'Pentax analog camera'. There you find them (incl. a useless camera), but there are somtimes cheaper as to search a lens only in the category 'Pentax AF lens'. ( I don't no why).

good luck kikivrany
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CarlosRG
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Re: Thank you much Carlos ! BTW - photodo's MTF results....
In reply to Ari Aikomus, Sep 10, 2008

Ari Aikomus wrote:

How you like their macro features - what comes to image quality?

The so-called "macro" feature of the SMC-F is a gimmick, mostly. As I wrote, it only works at 80 mm. Results are only passable, in my view.

The SMC-F is better built, but heavier. Both of them focus

fast, at least fast enough for my needs, being the SMC-F a bit
faster, I think. Both of them flare very little (SMC coatings are
excellent).
They are about equally sharp, but the FA is slightly better at 28 mm.
and the SMC-F is slightly sharper at the tele settings.

That's quite interesting (tele range is important for me), because I
just found photodo's MTF results...

http://old.photodo.com/prod/lens/detail/PeSMC-FAZoom28-70_4-614.shtml

http://old.photodo.com/prod/lens/detail/PeSMC-F28-80_35-45-582.shtml

And these gives slightly better values (at tele end) to FA 28-70/4
lens !
Could be some sample variations, though.

Perhaps, as you say, there are sample variations. But if you look at the graphs carefully, there arent't any remarkable differences between these two lenses, sharpness wise. They are almost equal. Anyway, I still think that the SMC-F is slightly better at 50 mm. and beyond.

The FA is

remarkably colour neutral, whilst the SMC-F has a warmer and more
saturated native colour rendition.

That's also good to know...

I think this is the one of the main differences between this pair of lenses: colour rendition, being the others build quality, size and close focusing abilities. If you want a light walkaround lens, with a neutral colour balance, the FA wins. If you prefer a better built lens; like warm, saturated colours and don't need to focus really close at all focal lengths, the SMC-F may suit you.

Do you remember what kind of bokeh they produces (if compare together)?

They're both OK, but don't expect anything special.

Carlos

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Ari Aikomus
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Thank you again ;-D n/t
In reply to CarlosRG, Sep 10, 2008

CarlosRG wrote:

Ari Aikomus wrote:

How you like their macro features - what comes to image quality?

The so-called "macro" feature of the SMC-F is a gimmick, mostly. As I
wrote, it only works at 80 mm. Results are only passable, in my view.

The SMC-F is better built, but heavier. Both of them focus

fast, at least fast enough for my needs, being the SMC-F a bit
faster, I think. Both of them flare very little (SMC coatings are
excellent).
They are about equally sharp, but the FA is slightly better at 28 mm.
and the SMC-F is slightly sharper at the tele settings.

That's quite interesting (tele range is important for me), because I
just found photodo's MTF results...

http://old.photodo.com/prod/lens/detail/PeSMC-FAZoom28-70_4-614.shtml

http://old.photodo.com/prod/lens/detail/PeSMC-F28-80_35-45-582.shtml

And these gives slightly better values (at tele end) to FA 28-70/4
lens !
Could be some sample variations, though.

Perhaps, as you say, there are sample variations. But if you look at
the graphs carefully, there arent't any remarkable differences
between these two lenses, sharpness wise. They are almost equal.
Anyway, I still think that the SMC-F is slightly better at 50 mm. and
beyond.

The FA is

remarkably colour neutral, whilst the SMC-F has a warmer and more
saturated native colour rendition.

That's also good to know...

I think this is the one of the main differences between this pair of
lenses: colour rendition, being the others build quality, size and
close focusing abilities. If you want a light walkaround lens, with a
neutral colour balance, the FA wins. If you prefer a better built
lens; like warm, saturated colours and don't need to focus really
close at all focal lengths, the SMC-F may suit you.

Do you remember what kind of bokeh they produces (if compare together)?

They're both OK, but don't expect anything special.

Carlos

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Ari Aikomus
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Re: Q: Pentax F 28-80/3.5-4.5 & FA 28-70/4 AL, or ??
In reply to kikivrany, Sep 10, 2008

Hi & thanx for reply,

kikivrany wrote:

Hello Ari Aikomus

These lens are just at Ebay. I don't now if you like Ebay, but if so,
look under the category 'Pentax analog camera'. There you find them
(incl. a useless camera), but there are somtimes cheaper as to search
a lens only in the category 'Pentax AF lens'. ( I don't no why).

Yes, I know Ebay can be sometimes real treasury to find bargains. I have bought 5 lenses from there and only one purchase was quite much disappointment to me (lens was in much worse condition than seller said).
Maybe I should think also Ebay offerings - thank you for reminding!

Ari

good luck kikivrany
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Ari Aikomus
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Well...I bought Pentax A 35-105/3.5...
In reply to Ari Aikomus, Sep 11, 2008

Am I crazy ? After all consideration I just finally bought manual focusing old Pentax A series 35-105/3.5 lens !

http://www.bdimitrov.de/kmp/lenses/zooms/medium/A35-105f3.5.html

BTW - It's very solid lens with high quality build construction...But how about IQ ? Well - I will post some sample pics soon...

Ari

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brandrx
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Ari...
In reply to Ari Aikomus, Sep 11, 2008

Ari Aikomus wrote:

Am I crazy ? After all consideration I just finally bought manual
focusing old Pentax A series 35-105/3.5 lens !

http://www.bdimitrov.de/kmp/lenses/zooms/medium/A35-105f3.5.html

BTW - It's very solid lens with high quality build construction...But
how about IQ ? Well - I will post some sample pics soon...

Hi Ari,

Tha Pentax-A 35-105/3.5 is a top notch lens IMO although a bit on the heavy side. My experience with this lens is that the IQ is great and FWIW it works very, very good with my Pentax-F 1.7X AF Adapter.

Also, FWIW this lens has almost doubled in price at all of the used lens places since I bought mine back in 2004.

I think you will enjoy using the Pentax-A 35-105/3.5.

Cheers.

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Carl - 'What do you mean? It will only take 1/1000s.'

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Ron ~ Retired.

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VLampa
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Re: Well...I bought Pentax A 35-105/3.5...
In reply to Ari Aikomus, Sep 12, 2008

Ari Aikomus wrote:

Am I crazy ? After all consideration I just finally bought manual
focusing old Pentax A series 35-105/3.5 lens !

http://www.bdimitrov.de/kmp/lenses/zooms/medium/A35-105f3.5.html

BTW - It's very solid lens with high quality build construction...But
how about IQ ? Well - I will post some sample pics soon...

Ari

Good for you! I've seen photos from that lens and I'm impressed. I was looking for one myself but gave up because those that are selling are few and far in between (I'm guessing people chose to keep theirs, with good reason), where'd you get yours?

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Ari Aikomus
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Re: Well...I bought Pentax A 35-105/3.5...
In reply to VLampa, Sep 12, 2008

Hi,

VLampa wrote:

Ari Aikomus wrote:

Am I crazy ? After all consideration I just finally bought manual
focusing old Pentax A series 35-105/3.5 lens !

http://www.bdimitrov.de/kmp/lenses/zooms/medium/A35-105f3.5.html

BTW - It's very solid lens with high quality build construction...But
how about IQ ? Well - I will post some sample pics soon...

Ari

Good for you! I've seen photos from that lens and I'm impressed. I
was looking for one myself but gave up because those that are selling
are few and far in between (I'm guessing people chose to keep theirs,
with good reason), where'd you get yours?

Thanx VLampa. I bought mine in local second hand camera store for 150€.

Ari

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Steven7
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Re: Well...I bought Pentax A 35-105/3.5...
In reply to Ari Aikomus, Sep 12, 2008

Well perhaps we're both crazy!

Early last year I also considered the options sugested by the other posters and came to the same conclusion as yourself.

Yes the A35-105 is pretty heavy but it is still very managable and easy enough to focus, is very sharp from 5.6 and I see little or no CA. I prefer the effective longer reach (on digital) and it complements the 16-45 well. And of course I can use it on an MX quite happily when I want to shoot B+W.

Only downside is the rotating front element which makes using a polarising filter a pain, the macro feature is handy but doesn't match the quality or sharpness of a dedicated macro.

Many PDML reviews say this is the sharpest Pentax zoom ever made (these comments were made pre DA*).

I can post some samples next week.

Steve

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Roland Mabo
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Re: Q: Pentax F 28-80/3.5-4.5 & FA 28-70/4 AL, or ??
In reply to Ari Aikomus, Sep 12, 2008

I'm very happy with my FA 28-105 f/3.2-4.5 (AL) IF.

It replaced the FA 28-70 f/4 for me and it is as sharp (main advantage with the 28-70 f/4 is the fine sharpness) but has lower vignetting. It is also more contrasty. I prefer it to the 28-70 f/4.

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Ari Aikomus
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Re: Ari...
In reply to brandrx, Sep 12, 2008

Hi Ron,

brandrx wrote:

Ari Aikomus wrote:

Am I crazy ? After all consideration I just finally bought manual
focusing old Pentax A series 35-105/3.5 lens !

http://www.bdimitrov.de/kmp/lenses/zooms/medium/A35-105f3.5.html

BTW - It's very solid lens with high quality build construction...But
how about IQ ? Well - I will post some sample pics soon...

Hi Ari,

Tha Pentax-A 35-105/3.5 is a top notch lens IMO although a bit on the
heavy side. My experience with this lens is that the IQ is great and
FWIW it works very, very good with my Pentax-F 1.7X AF Adapter.

Okey, that's good to know (because I have 1.7xAFA ;-)) !

Also, FWIW this lens has almost doubled in price at all of the used
lens places since I bought mine back in 2004.

Interesting indeed, just wondering what is its common price in second hand market nowadays ?

I think you will enjoy using the Pentax-A 35-105/3.5.

Thank you for comments,

Ari

Cheers.

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Ron - 'We don't have time to go take pics this afternoon Carl.'
Carl - 'What do you mean? It will only take 1/1000s.'

'Keep your eyes looking forward. However, glance back now and then to
see where you've come from. It will put a smile on your face.' ~
brandrx

Ron ~ Retired.

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Ari Aikomus
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Thank you steve ;-D
In reply to Steven7, Sep 12, 2008

Steven7 wrote:

Well perhaps we're both crazy!

Early last year I also considered the options sugested by the other
posters and came to the same conclusion as yourself.

Yes the A35-105 is pretty heavy but it is still very managable and
easy enough to focus, is very sharp from 5.6 and I see little or no
CA. I prefer the effective longer reach (on digital) and it
complements the 16-45 well. And of course I can use it on an MX
quite happily when I want to shoot B+W.

Only downside is the rotating front element which makes using a
polarising filter a pain, the macro feature is handy but doesn't
match the quality or sharpness of a dedicated macro.

Many PDML reviews say this is the sharpest Pentax zoom ever made
(these comments were made pre DA*).

I can post some samples next week.

Steve

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Ari Aikomus
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Thank you for interesting info, Roland ! n/t
In reply to Roland Mabo, Sep 12, 2008

Roland Mabo wrote:

I'm very happy with my FA 28-105 f/3.2-4.5 (AL) IF.
It replaced the FA 28-70 f/4 for me and it is as sharp (main
advantage with the 28-70 f/4 is the fine sharpness) but has lower
vignetting. It is also more contrasty. I prefer it to the 28-70 f/4.

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Pumpkin72
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Re: Ari...
In reply to Ari Aikomus, Sep 12, 2008

Ari Aikomus wrote:

Interesting indeed, just wondering what is its common price in second
hand market nowadays ?

I got mine from eBay for 100€ a few months back. I check prices regularly and haven't noticed major differences since then.

Actually, I thought it'd be a good suggestion for you when I saw this thread, but then re-read it, saw the 28mm "requirement", that both the lenses you were considering were AF, and also the 100€ price for the 28-70... so I thought that probably the 35-105 wouldn't suit your needs. I'm glad to see I was wrong

Enjoy it.

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Ari Aikomus
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Some my first pics with Pentax A 35-105/3.5
In reply to Ari Aikomus, Sep 12, 2008

Here we go !

105/3.5:

with Macro setting, f/3.5:

35mm, f/3.5

More will come ;-D

Happy weekend,

Ari

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KentG
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Re: Thank you much Carlos ! BTW - photodo's MTF results....
In reply to Ari Aikomus, Sep 12, 2008

I scored an SMC-FA 28-70/4 just last week for $58 US + shipping. Should be here today or so. Even though I have the Tokina ATX 828 28-70/2.8 (non-SV model) I've been looking for something in that range that is small enough I can use the pop-up flash without it getting blocked by the lens barrel or one of my low profile shoe mounted flash units like the AF200fg or the AF240ft.

As for the white veil that sounds more like fungus than anything else. If it looks like it has a faint lacey web look to it that is usually fungus caused by moisture getting into the Canadian balsum used as cement between the glued elements. Somtimes you can lessen it by putting it under a UV lamp for awhile as that will kill the fungus. It may not disappear completely but it will be useable. I have an LN- condition SMC-Takumar 300/4 I had to do that with That was why I got it for only $100US many years ago.
Kent Gittings

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Ari Aikomus
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...And now I bought Sigma 28-105/2.8-4 Aspherical...
In reply to Ari Aikomus, Sep 18, 2008

Huh! This LBA...

But hey - this is not so bad lens after all:

Looks fine, feel fine with K20D...and AF operate pretty well...

Pictures are not supersharp, but not bad either:

Some my first shots with Sigma 28-105 zoom:

105mm, f/4, 1/125sec, iso400:

Bokeh is acceptable, or what you think ?

75mm, f/4, 1/20sec, iso800:

105mm, f/5.6, 1/125sec, iso 800:

crop:

...Crazy cat - but not really bad zoom lens - and quite fast too!

Ari

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