The Pentax Distagon 28mm f/2

Started May 13, 2009 | Discussions
Peter Jonkman Senior Member • Posts: 1,007
The Pentax Distagon 28mm f/2
3

Some of you may know that Zeiss, for a very short time, worked in cooperation with Asahi Optical Co. from Japan. One of the products of this cooperation is the design of the Pentax K mount. But the companies also worked together in optical lens design. The cooperation did not last long; Zeiss quickly went to Yashica and the result (the Contax RTS with the excellent series of Zeiss lenses) is history.

Now, I'm also sure that some of you know of famous Zeiss lens designer Erhard Glatzel's 28mm f/2 Distagon (also nicknamed "Hollywood"). In the early stage of their cooperation, Asahi used the design of the Distagon in its SMC Pentax 1:2/28. The lens was a 1:1 copy of the Distagon. So, the SMC Pentax 1:2/28 IS technically speaking a Distagon, with its floating element.

Now, why did I mention the "Poor man's Distagon"? Well, because tonight I bought the SMC Pentax 1:2/28 with its original case for 190 euros. It's only missing its front lens cap and it has a small nick on the front ring (absolutely nothing serious) but the rest of the lens is easily Excellent++. It's a great price becausse usually this lens is not seen for years. It's very rare... And I'm delighted to have saved it for future generations.

Some quick shots (partly shot on the way back home, so those). I think the bokeh is rather special:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

Stephen Wood Regular Member • Posts: 171
Re: The Pentax Distagon 28mm f/2

Very nice Peter, well done in finding this lens, also thankyou for the History, this is something I didn't know. Happy shooting.

Stephen

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tombell1 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,135
Re: The Pentax Distagon 28mm f/2

Thanks for posting ... i'll keep my eye to see if any more come around!! I agree about the bokeh by the way
--
Tom Bell
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(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 9,509
Four questions
-- hide signature --

HI

Nice catch.

1) Are there any other lenses that are joint or borrowed designs?

and just in case ....

2) Where do you live?

3) Do you have a dog?

4) are the doors and windows locked?

As much as I like my Vivitar 28 f2, the bokeh is just so much nicer from your lens...though the price much higher..

neil

sfa1966
sfa1966 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,474
Re: The Pentax Distagon 28mm f/2

Those are all quite beautiful shots. That buttery-smooth bokeh is right up there with the Voigtlander 125 in its soothing qualities.

I am now insanely jealous!

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Cheers,
sfa

A very limited photographer ...

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OP Peter Jonkman Senior Member • Posts: 1,007
Re: The Pentax Distagon 28mm f/2

tombell1 wrote:

Thanks for posting ... i'll keep my eye to see if any more come
around!! I agree about the bokeh by the way

I surely wish you a lot of luck finding one. It was the first one I have seen in my 20 years of using Pentax.

OP Peter Jonkman Senior Member • Posts: 1,007
Re: Four questions

neil holmes wrote:

Nice catch.

1) Are there any other lenses that are joint or borrowed designs?

Yes, the 15mm f/3.5 comes to mind. Though Pentax originally used an aspherical element and Zeiss did not. The 15mm f/3.5 design was also sold as the Leitz Super-Elmar-R.

I do not know about designs in later years, but Pentax worked together with other lens makers such as Tokina and Cosina.

and just in case ....
2) Where do you live?

Somewere in The Netherlands

3) Do you have a dog?

No, but my wife has strong teeth!

4) are the doors and windows locked?

Usually, yes

As much as I like my Vivitar 28 f2, the bokeh is just so much nicer
from your lens...though the price much higher..

I know, as I also have the Vivitar (in M42 mount). I believe the normal price on eBay for the SMC Pentax 1:2/28 is somewhere between $600-$1200.

OP Peter Jonkman Senior Member • Posts: 1,007
Re: The Pentax Distagon 28mm f/2

Here's a larger close-up:

glasbak Regular Member • Posts: 390
Re: The Pentax Distagon 28mm f/2

Peter Jonkman wrote:

I surely wish you a lot of luck finding one. It was the first one I
have seen in my 20 years of using Pentax.

Thats strange, I found several over the years, when I was searching for the M 1:2.0 28mm.

The M version was a relative late addition to the M lenses, so the K version stayed years longer on the catalogs than most original K lenses.

George

OP Peter Jonkman Senior Member • Posts: 1,007
Re: The Pentax Distagon 28mm f/2

glasbak wrote:

Peter Jonkman wrote:

I surely wish you a lot of luck finding one. It was the first one I
have seen in my 20 years of using Pentax.

Thats strange, I found several over the years, when I was searching
for the M 1:2.0 28mm.
The M version was a relative late addition to the M lenses, so the K
version stayed years longer on the catalogs than most original K
lenses.

George

Thanks George. I usually do not look on eBay and the like for finding lenses (I'm not that rich anyway) so I was talking about the local market (Netherlands). Surely I've missed some but I cannot remember ever having seen one.

According to the catalogs (my documentation is packed away because of our move in two weeks) was the K version more expensive when new and if so, by how much?)

on6702 Regular Member • Posts: 450
Re: The Pentax Distagon 28mm f/2

Good find and stunning photos.

For those of you that want one and are feeling rich there's one for sale here in Japan on yahoo auctions if you are interested-- it only costs a cool USD 800 !!!

Oliver

http: page13.auctions .yahoo.co.jp/jp/ auction/r54811980

Lars Holte
Lars Holte Senior Member • Posts: 1,204
Good find - again, again, again

Hi Peter

You have really mastered the art of finding these old gems - and use them in the digital age.

Am I just a bit envious - yes, I think so ...

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Lars

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glasbak Regular Member • Posts: 390
Re: The Pentax Distagon 28mm f/2

Peter Jonkman wrote:

Thanks George. I usually do not look on eBay and the like for finding
lenses (I'm not that rich anyway) so I was talking about the local
market (Netherlands). Surely I've missed some but I cannot remember
ever having seen one.

Well, my LBA period was before eBay etc. existed, it is no fun just ordering a lens from behind a computer screen.

Looking through piles of lenses ( Houten/Doesburg etc). finding that one lens for next to nothing, then cleaning/repairing the lens, thats fun.

I believe, I even have seen the K 28/2.0 in Houten this year !

According to the catalogs (my documentation is packed away because of
our move in two weeks) was the K version more expensive when new and
if so, by how much?)

The catalogs do not contain price information, I have to look in old foto magazines, and I am not at home now.

George

OP Peter Jonkman Senior Member • Posts: 1,007
Re: The Pentax Distagon 28mm f/2

I know you, George, so it does not surprise me at all

But... In Houten the prices were severely inflated (at least in my mind). Shop-like prices so to speak. Of course, there's always that hidden gem you are looking (or not looking) for.

OP Peter Jonkman Senior Member • Posts: 1,007
Re: Good find - again, again, again

Lars Holte wrote:

Hi Peter

You have really mastered the art of finding these old gems - and use
them in the digital age.

Am I just a bit envious - yes, I think so ...

Lars, thank you! I have learned a lesson in life: if you want something and you really want it, and if you are dedicated to it, then you'll find it sooner or later. It's always worked for me. There's no eBay needed for that, like George says there's no fun in clicking on a "Buy it now" button. The process of finding gems (and repairing it in the case of George) is much more fun than using the lens itself.

OP Peter Jonkman Senior Member • Posts: 1,007
A few more from today...

Ned-B
Ned-B Senior Member • Posts: 1,827
Re: The Pentax Distagon 28mm f/2
11

I had to go back to 2009 to find any reference here about this very rare Pentax lens, but I thought a few of you might be interested reading about the one I just found...

https://instagram.com/p/BfTlXfdHpOB/

Cheers,

Ned

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Mike Hiran
Mike Hiran Senior Member • Posts: 1,251
Re: The Pentax Distagon 28mm f/2

Ned-B wrote:

I had to go back to 2009 to find any reference here about this very rare Pentax lens, but I thought a few of you might be interested reading about the one I just found...

https://instagram.com/p/BfTlXfdHpOB/

Cheers,

Ned

Wow, that is a much bigger lens than say the FA28!  It looks heavy too.  Looking forward to seeing some sample images from it and to hear what you think of it.

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noel2 Senior Member • Posts: 1,095
Re: The Pentax Distagon 28mm f/2

How does it compare to the "M" 1:2 28mm ?

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Ned-B
Ned-B Senior Member • Posts: 1,827
Re: The Pentax Distagon 28mm f/2

The SMC 28/2 is a totally different lens than the M28. It uses 9 elements in 8 groups, and thanks to Zeiss, it was Pentax’s first lens to use floating elements. And while I need to confirm this, I believe that the majority of lens elements are ground from high refractive index glass.

noel2 wrote:

How does it compare to the "M" 1:2 28mm ?

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