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Lens Review, SMC Pentax-A 28mm 1:2.8, On A Pentax K-m (K2000)

Re-Living the CCD Sensor, A Pentax K-m, And A 28mm MF Lens
Going for the perfect start, a vintage wide-angle manual focus prime, on an equally vintage CCD digital SLR camera.

Your introduction to photography can very well be based on the digital format, with cameras and lenses coming from the lower end of the cost spectrum. The setup can come in the form of a vintage digital camera, vintage as they were in production more than 10 years ago with technology that has been bypassed or made redundant, mounted with equally vintage manual focus prime lenses.

For starters, a recommended low-cost start-up kit is the AA battery-powered Pentak K-m (K2000 in the US), a digital SLR camera with a 10MP CCD sensor introduced by Pentax in 2008, and the SMC Pentax-A 28mm 1:2.8 manual focus prime, also by Pentax. On the APS-C sensor of the Pentax K-m, which has a crop factor of 1.5, the Pentax-A will be the equivalent of a perfectly normal lens with a focal length of 42mm on a 35mm full-frame camera.

The Pentax K-m, introduced by Pentax in 2008 with an APS-C-sized CCD sensor, is a compact entry-level digital SLR camera fitted with a Pentax KAF2 lens mount, a follow-up from the KF, KA, and KAF mounts, which was Pentax's development sequence for adding auto-focus features to its lenses. The camera shares the same viewfinder and LCD screen with the 10MP CCD sensor K200D and the 14.6 CMOS sensor K20D but has a lighter body and no weather sealing.

Pentax K-m (K2000), SMC Pentax-A 28mm 1:2.8

The SMC Pentax-A 28mm 1:2.8, highly acknowledged and accoladed, is one of those lenses you must learn to appreciate. The lens, a wide-angle, small and compact, all metal-and-glass, with 7 elements in 7 groups, is similar to the second version of the SMC Pentax-M 28mm F2.8 lens, is a K-mount A series and came with an "A" aperture setting which, when set, allows the camera to control the aperture automatically. The lens was in production from 1984 to 1988.

SMC Pentax-A 28mm 1:2.8
SMC Pentax-A 28mm 1:2.8

This lens has a Sharpness rating of 8.6, Aberrations at 8.1, Bokeh at 7.6, Handling at 9.2, and Value at 9.3 on Pentax Forums.

The setup mentioned will give you a camera kit perfect for general-purpose photography, family snapshots, scenes and landscape, and street photography, and may even excel in specialty photography genres. The lens will probably be the only one you will need on your camera most of the time.

The K-m is powered by a set of either 4 AA Lithium, Ni-MH Rechargeable, or Alkaline batteries (which provides a battery life of 1800 shots according to CIPA standards). The easily replaceable AA batteries needed to operate the camera are an advantage you might want to consider having.

Pentax K-m (K2000), And A 28mm MF Lens 01
Pentax K-m (K2000), And A 28mm MF Lens 02
Pentax K-m (K2000), And A 28mm MF Lens 03

Camera and Lens Availability

Digital cameras with CCD sensors, like the Pentax K-m, and lenses such as the manual focus SMC Pentax-A 28mm 1:2.8 lenses are still readily available today, with some still functional as if they were new, at very low introductory prices on the auction market or even from brick-and-mortar stores.


Early Images

I had the same setup for this trial, with the kit acquired at a chance bargain of US $60 (shipping is extra), with the items bought separately. I couldn't ask for more really, as the camera and lens were both in near-mint condition, with the camera powered up good and proper with a new set of batteries, and the lens equally smooth in operation.

Pentax K-m (K2000), And A 28mm MF Lens 05
Pentax K-m (K2000), And A 28mm MF Lens 04

Pentax K-m (K2000), And A 28mm MF Lens 06
Pentax K-m (K2000), And A 28mm MF Lens 07

Pentax K-m (K2000), And A 28mm MF Lens 08
Pentax K-m (K2000), And A 28mm MF Lens 09
Pentax K-m (K2000), And A 28mm MF Lens 10
Pentax K-m (K2000), And A 28mm MF Lens 11

Pentax K-m (K2000), And A 28mm MF Lens 13
Pentax K-m (K2000), And A 28mm MF Lens 12

Making The Choice

CCD sensors were standard for digital cameras from the early 80s till the late 2000s. They were acknowledged for their sharp, low-noise, and high-quality images which people said had film-like qualities. Although CMOS sensors are now favored for capturing images in consumer products, CCD sensors are still used in medical, scientific, and industrial markets due to their high sensitivity and precision.

Pentax K-m (K2000), SMC Pentax-A 28mm 1:2.8

Making the uptake is equally reasonable if you are thinking about steering away from film photography with its ever-increasing cost of film and related development and scanning charges, or going for the cost of more advanced and probably more complex digital cameras that are currently on, or coming into the market.



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