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Lens Review, Takumar-A 28mm 1:2.8, A Non-SMC Pentax Prime

Takumar-A 28mm 1:2.8, A Non-SMC Pentax Lens Review
A retro look at the non-SMC wide-angle prime from Pentax, sharp and sure on a 10MP CCD Pentax DSLR camera.

One vintage manual focus prime enthusiasts may tend to look over, or give it a miss, maybe because it is deemed to be not top echelon, is the manual focus Takumar-A 28mm 1:2.8. The wide angle lens, with a nay on YouTube video search, is still a Pentax by any means. It is a non-super-multi-coated (hence no SMC designation) version of the A-series lenses produced from 1984 to 1988 and comes with the 'A' aperture control button, which allows the aperture setting on the lens to be controlled automatically by the camera.

The 7 elements in 7 groups 28mm 1:2.8 lens were also found as a Cosmicar-A 28mm 1:2.8, MC Auto CPC Phase 2 28mm 1:2.8, and MC Auto CPC Phase 2 28mm MACRO 1:2.8 on the OEM market. Sadly though, technical data for these variants are not easily available. For Pentax itself, the KA-mount lenses were produced for use on Pentax A- and P-series 35mm SLR film camera bodies. KA-mount lenses are backward-compatible with the original K-mount.

Takumar-A 28mm 1:2.8

On Pentax Forums, where the lens has its fair share of accolades, the Takumar-A 28mm 1:2.8 enjoys a Sharpness rating of 8.5, Aberrations at 8.8, Bokeh at 7.8, Handling at 8.8, and Value at 9.8. The lens has a minimum focus of 0.3 meters and is lightweight at 180 grams. The lens has the same optical formula as the SMC Pentax-A 28mm 1:2.8. The non-A version of these lenses is the Takumar Bayonet series.

Pentax K-m, Takumar-A 28mm 1:2.8

This review was made with the 28mm 1:2.8 mounted on the Pentax (K-m K2000 in the US), a 2008 version of the digital SLR camera fitted with a 10MP CCD sensor, which of course, will bring us to the notion that images rendered will have a different look and feel, maybe more film-like, when compared to images rendered on CMOS sensors. The lens fitted perfectly to the KAF2 mount of the K-m, and the automatic aperture control mechanism worked flawlessly.


Morning Colors

Had a quick morning session with the lens recently, on a bright glorious morning. Images are sharp even when shot wide open, but color rendition is a bit of a washout, which was tweaked to increase saturation on the desktop editor.

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Setting up the lens on the camera was straight on, with the camera requesting input for the focal length of the lens. The selection of exposure modes is equally slick, and focusing is greatly enhanced by the focus confirmation function.

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On the APS-C sensor, which has a crop ratio of 1.5, the Takumar-A 28mm 1:2.8 is equivalent to a 40mm lens on a 35mm full-frame camera, the perfect focal length for general-purpose photography, family snapshots, scenes, landscape, and street photography. It might even be the only lens you will need on your camera most of the time.

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CCD sensors, older when compared to CMOS sensors, were the standard for camera sensors from the early 80s till the late 2000s. Cameras with this technology are still popular among enthusiasts who are looking for a different look and feel of images which are sometimes referred to as film-like.

As alternatives to 35mm SLR film cameras, and the recurring cost of paying for film and associated development costs, digital cameras and lenses like these are still an enviable buy. Prices on the auction market or mortar-and-brick stores are still for the asking!



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