I had started a project a few months back to try each of my lenses for a week and report on how well they, and I did. I’m ashamed to admit that since then I have only been able to do so far three additional lenses, since the 50mm, and obviously have not been reporting back on them. As my title says, life can get in the way of resolutions and I let that happen to me. Well spring has started to finally appear, don’t let the calendar fool you, it was 28 degrees here last night and daytime highs have barely broke 60. And with spring has come a renewed determination to get on with my resolutions.
The next in my lineup for testing was my 28mm f1:2.8 manual focus lens. I had learned in my 50mm lens test that my hands were a little shaky. So instead of using the 28mm on my old Pentax DS, I used it on my K5. The K5 has shake reduction in the body and helped me stay stabilized while focusing.
In the early days of 35mm film cameras a 28mm lens was considered wide angle. Most cameras were sold with a 50mm lens. Between 35mm and 50mm was considered “normal” viewing for the human eye. Many early zoom lenses started in at 35mm. Later years saw 28mm as becoming more common. By the time DSLR cameras were affordable the most common zoom lens sold with them was the equivalent of a 28mm lens.
Both my 50mm and 28mm lenses are from the film era. On my Pentax DSLR cameras they give me the field of view of 75mm and 42mm respectfully that they would have on my film 35mm cameras.
The first thing I noticed with the 28mm is that I was able to focus much closer to objects than I could with the 50mm lens. I stood no further away from this frog light than two feet.
I then used the lens to do suburb-scapes photos both horizontal and vertical. I quickly decided that I preferred images from this lens in the vertical or portrait mode. For some reason the apparent field of view of 42mm held no appeal to me when done as a horizontal image.
The other thing I noticed was that in areas of high contrast, such as the trees against this dull winter sky, this lens has noticeable chromatic aberration. This is apparent as a purplish colored “ghosting” along areas of high contrast. It is a phenomenon of the digital era and is brought about by a combination of high contrast and color wavelength. Most modern lenses have special coatings to aid in preventing it.
I enjoyed working with both of these old lenses but am looking forward to my next prime lens. This one is more modern. My 35mm f2.4 auto-focus lens.