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Pentacon 29mm f/2.8 lens on Nex

This is a short pictorial review of the Pentacon 29mm f/2.8 Multi Coated manual lens on the Sony Nex 6 camera.

This is another M42 mount lens which represents incredible value for money if you are prepared to do a little more setup and manual intervention in your photography. You won’t get lots of automatic settings, but you can get some brilliant images if you just apply a little thought and can use the focus ring!

The normal cost for one of these lenses ranges from about £5 to about £40 on ebay, depending on when you buy it and who you buy it from. You will normally pay less for an example bought in an auction rather than with a ‘buy in now’ offer, but I doubt you would pay over that range for a good example.

On an APS-C crop sensor camera like the NEX 6 the lens is an equivalent focal length of 43.5mm, so it becomes a widish standard lens.

I used this lens on my Nex 6 to take some pictures about Stevenage today in Jpeg+Raw mode. Normally I would only shoot in Raw mode, but this gives me the ability to show the ‘out of camera’ performance which may be useful to some people.

Pentacon 28mm f/2.8 JPeg Pictures

The camera jpeg images were on the most part slightly over exposed. On most of these shots I had to reduce the exposure by about half a stop when I produced the Lightroom Processed version. Other than that, the images show a tendency for softness in the corners when wide open but this reduces as the aperture is stopped down. The CA seems pretty well controlled and being a prime lens there is little if any distortion. (The full sized images are here – navigate with the arrow keys)

Once the raw pictures had been processed, there were a few images which I would be happy to use, although this lens is certainly not of the quality of a takumar 28mm f/3.5. As well as adjust the overall exposure, in many cases I reduced the highlights, boosted the contrast and added a bit of midrange definition with the clarity adjustment. (The full sized versions are here – again use the arrow keys to move between the pictures)

Pentacon 28mm f/2.8 Lightroom Pictures

In conclusion this is a reasonable lens which is good value for money if you can find one, as I did, for a few pounds. It is not of the quality of the Takumar 28mm f/3.5, but will provide reasonable image quality if you shoot in raw and put a little effort into processing your shots.

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I’m a software developer by profession but I’ve been taking pictures since I was about 8 years old. In that time I’ve owned cameras of all types and sizes from 120 roll film thro’ 35mm to my current Pentax K-5, Ricoh GXR + P10/S10/A12 28mm/A12 50mm, Canon S95 and recently acquired Sony NEX 6.

  1. Russ Hawker says:

    Nice review, very informative. I use one of these lenses with my Fujifilm X-T10. Picked it up for nothing as it was included with some other bits. Nice smooth focus and aperture ring. I find mine acceptably sharp at f2.8 and very sharp by f4. Very pleased. At least until I can find an Olympus OM 28mm f2.8 at a good price. And complete my Olympus OM Zuiko line up.

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