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 a crop sensor camera like the nex the lens is an equivalent focal length of 43.5mm, so 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.

From Camera 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)

Processed in 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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