Konica-M 28mm f/2.8
Konica M-Hexanon 28mm f/2.8 (46mm filters, 8.0 oz./226g). enlarge. You can get them at this link to them at eBay (see How to Win at eBay); you also can get them from Adorama and OC Camera. It helps me keep reviewing these oldies when you get yours through these, links, thanks! Ken.
The Konica M-Hexanon 28mm f/2.8 is a Leica-M mount lens that can be used on any Leica-M mount camera.
This Konica lens is more than capable of creating fantastic images.
If you're counting pixels, its performance is inferior to LEICA 28mm lenses.
When new, it sold for much less than LEICA lenses, but today, its used price has climbed to about the same as real LEICA lenses. If you own one, great, but if considering buying one, I'd pass and get the newest LEICA ELMARIT-M 28mm f/2.8 ASPH instead, which is both optically superior and smaller. Even less expensive, and even slightly better optically than the LEICA, is the Zeiss 28mm f/2.8 ZM.
The actual focal length of this Konica lens is slightly shorter (wider) than the LEICA 28mm f/2.8 ASPH.
When compared side-by-side to a real LEICA lens, not only are its optics inferior, this Konica's mechanics feel crude.
Konica M-Hexanon 28mm f/2.8. enlarge.
8 elements in 7 groups.
Conventional spherical design.
Since the rear nodal point is at the mounting flange, and since the entrance and exit pupils are the same size, this turns out to be a non-retrofocus design.
Standard 46mm x 0.75mm.
40.11mm extension from flange.
55.44mm maximum diameter (focus ring).
7.970 oz. (225.9g).
8.475 oz (240.3g) capped.
Konica specified 230g.
Konica M-Hexanon 28mm f/2.8. enlarge.
The performance of this Konica is better than most SLR lenses, but still inferior to the LEICA lenses this Konica attempts to copy.
Capped Konica M-Hexanon 28mm f/2.8. enlarge.
The rear caps only attach if you line then up precisely. I'd use a real LEICA 14 269 rear cap instead.
The front cap is nice: it's felt-lined stamped aluminum. It goes on and off quite nicely.
Color Balance top
Oddly, the Konica M-Hexanon 28mm f/2.8 is visibly warmer than LEICA lenses.
Konica M-Hexanon 28mm f/2.8 at f/5.6. enlarge.
Stops down to f/22.
It's copied from LEICA in that the blades curve inward at most settings, and become round at the smallest aperture.
The Konica M 28mm f/2.8 lens has no visible distortion.
For critical photogrammetric work, use +0.4 in Photoshop's lens distortion filter at 3 meters.
Except for the larger size, ergonomics are swell.
Focus is by ring, not tab. It is slightly stiffer than a LEICA lens. It's not that easy to focus with a fingertip; unlike LEICA, two fingers works better.
The machining of the metal ring grips is crude. The edges are sharp, which make it less comfortable than the radiused edges of the LEICA or Zeiss lenses.
Apertures set almost as easily as on a LEICA lens.
Falloff is as expected for any 28mm rangefinder lens. It's never a problem, and often a blessing.
Here I have exaggerated it by shooting a blank plate and presented it against a flat gray background.
This is with no lens profile selected. Select any of the various LEICA 28mm lens profiles and this would be lessened.
Focus Accuracy top
Focus accuracy is always an issue between your individual sample of lens, and your individual sample of camera body.
That said, this sample of lens, and the M9 on which I tried it, tended to focus a little beyond the intended subject.
Lateral Color Fringes top
There are no color fringes anywhere on a LEICA M9.
Rear, Konica M-Hexanon 28mm f/2.8. enlarge.
This Konica lens feels like a cross between a Vivitar and a Voigtländer Cosina lens.
It's all metal, but not as well-finished as the Zeiss or LEICA lenses. The only plastic is the red mounting index ball.
The outer barrel and control rings are made of anodized aluminum, with brass for the helicoids.
All the marking are engraved and filled with paint.
The mount is shiny chrome, not dull like Nikon and LEICA.
Sharpness is better than SLR lenses, and more than enough for great photographs.
Shot on the LEICA M9, and if you're counting pixels, sharpness is clearly inferior to the LEICA 28mm f/2.8 ASPH.
On the M9, the Konica lens:
f/2.8: The center looks great, but not as good as the LEICA 28mm f/2.8 ASPH. The last 10mm of the corners are softer.
f/4: The center looks great, but not quite as good as the LEICA 28mm f/2.8 ASPH. The last 6mm of the corners are softer.
f/5.6: The center looks great, but not as good as the LEICA 28mm f/2.8 ASPH. The last few millimeters of the corners are softer, while the LEICA is perfect out to the corners on the M9.
f/8: The corners are finally as sharp as the center, but everywhere in the frame isn't quite as good as the LEICA 28mm f/2.8 ASPH.
To tabulate the JPG Normal (basic) file size of identical 18MP images made with each, which chronicles the level of detail and contrast:
© 2010 KenRockwell.com
If you own this Konica lens, enjoy it. It's value has done nothing but climb. It's better than probably any 28mm SLR lens. It has no distortion, and it just works great.
Probably because they fit LEICA cameras, the used prices of these Konica lenses keep inflating. When new, this Konica lens sold for much less than the LEICA lenses, but today, the prices have become comparable.
If you already own one of these, I wouldn't replace it, but if you're buying one, the LEICA ELMARIT-M 28mm f/2.8 ASPH or Zeiss 28mm f/2.8 ZM makes more sense, since they are better lenses for around the same price.
Don't confuse this Konica lens for a second with a Zeiss or LEICA lens, even if may look similar. The fonts look dinky, the red colors are tacky, and it feels much cheaper. The optics are inferior as well, if you're counting pixels.
Konica's rear caps are awful: they only go on two ways. Pitch them, and use a real LEICA 14 269 rear cap, which attaches any way you want. Half the time you try to attach the Konica cap, you have to try again to get it on.
Many thanks to Scott in the great Republic of Texas for loaning me this lens to test. Thanks Scott!
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