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Pick One! The Best 28mm Lens for Vintage Lovers!


The 28mm lens isn’t the most popular focal length. And in our eyes this is a shame. For some of us, it resembles how we see the world. To that point, a lot of them can look the same. But there are a few key gems that have put some extra twinkle in our eyes. Here’s our list of the best 28mm lenses for vintage lovers. And yes, we’re going for the vintage renders.

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How We Chose the Lenses in This List

Here’s a lbit of info about how we chose the lenses in this list.

  • All our recommendations have been tested by us. In fact, all the photos in this roundup were also shot by our staff. In each section, you’ll find links to our full reviews.
  • These lenses have vintage inspiration and render. We really like them.
  • All these lenses are manual focus. So, if you’re not into that, you might want to look elsewhere Maybe try a PrismFX lens filter on your brand new lens.
  • We’re recommending a Zeiss lens, but keep in mind that their M-mount lenses have lens wobble at the mount. It’s a highly documented problem.
  • 7Artisans make wonderful lenses for their price point.

Zeiss 28mm f2.8

Pros

  • Compact
  • Beautiful image quality
  • Nice bokeh
  • Sharp
  • Perfect in so many ways as a walkabout lens

Cons

  • It’s a rangefinder lens, so close focusing isn’t really something that can be done here.

How’s the Color?

In our review, we state:

“To get the best colors from this lens, I recommend locking your camera to either tungsten white balance or daylight white balance to emulate the look of film a bit more. With that said, I did this with my Sony camera and fell in love with the colors I got. They’re slightly more muted than the Milvus lineup and the Loxia lineup. In many ways I wish Zeiss would bring that color rendition back and stop worrying about DXO scores in one way or another.”

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7Artisans 28mm f1.4

Pros

  • Built very well
  • Affordable
  • You can put the focusing tab anywhere you wish.
  • Nice bokeh at least
  • It can focus closer than most Leica lenses.
  • It’s got a look to it for sure.
  • It’s overall best shot with black and white.
  • It’s great on Leica bodies and not Sony.

Cons

  • Soft wide open when adapted. I’d expect that from their f1.1 lenses, but that’s not the case here.
  • Color fringing really makes me believe that the best images from this lens are shot in black and white.
  • Chromatic Aberration overall is pretty bad.

How’s the Color?

In our review, we state:

“Despite my qualms with the lens thus far, I have to admit I like the colors….The colors are excellent, and even if you want to go colorless, you can create gorgeous images. If you’re looking to create videos with the 7Artisans 28mm f1.4, you’ll get beautiful colors. If you’re working with film, just ensure that you nail the exposure right.”

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Leica 28mm f5.6

Pros

  • Very low profile build
  • A very classic look to the image quality that I wish more manufacturers did
  • F5.6 is probably what I would use for street photography anyway
  • Smooth operation

Cons

  • Full stops for aperture, though if you’ve shot film that shouldn’t be an issue
  • Weird zone focusing scale so it’s tough to figure out what’s in focus

How’s the Color?

In our review, we state:

“The color rendition for the Leica Summaron-M 28mm F5.6 is fairly muted. It’s classic and really nice on digital sensors. On a Sony sensor, it’s obviously going to be more saturated.”

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The Phoblographer’s various product round-up features are done in-house. Our philosophy is simple: you wouldn’t get a Wagyu beef steak review from a lifelong vegetarian. And you wouldn’t get photography advice from someone who doesn’t touch the product. We only recommend gear we’ve fully reviewed. If you’re wondering why your favorite product didn’t make the cut, there’s a chance it’s on another list. If we haven’t reviewed it, we won’t recommend it. This method keeps our lists packed with industry-leading knowledge. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.







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