PENTACON auto 2.8 / 29 MC review

For the opportunity PENTACON auto 2.8 / 29 MC review Many thanks to Alexander from the Manual Optics section.

PENTACON auto 2.8 / 29 MC

PENTACON auto 2.8 / 29 MC

The PENTACON auto 2.8 / 29 MC has several modifications, for example PENTACON electric 2.8 / 29 MC and PENTACON auto. The parent of all modifications was Meyer Orestegon 2.8 / 29. The copy from this review is one of the latest versions, the lens has a M42 fit thread and a diaphragm control mode switch.

TTX PENTACON auto 2.8 / 29 MC:
Design: 7 elements in 7 groups
Front Filter Diameter: 55mm
Fit thread: M42
The weight: 240g
Aperture limits: F2.8-F22
MDF: 25cm
Made in: German Democratic Republic (GDR)

Lens view PENTACON auto 2.8 / 29 MC

View of the PENTACON auto 2.8 / 29 MC lens, aperture and case

My copy came in a pretty case, it looked like no one had ever used it, the lenses were perfectly clean, the case hadn't been worn out for years of use. It alerted me that a good lens and no one used it - a rarity. But as it turned out with the lens and the picture on it - everything is in order. The front lens has a slightly purple multi-coating tint. In size, it is slightly larger than Helios-81N.

View of the modern Pentacon 29 2.8 cameras

View on a modern Pentacon 29 2.8 lens camera

The main features of the lens

  1. PENTACON auto 2.8 / 29 MC is a manual lens from film cameras with an M42 mounting thread. You can only focus manually. It can be used both on a full frame and on a crop. The focusing ring is quite comfortable. Focus is nice.
  2. 2,8 maximum aperture makes this lens fast enough to take a normal result when taking it off in poor light. Also, 29mm is easier to avoid picture blur than on lenses with a longer focal length. Although, this is all conditional, shooting in some kind of clubyou can’t do without a flash. The number of aperture blades is only 6 pieces. The bokeh on the open is even very good.

    Pentagon 29mm 2.8 MC auto photo

    Pentagon 29mm 2.8 MC auto photo

  3. Multi-Enlightenment (MS) allows you to get a contrasting picture and overcome backlight. In strong backlight against the sun, the lens gives a veil, but not a very strong one. Lateral light transfers normally.
  4. The build quality is excellent, because it was made in the GDR. I was pleased with the stylish lens case, and of course the inscription German Democratic Republic.

    Photo at Pentacon 29mm F2.8 MC auto

    Photo at Pentacon 29mm F2.8 MC auto

  5. The housing has all the necessary indicators, as for any non-autofocus lens. Infinity on the focus distance scale starts at 4 meters. DOF is indicated for the following aperture values: 4, 8, 16, 22.
  6. The thread under the 55mm filter will make it easy to find the right filter. Also, when focusing, the front element does not spin, it only moves 2 cm forward.

    Photo at Pentacon 29mm F2.8 Multi Coating auto

    Photo at Pentacon 29mm F2.8 Multi Coating auto

  7. The lens is very small MDF (minimum focusing distance), this will allow you to shoot from a very close distance and thereby control the perspective. For a wide angle - MDF is a very important indicator.
Bokeh on Pentacon 29 2.8 MC auto with MDF

Bokeh on Pentacon 29 2.8 MC auto with MDF

 Image quality

It is difficult to judge the quality, since I could not use the lens for shooting architecture, landscapes, etc. This happened due to the loss of the ability to focus at infinity on my Nikon camera. Usually, a lens with such a focal length is used for landscapes and nature. I only used it for big shots. HA pronounced on contrasting objects. The distortion is easy to see, it is still 29mm. Color reproduction is normal. I did not notice vignetting even at 2.8 on my cropped matrix. They say that the PENTACON auto 2.8 / 29 MC is not sharp enough, but my copy showed good sharpness and at F2.8, closing the aperture, the sharpness only increases. There is a slight spherical aberration effect. Somewhere after F11, a diffraction effect occurs on the crop. But even on F22 the picture is pretty sharp, don't believe me - see examples. The back and side light does not hold very well, but not very bad either. Bokeh too, not special, but pretty nice.

Sharpness on Pentacon 29 2.8 MC auto, no processing

Sharpness on Pentacon 29 2.8 MC auto, no processing

How to use with modern cameras?

Lenses with mounting thread M42 (M42 X 1 / 45.5), such as the lens from this review, are very easy to use on almost any modern digital camera (both SLR and mirrorless), for this it is enough to choose the right adapter (adapter). You do not need to carry out any additional steps to modify the lens.

The cheapest adapters can be found at There are adapters (adapters) with a chip that provide more convenience during shooting, usually chips are used to confirm focus and / or metering exposure, and form the correct EXIF. The chip does not affect the image quality in any way.

For some SLR cameras (for example, with the Nikon F-mount), you need to use adapters with a corrective lens, which allows you to focus correctly at all focusing distances. For any mirrorless cameras, such a lens is not needed, and the adapter is a simple decorated hollow metal tube with an appropriate mount.

For SLR cameras

  1. Canon: For cameras Canon EOS with bayonet mount EF / EF-S need an M42-Canon EOS adapter, such an adapter with a chip can be found herewithout chip here.
  2. NIKON: For cameras Nikon DX / FXas well as for cameras Fujifilm и Kodak with a Nikon F mount, you need an M42-Nikon F adapter, you can buy such an adapter without a lens and a chip here, with a lens without a chip herewith chip without lens here, with lens and chip here. Why a lens? Why chip?
  3. PENTAX: For Pentax cameras with K mount, you need an M42-Pentax K adapter, you can buy such an adapter here.
  4. SONY/MINOLTA: For cameras with a Sony / Minolta A mount, you need the M42-Sony A adapter, you can find such an adapter without a chip at this linkwith a chip at this link.
  5. OLYMPUS/PANASONIC/LEICA: For cameras with a 4/3 bayonet mount (not to be confused with Micro 4/3!) You need an M42-4 / 3 adapter, you can buy such an adapter here.

For mirrorless cameras

  1. SONY: For cameras with 'E'/'FE' mount series SonyNEX и Sony Alpha you need an adapter M42-Sony E (aka M42-Sony Nex), you can find it at this link. An autofocus adapter is also available for these cameras. Techart PRO Leica M - Sony E Autofocus Adapterwhich can be found at this link.
  2. OLYMPUS / PANASONIC / KODAK / XIAOMI: For cameras with a bayonet mount Micro 4/3 (Micro 4:3) you need an adapter M42-Micro 4/3, you can find it at this link.
  3. CANON M: For cameras with Canon EF-M mount need adapter M42-Canon M, it can be found at this link.
  4. CANON R and RF-S: For cameras with Canon RF mount need adapter M42-Canon R, it can be found at this link.
  5. Nikon 1: For cameras Nikon 1 Series need adapter M42-Nikon 1, you can find it at this link.
  6. Nikon Z: For cameras Nikon Z series (FX/DX) need an adapter M42-Nikon Z, it can be found at this link.
  7. FUJIFILM X: For cameras with mount X need an M42-Fuji X adapter, you can find it at this link.
  8. FUJIFILM GFX: For medium format cameras G-mount need M42-Fuji GFX adapter, you can find it at this link.
  9. SAMSUNG: For cameras with NX mount, you need an M42-Samsung NX adapter, you can find it at this link. There are no adapters for the NX mini camera yet.
  10. PENTAX: For Q-mount cameras, you need an M42-Pentax Q adapter, you can find it at this link.
  11. SIGMA / PANASONIC / LEICA: For cameras with L mount you need an M42-Leica L adapter, you can find it at this link.
  12. LEICA: For cameras with a bayonet mount Leica M need adapter M42-L / M, you can find it at this link.

If you have any questions on compatibility and adapters - ask in the comments (comments do not require any registration at all).


Photograph by Pentacon 29mm 2.8 MC auto

Photograph by Pentacon 29mm 2.8 MC auto

On cropped cameras, the angle of view becomes narrower, and on Nikon with 1.5x crop, this is already the equivalent of 43,5, for Canon with 1.6x crop it is already 46,4 mm (almost fifty dollars). On the crop, all the wide-angle of the lens and many of the charms of using the PENTACON auto 2.8 / 29 MC are lost. How to use on other systems like Pentax, Sony, Olympus - you can easily find on the Internet. From old manual lenses, it is very difficult to find a really wide-angle lens for crop, so that on the crop it is also wide enough. If you need a good wide-angle fast lens, the PENTACON auto 2.8 / 29 MC is not very suitable for this role. Personally, for a wide angle, I used to use the simplest whale one, now I have a good copy in service Tamron 17-50 2.8.

Aperture example on a Pentacon 29 2.8 MC auto

Aperture example on a Pentacon 29 2.8 MC auto

Sample photos on PENTACON auto 2.8 / 29 MC

All photos taken on Nikon D40. Photos without processing, only reduced size 1600 * 1200 pixels, added watermark (watermark) from EXIF. Many people ask, but how do I add focal length and aperture from EXIFif I use a lens without dandelion lushnikov, moreover - on the camera, without the ability to manually set the parameters. It's very simple - I write down at what focal length (if it's a zoom lens) or at what aperture this or that picture was taken, and then I manually enter the values ​​into the watermark in the photos. Sometimes I forget to write down or remember the exact value, so I indicate the approximate aperture limits, for example, it happened with the Tair-11A, when on a cold spring day of filming near the sea I forgot to write down the values.

Photo at Pentacon 29 2.8 MC auto

Photo at Pentacon 29 2.8 MC auto

Comments on this post do not require registration. Anyone can leave a comment. Many different photographic equipment can be found on AliExpress.

Hack and predictor Aviator

The PENTACON auto 2.8 / 29 MC is a good wide angle lens. I do not recommend using it on a crop. Gives a good, fairly sharp picture, is a little afraid of backlighting.

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Training/Consultations | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram

Add a comment: Pasha



Comments: 67, on the topic: PENTACON auto 2.8 / 29 MC review

  • anonym


  • Ayrat

    Hello. My question is, with which adapter will this lens be friends with Nikon F at 100%? Is it possible to tune in to infinity?

    • B. R. P.

      Adapter with lens and chip. See details above in the section How to use with modern cameras?

  • Ayrat

    Thank you.

  • Svetlana Prokhorenkova

    How much can such a lens cost? thanks

    • Erbolat

      On the secondary, I saw him with Zenith for 1000 rubles.

  • Gregor_Z

    Really like…

  • Leonid

    > The PENTACON auto 2.8 / 29 MC is a good wide angle lens. I do not recommend using> on a crop.
    Why? Indeed, for crop it is normal focus.

    • Gregor

      And a little mdf!

    • Rodion

      For crop, it has rather poor image quality, especially sad edges. Contrast and overhanging also ruin life.

  • Anonymous

    I will sell the same, externally and optics, ideally, there are no covers. Ukraine .

  • Basil

    I found a missing letter in the text: On cropped cameras, the viewing angle becomes narrower (becomes?)

  • Leon

    Guys, just look at the boke, it's just a miracle from the GDR.

    • Dimitry

      What a miracle it is on the crop.

      • B. R. P.

        Well, yes, bokeh is only on ff.

  • Pasha

    Nikon d90& pentacon 29mm f2.8 electric

  • Pasha

    This lens

    • Pasha

      More photos with this lens

  • Eugene

    I have one, it works on the Olympus epl2 3/4 mft, I like it ... LR crop processing.

  • Artem

    Guys, who tried this lens on a canon 5d mark II? Does the mirror not touch?

  • Andrei

    I bought it the other day and it doesn’t affect the mirror on the Canon 5D. I will use Canon 5D, Nikon D40, and mainly Sony A7III, A7S mirrorless cameras.
    On the Sony A7S, the MDF is only 18 cm (!) from the cut of the front lens. Allows you to photograph leaves and flowers on a large scale and experiment with bokeh. It is peculiar, bubbly, reminiscent of Meyer's. Actually, that’s why I took it. At apertures up to 5,6 inclusive, the edges of the frame on full-frame matrices are rather weak. The distortion is mild and not annoying. I'm happy with the purchase, I got it for mere pennies.

    • Andrei

      I noticed a peculiarity. On the translucent light spots in the bokeh, you can see the non-uniform structure of the lens body.. Dust, condensation does not leave such an effect.. A certain wave-like appearance of the glass is also visible in the light when viewed through a magnifying glass.. Is this a defect in my particular specimen, perhaps, or is it the low quality of this type of lens? I'll continue to look into the problem

      • Rodion

        Do you have a filter? Are you filming through glass?

        • Andrei

          The filter has been removed, the shooting is not through glass.
          There is some dust inside the lens. In general, it looks very much like traces of stains from wet wiping during not very professional cleaning of the inside. This defect is visible only in photographs. It is not visible visually against the light.

          • Rodion

            That's the point.

  • Love

    Hello, please tell me, does it have a fixed diaphragm?

Add a comment

Copyright © Blog author - Photographer in Kiev Arkady Shapoval. 2009-2023

English-version of this article

Versión en español de este artículo