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Canon Rangefinders - Peter Dechert and Peter Kitchingman Peter Dechert is best known for his Canon Rangefinder, Canon SLR, and Olympus Pen books, the latter two long out-of-print. He was a monthly columnist for many years for SHUTTERBUG magazine, and has contributed to many others. Most recently he has written about the pre-WW2 Zeiss 35mm cameras, but his interests in camera equipment and optics are many and varied. As a pro protographer and honorary life member of ASMP, Peter is also expert in using the gear! Peter Kitchingman - author of Canon Rangefinder Lens book Peter Kitchingman's 'Canon M39 Rangefinder Lenses 1939-71' book is the definitive source on these very interesting optics. His interests also go to the entire Canon Rangefinder system and beyond.

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Canon 28mm f3.5
Old 03-25-2017   #1
lawrence
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Canon 28mm f3.5

I recently decided that, just for fun, I'd buy an old-style 28mm and found a nice clean Canon 28mm f3.5. According to the Canon Museum this lens was introduced in the month in which I was born, October '51.

The build quality is outstanding (it's the earlier all brass version) and I've done a very quick test. Like the 35mm f1.8 I owned for a while, it's pretty crummy at wider apertures but stopped down to f8 it looks good and I'm looking forward to using it. If anyone else has this lens it would be nice to hear about their experiences.
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Old 03-25-2017   #2
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I had one for a while. As you've discovered, it's soft in the corners at the wider end. Other than that, no complaints, and even so the softness is not entirely objectionable. Build is good, typical early Canon optical traits: low-medium contrast, good resolution, pastel color rendering. I only sold mine when I came across a 28/2.8 at a good price.

Here's a sample from mine (probably wide open). More from that series here: https://filmosaur.wordpress.com/2016/06/20/more-new-york-city-bryant-park-and-the-new-york-public-library/

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Old 03-25-2017   #3
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I used a Canon 28/3.5, but I sold it because I had several other 28mm lenses. The Canon lens is an excellent lens. It is sharp, and it is very well built like a (small) tank.
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Old 03-25-2017   #4
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I have the version that was made in Contax/Nikon mount. Maybe a bit low on contrast, but very sharp. Very nicely made. A nice lens.

Jim B.

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Old 03-25-2017   #5
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Nice lens, I may have to try it one day.

I was also born in October 1951, and I just acquired a '51 Summitar!

I wish I was made of brass & chrome, maybe soon my knees will be.
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Old 03-25-2017   #6
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Old 03-25-2017   #7
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Hmmmm, I shot a fountain too with my Canon 28!

Mine is the all-chrome version (no black nomenclature ring) but its not Serenar. Mid-50s maybe? My corners are soft and its not entirely gone by f8. This is on my Sony digital so its an APS-C sensor size:

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Old 03-25-2017   #8
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Many thanks for the comments. I plan to use the lens on an upcoming trip to Venice and plan to report back with some photos.

Helen: Enjoy the 35mm, I think the f2.0 may be superior to my old f1.8.

David: Ah, another boomer . Hope the Summitar works out and look forward to seeing some results.
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Old 11-03-2017   #9
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This one just arrived, and I can't wait to try it!
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File Type: jpg canon 28.jpg (22.9 KB, 9 views)
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Old 11-03-2017   #10
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I have one but haven't used it much, mostly because I don't use a 28mm on my M9 much. I'm usually using a 50mm or short telephoto, while carrying a GR as a 28mm.

When I first got my 4/3 camera, I briefly used it as a "normal" lens. It made for a nice compact package. I think I should have used it more.


Crosswalk Cyclist by sevres babylone, en Flickr
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Old 11-03-2017   #11
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Here's one on the M9.


Jack Layton Chalk Memorial - Nathan Phillips Square by sevres babylone, en Flickr
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Old 12-31-2017   #12
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A superb lens, one I love to use. I echo the sentiments about low contrast and pastel colors. The lens is very sharp. I don't use this lens as much as I should, I really like it on my iiif as a compact hiking camera (love this focal length for landscapes). Here is a most recent shot from the M5 on delta 100.
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Old 01-18-2018   #13
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I bought a Canon Serenar 28mm f/3.5 # 11139 in late 2015. It's a 1952 - same year as I was born in . I bought it specifically to use with my Leica M4-P when I want a small 28mm. My other 28mm is a VC 28mm f/1.9 huge heavy lens.

I sent it out to DAG for a CLA with the M adapter and he did a great job on it.






I'm glad I found this thread as I just looked at my M4-P and I realized I never finished the "test" roll I started in May 2016 after DAG sent the lens back to me. Yikes!

I finished the roll and added it to my backlog of 110 rolls that need to be developed.
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Old 01-19-2018   #14
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I owned an early chrome version. Loved the small size and build quality. I love the retro rendering and to me the lens has an organic quality, meaning kinda smooth and natural.

Today I own a late black version that is kinda rare. The size is slightly bigger, but the ergonomics are mucho better. The black version has a real focus ring. Love that the distance scale is in feet only.

I mostly use this lens stopped down to F-5.6 and F-8.0 and shoot with a "kill zone."

Cal
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Old 01-19-2018   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calzone View Post
I owned an early chrome version. Loved the small size and build quality. I love the retro rendering and to me the lens has an organic quality, meaning kinda smooth and natural.

Today I own a late black version that is kinda rare. The size is slightly bigger, but the ergonomics are mucho better. The black version has a real focus ring. Love that the distance scale is in feet only.

I mostly use this lens stopped down to F-5.6 and F-8.0 and shoot with a "kill zone."

Cal
Nice!

My plan is to use mine at f/5.6,f/8, and f/11 as well. Should be a great "walk-about" lens.
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Old 01-19-2018   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aoresteen View Post
Nice!

My plan is to use mine at f/5.6,f/8, and f/11 as well. Should be a great "walk-about" lens.
Hint: Understand that on a Leica with 28/90 frames that the center rectangle is as if the middle rectangle for the rule of thirds. really helpful in composition.

All the best.

Cal
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