The Pentacon Electric 2.8 / 29 is a reborn and slightly more "advanced" Meyer-Optik Orestegor 29mm f2.8, produced in the GDR at the factories of the VEB Pentacon conglomerate in the 80s of the 20th century.

Pentacon 2.8 / 29 is a lens for SLR cameras with an M42 threaded connection. Applies to wide angle lenses. The progenitor of the lens is a proprietary bicyclic zebra Meyer-Optik, the full name of the "old man" is Meyer-Optik Orestor 2.8 / 29. Actually, Meyer-Optik continued to produce them as part of Pentacon, only it was now called Pentacon, like most photographic equipment products in the GDR after 1961*. During the production process, the case lost its zebra pattern and acquired a more advanced tactile processing of the focus rings and aperture.

It is more convenient to work with gloves with such rings than with a zebra. The lens was produced in Auto and Electric versions:

  • Pentacon Auto - with jumping aperture
  • Pentacon Electric - with electrical contacts

It had several options for cases of both modifications, as well as multi- and conventional enlightenment.

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Pentacon Electric 2.8 / 29

I first got acquainted with this glass in 2012 and was pleasantly surprised by the color of this lens in the original. Very high quality reproduction of halftones, colors and shadows, as well as contrast. Together with a wide angle, the lens has every chance of becoming glass for every day, especially for street photography.

Body, ergonomics

Enclosure type Pentacon Electric 2.8 / 29 - like the earlier ones Pentacon auto 50mm f1.8 m42. The lens block protrudes forward when focusing.

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The current aperture value was transmitted to the camera through the contacts, and the electronics already used this data to correctly expose the frame in semi-automatic mode. The performance of the German is, as always, on top. Lightweight, cute. On the front cover of the Pentacon Electric 2.8 / 29, the inscription “Made in GDR” proudly flaunts.

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The thread of the connection is m42, the lens fits onto the digital camera without any problems through the adapter. The diameter of the thread for light filters is 55mm. The body is marked with the values ​​of the focusing distance, the scale for calculating the hyperfocal distance and the aperture value. Focusing distance is duplicated in metric and imperial measurement systems.

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Aperture and depth of field

The aperture at the covered values ​​draws "nuts" in hips due to the small number of aperture blades. The Pentacon Electric 29mm f2.8 is very sharp starting at f3.2. The diaphragm can also be adjusted to intermediate values; the ring has a retainer from the inside. At a certain angle, noticeable distortion can be captured.

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Picture quality

Photo tinting "under the film" is already built in from the factory. Has a good, but I would say, a special color rendition. Excellent macro shots, thanks to a minimum focusing distance of 25 centimeters. Photos in nature, in the forest, and in good light are amazing.

Sample photos of Pentacon Electric 29mm f / 2.8

Canon 60D, the lens was mounted on the camera using the M42-EF adapter.

MC Pentacon auto 29mm f / 2.8

Unlike the previous variation, the cases have become more progressive, but the same optical quality as before.

MC Pentacon auto 29mm f2.8

MC Pentacon auto 29mm f / 2.8 sample photo

Blockages of vertical lines are present, but they have, how to say it ... "correct" character. The front lens fits close to the frame, so the hood will not interfere with this glass (thread diameter 55mm). The aperture blades are well blackened, which saves from reflections when closing the aperture. The lens is very sharp already at an open aperture, in this situation it also has a slight vignetting (see examples). As a budget wide Pentacon auto 29mm f/2.8 Multi Coating will be indispensable on a hike, as it weighs little and takes up little space.

Pentacon Electric 2.8/29MC

Pentacon Electric 2.8/29 MC is a continuation of a series of lenses updated to match the entire line of Pentacon lenses in the 70s. It differs from the MC Pentacon auto 29mm f/2.8 version only in the presence of electrical contacts for use on Praktica cameras with an electrical connection between the lens and the camera.

Use on modern cameras

This lens is installed on modern SLR and mirrorless cameras through the appropriate adapter. Read the article about adapters. On a camera with an APS-C (kf=1.6) sensor, the camera will have a field of view equal to the equivalent of 46mm focal length, and the aperture will correspond to f/4,5. Unlike many older lenses, Pentacon 29 can be used on cameras with small matrices with a crop factor of up to 1,5 inclusive.

On a full frame, the lens works as intended - it has a more flexible picture and characteristics corresponding to the declared ones.

The easiest way to shoot is in the mode Aperture Priority (Av)when the camera adjusts the required shutter speed based on the current aperture value and the light in the frame. To work on digital cameras, you need an adapter from the M42x1 threaded connection to your camera. Pentacon Electric 2.8 / 29 it is easiest to put on Canon EOS with EF (-s) mount, due to the insignificant difference in focal lengths. Adapters without focus confirmation chips on Canon are cheap.

Summary

For Soviet photographers - a dream, for beginner videographers of our time - just a godsend. It is impossible not to fall in love with this lens - it is good in all respects. Except for the lack of a diaphragm drive lock. But with the use of adapters with a flange, this minor drawback is leveled.

It is appreciated in the secondary market, the average price tag is 3200 rubles. Personally, I was surprised by the build quality as well as the image quality. I advise everyone who wants to try manual optics, but does not know where to start.

 


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