- Produced Kalimar Inc., MO, USA (mfg in Korea)
- Mount Pentax KA
- Focal length 28mm, macro 1:6
- Aperture range f2.8-22 plus A for AE on Pentax cameras
- Focal range .6m to infinity
- Filter thread 52mm
- Elements 5 in 5 groups
- Aperture blades 7
- Weight 7.2oz (204g)
My second ever auxiliary lens, which I bought in 1997. I felt I just had to have a 28mm for our Europe trip if I were going to get any decent scenics with my Pentax P30t. Couldn’t afford the Pentax brand (didn’t know about the used lens market) and didn’t know from lens makers, only what I could see with my own eyes and feel with my fingers. As it turns out, I got a very nice lens. I thought I was going to replace it but went back and used it again and it compares very favorably to the better lenses in my collection.
Kalimar lenses were not necessarily thought of as the best lenses; they were a pretty common sight in the kind of camera shops around Union Square and other touristy areas where people might decide they need a lens while they’re on vacation (or about to go, ha!). I have several of their UV filters, I know that’s not saying much since I consider those to be nothing more than lens protectors* — MC lenses already absorb most UV. In fact I don’t think Kalimar made their own lenses at all, I believe they were based in the US and like Vivitar contracted with other companies to make their equipment. My best guess is that Samyang actually made the lens(es), they look nearly identical to the Kalimar lenses. At any rate Kalimar was absorbed by Tiffen at the end of 1999 and all that remains is New Old Stock.
*in fact I did drop this very lens from a height of about two or three feet onto a sidewalk, during the session when Casey took the picture of me on my additional notes page. The filter got a bit crunched but the lens still looks like new.
Cool things about this lens – lightweight, small, and has a short turning radius through its focal range, meaning you can focus very quickly. Sharp and has good color rendition. Well-constructed. Definitely a good go-to choice for a Pentax K wide angle.
The A setting allows auto-exposure capable cameras (like the P30T) to set the aperture in full auto mode. Some will do aperture priority only in which case I don’t know what the A setting will get you but it probably won’t be right!
- Bojidar Dimitriov’s K-mount Page can explain the difference between K mounts