Yashica ML 28/2.8

I picked up this lens for just a few dolars to complement my collection of quality wide-angle glass. I was very curious to compare it with my S-M-C Takumar 28/3.5. The Yashica is newer and has 2/3 of a stop faster aperture. The Takumar is one of the best wide-angle primes in M42 mount, and one of the best 28mm I tried so far.

Resolution of the Yashica is superb in the centre, declines to the edges of the frame (full-frame body), and is never great at extreme corners. Compared to 28/3.5 Takumar, it is visibly sharper in the centre (21 MP body shows this quite clearly), but falls off much faster towards the edges. This behavior is persistent at all f-stops from 2.8 to f/8. The Takumar, despite of being a much older design, demonstrates more even resolution across the frame. I would even say that extreme corners are better with the Tak at all respective f-stops!

Colors and contrast are great. The Yashica delivers the ‘punch’ in producing contrasty pictures that simply stand out. Resistance to flare is also great; I was unable to produce any in field conditions.

Low-light performance is excellent. I used the lens after dusk wide open with very usable results.

Bokeh is to my liking. The lens draws ‘swirly’ OOF highlights, a quality that I specifically looked for in Yashica 50/1.9. Overall rendering is pleasant.

Vignetting is generally not a problem stopped down to f/4-5.6.

Conclusion? A great wide-angle lens, extremely sharp in the centre, less so at the edges, with great colors and contrast and very nice rendering. Maybe it’s not a Zeiss, but a truly great one if worked within its limitations. Interestingly, it produces images that are visibly different from those captured by S-M-C Takumar 28/3.5.

#1: Wide open, bokeh

#2: Wide open, low-light performance

#3: Landscape, f/5.6

#4: Flowers, wide open

#5: Fisherman, wide open

#6: f/8

#7: f/8




#12: f/4

#13: f/4

#14, f/2.8



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  • dosojosyomiro says:

    Hi, i am near to buy this lens for my canon cameras 40, 7d, and 5 d mark 2 and i would like to ask you exactly wich adapter you buy, becose i read in diferent forums that this len have problem with mirrow while using photodiox adapter? wich camera you use to this amazing examples?
    thanks a lot, you answer will help me a lot

  • admin says:

    Most adapters are slightly too thin, and make this lens hit the mirror when focused to “hard” infinity stop. I ordered a new C/Y adapter from big_is that is reported to have the right thickness; I’ll post here when it arrives.

  • dosojosyomiro says:

    thanks a lot for your reply. i think i will get this lens. there is also a 28 / 80 ml yashica lens, you know it?
    here i have a women that make special handmade rings, i need to get the exactly size of the of the ring. when you make this photos you use one specific ring or you just hang it with your hand?
    best to you and you amazing web page

  • dosojosyomiro says:

    Hi Prime, i have allready bought the lens. i wait to your post about the quality of the adapter ring.
    Also i wanted to ask you if you know the quality of the 50mm ML lens that use to come with the Yashica Fx3. i have here the oportunity of buiyng that lens, beside the lovely Planar T, but it haves some big fungus inside and i don’t know if that could be clean.
    Wait your adapter post


  • dosojosyomiro says:

    Hi Prime, me again, did you receive and test the adapator from Big_Is?
    i am desesperated to use my 28 mm 2,8.
    thanks a lot

  • admin says:


    I finally received and tested the new big_is adapter (the black “premium” one). Well, it does work – meaning that infinity is right where it should be. The 28mm Yashica does NOT hit the mirror with the new adapter. However, the adapter itself wobbles quite a bit on the camera, so I can only recommend it half-heartedly.

    The 50mm Yashicas are all good. 50/1.9 and 50/2 are unique in their swirly rendering. The 50/1.4 is about 80-90% of Zeiss Planar. I can’t say anything special about the 50/1.7 though; haven’t used it much.


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