Yashica ML 28mm 1:2.8 – review

Published by Tony on

Yashica Lens ML 28mm 1:2.8 lens review, aka Yashica ML 28mm 1:2.8. Made by Yashica.

Mount – Contax/Yashica (C/Y)

Such lenses are always pleasant to hold in hands – Japanese design is always something special and beautiful, even if the thing is not some kind of exclusive. This 28 / 2.8 is quite common in the line of lenses made for Contax cameras, it is not overrated today and therefore it will be a useful task to investigate its IQ.

The lens for the test was provided by Egor Nikolaev (Егор Николаев) – many thanks and greetings.

Yashica ML 28mm 1:2.8 specifications

Name engraved on the lensYashica Lens ML
f[mm]28
A max [1/f]2.8
A min[1/f]16
Lens design [el.]8
Lens design [gr.]7
Filter thread Ø front(rear)[mm]52
Lens Shadeslip-on 54mm
closefocus[m]0.3
Dimension Ø x length [mm]61.5 x 41.5
Weight[g]233gr
Year
StyleML
Notes 

More data

Floating elementsNO
Aperture blades number6
Confidence in the test results of reviewed copiesEnough high
Reviewed Lens SN:A1235855

Yashica ML 28mm 1:2.8 historical note

Yashika produced some generations of 28mm f2.8 lenses, and it seems that nobody made a classification guide about the products of the company.

The average evolution theory is:

  • Yashika DSB 28mm 1:2.8 (single coated) DSB I- optical design #1(?)
  • Yashika DSB 28mm 1:2.8 (single coated) DSB II – optical design #2(?)
  • Yashika ML 28mm 1:2.8 (multi-coated) ML I – optical design 8el/7gr – currently tested
  • Yashika ML 28mm 1:2.8 (multi-coated) ML II – optical design 7el/6gr
  • Yashika ML 28mm 1:2.8 (multi-coated) ML III – optical design 5el/5gr (easy to recognise: 49mm filter thread, 0.23m minimal focus distance)

Some internet sources offer some different ideas of this classification with different numbers of generations, I just put them all together into the least controversial and enough full version. Please, let me know if you have better information.

ML – this abbreviation means multicoated Yashika’s lenses. Probably it is based on “Multy layered”, not sure for 100%

Just an additional technical detail – this is the optical design for the next reincarnation (NOT CURRENTLY TESTED):

Yashica ML 28mm 1:2.8 lens exterior

Yashica ML 28mm 1:2.8 sharpness

Сlose-distance resolution test, minimal distance

Testing methods description

  • Target: 10-15 cm picture, printed on glossy photo paper
  • Distance: 1.7m
  • Camera: Sony A7II (24mpx, full-frame, tripod, remote control). M-mode, ISO fixed, WB fixed, SteadyShot – OFF.
  • The test was repeated for every F-stop on every focus position with manual focus adjustment for each shot. That is to avoid the effect of field curvature.
  • RAW processing: Capture One, default settings. All quality settings – 100%. Crops – 300×200 px

Original target image (printed in horizontal orientation on 10cm X 15cm glossy photo paper)

Scene preview

Test results

Yashica ML 28mm 1:2.8 resolution on the close distance

Long-distance resolution test

Testing methods description

  • Target: cityscape
  • Distance: > 200 meters to center focus point
  • Camera: Sony A7II (24mpx, full-frame, tripod, remote control). M-mode, ISO fixed, WB fixed, SteadyShot – OFF. The focus point is on the center only.
  • RAW processing: Capture One, default settings. All quality settings – 100%. Crops – 300×200 px

Scene preview

Test results

Yashica ML 28mm 1:2.8 resolution on the far distance

Yashica ML 28mm 1:2.8 aberrations

Vignetting

Geometric distortion

Coma aberrations

Chromatic aberrations

Long-distance bokeh

Test #1

Test conditions: the lens was focused on minimal distance on the scale (0.3m), buildings are on “infinity”-distance.

Test#2:

Test conditions: lens was focused on 0.5m (the middle of the scale)

Light bubbles bokeh – long distance

Test #1

The lens is on the minimal focusing distance – 0.3m, lights are on infinity (cityscape)

Test #2

Test conditions: lens was focused on 0.5m (the middle of the scale)

Yashica ML 28mm 1:2.8 – final conclusion

Sometimes I get the feeling that all Japanese manual 28/2.8 lenses were made on the same plant by one person. Regardless of the manufacturer, year of manufacture, bayonet, optical design – they are all about the same. This Yashica lens is no exception.

Positive traits: nicely fixed geometry distortion – for so wide lens, of course, a little coma, the absence of chromatic aberrations, and acceptable vignetting. What about sharpness – the lens has a very nice center and middle positions.

The main issue – the sharpness of the corners. Even on F8 they stay soft. As result – this lens can’t be recommended for landscapes, but for any other styles, especially if the photographer works with the object and doesn’t worry about what is happening with the background – this lens would be a good choice. Good news: this lens will work great on crop-sensor cameras.

So if you are looking for 28mm, see the price at first: there too many competitors in this area – 28mm with F2.8 – and this Yashica does not stand out from the rest: the lens maybe not the best but definitely very good.


2 Comments

Ed · 2021-07-21 at 14:03

Thanks for the review. I found this review while looking for an alternative to the brilliant “Vivitar (Komine) 28mm f2.8 close focusing” as I can’t find it in M42 mount. All I see are the Canon FD mount versions which have less than desirable conversion/adapter options. Well done!

    Tony · 2021-07-21 at 17:22

    Hello Ed and thank you. I am thinking of making a comparison between this Yashika and Minolta 28/2.8 5×5 soon. Try to come closer to autumn please ))

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