I apologise for the lack of updates recently! This is for several reasons, firstly the news that I am to be a father for the first time has taken up a lot of my concentration recently but the main reason is simply that I haven't gotten around to it, I've started to write a new entry several times but as I always have about 25 browser windows open I have just haven't managed to finish it. It's not even that writing an entry is a hugely time consuming job, I'm just a disorganised person as much as I hate to admit it!
The Super Paragon 28mm is a wide angle prime lens manufactured by Cima Kogaku and was available under various names as well as Cima selling it under their own Cimko label. Paragon was a brand name that the British photographic importer Photax put on the lenses they sold, much in the same vein as Vivitar and Soligor and so on...
Build quality and finish:
This is a well built and sturdy feeling lens with a well damped focus action, the macro scale on the front barrel is a welcome little feature and the only other wide angle I have seen with the same feature is the Sigma mini-wide although the Sigma can only manage a 1:4.5 reproduction ratio vs the Paragon's 1:4
The image quality is great for what must have been a relatively inexpensive lens at the time of it's release. Starting from wide open the centre sharpness is strong with the edges being less impressive but not terrible. From F/5.6 onwards sharpness is very good across the frame and I found that between F/5.6 and F/11 this lens is a match for the Tokina RMC 28mm F/2.8 and the Tamron adaptall 28mm F/2.5 which is pretty good going for a lens that can be had so cheaply. I found bokeh was quite smooth for a wide angle so using this lens as a standard lens on a four thirds camera works quite well. Colour and contrast left no room for complaint, the images always seemed to have plenty of punch and nice colours. I didn't notice any significant issues with regards to either lateral or longitudinal chromatic aberrations. Overall the lens gives nice punchy images, it's not going to embarrass a Zeiss or Canon L but considering how much it can be had for it's a pretty impressive little optic.
By clicking on these images you can go to flickr where a larger version is available:
I found this lens to be a great little performer which delivered very solid results and as is often the case I think it's an absolute steal considering it often sells for £15 or much less on ebay. If you see one going cheap then snap it up!