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10-12-2010, 10:17 AM   #1
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Help me choose a 50mm

I've been shooting a 50mm F2 lense for ages and am thinking about upgrading. What are your thoughts on the 1.7 vs, 1.4 issue, and then which series lense would you choose, Super Tak, SMC Tak, A, M etc. I've read quite a bit in the forums and I think ultimately I'm confusing the hell out of myself. By the way I use an ME Super, n MX and a K2. If you could give me some guidance I'd sure appreciate it. Thanks very much.

Mark

10-12-2010, 11:14 AM   #2
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if you can afford it, go the K/A 50mm F/1.2 route. The best 50mm from Pentax IMO
10-12-2010, 11:52 AM   #3
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F 50m f1.4... Just got one, love it

But it's hard to find
10-12-2010, 12:06 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by luke0622 Quote
F 50m f1.4... Just got one, love it

But it's hard to find
Great lens, but I think the OP wants a MF lenses since the three bodies he uses are all MF film bodies.

Hard to go wrong with either the M50/1.7 or M50/1.4. I've haven't used either on film, so I'm probably not in a position to try and recommend one over the other for that purpose.

10-12-2010, 12:24 PM   #5
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I have the Pentax-A 50mm f1.7 for use on my DSLR. It's a lovely lens and a great big step up from the f2.0 50mm IQ-wise. I haven't used one on film, so I can't vouch for them there.

If you're getting a pentax-a 50mm f1.7, make /sure/ the aperture ring will turn all the way to the A setting before you buy it, if possible. Mine wouldn't (and thank Pentax Forums for the fact that I tried it before I paid) and the repair guys at the shop I bought it from had to fix it first. Which they did.

It's fixable, if you have the tools. There's a fine article on fixing them here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-lens-articles/88051-pentax-50mm-f1...ng-repair.html

I'm not familiar with any of your film bodies except the ME Super, but if M series lenses work on the others as well as they do on the ME super, the Pentax-M f1.7 is also a delightful lens. I had one, and it is what sold me on the optical formula. The M series version is more robustly made (and much cheaper on ebay.)

-JRS

Last edited by James_R_Strickland; 10-12-2010 at 12:27 PM. Reason: addendum
10-12-2010, 12:25 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mark R Quote
I've been shooting a 50mm F2 lense for ages and am thinking about upgrading. What are your thoughts on the 1.7 vs, 1.4 issue, and then which series lense would you choose, Super Tak, SMC Tak, A, M etc. I've read quite a bit in the forums and I think ultimately I'm confusing the hell out of myself. By the way I use an ME Super, n MX and a K2. If you could give me some guidance I'd sure appreciate it. Thanks very much.

Mark
If you keep your eyes open on both the marketplace and ebay you can grab a good 50mm f1.4 for under $100. Sometimes, even the A version. I always tell people that the best bang for the buck is the A50 f1.7. Compact, silly sharp at most ranges of use, and not so overpriced you need to amputate one of the kid's arms to pay for it. In reality, both would serve you quite well.

10-12-2010, 01:50 PM   #7
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I've owned them all, and regardless of whether it's film or digital, the best of the bunch is the F 50mm, F1:1.4. In fact, I've sold all my other Pentax 50mms and have only kept this one. Cheers. Don
10-12-2010, 02:27 PM   #8
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Thanks for the advice. Frankly I was leaning toward the classic manual focus lenses but out of curiosity do the F series have manual focus?

Mark

10-12-2010, 02:45 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mark R Quote
Thanks for the advice. Frankly I was leaning toward the classic manual focus lenses but out of curiosity do the F series have manual focus?

Mark
Yes. All lenses in k mount can manual focus, but be warned. F series has the worst manual focusing action out of any series I've ever tried. I'd rather move my body back and forth to focus than use that pathetic excuse for a focusing ring. (ok being dramatic but still)
10-12-2010, 03:07 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by donallison13 Quote
I've owned them all, and regardless of whether it's film or digital, the best of the bunch is the F 50mm, F1:1.4. In fact, I've sold all my other Pentax 50mms and have only kept this one. Cheers. Don
Wow!

Thats pretty impressive! So you've owned the FA 50mm F/1.4, FA 50mm F/1.7, F 50mm F/1.4, F 50mm F/1.7, A 50mm F/1.2, A 50mm F/1.4, A 50mm F/1.7, A 50mm F/2, M 50mm F/1.4, M 50mm F/1.7, M 50mm F/2, K 50mm F/1.2, K 50mm F/1.4, K 55mm F/1.8, K 55mm F/2, etc. etc.?? I must say, its a little surprising that you found that particular lens to be your favorite....
10-12-2010, 03:20 PM   #11
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I have owed,

M-50/2
M-501.7
M-50/1.4
A-50/1.7
FA-50/1.4
SMC Tak 50/1.4
SMC Pentax 551.8
Super Tak 55/1.8

I think that the M-50/1.7 is one of the best deals in lenses in almost any mount. Very sharp ( I think it's the sharpest lens I own) and can be had for under $50. For your cameras, the A versions would just be money wasted unless you plan on shooting with a DSLR or an A series body.
That being said I would highly recommend the K 55/1.8. Sometimes you can get lucky and find the for under $50.
10-12-2010, 03:39 PM   #12
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I guess I might as well throw in my "credentials" than

I own:

M 50mm F/1.7
M 50mm F/2
FA 50mm F/1.4
K 50mm F/1.2

Out of all of these, the K F/1.2 is significantly better.
10-12-2010, 03:55 PM   #13
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You already received some good advice. Since you did not specify your budget, let me make a suggestion:

Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f1.4

It is a MF lens that has an outstanding IQ. The lens is metallic, very sturdy. Many Pentaxians are very impressed by this lens (see Pentax user reviews).

It costs about US$449 at www.adorama.com, and the lens is worth it. I have had mine for 9 months and it is my best lens investment.

You will find an independent review at:
Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f/1.4 SL II - Review / Test Report

Although listed at Photozone.de in the Nikon lens, the Nokton 58mm is availalbe in K-mount (Pentax mount).
10-12-2010, 04:19 PM   #14
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I was remiss in not mentioning a budget. I have to keep it under 200.00, give or take. I did look at the Nokton sites you mentioned just for the hell of it. What a gorgeous piece of equipment. The esthetics are just stunning. Not right now but you've given me something to think about for the future, thanks.
10-12-2010, 04:50 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Swift1 Quote
M-50/1.7 is one of the best deals in lenses in almost any mount.
What he said, though I must admit to being partial to my Pentax-K 55/1.8

What I own and have owned:
  • Pentax-A 50/1.7 (Worst build, same optics as M 50/1.7)
  • Pentax-M 50/1.7 (best value, sharper at f/2 than 50/1.4)
  • Pentax-K 55/1.8 (personal favorite overall, sharper at f/2 than 50/1.4)
  • XR Rikenon 50/2 (I have two copies, very sharp, but with weird bokeh)
  • Helios 44M 58/2 (M42. More keepers from this lens than any other in my collection...truly...)
  • Mamiya/Sekor 55/1.8 (M42. Excellent build and optics)
  • Auto Rikenon 50/1.7 (M42. Excellent build and performance...I don't use this lens enough.)
  • Sigma 50/2.8 EX DG Macro (Used for what it does best and a good job it does.)
  • S-M-C Takumar 50/1.4 (M42 Compact with superb build. Not quite as sharp as my K 55/1.8. Sent back because of small spot of internal fungus.)
  • Auto Rexatar 50/1.7 (M42 Cheaply made with OK optics. I shot with this lens exclusively for over a decade until I lent the camera to my brother. He hocked it...RIP Rexatar...)

Again, the short list is one item long...Pentax-M 50/1.7


Steve
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