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11-08-2010, 08:45 PM   #1
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Super Tak 55mm 1.8 vs A 50mm 1.4

Dear All,

Am back asking questions to all the gurus here (appreciate all your ideas guys).

I am currently using the A 50 1.4 that i rarely detached from my K-x (love all the qualities of this lens).

My problem? i found a Tak 55 1.8....

Will this lens be an upgrade or a downgrade to my A 50 (IQ/sharpness and bokeh wise?)

I love taking portraits and i like the normal view of the A 50 lens (will 5mm on Tak matter on the normal view?)

Thanks in advance

11-08-2010, 10:09 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by HoBykoYan Quote
Dear All,

Am back asking questions to all the gurus here (appreciate all your ideas guys).

I am currently using the A 50 1.4 that i rarely detached from my K-x (love all the qualities of this lens).

My problem? i found a Tak 55 1.8....

Will this lens be an upgrade or a downgrade to my A 50 (IQ/sharpness and bokeh wise?)

I love taking portraits and i like the normal view of the A 50 lens (will 5mm on Tak matter on the normal view?)

Thanks in advance
I can only comment on the focal length - if can get the Tal 55 for a good price (they should not be too expensive) the extra 5mm really makes a difference. (Source: A 50 1.7 vs. K 55 1.8). Bokeh tends to render quite differently. I would own both, if you are a fan of screwmount.
11-08-2010, 10:21 PM   #3
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11-08-2010, 10:22 PM   #4
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In MY opinion, there are few lenses that can touch the A50 f1.4. I'm told that the Super Tak 55 f1.8 is optically the same as the K55 f1.8 (bear with me).. I'm giving a trial run to a K55 f1.8 this week and will later compare it to the Tak (and the A50 f1.4)..

Here are some photos I took today with the K55..
Pentax K55 f1.8 (borrowed) - a set on Flickr

Here are some I took a few months ago testing the Super Tak

55mm f1.8 SMC Takumar - a set on Flickr

2 different cameras so not a real compare but both lenses give quite nice bokeh and are plenty sharp wide open at their focal length.

In This set you'll find photos from an M50 f1:1.4 (that I just sold and shipped), a lens which for all intents and purposes, is basically the same as the A50. (see the photo titles for the lens used).

Halloween River Walk - a set on Flickr



11-08-2010, 11:37 PM   #5
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I own both and I tend to prefer the 50 for night and the 55 for daytime where I might be stopped down a bit more.
11-09-2010, 01:35 AM   #6
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They are both quite different animals. I'd have both if budget allows.
11-09-2010, 08:29 PM   #7
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I'm not familiar with the A, but I do know that my S-Tak 55 1.8 is quite different from my S-Tak 50 1.4. (I'm not talking focal lengths here. Just IQ and sharpness.)

As you may already know, there are guys here who have MANY lenses in the 50-ish range. They do this because not only can the characteristics be so different, but since the 50 range was standard for film, there are still so many different types around at good prices. (But the best ones of their day at HIGH prices!)

And since 50 still works so well on APS-C, including portraits, it's a focal length you can really catch LBA for.

For example, I have Helios 44-2 (Russian preset, 58mm, F2), and this lens is NOTHING like my Taks. It's FANTASTIC in its own way, plus wild bokeh. And...

Just $15 U.S.
11-09-2010, 11:31 PM   #8
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Ira - you mention that the STak 55/1.8 is quite different than the STak 50/1.4 but leave us hanging. Is one of them better for both IQ and sharpness? Or is there a mix of benefits for each lens?

I've got an A 50/1.7 on the way but but I'm looking at getting a cheap Tak and I'm leaning towards the 50/1.4 since it's a little faster. But I might get both (55/1.8or2 and a 50/1.4) if they are cheap enough.

11-09-2010, 11:39 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the comments...

Paperbag: if ever, this will be my first but i heard a lot of good things about Taks so i'll probably end up owning one any time soon...

Adam: been there, thank you

Jeff: thanks for the pictures, i love the color, sharpness and bokeh of the 55 Tak

Dragonfly: i might consider this option since i love the a 50 1.4 for low lights. thanks

Axl: am leaning on that direction your pointing... but i do agree they're different from the pictures i've seen

Ira: thanks, am busy scouring this city for old pentax mount lenses. i've seen a lot but i only want to get the best one's....
11-10-2010, 02:59 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by abacus07 Quote
Ira - you mention that the STak 55/1.8 is quite different than the STak 50/1.4 but leave us hanging. Is one of them better for both IQ and sharpness? Or is there a mix of benefits for each lens?

I've got an A 50/1.7 on the way but but I'm looking at getting a cheap Tak and I'm leaning towards the 50/1.4 since it's a little faster. But I might get both (55/1.8or2 and a 50/1.4) if they are cheap enough.
The 55 1.8 is considered sharper by many wide open, whereas the 50 1.4 is softer. So right there you have to ask yourself, is this okay for a fast lens that I'm going to want to do some wide-open shooting with?

Considering that I prefer the IQ of the 50? (Which I do?)

And cheap is a relative term. The rock-bottom eBay price for the 1.4 in very good condition is now $75, but you're more likely to spend $100. The 1.8 can be had for $25 up, plus barring any mega-high shipping rip-offs.

I consider this to be very cheap by today's standards, and considering the magic my 1.4 does, I would definitely recommend getting the 1.4 and 1.8. And the 2 is also highly regarded.

Also remember that the Taks, unlike the As, are built like tanks, all steel. This, combined with their historic IQs and other collectable characteristics, put them in a different price category to more modern lenses, even those with auto-exposure.
11-10-2010, 04:39 AM   #11
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Great answer. I hadn't watched enough of the tak 50/55 auctions thru to completion and the 50/1.4 would be a little high for a redundant lens when I still have gaps to fill. the 55/1.8 or 55/2 are within my redundant budget though.
11-10-2010, 10:51 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
I can only comment on the focal length - if can get the Tal 55 for a good price (they should not be too expensive) the extra 5mm really makes a difference. (Source: A 50 1.7 vs. K 55 1.8). Bokeh tends to render quite differently. I would own both, if you are a fan of screwmount.
Sorry,
I disagree on your affirmation. Maybe the 5mm be a marginal difference (10% crop) but the aperture, smaller than 1.4 indicates the lens lets pass "less light", (half stop), that's an appreciable difference.

Best regards!
11-10-2010, 11:43 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by obsidiana Quote
Sorry,
I disagree on your affirmation. Maybe the 5mm be a marginal difference (10% crop) but the aperture, smaller than 1.4 indicates the lens lets pass "less light", (half stop), that's an appreciable difference.

Best regards!
The difference between 1.4 and 1.8 is insignificant for three reasons:

1) It's not that significant a difference.

2) With the clean higher ISOs of today's cameras, it's even less significant.

3) How many shots do people do wide open anyway, where no lens is at it's best?

I prefer my 1.4 over my 1.8 because I think it's a better lens, and that may be the result of better production when manufacturing a more premium lens.

For example, I expect the classic mega-expensive Mamiya 55 1.2 to be superior to my 1.4, but the extra speed has nothing to do with it.
11-10-2010, 02:08 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by obsidiana Quote
Sorry,
I disagree on your affirmation. Maybe the 5mm be a marginal difference (10% crop) but the aperture, smaller than 1.4 indicates the lens lets pass "less light", (half stop), that's an appreciable difference.

Best regards!
I'm sure the 1.4 is a better lens as per Ira's explanation. High quality lenses (especially in the film days) was usually very fast, but more than just the aperture determines their quality. The 55 1.8 was a 50 of the kit variety (I know with respect to the K 55, not so sure about the SMC Tak). However it's just sort of a different "flavour" if you will, and the price is not prohibitive. I would certainly not replace the 50 1.4 with the 55 1.8, but their overall renderings tend to be rather different. Same could be said of the M50 1.7 vs. M50 1.4... but the K55 looks different than the 50 1.7, too .
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