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09-21-2007, 01:27 PM   #1
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SMC Pentax-A 50/1.2 vs. SMC Takumar 50/1.4 (Normal Lens Shootout Final)

Hey everyone,

This summer I dedicated myself to comparing 16 lenses in the 50-58mm range in a fun, photo-driven Shootout. I know many of you have been asking for the final match, which was quite frankly the hardest one to write!

For those who are interested, you can find it here.


My prologue to the final match:
QuoteQuote:
Over the past three months, I have taken hundreds of photographs with my collection of normal lenses. I've been met with some surprises, like the excellent and inexpensive Helios-44M-4 58/2 or the somewhat disappointing Nikkor-S Auto 50/1.4. More often than not, however, I've been faced with choosing between two very similar lenses. I can confidently state that the f/1.4 lenses in this comparison are better in every aspect than the f/2 lenses, but the Normal Lens Shootout has in no way differentiated between any of the f/1.4s themselves. In fact, the penultimate comparison, of the Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 1:1.4 50mm against the SMC Pentax-A 1:1.2 50mm came down essentially to personal preference. Likewise it was only my preference by which the auto focus SMC Pentax-FA 50/1.4 lost to the manual focus SMC Takumar 50/1.4.
Thanks everyone who has followed along, especially the ones who have been reminding me to finish!

--Sean

09-21-2007, 07:08 PM   #2
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Hi Sean! Was wondering when this was going to finish up. Glad to see you favorite lens "won" the tournament

I just drove by Molly McGuires (on the way home from Synagogue for Yom Kippur) and it seems like it's open! So we'll have to pick a weekend afternoon in the coming weeks to shoot Phoenixville!
Regards!
09-21-2007, 10:01 PM   #3
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I was quite suprised to find A 50 f1.2 performing as well as Takumar 50 f1.4! Most of M and Takumar lenses are really sharp and havig high contrast .

Well, I am really happy today after seeing your review as I only own one of the lenses in your lens shoot out and it comes out on top. Great to hear. hehe

In deed, the bokeh from A 50 f1.2 is truely addictive and very well built. I felt it could last forever.

Cheers
09-21-2007, 10:54 PM   #4
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Thank-you for taking the time to go through this Sean - though I'm sure it was an enjoyable experience I really appreciate the read.

I will say something though - I believe you have sold the 1.2 short in the center crop. Notice the focus point in the 1.2 is slightly front of center of the wine glass, mostly absorbing the front of the base and (with its narrow field) leaving (it appears) the stem slightly out of perfect focus. In the 1.4, it seems that you've dropped the line dead center of the glass. I demand a recount! lol...

09-22-2007, 03:16 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by thePiRaTE!! Quote
Thank-you for taking the time to go through this Sean - though I'm sure it was an enjoyable experience I really appreciate the read.

I will say something though - I believe you have sold the 1.2 short in the center crop. Notice the focus point in the 1.2 is slightly front of center of the wine glass, mostly absorbing the front of the base and (with its narrow field) leaving (it appears) the stem slightly out of perfect focus. In the 1.4, it seems that you've dropped the line dead center of the glass. I demand a recount! lol...
Thanks for the comment - but you're correct. The DOF was so shallow that I had to pick a point (I shot it too many times, you don't want to know) and this is one of those reasons why the A50/1.2 get demeaned as being 'soft' so much. The actual plane of sharpness is just as good as any lens out there, but it is SO shallow that it is often masked in an out-of-focus glow. It is REALLY hard to get the focus just right without a little luck.
09-22-2007, 03:18 AM   #6
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Thanks for the comments, guys. It was fun, but a lot of work. I'll take a note for next time to do more than two lenses at a time!
09-22-2007, 05:13 AM   #7
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Nice work sean It sounds so final--- it's grey and dismal out, a good time to plan the 28mm version
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