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03-20-2011, 12:37 PM   #1
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Should I buy Vivitar 50mm f/1.7 or SMC 50mm f/2

Which of these lenses should I buy? All are around $40 online.

Vivitar 50mm f/1.7
SMC 50mm f/2
or Kalimar MC 50mm f/1.7



03-20-2011, 01:07 PM   #2
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I would probably go with the Pentax 50/2. You should be able to pick up a SMC Pentax-A 50mm f/2 for that price, which gives you all the AE modes on a Pentax DSLR. Not sure if the others you mentioned have "A" setting. If you don't mind using "M" mode and stop down metering you should keep your eye out for a SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.7, as it is an excellent performer (one of the sharpest 50s I've used) and can often be found for under $50 if you don't mind waiting till a good deal comes along.
03-20-2011, 01:08 PM   #3
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If you are patient you can find the M 50mm 1.7 for 40 bucks, and I would go with that.

But I did a little search and samples from the Vivitar look really good.

(kind of dark but : http://www.flickr.com/photos/ovieh/3309992961/ looks to have nice bokeh and be sharp enough).

I would not bother with the SMC 50 f2
03-20-2011, 01:20 PM   #4
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My suggestions:

* From your list, the Vivitar 50/1.7
* If K-mount is necessary, a SMC-M50/1.7
* If M42 is OK, the SuperTak55/1.8 or f/2 are bargains
* For a little more reach, the Helios-44 58/2 is cheap & great
* If you're patient & lucky, try for an M42 Sears (Tomioka) 55/1.4 cheap

03-20-2011, 01:20 PM   #5
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I got the SMC M 50mm f1.7 for $25 on ebay. It is stellar and cheap and I would recommend it.
03-20-2011, 01:21 PM   #6
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Out of those option I would go with the M 50 f/2 but I agree with paperbag. I have the M50 1.7 and it renders some of the best IQ I have seen. It will probably be a bit more than $40 but you also might be able to find a good deal for one and it will definitely out perform any of the lenses you listed. Good luck.
03-20-2011, 01:43 PM   #7
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Keep an eye out for the Auto Sears MC 50mm f/1.7 (Chinon). This was the kit lens for the Sears KSX-P. I got mine for $10 shipped.

50mm shootout - a set on Flickr
03-20-2011, 01:54 PM   #8
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If M42 works, I would recommend, in addition to the mentioned Super-Tak 55mm, the Ricoh/Mamiya-Sekor 55mm 1.4, which can often be had for 40-70$ (mine was just under 40$) and the SUPERB Chinon 55mm 1.7. The Chinon is a phenomenal performer in regards to colour and sharpness, and quite good in bokeh as well.

03-20-2011, 02:40 PM   #9
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i should have mentioned that i have a KX. does that change your recommendations on which lens to get?
03-20-2011, 02:45 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by hockmasm Quote
i should have mentioned that i have a KX. does that change your recommendations on which lens to get?
No! M 50 1.7 !!!!!!

Or K 55 1.8. It exists in K mount and it's really great. Not as sharp, but a nicer overall look (to my eyes). I found mine for 50, at a store, so it would be possible to find it for less I would imagine.
03-20-2011, 03:01 PM   #11
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whats the difference b/ the Vivitar 1.7 and the SMC 1.7?
03-20-2011, 03:13 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by hockmasm Quote
whats the difference b/ the Vivitar 1.7 and the SMC 1.7?
Coatings (particularly noticeable when you are comparing lenses from the olden days) and sharpness wide open.
03-20-2011, 03:30 PM   #13
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is the vivitar still good? i can get one cheaper than the SMC by $30bucks
03-20-2011, 03:31 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
Coatings (particularly noticeable when you are comparing lenses from the olden days) and sharpness wide open.
See, I notice this a lot. While coatings are important, a good single-coated lens can hold its own against multi-coated optics. My Rikenon 55mm is single coated. It has a slightly different character on colour, tending to bring out warm tones just a touch more than an SMC or MC Ricoh lens, but it's by no means poor and I've only seen flare from it TWICE during the 15+ rolls of film I've shot with it.

SMC coating is the gold standard, but older single coated glass, so long as it has a GOOD single coating, can be quite capable. I've no doubt that the Rikenon could beat a fair number of MC third party zooms in contrast and colour accuracy....

In conclusion, please don't write off a GOOD single-coated lens. It's a slightly different flavour, but single coated =/= bad.
03-20-2011, 03:47 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by PGillin Quote
See, I notice this a lot. While coatings are important, a good single-coated lens can hold its own against multi-coated optics. My Rikenon 55mm is single coated. It has a slightly different character on colour, tending to bring out warm tones just a touch more than an SMC or MC Ricoh lens, but it's by no means poor and I've only seen flare from it TWICE during the 15+ rolls of film I've shot with it.

SMC coating is the gold standard, but older single coated glass, so long as it has a GOOD single coating, can be quite capable. I've no doubt that the Rikenon could beat a fair number of MC third party zooms in contrast and colour accuracy....

In conclusion, please don't write off a GOOD single-coated lens. It's a slightly different flavour, but single coated =/= bad.
You're right about that (but MC really helps with flare imho). I had an old Tak Bayonett lens that was really great as long as it was pointed away from the sun.

The M 50 1.7 is super cheap though, and will hold it's value. I don't see why OP should look the other way over 30 dollars, when those dollars can be recouped at resale time.

The vivitar looks good, but how much, exactly, is it going for on ebay? If you are going to pay 40 for that, you can easily find the M 50 1.7 for 40 if you are patient.
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