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04-06-2011, 06:26 PM   #1
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Kalimar MC 50mm f/1.7 any good?

Just curious to see if the Kalimar 50mm f/1.7 is any good, I can get it for cheap and was wondering if its a waste of time or not. I currently have a SMC-A 50mm F/2 would I be better off staying with that?

04-06-2011, 07:13 PM   #2
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Well, it depends on how cheap it is and how interested you are.
MOST 50mm primes are at least decent, especially compared to lower-end zooms, and if you're interested in a different "flavor" lens, the Kalimar might be a good option, if it's cheap. It might not be as sharp as the 50mm F2, but it will handle colours and bokeh differently, and both of those are fairly subjective and depend heavily on your film choice and shooting style. If it's cheap enough, buy it and try it. For the price plus shipping you'll get a lens and a lesson in bokeh and coating differences.
04-06-2011, 07:28 PM   #3
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Thanks, yeah its only thirty and I am not made of money so I was figuring its not much of a risk.
04-06-2011, 08:47 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by nckgntl Quote
Thanks, yeah its only thirty and I am not made of money so I was figuring its not much of a risk.
US$30 is too much. Half that might be too much. I've picked up enough REALLY GOOD primes for under US$10 (shipped) that I wouldn't bother with the Kalimar -- and if you don't like it, you probably won't be able to sell it for anywhere near that price. How good are my recent catches? In one week a month ago, I bought a Prakticar 50/2.4, Yashinon 50/1.9, Fujinon 55/2.2, and EACH cost one buck plus ~US$5 for shipping.

My rule: If it's cheaper than a sandwich or burger, buy it. If it costs more than an extra-large pizza, think real hard about it. But hay, it's only money. If US$30 means nothing to you, go ahead. I'm just a cheap bastard and I wouldn't go for it.

04-07-2011, 12:50 AM   #5
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RioRico where did you get those prices if you don't mind me askin?
04-07-2011, 04:14 AM   #6
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I think $30 for a Kalimar 50 is a bit steep. $15 is more fair. f1.7 isn't that much faster than f2, and your Pentax prime is undoubtedly a better lens.

If you want a faster prime, I'd look for an f1.4 Pentax SMC. I picked one up recently in a local camera shop in super-clean condition for $40. 50mm lenses are usually pretty cheap.

Cheers,
Bobbo :-)
04-07-2011, 04:41 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by broah Quote
RioRico where did you get those prices if you don't mind me askin?
On eBay. These weren't buried in wholesale lots -- these were straight-up auctions of the named lenses. Whenever I see a prospective lens come up with a low low low starting price, I make a low low low opening bid. Sometimes it's ludicrous. But sometimes I win. With the lenses I mentioned above, nobody else even made a bid.

HINT: Many want FAST FIFTY's. And few want SLOW FIFTY's. Absolutely superb lenses marked f/1.9 or slower may have very little demand, if any. Consider Super Takumars -- the 55/1.8 and 55/2 have exactly the same extraordinary optics, just a different maximum aperture stop. But I've seen f/1.8's sell for US$50 and f/2's NOT sell for US$10.

And consider the names. Folks are starting to catch on that lenses marked SEARS, FOCAL, VIVITAR, can be pretty damn good. But other generic 3rd-party brands are still sleepers. That Kalimar may indeed be a decent or at least interesting lens. Or it may be a total dog. For lens junkies like me, HEAVEN is getting a batch-lot of four no-name lenses for ten bucks.
04-07-2011, 12:50 PM   #8
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Thanks for the quick response! This one seems to have mixed reviews but i was able to snag a 50mm f/2 SMC Pentax-M lens for K-mount on ebay for 17.99. Hope I like it



04-07-2011, 03:13 PM   #9
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Thanks to all, yeah I never heard of it so I was quite hesitant, I dont have money to blow. I guess I just have to be patient.
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