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05-16-2011, 09:34 AM   #1
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Pentax-M 50mm/f1.4 or Pentax K 55mm/f1.8

I have both the Pentax-M 50mm/f1.4 and the Pentax K 55mm/f1.8. I am thinking about selling one of them as it seems almost a bit redundant--but I don't really know. I like them both a lot and both are in great condition.

Should I keep them both or sell one? Which one should I sell?

Is it me, or is the Pentax K 55mm/f1.8 at 1.8 better IQ than the Pentax-M 50/f1.4m at 1.4? Seems like I can get a sharper focus (yes I realize it is a slightly larger DOF) but still I can't ever seem to get a sharp snap with the 1.4 no matter how many times I snap it.

But sometimes I use the 1.4 at 1.4 and am happy with the sharpness. Maybe I need to be using a tripod at that aperture.

Is the 55mm better as a portrait lens than the 50mm?

05-16-2011, 09:42 AM   #2
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Hi,

The Pentax 50/1.8 was proabably the sharpest of all the Pentax 50's. Pentax have always recommended using the 1.8 or 1.7 version of the 5o's rather than to 1.4 version for flat field copying and on the bellows for that reason. The 1.4's on the other hand give a much nicer effect and I feel were designed to take "pictures" rather than beat graphs etc.

I would keep both. Get to know each one and use their strengths in the right picture

Kim
05-16-2011, 05:17 PM   #3
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They are both great lenses, and different lenses. The extra 2/3 f-stop of the 50/1.4 *does* make a difference in low light. Both are quite sharp but have different bokeh and character. As you may know, I possess a few lenses, heh heh. (Like, forty Fifty's.) I consider my FA 50/1.4, ST 50/1.4, and ST 55/1.8, as all being among my best glass. (Not quite in the same league as my more recent K50/1.2 maybe, but then, NOTHING is in its league!) These all deliver first-rate if slightly different images.

Keep them both. I don't toss out a bunch of 55/1.8's just because I have a 55/1.4. I don't discard all my 50/1.4's and f/1.7's and f/2's just because I have the 50/1.2. They are not redundant; they are just more brushes to paint with, more instruments to make music with. Just like I have a few guitars (much fewer than lenses!) because they all play and sound different.
05-16-2011, 05:21 PM   #4
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Only 40!

Kim

QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
As you may know, I possess a few lenses, heh heh. (Like, forty Fifty's.)


05-16-2011, 05:26 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kim C Quote
Only 40!
Yeah, I got off to a slow start. I now have a count of about 210 lenses. One member here has more Fifty's than I have lenses TOTAL. I don't know if I can ever catch up...
05-16-2011, 05:34 PM   #6
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Oh well, I am about half way to catching him in 50's then. I thought I was bad! LOL

Kim

QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Yeah, I got off to a slow start. I now have a count of about 210 lenses. One member here has more Fifty's than I have lenses TOTAL. I don't know if I can ever catch up...
05-16-2011, 06:03 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
I consider my FA 50/1.4, ST 50/1.4, and ST 55/1.8, as all being among my best glass. (Not quite in the same league as my more recent K50/1.2 maybe, but then, NOTHING is in its league!) These all deliver first-rate if slightly different images.
What is ST?
05-16-2011, 06:21 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by geekette Quote
What is ST?
ST = Super Takumar. Y'know, M42 screwmounts. Many of the K and M lenses were straight-over re-mounrs of ST's, with same optics but bigger bodies and PK-mounts. And many weren't. ST's tend to be physically smaller than their K and M counterparts.


Last edited by RioRico; 05-16-2011 at 06:59 PM.
05-16-2011, 07:54 PM   #9
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Hi geekette,

I have the 55mm ST (as RioRico call it) and it was a superb a very sharp lens when focused correctly. My go to lens and I like it better than the 50's for portrait use (and so with my friends turned models )

Compared to my A50 1.4 the 55 is a lot sharper (all apertures). Maybe i had a bad copy of the A50? That's why i sold it and bought a dirt cheap Yashica DS 50mm 1.9 (with fungus ) just to try this lens and i am very satisfied with the sharpness of this lens that i am currently looking for a good copy of Yashica lenses that can be mounted on a pentax.

Back to the topic If you can keep them both then you should (as what others here suggest since they (lenses) have they're own characteristics.

But if you really need to dispose one of them then i think you need to consider which one is more important to you (low light or sharpness?).

What body do you use? (if you're using K5, K-X....) then i suggest you keep the 55mm but i cant suggest the 50mm over the 55mm

Peace
05-16-2011, 08:00 PM   #10
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Is the Pentax K 55mm/f1.8 on par with the ST 55mm/f1.8?
05-16-2011, 08:41 PM   #11
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I read somewhere here about someone mentioning that they have the same design and should be the same.

I am currently trying to deal a K55 1.8 just now and if i can grab this one then i can share a simple comparison of these 2 lenses anytime soon.

Wish me luck...

Strength of the 55mm for me is for portrait (makes you look thinner, a big plus for all the girls out there) and its sharpness...
05-16-2011, 09:49 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by geekette Quote
Is the Pentax K 55mm/f1.8 on par with the ST 55mm/f1.8?
SMC/S-M-C/Super-/Auto-/Takumar 55mm F1.8 (M42)
SMC Pentax 55mm F1.8 Reviews (K-mount)

On par? About the same: VERY HIGH! The SuperTak: 9.26. The K-mount: 9.32.

Last edited by RioRico; 05-17-2011 at 08:04 AM.
05-16-2011, 11:43 PM   #13
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Keep them both! They are both very good for different reasons.
05-17-2011, 02:15 AM   #14
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They are the same lens.

Pentax bever used the "K" designation on their lenses. When Pentax adopted the K Mount, The SP1000 became the K1000, The Spotmatic F became the KM and the SMC Takumars became SMC Pentaxs. Apart from the mount the only real difference was in the rubber grip and the sdoption of a 52mm filter thread.

Pentax then sesigned some extra lenses such as the SMC Pentax 50/1.2 to make use of the larger throat. The first "re-design" of the cme with the SMC-M lenses to make them mor compact although some never changed. So there was never an "M" version of the 24/2.8 or some of the very fast or long lenses.

Kim

QuoteOriginally posted by geekette Quote
Is the Pentax K 55mm/f1.8 on par with the ST 55mm/f1.8?
05-20-2011, 06:05 AM   #15
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got the K55 today and guess what?

My Super Tak is a lot sharper than the K. The only advantage of K for now is creamier bokeh.

A little disappointed with the K... let me change that. I mean very disappointed....
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