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06-16-2011, 04:06 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by ryan s Quote
Ultra-wide zooms areextremely popular today. People want them. People are steered away from a 50 in "what should my next lens be?" threads.

I don't understand the argument presented in the rest of the post...how many people care about resolution numbers? How does the reach of a 10mm compare to the reach of a 50mm (or something)?
actually it's easy to understand if you read my post more intently.

06-16-2011, 08:03 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
When I started my photographic passion...way back in the 1960's...pretty well every manufacturer supplied a 50 to 55 mm....mostly a 50 though...'normal' lens when you bought one of their SLR's.

They came with the camera and reflecting back...IMO.. they were not regarded too highly....maybe because they were regarded as free...sort of like the bun or the little bit of green leaf (can't recall the name) that would decorate your plate with each and every restaurant meal back in those far off days.

Then came DSLR's and the ubiquitous 18-55 zoom kit lens....or with more expensive camera models ...nothing,, just the body.

Over the past couple of years I have picked up two Pentax 50 mm lenses....a FA normal, F 1.4 and a Pentax D FA Macro, F 2.8.

Frankly I don't use them enough...something that I have been trying to rectify in the past while.

The Macro takes great portraits, close ups of everything from flowers, vintage cars, animals, insects...aberrations on old trees....you name it.

The Normal F 1.4 is great for indoor available light and outdoor portraits....portraits with my 360 flash...any and many subjects. I've also used it for photographing vintage cars in the fading light of evening....it seems to create a wonderful 'creamy' effect that I cannot get with my slower wide angle zooms.

Both can provide stupendous bokeh and the clarity of these fine prime lenses is something to behold.

The Macro in particular almost seems to create a bit of a 3 D effect....well not quite....but it does seem to add an additional dimension to some pictures.

But rarely do I see anyone talk about them ...or use them much.

The great thing is that they are also very reasonably priced and on a cropped Pentax DSLR sensor give you about a 35 mm equivalent of a 70-75 mm lens....some might say...perfect for portraiture.

Not to be overly dramatic ...but am I just a lone voice in the wilderness...or do others feel the same way I do about the lowly 50 mm lens ?

Les
Manual focus 50 or 55s are inexpensive (compared to AF lenses) and have different capabilities - and worth using in my opinion. Their flaws can be strengths and the prices allow for a diverse collection. Below are three examples taken with different "normal" lenses.



Helios 44-2 - Sharp Close Focus and Helios Bokeh



Meyer-Optik Gorlitz Oreston 1.8 50 - Some flare and pleasing softness



Nikkor AIS 50 1.2 Fast when needed - sharp and good contrast

All good lenses and all wonderful to work with and explore.

Last edited by stover98074; 06-16-2011 at 08:19 PM.
06-17-2011, 03:59 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by stover98074 Quote
Manual focus 50 or 55s are inexpensive (compared to AF lenses) and have different capabilities - and worth using in my opinion. Their flaws can be strengths and the prices allow for a diverse collection. Below are three examples taken with different "normal" lenses.



Helios 44-2 - Sharp Close Focus and Helios Bokeh



Meyer-Optik Gorlitz Oreston 1.8 50 - Some flare and pleasing softness



Nikkor AIS 50 1.2 Fast when needed - sharp and good contrast

All good lenses and all wonderful to work with and explore.
Excellent examples. I've even found the yellowing of some of the older SuperTaks to be a difference that can be pleasing. BTW, like your tag line but was wondering - some of my lenses were made in 1960 or so and that makes them Fifty years+ old now.
06-17-2011, 08:06 AM   #34
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Yup, I have a few older Takumars, a Super Takumar 50 1.4 Eight Element and Takumar 135 3.5 all black preset. I think these are from the early 60's which would make them almost 50 years old.

The piece of Pentax equipment I use the most is the M42 Auto Bellows with enlarging lenses for macro. I think that is from the late 60's or early 70's.

All of this gear was built very well and is quite operational still today.

06-17-2011, 08:19 AM   #35
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I love my Pentax-M 1.4 50mm. It's a useful little lump in my kit bag, and has saved my butt several times in low-light situations. I'm probably in the minority, but I use a 50mm more on the APS-C DSLRs than I ever did on my 35mm cameras. On an APS-C, the focal length just feels more "right" to me, especially for available-light portraits.

Cheers,
Bobbo :-)
06-17-2011, 10:36 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
actually it's easy to understand if you read my post more intently.
Just so we're clear, are you calling me illiterate or stupid? If I was either, wouldn't every post of mine be "duh, I don't understand what's going on here"?

If the run-on, meandering, non-progressive post made any sense to me, I would have replied with a concise, logical, and sensible post in kind. If it was as simple as "[re]reading more intently" why would I have posted anything but a rebuttal in the first place?
06-17-2011, 10:43 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by GibbyTheMole Quote
I love my Pentax-M 1.4 50mm. It's a useful little lump in my kit bag, and has saved my butt several times in low-light situations. I'm probably in the minority, but I use a 50mm more on the APS-C DSLRs than I ever did on my 35mm cameras. On an APS-C, the focal length just feels more "right" to me, especially for available-light portraits.

Cheers,
Bobbo :-)
I'm finding that the 50s are great for a lot of things and have to agree with you about the 1.4 being incredibly useful in certain low-light situations. I'm finding that with my vision the FA is getting more use day-to-day but the SuperTak's are used more in situations that allow me more time to compose and think about the image I am trying to capture. I collect watches and take photos of them like the one below, and it is in those circumstances that I am finding the manual lenses to be of most use for me today. (cropped a wee bit and name tag added - otherwise unchanged)

06-17-2011, 10:47 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by ryan s Quote
why would I have posted anything but a rebuttal in the first place?
if you wanna know what your rebuttal sounds like, it's like this >>>

btw, you're a grown-up. you should know better if someone is implying something. just to be clear, I'm a frank person. if there was something I want to imply, that is for you to stop being a cry-baby.


Last edited by Pentaxor; 06-17-2011 at 10:59 AM.
06-17-2011, 11:10 AM   #39
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While I agree that most of us own a 50, they aren't as practical as they were with the film cameras. Mine don't get used often because it's too long on our camera's to function as a walkaround. I have a permanent spot for my 55 Tak in my camera bag though. Will I move up to a modern AF 50 or 55? I really don't think so unless I get a great price on one. The DA 40 has filled the need for a "normal" lens although the bokeh isn't quite as sweet as the old 55. Our old 50's have filled the niche of a portrait lens that the longer 70-85 mm fast lenses filled back in the film days. Of course all this will change if the FF sensor becomes the norm.
06-17-2011, 11:17 AM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
if you wanna know what your rebuttal sounds like, it's like this >>>

btw, you're a grown-up. you should know better if someone is implying something. just to be clear, I'm a frank person. if there was something I want to imply, that is for you to stop being a cry-baby.
Impressive post, complete with a personal attack.

0-2 on intelligent discussion...
06-17-2011, 11:21 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by ryan s Quote
Impressive post, complete with a personal attack.

0-2 on intelligent discussion...
and your reply was that of a person who is intelligent or still plain clueless? go figure.
06-17-2011, 11:42 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
While I agree that most of us own a 50, they aren't as practical as they were with the film cameras. [...] Our old 50's have filled the niche of a portrait lens that the longer 70-85 mm fast lenses filled back in the film days.
The assumption here is that the majority has a preference for shooting at the 'normal' lenghts in a given format. That may well be, but whether that applies to you personally, depends entirely on your shooting style. For my own purposes, 50s are more useful today than they used to be on FF.
06-17-2011, 11:56 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
but seldom see genuine praise for a 50
You should hang out in the Soviet Lens Club thread. The Helios-44 variants (58/2) are all the rage.

I personally find a fast 50 to be a great portrait option on APS-C.


Steve
06-17-2011, 12:08 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
and your reply was that of a person who is intelligent or still plain clueless? go figure.
Who's the pot and who's the kettle in this situation?

And to think, all it would have taken was a simple "what I meant was..." to clarify it instead of resorting to personal attacks and an arrogant attitude. God forbid anyone should not understand your writings! A true travesty.

Adding another to the ignore list :ugh:
06-17-2011, 12:59 PM - 1 Like   #45
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Enough with the personal bickering. Take it to PM, eh?
____________________________________________

QuoteOriginally posted by Ikarus Quote
For my own purposes, 50s are more useful today than they used to be on FF.
(In the following, I shall mention focal-length equivalences. I refer ONLY to FOV, not to DOF nor perspective nor aperture nor any other characteristics.)

Even on 135/FF, 50-55-58mm are short teles, given that the 'normal' focal length is 43mm. Fast Fifty's are special there mostly because of speed. Equivalents on APS-C would be around 33-36-39mm. We might call these "long normal". Putting those Fifty's on 135/HF or APS-C cameras makes them equivalent to 75-82-88mm, good headshot-portrait lengths.

Many fixed-lens 135/FF RF's and VF's / P&S's had 45mm glass, closer to 'normal', or even wider, down to 35mm. Equivalents on APS-C are around 24-28-30mm. We can call these "short normal". (But who wants to be merely normal?)

IMHO the usefulness and likability of any focal length depends on 1) what we're doing and 2) what we're used to. Some absolutely love 35-40-43mm on APS-C, equivalent to 52-60-65mm on 135/FF -- long-normal or short-tele. I'll shoot those focal lengths, but not nearly as much as I do 24-28mm, equivalent to 36-42mm, short normal, great for including a subject's context. (My lens-of-the-day today is again my Vivitar-Kiron 28/2 CFWA.)

And while I shot Fifty's on 135/FF because I *had* to, I use those a great deal more on APS-C, because I *want* to. Not just for portraits -- that's a minor factor -- but because the FOV is great for concentrating on subjects -- to surgically slice them from their contexts when wide-open, or to grab every detail when stopped down. (My lens-of-the-day yesterday was a CZJ Tessar 50/2.8, 12 iris blades. Tomorrow's LOTD should be the Porst Color Reflex 55/2.8, eh?)

Some will hate or disregard Fifty's on any format because they're just not used to the FOV, and/or have become accustomed to something else. That's fine. That's about the same reason I don't go hog-wild with 35mm on any format. (Well, a 35mm lens on a 645 or 6x9cm cam would be nice.) One way to overcome this is with a LOTD strategy. FORCE yourself to shoot with 28-35-42-50-60-70mm, to see how you're induced to look at the world differently. Don't have primes there? Then tape a zoom to one focal length and shoot it for a few days.

Fifty is nifty.

Last edited by RioRico; 07-19-2011 at 10:25 PM.
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