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08-22-2011, 11:31 PM   #1
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SMC K 50mm F1.4 vs. SMC-M 50mm F1.4

My first manual is the SMC-M 50mm F1.4 ..have also "tasted" 4 more of that, before selling them. Never had the chance to feel the older SMC K version. From our lens review database I see that these lenses are practically the same, apart from the size.

Today someone offered me a fine copy of the K. Can anyone give a bit of personal opinion on this rather harder-to-see lens?

08-23-2011, 04:14 AM   #2
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The M doesn't have the same optical formula as the K. The latter is sharper wide open--in fact, the M is quite soft wide open. Both are otherwise very sharp lenses and have very nice bokeh, but the K is the superior lens.
08-23-2011, 06:07 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by minahasa Quote
My first manual is the SMC-M 50mm F1.4 ..have also "tasted" 4 more of that, before selling them. Never had the chance to feel the older SMC K version. From our lens review database I see that these lenses are practically the same, apart from the size.

Today someone offered me a fine copy of the K. Can anyone give a bit of personal opinion on this rather harder-to-see lens?
The K is a beauty of a lens. It probably my most used and favorite. Its slightly soft at f/1.4 but sharp sharp sharp already at f/2

wide open:



f/2



still sharp at f/13 (with extension tubes)

08-23-2011, 06:26 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by causey Quote
The M doesn't have the same optical formula as the K. The latter is sharper wide open--in fact, the M is quite soft wide open. Both are otherwise very sharp lenses and have very nice bokeh, but the K is the superior lens.
Yes I find that the M is a bit soft wide open, at least not as sharp as the M 50/1.7. So you are saying that the K is better in term of sharpness?


QuoteOriginally posted by enoeske Quote
The K is a beauty of a lens. It probably my most used and favorite. Its slightly soft at f/1.4 but sharp sharp sharp already at f/2

wide open:



f/2



still sharp at f/13 (with extension tubes)
Really nice pictures! Thanks

You are saying that the K is soft wide open. Is this compared to the M version?
But apart from the sharpness wide open thing, the K version is a better lens. I do prefer lenses with better color rendering and good bokeh.

08-23-2011, 06:32 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by minahasa Quote
Yes I find that the M is a bit soft wide open, at least not as sharp as the M 50/1.7. So you are saying that the K is better in term of sharpness?
I'm saying K 50/1.4 (which shares its optical formula with the Tak 50/1.4) is visibly sharper than the M 50/1.4 wide open--and likely up to f2. But from f2 it's hard to distinguish them in real life (in terms of sharpness alone).

Last edited by causey; 08-23-2011 at 09:29 AM.
08-23-2011, 06:44 AM   #6
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I would also say that the K lens is easier to mount/unmount from the camera. It has some extra metal ridges just above the aperture ring that the M lacks. This gives a good place to grip the lens when torquing it on and off without having to worry about squeezing the lens too hard or accidentally turning the aperture ring. I like the K much better if only for that reason. In fact, that is one reason that I prefer the entire K line to the M line (and the Ks are generally more solid lenses, and generally seem slightly better optically).
08-23-2011, 05:04 PM   #7
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There may be a slight coating difference between the K and M lenses, also. my K50/1.4 seems to produce more vibrant greens and yellows while the M handles sky tones better; I have always much preferred the K for general aesthetics.
08-23-2011, 06:41 PM   #8
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Both are excellent lenses, you won't see much difference in the actual results.

The glass in most if not all K50/1.4 would have turned a bit yellowish by now. You can't tell unless you put a piece of white paper behind when you look through the lens, or put it side by side w/ an A/M/F/FA 50mm lens. The focusing w/ K50/1.4 is even smoother than M50/1.4 which is already very smooth.

08-25-2011, 08:51 AM   #9
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Okay.. Thanks all!
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