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12-19-2011, 02:28 PM   #1
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50mm Comparisons

Pentax-m 50mm f1.7 - Ricoh Rikenon XR 50mm f1.7 - Auto Chinon 50mm f1.7

Does anyone know how these lenses stand up against each other? Just want to know your opinions

12-19-2011, 02:32 PM   #2
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12-19-2011, 02:40 PM   #3
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Digitalis is another 50mm collector - he has said he has about 70 50mm's in his collection...
So he might have some views on the matter.

I have the M50 1.7 and the Rikenon XR 50mm f1.7. Both are fine, sharp lenses, but I do have a slight preference for the M50.
12-19-2011, 02:47 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by userage Quote
Pentax-m 50mm f1.7 - Ricoh Rikenon XR 50mm f1.7 - Auto Chinon 50mm f1.7

Does anyone know how these lenses stand up against each other? Just want to know your opinions
I have all three and while I haven't test them all extensively, my gut tells me that the best one (IQ, contrast, handling, sharpness, colour and build) is the Pentax M 50/1.7

The contender would be Ricoh. I find nothing special with the Chinon.

12-19-2011, 02:56 PM   #5
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Do any of you think its worth getting a focusing screen? I'm alright with the catch in focus, not sure if the focussing screen would be of much advantage.

Thanks for replies btw
12-19-2011, 02:56 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
Digitalis is another 50mm collector - he has said he has about 70 50mm's in his collection...
So he might have some views on the matter.
That's 170.
12-19-2011, 02:57 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by ducdao Quote
I have all three and while I haven't test them all extensively, my gut tells me that the best one (IQ, contrast, handling, sharpness, colour and build) is the Pentax M 50/1.7

The contender would be Ricoh. I find nothing special with the Chinon.
I like the Auto Chinon. Mine is an Auto Sears that I paid $5.00 for. Maybe that is why I like it...
12-19-2011, 03:12 PM   #8
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I have the Ricoh and an A-50 1.7 and I'd say that the Ricoh is slightly sharper.

12-19-2011, 03:26 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by userage Quote
Do any of you think its worth getting a focusing screen? I'm alright with the catch in focus, not sure if the focussing screen would be of much advantage.

Thanks for replies btw
In my opinion it depends if you do a lot of manual focusing - if you are like me and do a lot of this then you want the best aid available.
I have tried several such screens and finally settled on the KATZEYE with OPTIBRITE.
Expensive but I am very happy with it and happy I paid the price!
(Next to this I liked the focusingscreen.com unit)
You will find many discussions on this subject and on this forum if you do a search.
12-19-2011, 03:48 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by userage Quote
Pentax-m 50mm f1.7 - Ricoh Rikenon XR 50mm f1.7 - Auto Chinon 50mm f1.7

Does anyone know how these lenses stand up against each other? Just want to know your opinions
QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
Find RioRico and then press him for information. Use a hammer if you need to.
I've already been hammered enough by [expletive deleted] eBay CustServ today, not nearly as pleasant as comix CustServ. But I digress. I have the M50/1.7 but my others are M42 and different: Rokinon 50/2 and Chinon 55/1.7. So, I can't help here. But thanks for thinking of me.
12-19-2011, 11:10 PM   #11
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I have the M 50/1.7 and the XR Rikenon 50/2 and have shot with the Chinon 50/1.7 and would rank them in that order. The M 50/1.7 is a sweet lens and in terms of performance, size, weight, and build is hard to beat. The XR Rikenon's of the time (late 1970s to early 1980s) were quite competent, but are a notch below the Pentax on all points. The Chinon I tried was similar in build to the Ricoh, but was fairly soft and suffered from low contrast though it might just have been a bad sample.

BTW...where the Pentax-M 50/1.7 really shines is in flare resistance. The Rikenon 50/1.7 is multi-coated and the Chinon may be as well, but it is hard to beat Pentax SMC!

Steve
12-20-2011, 12:33 AM   #12
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My experience isn't quite the same as stevebrot's (sorry about that Steve!). I have an M50/1.7, an XR-Rikenon 50/2, a plain Rikenon 50/2, a Rikenon-P 50/2 and XR-Rikenon 50/1.7. In terms of sharpness, the XR- and plain Rikenon f2s are ahead than the others (all tried at f4-f8), by a small but distinct margin. I was slightly surprised that the Rik 50/1.7 didn't do better. Also, the Riks have better colour and contrast. But they're actually all very sharp lenses.

As has been said, though, the Pentax is a lovely little lens, well made and with superior multicoating. Its bokeh seems to be rather nicer, too, though this is something I haven't personally evaluated in a shootout (it's not necessarily straightforward to organise a testing bokeh situation).

I must add that in testing for sharpness, I was as careful as I could to make sure that focusing was accurate, with some bracketing, (though unfortunately my camera doesn't have Live View for ultimate accuracy). And this brings me to the next point: you'll only get the full benefit from these very sharp lenses if a) you take care to focus extremely accurately and b) you make a very large print of the image (or indulge in a lot of cropping).

In terms of focusing, it's harder to achieve accuracy than you think. You can try using the camera's focus indicator - I find it's best with 50mm lenses (it's hopeless with other focal lengths), but it may or may not offer adequate accuracy. Changing focusing screen seems like a good idea, but remember that, in general you'll need to re-shim, and this is a painstaking process. Also, the replacement screen's focus aids are of dubious value (especially microprism areas, which in my view are totally useless).

One more small point: when comparing lenses for sharpness, it's important to get consistent exposure. I found in my tests that the M50 was over-exposed, and this had a deleterious effect on apparent sharpness - however, this is easily corrected in PP.

Last edited by m42man; 12-20-2011 at 02:15 AM.
12-20-2011, 12:47 AM   #13
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Collection of 50mm MTF charts:
Pentax K fit 50mm's Photo Gallery by Steve Flynn at pbase.com

Looks like the Ricoh and Cosinon lenses were pretty good in comparison to the Pentax lenses. Comparison is restricted to lenses with the same maximum aperture, as the test does not shoot at a constant aperture, but instead is taken at 2 stops down, so f2.8 for the f1.4 lenses and f4 for the f1.7 lenses.
12-22-2011, 07:53 AM   #14
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Sorry to re-bump, This is to anyone here who has the Rikenon

Do you find the focus ring slightly stiff? I wouldn't say stiff but it's not light as say my kit len's focus ring. Or is that normal for an old lens?
12-22-2011, 10:28 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by userage Quote
Sorry to re-bump, This is to anyone here who has the Rikenon

Do you find the focus ring slightly stiff? I wouldn't say stiff but it's not light as say my kit len's focus ring. Or is that normal for an old lens?
It's hard to tell without physically trying the lens, however, Pentax K and M lenses are known to be extremely precise and smooth for their focus ring. They are unmatched. So when comparing others to those lenses, one need to expect a bit less.
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