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01-04-2008, 04:06 AM   #1
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Pentacon Auto F1.8/50mm

I'm buying some old 50mm lense and ran into this one.



Does anybody have some experience with it? Does anybody know it?

Thank you!

01-04-2008, 04:46 AM   #2
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I had this, it was the kit lens of Praktica..made in G.D.R.

Actually i absolutely don't reccomend this.

1) It's awful to stopdown, you have to push a little switch on the barrel...with a DSLR it is barely unusable.

2) Really, really, prone to lens flares.

It's light and quite sharp, but with today M42 lenses prices you can get something better.
Pentacon anyway is renowed for their 135/2.8 [the best bokeh out here] and the wide angle 30/3.5 and 29/2.8.

I can reccomend you these two [i own them]:

Helios 44M 58/2: heavy, but very cheap with really good colors, wonderful bokeh wide open and razor sharp at 5.6. A/M fixed switch.

Pentacon 30/3.5: perfect to forget crop factor [you get a flexible 45mm] and very light and compact, without the usual distorsions of wider lenses. Always stopped down.

Industar 50/3.5: the mother of all pancakes! i don't own this, but i'm looking for this. Always stopped down.
01-04-2008, 04:56 AM   #3
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Original Poster
Wow, thanks on a very good response! You gave me excellent examples.
What about Pentax M42 35/2.8?


I would like something like 35/2.0, but it is hard to find......
01-04-2008, 05:33 AM   #4
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dunno about the 35mm, but I agree with zntgrg on the Pentacon 50mm, I got it as a freebie and wouldn't pay 10$ for it...not sharp wide open, lack of contrast, and as mentioned, weird stopping down mechanism.

In my opinion, you'd be better off buying a cheap Pentax-M 50mm, or if you really want M42, a Carl Zeiss Jena Pancolar 50mm 1.8 (not the Tessar 2.8)

Tom

01-04-2008, 05:41 AM   #5
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That lens is surely not a real pentax lens.

Look for takumar [pentax official screw mount series]. Looking for russian lenses is a good idea, they are fine on dslr and they quality is unexpectedly good.

Anyway you can ask the seller for the Auto/Manual switch. If it's there, it's half good.
09-27-2009, 10:15 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentagor Quote
I'm buying some old 50mm lense and ran into this one.
Does anybody have some experience with it? Does anybody know it?
Thank you!
Pentacon Auto 1.8/50 is an old slr lens, and wasn't meant for modern dslr cameras.
I happen to own one such lens, and i'm very happy with it. Don't ask me what Auto stands for on this lens. I have had vay less lens flare with it on my Pentacon Practica L2 with said lens than i have with my AF-S Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED lens on my Nikon D80.

Pentacon Practica L2 is an old completely mehanical slr camera (if i'm not mistaken it was in production from 1975-1979).
09-27-2009, 04:30 PM   #7
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I had the red "MC" Pentacon 50mm f/1.8. The lens was sharp wide open and got better when stopped down. It does not have a lot of contrast but this does not make it less sharp. What was best about it is that it could focus down to 0.3m. Not many 50mm lenses out there can focus so close, which makes the Pentacon 50mm more special. It's not an expensive lens anyway but if you get a good sample is not a bad lens either. I would rate it above Helios 44-2 in IQ and usefullness.
09-28-2009, 02:55 AM   #8
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I'd second Voe's comments (except ranking it above the Helios :-) and might add that this lens seems quite good really in the near distance range (i.e. flowers etc) and the blue color spectrum. Remember that 30cm is 30cm from the sensor, not the front lens. I only have MC (=multicoating) versions of this lens (quite a lot actually) and they seem to not have a lot of build spread. The price is like sub-10$ sure, but the build quality is much higher.

The softness can be taken care of quite well in Postprocess imo, cause it is just a lack of contrast in the lower aperture range, resolution is still there and you can pull it out if you want to.

QuoteQuote:
zntgrg said:
1) It's awful to stopdown, you have to push a little switch on the barrel...with a DSLR it is barely unusable.
I'd recommend doing the cotton swab shaft job on such lenses or just look for a lens with an A/M (auto-manual) slider switch.


Typical M42 lenses: Above pic shows the Auto pin (metal pin coming out of the back near the glass in the 8 o'clock position). A-M swich is a slider on the outside of the barrel in the 6 to 8 o'clock position. If that slider switch is not there but only a temporary stop-down switch or nothing at all, then it is best practice to mechanically lock the above-mentioned pin. Pushing it will stop down the lens if you want to test it - there is your 'Auto' function. The locking is easiest done by removing the back plate (4 outer screws here) and put a little peace of cotton swab shaft onto the pin from inside, then close the lens again. There is your 'manual' lens. When pulling the back off beware to leave the aperture ring where it is cause there could be a tiny ball jumping out (there was your click click click .-(

QuoteQuote:
zntgrg said:
2) Really, really, prone to lens flares.
Never had this on my MC copies. I'm using a lens shade all the time though. All MC versions have the above-described A-M slider switch also.

The above-pictured M42 lensbacks are typical for most of them, which includes almost all M42 Takumar lenses as well as the huge majority of any M42 lenses available (which still must be millions).

Hope you have some fun with those full-metal handcrafted goodies,
Georg


Last edited by georgweb; 09-28-2009 at 03:16 AM.
09-02-2012, 07:42 PM   #9
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Don't mean to bump, but i have a few pentacon 50's and they are wonderful!

Flare not a problem on either of my examples. I modified the pin to force it to be always depressed, now it works like a preset lens.

Long story short love it.

Focuses down to 0.3m sharp everywhere. and they are cheap. If I needed to buy a 50mm I'd get another.
01-11-2013, 01:59 AM   #10
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Don't quite understand why some opinions about these lens are negative, while some are very positive. For example, the review is certainly positive, and shots included don't look bad.
01-11-2013, 03:25 AM   #11
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I have one of these and LOVE it.
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