Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home

Show Printable Version Search this Thread
03-04-2012, 09:17 PM   #1
cali92rs's Avatar

Join Date: May 2011
Location: Long Beach, CA
Posts: 3,346
Is my cheapest lens also my sharpest?

So I went hiking in beautiful Torrey Pines yesterday, and it was a typical gorgeous day. However, it was high noon so of course the sun was way too harsh for good landscape photos.
But I decided to take pics anyway (that's the beauty of digital, it doesn't cost money to experiment).

What I found out is that my FA 50mm f/1.7 is razor sharp!

These are links to the full size images:

All sizes | IMGP5531_DxO | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
All sizes | IMGP5530_DxO | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
All sizes | IMGP5543_DxO | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

You can also click on the smaller sizes to orient yourself.

I Highly recommend getting your hand on this lens. Its small enough to throw in your pocket, its super sharp, and its fast enough to use indoors in low light.

03-04-2012, 11:28 PM   #2
Senior Member

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: HCMC
Posts: 272
Not razor sharp like my Vivitar Komine 200 3.5 but is more than enough sharp for me (and i am into sharp/good IQ lenses than all other things).
If i had to chose? i would even sell my Revuenon (Cosina) 55mm 1.2 than this lens...

@cali92rs: you forgot to mention how smooth and buttery the bokeh of this lens.... its a killer (you've got to find and keep one)...
Sorry guys for pushing LBA on each one of you...
03-05-2012, 12:14 AM   #3
Veteran Member

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 327
great stuff!

will be interesting to compare it to the new DA50 that comes out which is almost the same in speed (f1.8 vs f1.7)
03-05-2012, 12:19 AM   #4
Veteran Member
RickyFromVegas's Avatar

Join Date: May 2011
Location: Las Vegas
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 366
50mm f/1.7 is one of the sharpest Pentax fast 50mm
It applies to FA, A, M, of course.

03-05-2012, 08:41 AM   #5
Site Supporter
GeneV's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Albuquerque NM
Photos: Albums
Posts: 9,775
Fast fifties are from the film days when the "kit" lens was often the sharpest lens.
03-05-2012, 08:59 AM   #6
Inactive Account

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Ames, Iowa, USA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 2,965
I see from demitrov's pages Pentax Normal Prime Lenses. that the F:1.7 is very similar to the FA:1.7, except the front element is a little larger. Is the image quality as good?
03-05-2012, 10:50 AM   #7
Loyal Site Supporter
baro-nite's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: North Carolina, USA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 4,364
Apparently the basic optical formula is unchanged since its introduction in the M series. Coatings have changed over time, and there are reports that an optical tweak in the A series version resulted in improved sharpness. In short, the M version remains an excellent performer, but the newer versions may be slightly better.
03-05-2012, 12:17 PM   #8
cali92rs's Avatar

Join Date: May 2011
Location: Long Beach, CA
Posts: 3,346
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
Fast fifties are from the film days when the "kit" lens was often the sharpest lens.
Nowadays, camera manufacturers offer their least sharp lenses in the kits so that you will be "forced" to buy their better lenses.

The marketers have become the most important sector of every corporation it seems like.

03-05-2012, 12:56 PM   #9
Veteran Member
RioRico's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Limbo, California
Posts: 11,264
Let's see, my cheapest lenses (not counting freebies) with superb sharpness include:

* Sears-Tomioka 55/1.4 (US$2)
* Argus-Chinon 55/1.7 (US$3)
* Vivitar-Komine 90/2.8 macro (US$3)
* various enlarger lenses for under US$5 each
* Enna Sandmar 35/4.5 & Tele-Sandmar 100/4.5 (US$7 each)
* CZJ Tessar 50/2.8 (12 iris blades) (US$7)
* Nikkor 85/2 (modded for PK) (US$9)

I tried sharpening a lens with a file but it didn't work too well.

But I digress. I am very interested in primes from what I call the Kodachrome era, say about 1955-1975, before printing Kodacolor images on textured paper was popular. Kodachrom era lenses *had* to be sharp or they didn't survive. Sure, trash glass was produced then too. But the better lenses were *really* good.

  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
flickr, k-mount, lens, pentax lens, photo, sizes, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
DA L 18-55mm kit lens... Sharpest aperture? maxwolfie Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 8 07-08-2013 11:18 AM
Sharpest prime lens? adrianpglover Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 65 05-06-2011 03:25 AM
Sharpest lens in Pentax Mount HoBykoYan Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 27 06-30-2010 01:56 PM
Sharpest Lens you own? Eagle_Friends Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 176 05-14-2010 05:37 AM
Cheapest and Sharpest Pentax? sagar Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 5 12-29-2008 10:57 PM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:17 AM. | See also:, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]