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08-21-2012, 07:18 PM   #16
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I've owned all the A50 and M50 (ie. 1.4, 1.7, 2)
There isn't any appreciable difference in sharpness at the same f-stops in all of them.

The f1.7 and f2 all can have hexagonal bokeh in some situations. So take note.

I'd just go for the new DA50/1.8 for the AF (speedier and more decisive especially at large apertures).
Also the convenience of PTTL, and EXIF data.
Not to mention that I'd give the camera company I like some business so that they continue making stuff I like.

08-21-2012, 07:27 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by contrabass Quote
If you have the same model Sears 50mm f/1.7 as I do (which is all metal construction, 52mm filter thread, and reads "AUTO SEARS MC LENS JAPAN 52 1:1.7 50mm" around the front lens element) then you won't find much of an "upgrade" in sharpness by getting a Pentax version.
The Sears to look for is the one with the 49mm filter threads. It tagged along when I bought my 135mm macro, (I was after the 135, not what I believed was a redundant 50mm) and I was shocked to realize it was better than the 52mm filter version.

Shorter minimum focus throw, half stop aperture clicks, and maxxes out at f/22 as opposed to f/16. You can spot it because it lacks the red on the front of the lens that its brother has. Its the top center lens in this shot. Second shot is the aperture stops.




08-21-2012, 07:39 PM   #18
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What's so great about dep't store lenses? I've always avoided them.
08-21-2012, 07:41 PM   #19
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Depending on your camera sensor/film and technique, the lens may not be your bottleneck. If buying used, you may not know if the lens came out of the factory that way or degraded by previous owner. Since I own a few of these lenses, I tested them all with the K20D. As you can see, they are all limited by the 14.6MP sensor.



Full size version -> http://www.fototime.com/AFA3C6EDB6A663D/orig.jpg

08-21-2012, 07:48 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by tabl10s Quote
What's so great about dep't store lenses? I've always avoided them.
Department store lenses are lenses commisioned by Sears/K-mart/JC Penney/Montgomery Ward/etc from another company.

Most Sears were made by Tokina or Cosina for example. The only difference is the branding on the front of the lens itself. Its really no different then vintage Vivitar lenses - a good chunk of Vivitar stuff was made by other companies.

A modern example would be the Vivitar/Bower/Rokinon 1.4 lenses. Three different brand names, but they're actually all made by Samyang with some piddling cosmetic differences to seperate them.

Its not as if there was a Sears factory somewhere cranking out lenses. Most of what Sears was selling was rebranded Ricoh or Cosina stuff.
08-21-2012, 08:22 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by tabl10s Quote
What's so great about dep't store lenses? I've always avoided them.
What's so great? Here is why.

Think again next time you see those dep't store lenses as you called it.
08-21-2012, 08:24 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by LesDMess Quote
Depending on your camera sensor/film and technique, the lens may not be your bottleneck. If buying used, you may not know if the lens came out of the factory that way or degraded by previous owner. Since I own a few of these lenses, I tested them all with the K20D. As you can see, they are all limited by the 14.6MP sensor.
Looks to me like the M 50 1.4 is your strongest lens. The K 1.2 doesn't seem all that great here, the M 1.7 is solid and the A 50mm 2.0 had a surprisingly good showing. I expect the 1.2 would have the best bokeh followed by the 1.4. What are your conclusions, as an owner of all these lenses?
08-21-2012, 08:36 PM   #23
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Besides sharpness there are other considerations - bokeh, DOF, color even weight. The macro is great for that purpose. The f1.2 is heaviest but ultimate DOF and you notice it maintains great sharpness all the way out to f22.



08-21-2012, 08:39 PM   #24
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Here is a link to a Pentax challenge from last year. http://m.flickr.com/#/photos/thedevelopingtank/sets/72157627212914993/

I had just bought my K5 and wanted to get back into manual shooting. So I forced myself to use my old Pentax A50 1.7 and shot full manual focus and everything so that I could get to know my camera. This was a great practice and I have shot nothing but manual since, but width mostly AF lensa.

I was so glad I did this exersize because it forced me to use this lens, which I bought 20 years ago on a use K1000. What a great little jewel this lens is.
08-21-2012, 09:00 PM   #25
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I was wrong in my above post mine is the A 50 2.0.
08-21-2012, 09:02 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by baro-nite Quote
The K 55/1.8 and 55/2 are also well worth considering -- 55mm is an especially nice FL for portraits on Pentax APS-C.
I really really really like my K55 1.8.

I recently sold my A 50 1.7 as I saw no reason to have two lenses with the same (almost) focal length. Making the decision as to which one to sell was difficult. The A lens is more convenient, can be used with the on board flash, and has a slightly warmer color rendition than the K. The K is a teeny weeny bit sharper in the corners at f/8 and a bit cooler in color rendition. And it has better build quality.

I elected to keep the K55 and sell the A 50 1.7. I just like the 55mm focal length, and there's something special about the way that lens "draws" the image.

So I'd encourage you to add the 55mm to your short list.
08-21-2012, 10:01 PM   #27
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I have an FA 50/1.4. As has already been mentioned, it really benefits from a hood. The various f/1.7 versions may be slightly sharper at wide apertures, but the 1.4 with the hood isn't too far off. The f/1.7 lenses have somewhat busy bokeh compared to the 1.4s which is what narrowed it down for me.

I also considered a K 55/1.8 but I really wanted AF.
08-21-2012, 10:22 PM   #28
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Here are some useful links for comparison of nifty fifties:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/121708-50ish-m...t-k-mount.html
the Normal Lens Shootout Photo Gallery by Sean Carpenter at pbase.com
Nifty 50 Shootout : ERPhotoReview

They're good fun, as well as informative!
08-21-2012, 10:24 PM   #29
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Honestly I find my A50 1.4 to be near worthless on my DSLR due to the crop sensor, but wonderful on my film cameras. Keep what you have and buy a fast modern 35mm lens instead or the FA 43 at least, way more useful even with that little bit of difference.

But as was said dropping what you have for another 50 unless its the A setting or the auto focus you want is a waste of money.

And the 1.2 setting on a 50 1.2 is near worthless unless you want a picture of the tip of a persons nose with the rest of their face slightly out of focus, or just the center of a flower in focus. Its real advantage is that even stopped down several notches to improve IQ its still faster than damn near everything else out there. That said anything above a 1.4 is a waste of money, as is any F2 with the A1.7's selling so cheap.
08-22-2012, 12:25 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by PPPPPP42 Quote
And the 1.2 setting on a 50 1.2 is near worthless unless you want a picture of the tip of a persons nose with the rest of their face slightly out of focus, or just the center of a flower in focus.
If you think the DOF of a 50/1.2 is too shallow, it's a lot "worse" with a 85/1.4. Ever thought of isolating subjects that are a bit further away? There were a few great examples posted recently in the Rokinon 85/1.4 vs. M85/2 thread.
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