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08-24-2012, 07:11 PM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by contrabass Quote
Interesting. You know, I think I have yet another version of the Sears 50mm f/1.7 with 52mm filter ring than what you have pictured here. The front element on mine is quite deeply recessed, unlike the lenses you have pictured here. It's bigger than my SMC-M 50/1.4.
And I just checked. Yes, my Sears 50/1.7 with 52mm filter is different than yours. You can see in the picture the front element is more deeply recessed. In fact as a result, this lens is bigger than an SMC-C 50mm f/1.4... Interesting all the variation, isn't it?


Sears 50mm f/1.7 on Flickr


Sears 50mm f/1.7 on Flickr


Sears 50mm f/1.7 on Flickr


08-24-2012, 10:03 PM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by contrabass Quote
Quite the collection of Sears lenses you have there!
Its become... not quite a hobby, I suppose, but something I look out for. I picked up a pair of brothers (28-70 and 70-210 macros) that puts the count up to 8 (9 if you count the old Tower camera I have) at the moment. I'd love to get my mitts on the K-mount Sears f/1.4 one of these days when I have a spare $100 or so I don't mind parting with.

I've been really lucky so far in that I haven't had any real clunkers. When I get a working DSLR again I need to do a Ricoh pin operation on the two macros I just picked up and see how they work.
08-25-2012, 09:11 AM   #48
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I once read an article that talked about 50mm lenses being one of the easiest lenses to engineer in the 35mm format. (I include APS-C in that) So it's a bit of a waste of time to worry about which 50mm is the best. Pick one and move on with your life. Your time is much better spent worrying about which inexpensive
wide-angle or telephoto lens is the best buy.
08-25-2012, 09:34 AM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sagitta Quote
The Sears to look for is the one with the 49mm filter threads.
I have a Chinon 1.7 50 that's identical to the Sears lens with the 49mm threads you posted. I think Chinon made some of the cameras for Sears as well. It's a good, and sharp lens, though my Pentax-M 50mm 1.4 is better. I think I paid $5 for the Chinon on fleabay.

My wife has the A-1.7 & as far as the IQ, the M-1.4 & A-1.7 are both equally superb as far as I can tell.

08-26-2012, 07:06 AM   #50
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I have several 50mm Pentax lenses, M 50's and a A series f1.4 that is my favorite. All of them do well, the M 50 f1.7 odes very well, and a couple of f1.4 and f2 lenses also get good results. The A 50mm f1.4 is the one I almost always grab though. The only Sears lens I Have is a 80-200 model 202 that fell apart one day, literally, and i oculd never get it put back together. After seeing what it could do, I wouldn't hesitate to try out a 50mm Sears lens.

Here's why I like the Pentax A 50 f1.4...

with extension tube (Rokinon teleconverter with glass removed)



Just the lens by itself



Both taken with the SMC Pentax A 50mm f1.4, hard to beat results like that.

Very sharp, fast enough for low light, although I rarely have to go wider than f8 except for sunsets, (and I shoot almost all ISO 200) and pretty nice bokeh too. To be fair, my other f1.4 and f1.7 M 50's do a great job too, I pull them out now and then for a few shots...
08-27-2012, 11:09 AM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
I once read an article that talked about 50mm lenses being one of the easiest lenses to engineer in the 35mm format. (I include APS-C in that) So it's a bit of a waste of time to worry about which 50mm is the best. Pick one and move on with your life. Your time is much better spent worrying about which inexpensive
wide-angle or telephoto lens is the best buy.
That and the 135mm. With those two FL one can basically pick any lens and the IQ results will be pretty much similar.

I have personally applied that theory on my lenses collection with over 40-50 (I stop counting long ago...) 50-55mm and approx the same amount of lenses for 135mm...
08-27-2012, 11:17 AM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
I once read an article that talked about 50mm lenses being one of the easiest lenses to engineer in the 35mm format. (I include APS-C in that) So it's a bit of a waste of time to worry about which 50mm is the best. Pick one and move on with your life. Your time is much better spent worrying about which inexpensive
wide-angle or telephoto lens is the best buy.
True to a point. However, anything can be fouled up by greed, incompetence, and poor workmanship. There are klunker 50s out there, it's just harder to make a bad one - but it is possible.
08-27-2012, 05:54 PM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
There are only so many makers of camera lenses, Sears didn't make them so who did? That is the question that is central not what brand is stamped on the front. The tough part is that there are BAD Sears branded lenses too, so the lens guide and reading threads is the best way to know which ones are good, which are bad, and which are potentially great lenses.
My Sears 50/1.4 looked identical to the Rikenon XR in our forums, so that's where my review went. I have owned a few Sears 50mm lenses and all behaved like Rikenons, with 52mm filter size and no half-stops on the aperture ring. Still took some great images though! I currently have a Rikenon XR/S f/2 and an SMC-M f/2 but the Sigma f/2.8 macro gets the most use. I don't need razor-thin DOF in what I do; that rationalization has saved me a lot of money...

09-06-2012, 09:06 PM   #54
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I'm not sure if you are still looking, but due to the way the light enters a fast prime lens (I do not know much about the physics of light), the more you open the aperture, the softer the picture will be, UNLESS you use a HOOD. I just bought a K-30 with a FA 50mm f/1.4. Tested tonight at maximum aperture, nothing changed except the hood. Pictures with hood turned out to be considerable sharper at f/1.4 than without the hood. So, whatever lens you choose to get, get a hood. Some people will say that the hood is only for avoiding flare, but it is also to obtain better sharpness. Now, I'm a relative newbie, so someone please correct me if I'm wrong.
09-06-2012, 10:41 PM   #55
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You're right on about the hood! I think a lot of the reviews that say its too soft wide open used it without a hood. I got the Pentax dedicated rubber hood for $15 from B&H. It adds hardly anything to the size when folded, blends in with the styling of the focus ring, and still looks pretty stealthy when extended.

Pentax 49mm Round Rubber Lens Hood 34260 B&H Photo Video

It's still kinda soft below f/2.2 but at f/2.2 it's already pretty damn sharp. Yet another friggin cat picture...

09-07-2012, 05:00 AM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by msatlas Quote
You're right on about the hood! I think a lot of the reviews that say its too soft wide open used it without a hood. I got the Pentax dedicated rubber hood for $15 from B&H. It adds hardly anything to the size when folded, blends in with the styling of the focus ring, and still looks pretty stealthy when extended.
I agree, the FA 50mm 1.4 needs a hood, due to its slightly protruding front element. Someone posted some test photos that illustrated the difference some time ago, but of course it's easy for anyone to demonstrate for themselves. Sharpness is determined by resolution and contrast. The hood bumps up the contrast because it decreases veiling.

veiling: [2]Adjective: ~ flare: internal light reflections in optics which cause a slight fogging or loss of contrast and raising of minimum density (i.e. shadows are less dark) over the whole or part of an image.

I use a rubber hood like you linked, I also use the funky Pentax rectangular hood on my FA 50. One of these days though, I intend to buy a longer metal telephoto hood. Standard 49mm hoods were designed for a 50mm field of view on a film camera, but the equivalent FOV on a 1.5X crop body is a considerably narrower 75mm. The standard rubber hood I use on the FA 50 does not vignette on my 35mm and even 28mm lenses, which means it's unnecessarily wide for a 50mm lens. Check the size of the hood on the DA 55 1.4, it is much longer, to take advantage of the cropped image circle.
09-07-2012, 05:03 AM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by infra4801 Quote
I'm not sure if you are still looking, but due to the way the light enters a fast prime lens (I do not know much about the physics of light), the more you open the aperture, the softer the picture will be, UNLESS you use a HOOD. I just bought a K-30 with a FA 50mm f/1.4. Tested tonight at maximum aperture, nothing changed except the hood. Pictures with hood turned out to be considerable sharper at f/1.4 than without the hood. So, whatever lens you choose to get, get a hood. Some people will say that the hood is only for avoiding flare, but it is also to obtain better sharpness. Now, I'm a relative newbie, so someone please correct me if I'm wrong.
You are absolutely right about the hood. The FA50/1.4 has a VERY exposed front element, unlike the 1.7 design that has a fairly recessed front element. That means that more than nearly any other lens the 50/1.4 MUST have a hood. The only 50 I use without a hood is my M50 Macro because its front element is SO recessed itbis like it already has a hood.
09-07-2012, 08:13 AM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
You are absolutely right about the hood. The FA50/1.4 has a VERY exposed front element, unlike the 1.7 design that has a fairly recessed front element. That means that more than nearly any other lens the 50/1.4 MUST have a hood. The only 50 I use without a hood is my M50 Macro because its front element is SO recessed itbis like it already has a hood.
I don't think the hood is the main problem, Look the M 50 1.7 - front element is very well exposed to light but does it have problems - I don't think so . It is just that this old planar design is not that good wide open and that's it...
09-07-2012, 08:23 AM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by simbon4o Quote
I don't think the hood is the main problem, Look the M 50 1.7 - front element is very well exposed to light but does it have problems - I don't think so . It is just that this old planar design is not that good wide open and that's it...
Sorry, have to disagree. All the comparisons are clear that a hood makes a big difference. As for the design.....
09-07-2012, 08:49 AM   #60
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
I use a rubber hood like you linked, I also use the funky Pentax rectangular hood on my FA 50. One of these days though, I intend to buy a longer metal telephoto hood. Standard 49mm hoods were designed for a 50mm field of view on a film camera, but the equivalent FOV on a 1.5X crop body is a considerably narrower 75mm. The standard rubber hood I use on the FA 50 does not vignette on my 35mm and even 28mm lenses, which means it's unnecessarily wide for a 50mm lens. Check the size of the hood on the DA 55 1.4, it is much longer, to take advantage of the cropped image circle.
Yeah, even the hood for the FA 35/2 is bigger than the rubber hood for the 50. Not sure if that's the best comparison though since the 35 uses a petal-shaped hood.
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