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09-01-2012, 05:33 PM   #1
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Older 50mm lens

I have read the article on the Pentax Forums home page on 50mm lens.

Pentax 50mm Prime Lens Shootout - Introduction - PentaxForums.com

I am wondering how some of the older prime lens stack up against these?

When I have been researching into different lens in the past someone told me that one of the older Pentax prime lens was really exceptional. I'm not sure if it was an A or M lens but I'm certain they said that between the two that were available between the F1.4 and F1.7 the latter was the one to get as it was outstanding. Could it have been the Asahi Pentax-M SMC f1.7 50mm? And does anyone know what the difference is between the A and M designations? I also wonder if it is the case that the 1.7 was considered the better lens I am wondering what the reasons for that would be?

Thanks,

John

09-01-2012, 08:57 PM   #2
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Not an expert but will try to help.Think the A and M versions are the same optically but the A version is more versatile as it has contacts that communicate with the camera and work the same as the F,Fa and Da except no autofocus.The 1.4 and 1.7 in both A and M have good reviews.The 1.4 m42 version is also a highly sought after lens.The A 50 f2 is not highly regarded by most,have one and like it a lot.Have both the m42 1.4 and the M1.7 but the A 50 f2 gets more use as it is more convenient to use.There are a lot of 50mm lens that are quite good.Have a Sears 50mm 1.7 that I keep with my extension tube set and get good results.
Search the lens database here and you will find reviews on most any lens that is commonly used on Pentax cameras
09-01-2012, 09:12 PM   #3
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Almost hard to make a bad 50mm, there are a lot of them out there and Pentax has their share. You really will not go wrong with any of the f/1.4 or f/1.7 models, just understand the limitations of the different series.

K and M are all manual and require stop down metering on modern cameras. The A series added the contacts so the camera can control the aperture but it is still manual focus. The F series and later are all auto aperture and auto focus.

I have an S-M-C 50mm f/1.4 in M42 mount a Pentax-A 50mm f/1.4 and a Pentax-F 50mm f/1.7 To be honest the F model gets the most use although I think the A is a bit sharper. One advantage of the F model is that the front element is recessed a good bit so flare is not much of a problem.

As Boker noted check the lens database for reviews.
09-01-2012, 11:00 PM   #4
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I have three manual 50's, and they're all decent. My Pentax 50 f/2 is a bit wonky, but thats because whoever had it before me abused the hell out of it.

These are all from a Sears 50mm f/1.7 lens I paid $16 for. By all accounts the Pentax 50's are/should be better quality, but honestly its not enough for me to go hunting for one.












and a 100% crop of the above...



09-02-2012, 02:56 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by john10001 Quote
I have read the article on the Pentax Forums home page on 50mm lens.

Pentax 50mm Prime Lens Shootout - Introduction - PentaxForums.com

I am wondering how some of the older prime lens stack up against these?

When I have been researching into different lens in the past someone told me that one of the older Pentax prime lens was really exceptional. I'm not sure if it was an A or M lens but I'm certain they said that between the two that were available between the F1.4 and F1.7 the latter was the one to get as it was outstanding. Could it have been the Asahi Pentax-M SMC f1.7 50mm? And does anyone know what the difference is between the A and M designations? I also wonder if it is the case that the 1.7 was considered the better lens I am wondering what the reasons for that would be?

Thanks,

John
I have the M 50/1,4 M50/1,7, Fa50/1,4 A50/1,7

The M and A lenses are opticaly identical, but the A is just so easy to use.

All M and A lenses is better than the Fa 50/1,4. The Fa tends to flair.

BTW. Use a Lens hood, if not the 1,7 is bether than the 1,4 because the front lens is retracted a bit.
If you use a lens hood, its impossible to say which one is the best.

The Fa 50 is not as good as the M and A, even with the lens hood.
09-02-2012, 07:00 AM   #6
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Well There are many old lenses for almost no money that can beat FA 50 1.4 and probably(according to the tests) DA 50 1.8. The 50 2.8 macro is not safe too, if you compare it with an old Micro Nikkor 55 2.8 for example(the nikkor fits pentax and is cheaper, most importantly - much more sharper).
If we stick with the fast 50s - in terms of wide open sharpness all of my 50s(look in the signature) are sharper wide open than my FA 50 1.4 and have more pleasing bokeh!
09-02-2012, 11:29 AM   #7
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I have a ton of "fast-50s". As stated above, most 50s from most makers are pretty good. There are stinkers, to be sure, but it is a good generalization that if the maximum aperture is f/2 or wider and the maker has any repute, the lens is probably pretty good. Out of my collection of Pentax-compatible glass...

Best overall:
  • Pentax-K 55/1.8
  • Pentax-M 50/1.7

Most pixie dust:
  • KMZ Helios 44M 58/2 (M42)
  • Auto-Rikenon 50/1.8 (M42) (same as Auto-Sears of the same vintage)

I do have the Pentax-A 50/1.7, but prefer the M due to build. The inconvenience of not having full body function is a small matter to me. So, go forth and enjoy!


Steve
09-02-2012, 02:59 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by simbon4o Quote
Micro Nikkor 55 2.8 for example(the nikkor fits pentax and is cheaper, most importantly - much more sharper).
I wouldn't exactly say it fits, it can be used with caution by force fitting it, but I wouldn't recommend doing it because it doesn't lock securely.

09-02-2012, 03:34 PM   #9
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I have the Asahi Pentax-M SMC f1.7 50mm and I absolutely love it. Everything I hoped for.
09-02-2012, 07:54 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by simbon4o Quote
Well There are many old lenses for almost no money that can beat FA 50 1.4 and probably (according to the tests) DA 50 1.8. The 50 2.8 macro is not safe too, if you compare it with an old Micro Nikkor 55 2.8 for example(the nikkor fits pentax and is cheaper, most importantly - much more sharper).
If we stick with the fast 50s - in terms of wide open sharpness all of my 50s (look in the signature - SMC-PENTAX-FA 50 1.4 / SMC-PENTAX-M 50 1.7 / CZJ MC Pancolar 50 1.8 / KMZ Zenitar-M 50 1.7) are sharper wide open than my FA 50 1.4 and have more pleasing bokeh!
Where are these test results available for review?
09-02-2012, 08:30 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by john10001 Quote
I have read the article on the Pentax Forums home page on 50mm lens.

Pentax 50mm Prime Lens Shootout - Introduction - PentaxForums.com

I am wondering how some of the older prime lens stack up against these?

When I have been researching into different lens in the past someone told me that one of the older Pentax prime lens was really exceptional. I'm not sure if it was an A or M lens but I'm certain they said that between the two that were available between the F1.4 and F1.7 the latter was the one to get as it was outstanding. Could it have been the Asahi Pentax-M SMC f1.7 50mm? And does anyone know what the difference is between the A and M designations? I also wonder if it is the case that the 1.7 was considered the better lens I am wondering what the reasons for that would be?

Thanks,

John
I am a new user do excuse me if I am I the wrong place, or of my answer already exists.
I wanted to know if all old manual Pentax lenses are radioactive ?
09-02-2012, 08:44 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by phansu123 Quote
I wanted to know if all old manual Pentax lenses are radioactive ?
No, just certain Takumars have thorium glass in them, most of them are either 35mm or 50mm, the most common is the Super Takumar 50mm f1.4. You can usually tell because they have yellowed due to the effects of the radioactive decay. They can be cleared up with UV light though, so it isn't a big deal.
09-02-2012, 09:17 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by elliott Quote
No, just certain Takumars have thorium glass in them, most of them are either 35mm or 50mm, the most common is the Super Takumar 50mm f1.4. You can usually tell because they have yellowed due to the effects of the radioactive decay. They can be cleared up with UV light though, so it isn't a big deal.
I have a 6 month old and was a bit concerned about purchasing these lenses
09-02-2012, 09:23 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by phansu123 Quote
I have a 6 month old and was a bit concerned about purchasing these lenses
Don't be, unless you're afraid the kid might smash the glass up and eat it, in which case the radiation would be the least of your worries. It is a very, very low dose of radiation, totally insignificant compared to the normal exposure we get every day.
09-02-2012, 09:33 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by elliott Quote
Don't be, unless you're afraid the kid might smash the glass up and eat it, in which case the radiation would be the least of your worries. It is a very, very low dose of radiation, totally insignificant compared to the normal exposure we get every day.
There are numerous videos on YouTube with them showing high readings. If the non takumer lenses are not radio active aren't those a better bet.
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