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12-08-2012, 03:26 AM - 2 Likes   #1
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Review: Pentax 50mm f/1,4 Super-Takumar 8-elements vs 7-elements vs Pentax Macro

Hi,
one of my favorite focal length is the 50mm. In the last years I've collected a few of them, so I decided it was time to put them one against each other to learn pros and cons of each lens.

I thought that may be of interest for other people too, so I just posted a comprehensive comparison - with 100% center and border crops at almost each stop - of the following 50-ish lenses:

- Pentax 50mm f/1,4 Super-Takumar 8-elements design
- Pentax 50mm f/1,4 Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 7-elements design
- Pentax 50mm f/4 M Macro
- Contax 60mm f/2,8 Zeiss Makro S-Planar
- Minolta 50mm f/1,7 Rokkor MD
- Olympus 50mm f/1,8 OM Zuiko

Happy pixel peeping everyone

Battle of the 50s: Contax 60 vs Minolta vs Olympus vs Pentax Takumars | | Addicted2light Addicted2light

12-08-2012, 03:55 AM   #2
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We see a lot of tests looking for the best 50mm, I'd like to see the worst one, it seems to be pretty hard to make a truly bad 50mm lens for 135 format. How bad can a 50mm really be?
12-08-2012, 04:30 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by elliott Quote
We see a lot of tests looking for the best 50mm, I'd like to see the worst one, it seems to be pretty hard to make a truly bad 50mm lens for 135 format. How bad can a 50mm really be?
I agree, in fact I did the test more to know the best field of use for each lens - some are best suited for landscape, others for portraits etc. - that for uncover a true "lemon".

More, each optical scheme has a peculiar signature that you may like or not, so it's best to know in advance than after having sprung for a new lens

Last edited by fotoreporter1975; 12-08-2012 at 04:35 AM.
12-08-2012, 05:43 AM   #4
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Thanks for sharing your results!

12-08-2012, 06:36 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Franky2step Quote
Thanks for sharing your results!
You're welcome!
12-08-2012, 06:57 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Franky2step Quote
Thanks for sharing your results!
Agreed & thanks ... it was an interesting read - J
12-08-2012, 07:03 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by elliott Quote
We see a lot of tests looking for the best 50mm, I'd like to see the worst one, it seems to be pretty hard to make a truly bad 50mm lens for 135 format. How bad can a 50mm really be?
Check out the Cosinon 50/2 sometime. Truly a paperweight!
12-08-2012, 10:31 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by elliott Quote
We see a lot of tests looking for the best 50mm, I'd like to see the worst one, it seems to be pretty hard to make a truly bad 50mm lens for 135 format. How bad can a 50mm really be?
Pretty bad. Well, maybe not bad, bad, but definitely somewhere south of good. I have owned two (Rexatar 50/1.8 and Chinon 50/?.?) that were definitely off the mark for sharpness and contrast. Unfortunately I suffered with the Rexatar for over a decade. The Chinon, I had for only a day before it was returned along with the body it was mounted to.

That being said, your point is well taken. Most Japanese 50mm lenses share a common design heritage and most of the fast-50s (f/2.0 and faster) from name-brand makers are very good to excellent performers with some having an edge over the others.

To the OP...it would have been interesting to throw a couple of lenses into the mix that were not derived from the Zeiss Planar design. I was thinking specifically of one either a Zeiss Biotar or one of the better Helios 44 variants.


Steve


Last edited by stevebrot; 12-08-2012 at 11:01 AM.
12-08-2012, 10:36 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by fotoreporter1975 Quote
Pentax 50mm f/1,4 Super-Takumar 8-elements design
So...is this the lens currently for sale through Amazon? If not, the seller quotes liberally from your blog!

Amazon.com: Pentax Super-Takumar 50mm f/1.4 8 Element Manual Focus Lens For Canon EOS EF Mount: Camera & Photo


Steve
12-08-2012, 11:08 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
So...is this the lens currently for sale through Amazon? If not, the seller quotes liberally from your blog!

Amazon.com: Pentax Super-Takumar 50mm f/1.4 8 Element Manual Focus Lens For Canon EOS EF Mount: Camera & Photo


Steve
I bought this Takumar out of curiosity, now they will have to pry it from my dead hands…so no, it's not for sale on Amazon!

Thanks Steve for pointing this out. I guess that to mention the source is no longer in fashion.
12-08-2012, 12:30 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Pretty bad. Well, maybe not bad, bad, but definitely somewhere south of good. I have owned two (Rexatar 50/1.8 and Chinon 50/?.?) that were definitely off the mark for sharpness and contrast. Unfortunately I suffered with the Rexatar for over a decade. The Chinon, I had for only a day before it was returned along with the body it was mounted to.

That being said, your point is well taken. Most Japanese 50mm lenses share a common design heritage and most of the fast-50s (f/2.0 and faster) from name-brand makers are very good to excellent performers with some having an edge over the others.
I do have a Yashinon 50mm f1.9 that I don't really like, it just doesn't seem to render colors the way I like, but I still wouldn't call it bad. It is definitely sharp and doesn't do terrible wide open, but it just can't compete with my Pentax glass on color rendering.

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
To the OP...it would have been interesting to throw a couple of lenses into the mix that were not derived from the Zeiss Planar design. I was thinking specifically of one either a Zeiss Biotar or one of the better Helios 44 variants.
A simple and slow Tessar design like the Industar 50-2 would be good to throw in there too, I've been meaning to buy one of those.
12-08-2012, 02:10 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by elliott Quote
A simple and slow Tessar design like the Industar 50-2 would be good to throw in there too
Oh, I guess I forgot my Industar-61 52/2.8 when I was making a list of bad 50s. My copy in M39 (LTM rangefinder) is pretty much incapable of rendering a sharp image. Fortunately, I have a Jupiter-8 50/2 to use instead.


Steve
12-08-2012, 04:39 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
To the OP...it would have been interesting to throw a couple of lenses into the mix that were not derived from the Zeiss Planar design. I was thinking specifically of one either a Zeiss Biotar or one of the better Helios 44 variants.
I am curios about the Biotar too, at least judging by the pictures I've seen so far. But at the moment it is fetching prices out of the realm of reality, at least on the *bay.

Instead I managed to try an Helios 44 when I had a Nikon D300; even on a cropped sensor it was pretty bad in the corners, and it didn't impress me much at all. In all fairness I shot with it only to test it, and when performed so poorly I ended up "looting" its optical elements to assemble a DIY Zacuto-like magnifying finder… The problem with the soviet era lenses is that the quality control, I gather, was pretty lousy; so you may ended up with a great lens and I with an absolute lemon.
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