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03-15-2013, 10:14 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
it has less fringing
And my K/ST 55s don't fringe...

So, there ya go!


Steve

03-15-2013, 10:20 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by JonPB Quote
I found that slight misfocus can cause major differences in comparing lenses. Not necessarily in the overall quality of the image, but in telling the difference between two sets of very good optics.
I had to laugh a little when I read this. Sorry! One of my pet peeves are comparison lens tests where the conditions make little allowance for focus accuracy or even equal distance from the subject!


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03-16-2013, 01:46 AM   #18
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I think, that the difference is more about Automated vs. manual. DAs often turns you into a bystander/cameraholder/point and shootist. Manuals make you think about every step and make the decisions. Regards
03-16-2013, 01:57 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by JonPB Quote
I've been meaning to compare my fifties, which include the DA 55/1.4 and Tak 55/1.8. The bottom line, though, is that the differences between the lenses aren't very meaningful in photographic terms. I'd recommend an A50/1.7, or DA50/1.8 for autofocus, to anyone who's just looking to make pictures with this length of lens. For absolute value, SMC Takumar 55/2. Personally, I'm overly distracted by minor aberrations that very few other people care about, even if they notice them, and I also am fascinated by the optics and mechanics of camera lenses... but those aren't the same as photography.

Here are my lenses and what I would expect to find in a comparison:
Takumar 55/1.8. Low contrast but sufficient resolution. Good for atmospheric portraiture. Renders veiling glare much like my own eyes, which makes its images more natural and comfortable.
Super Takumar 50/1.4. Similar to the 55/1.8, but with a particular glow or radiance when used wide open.
SMC-M 50/1.7. Solid but not outstanding rendering, in every aspect; which is to say, desirable as a standard lens. Higher contrast than non-SMC lenses, creating an appearance of sharper images. In a word, balanced.
SMC-A 50/1.4. Has the glow of its Super Takumar predecessor, but with much higher overall contrast. Wide open, this lens is all about that glow. Oddly, though technically superior to the Takumar, to me this lens becomes more specialized due to the dominance of that often-desirable aberration.
DA* 55/1.4. Gives what I think of as a modern rendering: where older lenses are desirable for their warm, tender rendering, this lens is desirable for its stark, unfiltered honesty. Basically, this lens' characteristic is that it gets out of the way and lets the subject speak for itself. Plus, remarkably smooth distant background bokeh.
Leica 50/2 (contemporary of the SMC-M line). Avoids the Pentax-characteristic green bokeh fringing. More natural rendering of nearly-in-focus bokeh, at the possible cost of harsher far-from-focused bokeh. Lower contrast than SMC, but likely more center resolution.

But then, I haven't actually done a systematic comparison yet, so that's just my impression. Now I want to see how well my impression matches up with reality. More to come.
Early lenses have this very fine rendition, saturation and contrast I love it

Super-Takumar 1.8/55


Super-Takumar 1.4/50 (v.1)


03-16-2013, 07:30 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I had to laugh a little when I read this. Sorry! One of my pet peeves are comparison lens tests where the conditions make little allowance for focus accuracy or even equal distance from the subject!


Steve
Don't be cruel, we have all been there and done that. As an owner of 180 50mm lenses I have never done a side by side comparison with ALL of them, just shooting for one week with a different 50mm lens would take me a few years. I only test 50mm lenses I like, just to see how well the compare with my reference 50mm lens - the Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH.
03-16-2013, 07:34 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by elpolodiablo Quote
No mocking intended at all, one uses whatever suits one's needs, and the Canon rig clearly works wonders for you, so all is good.
No problem...

QuoteOriginally posted by JonPB Quote
I'm glad to hear it! Canon gear isn't for me--if not due to price, then to size and ergonomics--but it certainly works for other people, and I'm glad both that you're finding better ways to achieve what you want with your photography and that you're willing to contribute to this forum even if you're not shooting with a Pentax anymore. They're all tools and what's perfect for one person would be a horrible choice for someone else.
I, contrary, have to say I was delighted with Canon ergonomics when I switched (7D and now 1D3). I used to love K10D+grip but anything Pentax did after (I did own K-7 and K-x and tried K-5, K-r and K30) was just too small. I have rather large hands so I was at home with 7D and 1D3 is just touch on the big side but I still find it a lot more comfortable than K-7/5 bodies. As far as lenses go...mixed feelings...

QuoteOriginally posted by VisualDarkness Quote
That 50mm F1.2L looks like a real beauty (and cost like one), so I see why to go Canon for it. Compared to the optical construction of the 55/1.4 it's probably about 50 years newer of a design, but you have to pay for all that extra and advanced glass.
It's not lens without it's flaws either but it's very good indeed. Few quick samples to compare to my 50ish mm Pentax samples















all shots wide open except the last one which as at f4
03-17-2013, 12:04 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by yusuf Quote
Just wondering, is this for non SMC version? I have SMC K55/1.8 and I see it in par with my A50/1/4 and A50/1.7. In fact, I liked K55/1.8 so much that I just got another copy as backup and hence wondering how better is DA55 (off course f1.4 is an another reason).
The 55/1.8 is an Auto-Takumar, so with the auto-aperture pin of the Super Takumar, but with reversed aperture settings. Definitely pre-SMC coatings, but not necessarily different from the earlier Super Taks, which had coatings that changed over the years. I believe that the SMC-K 55/1.8 retained the same optical design but with the addition of SMC, whereas the SMC-M 50/1.7 and its successors use a very similar, though slightly simplified and cheaper to produce design. It would be interesting to see a comparison of the K55/1.8 and M50/1.7 to see if any changes are apparent, although I expect you'd have to look very, very closely.


QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I had to laugh a little when I read this. Sorry! One of my pet peeves are comparison lens tests where the conditions make little allowance for focus accuracy or even equal distance from the subject!
I'll assume that you're laughing in sympathy. The camera was anchored on a tripod that I was careful not to move, and focus was checked with live view at 10x magnification. Personally, I'm interested in practical differences. If I'm operating at the maximum ability of the lens/camera combination to focus precisely, and the difference in focus becomes a dominant differentiator between images, then that bit of knowledge is more important than the theoretical differences between the lenses in perfect conditions. But knowing that the images didn't line up perfectly made it easy to decide to only comment on my observations, rather than post the images themselves.

QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
I, contrary, have to say I was delighted with Canon ergonomics when I switched (7D and now 1D3). I used to love K10D+grip but anything Pentax did after (I did own K-7 and K-x and tried K-5, K-r and K30) was just too small. I have rather large hands so I was at home with 7D and 1D3 is just touch on the big side but I still find it a lot more comfortable than K-7/5 bodies. As far as lenses go...mixed feelings...
I tried shooting with a 1Ds and I never got the sense that the camera was working with me, although that's probably because I didn't spend enough time for all of its features and operations to become second nature to me. Then again, I've recently started shooting film, and I prefer having controls only for aperture, shutter speed, focus, and shutter release. My shooting style doesn't benefit much from automation. That, combined with slender hands and fingers, makes me happier with smaller, simpler cameras.

Goes to show, I think, that, as far as gear goes, photographers today have an embarrassment of riches in options and opportunities. There will be a close to ideal choice for almost any given set of needs.
03-17-2013, 02:07 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by JonPB Quote
I'll assume that you're laughing in sympathy.
Yes, in sympathy.

03-17-2013, 08:53 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by JonPB Quote
The 55/1.8 is an Auto-Takumar, so with the auto-aperture pin of the Super Takumar, but with reversed aperture settings. Definitely pre-SMC coatings, but not necessarily different from the earlier Super Taks, which had coatings that changed over the years. I believe that the SMC-K 55/1.8 retained the same optical design but with the addition of SMC, whereas the SMC-M 50/1.7 and its successors use a very similar, though slightly simplified and cheaper to produce design. It would be interesting to see a comparison of the K55/1.8 and M50/1.7 to see if any changes are apparent, although I expect you'd have to look very, very closely.
I posted one comparison shot here, however A50/1.7 had skylight filter which I noticed only later so may not be completely valid comparison but still it does shows the character - both are lovely in their own way.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/218562-best-50...ml#post2316055
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