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03-15-2013, 11:20 AM   #1
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Best 50/55 vintage Pentax lens.

Whell..it seems like everyone has their favorite.
I dont wanna buy them all, so im interested to know what you think.

The candidates.
1. Sup Tak 50/1.4
2. Super Multi Coated Tak 50/1.4
3. SMC Tak 50/1.4
4. Super/smc tak 55/1.8
5. K 50 1.4
6. K 55/1.8
7. M 50/1.4
8. M 50/1.7
9. A 50/1.4
10. A 50/1.7
11. F 50 1.4
12. F 50 1.7

Be free to go nuts on other lenses as well but i thought it would be interested of whish one you prefer even if most of these are good.
I excluded the 1.2 lenses cause not many has them.

03-15-2013, 11:26 AM   #2
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I like both A50's.
03-15-2013, 11:33 AM   #3
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You have to buy them all, sorry.

Strong-willed people might be able to look at external features, like focusing ability or price or appearance. Then pick one that you'd use every day and chuckle at the sops who can't decide.
03-15-2013, 11:38 AM   #4
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I am confident that you will get as many answers as there are lenses. None of those are 'bad' and picking a best one you have to choose your criteria. I have several of those and use the F 50mm 1.7 the most because it identifies itself to the camera and is AF. That doesn't mean I think it is the best, just the one I use the most. Second most used is the A 50mm f/2.8 Macro.

03-15-2013, 11:51 AM   #5
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Jatrax; i guess.

But you have good points regarding the F.
I prefer the Smc Takumar 1.4/50 of which i have tested.
Mostly because its fast in the shutter spead indoors and sharp.
03-15-2013, 11:57 AM   #6
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Tried/had them all... My favorite is the K 55/1.8, except that it's not AF, so I've replaced it with a FA 50/1.4. If the K 55/1.8 had AF, it would be... the DA 55mm
03-15-2013, 11:59 AM   #7
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Can't really go wrong with any of those, though some have more distinctive character than others. I think you should first thin the list by deciding if you need AF and A aperture setting, then look at what is currently available on the market.
03-15-2013, 12:20 PM   #8
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Quality/cost, I'd say that the Takumar 55/1.8 and M50/1.7 are undoubtedly best value in that set.

03-15-2013, 01:01 PM   #9
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Causey, i like the k55 1.8 too.
The ones i posess is the K55/1.8 and the SMC Takumar 1.4/50.
For me its more importent with good q images rather than shooting fast and easy.

Well i might try out the f 1.7 but im afraid i stop using the older lenses then :/
Kcobain92, really like your magical pictures in the lens reviews
03-15-2013, 01:05 PM   #10
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I have them all and I strongly recommend to buy them all as each of them has their own magical appeal. You can always resell them without any loss (even with small profit if you are patient enough) I'm sure
03-15-2013, 01:15 PM   #11
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I was afraid you were gonna say so...
If you buy them all. You probably keep them all cause their not bad.

I got rid of my mamiya 55 1.8 after long while, and probably hope to get rid of the yashinon (tominion made?)
M42 5cm f2. This one looks identical to the auto tak. :/
03-15-2013, 01:18 PM   #12
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Of the ones mentioned, I have the Tak 55/1.8
(also in its equally good, but cheaper f/2 version),
and the M50/1.4.

Used them on film for years,
and the M50/1.4 for a while on digital APS-C,
before switching to a Nokton 58/1.4.

I haven't done or seen any tests,
but I'd be curious as to whether the M50/1.4
is better at infinity than the K or A versions
because of the flatter cemented join in the optical construction.
03-15-2013, 01:47 PM   #13
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Been through them all with the exception of the F's. The K55 f/1.8 stands out for me as the best value, most underrated, best portrait lens of the set. I never got on with the 1.7s, sharp for sure and more than capable of creating an image but you always had the feeling that the 1.4s were just that little bit more special. Hated the M's because they were smaller and built to some accountants spec, same with the A's but they at least had the extra functionality. The Super Takumar's and K's are sublime to use from a tactile sense and you know that they will still be going strong long after the M's and A's have fallen apart. Image wise, the 1.4s are smoother bokeh wise but it has to be said that there was improvements to the coatings over the years. The K55 renders colours a bit differently from the 50's, darker, richer, deeper and while capable of buttery smooth bokeh, stopped down a bit and it will get nervous.

The 1.2s stomp all over the others bokeh wise, but can suffer from halo effects with high contrast subjects. And you will need good eyes to focus using the viewfinder. If I personally was going to redo the list taking into account everything I've said I would put it this way:
A50 f/1.2
K50 f/1.2

F50 f/1.4
K50 f/1.4
SMC Tak 50 f/1.4
K55 f/1.8 / SMC Tak 55 f/1.8
F50 f/1.7
A50 f/1.4
A50 f/1.7
Non SMC Tak 50 f/1.4
Non SMC Tak 55 f/1.8
Then the M's

Whatever you get enjoy

To put this into real terms, I have the A50 f/1.2 and it resides in my bag with the 31, 43 and 77. A good friend has expressed interest in picking up photography and the first 3 lens that she does not yet know she has are the K35 f/3.5, K55 f/1.8 and a FA50 f/1.7 that I found for very reasonable money and I basically could not turn down

Last edited by robbiec; 03-15-2013 at 02:17 PM.
03-15-2013, 02:07 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cloapex Quote
I excluded the 1.2 lenses cause not many has them
I do and think you could well be surprised by the number of other folk on the forum that have got 'em too.

If you can get your hands on one, you'll soon learn to love it, IMHO.

Last edited by Kerrowdown; 03-17-2013 at 07:06 AM.
03-15-2013, 02:30 PM   #15
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The good news is...with the lenses you are considering...there is no real wrong answer here unless you pay way too much for whatever lens you choose. I only have experience with the M50 f1.7. For me, it strikes a great balance between size, price, and performance.
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