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05-13-2013, 08:48 AM   #1
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SMC Pentax M 1:2 50MM. Whats it good for??

OK, well Ill start and say I'm not really skilled at picture taking. I'm working on it... and maybe one day... That being said, I have a old Pentax K1000 and it came with this "SMC Pentax M 1:2 50MM" lens. With my experance it really doesn't take much better then just normal point and shoot type camera pictures. Was this some lower end "fill the hole in the front of the camera" type of lens, or it it just my poor photo skills? What, if any is a good use for this lens? What is a better choice for a "do a lot" type lens? Thanks for helping me learn!!!

05-13-2013, 09:05 AM   #2
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The M50/2 was the kit lens for a long time for Pentax. It's not the best in the world but its not terrible either.

You can see reviews of it and other M lenses here (there are several M50 versions that are better optically):
Pentax M Prime Lenses - Reviews and Specifications - SLR and Interchangeable Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
05-13-2013, 09:12 AM   #3
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Is that the same as the F2 ???
05-13-2013, 09:14 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by s1120 Quote
Is that the same as the F2 ???
Yes. The lenses are usually identified by Focal Length in mm first and then by f-stop second. So 50/2 = 50mm lens with a maximum opening of f2. 50/1.4 means a 50mm with a maximum opening of f1.4.

05-13-2013, 09:17 AM   #5
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Yes it is an F2. It is not a bad lens, but there are others from that era that are preferred.

It is a fun lens to practice manual lens techniques and does great to start to get a feel for shallow depth of field shooting.

You can also get a reverse mount adapter and flip it around for extreme macro use.
05-13-2013, 09:19 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by s1120 Quote
With my experance it really doesn't take much better then just normal point and shoot type camera pictures.
If the question is whether it will make you a better photographer, the answer is no. No lens does. If the question is whether the lens will allow a good photographer to take exceptional pictures, the answer is yes. Most lenses do.
05-13-2013, 09:30 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by s1120 Quote
With my experance it really doesn't take much better then just normal point and shoot type camera pictures.
"point and shoot" type pictures are just that, a 'type' of picture. Has less to do with the lens or the camera than it does the lighting and composition. Give a skilled photographer a little P&S camera or a cell phone and they will still take great pictures.

The M 50mm f/2 is an OK lens, not great but certainly good enough (assuming there is nothing wrong with it). Post some examples of what you are not hapy with and maybe someone can point out how to improve.
05-13-2013, 09:39 AM   #8
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I've had similar questions about the A50/2 I own but haven't tested much. One question is whether you've been shooting mainly wide open, or if you've stopped down a bit. My understanding is that wide open this isn't a sharp lens, and that may be what you've been seeing in your shots, but stopped down it may still be useful.

05-13-2013, 10:00 AM   #9
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SMC Pentax M 1:2 50MM wide open at f/2 focussed on the ball using peaking in the K-01
The DOF at 2 metre (7 ft) is less than 200 mm ( 8 inch) so it is easy to confuse softness with lack of DOF.
The ball diameter is about the extent of dof in this shot. The flowers are out of the dof.
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05-13-2013, 10:07 AM   #10
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Could you post an image or two with details (?) ... and here's my K1000 + M50/2 that I bought off a French E-bay equivalent ... just like the one I had back in high school ... J

05-13-2013, 10:09 AM   #11
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Its not the best 50mm out there, but its not useless, either. Just get a good hood for it (there are some threads on this already, a hood can really improve the quality of older lenses) and you're golden.
Lets list what its good for:
- Great for learning how a camera actually works, especially the relationship between aperture and exposure, manual metering
- Its great to learn about DoF, zone focusing and hyperfocal focusing.
- You can use it with cheap extension tubes/bellows for macro shots, because it has an aperture ring (which modern DA lenses don't)

Its probably not worth to sell it, but you can get a lot of value from using it
05-13-2013, 11:28 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ikarus Quote
If the question is whether it will make you a better photographer, the answer is no. No lens does. If the question is whether the lens will allow a good photographer to take exceptional pictures, the answer is yes. Most lenses do.
LOL!! Oh I know that for sure!! I know its 99% me..maybe more.. I know someone that has a clue can get much more out of it!!!


Thanks for all the ideas guys. I will have to dig up some pictures, and maybe its just what I take pictures... I seem to do mostly closeups, or landscape type pictures, and asking a lens like this to do it all just isnt going to work. Im pretty low on my skill level, and getting back into it after many years away isnt helping.

Nice to know that its not great.... but useable.
05-13-2013, 11:29 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Its not the best 50mm out there, but its not useless, either. Just get a good hood for it (there are some threads on this already, a hood can really improve the quality of older lenses) and you're golden.
Lets list what its good for:
- Great for learning how a camera actually works, especially the relationship between aperture and exposure, manual metering
- Its great to learn about DoF, zone focusing and hyperfocal focusing.
- You can use it with cheap extension tubes/bellows for macro shots, because it has an aperture ring (which modern DA lenses don't)

Its probably not worth to sell it, but you can get a lot of value from using it

Ive never used a hood before, so Ill look into it. I did get one with the old SP1000 I just got... are they useable on more then one size lens??
05-13-2013, 11:31 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by s1120 Quote
Ive never used a hood before, so Ill look into it. I did get one with the old SP1000 I just got... are they useable on more then one size lens??
Check that the filter size is the same so it can be screwed onto the front of your 50.

Usually the length of the hood will determine its usability, if it is too deep it may cause vignetting or darkening of the corners of your picture.

The optimum hood is as long as possible without causing vignetting.
05-13-2013, 11:32 AM   #15
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They make a very nice body cap for your film camera's that sit on the shelf.
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