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05-15-2013, 01:47 PM   #1
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Zeiss Pancolar 50 1.8 or Pentax-M 50 1.7?

Which is best?

05-15-2013, 02:53 PM   #2
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Why worry about which is best? Each has its own characteristics and value.
05-15-2013, 04:29 PM   #3
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Get the Zeiss so you can brag that you have a Zeiss. Get the Pentax if you want to try the legend.
The Pentax M 50mm f1.7 is a very beloved lens on these forums, some say you aren't a Pentaxian until you get one. But with 50mm lenses you can't really go wrong, even though they can be very different from each other.
edit: oh, and in full disclosure, I don't have a Zeiss, but I do have the M 50mm f1.7.
05-15-2013, 05:07 PM   #4
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First - which pancolar?(single coated/MC) Because they are different.
Second - All Pancolars are different from M 50 1.7, for me it is all about character and the task you are going to use it.

05-15-2013, 08:14 PM   #5
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You will have to look at image samples and see which one you like the best. They are both very good, so impossible for anyone to say "best" with any authority here. It really is like asking if cherry or grape candy is best. Only you can say.
05-15-2013, 09:56 PM   #6
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What they said + there is the matter of M42 vs. K-mount.

If you can only have one or the other, the M 50/1.7 is probably the better value. If you can have both, get both.

05-15-2013, 10:38 PM   #7
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Had them both...
i would say zeiss is twice (or more) the price of the M. Agree with Na Horuk... get the zeiss just because its a zeiss.
Noticed that on my M copy i get more light (brighter) compared to zeiss...
zeiss has a smoother bokeh..., if im not mistaken closer focusing dist as well... sharp when combined with tubes...
like them both but moved on to s-m-c tak 50 1.4...
05-17-2013, 10:35 AM   #8
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Build quality - The pentax M 50 1.7 is much better build than the east german pancolar!

Optical performance wide open - Both perform nicely, but the Pancolar is more soft in corners and the pentax gets sharp in corners faster.
Optical performance closed down - Here the Pancolar wins for me, the Pentax is sharp as the Zeiss until F8.0, after that the Pancolar stays sharp and the pentax gets soft. Pancolar is sharp enough even at F16.

Flare resistance - Pentax is much better here - the SMC coating is very strong in this lens and it is dificult to get flare from it. The Zeiss is MC or Zebra version(single coated) both are wih coating only on front and rear element and it is not the strongest one.

Bokeh - The Pancolar has unique swirly bokeh(MC version) like biotars and their copy version from the russians. The Pentax is more normal here but nice on night scenes. The aperture is 6 bladed for both but the shape of the blades is better on the Zeiss.

About macro - Pancolar has better rendering and the performance closed down gets points here.

PS about sharpness and bokeh - you can search for the KMZ Zenitar 50 1.7 too - it is sharper than M 50 1.7, CZJ Pancolar 50 1.8 MC, SMC Takumar 50 1.4 with smoother bokeh. It is my sharpest 50mm if I don't count the Micro Nikkor which is crazy sharp!

Last edited by simbon4o; 05-17-2013 at 10:43 AM.

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