Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
12-25-2013, 09:47 PM   #1
Pentaxian
jeffshaddix's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 1,371
Need suggestions in 50-58mm with restriction...(warning LBA obvious)

Hey guys,

I'm looking for a f/2 or faster 50-58mm manual focus prime that's not too overcorrected for spherical abberations (e.g. minimal-to-no bright highlight ring around CoC) and focuses in the "Pentax/Nikon" direction (clockwise turning pushes focus out). M42/K/KA mount are fine, as well as any other mount that can fairly easily be fitted to a Pentax body (C/Y for instance).

At first I thought I would have a plethora of options, but the focus direction restriction really limits the choices. For instance the Voigtlander Color-Ultron 50/1.8, Tomioka 55/1.4, Cosina 55/1.2, or Helios 77-4 could have worked.

So far I have tried:
Voigtlander Nokton 58/1.4
CZJ Pancolar 50/1.8 (nice lens, focuses the other way)
Helios 44-3 58/2 (ditto)
Volna-1 50/1.8
Pentax-M 50/2
Pentax-A 50/1.7

The Volna-1 is close to what I'm looking for, and may end up the winner, but I need to have it repaired before I can say for sure (won't focus past 3m, sticky aperture blades, some haze). The Nokton was what I used to own before it was stolen - a really good lens, but the highlight bokeh fringing was distracting enough to become an annoyance. The Pentax lenses had too harsh of bokeh. The 50/1.4 and 1.2 may work, but the highlight CoC's have the same rings as the Nokton.

I'm currently considering the SMC 55/1.8 "K", Fujinon 55/1.8, Takumar 58/2 (Sonnar), and Meyer-Optik Gorlitz Primoplan 58/1.9. Any thoughts on these?

Has anyone found a Tomioka 55 clone that's not Canon-style focus direction? The Nikon mount versions are correct...

I know this sounds incredibly picky, but finding specific lenses is part of the fun of LBA.


Last edited by jeffshaddix; 12-25-2013 at 09:56 PM.
12-25-2013, 11:16 PM   #2
Site Supporter
Arrvon's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Photos: Albums
Posts: 191
I have the SMC 55 1.8 in M42 mount and love it, but I have to admit only owning the fa50/1.4 and m50/2 for comparisons sake.

If you haven't seen this excellent review of a total of 16 lenses in the 50-58mm range, check it out! It does a great job comparing bokeh by using the same shots taken with two different lenses.

the Normal Lens Shootout Photo Gallery by Sean Carpenter at pbase.com
12-26-2013, 12:08 PM   #3
Pentaxian
jeffshaddix's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 1,371
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Arrvon Quote
I have the SMC 55 1.8 in M42 mount and love it, but I have to admit only owning the fa50/1.4 and m50/2 for comparisons sake.

If you haven't seen this excellent review of total of 16 lenses in the 50-58mm range, check it out! It does a great job comparing bokeh by using the same shots taken with two different lenses.

the Normal Lens Shootout Photo Gallery by Sean Carpenter at pbase.com
Thanks Arrvon, and agree that it's a fantastic job well done. I've seen that comparison before, but I took a closer look at each entry. The Pentax-A 50/1.2 was better than I remembered, but still had the highlight rings (though small). I'd say it's an option, albeit expensive.

One lens that seems to do bokeh well is the Zenitar 50/1.7, now if they could just flip the focusing direction. :P
12-26-2013, 12:49 PM   #4
Site Supporter
Eric Auer's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2012
Photos: Albums
Posts: 861
I really like my SMC Pentax-F 50mm F1.7
Good examples can be bought in the $100 range if you take your time and look around.




12-26-2013, 02:24 PM   #5
Pentaxian
Kozlok's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Albuquerque
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,787
If it's any help, I regularly switch between left and right focusing lenses. It's not hard to get used to.

As for smooth bokeh, the Original 8 element Super Takumar 50/1.4 seems incredibly smooth.

Wide open



And stopped down a bit




Here's one with more well defined bokeh balls at around f2.8




I love my Super Tak 55/f2 also. This is literally the first shot I took with it:


Last edited by Kozlok; 12-26-2013 at 02:47 PM.
12-26-2013, 02:49 PM   #6
Senior Member
jwc77's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Rolla, MO
Posts: 265
I love my SMC Tak 50 1.4...but I also really like my M 50 f4 macro and my Vivitar 55mm f2.8 macro. I sold my F 50 1.7 but also really liked it too!
12-27-2013, 12:25 PM   #7
Pentaxian
jeffshaddix's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 1,371
Original Poster
Thanks for the suggestions guys, the 50/1.7's are great for sharpness; I used to own an A50/1.7, but it also showed strong CoC highlights. See this thread for a couple examples halfway down: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/108565-diff...-50mm-smc.html . That's the bokeh I'd like to avoid, if not wide open, then at least by f/2.

@Kozlok The Tak 50/1.4 looks good wide open in your sample, but that may have just been from the close focus distance - nervous bokeh tends to be the biggest issue around medium distance (like portrait length with a background another 4-8 meters away). Your Tak 55/2 looks really good, do you remember the aperture on that one? The bokeh balls look a bit hexagonal, which makes me think it's ~f/3.2. I'll have to look more into it. Another Tak I'm considering is the 58/2 Sonnar, but that's a hard one to find. As for focus direction - I know it's doable, it can just be frustrating chasing kids with focus direction flip-flopping between lenses, I inevitably miss a few shots turning the wrong way as they run toward/away from me.
12-29-2013, 03:29 PM - 1 Like   #8
Pentaxian
Kozlok's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Albuquerque
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,787
QuoteOriginally posted by jeffshaddix Quote
Thanks for the suggestions guys, the 50/1.7's are great for sharpness; I used to own an A50/1.7, but it also showed strong CoC highlights. See this thread for a couple examples halfway down: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/108565-diff...-50mm-smc.html . That's the bokeh I'd like to avoid, if not wide open, then at least by f/2.

@Kozlok The Tak 50/1.4 looks good wide open in your sample, but that may have just been from the close focus distance - nervous bokeh tends to be the biggest issue around medium distance (like portrait length with a background another 4-8 meters away). Your Tak 55/2 looks really good, do you remember the aperture on that one? The bokeh balls look a bit hexagonal, which makes me think it's ~f/3.2. I'll have to look more into it. Another Tak I'm considering is the 58/2 Sonnar, but that's a hard one to find. As for focus direction - I know it's doable, it can just be frustrating chasing kids with focus direction flip-flopping between lenses, I inevitably miss a few shots turning the wrong way as they run toward/away from me.
I shot some samples for bokeh. Note all shots have WB set to daylight, and are straight OOC except for exposure bumps to fix poor metering. Full size samples on Flickr. This isn't my usual Flickr account, but just one I keep around for tests and stuff.

I set focus on the Super Tak 50/1.4 8-Element at 1m and 2m and shot towards my tree. The tree is about 8m away, and the distant trees are about 30m away. 1 to 2m is a good portrait distance, so thought it would give you what you wanted. I shot at f1.4, 2 and 2.8:

Focused at 1m:










and focused at 2m










Next I moved so that the tree was more or less in focus with the focus ring set exactly at 2m, so now the background trees are closer to 20m away. Note that the tree may be slightly OOF since I was trying more for keeping the focus set right at 2m instead of perfectly focusing.













And I shot the Helios as well at f2, 2.8 and f4, but with the focus at 1.7m to give the same FOV as the Tak 50. Interesting how much bluer the Helios is:










12-29-2013, 06:02 PM - 1 Like   #9
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Durham, nc
Photos: Albums
Posts: 896
Vivitar MC 50mm f1.7 focuses as you wish, and they're dirt cheap on eBay. M lens, no A setting, with a 52mm filter. The Pentax-M 50mm f2 is sharper and all around better, but the Vivitar is close and a little faster -- and usually cheaper. (They're rarer though, so you might have to wait and watch. I picked up mine for $20)

That being said, I love my F50 1.7. It's easily my favorite lens. Absolutely beautiful colors, very sharp even wide open, and has buckets of personality.

Charles.
12-30-2013, 02:45 AM   #10
Pentaxian
jeffshaddix's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 1,371
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Kozlok Quote
I shot some samples for bokeh. Note all shots have WB set to daylight, and are straight OOC except for exposure bumps to fix poor metering. Full size samples on Flickr. This isn't my usual Flickr account, but just one I keep around for tests and stuff.

I set focus on the Super Tak 50/1.4 8-Element at 1m and 2m and shot towards my tree. The tree is about 8m away, and the distant trees are about 30m away. 1 to 2m is a good portrait distance, so thought it would give you what you wanted. I shot at f1.4, 2 and 2.8:

Next I moved so that the tree was more or less in focus with the focus ring set exactly at 2m, so now the background trees are closer to 20m away. Note that the tree may be slightly OOF since I was trying more for keeping the focus set right at 2m instead of perfectly focusing.

And I shot the Helios as well at f2, 2.8 and f4, but with the focus at 1.7m to give the same FOV as the Tak 50. Interesting how much bluer the Helios is:
Kozlok, thank you so much for taking the time to shoot, process, and upload these photos - they are exactly the right kind of examples I was looking for!

The Super-Tak 50/1.4 does indeed look nice - especially the colors. The most telling set for me are the 2m shots: notice the bottom right section of the image under f/1.4 and f/2. At f/1.4. The highlight rings at f/1.4 create the distracting sharp edges, but at f/2 the background is close to butter. The other nice thing about the f/2 shots is the CoC shapes - rounded hexagons with no jagged edges. This is much better than the straight 6-bladed aperture lenses that end up with little tidal waves on the vertices of the hexagon. I was also surprised by the mild cat's eye bokeh swirl effect - I didn't know this lens produced it, looks good to me.

Your Helios renders similar to my 44-3, nice to see the direct comparison. At f/2, the Super-Tak easily trumps it for smooth bokeh. Still the extra swirl can be fun for effect!

Again, thanks for taking the time to demo this! You're convincing me to look for an old 50/1.4.

QuoteOriginally posted by ChopperCharles Quote
Vivitar MC 50mm f1.7 focuses as you wish, and they're dirt cheap on eBay. M lens, no A setting, with a 52mm filter. The Pentax-M 50mm f2 is sharper and all around better, but the Vivitar is close and a little faster -- and usually cheaper. (They're rarer though, so you might have to wait and watch. I picked up mine for $20)

That being said, I love my F50 1.7. It's easily my favorite lens. Absolutely beautiful colors, very sharp even wide open, and has buckets of personality.

Charles.
I'll look into the Vivitar, thanks!

Another one I'm considering now is the old auto-takumar 55/2 (semi-automatic) - the samples look quite good with regards to the bokeh highlights.
12-30-2013, 04:57 AM   #11
Senior Member
fb_penpho's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: London
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 190
Cosina f1.4 50mm

This variety of 50mm does occasionally become available. Not a brilliant photo but does show it wide open.

Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
bokeh, direction, focus, highlight, k-mount, lba, lens, lenses, nokton, pentax lens, slr lens, suggestions in 50-58mm
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
For Sale - Sold: 15, 31, 35, 43, 50, 55, 50-135, 70,100 16-50 serious LBA Riebs Sold Items 8 10-15-2012 09:41 PM
50-50-58mm lens with character HoBykoYan Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 9 07-28-2012 03:38 PM
Do I need the FA 50? *LBA prevention thread* Andi Lo Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 16 02-04-2009 11:39 PM
LBA is setting in, need help!!!! joelovotti Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 8 12-12-2008 05:52 PM
LBA: first hour with the 50-200mm hamidlmt Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12 09-24-2007 09:45 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:10 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top