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02-08-2014, 02:40 AM - 3 Likes   #1
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M 50/1.7 and A 50/1.7 hybrid comparisons

The M 50/1.7 and A 50/1.7 are among the most loved Pentax lenses for their performance and value for money. Users also admire the build quality of the M series lens and the useful "A" setting of the A-series.

So I thought I'd produce the perfect hybrid...



This task took longer than I'd anticipated because the two lenses, both in great condition, produced noticeably different results using exactly the same settings. The M-series lens was slightly sharper in the middle (but only if you pixel peep on the computer). The big difference was that the A-series rendered more accurate colours. Differences in the two unprocessed images at ISO400, f11, 0.4" can been seen below.



Overall, I prefer the A-series 50/1.7 for its colours and ease of use...and perhaps I'm lucky as my copy does not have the wear and tear problems with the aperture ring some have experienced. Both are great lenses but the A is the one I'd recommend first.

02-08-2014, 03:55 AM   #2
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What was the shutter speed selected for these images?
02-08-2014, 08:59 AM   #3
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I agree, the colors from the A are more lively.
02-08-2014, 01:03 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by tromboads Quote
What was the shutter speed selected for these images?

Hi, the speed was 0.4 of a second. I used a hand held light meter, not the camera's meter to get the setting.

02-08-2014, 03:31 PM   #5
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it was 0.4 a second for both? You took that photo next to a window didn't you :P
02-09-2014, 01:25 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by tromboads Quote
it was 0.4 a second for both? You took that photo next to a window didn't you :P


Yes 0.4 a second for both. I took the photo at night on the kitchen floor. Our kitchen ceiling (about 8ft tall) has loads of bright down lights. It makes for rather nice starbursts! But the bright artificial light also accentuates differences in lenses in my experience.
02-09-2014, 11:06 AM   #7
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On my monitor I find I prefer the image from the M series lens.

Tom G
02-09-2014, 12:48 PM   #8
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On my monitor I find I prefer the image from the M series lens. Tom G
Interesting. The M series image is a less lively, more subtle image, so it does have a lot of merits. Especially if one prefers less saturated images.

But...under the lights the A series more accurately recorded the quite lively yellows of the magazine...to use Kozlok's word....and our kitchen floor is definitely a light beige, not a light brown. I know this because I spent hours with Mrs Utak trying to find her the right light beige tile for the kitchen!!

At the end of the day its a matter of personal taste, and I hope these images/comments are helpful for anyone wondering whether to go M or A series with a 50/1.7

02-09-2014, 01:41 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by utak Quote
Interesting. The M series image is a less lively, more subtle image, so it does have a lot of merits. Especially if one prefers less saturated images.

But...under the lights the A series more accurately recorded the quite lively yellows of the magazine...to use Kozlok's word....and our kitchen floor is definitely a light beige, not a light brown. I know this because I spent hours with Mrs Utak trying to find her the right light beige tile for the kitchen!!

At the end of the day its a matter of personal taste, and I hope these images/comments are helpful for anyone wondering whether to go M or A series with a 50/1.7
Sort of a moot point with me utak. I've got 9 M series lenses from my film days. Not likely to replace them with A series counterparts at this point.

I've only got one A series lens - the A 100/2.8 macro and it is a gem.

Tom G

Last edited by 8540tomg; 02-09-2014 at 01:42 PM. Reason: typo
02-09-2014, 03:50 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by utak Quote
Yes 0.4 a second for both. I took the photo at night on the kitchen floor. Our kitchen ceiling (about 8ft tall) has loads of bright down lights. It makes for rather nice starbursts! But the bright artificial light also accentuates differences in lenses in my experience.
Ahh that explains the texture And ah fair enough.

I might do something similar with mine to see if we can get some more science up in here :P
02-10-2014, 04:19 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by tromboads Quote
I might do something similar with mine to see if we can get some more science up in here :P
That would be good. I was only trying to produce a hybrid photo to amuse the Single In January group (and one or two thought it was a real lens for a moment ). But I was surprised to see the differences with the same settings, so any other/more scientific evidence would be helpful.
02-10-2014, 05:56 AM - 1 Like   #12
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Hmm well my science doesn't leave me with too much difference. Having said that, no flash, natural light. iso100 f4, s=0.7s

Link to the A Click
Link to the M Click

Link to them above each other Click

On my monitor, the A actually comes across slightly darker contrary to what you found. The histogram backs me up on that one too. But when I see them side by side. Well I can't distinguish the difference.

I think there is more local variation going on here then any telling theme of one lens over the other.
02-10-2014, 10:50 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by tromboads Quote
Hmm well my science doesn't leave me with too much difference. Having said that, no flash, natural light. iso100 f4, s=0.7s


Good stuff. Thanks. I agree, no real difference in your images in terms of lightness.....even more reason to let go of my copy of the M!
05-31-2016, 10:17 AM   #14
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Definitely M.... (I don't have A....)
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