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03-16-2014, 07:56 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kozlok Quote
When I absolutely, positively need the bokeh to be as creamy as possible, I grab my Takumar 50/1.4 (8 element).
You are right - I forgot to mention the Super Tak 50 f1.4 (8 element if you can find one but non 8 is still very good) which I have a non 8 element version.
Example: Wedding BBQ Flowers | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
It certainly does have pretty smooth bokeh but contrast wide open in brighter light can be a problem (a big hood helps).

While I'm at it found an example of SMC Tak 55 f1.8: Skully not in the closet | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Still think the Samyang 85 is great value for what it delivers (and convenience) - depends on you budget.

03-16-2014, 08:20 PM   #17
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As a broader point of reference, which I think even a best-bang-for-the-buck search needs to include: How, in summary, do the other Pentax and Takumar 50-55mm/f.1.4's rank with respect to this bokeh question, not neglecting a good balance of optical characteristics? Personally, I'd be looking for something to complement an SMC-A•or•F 50mm/f.1.7.

Also, in perhaps similar territory to the 8-element Takumar, can anyone suggest how the Auto-Topcor 58mm/f.1.4 might fit into this picture? Thanks!
03-16-2014, 08:28 PM   #18
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Tair-11a 135mm f2.8 - 20 aperture blades! crazy times

Jupiter-9 85mm f2, also lots of blades, but not 20 lots, quite "dreamy", little soft wide open, but in a good way IMO
03-16-2014, 08:39 PM - 1 Like   #19
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if you can find one at a decent price, get an "auto revuenon mc 1:1.4 f=50mm". it gives results very similar to the pentax equivalent, but quite a bit sharper and with almost none of the smearing and ca in the corners. it's kind of a one trick pony though because if you stop it down past around f/8 with a dslr you get a noticeable green spot in the center of the image.

03-16-2014, 11:02 PM   #20
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Cheap + Bokeh = Helios 44 variants

QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Keep in mind that an m42 lens might be cheap, but you need an adapter, and the adapter can cost as much as the lens!
Nothing about $5 and eBay can't solve.
03-17-2014, 02:39 AM   #21
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So, is the M 50/1.4 different from A 50/1.4 in this regard, or is the M just regarded as cheap while A is not?
03-17-2014, 08:40 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by bengibollen Quote
So, is the M 50/1.4 different from A 50/1.4 in this regard, or is the M just regarded as cheap while A is not?
The A works more smoothly with DSLRs and thus costs a bit more. I think all the 50/1.4 lenses are very similar in design. The F 50/1.4 is my favorite. But for cheap, the M rules.
03-17-2014, 08:54 AM   #23
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I'd love to try an Helios lens at some point. Do they come in K mount or just M42?

I'm going to throw in an odd recommendation... the Pentax-A 70-210mm f4 zoom, which is very strong and sharp with good colors and contrast in the 70-100ish range (and you were looking at 85s so this qualifies). I've read in one review someone saying that this lens has "the best bokeh of any Pentax zoom". I have no idea if that is accurate but I do think it's got a very good bokeh - always smooth, never harsh or distracting. It doesn't render as nice as the Helios pictures in this thread, but it's not a paperweight either.

Other than that, cheap options are the Ricoh Rikenon XRs and their off-brand offerings. I find them very comparable in optical quality to the Pentax lenses of the time (K and M). They have a different look but it's a good look.

The Rikenon XR 50 1.4 is the dreamier one on the wider apertures. You have to get to around f4 to have it tack sharp corner to corner. This is wide open at 1.4 - I wouldn't describe the bokeh of this lens as being smooth, though this is one of the smoothest pics I've taken with it - but it's one of the cheapest 50 1.4 lenses you can find... so worth a try. Especially when you can find them in the 40-50 dollar range.

To me, the Ricoh 50 1.7, to me, has smoother bokeh and is much better wide open. Not as sharp as some would like but not horrible either. With some PP sharpening it can become quite nice. I have the Auto Sears MC which is just a rebadged Rikenon XR. These are wide open at 1.7. Not bad for a 20-30 dollar lens.

And you can never go wrong with the Pentax 50 1.7s. This was the A 50 1.7, which I don't have anymore (kept the M 50 1.7).

I've recently picked up a K 55mm f/1.8, but I've mostly shot portraits of my kids with it so far. I should do a bokeh shot and post it. Not the smoothest bokeh, I can tell already, but not too bad either. Of the few lenses I've owned (less than 20) my favorite for bokeh is, oddly enough, the A 70-210 zoom...

03-17-2014, 09:23 AM   #24
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Glowing Endorsement?

Hello Vejas, welcome to the Forum!
In addition to the Helios 44, various Taks and M's mentioned, here's a $50-$100 Bokeh-promoter suggestion that hasn't come up yet;
The Sears 135mm f/2.8 w/macro zone. Also known as 'The Glow'. Sears 135mm F/2.8 With Macro Zone Lens Reviews - Miscellaneous Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database
It's not a great normal telephoto, pretty average, in fact. But check out some of the photos linked on the review! That dreamy, soft aura around highlights and the glowing edges...well, it's a bit special. Of course, like many good things in life, it can be overdone.
Just another idea for you!

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