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05-12-2014, 06:54 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Doreen
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Pentax DA SMC 50mm f/1.8 toughness!

Hi Everyone,

Recently I had a pretty significant yard sale and sold a couple of camera bodies, some DA* lenses and LTD primes as I'm cooling it on the photography front for a while as I'm engaging in some further study.

Not wanting to give up completely, I did keep my K-r, kit lenses and picked up the cheap DA SMC 50mm f/1.8 and DA SMC 35mm f/2.4 AL lenses to supplement the kit with a couple of plastic fantastic primes with great image quality.

Well, the image quality of the DA SMC 50mm f/1.8 and DA SMC 35mm f/2.4 AL certainly lives up to expectations, but I commonly read about people being concerned with their 'cheap' plastic construction.

I can say that sure, they're made of plastic, but it's good quality plastic and the fit and finish on both lenses is superb.

The point of my post though is to add a little testimony to their toughness (which is something people seem concerned about because of the plastic construction). I was covering a bass playing workshop of an international artist last week for a local music distributor with my little K-r and the DA SMC 50mm f/1.8 and DA SMC 35mm f/2.4 AL. Everything was going swimmingly, getting nice shots in low light and really enjoying it... that is until it happened!

I was at the back of the crowd (the workshop was in a large music store), and the floor was polished concrete. Smooth, but HARD! I had the 35mm mounted and was getting some shots from the back of the crowd of the whole scene, and I had placed the DA SMC 50mm f/1.8 on top of a stack of amplifier boxes. The lens was about 4 feet from the ground.

Sure enough, I turned around and bumped the lens with my arm from the top of the box and sent it crashing four feet down straight on to hard concrete!

Of course, my immediate thought was 'it's a gonner!'. It made a horrible noise when it landed, and the lens cap popped off and went scuttling across the floor. My only consolation was 'oh well... it's wrecked now, but at least it was a cheap lens'.

Guess what?

It survived! After getting over the embarrassment of dropping a lens on a concrete floor during a quiet passage of music and having everyone hear it (what a klutz! ), I quickly picked it up and jammed it in my pocket. Once I'd regained my composure I pulled it out again and had a really good look at it. I could not see a single mark ANYWHERE on it. No evidence whatsoever that it had fallen. How could this be possible with a plastic lens dropped four feet onto concrete? I was thankful that it didn't have any cosmetic evidence of the fall, but sceptical about its operation. I mounted it on the camera... mounted fine. Fired the camera up expecting to see an error... none! Tested autofocus... fine! Banged off some test shots... perfect!

The lens is operating perfectly and has no evidence whatsoever of the fall. At around $159 and $199 AUD respectively for the DA SMC 50mm f/1.8 and DA SMC 35mm f/2.4 AL these lenses are a no-brainer! Cheap, great optical performance, great build quality and tough too!

I'm converted.

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05-12-2014, 07:57 PM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2009
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Great story with a good ending - thanks for posting!

At some time (or for some of us times) in life we will all be a klutz in spectacular way. I did one early on after getting my k-x.... my camera pack at the time had two zips (side and top), I took camera out size (forgot to close) and put camera back in the top one... picked up my pack and headed out into the garage where upon my k-x + DAL 55-300 fell out of the side flap on to the concrete floor with a dreadful clatter! Both camera and lens survived the fall with little more than a tiny scuff (that has since faded) - could not believe it!). Despite its plastic mount I'm still using the DAL 55-300 today.
Another positive is I learned from the experience and take even more care (especially with packs) - I now feel Ok about it (until I manage to do something else stupid at least)

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35mm, 50mm, da, f/1.8, f/2.4, k-mount, lens, lenses, pentax lens, plastic, quality, slr lens, smc
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