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03-17-2016, 01:37 PM   #1
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First used lens purchase. A 50mm 1.7

Had to run errands in town today so thought I'd stop by a few pawn shops. No luck at the pawn shops but at a St. Vinnie's found an A series 50mm f/1.7. There was a P3n attached to it I have no use for but checked it out anyway. Everything looked like mint condition except for a bit of paint missing on the camera hinge. Opening the back I found the inside was immaculate.


Had a price of $45.00 but the gal at the counter said it was discounted to $34.00. Everything on the lens worked perfectly smooth and aperture blades looked new so I bought it hoping I got my money's worth. After I got home and read reviews of this lens I breathed a sigh of relief and looking forward to giving it a try on my K-50. So happy I went with Pentax to step into the digital age.

03-17-2016, 01:45 PM   #2
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General advice for the A50/1.7 is that the aperture ring can get a bit loose with repeated use, so the advice given is to put it on the A setting when on a DSLR and leave it there. Other than that, you have a damn good lens.
03-17-2016, 01:54 PM   #3
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Interesting, my copy of this lens came to me free from a forum mate because he felt he couldn't sell it due to the aperture ring being almost stuck in the A position. It works perfectly in 'A', but when I try to move it to a specific aperture setting it just jerks and jams. Does that sound like a similar problem?


I wonder why it affects the 50mm 1.7 specifically ...... Surely plenty of others from the same era have the exact same mechanisms?
03-17-2016, 02:09 PM   #4
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Loose was probably the wrong word; the problem you were describing is exactly it. Certainly the tolerances get out of whack.

I had the opportunity to buy one which already has this issue a few weeks back and I had to let it go - I have too many film bodies I would have wanted to use it on that do not have A contacts, and those that do default to full program mode when the aperture ring is put in that position - this is not how or why I shoot film, so the lens had to stay on the shelf. It was pointless to have on my DSLR because I have the DA50/1.8 which does pretty much the exact same thing for me and more besides.

OP, however, is in a very different situation, and has done well for themselves.

03-17-2016, 02:09 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
Interesting, my copy of this lens came to me free from a forum mate because he felt he couldn't sell it due to the aperture ring being almost stuck in the A position. It works perfectly in 'A', but when I try to move it to a specific aperture setting it just jerks and jams. Does that sound like a similar problem?


I wonder why it affects the 50mm 1.7 specifically ...... Surely plenty of others from the same era have the exact same mechanisms?
I am not an expert by any means so you will have to get a definite answer from someone else. That said I have dissected a broken A series lens once in hopes that I could fix it. Naturally it was still broken after I got done with it so no loss

That said on the inside of those lenses there is a metal tab that came lose. It is an easy fix but to get it all apart without losing small ball bearings or tiny springs and whatever else I would suggest sending it off.

In skilled hands they could probably have it back to normal in no time.
03-17-2016, 03:04 PM   #6
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Aperture ring feels perfect from closed down to fully open. Other direction feels a little jerky but not bad. Not nearly enough to think I wasted $34.00. Plan on using it in A position and change aperture in camera. Maybe walk it through its range now and then. Also has a Hoya UV filter on it. Both filter and glass spotless.
Just spent $10.00 on two bales of wheat straw for goat bedding. $34.00 for the lens? I'm happy.
03-17-2016, 03:42 PM   #7
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Good deal on a good lens even without the body.
03-17-2016, 03:43 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by DW58 Quote
Aperture ring feels perfect from closed down to fully open. Other direction feels a little jerky but not bad. Not nearly enough to think I wasted $34.00. Plan on using it in A position and change aperture in camera. Maybe walk it through its range now and then. Also has a Hoya UV filter on it. Both filter and glass spotless.
Just spent $10.00 on two bales of wheat straw for goat bedding. $34.00 for the lens? I'm happy.
Congratulations on a great deal and don't worry about the aperture ring, the problem that was mentioned does not happen to all of them, there are an awful lot of those lenses out there, and it was made from 1984-89, so it's been around awhile. At $34 you did very well, it's a very good lens.

03-17-2016, 03:50 PM   #9
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I think that exact lens was my first used lens purchase also. I got some beautiful pictures with it - some we still have framed in our living room. I've since moved to purchasing Takumar M42 lenses - I like the build quality better. A little more involved to use, but they've lasted 50-60 years, I'll bet they'll last another 50. Great purchase on that A50!

Last edited by dclauria; 03-17-2016 at 04:08 PM.
03-17-2016, 04:11 PM   #10
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Aperture ring problems is very common with this lens. See this thread on causes and DIY repair

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/114-maintenance-repair-articles/88051-pen...ng-repair.html

$34 alone for this lens is a good deal.

Last edited by Not a Number; 03-17-2016 at 04:19 PM.
03-17-2016, 04:19 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by dclauria Quote
I think that exact lens was my first used lens purchase also. I got some beautiful pictures with it - some we still have framed in our living room. I've since moved to purchasing Takumar M42 lenses - I like the build quality better. A little more involved to use, but they've lasted 50-60 years, I'll bet they'll last another 50. Great purchase on that A50!


Same store had a Super Takumar M42 That was beat to H***. A 135mm I think but didn't look at it much because of condition.


Of course the Devil's in the details. Won't know just what I've got until I use it.


Thanks for all of your replies.

---------- Post added 03-17-16 at 04:22 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
Aperture ring problems is very common with this lens. See this thread on causes and DIY repair

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/114-maintenance-repair-articles/88051-pen...ng-repair.html

$34 alone for this lens is a good deal.


Thanks for the link. Muchly appreciated.

03-17-2016, 04:54 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by DW58 Quote
Just spent $10.00 on two bales of wheat straw for goat bedding. $34.00 for the lens? I'm happy.
Funny you should say that because I have often thought when buying a trailer load of hay that I could get such-and-such a lens for this price! (This is what LBA does to you.)

You got a good deal. It's such a fun lens. Yes it's subject to flare and CA, but it's sharp and the rendering is lovely.

03-17-2016, 05:46 PM   #13
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Ha, yes. My favourite manual lens.
03-17-2016, 10:18 PM   #14
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Took time to take the lens out for a couple of hours this afternoon.




03-17-2016, 10:33 PM   #15
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same you, it was my first used lens purchase, and I am very happy with it ! good deal
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