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08-12-2016, 04:38 AM   #1
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Prime lenses for film

Hello everyone,

I was wondering what are some good prime lenses that I could get for my Pentax film cameras? I just picked up the 50mm f/2 on eBay for a good price and it looks like it's brand new! However, I think I should have looked into it a bit more because I see there is also a 1.7 and 1.4 out there and those are probably better. I just want some sharp primes where I can also get some real shallow dof. Any suggestions are much appreciated. Thanks!

08-12-2016, 04:43 AM   #2
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The 50mm f2 is not a great lens, unfortunately. Did you get the A version (has an A setting on the aperture dial) or the older M version? Pentax lenses are referred to as the K series (the original K mount lenses), the M series, or the A series which have the auto aperture setting.

The M50/ 1.7 is a stellar lens; and any of the 1.4 lenses are similarly excellent. You can look over the lens review section of this forum to learn more.
08-12-2016, 04:54 AM   #3
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I'm particularly fond of my K 55mm f2... and this month in the Single In Challenge, I'm using a Tamron Adaptall-2 02B (28mm) that I am quickly warming up to...
08-12-2016, 06:53 AM   #4
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I've never owned a Pentax 50/2; some agree with gabriel_bc that it is inferior to the other Pentax fast 50s; others say it is unjustly maligned simply because it's cheap and slower. It's a simpler optical formula than the others, but that doesn't necessarily make it inferior. The M50/1.7 certainly gives bang for the buck: great sharpness across the frame, tiny, cheap, fast. I'd say try a few rolls with the 50/2 and see what you think, because 50/2 wide open on full frame is already a quite shallow DOF at close to moderate focus distance.

08-12-2016, 06:53 AM - 2 Likes   #5
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Another vote for K 55mm f2 - flare resistant, great colour, super sharpness... but hard to find as it was only available in a kit with the K1000 in 1976 IIRC. The next flavor of that particular lens is the K 55mm f1.8 - highly regarded around here.

Fact is in most cases you will find that and Pentax branded glass will suit you fine for shooting film. Enjoy yourself and don't sweat "sharpness" - the resolving power of 35mm film will never match that of a K3, so don't get your underoos in a twist

08-12-2016, 06:56 AM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattt Quote
Another vote for K 55mm f2 - flare resistant, great colour, super sharpness... but hard to find as it was only available in a kit with the K1000 in 1976 IIRC. The next flavor of that particular lens is the K 55mm f1.8 - highly regarded around here.
The K 55/2 and K 55/1.8 have the same optical formula, so either is a good choice.
08-12-2016, 07:01 AM   #7
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I would always recommend the M or A 50mm f1.7 as a great prime lens - that said, I have had the f1.7 and f2 versions of both the M and A series, used them extensively on film and digital, and all four are excellent lenses. I highly doubt you will be dissatisfied.

Looking outside of the standard 50, the M28/3.5 is a very nice Pentax wide angle, and the M135/3.5 is extraordinarily good for the ridiculously cheap prices it commands. Add those two to your 50 and you'll have the classic three lens kit.
08-12-2016, 08:36 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by dale_feenstra Quote
Hello everyone,

I was wondering what are some good prime lenses that I could get for my Pentax film cameras? I just picked up the 50mm f/2 on eBay for a good price and it looks like it's brand new! However, I think I should have looked into it a bit more because I see there is also a 1.7 and 1.4 out there and those are probably better. I just want some sharp primes where I can also get some real shallow dof. Any suggestions are much appreciated. Thanks!
Any K Series lens is a good option, as they are well built and well balanced in size. The A50/1.7 and A50/2 suffer from a plastic aperture ring assembly, so are prone to getting stuck. Unless you will be using a newer film body and can take advantage of the A setting on the aperture ring, I would avoid these two A series 50mm lenses.

If you want a lens with shallow DOF, then the K50/1.2 is your best choice!

Phil.

08-12-2016, 09:08 AM - 1 Like   #9
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I assume you are referring to a film camera that does not have autofocus. Also assuming you don't want to use the m42 adapter and m42/screwmount lenses.


All the below lenses are great value for money ....

Pentax smc 55mm 1.8 ---- for a fast 50mm with great rendering.

Pentax-m 50mm f4 macro --- for a macro lens that's sharp and light.

Pentax 28mm 3.5 -- a wide angle lens that's sharp fully open.

Tokina 90mm 2.5/ vivitar series 1 90m 2.5 --- great portrait lens also works as a macro (1:1 with the adapter)

Vivitar 100mm 2.8 macro/Vivitar series 1 105mm 2.5 macro -- 1:1 macro without adapter, legendary for its sharpness

Pentax 135mm 2.5 (not the takumar bayonet)/pentax-m 135mm 3.5 -- the first one for its low light ability, the m series for its compactness.

The list can go on. What's amazing about these lenses is, all of these will work great on any Pentax DSLR including the K1.

Happy shooting.
08-12-2016, 02:42 PM   #10
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Thanks for the advice! I got the M version. I shot with it today, but I need to get the film back so I can see how my shots turned out.
08-12-2016, 02:45 PM   #11
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Thank you all very much for the suggestions! I greatly appreciate it!
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