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04-19-2017, 06:27 AM   #1
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Main differences SMC Pentax M 50mm F1.7 and SMC Tak 55mm F1.8

Currently I've got the SMC Pentax M 50mm F1.7 and I've been offered a Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 55mm F1.8 for $35. Would there be any major differences other than focal length? Is it worth it to buy this lens also?

Edit: Forgot to mention that I adapt to the Sony a6000


Last edited by AsTeTiX; 04-19-2017 at 03:01 PM.
04-19-2017, 08:01 AM   #2
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both of them are great lenses. you will need an adapter for the takumar.
04-19-2017, 08:14 AM   #3
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The Takumar is one of the finest lenses you can get for $35. If it's clean and in good condition then it's way better than the 50mm f/1.7.
04-19-2017, 09:12 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by HarisF1 Quote
The Takumar is one of the finest lenses you can get for $35. If it's clean and in good condition then it's way better than the 50mm f/1.7.
I wouldn't say it's "way better", but it's a fine lens, worth having for sure. I love the handling and smooth focusing of the Tak, but mine renders colors just a bit cooler than the 50/1.7. I have the SMC version, by the way - YMMV.

04-19-2017, 11:27 AM   #5
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If it's a nice looking copy go for it. If it's battered wait for the next one.

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04-19-2017, 12:28 PM   #6
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Main differences? The Takumar is screwmount - you will need an adapter.

This also means:
Full manual stop-down metering. You have to open the aperture to focus and compose and stop-down to meter and take your exposure. Use the A/M switch on the lens or turn the aperture. Advantage is you can use apertures other than wide open in Av mode.

The M lens will only stop down in M, B or X mode but you have to use the Green button or Optical DOF (flagship models) to meter. Av mode will work only wide open.

Possibly better coatings on the M, thus perhaps better flare control and contrast.
04-19-2017, 12:42 PM - 1 Like   #7
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Yeah the SMC coatings are better on the M50/1.7, as it was applied to all glass surfaces.

As well the M50/1.7 has a better minimum aperture of F/22 compared to F/16 for the Takumar.

Phil.
04-19-2017, 03:03 PM   #8
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Just a quick realisation, I didn't specify that I use a Sony a6000 as the body.

Thank you for all your advice as for now.

04-19-2017, 07:29 PM   #9
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This is a bump
04-19-2017, 08:31 PM   #10
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It's $35. If it is in good condition, you might actually make money if you sell the thing, and you can get first hand experience with it. If you like it more than the M 50 1.7, you can sell that lens instead. Or keep both.

They seem like an awesome lens from that era. I'd buy and figure it out for myself. Good luck!
04-20-2017, 12:02 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by AsTeTiX Quote
Just a quick realisation, I didn't specify that I use a Sony a6000 as the body.
I have the later K-mount SMC version of the 55mm 1.8 with an adapter for my Samsung NX30. The Sony cameras have a good focus peaking mechanism, so your setup should work much the same as mine. Both the 50mm and 55mm have nice, smooth focusing action. Handling-wise either lens are about as good as it gets when it comes to manual focus.

Although I never owned both at the same time and thus never compared the two directly, I did have a 50mm 1.7 which I liked very much. My impression of the M 50mm 1.7 is that it had a more contemporary rendering of scenes compared to the 55mm 1.8. The longer lens at maximum aperture has a different bokeh characteristic. It's not the extreme swirl some people go crazy for with the Russian Helios 44 58mm lenses, but it's got a certain something that's hard to quantify. It's got... personality.

My M 50mm 1.7 had good sharpness shot wide open, but the 55mm 1.8 was also sharp with better micro contrast.

$35 for the 55mm 1.8 is a pretty good price, especially if you already have a M42 adapter for your Sony. I paid about double that for the K-mount version, which is still not bad considering the convenience of being able to also use the lens on my K-3 II. I think either lens would serve you well, it's just a matter of committing to using the darn things and enjoying photography!
04-20-2017, 12:37 AM   #12
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Between the two for the o/p, I prefer the Tak 55/1.8
Better bokeh and less of a hexagonal OOF highlights stopped down.
The 50/1.7 is a bit sharper wide open.
Both are very sharp at f5.6, f8 (as are most 50mm)

Use wise, the M50/1.7 is better on a Pentax (with the aperture lever )
If its MILC you are using, then I prefer the Takumar, since the EVF/LCD gains up accordingly and the metering is taken direct from the stopped down lens.
04-20-2017, 01:08 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by HarisF1 Quote
The Takumar is one of the finest lenses you can get for $35. If it's clean and in good condition then it's way better than the 50mm f/1.7.
They perform very, very similarly and neither is way better than the other. I use my M 50/1.7 more but that's because it's generally more convenient on my K3.

QuoteOriginally posted by pinholecam Quote
If its MILC you are using, then I prefer the Takumar, since the EVF/LCD gains up accordingly and the metering is taken direct from the stopped down lens.
The aperture of an M lens will close down in exactly the same way as an M42 lens (in manual mode) when used via an adapter on a mirrorless camera.

Different lenses are fun to play with but the Takumar won't allow you to do anything that you M lens doesn't already. Get it if you want to try something new, but don't get it to improve your results, it won't.
04-21-2017, 02:54 PM   #14
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Guesswork

QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
Main differences? The Takumar is screwmount - you will need an adapter.

This also means:
Full manual stop-down metering. You have to open the aperture to focus and compose and stop-down to meter and take your exposure. Use the A/M switch on the lens or turn the aperture. Advantage is you can use apertures other than wide open in Av mode.

The M lens will only stop down in M, B or X mode but you have to use the Green button or Optical DOF (flagship models) to meter. Av mode will work only wide open.

Possibly better coatings on the M, thus perhaps better flare control and contrast.
Tell us how he's going to use which Green Button on his Sony A6000?

Adapters he needs on both: "M42 to Sony" or "Pentax K to Sony"!

No "possibly better coatings" on the M!

The M has SMC, the SMC Takumar has SMC.
04-21-2017, 03:16 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by photogem Quote
No "possibly better coatings" on the M! The M has SMC, the SMC Takumar has SMC.
He did say "possibly" better. The SMC coatings have evolved/improved over time, thus the "possibility" of improved coatings over the Tak.
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