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06-04-2017, 05:23 AM   #1
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50 mm prime

When I purchased my K50 body I started with one prime lens the SMC Pentax-FA 1:1.4 50mm. I understand that this lens is compatible with the K1 in case I acquire one later. I have a Rikenon 1:2 50mm that came with a Ricoh 35mm film camera. The Rikenon is a highly thought of lens from what I have read including comments in a previous post I have been researching other 50mm primes and have learned of the SMC Pentax-M 50mm F1.7 and 2.0. Any comments on a comparison of the the 2 lenses I have and the M lenses? I understand that some old Pentax lenses are increasing in value and price. Currently the M lenses run from 10 dollars to around 70 dollars on ebay but I don't want to add a lens if its not likely to add to my capabilities regardless of price. I will likely use one or more of these on a Fuji X-E2s as well. Thanks for any guidance.

06-04-2017, 05:35 AM   #2
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How many fast 50's do you need? Why not consider adding a fast 35 to the mix? On the crop sensor the 35 is closer to normal. The FA 35 f/2 is stellar. If you want a manual focus lens that's fun to shoot with and a little wider; the SMC A 28mm f/2.8 is affordable as a used lens and a superb little gem.
06-04-2017, 05:46 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Saltwater Images Quote
How many fast 50's do you need.
Some people do choose to make themselves specalists in this regard. That being said, I agree with your advice. 28mm is not a bad focal length (and Pentax has an FA series lens in this length if OP really, desperately needs AF). I'm sure the FA35/2.0 is good too, and I have often considered it, but I have so many 35mm lenses I really can't justify another.

What a pity Pentax shelved its SMC-M 35/1.4 all those years ago! They made, what, seven prototypes?
06-04-2017, 05:54 AM   #4
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Drop Digitalis a pm if you want advice about more 50mm lenses.

For what my opinion is worth, the FA50/1.4 is an excellent lens. Just use it

06-04-2017, 06:03 AM   #5
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I'd probably suggest a SMC-A 50mm f1.7. It has the nice manual focus action of the real manual lenses for use on the Fuji while keeping the A-contact exposure capability on the newer cameras.

And I think it's optically the same as my F, which is excellent.

06-04-2017, 06:19 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by A H Thompson Quote
I have a Rikenon 1:2 50mm
That is a nice and sharp lens and providing it is not a plastic one it is of good build quality. Take care it is not a Rikenon p lens. They have a non standard pin that can cause the lens to get stuck on the k-mount. No real need for another 50. There are a lot of them. all Pentax 50 1.7 lenses are good and have the same design (even the newer 50 1.8) It's just the functionality and coatings that differ. You really need something wider than a 50 though provided you don't have a kit zoom. 28 or 35 a great standard lenses on aps-c. The DA 35mm F2.4 can serve as a standard lens. 28 is more difficult. I would advise the Pentax K 28mm F3.5 or almost as good the Pentax-m 28mm 3.5. Both require stop down metering. If you don't like that look for an Pentax-a 28mm f2.8 or the F or FA 28mm 2.8. (the latter two have AF).
06-04-2017, 06:25 AM   #7
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The M 50 1.7 us a fine lens. For AF the FA 50 1.7 is a very good lens and its reviews are up there with the 31 and 77 limiteds.
06-04-2017, 06:35 AM   #8
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then there's the can of worms called aperture - how fast do you want to go? 1.7? 1.4? or dial it up to 1.2?

(currently in that can myself)

I'd strongly consider the next focal length down: DA 40mm Limited

06-04-2017, 06:45 AM - 1 Like   #9
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The main problem with buying older 50mm lenses is that the DA 50mm f1.8 is so affordable, and it has full automation with good lens coatings. Difficult to justify $70+shipping to get a lens that is more than 30 years old, when you can go to a store or Amazon and get DA 50mm with warranty for not much more.
I like my M 50mm f1.7, but i would advise to get one with A on aperture ring instead. It just makes things easier.
I would also generally avoid the Pentax 50mm f2 lenses, because the f1.7 version costs only a little more and gives you slightly faster aperture and, as far as I have read, slightly better quality as well.

That said, all Pentax 50mm lenses and most third party 50mm lenses are super sharp by f4. The main differences are up to f2.8, usually. The Rikenon 50mm is highly regarded.

I agree with the above posts that if you don't have a lot of lenses, it makes more sense to buy 35mm or 28mm instead of more 50mm lenses.
06-04-2017, 07:10 AM   #10
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I think I'd keep the FA50 1.4 you have now. Maybe look at some of the 55mm options that were made over the years instead of getting another 50. Then go in some other focal length direction, like a 28mm as mentioned for a good normal length on a crop body, or maybe something longer like the DA70.

My 2 cents.
06-04-2017, 07:31 AM - 1 Like   #11
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The problem with lenses built for Ricoh cameras doesn't actually apply (in my experience) to the Rikenon P's themselves - their Ricoh pin has a rounded tip and self-retracts with ease, as do some of the higher-quality third-party variants (e.g. my Kalimar teleconverter). I have no problem using and trusting those, even on my K-1.

The real problem lies in third-party variants whose pin has a completely cylindrical profile all the way to its tip. That's the type you have to distrust. The Ricoh pin as built by Ricoh is just fine in my book.
06-04-2017, 07:39 AM   #12
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What you have for 50 mm is plenty, but if you want something different, try a 50 mm macro. I bought an old Sigma 50 mm 2.8 manual macro lens, with an A setting. After cleaning up the sticky "zen" coating it's a really nice lens. I've also got an F & an A 50/1.7. I don't use them that much, in fact I don't think I've used the A since getting the F, but I didn't spend a lot of money on them either.
06-04-2017, 09:26 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
I like my M 50mm f1.7, but i would advise to get one with A on aperture ring instead. It just makes things easier.
This is a really good point to consider. I have an M 50mm F1.7 and an FA 50 mm F1.7, both of which I bought used in almost like new condition. The build quality of the M is just so much better than the FA and it looks and feels so much better on my K-5 and K-3 bodies. When it comes down to which one goes on the camera, however, it is the FA and because of the A on the aperture ring much more than autofocus. I would not mind manually focusing but I much prefer being able to use Av mode setting aperture on the camera than using M mode. As far as image quality, I would have to say they are just about equal. If I were splitting hairs, the FA may be a little sharper.
06-04-2017, 09:46 AM   #14
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I'm the opposite. DoF preview on my K-5 II helps me get exposure pretty right nearly all the time with my M50 1.4. My ability to nail focus on a regular basis is where I fall down. Live View & a couple steps of magnification help a lot but that's a bunch of time & steps required to get this right. "Frustrating" is the best word for it and why I'm seriously thinking of selling my M50 1.4 after getting some 50 with AF. An FA50 1.7 would be my preference but DA50 1.8 pricing has me considering that lens as well.
06-04-2017, 11:20 AM   #15
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It depends very much on what the OP is after. If you love taking pictures, well, I guess the FA the OP already owns could be a good compromise. Ideally I'd go for a Samyang 1.4/50mm and/or any f/1.2 50/55mm vintage lens, considering most people already have an AF zoom covering the same focal.
If you are interested in the history of camera optics and love vintage lenses, there are countless objectives in M42 or PK mount that have either a great build, an historical interest, or a peculiar optical signature. Sky's the limit
If you like both, like I do, the limit is eminently economical. We can't have everything!
To spend our money in a sensible way the first thing to do is to understand if a newer model is really better, IQ wise, or just adds the convenience of AF.
Excluding the FA Limited, all the others use the same optical construction generation after generation... and even the Limiteds are film-era lenses. Given the way the other Samyangs perform, I'd be curious to try the 50mm.
On average old designs are very sharp only at medium diaphragms, and vignette more than digital era lenses of the same focal.
If autofocus is required, the Pentax-FA 1.4/50mm is probably the best compromise.
It has AF, the optical layout is the same of the Pentax-M (one of the best normal lenses of its time), the price is affordable, and let's not forget that either in-camera or in PP it's possible to automatically correct its aberrations.
Availability of lens profiles can make the difference with old all-manual optics.



Last edited by cyberjunkie; 06-04-2017 at 11:25 AM.

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