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10-16-2008, 02:44 PM   #16
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It's a fine lens. I preferred mine to the FA50 1.4. Dave

10-16-2008, 03:08 PM   #17
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I received mine last week. As a noob I had only shot with the kit lenses until I got this one and thought it was awesome! WOW! I did not expect such a difference in IQ! It is a sharp lens. I have no issues w/ the aperture ring at all and like the idea of being able to use as many features as possible on my K10D.
10-17-2008, 05:41 AM   #18
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Okay, so now I've done some more testing, and playing around with the lens, and found out that I don't really think about the aperture-ring, I just leave on A.

And the IQ is great! The bokhé is really smooth.
10-26-2008, 06:02 PM   #19
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My buddy brought my lens up from Seattle and I got in some test shots. Love the feel of the focus ring although it take a bit of getting used to due to the long throw.

Love the image quality and bokeh coming off the lens though!







10-26-2008, 06:37 PM   #20
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Those are great, Legacy! I found this lens in a thrift store and I LOVE IT. So sharp, so much easier to use than an M lens. Enjoy!
10-27-2008, 11:26 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sebbe_J Quote
I find the aperture ring some kind of.. funny!(?) I can't feel the same quality as I feel with the M version. I have to push the "lock"-button to get past f/11 (is it supposed to be like that? )
No, it's not normal; you got one of the defective units. However, you are better off than with other units that totally break and you can't move the aperture ring at all. I had the same issue as you with my copy and considered fixing it, but eventually sold it cheap to a forum member as I already have the SMC-A 50mm f/1.4.

If you're going to use it with a digital Pentax, I suggest you move it to the 'A' position and not move it from them. If you move the aperture ring a lot you run the risk of getting it completely stuck.
10-27-2008, 11:59 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Miserere Quote
No, it's not normal; you got one of the defective units. However, you are better off than with other units that totally break and you can't move the aperture ring at all. I had the same issue as you with my copy and considered fixing it, but eventually sold it cheap to a forum member as I already have the SMC-A 50mm f/1.4.

If you're going to use it with a digital Pentax, I suggest you move it to the 'A' position and not move it from them. If you move the aperture ring a lot you run the risk of getting it completely stuck.
Hmm, sounds not so good, since I planned to use it on the Program A, on which I want to use Aperture Prio mode. I guess I'll just use it as long as I can, then maybe get another one.

Btw, anyone know what the price might be if you hand it in to a workshop to get it fixed?

//Sebb
10-27-2008, 04:41 PM   #23
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Hi!

I also bought one from Ebay (less than 40 dollars) and I expect to have it by this weekend. I'm a complete newbie, but after reading a lot it I expect it to be great. Let's see how it works on the K200D.

10-28-2008, 02:45 AM   #24
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some web resources on the 50/1.7 and other 50's

"Fred" on Stans Pentax photo site refers to test made by him on numerous Pentax normal lenses at the US air force: SMC Pentax Resolution Test Results: There the A50/1.4 is softer at 1.4 than the 1.7 is at 1.7, but then catch up around f2, is sharper for a while, until they are very close from f8 and up. But I've seen other sources claim they are equal or that the 1.7 is sharper. Of course, the 1.4 offers a thinner DOF at 1.4. Fred's list should perhaps get more than normal credibility since each number is an average of several copies of the same model.

Mike Johnston at the online photographer refers to the M/A/F/FA50/1.7 (same optical solution) as the 7th best normal lens hi ever used ( however he doesn't realy describe how he determine that?) and the A/F/FA50/1.4 as the 8th best, making the 1.7 the winner by a small margin. Note that there is another Pentax 50mm on the 3rd position, the SMC Takumar 50/1.4, which means that Pentax and Leica are the only ones with three lenses on this top 10 list (Nikon, Canon, Olympus and Konica having one each). Prices for his lenses range over two orders of magnitude (from 25 to ~2700 USD), and price does not correlate so very well with the result.

The biggest systematic comparison I've seen is the Normal lens shoot out by Sean Carpenter at PBase. There the 50/1.7 familly takes the 8th and 12th positions (he doesn't seam to have the "A" version though), the FA50/1.4 takes the 3rd position and should hence be the winner of those two. But the 1st position is taken by the A50/1.2 (and he list a M50/1.2 much further down, but that must be a typo since I don't think there were a M 1.2 version, just K and A versions) and old Takumars takes the positions 2, 4, 9, 11, 13 and 15. There is also some Nikon, Helius, Fujinon and Sears lenses in his test, but it is a list dominated by Pentax. So not a totally representative test, but done very systematically. Time to get a Takumar 50 perhaps...

Another smaller less ambitious 50-58 shoot out at manual focus forum place the close cousin M50/1.7 as number one, but against a different set of 50mm's (two Helios, a Mamya, a Vivitar/Komine and most interestingly a new Voigtlander/Cosina). The later is said to have a nice bokeh, but the 50/1.7 and some of the others beat that expensive lens in sharpness (and overall). According to this small test. Maybe I should get a Helios lens also...

There is an endless number of 50's, so how could one find the best, with differences even from copy to copy of the same lens ... Non the less, the 50/1.7 is among those very best 50's ever.

I've tried to see a difference in my own A50/1.7 and FA50/1.4, but besides the one softer step in the 1.4 they are to close to my eyes. Both are great lenses.

Pick up a K55/1.8 or 55/2.0 if you want a cheap complement for portraits, really different to the 50/1.4 and 50/1.7 families. They go from quite soft (in a nice portrait way) at low aperture numbers to a center sharpness and resolution comparable to the best ones from f8 (but softer corners, which is also a useful effect).

The aperture ring problem is a well known problem resulting from a bad cost-cutting construction which I don't think was used on any other lens. As I understand it it will happen with any A50/1.7 if you use it enough. But it can be fixed if you are a bit handy : Justin's number one website: Pentax 50mm lens fix. Unfortunately my own A50/1.7 is beginning to develop this problem so I'm planning on having to follow Justins instructions.

Last edited by Douglas_of_Sweden; 10-28-2008 at 02:37 PM. Reason: Mixed up names, credit should go were it belongs!
10-28-2008, 05:49 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Douglas_of_Sweden Quote
Pick up a K55/1.8 or 55/2.0 if you want a cheap complement for portraits, really different to the 50/1.4 and 50/1.7 families. They go from quite soft (in a nice portrait way) at low aperture numbers to a center sharpness and resolution comparable to the best ones from f8 (but softer corners, which is also a useful effect).
Great round up, Douglas. Of course, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and even then different people's experiences are different. I have four lenses in this range: A50/1.7, M50/1.4, SMC Tak 55/1.8 and a Pentacon 50/1.8. To me, a lens has to be usable wide open, that is nmot to say that I will use it wide open all the time, just that there is no point in having a fast lens if you find that the results from wide open is not acceptable. Having said this the A50/1.7 produces good results wide open and the SMC Tak 55/1.8 produces excellent results wide open. In both cases I can use the aperture to change depth of field to get the effect I want. Any decrease in sharpness is not noticeable from the subjects I shoot, because I do not shoot subjects that have lines equivalent to resolution tests!

But the M50/1.4 has a tendency to "bloom" wide open, particularly reds and it is an effect that I do not like. In this case, it means that changing the aperture from f/2 to f/1.4 is not simply a case of changing the DOF it adds something more that I do not like (but to others this effect may be acceptable, or a more skilled photographer could get a better picture than I can). So for me, the M50/1.4 is third place. The Pentacon is a good lens in terms of sharpness (of photographing real subjects, even wide open), but not as good as the others. I do not like the colours, they seem a bit washy but that is probably just a personal preference.

I guess you can tell which my favourite lens is, out of these four :-) I've only recently got my SMC Takumar 55/1.8 (with the rubber focus grip), it was cheap (half the cost of the A50 or M50 I have) and so I did not expect too much from it. But I was wrong and it has been on my camera ever since. But I have to stress this is a personal preference.

Richard
10-28-2008, 08:09 AM   #26
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Thanks Doug, you saved us a lot of typing and Googling
10-28-2008, 08:11 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sebbe_J Quote
Hmm, sounds not so good, since I planned to use it on the Program A, on which I want to use Aperture Prio mode. I guess I'll just use it as long as I can, then maybe get another one.

Btw, anyone know what the price might be if you hand it in to a workshop to get it fixed?

//Sebb
In the US it would probably be cheaper to buy another one off eBay. Although the plus side of taking it to get fixed is that the fix would make it last longer.
10-28-2008, 09:25 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Douglas_of_Sweden Quote

The biggest systematic comparison I've seen is the Normal lens shoot out by Timotheus at PBase. There the 50/1.7 familly takes the 8th and 12th positions (he doesn't seam to have the "A" version though), the FA50/1.4 takes the 3rd position and should hence be the winner of those two. But the 1st position is taken by the A50/1.2 (and he list a M50/1.2 much further down, but that must be a typo since I don't think there were a M 1.2 version, just K and A versions) and old Takumars takes the positions 2, 4, 9, 11, 13 and 15. There is also some Nikon, Helius, Fujinon and Sears lenses in his test, but it is a list dominated by Pentax. So not a totally representative test, but done very systematically. Time to get a Takumar 50 perhaps...
I don't know who Timotheus is, but the "Normal Lens Shoot-out" was done by Sean Carpenter (user carpents on this forum). At the time, he was a Pentax K10D shooter and used the lenses from his collection. That explains the large number of Pentax lenses. Since then, I think Sean has moved on to Nikon FF for most of his shooting...sadly...

To properly interpret his results, one should probably read all of his findings and consider how he arrived at the rankings. One should also consider that the contest was single elimination. As a result, the rankings other than #1 are not as definitive as the top spot. A double-elimination contest would have been more conclusive. Example: The Sears 55/1.4 beat out the Nikkor-S 50/1.4 in round one, but lost to the SMC Takumar 50/1.4 in round two (the eventual second-ranked lens). The final rank of the Sears (a rebadged Rikenon) was 7 even though it only met one of the lenses ranked above it. Was it really better than the Pentax-F 50/1.7?

Steve
10-28-2008, 10:39 AM   #29
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I test the my 2nd copy of Pentax F-1.7x AF TC but this time on a Pentax A 50 f/1.7, I essentially get a Pentax FA 85mm f/2.8 with partial AF. I tested it at night with wide open apertures in f/2.8. The combo with A 50 f/1.7 is very sharp and bokeh is quite good even after the TC that extends it to 85mm with 1.5 stop loss. But the magical TC turns my A 50 f/1.7 into AF at night. All test shots are done in f/2.8 in ISO 400 with K10D in JPG.


My A 50 f/1.7 with
a broken Pentax Program Plus



Pentax pFA 85mm f/2.8

Pentax F-1.7x AF TC (magical)

#1


#2


#3



#4
1/8 sec



#5



#6
1/13 sec



#7



#8



Last edited by hinman; 10-28-2008 at 11:09 AM.
10-28-2008, 02:46 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I don't know who Timotheus is, but the "Normal Lens Shoot-out" was done by Sean Carpenter (user carpents on this forum). At the time, he was a Pentax K10D shooter and used the lenses from his collection. That explains the large number of Pentax lenses. Since then, I think Sean has moved on to Nikon FF for most of his shooting...sadly...

To properly interpret his results, one should probably read all of his findings and consider how he arrived at the rankings. One should also consider that the contest was single elimination. As a result, the rankings other than #1 are not as definitive as the top spot. A double-elimination contest would have been more conclusive. Example: The Sears 55/1.4 beat out the Nikkor-S 50/1.4 in round one, but lost to the SMC Takumar 50/1.4 in round two (the eventual second-ranked lens). The final rank of the Sears (a rebadged Rikenon) was 7 even though it only met one of the lenses ranked above it. Was it really better than the Pentax-F 50/1.7?

Steve
Just edited that. Thanks for correcting me. It is so stupid, when finalizing the post i scrolled down for a name (didn't catch it in the upper left corner), and what did I get...the name of someone who made a comment to the blogg post.

I see Sean Carpenter's "lens-test" as much as entertainment as information. It is really fun to read, built up as a world-championship in football (I believe that is soccer for you people who play football with your hands). But the post was already getting long, but hopefully some people will follow the link.

Rikenon did make some good lenses. There is that returning claim that a Rikenon 50 won a large lens test by some big journal in the 90's, but I never seen the source. So it may be a myth.
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