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10-13-2008, 07:58 AM   #1
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Going back in time: Pentax A 50mm F1.7 (new purchase!)

Haven't gotten the goods yet and won't be until late Novemberish when I make it down to my friend's house in Seattle, but I'm excited to say that I've picked up the SMC-A 50mm F1.7 off eBbay.

Not quite the 1.4 but based on reviews in the lens database and samples I've seen on photo sites, it looks like a pretty good acquisition for the price I paid.

Any other satisfied owners out there or have you all traded up to the 1.4?

10-13-2008, 08:45 AM   #2
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It is a good lens. I have been happy with mine. My only complaint is the that the build (particularly the aperture ring) is pretty clunky compared to the Pentax-m version.

10-13-2008, 08:58 AM   #3
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think the 1.7's are usually considered to be sharper wide open than the 1.4's
10-13-2008, 09:06 AM   #4
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I've just bought one too! Will prob get it in a few days, can't wait

10-13-2008, 09:32 AM   #5
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I would ask your friend to check out the aperture ring and make sure it works correctly. There is a well-documented issue with these particular lens, having to do with a plastic part inside the aperture ring, that causes a lot of problems. Pentax only used the design on the SMA-A 50mm f/1.7, thank goodness for that.

I wasn't aware of this issue until I bought a bad copy on eBay and a friend told me about it. You can read about the details and fixes here.
10-13-2008, 09:40 AM   #6
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I really like the -M's. I got a sample of an -A 35-70mm F4 in a kit. I agree that the internals are not as well built as the -M's. I tried to "clean up" the movement of the focus ring... don't try it.

I have never received an -M lens that was anything but 100% mechanically fine. They are built like tanks. Same with the Takumars.
10-13-2008, 11:08 AM   #7
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If its anything like the SMC-A 1.4, you won't want to take it off your camera. I bought my 1.4 a while a go, and I don't think I'll ever sell it.

10-13-2008, 12:20 PM   #8
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It's debatable whether the 1.4 is any better than the 1.7, aside from being half a stop faster, of course. But DOF is so shallow when you get to that territory, and both lenses are a little soft wider than f/2, that you'll probably do most of your shooting at f/2 or above with either lens, except when you specifically want the soft and extremely shallow DOF and soft effects that you can get with either lens wide open.

Of course, some move up from a MF lens to an AF one, but I can't say that matters much to me - most of my lenses are MF and work just fine.

As for the build quality, my A50/1.7 seems fine - comparable to my M lenses - and I haven't had any problems with my aperture ring. One of the nice things about the A lenses, of course, if that you don't need to actually *use* the aperture ring. But it does tend to come off the "A" setting when putting it on and taking it off, and I do hope that doesn't cause any problems down the road. Well, if it does, it will cost all of $40 to replace it with an M version, so I'm not really worried.
10-13-2008, 06:36 PM   #9
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I got a good copy of the A-1.7, the aperture ring works fine and on the K10D you don't really need to take it off the A setting since controlling the aperture from the body is easier anyway (at least for me).
It's a wonderful lens, I think you will love it.
10-13-2008, 08:31 PM   #10
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Had several great copies of the lens pass through my hands this past year. Love the A series 1.7 and I think it's the best bang for your buck glass you can buy. You can get the M series and others for less, but the A lets you use the flash and all program modes. Excellent choice!

Couple the versatility with the outstanding image quality they are capable of and you've got a real winner.

The only drawback with the 50mm is the focal length. It was fine for newspaper work on a K1000 film body, but a bit long for casual walk-around use. On the digital cameras it's even longer, and that is a serious limitation. Seems to be a blessing in disguise because it turns into a great ~75mm portrait lens on a DSLR!

One of the 50mm 1.7 lenses did have problems with the aperture ring. Took it apart to repair it, and the repair was stronger than the original design so it worked out well. Still have that one & my daughter uses it. Don't know that I'd ever want to take another one apart though. Too many tiny parts for my big hands and failing eyes. Thank God for magnets!
10-15-2008, 12:24 AM   #11
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congrats on that purchase, I'm sure you'll be happy with it. I have very recently obtained F50 f1.7, for exchange for lens worth 30 which I wasn't using. I think A & F versions are opticaly identical, but I have AF instead of better build quality. If so, you will love yours. My copy is beautifly sharp and makes for great portrait lens.
10-15-2008, 02:26 AM   #12
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This is an amazing lens
10-16-2008, 03:33 AM   #13
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Got mine today!

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? ) The image-quality I can't say anything about yet, (probably great).

Anyway, I got it with a Program A, a case, a flash and some other stuff, and quite cheap. The complete set smelled like cigaret smoke and damn, I HATE cigaret smoke!

10-16-2008, 04:43 AM   #14
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The A50 1.7 is my favorite lens. Easily as sharp as my FA35.
10-16-2008, 02:23 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sebbe_J Quote
I have to push the "lock"-button to get past f/11 (is it supposed to be like that? )
Not on my copy. I guess you should put it on A and leave it there!

The complete set smelled like cigaret smoke and damn, I HATE cigaret smoke!
Yeah, I just got a SMC Tak 55/1.8 and it stinks of cigarette smoke. I gave the rubber grip a bit of a scrub (gently) with some detergent and it smells less now.


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