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03-01-2020, 12:55 AM   #1
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50 f/2 A very soft from f/2-f/3.5

l was taking some test shots with the K5 right after l got the lens and body. At f/2, first l thought l was missing focus. Then l noticed nothing in front of or behind the subject was sharp. lt kinda looked like a very weak "soft" or "diffusion" filter was mounted. Took more test shots at f/2.2, 2.5, 2.8, 3.5, and 4. At f/4 things look much better. ls this normal for this lens? lt's no big deal it was only $22usd. Just curious. l assume the 50 1.8 DA would probably blow it away at larger apertures?

03-01-2020, 01:39 AM   #2
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Reviews in the database here on PF seems to say that it should be sharpish by f2.8. There's probably copy variation working against you. Is there anything in the lens like fungus or oil, etc, that would cause issues optically?


I like the DA 50 1.8 a lot. For "a cheap plastic 50" it definitely punches above its weight optically. On a crop body like your K-5 it makes for a nice "head & shoulders" portraits lens with enough sharpness wide open without being unflattering. I wish that Pentax had made another couple of lenses in this same style.
03-01-2020, 01:53 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by pres589 Quote
Reviews in the database here on PF seems to say that it should be sharpish by f2.8. There's probably copy variation working against you. Is there anything in the lens like fungus or oil, etc, that would cause issues optically?


I like the DA 50 1.8 a lot. For "a cheap plastic 50" it definitely punches above its weight optically. On a crop body like your K-5 it makes for a nice "head & shoulders" portraits lens with enough sharpness wide open without being unflattering. I wish that Pentax had made another couple of lenses in this same style.
Well at least they made one other in that style. it would be awesome if they came out with a comparable DA 24mm though.

---------- Post added 03-01-20 at 12:55 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by camera_nut Quote
l was taking some test shots with the K5 right after l got the lens and body. At f/2, first l thought l was missing focus. Then l noticed nothing in front of or behind the subject was sharp. lt kinda looked like a very weak "soft" or "diffusion" filter was mounted. Took more test shots at f/2.2, 2.5, 2.8, 3.5, and 4. At f/4 things look much better. ls this normal for this lens? lt's no big deal it was only $22usd. Just curious. l assume the 50 1.8 DA would probably blow it away at larger apertures?
The M/A/F/FA 50mm f/1.7 is much sharper wide open than the f/2 M/A.
03-01-2020, 02:05 AM   #4
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The f/2.0 50mm lenses were generally the cheapest kit lenses sold with the film bodies of the era. Do not expect miracles

Embrace their charms.

03-01-2020, 02:26 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by pres589 Quote
Reviews in the database here on PF seems to say that it should be sharpish by f2.8. There's probably copy variation working against you. Is there anything in the lens like fungus or oil, etc, that would cause issues optically?


I like the DA 50 1.8 a lot. For "a cheap plastic 50" it definitely punches above its weight optically. On a crop body like your K-5 it makes for a nice "head & shoulders" portraits lens with enough sharpness wide open without being unflattering. I wish that Pentax had made another couple of lenses in this same style.
No l don't see any fungus, oil, or haze inside.

---------- Post added 03-01-20 at 03:27 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
The f/2.0 50mm lenses were generally the cheapest kit lenses sold with the film bodies of the era. Do not expect miracles

Embrace their charms.
Yes l didn't think about that. l guess the lens was good enough in the film era.
03-01-2020, 03:15 AM   #6
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Is there a chance that it is missing an element or maybe has one in the wrong orientation?
03-01-2020, 03:33 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
The f/2.0 50mm lenses were generally the cheapest kit lenses sold with the film bodies of the era. Do not expect miracles

Embrace their charms.
I would want to know which M/A lens was any crappier than the 50/2 ones. I have never read of something worse from Pentax themselves.
$7 for that lens is already on the edge of overpriced.
03-01-2020, 06:29 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by beholder3 Quote
I would want to know which M/A lens was any crappier than the 50/2 ones. I have never read of something worse from Pentax themselves.
$7 for that lens is already on the edge of overpriced.
These do seem to have about the worst reputation of any Pentax k-mount prime out there. I'm sure there are some film era zooms that fair worse. Sometimes I'll find a review or discussion of the 50 f2 online where the user is pretty happy with the lens. Perhaps copy variation comes into play more with this lens? Also the standards of the user aren't very high.


To the OP, I would suggest finding a nicer lens, like an A/F/FA 50 1.7 or the DA 50 1.8. These are going to run maybe $60 or so for the A version, and closer to $100 for the rest due to bringing autofocus.

03-01-2020, 07:28 AM - 1 Like   #9
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With the prices of f1.7's there really is very little reason to get f2, as f1.7 is better in every way. At least in M series. Still if you happen to have one, it should be able to take shots good enough for web use.

M50/2 wide open:



03-01-2020, 08:11 AM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by iheiramo Quote
With the prices of f1.7's there really is very little reason to get f2, as f1.7 is better in every way. At least in M series. Still if you happen to have one, it should be able to take shots good enough for web use.

M50/2 wide open:


Horrible flaring in the first image
03-01-2020, 11:51 AM   #11
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I have an M50/2, which is very sharp at f/8 (as most lenses would be), and has nice saturated colors. Very soft wide open, and some unusual bokeh if you're up to the challenge! As mentioned, the f/1.7 is much better and very affordable, especially the M and A versions.
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