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02-24-2022, 11:05 AM   #1
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More of my unscientific tests. Pentax-M SMC F1.7 50mm vs. Pentax-M SMC F4 Macro 50mm

More of my unscientific tests, as I received a near mint copy of the Pentax-M SMC F1.7 50mm just minutes ago...

So, the Pentax-M SMC F1.7 50mm vs. Pentax-M SMC F4 Macro 50mm
Both taken at F4, ISO 400, tripod with 2 second delay, & green button technique.


Click any image several times to zoom in closer. Comments please.


First, the test image straight from the computers hard drive


Now the printout on a bulletin board:


the Pentax-M SMC F1.7 50mm


& finally, the Pentax-M SMC F4 Macro 50mm



I've read that macro lens are inherently sharper than average lens, but the F1.7 is no average lens - perhaps someone could explain to me why macro lens are generally sharper please.
Again, comments please...I will divulge my pixel peeping comment on which is sharper in the near future...

Addendum: I need more thumb tacks in the paper to get it flatter (bottom right of print out sticks out a bit upon closer examination)...


Last edited by Michael Piziak; 02-24-2022 at 11:16 AM.
02-24-2022, 01:53 PM   #2
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Damn Michael - that M-1.7 seems to a cracker. Nice!

Just a thought - you used the macro lens wide open, which is usually not the sharpest setting on any lens. I wonder how these two would compare if you stopped both down to, say, f8 or f11? I would guess the macro lens would be quite a bit sharper than at f4. Might be a more realistic test then. Maybe shoot both at ISO 100 as well.

Thanks for posting. I knew my M-1.7 was sharp, now I see it validated.
02-24-2022, 02:35 PM   #3
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Macro lenses are generally optimized for flat-field performance so they tend to be sharper at the edges and corners than regular prime lenses.

That said, the M 50mm f1.7 and particularly the A 50mm f1.7 are known for their flat-field performance. These lenses are recommended by the Pentax Bellows manuals. And are often recommended for document copy work.

Check the edge and corner performance on full frame.
02-24-2022, 02:38 PM   #4
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My Pentax-M SMC F1.7 50mm arrives tomorrow...

02-24-2022, 04:56 PM   #5
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I like my m50/1.7, it's great optically and so compact
02-24-2022, 07:25 PM   #6
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Once I thought that the 50 mm smc macro should be my favorite 50 mm for common use, but the smc 1,7 is better. The 50 mm macro is overrated
02-24-2022, 08:27 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Viking42 Quote
Damn Michael - that M-1.7 seems to a cracker. Nice!

Just a thought - you used the macro lens wide open, which is usually not the sharpest setting on any lens. I wonder how these two would compare if you stopped both down to, say, f8 or f11? I would guess the macro lens would be quite a bit sharper than at f4. Might be a more realistic test then. Maybe shoot both at ISO 100 as well.

Thanks for posting. I knew my M-1.7 was sharp, now I see it validated.
And here are the results of what you requested. Again, continue to click on any image to zoom in on that image.

First, my setup: I moved the print out to the wall and flattened it nicely with tape on all 4 corners.




Again, the test image uploaded straight from the computer:



Now to the results. All photos taken at ISO 100, on a tripod, with 2 second delay, and using green button method.


the Pentax-M SMC F4 Macro 50mm taken at F8:


the Pentax-M SMC F4 Macro 50mm taken at F11:


now the Pentax-M SMC F1.7 50mm take at F8:


& finally the Pentax-M SMC F1.7 50mm take at F11:



Comments please.

02-24-2022, 08:44 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Michael Piziak Quote
More of my unscientific tests, as I received a near mint copy of the Pentax-M SMC F1.7 50mm just minutes ago...

So, the Pentax-M SMC F1.7 50mm vs. Pentax-M SMC F4 Macro 50mm
Both taken at F4, ISO 400, tripod with 2 second delay, & green button technique.


Click any image several times to zoom in closer. Comments please.


First, the test image straight from the computers hard drive


Now the printout on a bulletin board:


the Pentax-M SMC F1.7 50mm


& finally, the Pentax-M SMC F4 Macro 50mm



I've read that macro lens are inherently sharper than average lens, but the F1.7 is no average lens - perhaps someone could explain to me why macro lens are generally sharper please.
Again, comments please...I will divulge my pixel peeping comment on which is sharper in the near future...

Addendum: I need more thumb tacks in the paper to get it flatter (bottom right of print out sticks out a bit upon closer examination)...
What size are you supposed to print that to and how many dpi? How far away were you?
02-25-2022, 12:44 AM   #9
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I suggest you move further away until only the left half of the top lines are resolved.
02-25-2022, 03:17 AM - 1 Like   #10
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You may find this interesting...

Nifty 50 Shootout : ERPhotoReview
02-25-2022, 05:39 AM   #11
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JUst finished at test with my m42 fifties. Tes was done on tripod and so on, the camera was a Ricoh singlex ttl, because it has the mirror lock up possibility. The film was Rollei orto 25 iso developed in Rodinal. F number was 2,0 except macro which was f 4,,0
!) Super multicoated takumar 1,4 seven elements- clear winner 2)Super takumar 1,8 55mm, 3-5 macro takumar50 mm 4,0 , auto Rikenon 1,7 and super takumar 2,0 50 mm. The bottom belongs to Pentqacon auto 1,8, very dissapointing thinking about Carl Zeiss Jena pearls from the past.
This relates only to film
02-25-2022, 08:28 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by CraigR Quote
My Pentax-M SMC F1.7 50mm arrives tomorrow...
Send us some test photos. I think you'll love this lens. It instantly became one of my favorites!

---------- Post added 02-25-22 at 08:29 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by aaacb Quote
I like my m50/1.7, it's great optically and so compact

It's a lovely piece of work!

---------- Post added 02-25-22 at 08:31 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
What size are you supposed to print that to and how many dpi? How far away were you?

It's 1200x1200 dpi according to my printers specs. I was probably just 2.5 feet away.

---------- Post added 02-25-22 at 08:52 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by GUB Quote
I suggest you move further away until only the left half of the top lines are resolved.
Moved to about 6 feet away. Perhaps need to move back in furuther.

F1.7 lens at F8


Macro lens at F8
02-25-2022, 09:08 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Michael Piziak Quote
It's 1200x1200 dpi according to my printers specs. I was probably just 2.5 feet away.
The printers resolution tells you about the resolution of color dots that mix up a pixel on paper - simply expressed. Canon mostly uses 1200/2400 dpi (dots per inch - not pixels per inch), Epson 1440/2880 dpi.

When you print an image the correct measure is ppi - pixel per inch. Usually Canon printers support 300/600 ppi natively and Epson 360/720 ppi.

If you print an image not in the printers native ppi resolution the printing will be interpolated. This may yield to visible artifacts. Because of that it‘s a good idea to generate an image file according your printers ppi abilities and image size needed and then print this file at the printers native ppi resolution to get the best print possible.
02-25-2022, 10:40 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by acoufap Quote
The printers resolution tells you about the resolution of color dots that mix up a pixel on paper - simply expressed. Canon mostly uses 1200/2400 dpi (dots per inch - not pixels per inch), Epson 1440/2880 dpi.

When you print an image the correct measure is ppi - pixel per inch. Usually Canon printers support 300/600 ppi natively and Epson 360/720 ppi.

If you print an image not in the printers native ppi resolution the printing will be interpolated. This may yield to visible artifacts. Because of that it‘s a good idea to generate an image file according your printers ppi abilities and image size needed and then print this file at the printers native ppi resolution to get the best print possible.
My printer is the HP LaserJet Pro mfp m127 with specs of:

  • Draft mode resolution: 300 x 300 dots per inch (dpi)
  • Normal mode resolution: 600 x 400 dpi
  • Plain-Best mode resolution: 600 x 600 dpi
  • Input sensor resolution: 1200 x 1200 dpi
02-25-2022, 12:24 PM   #15
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To be clear I’m trying to learn how to properly print a similar chart for my own use.

I have a brother MFC-J4410DW and a Canon Pixma Pro 100 as my printers. Unless I need to outsource printing to the UPS store…
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