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04-29-2009, 10:08 AM   #1
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The Ubiquitous 50/2

Over the course of being given malfunctioning K mount cameras I've accumulated four or five of the 50mm f2 Pentax lenses. One is an "A", the others "M"s all but one of which are marked Taiwan. This was obviously the bargain Pentax normal. I'm curious how it compares to the more expensive Pentax 50/1.7 and Super Tak 55/1.8.

And... what's the scoop on the one that's not marked Taiwan. Is it from China, Japan or Taiwan and just not marked?

Your expertise is appreciated.


04-29-2009, 10:47 AM   #2
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I can pretty clearly seen the difference in sharpness between the 50/2 and the 50/1.7 at apertures bigger than around f/4. I don't have enough experience with the 1.4 versions to say, and I've never used a Takumar ever.

Given the relatively small difference in price between the 50/2's and 50/1.7's, I'd always recommend one get the 1.7 if you don't already have a 50. But the 50/2 is still good enough that I wouldn't necessarily be in a huge hurry to upgrade it, unless it is a lens you use a ton. In which case, sure, for the $20 or so it might cost to replace on of the 50/2's with a 50/1.7, it will make a bigger improvement than any other $20 could hope to spend. It's certainly a bigger difference, for example, than the difference between the version I and II of the kit lens.
04-29-2009, 03:44 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by casualcollector Quote
And... what's the scoop on the one that's not marked Taiwan. Is it from China, Japan or Taiwan and just not marked?
The original lenses said "Asahi Opt. Co., Japan" on the trim ring on the front. I think that was the only country identification on these lenses. Later lenses will have a country marked near the aperture ring, on the "bottom" side opposite the focus scale. Lenses with no markings might be assembled from parts.

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