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06-17-2009, 09:23 AM   #1
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How many 50mm should you have?

I'm looking for arguments on how many and what 50mm lenses you really need in your bag. I went on a lens buying binge a while back, and when I looked in the cabinet recently I realized I have way too many 50mm. I am thinking about cleaning out a little in this 50mm excess.

Here's what I have:

- M 50mm 1.4
- M 50mm 1.7
- A 50mm 1.7
- F 50mm 1.7

My initial thoughts were to keep:

- M 1.4 so I have a faster lens if needed
- F 1.7 which would probably be the primary 50mm because of the AF

I am not sure if I should also keep the A 1.7 though. I know that the optics are identical to the F 1.7, but the manual focus just feels better on the A.

But then I'm really not getting rid of much, and that I am just going to be holding on to lenses that won't see much use. Alternatively I could just get rid of everything other than the F 1.7. Yeah, the M 1.4 might be a little faster than the A 1.7, but at that aperture the DOF is so thin that it really won't matter that much. And besides, the convenience of the A setting is nice. But then I get all that plus AF in the F 1.7, so what do I really need all the other lenses for?

I don't want to be a collector, but I have a really hard time convincing myself that it is okay to get rid of everything but the F 1.7.

If you had those lenses, which would you keep and why?

06-17-2009, 09:44 AM   #2
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I have too many 50s, but for the most part, they are different enough from one another to justify my keeping them. Your plan to keep the F 50/1.7 and the M 50/1.4 sounds like a good one.

Steve

(Really tempted to pick up a Helios 44M-4...)
06-17-2009, 10:03 AM   #3
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Um. The correct answer is: one per camera system.

The true answer is: you only scratched the surface, dude. There's 55mm. There's macro. There's the Tak varieties. There's the Helios. There's the Yashinon DS-M. There's the f/1.2's.

The honest answer: in order to justify the duplications, there must be something one offers the others do not. E.g. faster speed vs. auto focus vs. macro vs. bokeh/rendering effects. (and screw counts as a different system than k )

So I think your thinking is good. Personally I'd dump the af lens, but that's because I have the 43, and I could get more for the af than the others.
06-17-2009, 10:09 AM   #4
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- M 50mm 1.4
- Super-Takumar 50mm 1.4
- Revueon 50mm 1.4
- M 50mm 1.7
- F 50mm 1.7
- A 50mm 2.8 Macro
- s-m-c Takumar 55mm 1.8 (2x)
- SMC Takumar 55mm 2.0
- Auto-Takumar 55mm 2.0
- Auto-Takumar 55mm 2.2
- 645-A 55mm 2.8
- Helios 44-2 58mm 2.0

I think it is LBA

06-17-2009, 10:12 AM   #5
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If you got the FA 50/1.7, you'd have a complete set.

I would sell the M 50/1.7 first. The A version has the same manual focus feel with better compatibility.

Then evaluate your manual focus ability. Can you use the M 50/1.4 wide open and get usable results? If not, that one should go, and you should check your ability to do the same with the A 50/1.7. If AF is more reliable, there is almost no downside to only keeping the F 50/1.7 - it's highly compatible with all bodies and accessories too.

If you are good at manually focusing, I would keep the M 50/1.4 and consider selling the A 50/1.7. That is my logic for keeping the A 50/1.4; I can focus it well and use it wide open. My camera is set up well for manual focus too. The F 50/1.7's biggest flaw is manual focus, with only a 90 sweep, a narrow ring and no feel. The M 50/1.4 has more aperture blades, a possible IQ advantage but not a big deal.

Selling intertia can hold you back, but there must be something more useful that you can buy instead of all these f1.7s. How about a 50mm macro?
06-17-2009, 10:15 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I have too many 50s, but for the most part, they are different enough from one another to justify my keeping them. Your plan to keep the F 50/1.7 and the M 50/1.4 sounds like a good one.

Steve

(Really tempted to pick up a Helios 44M-4...)
Hey Steve, I just bought the Rikenon XR 50mm f2 and a Vivitar/Komine 135/2.8. I blame you!
06-17-2009, 10:29 AM   #7
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I only have one 50, thats the short end of my 50-135...
Someday maby Ill get a 50/1.4 but I honostly dont see the use of it :Hides:
06-17-2009, 10:38 AM   #8
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Answer: all of them.

06-17-2009, 10:55 AM   #9
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The hoarding is actually worse than I first let on. I have 2 of the M 1.4 and the A 1.7... I just didn't want the post to sound like an ad.

QuoteOriginally posted by Nesster Quote
Um. The correct answer is: one per camera system.
Well, right now I just have my *istD so i can only have one mounted at a time :-) One of the reasons I am trying to thin out is that I want to raise funds for a new purchase. I am considering either getting a wide zoom (~10-20mm range), a fast tele zoom (70-xxx to replace my Viv S1 70-210mm) or a k20d.

QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
If you got the FA 50/1.7, you'd have a complete set.
That's kind of what I am afraid of ;-)

QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
If you are good at manually focusing, I would keep the M 50/1.4 and consider selling the A 50/1.7. That is my logic for keeping the A 50/1.4; I can focus it well and use it wide open. My camera is set up well for manual focus too. The F 50/1.7's biggest flaw is manual focus, with only a 90 sweep, a narrow ring and no feel. The M 50/1.4 has more aperture blades, a possible IQ advantage but not a big deal.
The feel of the focus on the F 1.7 is definitely a concern. I think I do pretty well with manual focus although most has been with my 70-210mm. Getting a split focus screen is on my wish list too. I guess which one will depend on whether I get a k20d.

QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
Selling intertia can hold you back, but there must be something more useful that you can buy instead of all these f1.7s. How about a 50mm macro?
I've just started playing a little with macro, and have to say I am very happy with the Vivitar S1 105mm I have. You might have to turn the focus 25 million times, but sharpness, color and bokeh are really nice.
06-17-2009, 10:57 AM   #10
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This house 50-ish:

K50 1.2 (god lens)
M50 2.0 (could go)
A50 1.4 (very nice)
M55 1.8 (nice)
Porst 55 1.2 (unique)
Helios 44K-4 58 2.0 (favorite)

I think that's it...

Would like the DA*50...
06-17-2009, 11:06 AM   #11
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Why would you get rid of any?!?!?!
06-17-2009, 11:16 AM   #12
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Why would you need more than one?
06-17-2009, 11:27 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by _who_ Quote
Why would you need more than one?
I've got:

FA 50 f/1.4 (AF for the dSLR and AF film SLRs)
M 50 f/1.7 (Incredible optics, great manual focusing--used mostly on my manual film SLRs)
A 50 f/2.0 (Not so great, but I'd never had a Pentax-A lens and wanted to try one on the cheap)
Helios-44M 58mm f/2 (Screwmount, used mainly on my screwmount body/MF k-mount bodies, but also on the dSLR. Interesting optical qualities/bokeh)
Helios-44K-4 58mm f/2 (K-mount, used mainly on dSLR and MF film bodies. Incredible sharpness stopped down, very strange and wonderful bokeh opened up)

So as you can see, they all have different and interesting qualities. That said, I'm planning to get rid of the A 50 and probably the 44M, since they're essentially redundant at this point. But they weren't when I got them!
06-17-2009, 11:46 AM   #14
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For you, I'd say probably keep the M 50 1.4 and the F 50 1.7, since the 1.7 lenses are all the same optically. Having said that, I have the M 50mm 1.7 and it's one of my favorite lenses, awesome focusing on mine, compact, performs great, and also one of the nicest looking lenses I have for what it's worth. Also have an A 50mm 2.0, sometimes I use that when using a flash or when I need a little more convenience. The 50mm 2.0 is a better lens than it often gets credit for.

The number of 50/55mm lenses I have is not even funny. But then I bought all but 1 years ago, just as DSLRs were beginning to be produced, and 50/55mm lenses at that time were generally quite a bit cheaper, as there weren't all these different cheap lensmount adapters around and people were not buying them as fast portrait lenses like many are now. Fortunately they're still relatively cheap, and optically you won't find many that are not good lenses when stopped down at least.
06-17-2009, 12:13 PM   #15
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Well, it looks like I'm in good company here. I have five:

FA 50mm f/1.4
Rikenon P 50mm f/2.0 (never use it, and not really worth the effort to sell)
Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 (nice old non-AI multicoated version)
Cosina 55mm f/1.2
SMC Takumar 55mm f/1.8

Other than the Rikenon, I don't think I'd part with any of them.
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