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11-21-2009, 02:25 PM   #1
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Choosing which lens to use

I have been a Pentax user for only 2 years or so and have loved it. In that time, I have gained much appreciation for the all the older glass. I, of course, caught the LBA bug here and have collected quite a few lenses. I know that I am not alone.

I am curious to hear how many of you choose and rotate thru your collection. I mean if you have 2, 3 , 10! copies of say different (mount, max aperture, brand) 50 mm lenses. How do you pick which to use? I hate to think that I am not giving enough love to all my lenses.

11-21-2009, 02:31 PM   #2
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each lens has it's own 'character' and charm that draws you to use them in certain situations.
I don't quite have your problem, as I have much less overlap, but I do know when to use my fast fifty over my 16-50 or 28-75, just from the kind of results I can get with it.
11-21-2009, 03:32 PM   #3
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Hi Mark, same boat here, I am a very bad case of 50ish manual primes.

I ended up with using only the very best and skip the rest.

As a consequence I will have to let go of a lot of stuff before christmas and also in the new year.

Didn't I say so last year too ?
Mmmh, Georg (a menace to any fleamarket)
11-21-2009, 03:43 PM   #4
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I have too many "fast 50s"...eight at last count. Fortunately, all but 3 are mated to appropriate film bodies. Of those that remain (Pentax-A 50/1.7, Pentax-M 50/1.7, and Helios 44M 58/2), I should probably get rid of the Pentax-A since I never use it. The Pentax-M is secure because it is so "teeny" and the Helios 44M is too because it is so good.

So...which do I use? The Helios is currently mounted to the K10D ('cuz its so good) and the Pentax-M is on my Ricoh XR-7 shooting B&W film ('cuz its so good and so teeny). The other 50s stay with the bodies they are matched to with the occasional exception of the Pentax-K 55/1.8 ('cuz it is so superb) and the Auto-Rikenon 50/1.7 ('cuz it has such sweet, smooth rendering).

In practice, a lot depends too on what is in the bag body-wise. A couple of weeks ago I had both my KX (with its resident K 55/1.8 and Kodachrome) and the K10D with me shooting fall color. The K 55/1.8 ended up on the K10D for much of the day with the FA 77/1.8 Limited spending its time on the KX.

What about the two XR Rikenon 50/2, the Mamiya/Sekor 55/1.8 and the A 50/1.7. The Rikenon's get their share of time shooting film as will the M/S (eventually). As for the A 50...well, I guess I should probably sell that one. It is not a bad lens, it is just that the others are better and I don't have that great a need for the "A" contacts.

Steve

11-21-2009, 04:39 PM   #5
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I'm in danger of getting that way...

Watching a couple of ebay auctions for an A 50mm f1.7 and a K 50mm f1.4. The former would, thinking logically, render the latter unnecessary. Yet I still think "I'd like both"!
11-22-2009, 04:21 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by MSM Quote
I am curious to hear how many of you choose and rotate thru your collection. I mean if you have 2, 3 , 10! copies of say different (mount, max aperture, brand) 50 mm lenses. How do you pick which to use? I hate to think that I am not giving enough love to all my lenses.
I also have far too many 50s, I think 11 at last count. I don't really use any of then enough but I try to alternate between them. This is usually done by picking one at random and then using it for the day but there is alway the temptation to swap it for a different one. I have been considereing just picking names out of a hat and then using whichever on I have selected at random for the rest of the day - I think this may encourage creativity. This goes for pretty much all of my collection, not just the 50s.
11-22-2009, 05:12 AM   #7
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I have 2 fast 50's, one for each body. The K1000 and the 50mm f/2.0 is in the custody of an ex-teacher for use with her students.

Currently, I'm building up a selection of lenses. I try to break down my needs into groups and formats. Film or APS-C (digital)

Portraits
55-90 mm (on APS)

As I'm using a Canon digital (until I get a Pentax) primarily, the 55mm Takumar will be a nice 88mm. Plus, it'll be my only all-manual focus lens for use in macro photography. Double whammy.

Normal
28-50mm (on APS)
40-60mm (on film)

Wide
0-24mm (on APS)
0-35mm (on film)

It's much easier to find a wide angle lens for film than for APS-c cameras. As Pentax doesn't have a full-frame camera (yet) film is the only other way to go.
11-22-2009, 05:07 PM   #8
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I've now ended up with both M and A versions of the 50mm f1.7.

The M version I have came with a pretty immaculate ME Super, which even has the original strap. That lens and camera have been together since they left the factory, so I'm not inclined to split up such a complete set. The A will become a regular use lens on my Km, while the M stays with the ME Super as favoured film setup.

If I see a good cheap 50mm f2 I'll probably buy my third example to complete the very tidy MG I have here.

11-22-2009, 06:17 PM   #9
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I have these that cover 50mm:

Super Takumar 50mm f/1.4
Super Takumar 55mm f/1.8
Auto Takumar 55mm f/2.2
Fujinon 55mm f/1.8
Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 (Canon AF)
Canon FD (Manual focus) 50mm f/1.8
Industar-61 53mm f/2.8

The Super Tak 50mm f/1.4 is usually on my Canon digital.

My girlfriend likes the 55mm f/1.8, so that's on her beater/carry-every-day Spotmatic with 400 speed b&w for her photo classes.

The Fujinon is either on my camera for product shots (sharper stopped down to f/11 or f/16 than the Takumars) or is placeholder on the Spotmatic that dropped off a desk. She bought it when she was first getting into shooting and wanted to surprise me with an M42 lens of her own.

Auto Tak 55mm f/2.2 was thrown in on a set of hoods/caps that I bought for $20, it doesn't stop down w/o some surgery, so it'll get pulled apart and fixed and probably sold at some point, unless it's got some fantastic bokeh (10 blades). Right now it's something easy/cheap to throw in my pocket if I want to have a longer lens when I take out the 35mm S-M-C Tak and don't want to carry a big kit.

The FD lens doesn't get used much as the only FD body I have (hand-me-down) started skipping frames and I don't want to spend the money to have another system when I'm somewhat invested in M42 gear.

The Industar is on a FED 3b that gets shot usually by a friend who wants to try out a rangefinder. It's been on long-term loan to my photog buddy, but he's not a big fan of trusting Sunny 16 yet, and the 3b doesn't have a meter.

The Sigma is usually on my girlfriend's Rebel, unless I'm getting paid work and then it's on my camera and usually pumping out a whole lot of frames. AF just kind of freaks me out now...
11-22-2009, 11:00 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by georgweb Quote
Hi Mark, same boat here, I am a very bad case of 50ish manual primes.

I ended up with using only the very best and skip the rest.

As a consequence I will have to let go of a lot of stuff before christmas and also in the new year.

Didn't I say so last year too ?
Mmmh, Georg (a menace to any fleamarket)
Georg: I know what you mean. I just can't seem to part with any. (and I am still tempted when I see a cheap 50 mm available. )

I started with the 50 and 55 mm Super Tak. Then acquired a A 50/1.4. The A mount is so much more convenient but I just love the Tak's too much to let them go.

QuoteOriginally posted by MattGunn Quote
I also have far too many 50s, I think 11 at last count. I don't really use any of then enough but I try to alternate between them. This is usually done by picking one at random and then using it for the day but there is alway the temptation to swap it for a different one. I have been considereing just picking names out of a hat and then using whichever on I have selected at random for the rest of the day - I think this may encourage creativity. This goes for pretty much all of my collection, not just the 50s.
Matt: I really like this idea. Luck of the draw.

QuoteOriginally posted by Dangermouse Quote
I've now ended up with both M and A versions of the 50mm f1.7....
DM: I have heard the M 50 1.7 is a great lens. I have been tempted but obviously that compounds my problem

QuoteOriginally posted by Fixcinater Quote
I have these that cover 50mm:

Super Takumar 50mm f/1.4
Super Takumar 55mm f/1.8
Auto Takumar 55mm f/2.2
Fujinon 55mm f/1.8
Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 (Canon AF)
Canon FD (Manual focus) 50mm f/1.8
Industar-61 53mm f/2.8

The Super Tak 50mm f/1.4 is usually on my Canon digital.

My girlfriend likes the 55mm f/1.8, so that's on her beater/carry-every-day Spotmatic with 400 speed b&w for her photo classes...
Fixcinater: I have both of those Tak's. I love them both, but I seem to have a special fondness for the 55 mm. I guess that it is the 'lesser' loved being slower and not the classical 50 mm focal length. I was just using the 55 today. What a pleasure.

I am also realizing that the answer to my problem may just be that I don't have enough cameras!
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