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06-01-2016, 02:47 PM   #556
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Carl Zeiss Jena Pancolar Zebra 50mm f1.8 (Thoriated glass; 8 blade iris)

SI May was my first intensive workout with this lens. It was challenging but I was very happy with its output. It delivered pleasingly sharp images from landscapes at infinity to closeups at MFD. With the latter I was able to get to within about 25cm without worrying about adding tubes or add-on lenses. When I did fit these, sharpness and/or bokeh were just as pleasing, if not more so. Achieving that sharpness wasn’t all that difficult either with a focus throw of about 190 degrees; I rarely felt the need to sharpen in post. The lovely smooth bokeh is a big feature of this lens and there are nice starbursts when stopped down, even at f4.

The yellow cast imparted by the Thorium is quite obvious in my copy and this can be used to advantage in warmly toned images. I did find it a problem recovering naturally blue skies at first, but as I explored different options in post, it became less onerous. The lens does not stop down unless a little lever on the side is pulled back towards the camera. Not such a difficult thing to do, but I frequently forgot and wasted a lot of shots at f1.8. My fix for the month was to insert a matchstick into the gap in front of the lever - delivering an immediate response to rotation of the aperture ring. A safer variation might be to fashion a wedge out of some plastic.

Overall - a pleasure to use, and definitely a keeper, but will probably only come out for “special assignments”. Like Simon, I’ll be retaining the Thorium yellowing. My album for this lens is here.

Many thanks to everyone who stopped by to comment or fave.

Last edited by OzzRod; 06-01-2016 at 06:07 PM.
06-01-2016, 04:05 PM   #557
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QuoteOriginally posted by todd Quote
I am so into the K-1 that I'm seriously struggling to not put my K-3 on the market
You have two basically state of the art DSLRs, now you can take two very different lenses on day of shooting, and not have to stop and change lenses.

QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
That's the 5%
QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
It is all about the image circle.
Thanks for the explanations.
06-01-2016, 04:08 PM - 1 Like   #558

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SMC Pentax F50 1.7

So, I'll start with the bad..... I saw a lot of images that I want to own the lenses that were used. And if I thought I could get away with it, I'd sell my body on a street corner to get the money for a K-1. I want one...I want one...I want one.... Sometimes I just didn't feel like going out with a camera or I'd have to come up with an idea for an image I hadn't tried before. I guess that's why it's a "challenge".
The good. I saw some things that I want to try or they gave me ideas for images I want to try.
The lens. My $3 lens. The SMC Pentax F50 1.7. It is worth every penny I paid for it! The most frequent comment I got had the word "sharp" in it. I'm pretty sure that referred to the lens and not my abilities. Usually sharpening an image in PP actually made the image look worse. I really liked the sharpness and color of this lens. Although sharp and colorful can sometimes be too much of a good thing.

Unless you really like turkey
It's fast. I was able to photograph Mars handheld.

I stacked two polarizing filters to make an ND filter and it still took sharp pictures.

I don't care for the IQ that closeup filters give but this lens is so sharp that even a +4 filter was usable.

The only flare I saw was apparent only after post processing.

(Lower right. Just above the casino.)

Heck, it even works as a wildlife lens.

The only negative I have to say about the SMC Pentax F50 1.7 is that stars appear a little (pixel peeping required) soft wide open. Stopping down one or two stops solves that and during the day wide open is silly. It's a fantastic lens and as long as I own a Pentax I'll have one of these lenses.
06-02-2016, 12:22 PM - 1 Like   #559

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Hi guys! Just sitting by the beach at San Sebastian and thinking about my last month with FA 43 and you.

I have to say that on FF format it really makes me reach for it often in situations where I'm often. Really 'natural' POV, sharp!, and makes me smile when I look at photos. Same as 77, which is much better on FF(if I need reach more just turn that wheel). I'll post a lot of pictures when back at home, and some of them at here just so that you don't have to through them all.

That 'nervous' bokeh is gone with FF but it is still focusing close up, for example flower shots. But enviromental portraits nice scenerys are quite good/exellent. And stopped down it performs like a beast. Dammit... I'm in love. Must say that purchasing 31 seems not so reasonable anymore. On FF this is something that I thought that I'd need for, but that was before FF and F28/2.8 seems to do fine. Would like it to be 25 TBH. And my 24/2.8 would be better as 20 mm. But that is an other thing, this is just a more because I have been traveling with them.

My copy seems to be good one, I'v posted picture of it some time a go too. Silver 0005254. I'v read from this very Forum about some broblems, but I have not have any other but when close focus in busy enviroment, like flowerbench or so.

I do really recommend this lens, especially on FF. Sometimes I miss APS-C, but I have crop mode and K-3 for that.

Will be posting pictures in 3 days. Take care!

06-04-2016, 06:32 PM - 2 Likes   #560
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My wrap up of the May SIC.
I used my designated lens (DA 50mm f/1.8) for the month 85% of time. What can I say that hasn’t already been said or isn’t already known? It isn’t called fantastic plastic for nothing.
Compact, light, sharp enough but softens at f/3.5 and wider, nice bokeh. After running the lens for landscape, architecture, somewhat close-ups (after cropping in pp : ) ) on flowers, I find it met every challenge nicely.
I did use the manual smc Pentax M-50 f/1.7 lens four days out of the month. I am not sure if it is the copy I have, as it appears to suffer some coating damage on the inside lenses but the contrast lacks. It’s easy enough to fix in pp. I am impressed that it is still fairly sharp and renders a very pleasant bokeh. I love the smooth imaging it produces with a strong film-like quality.
But mostly, I love the effect it has on my photography psyche. It gives me feeling of being a grounded, more mature photographer. Turning the focusing ring turns up my ability to slow down and “think” like a photographer, if that makes any sense.
All in all, May was definitely a “growing” month for me.
Although, I had to bow out for June (I am feeling very pressured from many sources in my life right now and need to slow down. I don’t want my joy of photography to wain in the midst of personal pressures and I just can’t keep up with everything.) I will see what July holds.
I certainly have been enlightened and blessed by everyone’s posts, especially the K-1 images --- Want One!!!
I like a lot of my shots this month but I will keep it to my 4 personal favorites:

06-07-2016, 10:25 AM - 4 Likes   #561
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SMC "Auto" m42 55mm f1.8 Takumar

This is one of the three lenses my dad gave me a year and a half ago, with his trusty Spotmatic F. From the first roll shot with it, I knew it was a great lens, and it has a high nostalgic factor for me. Despite this, it gets lost with my other 50mm(ish) lenses, and doesn't see the light of day as much as it should. I'm really happy to have used it this month! You really get to know a lens a bit better, using it for a month. There are a lot of great reviews here, I'll try to keep mine short.

  • When everything comes together, this lens is incredibly sharp from as low as f2.8 and up. I have an unconfirmed theory it peaks around f4 or f5.6. I know these are not particularly sexy aperture numbers, but this lens really delivers a fine image around there.
  • Size - it's such a nice compact lens! Sure, a lot of 50's are, but it sure is nice.
  • Build - gotta love the metal build, what's not to like. The focus is nice and smooth.
  • Focus travel. There is a lot of travel in this lens. This can be good and bad! Read on after the pros and cons.
  • REALLY smooth bokeh. I'm really happy I discovered this about this lens, I didn't really realize it.
  • It has an auto/manual switch - VERY handy for shooting on a DSLR!
  • Action shots are actually really fun with it, if you can set up a focus trap for your subject before hand
  • Not as flare resistant as a modern lens. By any stretch of the imagination, you really need to figure out what lighting situations to avoid, or be ok with wash outs, flares, etc.
  • It is really hard to get critical focus on my K3 without a split screen
  • If your focus is off by a bit, it is really noticeable. I'm not sure what it is, but the lens demands attention to focus, even at higher apertures. No slacking off. :P
  • Field of view is a little narrow at times on APS-C for my tastes, but this is the usual prime lens trade off
  • Not the sharpest at f1.8 in my opinion
This is a lens that demands you to be thoughtful placing focus and paying attention to lighting conditions. But when you do, it rewards you well! I found using live view and zooming in to inspect focus was the way to go for critical shots.

I know they're a bit arbitrary, but I got three Flickr explore's this month using this lens! I think that it forced me to slow down and work on each shot a little more...

Here's the album of all the photos I took in May with it if you're interested.

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