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10-03-2015, 05:35 AM   #1
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In praise of the venerable Pentax-A 645 55mm f2.8 lens

In praise of the venerable Pentax-A 645 55mm f2.8 lens

Among the much-appreciated 645 format lenses whose praises are extolled on this forum, the Pentax A 55mm lens rarely appears. The user database for this lens has relatively few reports, and a middling score of 8.83.

But for those medium format photographers who are interested in something light, yet well-made, and who want value for their money, this lens is the unsung hero.

Here are some of its advantages. It weighs only 400 grams and it has an all-metal construction that will last a lifetime. It has a bright f2.8 maximum aperture and color rendering and sharpness is very good on digital cameras. Best of all: you can get a good second-hand copy for around $150. Incidentally, I noticed that in the old photodo tests for sharpness, it scored a surprising 4.0, which is higher than the much-acclaimed Pentax A 35mm.

These legacy lenses are a good reason why Pentax medium format photography need not break the bank, providing you have bitten the bullet and bought the camera body.

See a 100% crop of a landscape shot I took earlier this year. The old farmhouse is half a mile away at least, so there is some atmospheric degradation, (Taken with a Pentax 645D camera)

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10-03-2015, 10:46 AM   #2
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Not specifically leveled at the A 55mm, but my complaint would be that 55mm is often too wide or not wide enough for me in a lot of situations on 33x44mm, which is no surprise as to why we have 35 & 50mm primes in small format, but no 43mm.
10-04-2015, 04:33 PM   #3
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I recently acquired a 55mm 645 lens with an original 645. I agree, it's a really nice lens, a fees rolls in and I've caught some special photos with it. When l've used it some more I plan to post a review.

My fav photo so far was of a coworker.

It's an interesting focal length, a good jack of all trades for walking around.

Here's a photo I took with it, of the chateau Laurier.

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