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12-21-2013, 01:40 PM - 1 Like   #91
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Maybe it's "old school" to understand the fundamentals of photography?

12-21-2013, 02:31 PM - 1 Like   #92
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QuoteOriginally posted by phreon Quote
Apparently, "old school" is knowing how to use your tools.
Couldn't have said it better.................
12-21-2013, 03:16 PM   #93
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QuoteOriginally posted by zoolander Quote
Do you own the Pentax FA 50mm f/1.4 and the Pentax M f/1.7 ? Okay, I own them both, and the M f1.7 has a narrower depth of field. If this was the other way around (me being in your shoes), I wouldn't believe me either. When I bought the M f/1.7 I thought something was drastically wrong with it, but I checked what the reviewers say and people describe it as having a razor thin depth of field. You don't believe it - then don't believe it. Its a very difficult lens to use. Hey, maybe somethings wrong with it, but the reviewers on Pentax forums concur the razor thin depth of field.
The M50/1.7 was optimized for flat work - that is, it was designed to be used on a copipod, shooting straight down on a flat table to make a negative for use in photolithography (AKA printing), taking photographs that were sharp across the entire image.

The M50/1.4 was designed to be sharp in the center and intentionally softer at the edges in order to offer pleasing photographs when edge softness was a style attribute (as was OOF highlights in the background). Viewer expectations of pleasing images were different at the height of the 35mm film era when images, were viewed as large prints from a distance. Today most images are viewed on a flat monitor from 18" away - expectations are different.

In this case the center DOF of the M50/1.4 may well be slightly deeper than that of the M50/1.7 at f/1.7. It is unlikely, but still possible that the f/1.7 is actually shallower wide open than the f/1.4 wide open. There's more to DoF than just the aperture size - light mechanics through the glass are part of the equation and how the manufacturer labels the lens is not necessarily completely accurate, either.

M50's are easier to use on an MX or MESuper (or later film body) with a large viewfinder and split-image focusing screen.

Read Normal Prime Lenses HERE

Last edited by monochrome; 12-21-2013 at 03:28 PM.
12-21-2013, 04:13 PM   #94
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Pentax is the original "old school" to me...when I got my first job as a newspaper reporter back in 1983, they handed me a K1000 and taught how to wind my own Tri-X. I'd make the rolls as long as would fit in the canister without scratching the emulsion, sometimes 50 to 60 frames, and shoot 'til it was done. I used to love processing film, now I love photoshop. I've owned Kodak, Pentax and Nikon point-and-shoot digital cameras, and killed them all through wear and tear and shooting in extreme conditions, but when I did the research on my first DSLR, Pentax was miles ahead of the pack. My friend bought the comparable Nikon and I discovered his only has 3 points for autofocus, while my K10 has 11! It's a little heavier and bigger, but that's a worth-while trade-off. Given my penchant for macro, I need a lot of options, I'll go with Pentax again when I buy a DSLR that has video capture,

12-21-2013, 04:24 PM   #95
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
The M50/1.7 was optimized for flat work - that is, it was designed to be used on a copipod, shooting straight down on a flat table to make a negative for use in photolithography (AKA printing), taking photographs that were sharp across the entire image.

The M50/1.4 was designed to be sharp in the center and intentionally softer at the edges in order to offer pleasing photographs when edge softness was a style attribute (as was OOF highlights in the background). Viewer expectations of pleasing images were different at the height of the 35mm film era when images, were viewed as large prints from a distance. Today most images are viewed on a flat monitor from 18" away - expectations are different.

In this case the center DOF of the M50/1.4 may well be slightly deeper than that of the M50/1.7 at f/1.7. It is unlikely, but still possible that the f/1.7 is actually shallower wide open than the f/1.4 wide open. There's more to DoF than just the aperture size - light mechanics through the glass are part of the equation and how the manufacturer labels the lens is not necessarily completely accurate, either.

M50's are easier to use on an MX or MESuper (or later film body) with a large viewfinder and split-image focusing screen.

Read Normal Prime Lenses HERE


Very interesting. Where can I find more info stating the older M lens was intentionally designed to be soft at the edges and the f1.7 is a copy lens? Do you have links to old brochures? I always thought the f1.4 edge softness was result of the engineering limitations when the lens was designed. And that the f1.7 was the standard "kit" lens for many, many years until it was supplanted by the f2.0. Also, since we're talking about cropped sensor cameras, wouldn't the edge softness be far less pronounced since the imager only (mostly) sees the sweet spot of that old FF lens? My SMC M 50mm f1.4 lived on my K1000 many years until I stuck it on the K3 - so far it seems damned sharp edge to edge on the K3. It does seem less contrasty than newer lenses, however.

Thanks for the link, though I'm familiar with Stan's site (THIS is a good one too). All the reviews are subjective of course ("Quiet sharp!" for example); as we both know, subjective reviews aren't the same thing as actual measurements. I can't find a single mention of "Depth of Field" in any of the f1.7 reviews.
12-21-2013, 04:24 PM   #96
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QuoteOriginally posted by JillyMc Quote
I'll go with Pentax again when I buy a DSLR that has video capture,

Not going to happen any time soon ...............:P
12-21-2013, 05:05 PM   #97
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This discussion has been informative for me too
12-21-2013, 05:47 PM   #98
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QuoteOriginally posted by phreon Quote
All the reviews are subjective of course ("Quiet sharp!" for example); as we both know, subjective reviews aren't the same thing as actual measurements. I can't find a single mention of "Depth of Field" in any of the f1.7 reviews.
Yeah I know they're subjective. Takanami did some MTF measurements that were quite informative about 20 years ago, but that was rare then. Subjective was all they had. There was a discussion on another thread recently about designing lenses to win DXOMark tests and suggesting that Pentax's design ethic was designing lenses that produce pleasing photographs, tests be damned.

As far as edge sharpness on APSc, don't forget these lenses were specifically designed for film cameras. The fact that it was used as a kit lens before the 50/2 would have been a business decision. not a design decision.

Unfortunately I lost a .pst file a few years ago that had hundreds of links to Pentax articles and posts on websites. The discussion about the M lenses is from my memory of one of them and I can't supply that link. I do know that my grandfather and father shot 35mm screens for image inserts in text sets on a copipod table rather than waste an entire 11x17 negative but it was 50 years ago - I just can't remember what camera and lens they used - but it surely wasn't an M lens.

"Proving" such assertions over and over again by linking to some web post gets tiresome anyway. When I started posting here most users would have accepted that statement as settled opinion because they also believed it. That's not on you - it's on me - such is as things are.


Last edited by monochrome; 12-21-2013 at 05:56 PM.
12-21-2013, 07:29 PM   #99
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Let's just agree that Pentax makes some darned fine glass!

As far as the DoF debate goes, assuming the f1.4 and f1.7 perform as marked (they're actually 50mm and the stops aren't off), I remain unconvinced any f1.7 will have a shallower DoF than a same focal length/FOV (magnification factor), same subject distance f1.4 wide open. In the long run, it's splitting hairs, they're both great lenses.

Learning the craft is only "old school" to people who say, "fix it in Photoshop".
12-21-2013, 10:46 PM   #100
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
...Unfortunately I lost a .pst file a few years ago that had hundreds of links to Pentax articles and posts on websites. The discussion about the M lenses is from my memory of one of them and I can't supply that link...
I think it was stated in a Pentax lens manual. It's not in the May 1985 Lenses and Accessories manual.
12-24-2013, 09:18 PM   #101
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I would say that I am old school in many ways. I have a Pentax K1000SE. Does that make me old school? Sometimes, I wonder if i'm old school or just old. Haha.
01-06-2014, 03:41 PM   #102
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You down with O.P.P
01-06-2014, 05:18 PM   #103
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pepe Le Pew Quote
You down with O.P.P
Yeah...you know me.
01-07-2014, 07:09 PM   #104
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Engine, Engine, Numbah Nine,
On the New York transit line,
If my train goes off the track,
Pick it up! Pick it up! Pick it up!

Dam I am old.......School that is.....
01-10-2014, 09:56 AM   #105
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QuoteOriginally posted by phreon Quote
Let's just agree that Pentax makes some darned fine glass!

As far as the DoF debate goes, assuming the f1.4 and f1.7 perform as marked (they're actually 50mm and the stops aren't off), I remain unconvinced any f1.7 will have a shallower DoF than a same focal length/FOV (magnification factor), same subject distance f1.4 wide open. In the long run, it's splitting hairs, they're both great lenses.

Learning the craft is only "old school" to people who say, "fix it in Photoshop".
Yeah I tested the lenses, and I stand corrected. The M 1.7 is a smidge wider than the 1.4. My apologies. Its way sharper at 1.7 and the bokeh is better leaving me with the impression it looked narrower than the 1.4. The 1.7 is a better lens, i should have bought it in F or FA series - but you can't beat $5 for a Pentax M 1.7 at a pawn broker !
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