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02-21-2014, 10:50 PM   #1
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Smc 50mm f/1.7 lens... I'm lost!

So I purchased this lens because of the price and after reading so many posts about not going wrong with this.

My question is... How do you get those wonderful massively up close pictures? Are they literally in your face items?

Sorry...this may be a really stupid question, nut I am seriously lost with learning how to achieve this.

Thanks in advance!

02-21-2014, 11:30 PM   #2
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How close exactly? The minimum focusing distance is 0.45m or about 1.5ft, that will get you pretty close for many subjects on its own.

The Pentax 50mm f1.7 is popular for macro use, it performs really well on extension tubes and reverse mounted. So if you're wanting something really tiny to fill the entire frame this is the route you'd need to take. Extension tubes are nothing more than hollow tubes that go between the lens and body. The further you can get the lens away from the sensor, the closer your focus distance becomes.

If you have an example of a shot you're trying to emulate that would help.
02-21-2014, 11:31 PM   #3
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Could you maybe post or link us to an example of what you desire?
02-21-2014, 11:42 PM   #4
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I wonder if you're trying to describe a picture where your subject is sharp but the background is fuzzy and dreamy? If so, put the lens on 1.7, have your subject be between 3 and 5 feet away while the background is 15 feet or more away.
Or maybe you're describing taking a really close up shot like a macro - if so the 50 1.7 lenses are not macro lenses. There are some things you can do to give them that capability like reverse mounting your lens or buying some close up filters that let you bring the lens closer to your subject.

What camera do you have? And which 50 1.7 lens did you buy - the Pentax M50 1.7, the A50 1.7, the f50 1.7 or the FA50 1.7?

02-22-2014, 02:49 AM   #5
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Tell us what you want to achieve and why you think this lens is the right one for the purpose, then hopefully we can help further.

We all are here to learn from, and help, each other.
02-22-2014, 05:56 AM   #6
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Take a look at this video.


I f your so inclined take a look at his other videos he has a lot of good information he's pretty good at breaking down the complex to make it understandable.
02-22-2014, 06:51 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by vagrant10 Quote

What camera do you have? And which 50 1.7 lens did you buy - the Pentax M50 1.7, the A50 1.7, the f50 1.7 or the FA50 1.7?
This is particularly important. Not so much which camera, but which lens.
02-22-2014, 07:29 AM   #8
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Hey, welcome to the forum!
Here is what you do. Go to camera menu and the rightmost option - Enable aperture ring. Aperture ring must be enabled.
Now turn the mode dial to Av mode and ISO to ISO 100.
This lens has manual focus only, right? So just look at the focus ring and notice the values on this. These represent how far from the sensor (not the lens! The sensor is 45mm deep in the camera) the focus is. So turn the focus to the lowest number (away from the infinity symbol), as far as it lets you. Now simply come closer to your subject until it becomes in-focus. Now press the shutter and bam! That is the maximum background blur (bokeh) and the maximum magnification that lens allows!

You see, magnification is always the biggest at the closest focus. DoF is always smallest at smallest f-number and nearest focus.
Just keep in mind that this technique is slightly cliche, don't overdo it. To get a bigger DoF and better overall IQ, you will have to switch to M mode and twist the aperture ring to a higher f-number, then meter with the green button. Avoid aperture above around f11, as it at such high values the photo will start to become unsharp.

If the photo is blurry (motion blur, shake blur), switch ISO to a higher value, but avoid going above 3200 (as high ISO increases the digital noise). In Av mode, you can even use auto-ISO, but not in M mode (it will turn M mode into Av if you try). A higher ISO will allow a faster shutter speed (which is automatically chosen in Av mode, or chosen via green button in M mode)

02-22-2014, 09:47 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone for the responses.

I was looking at images using this particular lens on the actual forum. Here's an example of one of the closeups I see...
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/130-lens-sample-photo-archive/153059-pent...samples-2.html

...it's the black cat with the focus on the eyes..although i'm not picturing my cat- I'm trying to take a picture of my daughter's eyes. It's also not that sharp like a lot of these other photos I see (sigh)

I didn't, however, know about the extension tube or the reverse mounting. I'm sure I can do a search on this website and find that information so I can continue playing with it and learning?

I have a k-r camera and the lens is the smc pentax-m 50mm f/1.7. I have been shooting in Manual mode as well.

Thanks everyone for the quick reply! I'm a total newbie at this and have been wanting to capture awesome pictures of my baby and family. Besides this lens, do you recommend any other lens to take action shots that are within budget (not anything over $700)? I would use them more for daily pictures- No landscapes (however we do go on vacation often).
02-22-2014, 09:48 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by geru2000 Quote
Take a look at this video.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=HG-vPzrEONM

I f your so inclined take a look at his other videos he has a lot of good information he's pretty good at breaking down the complex to make it understandable.
Thanks for the video! I love watching and reading to learn more...so I will definitely be watching this today!
02-22-2014, 09:57 AM   #11
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You can try the DA 50mm f1.8, which is almost the same as the M 50mm f1.7, but it has fast AF and modern lens coatings and full automation. And it costs under $200, even new.

With the thread you linked to, you have to keep in mind that there is a lot more to a photo than just camera and lens.
The photographer probably adjusted the EV, and carefully chose the settings (aperture, shutter, ISO). They probably had good light conditions or used a flash. Then they shot raw (not jpeg) and developed the photograph with software, where they could affect the saturation, contrast, sharpness, noise reduction, etc. an out of camera jpeg probably won't look that great. But if you follow my earlier guide, you will get close. And if you shoot jpeg, you need to press Info and choose the right jpeg mode (bright, vibrant.. film reversal is popular, but these don't all look great for every subject. You can even customize them and add sharpness, saturation, contrast).
If you are having problems getting focus, feel free to look for some catch in focus (aka focus trapping) threads and guides. This Pentax function will let you get something similar to AF even on your manual lens.
02-22-2014, 10:11 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Keika Quote
I was looking at images using this particular lens on the actual forum. Here's an example of one of the closeups I see...
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/130-lens-sample-photo-archive/153059-pent...samples-2.html
Everything I see there is attainable without anything special, that is all within the limits of the standard focusing range of the lens. Extension tubes and all of that are for when you want to get extremely close.
QuoteOriginally posted by Keika Quote
...it's the black cat with the focus on the eyes..although i'm not picturing my cat- I'm trying to take a picture of my daughter's eyes. It's also not that sharp like a lot of these other photos I see (sigh)
Focusing wide open is a challenge, especially if your subject isn't perfectly still. The depth of field is so shallow that there is no room for error. If you look closely at that cat picture you'll notice the left eye is just slightly out of focus, if that eye had been completely in focus the nose would have been out of focus. I'd recommend shooting at a aperture of around f2.8, it is more forgiving and on close subjects you still get that smooth blurred background.
02-22-2014, 10:39 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by elliott Quote
Everything I see there is attainable without anything special, that is all within the limits of the standard focusing range of the lens. Extension tubes and all of that are for when you want to get extremely close.

Focusing wide open is a challenge, especially if your subject isn't perfectly still. The depth of field is so shallow that there is no room for error. If you look closely at that cat picture you'll notice the left eye is just slightly out of focus, if that eye had been completely in focus the nose would have been out of focus. I'd recommend shooting at a aperture of around f2.8, it is more forgiving and on close subjects you still get that smooth blurred background.
I will echo this, this is good advice. @ 2.8 the M 50 1.7 gets STUPID sharp and still has good Depth of field.

This is above and beyond my favorite lens of all time(I have 3 copies)
02-24-2014, 09:32 AM   #14
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I'm shooting mostly kids and families with small kids, would you suggest using the a 50mm or the da 50mm? Or....Im open to other suggestions, but I do like these lenses costs. Thank you.
02-24-2014, 10:28 AM   #15
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For kids I would get a AF lens. Use the manual for photos you can take your time with.
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