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07-13-2009, 02:23 PM   #1
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Old timers.....can you tell me what this lens is good for? Pics!!!!

This is the lens that came with my old film camera, Pentax MG (RIP, you were a great camera!!), circa 1984.

I haven't looked at this lens in YEARS!!! I did notice it has a 1.7 vs. the 3.5 on the kit lens that I currently have on my K100D. I have also mentioned from a previous post or two that I was looking for a lens that would perform better in low light.

How much "better" is this lens in a lower light situation than my kit lens? Also, how do I know what to set the "focul length" on my camera when it asks for it? Would I set it to 50?

And, as always, any other comments about this lens would be most welcome. Had a lot of fun with this lens back in the 80's when I was stioned over in Germany for 2.5 years.........it went all over Germany, Switzerland, Austria, etc., with me. Hate to just "throw the thing" out.

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07-13-2009, 02:54 PM   #2
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Well, I'm not an old timer, but I can say that is a wonderful lense. Great Bokeh, focus is crisp. When your camera ask's for the focal length for SR, 50 is correct for this lense.

I haven't used this lense in particularly low light situations, but it's definitly fast. I have no problem shooting in shade in the evening with this lense.


Hope I could help.

-Javin
07-13-2009, 03:02 PM   #3
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It took some nice pictures for me long ago on my old Pentax MG, but when I started to get into the digital thing, the old lens kinda got forgot about.

But now, I"m starting to explore them again (have an old zoom lens as well......honestly can't remember much about it now......will have to go dig that one out as well!!).

One thing I do miss using the MG........when this old lens was mounted on it, it gave me a different "look". It was easy to focus on that camera since focusing was as simple as "bringing the two halves together". When it's mounted on my K100D, I don't get that look, just a simple "does the image look clear" look.

vmax84
07-13-2009, 03:27 PM   #4
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you can purchase aftermarket split-image focusing screens for your digital body.

07-13-2009, 03:37 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
you can purchase aftermarket split-image focusing screens for your digital body.
I need to look into that, since I still like the lens and would like to use it. And, I really like that kind of focusing.

vmax84
07-13-2009, 03:43 PM   #6
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Among other things, the lens can pull of images like this:


Handheld with available light--a nearby street lamp. Perhaps a mediocre image, but you can see the lens' potential. Click to enlarge.

I traded away my A50/1.7. Sometimes I have regrets.
07-13-2009, 04:13 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
you can purchase aftermarket split-image focusing screens for your digital body.

Best place to look for such an animal? Thanks.

vmax84
07-13-2009, 04:24 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by vmax84 Quote

One thing I do miss using the MG........when this old lens was mounted on it, it gave me a different "look". It was easy to focus on that camera since focusing was as simple as "bringing the two halves together". When it's mounted on my K100D, I don't get that look, just a simple "does the image look clear" look.

vmax84
Not as satisfying as a split prism focusing aid, but you should get a flash of light on the focusing screen and an audible beep from your camera when it comes into focus.

07-13-2009, 04:27 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by raymeedc Quote
Not as satisfying as a split prism focusing aid, but you should get a flash of light on the focusing screen and an audible beep from your camera when it comes into focus.
I do get that, and it is helpful, but for some reason, I really like the split screen focusing.

vmax84
07-13-2009, 05:55 PM   #10
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At the moment, one of those lenses is travelling around the world as part of an ongoing Pentax Forums Members project.
You can see plenty of pictures taken with it here; https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/mini-challenges-games-photo-stories/42332...ifty-50mm.html
07-13-2009, 07:18 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by vmax84 Quote
I do get that, and it is helpful, but for some reason, I really like the split screen focusing.

vmax84
I feel the same way, especially as I shoot with manual focusing lenses exclusively. To that end, I intend to pick up a KatzEye replacement focusing screen with a center split prism rangefinder focusing aid for my *ist DS sometime soon.
07-13-2009, 09:42 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by vmax84 Quote
I haven't looked at this lens in YEARS!!! I did notice it has a 1.7 vs. the 3.5 on the kit lens that I currently have on my K100D. I have also mentioned from a previous post or two that I was looking for a lens that would perform better in low light.

How much "better" is this lens in a lower light situation than my kit lens?
Kit lens is f/3.5 only at the wide end. At 50mm, it's f/5.6. From f/5.6 to f/4 is one stop, f/4 t f/2.8 another, f/2.8 to f/2 another, and f/2 to 1/7 half a stop. That means if you're getting a shutter of 1/2 second with the kit lens at f/5.6, you'd get 1/4 at f/4, 1/8 at f/2.8, 1/15 at f/2, and 1/20 at f/1.7. That's ten times faster - easily the difference between a sharp picture and a hopeless blur.

QuoteQuote:
And, as always, any other comments about this lens would be most welcome.
Do be sure to leave the aperture ring on "A" so the camera can control it.

QuoteQuote:
Had a lot of fun with this lens back in the 80's when I was stioned over in Germany for 2.5 years.........it went all over Germany, Switzerland, Austria, etc., with me. Hate to just "throw the thing" out.
Don't even think of that - it's one of the best lens available for under $500.
07-13-2009, 09:47 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by vmax84 Quote
How much "better" is this lens in a lower light situation than my kit lens? Also, how do I know what to set the "focul length" on my camera when it asks for it? Would I set it to 50?
At 50mm, the largest aperture size you can set on the kit lens is f5.6. On your Pentax-A 50mm, it's f1.7, which is 3.5 stops more light. Let's say you need to take a photo of a Coke can after sunset. With your kit lens at f5.6 and ISO at 200, the meter says your shutter speed should be 0.5 second, too slow to hand-hold. Put on the old-timer lens and you could set your shutter speed to 1/20 sec., fast enough for SR to compensate for camera shake.

The lens will also produce sharper photos than the kit lens. Focal length should be set to 50mm. You should leave the aperture ring set on the A position, because that allows it to work best with the camera.
07-13-2009, 10:08 PM   #14
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The A 50mm F1.7 is a great piece of glass; I did replace it with an F1.4 but that's purely so I could have boasting rights to a "fast 50".

What will a sub-F2.0 get you?

Shooting at low light conditions such as:



or this:



with very little effort.

Definitely a keeper if you don't have something in that F-stop range!
07-14-2009, 04:52 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by legacyb4 Quote
The A 50mm F1.7 is a great piece of glass; I did replace it with an F1.4 but that's purely so I could have boasting rights to a "fast 50".

What will a sub-F2.0 get you?

Shooting at low light conditions such as:



or this:



with very little effort.

Definitely a keeper if you don't have something in that F-stop range!
Those are really nice shots. I"m thinking until I can come up with a "fast 35", I should probably practice up on this manual focus stuff again!!

vmax84
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