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07-19-2009, 09:18 PM   #1
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Got an M 50mm 1.7 coming! What to expect??

So I got a wild hair up my butt and cruised over to the local evilbay auctions and won myself a nice condition Pentax M 50mm 1.7 lens. It should be here in a couple days. This is my second lens purchase and my first used lens so can anyone give me some pointers on what to check out when I first open the packaging so I can make sure I wasnt duped.
What are some recommendations for shooting subjects to get used to the new lens (ie: gravel, dog p**p, etc)? I am looking forward to exploring going TOTALLY manual with nothing taken care of me which is completely opposite from how I was a month ago with my poor excuse for a p&s camera.

07-19-2009, 10:08 PM   #2
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There is a thread somewhere on this site on evaluating a "pawn shop lens" that covers all the bases. Here is the link:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-lens-articles/59245-pawnshop-lense...ers-guide.html
The executive summary goes something like this:
  • Focus smooth lock-to-lock
  • Aperture ring smooth lock-to-lock
  • Filter ring without damage
  • Mount without damage
  • Aperture lever opens and closes the iris at all stops
  • Aperture actuation snappy
  • Oil on aperture blades
  • Scratches on front or rear elements
  • Fungus, water spots, or excessive dirt inside lens
  • Evidence of separated internal elements
  • Evidence of physical damage by dropping (bent/dented parts, excessive play in barrel, etc.)
  • Zoom action (for zoom lenses) smooth through entire range

As for subjects:
  • Flowers
  • Children
  • Pets
  • Any combination of the above

Steve

(The subject list is an inside joke on this forum...)
07-19-2009, 10:09 PM   #3
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just about everything. there is no boundaries as to shooting subjects unless they are beyond the lens' reach. but to be more specific, that lens is used widely for portraiture (people in general).
07-19-2009, 10:16 PM   #4
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just an addition, make sure that the aperture blades are working properly and at much centered when closed and not crooked nor misaligned.

07-19-2009, 10:17 PM   #5
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The focus ring should turn 180º, smoothly with even resistance. The aperture ring should move between f1.7 and f22, clicking at f2, f2.8, half stops through f16, then f22. The aperture blades should follow along, closing a little with every click. At f22, the aperture lever should open the blades fully, and when it's released, they should snap closed very quickly. The glass should be clear, except possibly some dust particles. The lens will probably rattle a little when you shake it; don't worry about that. The lens should focus to infinity.
07-19-2009, 11:57 PM   #6
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pretty much everything has been covered, so I will only say this: have patience when using this lens. you now have a lens that has to be manually focused, and the aperture manually adjusted. this lens will do nothing for you. you also have a lens that can achieve a very shallow depth of field. this can be a point of frustration for you if you let it. this camera (although capable) wasn't designed for use of these lenses so focusing is going to be an issue you will have to learn to adjust to. so dont get disappointed and frustrated when your first attempts at getting decent photos doesn't go so well. the lens (if in good shape) is very capable and very sharp, even wide open. so I will give you some more advice: be wary of the draw to manual glass, as you may end up with quite the collection...
07-20-2009, 05:53 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
pretty much everything has been covered, so I will only say this: have patience when using this lens. you now have a lens that has to be manually focused, and the aperture manually adjusted. this lens will do nothing for you. you also have a lens that can achieve a very shallow depth of field. this can be a point of frustration for you if you let it. this camera (although capable) wasn't designed for use of these lenses so focusing is going to be an issue you will have to learn to adjust to. so dont get disappointed and frustrated when your first attempts at getting decent photos doesn't go so well. the lens (if in good shape) is very capable and very sharp, even wide open. so I will give you some more advice: be wary of the draw to manual glass, as you may end up with quite the collection...
Yes...I ended up with a f/1-4 50mm and a f/3-5 135mm today without even looking for them. Of course now I'm on the lookout for a good limited lens. I had the f/1.4 50mm years ago with my K1000, glad to have it back and it works great with the K20D.
07-20-2009, 06:37 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone. I hope it gets here soon. I have a feeling my wife will be upset at me begging for this lens and that, but hey at least you can get them for a great price and sell them for what you are in to them pretty much!

07-20-2009, 07:07 PM   #9
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I just got that lens on the weekend and like you just ventured into the manual prime world. so far its been really great. i haven't taken the lens off since. its a fast lens and pretty much does what reviewers say, soft wide open, at f2.8 and f4 its really sharp. i don't mind the manual focus at all. im actually looking into the M 28mm 2.8, hope i find it in the same price range.

hope to see some of your images with the 50.
07-20-2009, 08:33 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote

...The lens will probably rattle a little when you shake it; don't worry about that...
Thanks for remembering that point! A little rattle in the M 50/1.7 is normal. Mine did it when it was new.

Steve

(Too many manual lenses...almost bought another one today...)
07-20-2009, 11:18 PM   #11
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Things to expect?

Some of the best damn metal-lens construction the world has ever seen. I don't think mine rattles, though.

Razor sharpness starting from about f2.8.

A weird, beautiful softness wide open.

The epitome of buttered-silk focusing.
07-20-2009, 11:45 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by teetoeb Quote
I just got that lens on the weekend and like you just ventured into the manual prime world. so far its been really great. i haven't taken the lens off since. its a fast lens and pretty much does what reviewers say, soft wide open, at f2.8 and f4 its really sharp. i don't mind the manual focus at all. im actually looking into the M 28mm 2.8, hope i find it in the same price range.

hope to see some of your images with the 50.
I have the M 28mm 2.8. And I say it's a brilliant lens.I also have the M 28mm 3.5.To me this one is even better.So if you find either one or both for the right price,Grab them with both hands.You won't be dissapointed.

Last edited by Barnster; 07-21-2009 at 08:52 PM. Reason: Missed putting in a word
07-21-2009, 05:42 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithos Quote
Some of the best damn metal-lens construction the world has ever seen. I don't think mine rattles, though.
is this concerning only the M series? Takumars blow all K mounts away in this regard. and I have owned 3 smc-M 50mm 1.7's and I don't recall any of mine rattling either. my 'K' 55 1.8 did, but that was fixed by removing the beauty ring and tightening the barrel screws.
07-21-2009, 06:27 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by teetoeb Quote
I just got that lens on the weekend and like you just ventured into the manual prime world. so far its been really great. i haven't taken the lens off since. its a fast lens and pretty much does what reviewers say, soft wide open, at f2.8 and f4 its really sharp. i don't mind the manual focus at all. im actually looking into the M 28mm 2.8, hope i find it in the same price range.

hope to see some of your images with the 50.
The shop where I got primes yesterday said they get more of the M 28mm 2.8 lenses than anything else in the Pentax line. It was nice.
07-21-2009, 09:59 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by MoparFreak69 Quote
I have a feeling my wife will be upset at me begging for this lens and that
If she gives you too hard of a time, turn the tables on her & make her beg for sex.
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