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05-24-2008, 12:40 PM   #1
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Primes: IQ Rankings

I would like to know more about the Pentax world of older lenses, since I am new to it and look to build around the K20. It is clear there are many seasoned Pentaxians here, ones who must hold a wealth of knowledge in this category in the forefront of their minds.

My question is this: Of the faster 50mm primes in Pentax’s history, specifically the f 1.4s & f 1.7s, would any of you care to rank them with respect to IQ only. I recently read that, even within the screw mounts, the 1.4s are not treated equally. Thanks, in advance, for any contributions to the discussion.


Ernest

05-24-2008, 01:33 PM   #2
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My 50mm rank.

I don't have all of the 50mm primes but I have about 6 of them:

Here is my rank (based on subjective opinion):
1&2. F 50mm/1.4 or FA 50mm/2.8 Macro -- sorry can't decide which one is better. Both has different purpose in my opinion.
3. FA 50mm/1.4 -- somehow, for my copy the FA 50/1.4's exposure is 1/3 stop lower compared to my F50/1.4 with the same setting. Maybe that's why some reviewer said that F50/1.4 is better optically.
4. A 50mm/1.7
5. M 50mm/2 (I have 2 of this lens)
05-24-2008, 01:41 PM   #3
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For some perspective:
sm-02-09-22
My Favorite Lens

My experience tends to agree with Mike Johnson's.

The 43 Ltd is in a different league from the Takumars and just about any other 50mm lens.

The Takumar 55/1.8 is probably the most even in its performance, very excellent. I've had two, an Auto I still have, and a S-M-C.
The Takumar 50/1.4 has some magic, and have a bit of a change in character wide open. I have two - a Super and a SMC.

In general, especially with older lenses (we all age a bit differently, no?) I feel there's probably a greater sample variation than model ranking, at least within a family of lenses.

I'm equally happy to shoot with any of the above
05-24-2008, 03:04 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jewelltrail Quote
I would like to know more about the Pentax world of older lenses, since I am new to it and look to build around the K20. It is clear there are many seasoned Pentaxians here, ones who must hold a wealth of knowledge in this category in the forefront of their minds.

My question is this: Of the faster 50mm primes in Pentax’s history, specifically the f 1.4s & f 1.7s, would any of you care to rank them with respect to IQ only. I recently read that, even within the screw mounts, the 1.4s are not treated equally. Thanks, in advance, for any contributions to the discussion.


Ernest
Besides the Stan bible, here is another one as compiled some time ago

Alex's Library: Photo Tips

Daniel

05-24-2008, 06:46 PM   #5
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Original Poster
Thank you very much everyone. The opinions and websites are a great help to me.

Nesster Of the 2 Takumar 1.4s, which do you prefer and why?


danielchtong I am not sure what you mean by the "Stan Bible." Can you provide further direction?


Ernest
05-25-2008, 04:30 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jewelltrail Quote

Nesster Of the 2 Takumar 1.4s, which do you prefer and why?
Ernest,
I prefer the older Super Tak, but not necessarily for IQ reasons. It is the more yellowed one which is kind of cool to look through ...

The SMC I simply have less experience with: I bought it at a goodwill, the part that has the aperture mark and DOF chart rotates freely around (missing a set screw) and for the first year of owning the lens it seemed the aperture blades were stuck. I held onto it in case I'd have some use for a 1.4 lens stuck wide open! Then to my surprise when I tried the lens again things were working after all! I may take it to a jewler's to see if they have a suitable size set screw for the aperture ring...

My personal opinion: the Super Tak and to a lesser extent the SMC Tak tend to fall apart a bit wide open - I don't mean the pictures come out poor, only that pixel peeping brings up a lot of CA and flare. Which actually can translate into 'good bokeh', depending on how you arrange things. The two 55m lenses did not have as much CA wide open - or perhaps at any aperture. (These observations are on a K100D, different cameras may show different behavior).
05-25-2008, 04:35 AM   #7
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The 50mm f1.2 rocks. Even my clapped-out version is awesome.
05-30-2008, 02:17 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jewelltrail Quote
danielchtong I am not sure what you mean by the "Stan Bible." Can you provide further direction?

Ernest
It is not exactly brief comments ............

Brief Comments

Daniel

05-30-2008, 02:22 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithos Quote
The 50mm f1.2 rocks. Even my clapped-out version is awesome.
Clapped out or crapped out version?

Daniel
05-30-2008, 04:05 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jewelltrail Quote
I would like to know more about the Pentax world of older lenses, since I am new to it and look to build around the K20. It is clear there are many seasoned Pentaxians here, ones who must hold a wealth of knowledge in this category in the forefront of their minds.

My question is this: Of the faster 50mm primes in Pentax’s history, specifically the f 1.4s & f 1.7s, would any of you care to rank them with respect to IQ only. I recently read that, even within the screw mounts, the 1.4s are not treated equally. Thanks, in advance, for any contributions to the discussion.


Ernest
Look here:

http://www.takinami.com/yoshihiko/photo/lens_test/pentax_normal.html
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