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05-28-2015, 04:36 AM   #16
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Agreed I think the Pentax-M 1.7/50mm is almost as small and better lens but the 2.8/40mm wins in mojo category. You are not going to lose money buying it now, prices keep going up.

05-28-2015, 03:45 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by nickthetasmaniac Quote
In real-world use is there that much difference in size between the 40/f2.8 and the faster (and much cheaper) M50/f1.7?
Depends on how you carry your camera and whether you put a filter on the front (the M40/2.8 with a filter sits 23mm from the lens flange instead of 18mm without). On film though, 40mm is noticeably wider than 50mm and this was the main reason why I used it in preference until I got the FA43.
05-28-2015, 03:56 PM   #18
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you could also get a Super A and a 40mm XS for it, it will still be small enough... maybe even smaller in thickness. And you'll get more aperture blades, modern coatings, AF ability if you want to use it on DSLR. The price for XS is prolly the same as that for the M 40.
05-28-2015, 04:33 PM   #19
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The m 40 is a terrific little lens. I use it with my LX a lot because of it's size. The problem I find is that it can flare so a lens hood is important. That negates the size advantage to a certain degree unless you use the DA 40 hood. I haven't used it on film yet so I am not sure if it vignettes or not.

05-28-2015, 06:58 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pioneer Quote
The m 40 is a terrific little lens. I use it with my LX a lot because of it's size. The problem I find is that it can flare so a lens hood is important. That negates the size advantage to a certain degree unless you use the DA 40 hood. I haven't used it on film yet so I am not sure if it vignettes or not.
May 1979 Pop Photo review of the M40 pancake rates it as the all time low in terms of flare due to the simple construction, very effective blackening and baffling and the superb multilayer coating. All other measurements show it to be a very good lens and not because it is a compromise.

05-29-2015, 12:33 AM   #21
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I began film photography with an inherated MX and M 40mm 2.8 combo. Now i'm mainly shooting with KX M 50mm 1.7 and K 28mm 3.5 (which cover my needs) but the previous combo gave me excellent results. I wouldn't say i'd pick the 40mm only for its size. Although it's obviously not as sharp as the K 28mm stopped-down, i got excellent pictures from it and it's also important to mention that the 40mm focal is great for general-use photography. So it makes at the same time a light photo pack and a good pick for a wide range of subjects.

See following photos (not that colorfull because of overcast skies but I like them very much nonetheless).





05-30-2015, 01:43 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by nickthetasmaniac Quote
In real-world use is there that much difference in size between the 40/f2.8 and the faster (and much cheaper) M50/f1.7?
Yes...huge difference
05-30-2015, 08:50 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Yes...huge difference
Huge? I dunno, I used to own the M50/f1.7 and Auto-Chinon 45/f2.8 (very similar in size to the M40) and the difference between those certainly wasn't 'huge'...

05-30-2015, 09:23 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by nickthetasmaniac Quote
Huge? I dunno, I used to own the M50/f1.7 and Auto-Chinon 45/f2.8 (very similar in size to the M40) and the difference between those certainly wasn't 'huge'...
I dunno, I currently own the M50/1.7 and have had both on my camera (Ricoh XR7) back in the day. The M50/1.7 is almost twice the length (31mm vs. 18mm) and while the M40/2.8 has both aperture and focus rings, both are a pain to use in the field due to the cramped real estate. The M50/1.7 OTOH, is a nice handling lens. I don't know much about they Chinon except that it is supposed to be slightly larger than the Pentax according to a photo.net post from a couple of years back (LINK).

In a few short words, except for making a pocketable combo on the MX and other small bodies such as the Super Program, I saw no incentive to ownership at the time...too tiny. That being said, if I had an MX, I might well look for the pancake just for the kick of it since the lens is a part of representative kit for the camera.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 05-30-2015 at 09:39 PM.
05-30-2015, 10:46 PM   #25
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I traveled recently with DA21 and M40 - both pancakes. When using the M40 I just became used to focusing by bringing hand to the front edge of the lens not the top edge of the lens and found focus ring every time. This lack of real estate is not an issue. As a carry around use hyper focal distance and you don't have to do much focusing. Can't say I have noticed issues with the M40 failing to find focus at infinity but my copy was CLA'd following a recent refurbishment by DCShooter.

My travel Buddies:

05-31-2015, 12:14 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
So THIS is the film-era ancestor of the (current, DA) 40mm pancake!

It's actually not all that much bigger, despite the aperture ring, and that MX looks to be about the smallest a pentaprism SLR can be and still contain all the bits. Makes me want one, and if I had somewhere near me that could develop film I'd almost go for it.
If you're going to shoot B&W develop it yourself. It's dead easy, really. I haven't tried to develop my own color yet but I'll certainly be giving it a shot at some point.

Thanks everyone for all the insightful replies.

Last edited by MD Optofonik; 05-31-2015 at 12:21 AM.
06-03-2015, 12:20 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by LesDMess Quote
May 1979 Pop Photo review of the M40 pancake rates it as the all time low in terms of flare due to the simple construction, very effective blackening and baffling and the superb multilayer coating. All other measurements show it to be a very good lens and not because it is a compromise.
That is very interesting information Les. Thanks. Perhaps mine has some other problems that I am not aware of. I may have to search for another to test.
06-03-2015, 01:01 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pioneer Quote
That is very interesting information Les. Thanks. Perhaps mine has some other problems that I am not aware of. I may have to search for another to test.
You're welcome.
When dealing in the used market, for myself it has been helpful to know what they were supposed to be like new as a reference.
06-03-2015, 03:13 PM   #29
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Barring the rare case of element separation, yellowing, decoating or botched service
why shouldn't a well-made lens perform optically as well as new forever?
Many lenses that perform great in magazine tests somehow just fall short in "real world" user experiences.

IIRC the popularity (and price) of the M40/2.8 lens has waxed and waned over the years.
Many users like it very much; others do not. IMO that might be as much about the focal length as anything.
My advice is to try one now, before the arrival of a Pentax full-frame DSLR drives the prices of all the classic lenses way up.

Chris
06-03-2015, 05:10 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
Barring the rare case of element separation, yellowing, decoating or botched service
why shouldn't a well-made lens perform optically as well as new forever?
Many lenses that perform great in magazine tests somehow just fall short in "real world" user experiences.
Chris


I know how I take care of my new bought items. On lenses, I put as good a filter as I can find before I even take it out of the wrapper. On the used market when I don't know how it was taken care of, who really knows. I suppose they could bang it around and put it out of tolerance but I don't really know as I haven't yet begun taking things apart.


As a test engineer for over a few decades, I suppose I just compulsively test everything methodically. That way if I have to count on it, I already know what I can expect to get out of it. published test results I use as a reference to see if anything is way off. You are of course correct that not all published results are reliable - one way or another.
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