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SMC Pentax-M 50mm F1.7

Reviews Views Date of last review
235 801,764 Sat October 17, 2020
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $40.59 9.34
SMC Pentax-M 50mm F1.7

SMC Pentax-M 50mm F1.7
SMC Pentax-M 50mm F1.7

The SMC Pentax-M 50mm F1.7 is a common standard lens that shipped with many early Pentax bodies.

SMC Pentax-M 50mm F1.7
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (no A setting)
Automatic, 6 blades
6 elements, 5 groups
Mount Variant
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
Min. Focus
45 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
49 mm
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 32 ° / 27 °
Full frame: 47 ° / 40 °
Various types
Dedicated hard case
Lens Cap
Plastic clip-on
Weather Sealing
Other Features
Diam x Length
63 x 31 mm
185 g
Production Years
1977 to 1984
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-M 1:1.7 50mm
Product Code
User reviews
Lens was sold without hood. Several hoods will fit like PH-S49 (50mm) and screw-in type metal and folding rubber hoods
Manual FocusAperture RingFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Price History:

Add Review of SMC Pentax-M 50mm F1.7
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 235
New Member

Registered: September, 2020
Location: Derbyshire
Posts: 3
Lens Review Date: October 17, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 6 

Pros: Sharp when stopped down, beautifully made
Cons: Unusable wide open / too small and fiddly / dim
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 6    Handling: 4    Value: 7    Camera Used: MX/ME   

This lens is too small for me even though it is beautifully made. Handling is a real downer if you have large hands. Its takes 49mm filters which are usually quite cheap.

On the KX I have, focussing is not as easy as it should be - I need the 50mm A 1.4 to be able to focus properly. I can even focus better on the K 35mm 3.5 I have, and it's slower! Light gathering is not its forte.

One thing that is most disappointing about this lens is its performance wide open. My sample and others I have had are just not very good wide open. My 50mm AIS 1.8 is better in the centre as was the Zuiko 50mm 1.8 I once had. Sure, the 50mm 1.4's have some veiling flare but this 50mm 1.7 has no character used wide open at all.

I have to say that I am not a big fan of anything Pentax with an 'M' in it. Too small, and too many compromises (although the M 135mm 3.5 is a very nice lens and capable of excellent results and handles nicely).

If you have large hands, stick with the K 55mm or an A 50mm or go for a K or A 50mm 1.4 instead. The Pentax 50mm 1.4s - right up to the FA - are all very underrated.

BTW - all my reviews are based on film use.
Junior Member

Registered: June, 2014
Posts: 47

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 14, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

Pros: sharp, small, light, affordable
Cons: no "A" setting
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax ME Super, Samsung NX30   

I bought this lens with a camera and can't tell its exact price. It is sharp in the centre even wide open, although with some purple fringing. The corners become properly sharp by F8 – similar to Helios 44 but with much better contrast. I use it on my older film cameras and Samsung mirrorless through an adapter. Lack of the "A" setting limits its usability on Pentax DSLRs.

Very nice little lens, highly recommended!

Pentax ME Super, Kodak Portra 160

Pentax ME Super, Kodak Ultramax 400
New Member

Registered: October, 2020
Posts: 4
Lens Review Date: October 10, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $35.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness Bokeh Size
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-01   

Got a near mint copy of this for the equivalent of $35US. All I can say is the images it produces are easily 4 to 5 times the price I paid for it.

New Member

Registered: June, 2020
Posts: 2
Lens Review Date: June 25, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $20.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Sharp wide open, excellent contrast and colors, compact
Cons: Bokeh
Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 4    Handling: 7    Value: 9    Camera Used: EOS 60D   

Paid it 20 USD (imported it from Japan). In mint condition.
Excellent sharpness and colors from f2. Contrast is excellent. Easier to focus and less CA than 50/1.4 version.
Bokeh is only issue.

I think that this is the best buy regarding 50mm lenses. Optically better than any Helios or Pentacon 50mm lens, and costs the same, or less.

A few pictures using macro tubes.

Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: September, 2017
Location: Medellín
Posts: 1,284
Lens Review Date: December 23, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $80.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, small, nice handling.
Cons: Six aperture blades.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Film cameras, K-5   

I got one to see what all the hype was about. It's that good!
Can't go wrong with this one. I specially like the handling. If it had seven or eight aperture blades it would be the perfect fast fifty.
Veteran Member

Registered: July, 2016
Location: Patrick Co. Virginia
Posts: 718
Lens Review Date: November 11, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $27.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Inexpensive compared to the f1.4, good low light, sharp
Cons: not wysiwyg for aps-c cameras, too narrow fov for milkyway
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K50,k5   

I sought a 50mm after reading lots of legendary things about them, only to flind the f1.4 artificially expensive compared to other models and "settled" for this one when I found one at a low bid. One thing I learned from the experience is that 50mm on an aps-c required me to take a few steps back down the trail quite a bit. When I saw a shot it would frame too close every time. This is because the k50's crop sensor, while displaying subjects in the same focal length at film or "full frame" sensors, crops the image FOV by 1.5x, leaving you a bit to close. I've since found the 35mm works better for such walkabouts. I now somehow have three of these things and this one has been the workhorse of the lot, working mostly as a very nice portrait and closeup lens. In Astrophotography it works well for shooting a wide region of sky without the "all sky" or fisheye effect on really wide lenses.
Overall it's a nice little manual prime with nothing to gripe about, but buyers should be aware that they are getting a defacto fov of a 70mm f1.7
New Member

Registered: October, 2017
Posts: 3
Lens Review Date: November 10, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharpness, low-light use, build quality
Cons: Bokeh not outstanding
Sharpness: 10    Bokeh: 6    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Camera Used: K1   

This is an outstanding sharp lens, even fully open.
If you like a manual focus 50 mm for low-light street photography, on film or digital, it would be near to perfect for this purpose.

Lightweight, excellent handling and build quality.
Bokeh: the only drawback in my opinion, but we must be conscious that these optics were designed more than 30 years ago, hence there nobody did worry about a "bokeh"..

Easy to use on K1. I have configured the green button on my K1 as "tv shift".
To get the correct exposure, set Camera on M, focus, press the green button to measure and save exposition value and shoot.
See the two pics. Both are JPEG taken at 400 iso at f1.7 today afternoon. (foggy and cloud covered in Luxembourg ardennes.)

If you have the opportunity, buy one. You will not be disappointed.

Senior Member

Registered: May, 2019
Location: Agadir city -Morocco
Posts: 173
Lens Review Date: November 5, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $20.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: it's a glorious lens I still use it, it makes an impressive sharpness and bokeh
Cons: absence (of course) of autofocus
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 8    Camera Used: Pentax K20D   

it's a glorious goal I still use it, it makes an impressive sharpness and bokeh, considering its price it is a good to practice without AF
New Member

Registered: October, 2019
Posts: 2
Lens Review Date: October 22, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $35.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent low light results
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-50   

Just got this lens after getting a K-50 (first DSLR). I have tested low light and close shots with excellent results. I will try bokeh, outdoor performance, etc later.

- Pentax-M 50mm F1.7
- Pentax K-50 DSLR (16.3mp)
- mounted on tripod
- aperture priority
- ISO 100
- white balance set to AWB
- focus peaking enabled on camera
- using manual focus assist
- 2-second timer

Right-click the following images and click "Open Image in New Tab", then zoom in.

All jpegs right from the my Pentax K-50.

F5.6, 1/4 second exposure:

These shots were taken in a living room at night with just one soft incandescent lamp turned on across the room.

I was very surprised at how well it performs in low light. The pics appear bright, but the room is pretty dim by comparison. Amazing how clear, bright, and rich in color this photo came out.

F1.7, 10 second exposure:

Here are a few more pics I just took, with focus centered on the Rhythm / Treble switch:

F1.7, 1/10 second exposure:

F5.6, 7/10 second exposure:

F22, 10 second exposure:
New Member

Registered: February, 2019
Posts: 12
Lens Review Date: October 8, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

Pros: Small and easy to use
Cons: None
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

I think there is a lot of exaggeration going on because people don't seem to know that an old lens on a digital camera will have it's output influenced by the onboard software, sensor and processor of the camera, so you are not actually rating just the lens.

On film cameras (no software or hardware) this remains a lovely all-rounder lens. It's very good at f5.6 to f11 across most of the photos it takes and it never gets worse than good at the extremes of aperture. Don't bother to waste cash on the ridiculously expensive f1.4 or f1.2 versions unless you take photos in very low light, as this lens is perfectly fine for 95% of the photos most people take.

Make sure the one you buy is internally clean and has no dirt or fungus in it before you buy it. Otherwise, you can't go wrong unless you are a seriously ridiculous pickettypixel person who blows every image up 100% and then scans over every pixel for no reason at all.
New Member

Registered: August, 2017
Posts: 3
Lens Review Date: October 8, 2019 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 5 

Pros: Well build,
Cons: fully manual, not sharpest lens among other 50s
Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 5    Value: 9    Camera Used: Programm Super A, K1   

Used this on an analogue camera and on my K1. For film cameras absolutely ok. On my K1 - nothing special. Its an old optic, so dont expect too much. There are much more better alternatives: e.g. Pentax 1.4 or some M42 gems like Zeiss Pancolar 1.8 (more sharp, better bokeh...)
The modern versions are superior too, like the FA 50mm (macro).
If you have a small budget, try it.
Of course I read the other reviews here. Maybe I have a bad copy. Anyway, please ask yourself: how much Imagequality is available for 40,-$ ? For this price the lense is recommended. But in comparison to other lenses it is not.
Finally I have to say, that this glas is absolutely overrated in this forum.
Senior Member

Registered: November, 2018
Posts: 133
Lens Review Date: October 3, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

Pros: build, contrast, size, focus feel
Cons: none
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

New Member

Registered: June, 2018
Posts: 2
Lens Review Date: September 26, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $45.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Small and lightweight, high contrast, flare control
Cons: Handling and feel, lots of coma at bright apertures
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: MX, X-T3   

I found this lens to be very well rounded and even a great performer on digital. It has high contrast and good central sharpness already wide open, but a high amount of aberrations prevents the mid-frame and edges from being tack-sharp until about f/4.5. After that everything is excellent and I feel that is where this lens really shines. Flare control is also superb, you'll have a hard time finding another old fast 50 from any other brand that can match it. I'm not a huge fan of the handling, like everyone else I lament the loss of the Takumar and 1st gen K-mount build and handling, but compared to modern lenses and even the A type lenses the handling is excellent.
Site Supporter

Registered: June, 2013
Location: Utrecht
Posts: 58
Lens Review Date: August 9, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $10.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Compact, smooth aperture, sharp, contrasty, cheep
Cons: none
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: ME super to K1ii   

Works fine on everything, snappy aperture, decent sharp wide open, super sharp stopped down, only a very little CA wide open in out of focus areas. I bought this ten years ago as a ME-super set (camera + M2.8/28 + M1.7/50 + M135/3.5) for € 45,- . Lenses and camera were like new, camera was hardly used. I often mount this on my K-01, but also on Full Frame this is a stellar perfomer. Everyone with a K-mount camera should have this lens, they are often offered for little. Pentax made millions of it....

See also

Pictures taken with K-01, (almost) wide open.

Original test report 1978

New Member

Registered: March, 2019
Posts: 2
Lens Review Date: June 2, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Size and Weight, build quality, feel when using, optical performace
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Sony a6000   

This is hands down one of my favourite vintage lenses in the 50 something millimetre focal range. And with 12 others in this range from a multitude of manufacturers I have plenty to compare it to. I love the bomb proof feel of quality from the Pentax m lenses. It looks fantastic and is super easy to use. It is very easy to get focus on this lens using focus peaking. I really like how it renders colours and its sharpness. I got my copy with front and rear caps in great overall condition for what I consider an excellent price considering the quality of the images it produces. Highly recommended.

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