Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
Log in or register to remove ads.

Pentax Lens Review Database » Film Era Pentax K-Mount Lenses » M Prime Lenses
SMC Pentax-M 50mm F1.7 Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-M 50mm F1.7

Reviews Views Date of last review
240 857,103 Wed March 23, 2022
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $40.60 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 240
New Member

Registered: March, 2022
Posts: 6
Lens Review Date: March 23, 2022 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very nice little prime
Cons: None
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Camera Used: LX   

Fantastic prime, usually well priced and works outstandingly well on adapted to my Sony cameras.
New Member

Registered: April, 2021
Posts: 12

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 24, 2021 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $25.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, affordable, and well built
Cons: No aperture information on files
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-70   

A very fun lens, for the price you can't ask for anything more! The build screams quality and it produces respectable photos. If you are considering an M series lens, I highly recommend it (whatever that's worth).

Recently I have been playing with CIF and although I don't have it mastered, the results are pleasing and I find it does help improve the experience of shooting with the lens.

Example photos (edited in LR):

Site Supporter

Registered: August, 2017
Location: Ronneburg
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: August 5, 2021 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: built like a tank, fast lens
Cons: none for me
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Z-5, K-3   

Pentax M SMC 50 f1.7 is a great value for the money. It is small, light, and there are lot of them around making the price reasonable. Slightly softer at f1.7 it reaches very good figures from 2.8.
New Member

Registered: July, 2021
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: August 1, 2021 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Compact, sharp, widely available, colors, build
Cons: Busy bokeh sometimes
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: Pentax MX, Sony A6500   

I don't feel as though this is a super standout lens in any particular way, but an overall very good performer. The main area it beats my other lenses is in being very light and compact. I have two copies, so it's also a great lens to take along on a bike ride or some such venue where I'm bumping it around, because it still makes fantastic pictures but I won't be heartbroken if I hurt it.

Handling is fantastic, both of mine have smooth focus and a nice tactile aperture ring. Sharpness is about what you'd expect from a nifty fifty of this age and speed. Very usable especially a click or two down from wide open. Colors are great, and what you'd expect from Pentax SMC. I find that it's usable for portraits wide open if you're in low light. If you have a lot of light, then high contrast edges get blown out by aberrations/lack of sharpness. In bright light situations (which I try to avoid anyway) it becomes quite usable by f4 or 5.6.

The only complaint I really have about this lens is that the bokeh is not my favorite with the wrong combination of factors. In my experience that is usually varying types and shades of foliage as the background. Close up for flowers or the like it's less noticeable, but for larger subjects where you're taking in more of the background it's something to keep in mind.

A fantastic entry point to the world of Pentax lenses. It was for me, and I still have my first one.

Registered: February, 2011
Location: Southern Finland
Posts: 657
Lens Review Date: April 18, 2021 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, compact, well built
Cons: (nothing, considering its origin and age)
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K200D, K-5, K-1   

I think everything important has been said already in previous reviews. This lens is very compact and optically sharp. Built like a tank, as all M series lenses. Must be operated manually in digital cameras, but the green button helps a lot. That's how the film era lenses are - so this is no defect considering the time it was released originally. Focusing needs some practise, as the focus throw is quite short. A good performer for macro work with some accessories, like extension tubes, reverse ring or close-up lens.

To be honest, though, with digital bodies I'd rather use my SMC-F 1,7/50 than this - just because of the autofocus. Optically they are about the same - both very good.
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.
Forum Member

Registered: June, 2014
Posts: 55

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.


Registered: September, 2017
Location: Medellín
Posts: 1,313
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.

Registered: July, 2016
Location: Patrick Co. Virginia
Posts: 1,288
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: 180
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

2 users found this helpful
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.
Add Review of SMC Pentax-M 50mm F1.7

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:07 AM. | See also:, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]