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Latest Review Posted Vivitar 50mm F1.7 MC
I bought this little guy because I missed having my Pentax-M 50mm 1.7. By the numbers, the Pentax lens is smaller than the Vivitar, but this thing is practically a pancake lens when mounted on Pentax's flagship bodies like the K-5ii. I prefer to use a messenger-style camera bag, so having a little extra room afforded by a small lens like this is helpful.

Let me be clear: The sharpness of this lens when used wide open at f/1.7 leaves something to be desired. There is heavy ghosting which also reduces the overall scene contrast. And this is assuming the photographer had perfect focus at a setting for very narrow depth of field. Going down a half-stop to f/2 helps, and using this one could make some nice soft-focus portraits. Things get satisfactorily good at f/2.8. Strangely enough, on more than one occasion I've been shooting at f/1.7 for the heck of it and upon reviewing the shot I had to double-check the aperture. I'm inclined to say subjects with strong light/dark elements fair better than low contrast scenes when using maximum aperture. The Vivitar is crisp and clear from f/4 and up.

I think the aberrations for this lens are on par with other fast-fifties. Wide open you can see some purple and green fringing on edges, but this is often overlooked because the ghosting softens everything. Again, going down one stop to f/2.8 minimizes the effect and post processing takes care of the rest.

The MC coating is at least adequate; I haven't had issues with flare.

I alwa...

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