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Auto Sears 55mm F1.4

Reviews Views Date of last review
6 44,283 Fri March 20, 2015
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $48.60 9.50
Auto Sears 55mm F1.4

* Mount M42 (universal/Pentax screw mount)
* Focal length 55mm
* Aperture range f1.4-16
* Focal range .5m to infinity
* Filter thread 55mm
* Elements 6 in 4 groups
* Aperture blades 6
* Weight 10.8oz (306.2g)
* Auto-Manual switch
* coated
Mount Type: M42 Screwmount
Price History:

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Veteran Member

Registered: October, 2014
Location: Washington
Posts: 2,176
Lens Review Date: March 20, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp and built like a tank
Cons: none
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K5   

I agree with most of the other posts. It is a fine lens, but use a lens hood.
Forum Member

Registered: January, 2015
Posts: 71

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 3, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $33.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: SHARP, build quality, handling
Cons: Cooler colors than Takumar, sensor reflections above ~f/5.6
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-50   

Revising this old review:

In short, this lens is a keeper. Compared to the very highly regarded Super-Takumar 50mm f/1.4 8-element:

-more reach
-marginally SHARPER from f/1.4 to about f/5.6
-focus grip is wider and fits my hand better
-less expensive

-larger and heavier (but not overly so)
-somewhat more prone to glare
-comparatively cooler colors at white balance presets
-sensor reflections a real problem at f/5.6 and up
-sluggish iris is common

Also noteworthy
-Sears gives shallower DOF than the Takumar at the same stops - not sure why
-Sears focuses the "wrong" way compared to Pentax.

This thing is beastly at f/4 and below. I start to see sensor reflections in critical scenes at f/5.6, and above that they become quite obvious to the point that many images are un-savable. The rear element is flat and the coatings were clearly not designed for reflective digital sensors, understandable 'flaws' for a lens that was made in the 1960's.

I gave it a 7 for "aberrations" due to the sensor reflection issues, but these are nonexistent at f/4 and wider, and it's tack sharp across the APS-C frame at f/4. If you're in the market for an APS-C portrait lens, you could do a lot worse for a lot more money.

Sample at f/4 with a little cropping and PP
Veteran Member

Registered: May, 2011
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 366

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 9, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, affordable, fast.
Cons: Big, heavy, focus ring is a bit awkward
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 10   

It's been my go-to lens ever since my 50mm 1.7 broke.

It's surprisingly weighty. If you're used to modern lenses, this lens will feel very heavy for its size.
The lens' surface is metal with matte finish, it matches K-5 so well. It's very beautiful to look at.

Sharpness is very good among lenses of similar FL and aperture.

I'm not too much of a fan of its focus ring, however. It's half teethed, and half smooth. Kinda like in a wave pattern. Maybe it's preferable to some, but definitely not for me. Doesn't affect IQ at all, but kind of bothersome.

Thanks to multi-coating, flare control is excellent even with a short 1" round hood I (temporarily) have.

I have a few 50mm-58mm f/1.4 - f/2 lenses, and this is my favorite non Pentax lens.
New Member

Registered: June, 2010
Posts: 11

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 12, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $10.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very good fast prime lens
Cons: none
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 10   

I have three versions of this lens and all of them are good. I compared them with Nikkor-S 50mm 1.4 and they are better than Nikkor wide open and pretty much the same stopped down.
Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2010
Location: California
Posts: 2,223

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 12, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $125.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Big, heavy and built like a tank. Sharp, Sharp and nice bokeh
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

I am reviewing the Sears auto lens shown in the photo above. Since I got this lens, I got rid of my Pentax M 50 f1.4, and some of the Taks in the same range. This lens is unbelievable sharp, heavy and easy to use. Full open is great for portraits, it has very narrow depth of field, therefore, the perceived softness. I was so impressed with the image I shot the first time. I bought it attached to an old Sears camera that works just fine too on film. I do not know who made the lens, but I love it. The are going up soon. I will be posting some shots taken with this lens in few days. The auto-manual switch is just fine, so I think it could be a different version from the above reviewed lens.
Update: I also have the Auto Chinon Tomioka 55/1.4 (with the Tomioka name in the filter ring) and this Auto Sears lens is pretty much the same. They have different grips, but the size, weight and sharpness is the same.

SearsAuto55mmf1.4@f-8-LACivicCenter-2040 by Palenquero, on Flickr
Senior Member

Registered: May, 2010
Location: Coloroado
Posts: 260

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 11, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $25.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: great images wide open, sharp stopped down
Cons: the one plastic part (auto manual switch) broke off

This is the Sears version of the Rikenon 55mm f1.4. I got lucky when I found this little-used gem at the Goodwill for $25 (with Sears/Ricoh TLS body). It is not a small lens, especially compared to my 55mm Takumar, but it is solidly built and enjoyable to use, with smooth focus and click stops on the aperture.

One strength of this lens is in shooting wide or nearly wide open. At 1.4 the DOF is razor thin, and I would caution you to make sure your viewfinder diopter is correctly set, as you are talking about some very narrow tolerance here.

When this lens is shot wide open there is a bit of a milky quality to the image, with a subtle glow as objects begin to lose focus Ė itís very painterly. If youíre looking for a dreamy quality then you will get it. The bokeh of specular reflections while wide open manifests itself as a series of oblate forms, much like leaves of a silver dollar plant.

When you stop this lens down, you will find it to be very sharp across the entire image, and with APSC cameras it makes a nice portrait lens.

The only negative Iíve had with this lens thus far is that the auto-manual switch is plastic and mine broke off with use, leaving a flat metal shaft that, while still easily used to switch modes, is a bit pointy at each end. I have not experience any light leaks from losing the plastic part of the switch.

Read more about this lens at Mattís Classic Cameras
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