This Old Lens: Homely lens, beautiful photos… SMC Pentax-F 50mm F1.7

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On one of my recent checkins I came across a bargain class SMC Pentax-F 50mm F1.7 for less than $120. Since about bazillion Pentax 50mm lenses have been produced (ok 20) I checked out the reviews and found that even though this lens went out of production in 1991 it had solid reviews. I already owned and very much liked the manual focus version of this lens so a little more for an AF version sounded great. Received the lens and I initially had three reservations. One I adjusted to: AF makes quite the racket at times. Two superficial: A small crack in the clear plastic over the DOF scale that I will never use and the lens was not as ‘pretty’ as the manual focus version. But once I took a couple of shots there was no turning back. I had heard it was slow to focus on older bodies, but despite the racket (not bad, just more than I am accustomed to) AF is plenty quick on the K-1. As for the images here are the highlights:

  • Great low light capabilities.
  • Amazing DOF and I really like the bokeh.
  • Unlike the in production f/1.4 where I have read reports that it is soft wide open the reports that this f/1.7 is sharp wide open and even sharper f/2.0 and beyond were true.
  • Very compact.
  • Good portrait lens in a pinch.

Here is a link to a flickr album for the lens and below are some samples from instagram.


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