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Old Oct 7, 2010, 10:46 PM   #1
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Default Pentax SMC-M 50mm f/1.7

Yesterday, I was taken (against my wishes) on a thrift store excursion. Garage Sale season is over, thank God. I hardly ever find anything of interest with the exception of some tripods. But yesterday I found a like new SMC-M 50mm f/1.7 with caps for $10.00.

I'm having trouble understanding how to use it, but what I came up with is the only way to actually achieve the aperature I set on the aperature ring during the actual exposure is to set the camera in "M" mode - is that correct?
Any other mode and the photo is taken at the lens' widest aperature (f/1.7) regardelss of where I have set the aperature ring - is that also correct? In AV mode my K20D does meter and sets the appropriate shutter speed, but again for the lens wide open.

Although it's going to take some thinking on setting exposure in "M" mode and getting the hang of manual focus, I kind of like this little lens. It's relatively sharp and the colors come out nice.









Thanks,
Jim

Last edited by a200user; Oct 7, 2010 at 10:49 PM.
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Old Oct 7, 2010, 11:43 PM   #2
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To me it looks like you understand very well how to use it - and you're right about how to set it using the M mode.
Congrats to a really priceworthy find!

Kjell
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Old Oct 8, 2010, 12:40 AM   #3
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A fantastic purchase, congratulations! The M 50/1.7 is a very decent lens, sharp and with quite good bokeh. Really accurate focusing (which you need in order to get the full benefits of the sharpness) can be quite tricky with the camera's standard focusing screen, but it's certainly worth the effort.

You're quite correct in saying that the lens will stopped down only in M mode, but do note that you have the ability to use the "green button" to perform stopped-down metering, and the camera will choose the "correct" shutter speed for you. Note that this may not be as accurate as you would like, so you need to get to know what the camera will do, for a variety of apertures. You can then modify the shutter speed accordingly before taking the shot (you may want to change it anyway of course, as you would using "exposure compensation").
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Old Oct 8, 2010, 1:10 AM   #4
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Pentode, Kjell,
Thanks for your responses confirming that it will only stop down in "M" mode. I took some comparison shots using same aperature, shutter speed, and ISO with my FA 50mm f1.4 and found that the FA 50mm shots look brighter. Thanks also for the tip on the green button, I will have to give that a try as a check against my trial and error approach to shutter speed.
Jim
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Old Oct 8, 2010, 3:39 AM   #5
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Hi Jim,
The link below should give all the info you need.
That was a great find, and excellent price, I have both the A and the M versions, both are very good, but I think my M just has an edge. ... Jack.

http://www.robertsdonovan.com/?p=1181
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Old Oct 8, 2010, 9:44 AM   #6
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I have both the M 50 1.7 and the M 50 1.4. Once they are stopped down to f2 or smaller they are pretty much the same. But wide open the 1.4 is really soft all over, I don't like it at all. If I want a fast lens I'll always grab the 1.7.

Both my K10 and K20 were inconsistent with using the green button to meter. They would be accurate at some apertures but not at others. The K7 and K100 are much more accurate.

You are right about the camera only stopping the lens down when using M mode. I found that pushing the button to meter became second nature when I was using manual lenses often. And since the camera won't stop down the lens when used in any other mode, if I were shooting sunrises and sunsets where shooting wide open was what I'd most likely do anyway, I'd leave it in Av and have constant metering in the changing light. If I were to ever sell one of the M lenses I have, it would be the 1.4, I'll always keep the 1.7.

And $10 is a great price for it - they go for a lot more than that now.
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Old Oct 8, 2010, 11:00 AM   #7
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The M 50mm 1.7 was my first lens. It may not be my favorite lens but it is the one thing I will never sell. Even if I sell all of my camera equipment and never get any more camera stuff I still will keep that lens. I just glad that not only can I still use it but it still takes great photos.

DAZ
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Old Oct 8, 2010, 4:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jachol View Post
Hi Jim,
The link below should give all the info you need.
That was a great find, and excellent price, I have both the A and the M versions, both are very good, but I think my M just has an edge. ... Jack.

http://www.robertsdonovan.com/?p=1181
Thank you Jack!
That link is most helpful.

Jim
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Old Oct 8, 2010, 4:36 PM   #9
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[QUOTE=mtngal;1151977]
Both my K10 and K20 were inconsistent with using the green button to meter. They would be accurate at some apertures but not at others. The K7 and K100 are much more accurate.

QUOTE]

Thank you Harriet,
I hadn't thought of trying it on my K100D. After trying it this afternoon I have to agree with you that the exposures are more accurate than on my K20D. Thanks for the tip.
Jim
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Old Oct 8, 2010, 10:44 PM   #10
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interesting conversation.

Great lens on the price and great pics, 1 and 2 are real nice.

about the 50mm 1.4, Harriet, Im curious as to why you wouldnt just grab the 1.4, as It will allow you to shoot 1.4 if you need but the 1.7 will not. Is it to have the 1.7 stop opposed to the f/2 stop beside the f/1.4? because Im pretty sure if you were to manage the 1.7 setting by placing the aperture carefully (which i can on mine, place the aperture half way between) it would produce the same sharpness.

I can attest to the 1.4 being softer wide open than a narrower aperture but find the convenience of 1.4 handy when the low light situation/DOF is needed

just wanted to hear your thoughts on that..

Last edited by NMRecording; Oct 8, 2010 at 10:47 PM.
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