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Tribute to an oldie, a cheapie,a simpleton, but a goodie!
#1
Hi guys,

             With lens design getting forever more complicated and manufactures using state of the art glass hybrids, it always gives me great pleasure when I pull out my Pentax SMC M50 F4 Macro, like the name, it is compact, measuring 64 mm in diameter and retracted 54mm in depth, 85mm extended, weight 166 gms. 49mm filter size.

     Construction is "only" four elements in three groups ( all in the round), both front and rear elements elements being approx. 14mm in diameter, the front being recessed and well protected some 30mm behind the front filter ring. I'm no optician but from what I have gleaned from reading, it is a Tessar design from way back, symmetrical ( hence the front and rear 14mm elements) but with the benefit of Pentax's SMC coatings.

  How does it perform?  Surprisingly, very well indeed! It must be said that it only has a macro ratio of 1:2 so it's a little limited in it's close focusing distance, 0.234mts/ 0.77 ft. but if you can live with that and the fact that it's a manual lens there's really nothing at all to criticize.

  First off resolution; well it's very good from F4 sharp to the corners ( it's a FF lens sweet spotting on APSc), F5.6 and onwards the lens is tack sharp up to F11 across the frame, F16 is still very sharp and for macro will be often used.

   CAs are non existent, there's nothing, really looking around leaves on the trees, no fringing.

   Distortion; as far as I can see there isn't any, I guess were in the 0.1-2 %.

    Flare seems at least very well controlled. 

   Sharpness certainly holds up well at infinity as well as in macro.

So where's the downside? no AF, macro 1:2 and only F4, but really who uses macro at larger apertures than F4? I have noticed (only) with extension tubes a purple reflection stain can appear, a sign of non-digitised coatings. 

 Upside; light and compact (shirt pocket job), really top quality all metal build, mine is an old copy with a deformed and re-straightened filter ring but the focusing is silky smooth while the aperture clicks are as good as new. Jpg users will love it, no CAs or distortion to correct, images are great straight OOC. Mounted on my K01 ( the brick) using the green button and focus peaking I can nail the focus 95% of the time. However, the real upside is the price, I paid £60 from the bon coin in France.

  In short this simple little lens is a gem!                                 [ATTACHMENT NOT FOUND]

Dave's clichés
#2
These SMC-M lenses are just beautiful.  I have a few from the days I used an MZ-5n.

enjoy
#3
Nice little lens. I have its Nikon counterpart, a Micro-Nikkor AUTO 55mm f3.5. Oddly enough, they state 220 grams for your lens here:

 

http://www.pentaxforums.com/lensreviews/...-Lens.html

 

My Nikkor is a bit heavier, at 235 grams. Also less compact, with an even more recessed front element. It has 5 elements in 3 groups, and it has 6 aperture blades (against 5). Also 1:2 macro, but has its own extension tube ("M") which brings it to 1:1. Pentax probably had an extension tube especially to bring this 50mm f4 to 1:1 too?

 

I also had a Micro-Nikkor 55mm f2.8 Ai-S, but gave it to a friend who can use it for macro and portrait stuff or whatever she can think of.

 

Do you have more images to show which you took with that little gem?

 

ps. on old cheap lenses, I just received an old Nikkor 135mm f2.8 "K"-version for which I paid €55. 

#4
Hi Brightcolours,

                         Thanks for the link I haven't seen this before, checked the weight of the lens again 166 gms for sure, confirmed by another poster, seems many like it and rate it similarly as I do, maybe I was mistaken about a symmetrical design. Looks like you got a bargain with your Nikkor, do you mean it has a "K" mount for Pentax? As for photos I haven't a huge stock, it's not my go to lens.

Dave's clichés
#5
Quote:Hi Brightcolours,

                         Thanks for the link I haven't seen this before, checked the weight of the lens again 166 gms for sure, confirmed by another poster, seems many like it and rate it similarly as I do, maybe I was mistaken about a symmetrical design. Looks like you got a bargain with your Nikkor, do you mean it has a "K" mount for Pentax? As for photos I haven't a huge stock, it's not my go to lens.
well, I guess the weight from that link is just wrong. Smile

Probably your lens is pretty similar to the earlier 50mm f4 designs, so it would be like this:

[Image: Super-Multi-Coated_MACRO-TAKUMAR_50_4_optics.jpg]

http://www.pentaxforums.com/lensreviews/...-Lens.html

 

About my "new" Nikkor, no the "K" does not mean K-mount. It is a generational "nick name" which I do not know the origin from.

First, Nikkor F-mount lenses were just that, F-mount. They were all metal including the focus ring (and zoom ring if applicable). Then came redesigned lenses with rubber focus/zoom rings. Then a change came in aperture communication, known as "Ai". Soon after came a slight change of that, called Ai-S. So in the Nikon F-mount world there are 4 groups of MF lenses: Ai and Ai-S, and two pre-Ai types. The first is just referred to as "pre-Ai" or "non-Ai", the latter referred to as "pre-Ai K-version".
#6
 OK, I was with Nikon several years ago, I think I had an FT3 and that had Ai , I kept it right up to digital ( loads of years not buying cameras, those were the days) I was perfectly happy with split  screens and MF, Well looks like you've got yourself a nice lens for the money, look forward to seeing a couple of shots!

Quote:well, I guess the weight from that link is just wrong. Smile

Probably your lens is pretty similar to the earlier 50mm f4 designs, so it would be like this:

[Image: Super-Multi-Coated_MACRO-TAKUMAR_50_4_optics.jpg]

http://www.pentaxforums.com/lensreviews/...-Lens.html

 

About my "new" Nikkor, no the "K" does not mean K-mount. It is a generational "nick name" which I do not know the origin from.

First, Nikkor F-mount lenses were just that, F-mount. They were all metal including the focus ring (and zoom ring if applicable). Then came redesigned lenses with rubber focus/zoom rings. Then a change came in aperture communication, known as "Ai". Soon after came a slight change of that, called Ai-S. So in the Nikon F-mount world there are 4 groups of MF lenses: Ai and Ai-S, and two pre-Ai types. The first is just referred to as "pre-Ai" or "non-Ai", the latter referred to as "pre-Ai K-version".
Dave's clichés
#7
Quote:well, I guess the weight from that link is just wrong. Smile

Probably your lens is pretty similar to the earlier 50mm f4 designs, so it would be like this:

[Image: Super-Multi-Coated_MACRO-TAKUMAR_50_4_optics.jpg]

http://www.pentaxforums.com/lensreviews/...-Lens.html
 

Seems like a typo.  Boz Dimitrov's page is probably a better resource for older K-mount lenses:

http://kmp.bdimitrov.de/lenses/primes/no...Macro.html

 

...he usually includes optical formula diagrammes too:

http://kmp.bdimitrov.de/lenses/primes/_o...-Macro.gif
  


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