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Pentax K 55/1.8 SMC... Holy smoke !

nianys

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Ya all know I'm searching for the Graal of nifties, the elusive perfect 50ish lens that will be both bleedingly sharp and buttery smooth, AND handle and focus like a dream (if it can look good, too, that's a definite bonus). I read a whole lot of good among Pentaxians, like the (becoming) rare 55/1.8 SMC in K mount was the holy sh&t of nifties, better in some ways than the worldly acclaimed 50/1.7 and 1.4...
The fact that I hard a tough time just *locating* 2 mere samples to sell over the whole wide web got me scratching my head. I mean, this was intended as a kit lens, cheap at release, not nearly as exotically specified as the faster 1.7 and 1.4 (to ne continued)...
 

markoneswift

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I'm not too familiar with Pentax mounts but I'm assuming the K mount version opposed to M42 thread wouldn't make any difference ( maybe I'm wrong......) :)
 

nianys

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Actually, I did find, and buy, this lens last week. The M42 mount Asahi version is all over the place, cheap, and probably excellent. The K, Pentax badged lens, is way harder to find, and more expensive, but I did manage to get one (actually, in the UK). Not the cheapest nifty I bought, but I was determined to try one and ok with the price, my unit is minty with aboslutely pristine glass.
I will post samples tonight but so far I'm pretty blown by this lens. It's physically lovely, has very smooth focusing, and is optically superior. I did make some test shots last night, and the contrast between sharpness and smooth OOF areas is stunning.
Will make a real shoot tonight, and post :)
 

markoneswift

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Cool stuff - well done on the new acquisition :) I did get the impression that maybe the K ( or actually PK ) mount lens may be different. I'll check out your samples with interest :)
 

nianys

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Cool stuff - well done on the new acquisition :) I did get the impression that maybe the K ( or actually PK ) mount lens may be different. I'll check out your samples with interest :)
I can't think it would be TOO different, however the m42 lens being plentiful and cheap, the the PK one being scarce and more expensive does raise a few questions.. Apparently folks having this lens are NOT selling it, and from the very early samples I'm thinking of holding on to mine for a looong time (to be taken with a grain of salt tho, with me, you never know).
 

Bimjo

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I can't think it would be TOO different, however the m42 lens being plentiful and cheap, the the PK one being scarce and more expensive does raise a few questions.. Apparently folks having this lens are NOT selling it, and from the very early samples I'm thinking of holding on to mine for a looong time (to be taken with a grain of salt tho, with me, you never know).
As far as I know the only difference between the later model m42 55/1.8 and the k mount 55/1.8 is the mount itself. Same optical formula and the coatings should be the same.

The only reason for the k55 being harder to find is that it was only made for 2 years vs. the m42 55 that was made from 1958-1972.

You already have your k55, but for anyone else looking to pick one up the much less expensive m42 (late model) is a much easier find and less expensive. Unless you're getting it for the collector factor of owning a less common lens. :)
 

kevistopheles

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It's a nice lens. I had the 55/2 (which is the same lens as the 55/1.8 just with the aperture not able to open up that extra step) and as I recall it was sharp. Some folks like them better than the 50/1.4. I never thought there was much difference between them and as i recall the build wasn't quite as robust as the 50/1.4 but I could be remembering that wrong. I'll be interested to see what you think.
 

eno789

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IMO the m42 mount Takumar 55/1.8 (especially the SMC or Super-Multi-Coated version) is one of the best bang for the buck.
A flickr set I used the lens on the lowly Lumix G1: 2011-11-19 SF - a set on Flickr
If you already have a K mount adapter, the K mount version might be worth pursuing.
 

Dioptrick

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As far as I know the only difference between the later model m42 55/1.8 and the k mount 55/1.8 is the mount itself. Same optical formula and the coatings should be the same.

The only reason for the k55 being harder to find is that it was only made for 2 years vs. the m42 55 that was made from 1958-1972.
I disagree... I own an m42 55 and it's extremely hard to find! I lent it to a friend who recently bought a 5N and he won't give it back!! :p
 

nianys

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NEX-6    ----    0mm    f/1.0    1/160s    ISO 400


I love, love that lens !
 

Chuck Lawson

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This may be a silly question, but I picked up one of these in M42 mount, along with a Rainbowimaging M42-NEX adapter, and I can't figure out a way to assemble them that doesn't end up with the lens on upside down :-(

By that I mean that the "M42-NEX" label on the adapter is at the top of the body, but the aperture setting and focal distance markings on the lens are at the bottom of the lens, instead of the top. It doesn't make any difference to the pictures (and it takes -gorgeous- pictures!), but if nothing else I feel silly turning the camera over to adjust the aperture. :)

Am I just doing something silly here, or is this a known problem with some (or all?) of the M42 adapters, or just this particular lens?
 

Dioptrick

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Not a silly question at all.

M42 adapters have a threaded ring at the front where your lens attaches to. This ring can rotate within it's adaptor socket and is locked in place by very small allen head grub screws (usually 3 screws). You need some really small allen keys to loosen them, rotate the lens so that the markings are on top, and then tighten the grub screws again.
 

Chuck Lawson

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Perfect -- that did the trick nicely! Thank you so much!

I was fairly fond of my Minolta 50mm f2, but my first couple shots with this blow it away; what a great lens - thank you nianys!!
 
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