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LENS PORN: SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4 (Converted for Nikon DSLR)


SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4
SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4, converted to Nikon mount


The SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4 is a standard prime lens in Pentax K mount. When used on full frame camera, it is a standard lens. Used on crop sensor camera, it becomes a short telephoto portrait lens at about 75mm equivalent (on Nikon's DX). Takumar and Pentax lenses were well known decades ago and still popular today for their warm images, crisp details and vivid colors.

Everybody told me it was impossible to restore this lens, given that it was cosmetically in bad shape and there was haze between the cemented rear glass at the rear. A miracle happened with my tenacity... so keep believing everyone, dreams do come true.

SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4



Speaking of dreams, this lens is dreamy at f/1.4, so I recommend that you only use it when shooting in dark or low light scenes. From f/2 down to f/22, it's very realistic and crispy. For shooting portraiture, f/2 to f/4 is a great range (but f/2.8 is best), then f/8 is nice for group shots. For landscape, f/16 and f/22. It's a logical approach. Don't always use f/1.4 with any lens, that's a bad idea.

Although it's dreamy at f/1.4 (that's a positive trait for me!), I love that it's already very vivid at that value. The famous Pentax/Takumar colors are consistent from f/1.4 down to f/22, that's why I love this lens so much, much more than my previous Nikkor 50mm that I have already sold.

SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4



This lens has a tiny build, it's about 3/4 the size of my Nikkor-S 50/1.4 and it's also very light. Focusing is smooth, and the aperture ring has nice confident clicks to it (some lenses feel muddy and stiff).

It's also nice to know that this lens has 8 blades. When you stop down the aperture, it gives you beautiful bokeh balls that don't look like polygons. My only wish is that the aperture ring would have full-stop clicks, instead of having clicks between each stop (eg. this lens clicks between f/4 and f/5.6, between f/5.6 and f/8, et al).

SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4



This is a nice 50mm to have. It is a standard lens on full frame cameras, and a short portrait lens on APS-C cameras like my Nikon D5200. I rarely do or want to use f/1.4 save for when it's very dark, so it's okay to have a dreamy effect at that stop. The images I get with this lens is satisfactory -- crispy, vivid, good contrast, good tonality, the multicoating helps to get nice colors, well controlled flares, and handles backlighting very well.

From junk to gold... I merely bought this lens so I can study its anatomy. After my restoration project, I chose to keep this one and sold my Nikkor-S 50mm f/1.4. All the hardwork and effort I put into restoring and converting this lens was worth it, and that's what makes this lens more special and 'personalized'.


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SPECS

SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4

SMC = Super Multi Coated

Years In Production:
1977-1984

Focal Length:
50mm (75mm on DX)

Minimum Focusing Distance:
0.45 meters

Focus Throw:
180 degrees

Filter Thread Size:
49mm

Aperture Run:
f/1.4 - f/22 (8 blades)
in half stop clicks from f/2 to f/16

Made in Japan

SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4

SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4

SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4
The haze used to be there, not I got it solved.

SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4
The original Pentax K mount.


SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4
Now converted to Nikon F mount

SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4
MFD = 0.45 meters. Poor thing, the paint is battered.

SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4
With yet another quick thinking, I found a rubber grip for the focus ring on the last minute.

SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4
It fits on my Nikkomat FTn.

SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4
It also fits on my Nikon F-401s without problem.

SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4

SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4

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Samples


Nikon D5200

SMC Pentax-M
50mm f/1.4




Shots before restoration...

SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4

SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4
It's miraculously sharp even with the haze. The haze merely causes the light to glow.



All shots from this point were when it was restored from haze...



A demonstration of the blurry background at f/1.4

SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4

SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4
f/1.4

SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4
f/8

SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4
f/1.4

SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4
f/1.4



For use on landscape/street

SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4
At f/1.4

SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4
f/16




For portraiture

At f/1.4

SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4

SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4

SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4

SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4

SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4

SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4



At f/2.8 (best!)

SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4

SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4





Comparison of Background Blur











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Links

SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4 Photo Album
https://flic.kr/s/aHsm1qfoG6

Everyone Tells Me It's Impossible To Restore This Lens...
www.photojournalbyrattusyu.com/2017/05/smc-pentax-50mm-haze-between-cemented-glass-elements.html

SMC Pentax-M 50/1.4 Versions
www.pentaxforums.com/lensreviews/SMC-Pentax-M-50mm-F1.4-Lens.html


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The Nikon D5200 as my weapon of choice.

Vintage lenses are my poison.

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