A Pentax Possibility
I always like to see Pentax users purchase new lenses - and not only because the business is good for the shop and good for the wholesaler. It is good to see because Pentax photographers get out there and USE their lenses.
Oh, I know the people who have other major system cameras and lenses take lots of pictures and such, but it seems that Pentax people actually wring out all the juice from their cameras and lenses before they consider swapping them -they are not as driven to exchange for the next big thing before the next big thing....In short, they get value.
Well, they might consider a new offering from Pentax right now, and look forward to getting a wonderful performance from it. Pentax have produced a new classic 50mm f:1.8 lens for the digital era.
This is designated the 50mm SMC DA f:1.8 and it follows the new pattern of being free of an external aperture ring - depending upon camera command for aperture control. The actual aperture opening is with rounded blades so that the resultant out-of-focus circles are inobtrusive. The lens is only 1.5 inches long and weighs 4.3 ounces - and is very finely finished. There is the water-shedding SP coating to the outer lens surface.
The advertising for it recognises that at the crop factor of the APSC sensor camera, this is a short telephoto lens; perfect for portraits and products. What some people may not know is that Pentax 50mm lenses are some of the sharpest things on the planet, glass-wise.
I found this out by direct demonstration when a friend asked me to enlarge a negative taken on an old Pentax SP camera with a 50 mm. Takumar lens. I started out at 8" x 10" as ordered thinking it was a nice clear picture. I then progressively enlarged it on the baseboard while observing the film grain, and eventually reached the maximum size of my easel without running out of resolution. I finished up the evening washing a print in the bathtub as it was too big for my trays and deciding that the Takumar image was sharper than anything I had taken in 20 years with Leica, Nikon, or Hasselblad lenses. Humbling.
You could do a lot worse than using this lens as your standard optic. There's a lotta good eatin' on a Pentax lens...