Pentax-M Vs A: The Battle of the 50mm 1:1.7 Lens

I decided to do this test because I use these lenses a lot and I was genuinely curious to find out if one of them is better than the other.  Both lenses are in the same sort of used condition – no mould or scratches on the glass.

Technical Specs Comparison

SMC Pentax-M 50mm f1.7 lens spec

SMC Pentax-A 50mm F1.7 lens spec

As you can see from the specs, the lenses are identical asides from the A setting and weight.

Outside Leaf Close Up Test

I started my testing outside, which was actually quite hard due to the changes in the light quality.  I have tried to take the photos in as close to the same lighting conditions as possible. The Pentax-M lens is on the left.
Top Left: F1.7 @2000 Top Right: F1.7 @2000 Bottom Left: F8 @125 Bottom Right: F8 @250

Camera: Pentax ME Super
Film: FujiFilm Colour Pro 400

Indoor Flower Close Up Test

For my next test I used natural lighting from the window and took some photos of an indoor flower.
Top Left: F1.7 @15 Top Right: F1.7 @15 Bottom Left: F4 @4 Bottom Right: F4 @4

Camera: Pentax Super A
Film: Kodak Gold

Close up Crops

pentax-m zoom
Pentax-M F8 Crop
Penax-a zoom
Pentax-A F8 Crop
pentax-m zoom 2
Pentax-M F5.6 Crop
pentax-a zoom 2
Pentax-A F5.6 Crop

I believe the Pentax-M looks sharper in both of these crops.  Let me know what you think.


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