You may or may not recall, but the Olympus was not my only birthday gift from Buzz this year. I also got a new lens for my Pentax K1000. When I first bought the Pentax 20 years ago, I got a Takamura 28-80mm f3.5 zoom lens. I wanted the flexibility of the zoom lens because I really didn’t know what sort of photography I wanted to do. Also, not really knowing much about the equipment, I naturally assumed that larger was better.
This does not suggest that I’ve been unhappy with my Takamura lens. It has served me very well and it’s a good lens. It only means that I’ve learned a bit more about lenses since that purchase, and I know that bigger may be better for some things, but smaller can be better, too. I decided I wanted to breathe new life into the Pentax and set out to look for a new lens.
Funnily enough, I had actually located this exact one on KEH Camera a few weeks before my birthday, but Buzz talked me out of buying it. As it turns out, he had already purchased it for my gift. (Now if that isn’t destiny…!)
The new lens is an Asahi Pentax 50mm f1.7 prime lens. The fixed focal length means that I “zoom” with my feet instead of the lens, which is something I have to get used to when shooting without the zoom lens on that camera. This seems like it would be frustrating, but it is helpful because it takes one variable out of the equation and allows me to better concentrate on exposure settings and depth of field.
The f1.7 part is exciting to me. It’s the fastest lens I now own. This means more flexibility in low light situations, and better ability to isolate the focus on a single subject.
The first test roll was with Tri-X 400. This is when I realized another advantage to this lens: it is sharp.
And there’s more to that roll, y’know…(to be continued.)