PENTACON auto 1.8 / 50 MULTI COATING review

For the ability to write a review Pentacon Auto 1.8 / 50 Multi Coating many thanks Volodymir gulchuk.

Lens view Pentacon 50 1.8

Lens view Pentacon 50 1.8

My copy Pentacon Auto 1.8 / 50 Multi Coating was taken from a Praktica camera. The lens was available in different versions. There were 3 more versions of the lens before Multi Coating. Pentacon auto 1.8 / 50. In fact, they all differed only in a light redesign of the frame and the method of controlling the diaphragm and enlightenment. In total, as far as I know, there were 4 versions, the model presented in this review is the last of its generation. This is evidenced by the green color of the feet on the focus distance scale.

The difference in size Pentacon auto 1.8 50 Multi coating and Helios-81N

The difference in size Pentacon auto 1.8 50 Multi coating and Helios-81N

TTX Pentacon auto 1.8 / 50 Multi coating

Focal length: 50mm
Structure: 6 elements in 4 groups
Number of aperture blades: 6 pieces
MDF: 0.33m (indicated on the scale)
Aperture Limits: F1.8-F16
Front Filter Diameter: 49 mm
The weight: 250g

The optical design is very similar to the design of Helios (Biotar). Most likely, the lens circuits are identical. The lens itself is very similar to the Helios-77m-4, which also has 6 elements in 4 groups and a 50mm focal length.

View of Pentacon auto 1.8 50 Multi coating from different angles

View of Pentacon auto 1.8 50 Multi coating from different angles

Highlights you need to know about Pentacon Auto 1.8 / 50 Multi Coating

  1. Manual lens. The designation Auto in this case only means that the diaphragm can be controlled semi-automatically.
  2. The lens has a dedicated MA aperture control switch. In the M position, the diaphragm is manually controlled. In position A, the diaphragm is controlled in a semi-automatic mode. You can focus on the fully open, and at the time of release, the camera through a special diaphragm pusher will close it to the value set using the aperture ring. Many Soviet lenses, like Helios-44 and Helios-77m-4, lack such an M-A switch, they have to manually block the diaphragm pusher when used on digital-SLR cameras.

    Sample photo on Pentacon auto 50 1.8 multi coating

    Sample photo on Pentacon auto 50 1.8 multi coating

  3. The maximum aperture value is F1.8- This is a really fast lens. If you have a whale lens, then the maximum aperture on it is only F3.5, which is 3.7 times weaker than that of the Pentacon. Actually big aperture and old optics are famous for their low price.

    Example photo on Pentacon auto 50 1.8 multi coating

    Example photo on Pentacon auto 50 1.8 multi coating

  4. The lens is made of glass and iron. It stopped being released back in 1978, and it still works. This suggests that the German quality still makes itself felt.

    Photo at Pentacon auto 50 1.8 multi coating

    Photo at Pentacon auto 50 1.8 multi coating

  5. The lens is not standard front filter diameter 49mm. I wanted to put my own on him protective filter 52mm, but it did not fit, it turned out to be a little larger.

    Photo at Pentacon auto 50 1.8 multi coating

    Photo at Pentacon auto 50 1.8 multi coating

  6. The lens has multi-enlightenment. This is an important point when using the old manual optics. Multi-enlightenment helps this Pentacon to tolerate back and side light, as well as give a contrast picture

    Photo at Pentacon auto 50 F1.8 multi coating

    Photo at Pentacon auto 50 F1.8 multi coating

  7. Like any old manual lens, the Pentacon auto 1.8 / 50 Multi coating has depth of field scale for such aperture values: 4, 8, 16.

    Photo at Pentacon auto 50 F1.8 multi coating

    Photo at Pentacon auto 50 F1.8 multi coating

  8. Focus ring rotates almost 360 degreesand the Pentacon auto 1.8 / 50 Multi coating lens has 33cm minimum focus distance limit. A large and smooth focuser movement allows you to accurately and easily focus. A minimum distance of 33cm helps to remove small objects.

    Photo at Pentacon auto 50 F1.8 multi coating

    Photo at Pentacon auto 50 F1.8 multi coating

  9. Lens from full frame cameras. When used on a crop, the field of view will be narrower, and EGF for crop factor 1.5 will correspond to 75mm. Pentacon auto 1.8 / 50 Multi coating is a classic fifty dollars, and fifty dollars on a crop are very often used for portraits. If you want to choose a good Soviet portrait painter, then look at the section “The best Soviet portrait lens"

    Due to watercolor blur, the overall picture does not look sharp

    Due to watercolor blur, the overall picture does not look sharp

  10. The number of aperture blades is only 6 pieces... They have a metallic sheen and can seriously interfere and add "hares" when shooting. Closed diaphragm values ​​produce standard nuts.
Sharpness Pentacon auto 50mm 1.8 mc

Sharpness Pentacon auto 50mm 1.8 mc

Personal impressions

The lens is very compact, sits well on a small SLR camera. It reminds me very much Helios-77m-4. It works fine, the picture is excellent, every photographer should have such a fifty dollars. The main competitor can be considered the Soviet Zenitar 50 / 1.7.

Bokeh on Pentacon auto 50mm 1.8 mc

Bokeh on Pentacon auto 50mm 1.8 mc

How to use with modern cameras?

Lenses with mounting thread M42 (M42 X 1 / 45.5), such as the lens from this review, are very easy to use on almost any modern digital camera (both SLR and mirrorless), for this it is enough to choose the right adapter (adapter). You do not need to carry out any additional steps to modify the lens.

The cheapest adapters can be found at Aliexpress.com... There are adapters (adapters) with a chip that provide more convenience during shooting, usually chips are used to confirm focus and / or metering exposure, and form the correct EXIF. The chip does not affect the image quality in any way.

For some SLR cameras (for example, with the Nikon F-mount), you need to use adapters with a corrective lens, which allows you to focus correctly at all focusing distances. For any mirrorless cameras, such a lens is not needed, and the adapter is a simple decorated hollow metal tube with an appropriate mount.

For SLR cameras

  1. Canon: For cameras Canon EOS with bayonet mount EF / EF-S need an M42-Canon EOS adapter, such an adapter with a chip can be found herewithout chip here.
  2. NIKON: For cameras Nikon DX / FXas well as for cameras Fujifilm и Kodak with a Nikon F mount, you need an M42-Nikon F adapter, you can buy such an adapter without a lens and a chip here, with a lens without a chip herewith chip without lens here, with lens and chip here. Why a lens? Why chip?
  3. PENTAX: For Pentax cameras with K mount, you need an M42-Pentax K adapter, you can buy such an adapter here.
  4. SONY/MINOLTA: For cameras with a Sony / Minolta A mount, you need the M42-Sony A adapter, you can find such an adapter without a chip at this linkwith a chip at this link.
  5. OLYMPUS/PANASONIC/LEICA: For cameras with a 4/3 bayonet mount (not to be confused with Micro 4/3!) You need an M42-4 / 3 adapter, you can buy such an adapter here.

For mirrorless cameras

  1. SONY: For cameras with 'E'/'FE' mount series SonyNEX и Sony Alpha you need an adapter M42-Sony E (aka M42-Sony Nex), you can find it at this link. An autofocus adapter is also available for these cameras. Techart PRO Leica M - Sony E Autofocus Adapterwhich can be found at this link.
  2. OLYMPUS / PANASONIC / KODAK / XIAOMI: For cameras with a bayonet mount Micro 4/3 (Micro 4:3) you need an adapter M42-Micro 4/3, you can find it at this link.
  3. CANON M: For cameras with Canon EF-M mount need adapter M42-Canon M, it can be found at this link.
  4. CANON R and RF-S: For cameras with Canon RF mount need adapter M42-Canon R, it can be found at this link.
  5. Nikon 1: For cameras Nikon 1 Series need adapter M42-Nikon 1, you can find it at this link.
  6. Nikon Z: For cameras Nikon Z series (FX/DX) need an adapter M42-Nikon Z, it can be found at this link.
  7. FUJIFILM X: For cameras with mount X need an M42-Fuji X adapter, you can find it at this link.
  8. FUJIFILM GFX: For medium format cameras G-mount need M42-Fuji GFX adapter, you can find it at this link.
  9. SAMSUNG: For cameras with NX mount, you need an M42-Samsung NX adapter, you can find it at this link. There are no adapters for the NX mini camera yet.
  10. PENTAX: For Q-mount cameras, you need an M42-Pentax Q adapter, you can find it at this link.
  11. SIGMA / PANASONIC / LEICA: For cameras with L mount you need an M42-Leica L adapter, you can find it at this link.
  12. LEICA: For cameras with a bayonet mount Leica M need adapter M42-L / M, you can find it at this link.

If you have any questions on compatibility and adapters - ask in the comments (comments do not require any registration at all).

View of Pentacon auto 1.8 50 Multi coating on a modern camera

View of Pentacon auto 1.8 50 Multi coating on a modern camera

Pentacon auto 1.8 / 50 Multi coating

Image sharp with F1.8. Depth of field is very small at F1.8, it is very, very difficult to get in one's eye. Very good sharpness comes at F2.8. From F2.8 to F11.0, the sharpness is very high. At F16.0, the diffraction on my cropped matrix takes its toll. The most interesting - chromatic aberration very well fixed and they are very small even at 1.8, also, I do not observe the frigging, which on my Nikon 50mm F1.8D AF just awful on F1.8. Distortions and vignetting on crop are also not visible at all. Great color reproduction. The contrast is excellent, the side light Pentacon auto 1.8 / 50 Multi coating tolerates well, in the back it catches a few hares and a noticeable drop in contrast. Bokeh interesting, for an amateur, a little double, somewhat reminiscent of a light watercolor. Unlike Biotars (including Helios-77m-4) it does not twist the background.

Sample photo on Pentacon auto 50mm 1.8 multi coating

Sample photo on Pentacon auto 50mm 1.8 multi coating

Sample Photos on Pentacon F1.8 50mm Multi Coating

All photos in this review are made on Nikon D40 without any processing, only converting from RAW -> JPEG, resizing to 1600 * 1200, data from EXIF.

UPDATED

Photographer shared examples of photos on PENTACON auto 1.8 / 50 MULTI COATING with readers of Radozhiva Lilia Nemykina:

Conclusions about Pentacon auto F1.8 50mm Multi Coating

Good manual fifty dollars. Excellent color reproduction, sharpness even at a fully open aperture. The manual control mode and the huge stroke of the focusing ring allow using it on modern digital-mirror cameras without any special difficulties.

Comments on this post do not require registration. Anyone can leave a comment. Many different photographic equipment can be found on AliExpress.

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Training/Consultations | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram

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Comments: 170, on the topic: Review of PENTACON auto 1.8 / 50 MULTI COATING

  • Gregor_S

    early version

  • Sergei

    On Nikon an adapter with a lens to preserve infinity?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Yes

    • Oleksandr

      Can be done without it. There is a way.

      • Matt

        What is the way to adapt to a Nikon infinity without glass??

  • Gregor_S

    MC version

  • Ilyas

    Hello. Does the photo “Bokeh on Pentacon auto 50mm 1.8 mc” show a book on metal science or crystallography?

  • Alexander

    Having Helios 77m-4, is it worth it to “chase” this lens? Helios is too soft in the open and is not very good in sharpness in my opinion.

    • B. R. P.

      In my opinion, it is not worth chasing anything, especially yesterday. On a modern multi-pixel digit, any old lens will seem soft / unsharp, and even open.

      • Alexander

        Understood you). Thank you!

      • Gregor_S

        “On a modern multi-pixel digit, any old lens will seem soft / unsharp, and even open.”

        interesting)

      • Marius

        Unless you have some of Sigma cameras with Foveon :))

    • Gregor_S

      I agree, it's not worth the hassle.
      Another question, the nature of the image for each lens is different, i.e. you can find what you like

  • Oleksandr

    This objective is visually similar to Pankolar 1. 8 view Carl Zeiss Jena. How can you see them in the quality of the image? What is the best?

    • Rodion

      The difference between these lenses is very large. They are made at different technological levels. Pankolar uses lanthanum glasses to achieve good correction, while Pentacon does not. This will be very noticeable on full-frame cameras, in terms of quality across the field. In general, I recommend considering the pentacon as a lens close in level to Helios-44, but noticeably different in picture from it. And pankolar seems to be a vintage and MB more artistic (in taste and color) alternative to autofocus 50 1.8 Canon EF type.

  • Gregor_S

    with simple ring

  • Alexey

    Good afternoon, can you tell me about the PENTACON Electric 1.8/50 Multi Coating M42 lens, I can’t find the information

  • Ruslan

    Good afternoon, I have a PENTACON auto 1.8/50 MULTI COATING lens, I use it on a Sony A6000 mirrorless camera via a Sony NEX adapter, everything is fine, but it doesn’t focus to infinity, up close everything is fine, is that how it should be?, and the Takumar lens is 1:2/55 Asahi Opt. Co focuses normally, what could this be related to? Can anyone tell me, I'm an amateur, sometimes I take photographs

    • Arkady Shapoval

      1. with a bad adapter
      2. with a problematic lens
      3. The lens is not completely screwed into the adapter

  • Dima

    Photo from this lens on Nikon D3100 aperture 1.8

    • Gregor_S

      why 1.8?

      • Dima

        cleanliness for testing. I wanted to check how things are with sharpness after changing to infinity

    • Andrei

      Wonderful sharpness!

  • Andrei

    Mine is yellow, unlike Nikon. Therefore, there is no correct color rendition. But some people might even like it. For example, for a portrait, a tan will appear on the face.

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