(Warning Lrg) Lens Shootout: Contax Zeiss Planar 50mm f/1.4 T* vs. Pentax SMC Takumar 55mm f/1.8


Been spending a lot of time on here!
Mar 9, 2014
Reaction score
United States
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Okay. I get it. I fudged and was too lazy to reshoot. I forgot to account for the Pentax's extra 5mm, so the bokeh is different. Anyway, I just got my grubby hands on these two awesome lenses and decided to do a shootout today to compare the two. I'm no lens geek, so this isn't a "pro" test by any means. It's not even amateur.

Both lenses are extremely sharp once I got away from shooting them wide open. I shot these really quickly, so the sun was practically the same from start to end. I had to bump the ISO on the Pentax a bit from f/8 to f/11, as the wind picked up, and I didn't want to drop the shutter speed and in turn gain motion blur.

The bottom line is that I am only going to keep one. I bought the Zeiss with a brand new rubber hood and E mount for $210. That's a steal. I bought the Pentax with hood and E mount for $84. Meh. I probably could have done better if I kept going to different antique shops.

Here's my opinion. I really like the hell out of both of them. They both have something special and unique against the other. :( Damn. But, the Zeiss is my clear winner for contrast and color.

Without further ado, here are the shots. Zeiss first. Pentax second.

Wide open. Zeiss at 1.4, 1/16000, ISO 50. Pentax at 1.8, 1/640, ISO 50.

Zeiss 1.4.jpg

SMC f1.8.jpg

Zeiss at 2, 1/1000, ISO 50. Pentax at 2, 1/500, ISO 50.
Zeiss f2.jpg

SMC f2.jpg

Zeiss at 2.8, 1/500, ISO 50. Pentax at 2.88, 1/320, ISO 50.
Zeiss f2.8.jpg

SMC f2.8.jpg

Zeiss at 5.6, 1/100, ISO 50. Pentax at 5.6, 1/100, ISO 50.
Zeiss f5.6.jpg

SMC f5.6.jpg

Zeiss at 8, 1/50, ISO 50. Pentax at 8, 1/125, ISO 160.
Zeiss f8.jpg

SMC f8.jpg
Zeiss at 11, 1/25, ISO 50. Pentax at 11, 1/125, ISO 400.
Zeiss f11.jpg

SMC f11.jpg
Actually, now that I get to see all of these side by side (up and down), the Zeiss pummels the Takumar, IMO.
Fascinating comparison, I wouldn't have expected such a difference. Wide open, it almost looks like the second one has a diffuser over it. Have fun with whichever you choose!

Most reactions

New Topics