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Pentax lenses vs Rikenon.

Yann Roffiaen , Mar 13, 2008; 09:27 a.m.

I was given a Pentax ME super by my father in law, but sadly, its 50mm 1.4 Pentax SMC lens is totally eaten by fungus. This lens is a gem, I used it a few years ago and wish to buy another one. I could buy a 50mm 1.4 Rikenon too, but I don't know much about it. I need some advice from people who have used both lenses, and if you know other fast lenses at least as good as the Pentax. Thanks.


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Sam Norris , Mar 13, 2008; 10:34 a.m.

I still use a 135mm Rikenon on an old X9 Minolta. This lens is super sharp, excellent build, one of my favorites. But, it is years old so I cannot comment on their newer lenses.

Mel Unruh , Mar 13, 2008; 02:06 p.m.

In general, Ricoh (Rikenon) lenses are of a lesser quality than Pentax. Although, there are certainly some exceptions to this (on both sides as Pentax has made some dogs too). Ricoh made most of the lenses (and cameras) for the Pentax compatible store brands - Sears, JC Penney, Wards, etc, etc. So, there are a ton of options out there. However, back to your original question, the 50mm 1.4 Pentax is generally regarded as one of the best lenses ever made by anybody. There were many of these that were converted to Nikon mounts for the "Pros" back in the day. I don't think the same can be said for the Ricoh equivalant.


Michael Kuhne , Mar 13, 2008; 03:36 p.m.

The ME Super is a very nice camera! And the Pentax 50mm f/1.4 is a very nice lens. I agree with Mel- get another excellent Pentax 50mm f/1.4! Fast wide aperture for faster shutter speed in low light, excellent image quality, bright viewing. The ME Super has one of the brightest viewfinders ever.

Another lens that I found very nice to carry on the ME Super is the Pentax 40mm "M" f/2.8 "pancake" lens. Remarkably compact, convenient combo. Good all around focal length as semi-wide angle. Very good image quality, especially when stopped down to f/5.6-16.

Ira Crummey , Mar 13, 2008; 05:37 p.m.

If you can afford one get an F or FA version of the 50mm f1.4, that way if you ever move to a DSLR the lens will make use of all of the camera's features.

Yann Roffiaen , Mar 13, 2008; 08:24 p.m.

Thanks to all. I can't afford an Fa, and will definitely go for another Pentax 1.4.

Jeff Adler , Mar 13, 2008; 08:58 p.m.

I have a 50/1.4 Sears K mount lens which I believe is a Rikenon. It seems fine. I also have two 28-100mm f/4 Rikenon K mount zooms. If you don't mind the slow speed they are decently sharp. I must also have several 50/2 Sears and Rikenon lenses which are nothing fancy but they all work.

Frank Yang , Mar 14, 2008; 12:21 a.m.

If your talking about 50mm f1.4 lenses in general, its hard to screw up a 50mm lens design and I would dare say since the late 70's & 80's onward, you're be hard press to find a 50mm lens that have bad performance among Japanese manufaturers. If Pentax 50mm lens have excellent performance to price ratio compare to Zeiss or Nikkor glass then Ricoh/Rikenon will be even more so. Other focal length will show more performance variations than the standard 50mm.

Pentax M series lenses have design priority on size/compactness so they have fewer glass elements to correct optical issues and slower speed all to maintain a small size. I have a Pentax SMC 35-70mm f2.8 AF (frist auto focus lens by Pentax) that peform like a dog, muted color and saturation.

Pentax M 50mmf1.8 I use have excellent contrast but the Ricoh XR Rikenon 50mm f1.4 have more vivid color saturation given the same type of film. I have not try it on digital SLR so I'm not sure how much of that color difference will show up on digital sensors.

Back in film days, the Ricoh GR-1 and Fuji DL super mini P&S have the most color saturated lens I'd ever seen/use, its like they have Velvia film characteristic built into the lens, so I'm sure Ricoh know a thing or two about lens coating.

For the price of one Pentax 50mm f1.4 you can buy a Ricoh, Chinon, Cosina 50mm f1.4 lens so you got nothing to lose by trying them.

Jeff Adler , Mar 14, 2008; 04:45 p.m.

I have never seen a 50mm f/1.8 Pentax M K mount lens. I have a 50/1.7 SMC M as well as the earlier 55/1.8 and 55/2 SMC Pentax lenses.

Frank Yang , Mar 15, 2008; 03:53 a.m.

Jeff, your right the Pentax M 50mm is a f1.7 not 1.8. My memory sometime eludes me. I double check and notice my Rikenon is the later "P" series that is chip like the Pentax A but not compatible and the coating on it has a different color cast then the non P lens so Ricoh might have update the coating.

One particular lens I like in the Pentax M series is the 30mm f2.8 which is sharp and contrasty but its larger size then a 50mm f1.4 so compact is was not but its performance compensate for it.

I also dust off some unique pancake K mount lenses that is less known to Pentax user's beside the Pentax M-40mm f2.8. Cosinon (Cosina) 40mm f2.5, Chinon 45mm f2.8, Rikenon 45mm f2.8 and a rare Rikenon 28mm f3.5 pancake that is just as thin as the 45's. That is a lot of variety to toy around with and enjoy without the third party lens maker of Tokina,Tamron, Sigma and other lesser known's.

Like the M42 mount before, the K mount was as close to a Universal mount as it get with many brand supporting so if you're only limiting yourself with just Pentax glass,your missing the original concept and beauty of the K mount and bought into marketing of a dedicated mount per brand.

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