Pentax lenses vs Rikenon.

Discussion in 'Pentax' started by yann|1, Mar 13, 2008.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Thanks to all. I can't afford an Fa, and will definitely go for another Pentax 1.4.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. In general you can't go wrong with Rikenon lenses - just like any lens company some of their products are great and others are average (haven't heard of any "dogs" though). I have a Rikenon P 50/1.4 that outperformed my Pentax A 50/1.4 (since sold) - I was quite suprised considering that the Pentax is touted as one of the best 50s ever. I have since picked up a Rikenon XR 50/1.4 (the model just prior to the ricoh program lens) - this one is just average....they must have done some tweaking/improvements to the design when the "program" lenses were introduced.
  12. I think you could try try Chinon auto 50mm f1,4
    I have one (on a K100D), this lens is very good constructed (a little bit heavy) and optically it seems to be as well as pentax SMC.

  13. Hi,
    I have several 50mm lenses I use on my canon cameras (with adaptors).
    Canon EF 1.2L USM and 1.8 ii, SMC Pentax 1.7and 1.4, Nikon 50 1.8, Carl Zeis (Contax) Planar t* 1.7 and 1.4, Leica Summilux-R 1.4 and XR (Ricoh) Rikenon 1.4.
    I have seen tests comparing most of these excepting the Ricoh most put the Zeis out front but I personally have found the best is the Ricoh 1.4 then the Zeis 1.7 (which from what I have seen always tests better than the 1.4) then the Leica. I would like to see the test data (CA fringe and MTF-50 etc) on the Ricoh. Bokeh i think is a personal thing and the Ricoh seems to blur the background with less brightness in the edges than the other lenses. I like the colors of the Ricoh when using film over the other lenses. I think Ricoh fluked an exceptionally good lense by not going overboard in trying to correct things in the lens structure. Not sure if 8 aperture blades make any difference to lenses they do not mention that part of the lens in tests.
    The best value for money so far for me has been the Canon 1.8 ii cheap but holds it own, good to leave in the car with the 50e not too much to lose if it gets stolen.
    I have not tried Voigtlander Topcor 58 /1/4 and not seen any test I wonder how good it is? Olympus Zuko are supposed to be pretty good as well.
  14. d2


    The only 1.4 lens I currently own is a Sears 55/1.4, which is the same as the Rikenon 55/1.4 (at least that's my understanding) - but it's an
    M42. I use it with a Pentax adapter that works great - use it on both my Pentax ME Super (fantastic camera by the way!) and just lately on
    a Pentax K100D I bought. It's a great lens to be sure. But if you're willing to consider a slightly slower lens, I can really vouch for the
    Rikenon P 50/1.7 for k mount. It's a fantastic lens - very sharp in my opinion. Slightly slower still, I just started trying out a Chinon 50/1.9
    on my K100D and am very surprised at how sharp that lens is too.

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