Auto Mamiya/Sekor 50mm (Pentax screw-in mount)
Mamiya Sekor 50mm f2 is one of the four standard prime lenses for Mamiya TL and DTL cameras, released back in 1966. Mamiya was a professional camera manufacturer and made many excellent camera lenses – most of them are often overlooked by enthusiasts in favour of the better-known brands. Lenses in the range are the top of the line radioactive Mamiya Sekor 55mm f1.4, radioactive Mamiya Sekor 55mm f1.8 and the classic four-element Mamiya Sekor 50mm f2.8 – all worthy lenses in their own right.
Handling and engineering
Mamiya Sekor 50mm f2 is comfortable to use – the focus ring is large, smooth and well-damped, but not as refined or precise as the Konicas or Canons. Aperture selection is pleasant and tactile. Construction is sturdy – composed of metal and glass. And it shows – many years of use-and-abuse, and yet this lens looks like new. It is single-coated with signature Mamiya yellow tint. Despite coating, it does flare a lot and loses contrast when pointed towards the sun.
The main difference between this lens and the faster Mamiya Sekor 55mm f1.8 is that this lens does not contain radioactive elements. The arrangement of optical elements is identical to the Mamiya Sekor 55mm f1.8 – they both have six lens elements in four groups.
Images shot with this lens are beautiful and contrasty. Photos are sharp from about f4, but quite soft wide open. Flare can contribute to achieving creative light effects for artistic purposes. This lens offers a rendering similar to the other Mamiya 50mm lenses from the 1960s.
Backgrounds are rather busy. I do like the separation between objects, but it is not as strong because this lens is regularly stopped-down to f4 – otherwise it is too soft. In some cases, busy backgrounds can look good and form a character of the vintage image, but it is very much a matter of taste. Used wide-open shows bubble-bokeh effect with pronounced edges on the specular highlights.