The Kalimar 50mm f1.7 is a vintage manual focus lens that features focus and depth of field scales for maximum precision and control. With it’s ultra-bright maximum aperture, sharpness, and point of view similar to the human eye, this lens is a must have for any classic lens collector.
In my field tests, I found this lens to be more on the soft side wide open. An attribute that gives skin a sheen that is often desirable in portraiture, but not so much in landscape or architectural applications. I found the color rendering to be unique and it seemed to favor greenish hues.
Weight wise, this is a perfect travel lens. It’s light and compact and fits easily into a camera bag. It felt very well balanced mounted on my Sony a7r3 and wasn’t tedious at all to hand hold for extended periods of time. This lens features and all metal body enclosure and overall exceptional build quality, especially when compared to today’s standards.
The images produced by this lens in tandem with my camera body were pleasant with an unmistakable vintage ambiance to them. The fast and ultra-bright f/1.7 added a good sense of depth and contrast was generally very good as well. Micro-contrast, on the other hand, was fairly weak, making this a forgiving lens for portraits, but not ideal for high detail shooting scenarios. Results did improve pretty significantly by f/2.8 though, and by f/8, this lens is respectably sharp across the frame.
Kalimar 50mm f1.7 overview
Wide aperture offers excellent background compression for superb bokeh
Renders breathtakingly unique classic colors and contrast
Fast and bright f/1.7 maximum aperture allows for razor thin depth of field and for spectacular results in low-light photography
Sharp at center at f/2.8 and very sharp across the frame by f/8
Great walk around lens, ideal for portraits, street photography, landscapes, and astrophotography
Rugged metal body construction
Focal Length (35mm format):
Canon FD-Mount (Breech)
Angle of View (35mm format):
0.05m to infinity
Number of Blades:
Country of Manufacture:
The sample images in this post were captured using a Sony A7r, Mark III
The product images (below) were captured using a Samsung Galaxy Note 9
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