P&B 50mm f3.5 Anastigmat Square Aperture lens

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fferreres Veteran Member • Posts: 5,408
P&B 50mm f3.5 Anastigmat Square Aperture lens
4

I didn't do much research about P&B. I recall it was some seller that rebranded things like Soligor or Vivitar, or maybe it was something else. I know not much about this small lens other than:

  • Brutal cheap lens
  • P&B branded
  • M39 mount
  • No focusing mechanism
  • Clicked aperture with square shape when stopped down
  • Image circle covers FF

P&B on the Sony A7II

Full res

Crop to show aperture shape. Being M39, depending on the adapter choice, it can be rotated. Here, the way I adapted shows diamond-like shapes.

The lens cost $1.38 shipping included. Came from North Hollywood. The listing didn't even mention the mount type. It was in mint condition, well cared for, and came with a beautiful M39 bubble case where you screw the lens to the bottom of the case.

It's very small, but mount seems to be around M42 flange. I took the NEX-LM macro adapter (5mm play), then LM-M42 fixed and there an M42 to L39 inner ring (ie. mounts exactly as M42). With the Helicid, I can focus from infinity to maybe 1mm or less. Didn't measure anything except for making sure infinity works then all tests informal.

What I see:

  • Flare prone, the glass is quite directly exposed and a hood would be best or shading with hand under bright light sources
  • It has weak corners in FF camera. This lens was probably used in smaller format cameras. Comes from Hollywood, so may have been used in some sort of film camera, maybe 16mm.
  • Easy to focus, a pleasure to use. Nothing to blow my mind regarding optics. I have no idea if it's a triplet or what.

Covers FF as you see from the first picture.

A gem of a lens? No, there are many popping here and there for almost free...right now I see one at $20 with shipping. Do I like it? Yes, I like to have one lens with a square aperture and that is tiny. It has good central resolution and is very well constructed. I like it. At $15.38 with shipping, the lens was probably about the cost of a Starbucks coffee. It's also true, it's optically no marvel and the weak corners are noticeable at least in FF. This can be an interesting lens, if slow, for M43 too.

Does anyone have any of these squared aperture lens and know what system used them? It's obvious there may be many, and they must have also been quite cheap at the time.

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