Summer flowers on Kodak Gold 200

My son gave me some Kodak Gold 200 film for Father’s Day so I shot it all straightaway. With a roll in a fresh-from CLA Pentax ME (which I subsequently gave him), with my 50mm f/1.7 SMC Pentax-M lens attached, I photographed some roadside flowers.

Roadside flowers

I haven’t photographed many flowers this year. I had a pretty prolific garden at my last house which provided many lovely subjects through the blooming months. My new house doesn’t offer nearly the floral photographic opportunities.

Roadside flowers

But while carrying this ME around I had occasion to stop along a rural highway and to walk along South Meridian Street in Indianapolis. Both offered me posies to photograph.

Roadside flowers

I am swooning over the quality of the blurred backgrounds I got with this lens. I need to shoot it more to be sure, but it looks like it very well could be the best of the Pentax 50s (50/1.4, 50/1.7, and 50/2).

Roadside flowers

Lately I’ve come to appreciate the 35mm focal length for the walking-around photography I do, given how often I want to get a whole building in my frame. Sometimes I just can’t back up enough when a 50 is mounted. But I don’t think my 35 can do close work like this.


It’s a conundrum, which lens to bring along on a walk. But I suppose it’s a first-world problem.

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15 responses to “Summer flowers on Kodak Gold 200”

  1. bodegabayf2 Avatar

    I’ve found the 50/1.7 to be a spectacular lens! Your shots here prove my point!! Bonus points for such a pleasant way to start a Monday.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      This 50/1.7 is making me wonder if I even need my 50/2 and 50/1.4!

  2. Reinhold Graf Avatar

    Beautiful flowers and … beautiful colors.
    I’d be curious about your scan process. Do you still use your Epson V300?

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I’ve been paying the lab to scan my negatives lately. These were scanned by the lab at Roberts Camera, our local photo shop.

      I have a new CanoScan 9000 now, and have retired the V300. One day I’ll return to scanning my own with the CanoScan, but I haven’t had time to deal with it lately.

      1. Reinhold Graf Avatar

        Did you tweak the colors or are they ‘as scanned’?

        I’m just asking, as I struggle with the labs’ scans from my Agfa Vista films where red color seems to be always over-saturated.

        1. Jim Grey Avatar

          I did a little post processing to slightly enhance contrast and bring out shadow detail. That’s it!

  3. conspicari Avatar

    Lovely colours and great bokeh, the Kodak Gold seems to suit the lens. I have a 50mm 1.7 that I’ve hardly used, must give it a go.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I look forward to seeing how other films suit this lens!

  4. davidvanilla Avatar

    The flowers are gorgeous, the shots are great; but I like your subtle reminder that our problems can be quite minor when we take time to think of third-world issues.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      There are real problems even in the first world, but so much of what we first-worlders wring our hands about others would view as privilege.

  5. Dan James Avatar

    I remember posing a similar question in the description on a photograph I posted on my Flickr a couple of years ago, essentially saying sometimes I want to shoot with a 50mm, sometimes a 35mm, sometimes a 135mm. A good photographer friend pointed out the obvious – “er, you do realise with SLRs you can take two or three lenses with you and change them as needed? That’s why they made it an interchangeable lens system!”

    Because I nearly always shoot with just one lens per photowalk (in the same way that even if I’m using a zoom, I nearly always set it to one focal length and treat it as a prime) I really didn’t give this much consideration. But maybe it’s something for us both to remember. :)

    After shooting at least 50 50s on film and digital, I would concur that you can’t get much better than the Pentax-M 50/1.7. I would suggest you don’t need any other 50 in any mount, let alone any other Pentax 50.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Here’s the challenge for me: I hate carrying gear. So when I go out, I want to sling an SLR over my shoulder with the one lens I’m going to use. On the rare occasion I have a zoom, I am not afraid to use it. But I tend to step through the focal lengths discretely when I do.

      1. Dan James Avatar

        I’m completely with on gear, I’ve not used an SLR or DSLR for months, even with a single, compact lens. Just doesn’t seem worth it lugging something around.

  6. Jeremy Avatar

    I recently acquired a newly CLA’d Pentax KX with exactly the same SMC 50 / 1.7 lens mounted. Thrown in the bundle was also a Vivitar 70-210 / 2.8-4 k mount. The whole package set me back $35. Not sure if I got a good deal??? I haven’t had the chance to take it out on a photo walk yet, and looking at your pictures, I can’t help but get excited to start shooting. The lens is pretty clean considering its age, so I guess I can look forward to some sharp results. I’m a prime shooter and I tend to be a lot more partial to my 50s. Great photos btw.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Assuming the CLA is of good quality you got a fabulous deal. Happy shooting!

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