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I can compare the Oly 50/1.8 to SMC Pentax-A 50/1.7 and -A 50/2. I just received the Oly this week, and so I dont know it very well, yet.
In my experience with SMC Pentax, the 50mm -A lenses are all slightly better than their -M counterparts. I've owned -A and -M versions of 50/1.4, 50/1.7, and 50/2. Now, I only have -A versions. The -A lenses are better for both IQ and coatings, with the -A having better resolution, higher contrast, and better flare resistance.
The weather doesn`t show any good vis for Halifax over the next six days, except for maybe (hopefully) a few hours on Friday.
The Oly 50/1.8 and SMC Pentax-A 50/2 are both cheap as a handful of good dirt - about $25 to $35, befoe shipping and etc. The -A 50/1.7 goes for three or four handfuls of good dirt.