Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
05-27-2010, 08:47 AM   #1
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Nove Zamky, Slovakia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 7,181
50mm/1.2 or 55mm/1.4?

Has anybody compared the Pentax 50/1.2 (A or K) with the new DA*55/1.4???
I know the advantages of the DA* are obvious:
WR, AF (not fast but faster than my MF) newer coatings (if that's advantage), f stop info in EXIF and no hassle with SR setting.
But how does the IQ compare?
Frankly, I love my K50/1.2 but I find 55mm slightly nicer focal length and wouldn't mind something AF and faster than my current K55/1.8.
changing 1.2 to 1.4 I'd only lose 1/3 - 1/2 of a stop, correct?
so.. How does the IQ stack up?
Any pointers and ideas?

Thank you,

Peter

05-27-2010, 09:07 AM   #2
Veteran Member
Pentaxor's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Vancouver, B.C.
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 6,513
it's a pretty nice lens Peter. a bit more contrast than the 2 MF lens and would mostly answer your circular OOF highlight needs. very sharp at f2.8. general bokeh is great and somehow at par or same with the K55. the 50/1.2 though as you already knew, has a unique bokeh.

I think this would be a great lens if you need AF, SDM and WR. if I were to say this, it is a tweaked or updated version of the K55.
05-27-2010, 09:11 AM   #3
Veteran Member
farfisa's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Toronto, Canada
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,274
It's a half stop difference. And I think you should get the DA*55!

I've had the A 50 1.2 and the DA*55. I love the 1.2 wide open, especially for static subjects and up close. Overall, I prefer the DA*55 though, not only for ease of use, but for bokeh when stopped down to f/2 or so, the colour, contrast and sharpness. I think it's the most underrated lens out there.
05-27-2010, 09:15 AM   #4
axl
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Nove Zamky, Slovakia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 7,181
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
it's a pretty nice lens Peter. a bit more contrast than the 2 MF lens and would mostly answer your circular OOF highlight needs. very sharp at f2.8. general bokeh is great and somehow at par or same with the K55. the 50/1.2 though as you already knew, has a unique bokeh.

I think this would be a great lens if you need AF, SDM and WR. if I were to say this, it is a tweaked or updated version of the K55.
Thanks Aris,

the highlighted part is one think where K50 beats the holy hell out of K55 IMO.
It's OOF is just perfect IMO, and 8 blades make really good highlight circles (it's much less octagonal/angular in shape than the very noticable hexagons from K55).
Problem is, I don't need, SDM nor WR nor AF for that matter... I just want those things, but mainly AF. SDM is scaring me a bit actually but I haven't hear of DA*55 fail yet. And the price of is another issue.... I'd have to sell 50/1.2 + 55/1.8 + 85/2 and I'm not sure if it's worth it...

05-27-2010, 09:19 AM   #5
axl
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Nove Zamky, Slovakia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 7,181
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by farfisa Quote
It's a half stop difference. And I think you should get the DA*55!

I've had the A 50 1.2 and the DA*55. I love the 1.2 wide open, especially for static subjects and up close. Overall, I prefer the DA*55 though, not only for ease of use, but for bokeh when stopped down to f/2 or so, the colour, contrast and sharpness. I think it's the most underrated lens out there.
Thanks.
I love using my K50 too, even stopped down. But after my recent holiday I realized I missed a lot of shots due to MF! In low light (I mean something like f1.2 1/20s @400ISO) I had to take 3-5 shots to get one in focus! And I use split screen...
And when my nephew started to move a bit, I had to switch to 43ltd (the longest AF lens I have) 3 times out of 4 to get acceptable shots...
05-27-2010, 09:19 AM   #6
Pentaxian
Digitalis's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Adelaide.
Posts: 8,744
There won't be exactly a huge difference in IQ from the venerable SMCP 50 f/1.2 though the biggest differences will be observed in the f/2 and wider aperture range. I have used the da55mm f/1.4 and I didn't like the nervousness of the bokeh at wider apertures which is something the f/1.2 lens is free from. In fact I'd rank the pentax 50mm f/1.2 higher than the zeiss planar 50mm f/1.4 especially considering bokeh effects.Pretty much all of pentax's 50mm lenses perform identically at f/4 and up*.

theough the SMCP 50mm f/1.2 at f/8 has to be seen to belived, it holds it's own against the leica summilux 50mm f/1.4

*of course there are some that are better than others. The differences are difficult to see, but when you see them you'll notice them for the rest of your days.
05-27-2010, 09:28 AM   #7
Veteran Member
Pentaxor's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Vancouver, B.C.
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 6,513
surely the 6 blades can really be disturbing. I could say that 8 blades is really good, I got 9 blades so much more better (but some people dont consider this a big factor especially if they dont used it much stopped down, I use mine as far as f8 with strong highlights, so my 9 blades are warranted).

SDM failure is non-existent for the DA*55 as far as my experience and other reports goes.

I believe you have to compromise. thing is, would you be missing those lenses if ever you are going to sell them in place for the DA*55?

anyway, just to make it easier, maybe you could try out one in a shop before you purchase and see how it goes.
05-27-2010, 09:36 AM   #8
Veteran Member
Pentaxor's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Vancouver, B.C.
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 6,513
QuoteOriginally posted by farfisa Quote
It's a half stop difference. And I think you should get the DA*55!

I've had the A 50 1.2 and the DA*55. I love the 1.2 wide open, especially for static subjects and up close. Overall, I prefer the DA*55 though, not only for ease of use, but for bokeh when stopped down to f/2 or so, the colour, contrast and sharpness. I think it's the most underrated lens out there.
not really underrated. it is highly venerated for those who have the cash for it. the thing is, more people just prefer LTD's due to their build, finish, great IQ, and wider focal length that is more ideal. the FA50/1.4 doesn't have that good record of being a keeper.

05-27-2010, 09:39 AM   #9
axl
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Nove Zamky, Slovakia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 7,181
Original Poster
Well, problem is I did try one in the shop and was blown away by it's IQ under the shop lights @1.4. It's bit bulky for my liking, and I just hate the hood, it's way too big IMO.
Would I miss my other lenses? Well, K50 depends on how good the DA* would perform, K55 most probably not, and M85.... the 55 would be my longest lens and for streets I like using 85 so I guess yes I would miss that one too....
My dream line up:
10-20 + FA*24 + 31ltd + 43ltd + DA*55 + 77ltd (or FA*85)
it's good to dream, isn't it?
05-27-2010, 09:56 AM   #10
Veteran Member




Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: NYC
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,071
QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
Thanks.
I love using my K50 too, even stopped down. But after my recent holiday I realized I missed a lot of shots due to MF! In low light (I mean something like f1.2 1/20s @400ISO) I had to take 3-5 shots to get one in focus! And I use split screen...
And when my nephew started to move a bit, I had to switch to 43ltd (the longest AF lens I have) 3 times out of 4 to get acceptable shots...
Live view does wonders for low light manual focusing. I know it sounds/looks silly but it works. Also, do not rely on the split screen in dark situations, lack of contrast and black outs make the split screen practically useless. It's better to use the surrounding microprism or even the matte texture of the rest of the focusing screen.

I was shooting in 12800ISO F3.5 1/30 & 1600ISO F2.0 1/40 for a small concert last night. It was pretty damn dark. I was in a stationary spot so I ended up gauging the distance of the stage using a few optical preview shots (green button), once I found the right distance, I memorized the number on the focal distance scale and returned to it throughout the concert.

Manual focus isn't easy but it's doable. It takes a lot of practice. It has potential to out do AF for many years to come. I wouldn't abandon it just yet.
05-27-2010, 10:28 AM   #11
Inactive Account




Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 152
my prime lenses line-up



QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
Well, problem is I did try one in the shop and was blown away by it's IQ under the shop lights @1.4. It's bit bulky for my liking, and I just hate the hood, it's way too big IMO.
Would I miss my other lenses? Well, K50 depends on how good the DA* would perform, K55 most probably not, and M85.... the 55 would be my longest lens and for streets I like using 85 so I guess yes I would miss that one too....
My dream line up:
10-20 + FA*24 + 31ltd + 43ltd + DA*55 + 77ltd (or FA*85)
it's good to dream, isn't it?
05-27-2010, 10:32 AM   #12
Veteran Member
yeatzee's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Temecula
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,675
QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
I'd have to sell 50/1.2 + 55/1.8 + 85/2 and I'm not sure if it's worth it...
I think you know my position if the above were true for me

(that M 85mm will NEVER leave my camera bag.... Im assuming the K 50mm F/1.2 will be the same for me also)
05-27-2010, 10:46 AM   #13
axl
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Nove Zamky, Slovakia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 7,181
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by yeatzee Quote
I think you know my position if the above were true for me

(that M 85mm will NEVER leave my camera bag.... Im assuming the K 50mm F/1.2 will be the same for me also)
I'm pretty sure your position on this is very clear
If I had the cash I wouldn't sell the K50 nor M85...
but as it is I don't think selling K55 will let me purchase DA*55
05-27-2010, 10:47 AM   #14
axl
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Nove Zamky, Slovakia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 7,181
Original Poster
mz-3 I practically hate you for that shot..
aren't you selling some of them now? I saw some posts from you in marketplace...
05-27-2010, 10:48 AM   #15
Veteran Member
farfisa's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Toronto, Canada
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,274
That's a tough one. I wasn't thinking about you having to sell the K50 1.2, K55, and 85/2. All of those would be tough to give up.

Since the 77 is on your roadmap, maybe it should come first? I know, cost is a factor, but those don't seem to be dropping in price! You wouldn't miss the 85 then, and you could keep the K55 (they don't fetch too much, do they?). For low light, I'm not sure if you'd get too many more shots in low light with the DA*55 vs. the 50/1.2. In low light, Pentax doesn't seem to want to find the focus, and moving subjects are hard enough to begin with.

I also know what you mean about the hood. I resisted using it at first. I had a standard metal hood with a cap for a while (from the Voigtlander Nokton), and a rubber hood. But in the end, I grew to love the hood and realized that it was great protection and compared to just about any zoom, it's still a tiny lens.

But the DA*55 is truly a solid performer and an effortless lens to use. Its bokeh is simply amazing, and oddly enough I did find it gets a big bump in contrast just by stopping down to 1.6.

Full disclosure, I sold my DA*55 to help fund another purchase. Turns out I couldn't sleep without it and had to pick up another one (on the first day of the next billing cycle). LBA is a bitch. (hey, I wonder if that would get censored if I used it as my signature).

I've used the 50/1.2 on a G1 as well with an adapter--the magnified EVF is really nice for manual focussing!
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
af, iq, k-mount, pentax lens, slr lens, stop
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:27 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top