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09-10-2007, 09:19 AM   #1
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2nd copy of FA 50 f/1.4, better sharpness

I returned my 1st copy of FA 50 f/1.4 for an exchange after seeing many unusually soft pictures at f/4.0 in daylight and most indoor pictures at f/2.0. My 2nd copy arrived. I am so glad for the exchange and in daylight tests, all previous soft pictures are much improved though I am still learning with narrow dof.

I have untrained eyes but all pictures that I examine in 100% crop before reveal very unusual sharpness even with daylight pictures made in f/4.0, many test shots live can be seen and linked to my flickr account

Indoor on desktop
Pentax SMC FA 50 f/1.4 Test Shots - Hin's Tech Corner

Outdoor
Love is Kind - Hin's Photo Blog

Indoor low light with forced f/2.0 -- f/1.4
Happy Birthday to Sweetie Ben - Hin's Photo Blog

Though a lot of errors can come from my inexperience with narrow DOF, I felt that my first copy has very unusual soft pictures at f/4.0 in daytime and hence the exchange for 2nd copy of the lens.

Here are few pictures I took yesterday with the 2nd (exchanged copy) of my FA 50 f/1.4 and so far I am very satisfied with the 2nd copy and it is quite a difference with my 1st copy in terms of sharpness when cropped at 100%. I really like the color and contrast in that lens

#1


#2


#3 f/1.6 by mistakes but color comes out quite good though picture is
soft, nose is clear


#4 f/2.5


#5 f/2.5


#6 f/2.2


Comments and feedbacks are very welcome

Thanks,
Hin


Last edited by hinman; 09-28-2007 at 02:13 PM.
09-10-2007, 11:28 AM   #2
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Out of curiosity, where did you order your lens from. I recently purchased this same lens from Adorama and am anxiously waiting delivery. I'll have to keep a look out for the soft focus issue.

Shawn
09-10-2007, 11:57 AM   #3
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could you post some shots with indoor lighting at night?
09-10-2007, 12:34 PM   #4
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I am currently borrowing a 50mm 1.7 pentax-a and I was VERY happy with the results in my home at night, no flash, just the lights over the tables...





09-10-2007, 08:30 PM   #5
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Thanks for the demo

[QUOTE=lapeen;93998]I am currently borrowing a 50mm 1.7 pentax-a and I was VERY happy with the results in my home at night, no flash, just the lights over the tables...


Is your 50mm a manual lens with K mount. How much would it cost roughly? I like all three shots and the 3rd one is lovely.

Thanks,
Hin
09-10-2007, 08:33 PM   #6
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I would try at a later time

QuoteOriginally posted by konraDarnok Quote
could you post some shots with indoor lighting at night?
As soon as I have some night shots with my 2nd copy, I will post. For now, you can see my blog post with night pictures on the 1st copy -- many soft pictures due to errors and forced f/2.0, f/1,8 and f/1.6

Happy Birthday to Sweetie Ben - Hin's Photo Blog

Thanks,
Hin
09-11-2007, 03:19 AM   #7
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[QUOTE=hinman;94117]
QuoteOriginally posted by lapeen Quote
I am currently borrowing a 50mm 1.7 pentax-a and I was VERY happy with the results in my home at night, no flash, just the lights over the tables...


Is your 50mm a manual lens with K mount. How much would it cost roughly? I like all three shots and the 3rd one is lovely.

Thanks,
Hin
It is a K mount, they go for about $100 on ebay. I REALLY like the pentax-a because all I have to do is manual focus, everything else I can do in camera. Some say lazy... I say shooting kids and pets you need all the help you can get
09-16-2007, 01:54 PM   #8
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Thanks Lapeen

[QUOTE=lapeen;94188]
QuoteOriginally posted by hinman Quote

It is a K mount, they go for about $100 on ebay. I REALLY like the pentax-a because all I have to do is manual focus, everything else I can do in camera. Some say lazy... I say shooting kids and pets you need all the help you can get

Your lens look very good but I really need to count on AF in the FA 50 f/1.4. And I have updated my blog with some pictures on my 2nd copy of FA 50 f/1.4

2nd copy of Pentax FA 50 f/1.4 - Hin's Tech Corner

And I actually tried manual focusing on my FA 50 f/1.4 and the wide focusing ring make it a surprise that manual focusing on the FA lens is quite decent.

Happy shooting.
Hin

09-17-2007, 02:57 PM   #9
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Few indoor shots (+4 imgs)

I still have problems with indoor pictures due to kids' movement and my inexperience with narrow DOF but so far, I find it much more sharper with my 2nd copy than my 1st lens. But it is still a bit on the soft side when wide open at f/2.0.

#1


#2


#3


#4


All the above shots are made with Auto Focusing, and I surprise myself in trying out manual focusing on the FA 50 f/1.4. The focusing ring is quite wide and fine tuning on focus seem pleasant. I will try more on manual focusing and see if I get better and sharper picture especially for indoor.

C&C for getting better indoor pictures with FA 50 f/1.4 is much appreciated. I am using the auto multi-segment in metering and the selective AF with default at center.

Thanks,
Hin

Last edited by hinman; 09-28-2007 at 02:13 PM.
09-17-2007, 10:11 PM   #10
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Nice photo's Hin, I think that you got a good lens there.

I think that the more you use it the more that you'll enjoy the narrow DOF.

If I didn't already have my 55mm f1.8 I'd be ordering one of them soon.
It's fast and sharp enough for me at the moment.
09-18-2007, 01:52 PM   #11
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Thank you!!! A blurred flower shot.

QuoteOriginally posted by little laker Quote
Nice photo's Hin, I think that you got a good lens there.

I think that the more you use it the more that you'll enjoy the narrow DOF.

If I didn't already have my 55mm f1.8 I'd be ordering one of them soon.
It's fast and sharp enough for me at the moment.
I still struggle in wide aperture pictures due to the narrow DOF

Narrow DOF with FA 50 f/1.4 - Hin's Tech Corner

1/160 sec, f/2.5, 50mm, iso 200, 0 Ev


I hope it is not one of those front focusing problems. It is likely a user error due to the flower being so small to focus on and I may be too close to the flower. I am more relaxed with this 2nd copy of FA 50 f/1.4 as I am very pleased with the sharpness as compared to my 1st copy especially in daytime pictures at f/4.0.

C&C with links for front focusing testing and information is appreciated. I hear a lot of people discussing on front/back focusing on FA 50 f/1.4. But I don't have the expertise to tell if it is user's error due to narrow DOF. I should redo the shot at wide aperture but with manual focusing.

Thanks,
Hin

Last edited by hinman; 09-28-2007 at 02:20 PM.
09-18-2007, 04:58 PM   #12
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Two more shots with narrow DOF

#2 (white flower bud blurry but a bit better than #1, I think)
1/125 sec, f/2.0, 50mm, iso 200, 0 Ev


#3 (seems better on sharpness)
1/160 sec, f/2.4, 50mm, iso 200, 0 Ev


Any techniques to share on narrow DOF in wide apertures with FA 50 f/1.4 or the like would be very much appreciated.

Hin

Last edited by hinman; 09-28-2007 at 02:20 PM.
09-18-2007, 05:25 PM   #13
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I came across this site today. Might be some interest to you.

Manual Focus Lenses - Home
09-28-2007, 02:19 PM   #14
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I love my 2nd copy of FA 50 f/1.4

I love my 2nd copy of FA 50 f/1.4, I have procrastinated on all the front/back focusing tests that I set out to do when I got my 2nd copy. The formal testing on my 2nd FA 50 f/1.4 may never happen as I already fall in love with my new lens.

The more that I use my FA 50 f/1.4, the more I love the lens. I love it not for the sharpness obviously. I love it for the great color, contrast, wonderful 3D look with narrow dof when I get lucky. And it is a funny term that I use, the picture looks creamy and sometime it sure looks better than the actual scene through my eyes. I have many pictures done at home and I always have the messy feeling about my home and the narrow DOF correct that and my home is as pretty as I can dream about :-)

Okay, back to the softness discussion, I find it soft until f/2.0+ for me for indoor portraits -- this is not a definite as I no longer pixel peep to continue the formal part of my testing. For shooting on fine print, I would have guessed it to be sharp at f/2.8 and beyond. For portraits, the creamy look, color and contrast offset the softness that I see. Maybe the softness help in disguise.

If you do plan to purchase FA 50 f.14, please do test your copy with some pixel peeping especially for daylight pictures at small apertures such as f/4.0. In my 1st copy of FA 50 f/1.4, it has very usual softness compared to my 2nd copy and hence I returned for an exchange.

Few pictures from my 2nd copy that I am pretty proud, all done hand held

Jack In The Box At Night
Jack In The Box At Night - Hin's Photo Blog




My Canon related camcorder with Crumpler 2 million bag
Crumpler 2 million Dollar Bag - Hin's Tech Corner



Yummy Mooncake label
(the creamy look that I mention)
Wordless Wednesday -- Yummy Mooncake - Hin's Tech Corner



My Ben with Nebulizer
Inhaler - Hin's Photo Blog







Thanks,
Hin

Last edited by hinman; 09-28-2007 at 07:30 PM.
09-28-2007, 02:30 PM   #15
Igilligan
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Hi Hin... you are really dialing in the FA-50/// My goodness those are some really sharp shots.
Thanks for the inspiration...
gus
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