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11-02-2010, 04:24 PM   #1
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Which lens can replace Pentax-A 50mm F1.2

I've been struggling to find a replacement for my lovely Pentax-A 50:1.2. I still have it, and I don't mind playing with MF once in a while, but sometimes MF is frustrating, especially with moving kids.

I tried the FA 31mm Ltd but at anything lower than F4, the 50/1.2 wins in terms of sharpness, contrast, and bokeh. Especially at f2 (which I tend to use a lot), the 50 is tack sharp, while the FA 31 is still a bit soft (yes, I'm pixel-peeping, but that's because I'm spoiled by the 50/1.2). Don't get me wrong, the FA 31mm is a wonderful lens compared to others such as the FA 35/2, DA 35/2.8, etc. But it's just not as great as the 50/1.2. In fact, I prefer the images coming out of the FA 43/1.9 than the FA 31/1.8.

My question is: Which other lens should I try? I need an AF lens that is tack sharp, has excellent contrast and bokeh at F2. Focal length should be equal or shorter (not higher) than 50mm. I'll be selling the FA 31mm to fund the purchase of this new lens (keeping the FA 43)


Last edited by vtqanh; 11-02-2010 at 04:30 PM.
11-02-2010, 04:31 PM   #2
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Well from what you just described, it rang true with peoples descriptions of the FA 43... what about the FA 43 don't you like? I would have thought the FA 43 would blow the 50 2 out of the water...
11-02-2010, 04:33 PM   #3
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You could try a FA50/1.7 or F50/1.7. They are optically the same and quite sharp at f/2. The AF is very fast and they're quite compact. I just bought a DA*55 to see how it fares against my A50/1.2. I love the 50/1.2, but depending on how far apart they are on IQ, the advantage of having AF might put the 55/1.4 ahead. We'll see
11-02-2010, 04:37 PM   #4
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Sigma 50/1.4 is generally well-regarded both for centre and edge performance. I had the DA*55 which can give great images but I found AF to be quite unreliable in low light and fairly slow in normal light (on K20D). Sigma is better in AF apparently.

For a cheaper option FA50/1.4 is a solid performer.

11-02-2010, 04:52 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by DanielT74 Quote
Sigma 50/1.4 is generally well-regarded both for centre and edge performance. I had the DA*55 which can give great images but I found AF to be quite unreliable in low light and fairly slow in normal light (on K20D). Sigma is better in AF apparently.

For a cheaper option FA50/1.4 is a solid performer.
I'll do a bit research on the Sigma 50/1.4. I was also thinking about the FA-50/1.4, but from what I've been reading, the FA/F 50/1.7 wins in terms of sharpness and contrast for anything up to f2.

QuoteOriginally posted by dgaies Quote
You could try a FA50/1.7 or F50/1.7. They are optically the same and quite sharp at f/2. The AF is very fast and they're quite compact. I just bought a DA*55 to see how it fares against my A50/1.2. I love the 50/1.2, but depending on how far apart they are on IQ, the advantage of having AF might put the 55/1.4 ahead. We'll see
The DA-55 has terrible AF performance, that's what I heard. There's no point spending that much money for an AF lens that you can't count on its AF!

QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
Well from what you just described, it rang true with peoples descriptions of the FA 43... what about the FA 43 don't you like? I would have thought the FA 43 would blow the 50 2 out of the water...
We're talking about the 50 1.2, not 50 2 :-). I mentioned that I prefered the images of the FA 43 over the FA 31, but the FA 43 is still no comparison when it goes head to head against the 50 1.2, at least not until F4.
11-02-2010, 05:08 PM   #6
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I follow the suggestion of the 50/1.7s but to compare its sharpness at f/2 with the FA ltds, I'm not sure if the 50s are appreciably better, even the 50/1.4

The 50/1.2 is a different beast and optically superior to all the other 50s, so is in a separate category (would be an A* IMO). Looking for a sharper lens at f/2 will be difficult.

I'd just stick with your current lineup, using the 43 or try an AF fast fifty if you're game to trade in the 31 for it...
11-02-2010, 05:15 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
I follow the suggestion of the 50/1.7s but to compare its sharpness at f/2 with the FA ltds, I'm not sure if the 50s are appreciably better, even the 50/1.4

The 50/1.2 is a different beast and optically superior to all the other 50s, so is in a separate category (would be an A* IMO). Looking for a sharper lens at f/2 will be difficult.

I'd just stick with your current lineup, using the 43 or try an AF fast fifty if you're game to trade in the 31 for it...

+1. The A 50/1.2 has no peer except the k 50/1.2. Since I have the A/1.2, I have contemplated more than once on replacing my FA 50/1.4 with an FA 43 ltd.
11-02-2010, 05:29 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by vtqanh Quote
The DA-55 has terrible AF performance, that's what I heard. There's no point spending that much money for an AF lens that you can't count on its AF!
I know the DA*55 has a bad reputation in terms of AF, but I've found it to be quite accurate, albeit not very fast. Granted I didn't buy the DA*55 until after I had the K5, so the AF performance might be in part due to the superior AF of the K5 itself.

But overall you're right; it is a pretty expensive lens with fairly slow AF.

11-02-2010, 05:30 PM   #9
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I don't think that there is a replacement lens to the A50/1.2 other than Pentax making an AF version out of it. as someone pointed out, it could had been an A* equivalent during it's time or a LTD if Pentax makes one today. the lens is just different.
11-02-2010, 05:36 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by vtqanh Quote
I've been struggling to find a replacement for my lovely Pentax-A 50:1.2. I still have it, and I don't mind playing with MF once in a while, but sometimes MF is frustrating, especially with moving kids.
sometimes catch in focus works well with moving kids.

my daughter is also running around in house. But my f1.2 has given me enough memories to cherish. I think it is wonderful lense for kids, because light in house is usually low.





my advise add more lenses DONT replace them.
11-02-2010, 06:12 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
+1. The A 50/1.2 has no peer except the k 50/1.2. Since I have the A/1.2, I have contemplated more than once on replacing my FA 50/1.4 with an FA 43 ltd.
I put it off myself for a long time until I went for a trade for my 16-50 to give it a go (and complete the FA ltd trilogy). What I found was that the reviews judged this lens quite critically, while the FA 50/1.4 was a little less harshly reviewed, perhaps due to its excellent value for money.

But to me, the 43 is simply stunning while the 50/1.4 is very good in therms of results. I could get similar results with the 50 as I would with the 43 but only if I did some significant PP work, and even then the colour rendition and sharpness differences were still noticeable. I sold my FA50 not long thereafter...
11-02-2010, 06:33 PM   #12
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You might want to consider the Sigma 30mm f1.4. I recently find myself reaching for it more often than my FA43 when chasing my 18 month old son around. Fast, great bokeh, and I like the FOV for indoor shooting over my FA50 f1.4.
11-02-2010, 06:44 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by WiseOx Quote
You might want to consider the Sigma 30mm f1.4. I recently find myself reaching for it more often than my FA43 when chasing my 18 month old son around. Fast, great bokeh, and I like the FOV for indoor shooting over my FA50 f1.4.
Agreed about the FOV for indoor chasing. I almost always grabbed the 31 over the 43 for those kind of shots and was very happy with the results.
11-02-2010, 09:43 PM   #14
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I wouldn't even consider the FA 50mm F/1.4 as my K 50mm F/1.2 just blows it out of the water in ever conceivable way other than AF (moot point as the FA 50mm is very slow at focusing ) and auto aperture. Ontop of that I got the K 50mm F/1.2 for less than the FA 50mm F/1.4 ($222 vs. $265)

It seems the Sigma 50mm would be a great option as it is apparently VERY sharp.
11-02-2010, 10:41 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by vtqanh Quote


The DA-55 has terrible AF performance, that's what I heard. There's no point spending that much money for an AF lens that you can't count on its AF!

Bull. If you don't want the lens then don't buy it but don't post falsehoods like this when you have no experience with the lens.

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