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11-12-2010, 09:51 AM   #1
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Just how good is the Pentax-F f/1.7?

Given that used 50mm Pentax-F F/1.7 lenses are selling used for $200 these days, my question is how well does the lens stack up to other lenses that Pentax produce today?

I mean the 50mm is quice lightly built and has a neither-here-nor-there focal length with a cropped sensor. The money must be simply because of the sharpness of the optics.

The 50mm has great sharpness and renders a nice 3D effect, but how does it stack up in this area against other sharp lenses like the DA40 or the DA35?

11-12-2010, 11:09 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by keyser Quote
Given that used 50mm Pentax-F F/1.7 lenses are selling used for $200 these days, my question is how well does the lens stack up to other lenses that Pentax produce today?

I mean the 50mm is quice lightly built and has a neither-here-nor-there focal length with a cropped sensor. The money must be simply because of the sharpness of the optics.

The 50mm has great sharpness and renders a nice 3D effect, but how does it stack up in this area against other sharp lenses like the DA40 or the DA35?
simple. it's sharp at f1.7. both the DA40 and DA35 suck at f1.7. it isolates subjects much better because it is f1.7.
11-12-2010, 11:38 AM   #3
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It is sharper than FA43/1.9 wide open with less barrel distortion on FF. B4 the hype, there was no love for this lens even for less than $100.
11-12-2010, 11:58 AM   #4
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Not sure how different the A and F version of the 1.7 are but:

The A 1.7 is not very good at 1.7, despite the hype. I suppose it is sharp compared to the 1.4 wide open, but it is nothing that special. Stopped down to 2.0 is it pretty sharp, and this is really the widest I go with it unless I am in a tremendously dark area.

I would disagree that the 50 1.7 renders a "very nice" 3d effect - the bokeh can be pretty busy and distracting when you stop down past f 4. It's a very good lens, but I think the hype surrounding it has more to do with it's cheap price (the M versions go for 35-50, and the A versions go for 50-100) than it's outstanding quality.

In my experience, the DA 40 renders a nicer image in pretty much every respect, but I like having the 50 when I need f2. I'm not sure that the DA35 would be a big step down in IQ from the 50 1.7 either, so if you prefer that focal length, I would give the DA 35 a good look (and try it out at the store). You do lose almost a stop of light, though.

11-12-2010, 03:26 PM   #5
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To be fully honest, it's quite nice, but has some downsides because of it's age and most likely used state:
-Overpriced if you're not in US.
-AF wear, i've had two samples, one was loud and loose other has stiff regions on distance scale (and is still loud).
-Aperture ring wear. My first sample used to lose connection/position on A setting, causing problems.
-Some minor PF/CA at wider apertures.
-Misfocusses often at greater distances (5..15m), but reports correct lock.
-Has fragile plastic filter ring - mine, and many others are sold with a cracked/glued one.
-No quick shift.
-A bit different feel to colours than DA, i'd say colder.

But i really like the lens. It seems that it is the cheapest AF option at this FL out there. And it performs quite nice. If you nail the focus, it's crazy sharp. Plenty of light at F1.7. Small, simple.

Last edited by ytterbium; 11-12-2010 at 03:43 PM.
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