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12-06-2010, 01:02 PM   #16
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Manual lenses will do spot or center weighted metering. If you set it to matrix metering, it will use center weighted.

The katz-eye screen is not appealing to me. Why spend 100 dollars on a screen to make a 50-100 dollar prime focus as well as a 300 dollar prime with autofocus?

If you plan on building a collection of vintage primes, I suppose it makes more sense. However, I would rather sink my money into the modern gear like the DA and FA limiteds.

Manual focus is rarely faster than autofocus (at least if you stick to the center spot to reduce the number of decisions the camera has to make). In my hands at least.

However, the metering issues with the K20d and old primes turned out to be a rather nasty surprise. I know that this is limited to a few Pentax bodies, but I don't plan on replacing my k20d any time soon, as that is an expensive endeavor and I want to buy more lenses, not more cameras.

12-06-2010, 01:18 PM   #17
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The Pentax bodies do not want to use multi-segment metering with the older lenses (for some reason); for this a Pentax-A or newer is required, moreover, the aperture ring needs to be in the A-position. This leaves center-weighted and spot metering with older lenses. Spot may become unreliable when installing a split prism screen, which is no wonder as the sensor is behind the screen (or so I understand) and this is about measuring from the center "spot" only.
12-06-2010, 01:56 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by FHPhotographer Quote
I'm not sure I get this. I had, and will probably get again, a KatzEye and it spot metered just fine on FA and DA lenses, but did not on an M135. My understanding is that all the manual Pentax lenses default to center weighted metering, so it's the lens and not the screen doing it, or am I incorrect on that?
Brian
There's a lot of information on the KatzEye site about the spot metering issue. My short version is, the meter gives you a result which is only sometimes reliable, depending on the lens used. That was enough for me to not bother with spot metering. You also lose the bracket marks showing the metering area.

With a K or M lens, you can select spot or center-weighted metering. If you select matrix, the camera switches it to CW. With a KA mount or later lens set to the A position, matrix metering works.
12-06-2010, 04:25 PM   #19
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Well I went and picked up the lens - I like it. I don't love it, I suppose because it is really not TOO different from my 50mm 1.7. It's rather different from my 55 1.8, though.

One thing I notice here is a really pleasing softness to the images that my 1.7 lacks. It's something that looks like a red mark against the lens in tests, but appears to be quite desirable for certain subjects. You can see how this subject's face bleeds away at the edge... and this is at f2!

It's a strange thing to quantify. I would say it's equally sharp to the 1.7 at all apertures other than f1.7, where the 1.7 wins by a hair. However, the 1.4 is capible of a rather dreamy, or oldschool, soft look below f1.4 that is very different from all of my other available lenses. It's quite nice (when used properly, of course). It would be ugly in low light situations where you just want a faster shutter speed, but it's nice when you are shooting individuals.

However f2 is really where this lens because generally useful. In my short time with the lens, it appears that at the smaller apertures it is just as sharp as my K55, sharper than the 50 1.7. It does show more CA, though, which is my greatest concern with this lens.

For portraiture, it is just a little short... it would be perfect if they made a non-DA* 55mm. However I do like this better for portraits than my 50 1.7. IQ wise, this lens beats my 55 1.8 in the bokeh department, but otherwise I tend to like them equally. If the K55 wasn't so temperamental in use, it would be "the one". Unfortunately, stop-down metering and manual focus only seems to work for me with the most patient (or dead) of subjects, so this lens will inevitably bring home more keepers than the K55 when I'm working with moving subjects.

The question that remains is the value of this lens. I like the old-school softer rendering over the A 50 1.7, no doubts there. The overall flexibility of this lens is enormous... and while it is not nearly as sharp as the 43, I like having the 40 for sharpness and the 50 for mood (I like 50 for people over 43 anyhow). It is a nice tool to complement the super-sharp DA 40, and autofocus is a huge plus (I can already see this when I'm trying to keep the eyes in focus). It just lets you hammer off shots much more quickly than in manual-focus, and you do end up with more keepers.

Anyways I thought I would just wrap this one up with a picture and a thank you. IQ differences aside, I think this one will be worth keeping simply for the usefulness of autofocus.

Another "related" question.. . What would be a fair price to sell the A 50 1.7 and K55 1.8 for?


Last edited by paperbag846; 06-10-2011 at 03:15 PM.
12-06-2010, 04:39 PM   #20
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I plan on getting a Katzeye when its available for the K-5, I like to manual focus, metering not that big a deal really in my opinion.
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