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12-09-2010, 04:18 PM   #1
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DA 40mm & FA 50mm 1.4 or FA 43mm 1.9?

Hello,

This question is somewhat academic in nature, but I am interested in heading your views.

This focal length range is by far my favorite and I have spent quite a bit of time researching it. I have used the K55 1.8, A 50 1.7, FA 50 1.4, FA 43 1.9, and DA 40 2.8, so I have my own conclusions here, but I want to throw it out to you.

My current pair is the DA 40 2.8 and FA 50 1.4. They, to me, represent the best of both worlds: clinical perfection married with soft and creamy.

However, to those debating the decisions in this focal length, this may not seem ideal. Overall, the FA 43 is the sharpest choice, and no more expensive than the DA 40 and FA 50 pair (in some cases, the pair is slightly more expensive).

So for everyone here, and hopefully for those looking to make a decision, which would be best? The 2 lens solution, or the FA ltd?

12-09-2010, 06:41 PM   #2
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I'm somewhat in the same boat. I have FA 43 Limited for the clinical perfection shot There is no question there.
But when I want some "artistic" shot, now this is where I have my LBA, I have many, too many fast fifties and I still can't figure out the best one to accompany FA 43.

So far I have Pentax-A 50 1.4, Pentax-K 50 1.2 (has fungus but makes things more dreamy n glowy which sometimes I like), Canon FL 55 1.2 (converted, can only focus up to 3-4m but otherwise very sharp), Nikon 50 1.2 (not yet converted but mount-able), 2x Helios-44 58 F2 (one with 6blades one with 10blades), Topcor 50 1.4 (need to convert the mount), Auto-Takumar 55 2.2 (with 10blades) and I'm still eyeing for the early version of Super Takumar 50 1.4

So to answer your question, I'd pick the 2 lens solution with FA 43 Ltd and another lens, preferably faster or has unique characteristic that FA 43 doesn't have.

Last edited by sajah; 12-09-2010 at 06:47 PM.
12-10-2010, 12:01 AM   #3
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I decided to replace my DA40/2.8 and F50/1.7 with an FA43... although I haven't quite been able to get the DA40 listed yet. At f/2.8 and smaller it is certainly in the ballpark of sharpness of the DA40; below it does have some delightful softness (although still sharp too, in some ways). I have an A 50/1.2 that I use for really soft (or really fast).
12-10-2010, 02:01 AM   #4
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I have all the M and A 50mm and a very sharp and versatile FA35/2, but I have found the FA43ltd to be my best 35-50mm amongst them.
Sharp from wide open, but gets very sharp just 1/3 stop from f1.9 and lovely subject isolation. Fast enough for low light. Wide enough aperture under from f1.9 to f2.5 for shallow DOF shots.


It would be a sin for me to advise you on replacing a DA40 and FA50 though.....

12-10-2010, 02:16 AM   #5
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For me it's the DA 40. but that's because I have the K-x and the FA 43 sells for more than the camera. Another reason is that I shoot outdoors in sunny conditions a lot and don't always need the speed. Another reason is that I travel a lot and my gear isn't always completely secure. I would rather lose a $300 lens than $500-$600 lens.

If I had the money I would go for the FA 31mm ($300 more than the 43mm) since that would give me the speed and come closer to my preferred focal length. but that probably isn't an option... But this would give me outstanding spacing between the DA 15 and a 70/77mm lens. But $2K in lenses is a pipedream and I'm happy with what I have now (aside from not having an UWA).
12-10-2010, 02:33 AM   #6
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I have engaged in this conversation with you before.
All I have to say is:
FA43+K50/1.2

that's the pair for me. Super sharp w good bokeh, sharp w best bokeh. nuff said.
If I could, I'd add K55/1.8 and F/FA50/1.7
12-10-2010, 03:21 AM   #7
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Paperbag, you should know the answer to your question since youve debated alot in similar threads comparing these lenses

If you dont mind carring the 2 lenses then stick with what you've got, or if your trying to reduce the size of your kit get the fa43.
12-10-2010, 05:53 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nick Siebers Quote
I decided to replace my DA40/2.8 and F50/1.7 with an FA43... although I haven't quite been able to get the DA40 listed yet. At f/2.8 and smaller it is certainly in the ballpark of sharpness of the DA40; below it does have some delightful softness (although still sharp too, in some ways). I have an A 50/1.2 that I use for really soft (or really fast).
This is exactly what I did a while back. My only advice is, keep the 50/1.7! It's a lovely and sooner or later you'll miss it despite the outstanding qualities of 43 + 50/1.2 combo. At least that's my experience...

12-10-2010, 11:12 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by TOUGEFC Quote
Paperbag, you should know the answer to your question since youve debated alot in similar threads comparing these lenses
Hehe you are correct sir! I simply enjoy this sort of conversation. I'm not arguing either way... I could always swap what I have for little or no loss. Right now I am happy. But it is fun hearing other's views .
12-10-2010, 08:19 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by TOUGEFC Quote
Paperbag, you should know the answer to your question since youve debated alot in similar threads comparing these lenses

If you dont mind carring the 2 lenses then stick with what you've got, or if your trying to reduce the size of your kit get the fa43.
what is all this nonsense? I thought he already made up his mind that the DA40 is the better lens and no difference whatsoever with regards to aperture speed and DOF.

anyway, here is my personal view regarding paperbag's dilemma. the 40mm and 50mm focal length are somewhat to close for comfort on having both since they are too close to each other. I would trade both lenses for the FA43. the only logical thing of getting or keeping a 50mm is if the rendering is unique enough to be worth the consideration like the 50/1.2.
12-10-2010, 10:53 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
what is all this nonsense? I thought he already made up his mind that the DA40 is the better lens and no difference whatsoever with regards to aperture speed and DOF.
I believe you misquote me, in that thread, I was discussing the value of the respective lenses. I took a lot of heat for that discussion, in which I was comparing two lenses, one almost twice the price of the other. I was attempting to help someone make a decision... never saying that the DA 40 was the better lens.

I've read a LOT of conversations comparing the DA 40 and FA 43, but this is a different topic really. I've removed the price difference.

With all due respect, I actually have no dilemma. I can always choose to sell both my 40 and 50 for the price I paid, and could purchase an FA 43. However, you do not see many comparisons between the "two lens solution" vs. the FA 43, but I have noticed a few people mention that they sold their two lens solution in favor of the FA 43. So I thought this would be a healthy discussion.

Please don't make this personal. I value all of your oppinions and I am simply trying to stimulate a discussion that might be helpful to everyone - including those who do not participate.

The A 50 1.2 is quite a magnificent lens as far as unique rendering is concerned, but that throws the price range way out - the A 50 1.2 is more expensive than any of these lenses, and the FA 43 + A 50 1.2 is over 1000!

Anyways, keep the opinions coming. I find it all very interesting .
12-11-2010, 01:43 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
I believe you misquote me, in that thread, I was discussing the value of the respective lenses. I took a lot of heat for that discussion, in which I was comparing two lenses, one almost twice the price of the other. I was attempting to help someone make a decision... never saying that the DA 40 was the better lens.

I've read a LOT of conversations comparing the DA 40 and FA 43, but this is a different topic really. I've removed the price difference.

With all due respect, I actually have no dilemma. I can always choose to sell both my 40 and 50 for the price I paid, and could purchase an FA 43. However, you do not see many comparisons between the "two lens solution" vs. the FA 43, but I have noticed a few people mention that they sold their two lens solution in favor of the FA 43. So I thought this would be a healthy discussion.

Please don't make this personal. I value all of your oppinions and I am simply trying to stimulate a discussion that might be helpful to everyone - including those who do not participate.

The A 50 1.2 is quite a magnificent lens as far as unique rendering is concerned, but that throws the price range way out - the A 50 1.2 is more expensive than any of these lenses, and the FA 43 + A 50 1.2 is over 1000!

Anyways, keep the opinions coming. I find it all very interesting .
hmmmm...honestly, the posts from that thread and others did in fact imply that you were saying something about the better lens (disregarding the price-point). so you see that's the reason you ruff some feathers unless most of the readers did misquote you on those statements. anyway, I find it unnecessary to quote those past statements made and mention it here again. although you are free to browse your statements again if you wish.

anyway, dont worry. I'm not taking this personal but rather riding on the humor of past discussions.

with regards to choosing between a 2 lens solution versus 1 lens solution, I believe it is an easy pick with the lenses concerned inspite of the lack of side by side identical subject comparison. I have tried the 3 lenses mentioned and I would prefer the FA43 if I were to have this dilemma. this is due to focal length consideration and rendition. since you already know the pros and cons of both the DA40 and 50/1.7, just think of fusing both those rendering in the FA43.
12-11-2010, 07:54 PM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
the A 50 1.2 is more expensive than any of these lenses, and the FA 43 + A 50 1.2 is over 1000!
Dude! Don't say that where my wife can hear it.
12-12-2010, 06:31 AM - 1 Like   #14
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Here is my view/history. I started with FA 50/1.7. Then went to M 50/1.4. Then went to FA 43 and sold all my 50 mm lenses. Then bought A 50/1.2 and did not shoot with FA 43 for a long while. Then bought FA 50/1.4 for my daughter No, honestly, I am not shooting with it, she is. And so here is my answer:

FA 43 + FA 50/1.4 would probably be the best if most expensive choice. If you manage to get a good sample of FA 50/1.4 (there are some rather sharp wide open samples out there) or as rumor has it (I cannot prove or disprove it for lack of experience) F 50/1.4 is sharper than FA 50/1.4 wide open, then you get the speed and AF. With FA 43 you get the somewhat smaller and theoretically or emotionally better lens. In practical use, FA 50/1.4 should probably be enough for everything, unless you want something tiny, and then DA 40/2.8 would come to mind.

I realize I am not making it any clear with my last paragraph. So, I will summarize that my all time favorite 50 mil lens is A 50/1.2.
12-12-2010, 09:52 AM   #15
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While we are at it, what is with the M40/2.8? I see now that the used prices on these in excellent condition are getting close to the new prices of the DA40. I'd love to put a pancake 40 on my MX to make a Leica-sized street shooter, but when I look at plunking down $350-400 for this, the price of the more versatile by 9mm longer FA43 looks good.
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