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01-24-2011, 04:19 AM   #31
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thanks for the comparison work!

Thanks for the work.

I would try to use live view + manual focusing to nail 50mm f1.2. It is indeed very hard to focus on anything that is not fully stationary.

I would not even trust the combo between split focusing screen and O-ME53 at that situation. I would certainly not trust AF. I have used both in manual focusing. The combo worked better on my K10D than my Kx, since K10D uses pentaprism and it is significantly brighter than pentamirror used on Kx. Pentaprism also produces less distortion. I am not sure why. But none of them is 100% proof. Both of my cameras have focusing problems. Even though my Kx is less so, it still has problems in f1.2 or f1.4 situations. Live view is a great alternative. However, the light compensation is also different.

01-24-2011, 05:44 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
the FA43 isn't that bad at all to tell you the truth. it does seem to display the characteristics of both the FA35/2 and FA50/1.7. sharpness and just a bit of harshness with the blurs. I would think that it's the fusion of both lenses if I were to say it. again, the only deal-breaker for me there is FOV.
Funny enough, outdoors I find 31 kind of neither here nor there. For streets and views etc, I feel much more comfortable with 24 + 43 combo. When photographing people and indoors, 31 + 50 takes over..
01-24-2011, 07:08 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
PS: add me to the waiting list for 31 vs 50/1.2. I might be conducting my own shootout but only on Thursday because of work...
Hopefully I can get to it early this week, although doing anything during the week (between work and the kids) can be a bit difficult

QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
That's exactly where 43 excels. If you want great, sharp normal(ish) lens and feel 50 is tad long, yet you don't want to run the risk of perspective distortion, reach for your 43! You'll be rewarded for sure...
QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
Funny enough, outdoors I find 31 kind of neither here nor there. For streets and views etc, I feel much more comfortable with 24 + 43 combo. When photographing people and indoors, 31 + 50 takes over..
True. When I mentioned that I end up using the 31 most of the time over the 43 it's mostly a function of FOV and the fact that most of the time I'm using it indoors where the extra width is more important. But I agree that the 43 is great as a short normal and perspective distortion is pretty much a non-issue as compared to the 31.
01-24-2011, 07:19 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by yyyzzz Quote
Thanks for the work.

I would try to use live view + manual focusing to nail 50mm f1.2. It is indeed very hard to focus on anything that is not fully stationary.

I would not even trust the combo between split focusing screen and O-ME53 at that situation. I would certainly not trust AF. I have used both in manual focusing. The combo worked better on my K10D than my Kx, since K10D uses pentaprism and it is significantly brighter than pentamirror used on Kx. Pentaprism also produces less distortion. I am not sure why. But none of them is 100% proof. Both of my cameras have focusing problems. Even though my Kx is less so, it still has problems in f1.2 or f1.4 situations. Live view is a great alternative. However, the light compensation is also different.
Live view is certainly the most reliable method I've found to try and focus at f/1.2, although I still find it a bit awkward to use. I've found LV on the K-5 to be better than the K-x, which is good, except that I had to pack my (2nd) K-5 up to be returned for sensor stain issues. I'm hoping that it won't be too long before the initial issues with the K-5 (sensor stains, low light AF issues) are worked out, because at the moment I don't really feel like dealing with another exchange/replacement. But I don't want this thread to devolve into a K-5 issues thread - there are plenty of those already

On a somewhat related note, despite the very narrow DOF of the FA*85 at f/1.4 (which should be less than the A50 at f/1.2), I've actually found it to be one of most reliable lenses in terms of AF. Not sure why, but I seem to have pretty good success using it wide open in terms of nailing the focus with AF. Now all I need is for Pentax to release the 50/1.2 in an AF lens and I'll be all set

01-24-2011, 07:44 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by joakimfors Quote
By brutal I meant brutally smooth. Perhaps not the best adjective though.

I actually like the DA*55 but not as good as the A50 and K50.

The FA*85 and FA77 are quite similar. The same optical design, no?
QuoteOriginally posted by MSD Quote
Yes, I believe they are closer optically than the FA*85 is to other 85s.
The FA 77 has the same optical formula as the A*85. The FA*85 is different. This is the trick to get you to buy them all

But yeah, wow, they really look close in this comparison!

"Dad, can I have my cars back now?"
01-24-2011, 08:31 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by farfisa Quote
"Dad, can I have my cars back now?"
That's exactly why there weren't more test shots. He woke up earlier than expected from his nap and wanted to know why I was taking pictures of his cars. I could only hold him off for so long. You'd think the fact that he has about 200 cars, including a dozen "McQueens" and four "MACs", he could have let me borrow these for a little while longer
01-24-2011, 10:35 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
Funny enough, outdoors I find 31 kind of neither here nor there. For streets and views etc, I feel much more comfortable with 24 + 43 combo. When photographing people and indoors, 31 + 50 takes over..
Yes, exactly my point. the kind of rendering that I mentioned about the FA43 makes it excellent for streets and views, where I use my FA35 for, due to solid rendering. but when indoor/close-up shots come in, that is where I find the FA43 lens just a bit too tight for comfort.
01-24-2011, 04:15 PM   #38
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Interesting read!

Here some of my comparisons at the Dutch/Belgian Pentaxforum (originally in Dutch, Google translated)

- "The 70mm vs 77mm vs 85mm shoot out" (sept. 2010)
-> SMC PENTAX-FA* 1:2.8 28-70mm AL (op 70mm)
-> SMC PENTAX-FA 1:1.8 77mm Limited (silver - made in Japan)
-> SMC PENTAX-DA 1:2.4 70mm Limited (van Wouter)
-> SMC PENTAX-DA* 1:2.8 50-135mm ED (IF) SDM (op 70mm)
-> SMC PENTAX-FA* 1:1.4 85mm IF
-> SMC PENTAX 1:1.8/85
-> Super-Takumar 85mm F1.9
- My personal 85mm shoot out... (jan. 2010)
-> SMC PENTAX-FA* 1:1.4 85mm IF
-> SMC PENTAX 1:1.8/85
-> SMC PENTAX-FA 1:1.8 77mm Limited
-> Smc Pentax-DA* 1:1.4 55mm SDM)

01-24-2011, 04:56 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
I'm not sure how distortion would affect the images though, especially with faces
The FA 31 is better than most ~35mm lenses out there in this regard
If you aren't using lightroom's lens correction feature PT lens can correct for the 0.8% distortion quite well.
01-24-2011, 09:42 PM - 4 Likes   #40
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second set of test shots

I took a second set of test shots just now. They are similar to the first set, although I made a better effort to keep the framing the same on all of them. The exposure was probably a little high, but hopefully that won't have too big an impact on assessing the OOF areas.

I re-shot the same 7 lenses and added 5 more shots. I added the FA31 as several people had requested this addition. I also added the 100WR macro lens and the DA*50-135 @ 100mm. Finally, I added the FA31 and the FA77 plus the 1.7x AF-A, mostly out of my own curiosity.

All of the shots were taken wide open and manually focused in LV. The only other difference from the first time around is that these were shot with a K-x instead of the K-5, because unfortunately I had to send my K-5 back (for the 2nd time) for sensor stain issues this afternoon.

FA31/1.8


FA43/1.9


A50/1.2


K50/1.4


FA50/1.7


DA*55/1.4


FA77/1.8


FA*85/1.4


DFA100/2.8 WR


DA*50-135/2.8 (at ~100mm)


FA31/1.8 + 1.7 AF-A


FA77/1.8 + 1.7 AF-A
01-24-2011, 10:18 PM   #41
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Hmm. 31 might be the winner.
01-24-2011, 10:38 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by dgaies Quote
I took a second set of test shots just now. They are similar to the first set, although I made a better effort to keep the framing the same on all of them. The exposure was probably a little high, but hopefully that won't have too big an impact on assessing the OOF areas.

I re-shot the same 7 lenses and added 5 more shots. I added the FA31 as several people had requested this addition. I also added the 100WR macro lens and the DA*50-135 @ 100mm. Finally, I added the FA31 and the FA77 plus the 1.7x AF-A, mostly out of my own curiosity.

All of the shots were taken wide open and manually focused in LV. The only other difference from the first time around is that these were shot with a K-x instead of the K-5, because unfortunately I had to send my K-5 back (for the 2nd time) for sensor stain issues this afternoon.

FA31/1.8


FA43/1.9


A50/1.2


K50/1.4


FA50/1.7


DA*55/1.4


FA77/1.8


FA*85/1.4


DFA100/2.8 WR


DA*50-135/2.8 (at ~100mm)


FA31/1.8 + 1.7 AF-A


FA77/1.8 + 1.7 AF-A
thanks dgaeis,
just as I thought, the FA31 is almost as smooth as the 50/1.2 by a hair. smooth color transition. the big surprise here is the FA43 which is really very sharp at wide open. this kinda makes you second guess about the photozone MTF tests. although I personally don't really think that the FA43 isn't sharp from the start but rather like to verify further from others.

I can understand the DOF of the longer lenses or the ones with the TC due to the focusing distance between camera, subject and background. although it would had been helpful if the camera wasn't moved far away but rather adjusted just a tiny bit with a distance that would show significant isolation and background blur.
01-25-2011, 01:32 AM   #43
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Don't be surprised here my friend. 43 wide open is sharper than 31, 50/1.2 and possibly 77. If focused correctly, this little limited can deliver very sharp shots with good 3D effect, but you have to be careful with it's background as sometimes it can be picky...
01-25-2011, 01:33 AM   #44
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Dan, thanks for doing this one. I'm on the phone right now but will check it out when back home on my pc.
01-25-2011, 01:41 AM   #45
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Here are the results of the NZ jury:

31/1.8 beats 50/1.2
Smoother bokeh (and again the 50/1.2 sharpness is disappointing),

K50/1.4 beats 55/1.4
The 55/1.4 wasn't loved when it was introduced and some said it will be appreciated over time. I don't think so anymore. I don't think the 55/1.4 will ever become a classic. The bokeh isn't great.

FA*85/1.4 beats 77/1.8
I thought the 77/1.8's bokeh would come out stronger in this comparison.

P.S.: Rep. added. Great comparison!
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