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01-25-2011, 02:25 AM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
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...
I'm not really surprised with the FA43 lens perse, but surprised with photozone's MTF evaluation of it. I know it has been consistently talked about and observed how the FA43 is sharp wide open, but the review of the lens otherwise tell a different story. this is how I got surprised. I'm thinking that maybe Photozone might need to redo a test?

01-25-2011, 03:38 AM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
I'm not really surprised with the FA43 lens perse, but surprised with photozone's MTF evaluation of it. I know it has been consistently talked about and observed how the FA43 is sharp wide open, but the review of the lens otherwise tell a different story. this is how I got surprised. I'm thinking that maybe Photozone might need to redo a test?
Agreed, prehaps photozone's test lens was a bad copy?
01-25-2011, 05:00 AM   #48
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Great test and presentation, thank you!
I like the DA*55/1.4' result, it seems a good compromise between sharpness and bokeh; in the second batch of test i have to agree its bokeh is not really good, though.

Last edited by aheadfordinci; 01-25-2011 at 05:07 AM.
01-25-2011, 06:30 AM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
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.
The FA31 was quite smooth, certainly par with the 50/1.2. Also, I agree the 43 is performing very well in terms of wide open sharpness. Then again, I've never had an issue with it's sharpness wide open and always thought it was pretty impressive in that respect.

In hindsight, I probably should have altered the setup a bit for the longer focal length lenses. It was kind of an afterthought and it was late at night (I swore I was going to go to bed by 11pm and I didn't start taking the shots until around 11 ). As I recall, the distance from the front of the car to the front of the first truck was about 4 inches (10 cm) and about the same distance to the next truck. I next time I would put a little more distance between the objects as well. Also, looking at the images now, I think I'd exposure them about a stop less. The color on the car looks pretty washed out compared to the first set. I was having some issues trying to get used to using LV on the K-x, but that's no excuse as I did notice the issue after I took the shots but at that point midnight was approaching and I needed to get some sleep if I was going to get to work by 6:30am

01-25-2011, 07:05 AM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by aheadfordinci Quote
Great test and presentation, thank you!
I like the DA*55/1.4' result, it seems a good compromise between sharpness and bokeh; in the second batch of test i have to agree its bokeh is not really good, though.
QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
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!
Looking at the images, I'd have to pretty much agree across the board. The 31 OOF/bokeh is excellent. The sharpness of the 50/1.2 certainly isn't great in these shots, but I've also taken some very nice shots with the 50/1.2 wide open and I feel like I've gotten better results. Perhaps if I had taken identical shots to the ones I felt were sharp with the 50/1.2 wide open with the 31/43/55, I might not have felt they were as sharp. Then again, maybe it would be interesting to see a comparison of the 50/1.2 stopped down to f/1.4-f/1.8 and see how much the sharpness gap is closed up.

Regarding the DA*55; there seems to be as much love/hate for this lens (not specifically in this thread, but overall) than most other lenses. I think it's a function of the high price, people's expectations and how it performs against signifcantly less expensive lenses such as the K50/1.4. That said, it's actually a really nice lens to use, well built, great hood and very quiet. The AF isn't fast, but much faster than the K50/1.4 and A50/1.2 (at least in my hands ).

As far as the 77 vs 85, I've been trying to figure out which way to go on this one for a while. When I bought the 85 several months back, I figured I would try it out and then decide which of the two lenses to keep. But I keep getting stuck because even though I think the 85 outperforms the 77 in most aspetcs, the size of the 77 is perfect - plus I love the built in hood as compared to the grapefruit sized dome that covers the 85. I believe the three FA limiteds weights about the 85 and it's hood
01-25-2011, 07:40 AM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by dgaies Quote
Looking at the images, I'd have to pretty much agree across the board. The 31 OOF/bokeh is excellent. The sharpness of the 50/1.2 certainly isn't great in these shots, but I've also taken some very nice shots with the 50/1.2 wide open and I feel like I've gotten better results. Perhaps if I had taken identical shots to the ones I felt were sharp with the 50/1.2 wide open with the 31/43/55, I might not have felt they were as sharp. Then again, maybe it would be interesting to see a comparison of the 50/1.2 stopped down to f/1.4-f/1.8 and see how much the sharpness gap is closed up.

Regarding the DA*55; there seems to be as much love/hate for this lens (not specifically in this thread, but overall) than most other lenses. I think it's a function of the high price, people's expectations and how it performs against signifcantly less expensive lenses such as the K50/1.4. That said, it's actually a really nice lens to use, well built, great hood and very quiet. The AF isn't fast, but much faster than the K50/1.4 and A50/1.2 (at least in my hands ).
I would say that the sharpness difference from 1.2 to 1.4 is significant. what I found is that the 50/1.2 improves a lot in IQ after a stop, also the DOF is really shallow at f1.2 which is one factor. a test of the lens done at f1.4 and f1.8 would be a fair and interesting comparison as far as sharpness goes.

I actually like the 55/1.4. it's not bad as people might think and is really very sharp especially at f2.8. although it's AF lags behind. cant shoot sports or anything with fast movement using AF with it.
01-25-2011, 08:32 AM   #52
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Okay, now do them all one stop down--that's where the magic is!

Actually I've owned most of those lenses and find I like their bokeh more stopped down a bit. The A 50 1.2 is probably the only one I consistently shoot wide open, but it just gives images you can't otherwise get.

The A 50 1.2 is obviously prized for its fast max aperture, but its rendering is also amazing at f/2.2 or thereabouts.

Same with the DA*55. I'm not going to disagree that its bokeh is rough wide open, and I've posted pics demonstrating that before, but to write it off completely based on wide open bokeh is missing out on a whole lot of beauty.

Hey, same with the FA 43 for that matter, but I wouldn't write that one off either.

Maybe Pentax made the DA limiteds slower so they didn't have to hear about it anymore
01-25-2011, 09:43 AM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by farfisa Quote
Okay, now do them all one stop down--that's where the magic is!

Actually I've owned most of those lenses and find I like their bokeh more stopped down a bit. The A 50 1.2 is probably the only one I consistently shoot wide open, but it just gives images you can't otherwise get.

The A 50 1.2 is obviously prized for its fast max aperture, but its rendering is also amazing at f/2.2 or thereabouts.

Same with the DA*55. I'm not going to disagree that its bokeh is rough wide open, and I've posted pics demonstrating that before, but to write it off completely based on wide open bokeh is missing out on a whole lot of beauty.

Hey, same with the FA 43 for that matter, but I wouldn't write that one off either.

Maybe Pentax made the DA limiteds slower so they didn't have to hear about it anymore

This is true. I seldom shoot wide open (except on f2.8 primes/zooms), but almost always stop down to f2 - f2.8. Particularly the DA *55 smooths out amazingly when stopped down just a little bit and is really, really sharp from f2 on. You have to remember that there is a stop difference in speed between the DA *55 and the FA 43. At f2, I am sure that the 55 is sharper, although whether or not you need that difference in sharpness is up for debate.

01-25-2011, 12:37 PM   #54
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For some it's true, for some it's not.
For one, I don't buy sub f2 lenses to shoot them at f2.8 or thereabouts. I use K50/1.2 most of the time, and 43 and 77 too. 31, well it depends and I don't shy to use even my 24/2 wide open too...
01-25-2011, 03:06 PM   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
For some it's true, for some it's not.
For one, I don't buy sub f2 lenses to shoot them at f2.8 or thereabouts. I use K50/1.2 most of the time, and 43 and 77 too. 31, well it depends and I don't shy to use even my 24/2 wide open too...
But when you shoot you FA 43 and FA 77 wide open, they are already at f2. Anyway, there are many reasons to buy lenses, bokeh being just one of them. I just happen to have two, very active kids and the chance of catching them in a still moment where I can use the depth of field offered by an f1.4 lens is limited.





(100% crop of above photo)


To me, the photo (shot at f1.4) just doesn't work because of the lack of depth of field. I understand the need to shoot wide open, but everything from my son's hair line back is out of focus.
01-25-2011, 03:34 PM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
But when you shoot you FA 43 and FA 77 wide open, they are already at f2. Anyway, there are many reasons to buy lenses, bokeh being just one of them. I just happen to have two, very active kids and the chance of catching them in a still moment where I can use the depth of field offered by an f1.4 lens is limited.





(100% crop of above photo)


To me, the photo (shot at f1.4) just doesn't work because of the lack of depth of field. I understand the need to shoot wide open, but everything from my son's hair line back is out of focus.
I do understand what you are saying, but... to each his own
I have a certain addiction for certain types of lenses and images. I do appreciate the need to stop down when needed but again, all of my lenses have fully working aperture. And all but K50 support automatic exposure when stopped down. So yes, when needed for the purpose of DOF, I'm happy to stop down. But if I want to buy sub f2 lens (and 77 is 1.8 not f2) I want to shoot it at those f stops.... that's just me and my style...
01-25-2011, 03:43 PM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
For one, I don't buy sub f2 lenses to shoot them at f2.8 or thereabouts.
Farfisa is right, though. The bokeh of a lens often considerably improves when it is stopped down a bit. The FA 50/1.4, for instance, has better bokeh at f/2.8 than at f/1.4. I often stop my FA 50/1.4 down, not because I need the DOF, but because I want the smoother bokeh.

QuoteOriginally posted by farfisa Quote
Same with the DA*55. I'm not going to disagree that its bokeh is rough wide open, and I've posted pics demonstrating that before, but to write it off completely based on wide open bokeh is missing out on a whole lot of beauty.
I really wanted to like the DA 55/1.4 but I never saw an image that bowled me over and from the maker of a K55/1.8, FA 77/1.8 and K135/2.5, I find this lens a bit disappointing.
01-25-2011, 03:47 PM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
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),
would this help to improve your idea about 50/1.2 sharpness?






I don't have to stress that they are all at f1.2
----

The 31 ltd does come closest to the OOF rendering of 50/1.2 and despite being full one stop slower than the real thing, it's probably the best possible replacement you can get on APSC... I'm glad I own both Thanks for doing this second run Dan, appreciate it, but I have to say that the A50 doesn't seem in focus IMO...

with 77/85, I'm on the fence. There are things that look better with 85 but there are things that look better with 77 IMO, tough call...
01-25-2011, 04:07 PM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
The 31 ltd does come closest to the OOF rendering of 50/1.2 and despite being full one stop slower than the real thing, it's probably the best possible replacement you can get on APSC... I'm glad I own both Thanks for doing this second run Dan, appreciate it, but I have to say that the A50 doesn't seem in focus IMO...

with 77/85, I'm on the fence. There are things that look better with 85 but there are things that look better with 77 IMO, tough call...
I agree that the A50/1.2 shot really doesn't look in focus. Didn't really notice how "bad" it looked until this morning (I uploaded everything right before I fell asleep last night). The thing is, I was very careful in LV last night to nail the focus on the rear LCD as best I could. Perhaps I should "focus bracket" next time and just take the most in focus shot I will give it another shot (to get a better focused A50/1.2) tonight after the kids go to bed... maybe third time will be the charm
01-25-2011, 04:13 PM   #60
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QuoteOriginally posted by dgaies Quote
I agree that the A50/1.2 shot really doesn't look in focus. Didn't really notice how "bad" it looked until this morning (I uploaded everything right before I fell asleep last night). The thing is, I was very careful in LV last night to nail the focus on the rear LCD as best I could. Perhaps I should "focus bracket" next time and just take the most in focus shot I will give it another shot (to get a better focused A50/1.2) tonight after the kids go to bed... maybe third time will be the charm
good luck! and thanks again for doing all of that.
I'm off on Thursday and might put my line up through it's paces

but since my boy is not born yet, I would use some of yours' toy cars... I'm kind of short on testing subjects
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