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View Poll Results: Pentax-F 50 1.4, Pentax FA 50 1.7, What to do?
Keep both lenses! 316.67%
Sell Pentax-F 50 1.4 and get prime 28mm or 31mm lens 633.33%
Sell Pentax FA 50mm 1.7 and get prime 28mm or 31mm lens 950.00%
Voters: 18. You may not vote on this poll

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03-05-2011, 12:32 PM   #1
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Pentax-F 50mm 1.4 or Pentax FA 50mm 1.7

I am fairly new to the dSLR world and have started out on a k-x. I started out with an M 50 1.7, then an A 50 1.4 but needed auto-focus (kids) so I was able to get my hands on an AF 50 1.7 lens (in excellent/mint cond.), which appears to be an excellent lens that is tough to come by. So this was my lens of choice. Then I stumbled upon the F 50 1.4 in excellent cond. (another rare and excellent quality lens) that came on a Pentax P3 camera (craigslist) for $60 (what a steal!). I'd hate to part with either one due to their "uniqueness" but have pondered whether to sell one and get a nice 28/31mm prime.

Last edited by transam879; 03-05-2011 at 01:27 PM.
03-05-2011, 12:56 PM   #2
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The FA 50/1.7 is one of the sharpest Pentax 50mm's- I wouldn't swap it out!
03-05-2011, 01:23 PM   #3
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If I ever got the F50/1.4 in good shape, I would keep it for sure.
03-05-2011, 03:32 PM   #4

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I had both of these lenses, and they were nice, but I sold them after a got a nice copy of the FA43. One FA43 costs about the same as these two together, so it was a good trade for me. The IQ from the FA43 was better, and functionally they're all about the same speed since they all have about f/2 or f/2.2 as their widest usable aperture for good IQ. The K50/1.2 (which I have), A50/1.2, or DA*55/1.4 would also be worth trading these two for.

As much as I liked the FA50/1.7, I'd sell it first, since my F50/1.4 was even a little better. I'd say the F50/1.4 plus the FA28 (my favored AF 28) would be a better combo than these two - assuming you don't have a 2nd body and a 2nd shooter who'd use the other 50 at the same time! But if you have a good copy of the F50/1.4, I'd say keep it until you have a replacement for it.

I use my FA43 or K50/1.2 at least as much as I use my FA31, so I don't think going without a 50 is a good idea.

But if you don't have the DA*16-50, you might consider it. I delayed getting mine for a long time, but perhaps shouldn't have. I recently got it, and now find that I can take it and one fast prime in this range, and not have to worry so much about which other primes I left behind, since I'm still well covered. For me it's good enough that I don't mind using it in place of primes when necessary, but the Tamron and Sigma alternatives are not.

Last edited by DSims; 03-05-2011 at 03:46 PM.
03-05-2011, 09:08 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice. I didn't think about a zoom at the wide end. I definitely want to keep one of the 50s, so I would want to lean towards something wider than a 43. Something like the Sigma 30 1.4, Sigma 28 1.8 or Pentax 28 2.8 (if I can find one). The FA 31 looks nice but pricey. I could save for that, but by then, I may be looking to upgrade my camera!
03-05-2011, 10:36 PM   #6

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I really think the two DA* zooms are the basic foundation of a lens kit, even if you also have a nice collection of * and Ltd. primes. I use primes more often, but the fact is those two lenses can cover me for most situations that come up if I need them to, including poor weather. The IQ is good enough to still be proud of the shots. They just won't give you the creative control and unique or beautiful rendering of prime lenses - especially those faster than f/2.

If I had bought the two DA* zooms before all the primes I own/have owned, I might have saved some $, but I think I may have ended up like my friend who has the Nikon D3 and their standard high quality (but expensive) f/2.8 zooms (plus just a few other lenses). He's a good photographer, but he was very interested in my FA43 when he saw it on my camera because he has nothing faster than f/2.8 right now! The Pentax system lends itself to learning and using primes, while becoming very aware of what focal length you're using and how it affects your shots. I'm not sure I'd trade that experience.

Last edited by DSims; 03-05-2011 at 10:42 PM.

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