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03-29-2011, 12:58 AM - 1 Like   #1
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DA-L 50mm/1.7? Why not???

Hi,

when I started photography in "the good old days" (the 80ies ...) every camera came with a cheap 50mm lens. Luckily, I still own three Pentax MF prime lenses. However, sometimes I am missing the AF on these lenses, especially with open aperture in some situations.

While Nikon and Canon offer cheap 50mm primes, the price for a Pentax AF 50mm prime is really too high. Why don't they use their excellent 50mm/1.7 lens that would not need any further R&D, put it in a DA-L casing and sell it for something like 100 Euros/US-$? It would make us happy and probably sales would constantly be good for such a lens. I am really annoyed when I see that Pentax-F 50mm/1.7 lenses with small scratches on the lens are still sold for more than 200 euros on eBay! This is not helpful for Pentaxians as well ...

Eriol

03-29-2011, 04:19 AM   #2
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I agree. Canikon have a large range of entry level primes at low prices. Pentax needs to release a 50mm and a 85mm at F1.8 in the $100 to $300 range to remain competitive.
03-29-2011, 04:31 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eriol Quote
Hi,

when I started photography in "the good old days" (the 80ies ...) every camera came with a cheap 50mm lens. Luckily, I still own three Pentax MF prime lenses. However, sometimes I am missing the AF on these lenses, especially with open aperture in some situations.

While Nikon and Canon offer cheap 50mm primes, the price for a Pentax AF 50mm prime is really too high. Why don't they use their excellent 50mm/1.7 lens that would not need any further R&D, put it in a DA-L casing and sell it for something like 100 Euros/US-$? It would make us happy and probably sales would constantly be good for such a lens. I am really annoyed when I see that Pentax-F 50mm/1.7 lenses with small scratches on the lens are still sold for more than 200 euros on eBay! This is not helpful for Pentaxians as well ...

Eriol
In the good old days when you started photography 50mm were abundand and cheap because they were standard lenses covering the "normal" FOV. Since all Pentax DSLRs are using APSC format sensor the FOV of 50mm relates to 75/77 mm lens mounted on film camera. In other words short portrait tele. And how many of those came cheap with your 80's SLRs?!? None! So why on earth would you suddenly expect them to start doing so! There is DA*55, exactly as intented to be, short fast portrait prime. At premium price. Exactly as 77/85 mm lenses even back in good old days. If you want normal FOV for your DSLR, look at DA L35/2.4AL. It's exactly what cheap 50s would have been 25 years ago. Cheap, small normal FOV prime!
03-29-2011, 04:43 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by heasley Quote
I agree. Canikon have a large range of entry level primes at low prices. Pentax needs to release a 50mm and a 85mm at F1.8 in the $100 to $300 range to remain competitive.
Have noticed that both 50/1.8 and 85/1.8 are FF lenses? Do you know why they are still in production? Because there are FF bodies that can utilise them! Pentax doesn't do FF body and there are no signs they would intent to make one (at least not any time soon) as such they don't see the need (rightfully so IMO) to introduce FF lenses. Yes, they do keep 3 FA ltds and FA50 (AFAIK) in production but that's more of a prestige thing. They'd be foolish to discontinue FA Ltds unless something similarly impressive would replace them.
Besides manufactoring FF lenses uses more glass (as the image circle is bigger) and costs are higher. Big companies like Canon and Nikon can afford to loose some cash by selling underpriced entry level glass and high priced top specs glass because many folks starting with APSC entry level camera may upgrade to something like D700 and f1.4 lenses which aren't that cheap and the cash comes back. But how many Pentaxians would buy DAL 50/1.7 and then upgrade to DA*55? Sadly, I don't think it would be many. And since Pentax doesn't have customer base the size of CaNikons it would be nonsense to sell underpriced entry level glass and be loosing cash with each sale...

My 2p

03-29-2011, 04:55 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
In the good old days when you started photography 50mm were abundand and cheap because they were standard lenses covering the "normal" FOV. Since all Pentax DSLRs are using APSC format sensor the FOV of 50mm relates to 75/77 mm lens mounted on film camera. In other words short portrait tele. And how many of those came cheap with your 80's SLRs?!? None! So why on earth would you suddenly expect them to start doing so! There is DA*55, exactly as intented to be, short fast portrait prime. At premium price. Exactly as 77/85 mm lenses even back in good old days. If you want normal FOV for your DSLR, look at DA L35/2.4AL. It's exactly what cheap 50s would have been 25 years ago. Cheap, small normal FOV prime!
This reasoning doesn't prevent Pentax from releasing a fast 50. Especially since the FA50 f1,4 seems all but unavailable.
03-29-2011, 04:58 AM   #6
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Well ... besides that there have indeed been quite some primes in the range 75mm-85mm back then that had been affordable (not from Pentax, though ...), today others like Canon and nikon offer such short portrait tele primes for low budget. I do not expect Pentax to do a DA-L 50/1.2 or 1.4 - and in my view that is what a professional would look for (not the DA-L, but the aperture ...). Let them have a DA*50/1.2 and a DA-L 50/1.7 that can go smoothly together. I doubt that the majority of those who would go for the DA-L 50/1.7 does nowadays at all buy a Pentax prime at all!

And ... I doubt that any professional photographer would get a DA-L 50/1.7 if there is a DA*50/1.2 in the wild!

Eriol
03-29-2011, 05:27 AM   #7
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is that what they are trying to do ? the DA 35 2.4 (50mm FF eqiv.)?
I own one and totally not impress wif the performance while comparing to the M50 1.7
I guess there is a limitation when you are trying to put everything in one lens under a tight number

Last edited by taiweitai; 03-29-2011 at 06:01 AM.
03-29-2011, 07:19 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
This reasoning doesn't prevent Pentax from releasing a fast 50. Especially since the FA50 f1,4 seems all but unavailable.
That's true--and they could reuse the optical formula from the FA 50/1.7, just put it in that new plastic body. Very little R&D involved.

The number 1 reason to make it is that people keep asking for it (or something like it).

If they sold it at the same price as the 35/2.4, I think they'd sell a ton of them, especially since the F/FA 50/1.7 goes for that amount or more on the used market.

03-29-2011, 07:25 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by heasley Quote
I agree. Canikon have a large range of entry level primes at low prices. Pentax needs to release a 50mm and a 85mm at F1.8 in the $100 to $300 range to remain competitive.
I agree. There should be DAL versions of a wide, normal & tele primes. The DAL35/2.4 is available now. There should be a 50/2.0 (or faster) & a 20-25mm 2.8 (or faster).
03-29-2011, 08:19 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonathan Mac Quote
I agree. There should be DAL versions of a wide, normal & tele primes. The DAL35/2.4 is available now. There should be a 50/2.0 (or faster) & a 20-25mm 2.8 (or faster).
Agree with this completely. I think the reason we've not seen this is because most people prefer a zoom lens for their starting lens now, and the new 35mm f2.4 is fitting the role of the fast fifty that the OP is referring to. The main difference is that it isn't really that fast and would have been nice if it were $50-100 cheaper.
03-29-2011, 08:40 AM   #11
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problem with the 50 1.7 is that it is very similar to the FA 43 in terms of the optical formula (except for things like number of aperture blades). It's not quite as sharp, but really pretty close. The biggest problem with the available 50 1.7s is the number of aperture blades, and I'm going to bet Pentax discontinued the 1.7 long before the 1.4 because it sort of steps on the FA 43's toes (where all the profit is).

This whole focal length argument is kind of silly. People claim that a 75mm lens is not very useful (crop equivalent). 50mm is just as useful on a crop body as it is on full frame... just for different subjects. And it's long enough for all sorts of portraits, just not headshots.

Most people using Canon or Nikon with a full frame camera are not going to be using the 50mm 1.8. If they can afford a multi-thousand dollar body, I think they can afford a slightly better 50mm lens. Therefore, lots of people using the 50mm 1.8 are on crop bodies, and they take great pictures with the 75mm focal length...

Otherwise, the FA 77 on film would be a "no man's land" lens as well, but people drool over it...

The DA* 55 is expensive due to WR and SDM, the 43 is also quite expensive but great for those that can afford it (should still have a DA upgrade IMHO), the FA 50 is gone (should maybe get a DA L treatment) and the DA 40 is great, but slow for those heavy bokeh shots. The DA 40, IMHO, is sort of a different tool altogether.

If anything we should skip the DA L 50 1.7 and just make a DA L 1.4, even if it is more expensive. It would not step on the toes of the FA 43 (totally different look), or the DA* (pro feature set).

It's just nice to have a cheap bokeh machine available.
03-29-2011, 08:53 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by taiweitai Quote
is that what they are trying to do ? the DA 35 2.4 (50mm FF eqiv.)?
I own one and totally not impress wif the performance while comparing to the M50 1.7
I guess there is a limitation when you are trying to put everything in one lens under a tight number
You're one of the few, I think. It's quite well regarded.
Pentax SMC DA 35mm f/2.4 AL - Review / Lens Test - Sample Images & Verdict
SMC Pentax-DA 35mm F2.4 AL Reviews - Pentax Lens Reviews & Pentax Lens Database
03-29-2011, 09:05 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
problem with the 50 1.7 is that it is very similar to the FA 43 in terms of the optical formula (except for things like number of aperture blades). It's not quite as sharp, but really pretty close. The biggest problem with the available 50 1.7s is the number of aperture blades, and I'm going to bet Pentax discontinued the 1.7 long before the 1.4 because it sort of steps on the FA 43's toes (where all the profit is).

...snip...

The DA* 55 is expensive due to WR and SDM, the 43 is also quite expensive but great for those that can afford it (should still have a DA upgrade IMHO), the FA 50 is gone (should maybe get a DA L treatment) and the DA 40 is great, but slow for those heavy bokeh shots. The DA 40, IMHO, is sort of a different tool altogether.

If anything we should skip the DA L 50 1.7 and just make a DA L 1.4, even if it is more expensive. It would not step on the toes of the FA 43 (totally different look), or the DA* (pro feature set).

It's just nice to have a cheap bokeh machine available.
I agree that'd be nice, but I just don't think they'd do it!

The only reason I would bet on a DA L 50/1.7 before a 1.4 is because of what they did with the 35. It's a 6-straight-bladed aperture, so it stays off the toes of the DA 40 and DA 35 macro.

Likewise a DA L 50/1.7 with six blades wouldn't harm the 43 or 55 sales as much as a new 50/1.4 IMO. They'd be great starter lenses, and people would decide whether they want to move up later.

I'd prefer a cheap remake of the 50/1.4, but I'd bet they'd do something "less nice" just to differentiate.
03-29-2011, 09:44 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
the FA 50 is gone
I've seen this mentioned a few times on forums lately, but wonder if it's accurate. It's still listed on pentaximaging.com as part of their current lens lineup. Not calling anyone out, just curious.
03-29-2011, 10:25 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by farfisa Quote
Likewise a DA L 50/1.7 with six blades wouldn't harm the 43 or 55 sales as much as a new 50/1.4 IMO. They'd be great starter lenses, and people would decide whether they want to move up later.
Maybe a reissue of the 50 2.0 then?

Simply put, the 50 1.7 is *too good* at what it does (flat field sharpness).

The 50 1.4 is a nicer lens IMHO (although others who prefer sharpness disagree), but it's really not very similar in look to the 43 or 55...

As for thr 50mm 1.4 being discontinued.. if it's not, it's produced in small numbers, and it's impossible to get repaired, so I'm going to guess it's on it's way out, at least.
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