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04-18-2011, 04:44 AM   #1
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My next move lens wise

So I find myself in a strange place, i'm without a fast 50.
2 weeks ago I had a K50 f/1.2 and an A50 f/1.2, the 'K' was the better of the 2 in this instance so I offloaded the 'A', I also very willingly gave away the K as part of another deal over the weekend. So I need some LB therapy
I've been through a few 50's so I'll list of the timeline:

Chinon 50 f/1.9
SMC M 50 f/1.4
Super Takumar 50 f/1.4
SMC FA 50 f/1.4
SMC K 50 f/1.2
SMC A 50 f/1.2

Effectively each one was better than the last with the exception of the last one but that is the luck of the draw sometimes with used gear. So what do you recommend and why? to replace the K50 f/1.2 out of the following choices:

FA 31mm f/1.8 Limited (if only to complete the trio)
SMC A 50 f/1.2 (hopefully a better copy)
DA* 55 f/1.4
Voightlander 58 f/1.4

Usage will be available light photography, gig work, portraits and interesting dof / bokeh shots via K-5 equipped with an Optibrite KatzEye.

04-18-2011, 04:55 AM   #2
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I have a good copy of A 50/1.2.
IMO it's nowhere as good as any of FA Ltds, especially 31Ltd, which is the best IMO.
My preference would be 31, 58, 50 ≈ 55
04-18-2011, 06:48 AM   #3
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I personally think the K50 f/1.2 was up there with my 43 & 77 for delivering the shot. Harder work for sure but ultimately I think it is a Limited by nature if not by name. Thanks for the input, appreciated.
04-18-2011, 08:46 AM   #4
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For me, it would be the 55 because I like that FL better for portraits. The 31 would be the better lens for other applications. Tough call! I can imagine that you will appreciate some AF after manually focusing that 1.2 lens :O.

04-18-2011, 01:41 PM   #5
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Agreed on the 55mm FL being very good for portraits, dunno 58mm even better? I am really at a loss as to which way to head with this choice. The simplest way would be to have one of each but that is not feasible just now financially. The 50 f/1.2 I know about, it is simply a heavyweight, one of the greats. The 31Ltd is another venerated lens, if like its siblings then capable of draw dropping stunningness but demanding in time and knowledge to get the best out of. The 55 and 58 are completly unknown to me, as regards handling, build, temperment but again capable of remarkable results as the numerous threads on here show. The VL is interesting as to me this is Zeiss glass, still regarded as having some of the best of the best glass / lenses. That leaves the DA*55, another curiosity. An 85 in disguise, designed by a Pentax lens guru.
04-18-2011, 02:36 PM   #6
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Please expand of this sentence - I could not follow. Did you mean the optimum aperture for 31mm ltd?

QuoteQuote:
The 31Ltd is another venerated lens, if like its siblings then capable of draw dropping stunningness but demanding in time and knowledge to get the best out of.
04-18-2011, 02:57 PM   #7
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Each of the limiteds have little quirks that you get know and embrace after time, like 43 and its sometimes fussy bokeh or the 77 which will in certain conditions need careful handling with regards high contrast scenes. Maybe i'm a slow learner but it takes me around 6 months to really get to know a lens.
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