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05-13-2011, 12:10 PM   #1
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Have FA 50 1.4 ... do I REALLY need a 43mm?

I've just got this bug recently to start getting some Limited primes. Don't know why....just because I guess

I've got a 77 on the way now I'm trying to decide on the next one. I've heard such great things about the 43...but I'm just wondering since I already have an FA 50 1.4 if I really need one? I mean...is the 43 that much better than the FA50? I cant' see the need for both since they're so close in focal length...I'm just wondering if I go for the 43 and lose the 50 if I'll regret losing almost a whole stop. Maybe I should hang onto the 50, put the 43 on hold and go for a nice 15 or 21. Thoughts?

05-13-2011, 12:14 PM   #2
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I think that getting the 15mm would be a better idea. The 43mm is probably a bit sharper, but I wouldn't sweat it.

Adam
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05-13-2011, 12:45 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by jgmankos Quote
is the 43 that much better than the FA50?
It's not better so much as different. I think the 43 was designed as the perfect *normal* lens, in that bokeh was sacrificed for extreme sharpness. In this respect, the 43 is much better. However on digital they become more portraity in function, where I think the 50 is better due to it's creamy bokeh.

Agree with adam, either the DA 15 or DA 21 would make for a nice trio (similar to my own trio, actually, which covers a lot of bases).

One piece of advice - the gap between 15 and 50 is MASSIVE. That's why I keep my kit lens around. The gap between 21 and 50 is much more serviceable, so you might want to consider the 21 for overall usability.
05-13-2011, 01:51 PM   #4
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If you are keen on the Ltds, think about the 31mm and keep the 50.

Kim

05-13-2011, 01:58 PM   #5
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Get the 31 and the 15, keep the 50 and the 77, forget the 43. Also get the 100 macro to cover longer than 77, and then longer...
05-13-2011, 02:44 PM - 1 Like   #6
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I can't comment on the specific lens, BUT ... I have a Meyer 40/4.5, and a Kilfitt 40/3.5, and a Chinon 45/2.8. In-between some good 35-37 glass (long normal on APS-C) and some fine Fifty's, the 40-45's don't see that much use. Those will be good candidates for my next lens-of-the-day season. I didn't bring them on this trip.

43mm gives the FF equivalent FOV of a 65mm lens -- oh yeah, THOSE were in great demand! But really, that's a good focal length for ... for what? For 3/4 portraits, and tight 'scapes, and anywhere 35 feels too wide and 50 is too narrow. Or just for wandering around with a different focal length.

So, how much to spend, to plug a hole between 35 and 50? That is the question. One way to answer it: Set the kit lens to 43mm and shoot for awhile. See if that feels like a useful focal length. No cheating; no zooming; leave it at 43! Tape the zoom in place, even. If you don't love the perspectives and distances involved there, you should save your money.
05-13-2011, 02:47 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
So, how much to spend, to plug a hole between 35 and 50? That is the question.
Point taken, but I believe the OP was looking to replace his 50 with a 43, so it's not really about filling the gap as much as how the 43 compares to his current 50.

QuoteOriginally posted by jgmankos Quote
I'm just wondering if I go for the 43 and lose the 50 if I'll regret losing almost a whole stop
05-13-2011, 03:08 PM   #8
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I do not own the 50/1.4, but I do own all of the FA Limiteds, with the FA43 being the most recent acquisition. It is hard for me to imagine anyone not absolutely loving this lens for its sharpness and gorgeous rendering. In my view, it may be the finest lens that I have ever owned.

The 43mm focal length is actually quite useful, once you train your eye/brain to see what the lens sees. Some people get terribly hung up on certain "standard" focal lengths, as though all others are some sort of compromise. Well, the truth is that every focal length entails compromise, in the sense that it excludes all other possible focal lengths. You have to learn to shoot the photos that your lens dictates. Then you will be happy with it.

Rob


Last edited by robgo2; 05-14-2011 at 12:57 AM.
05-13-2011, 05:13 PM   #9
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Once your 77 arrives, you will never look at the FA50 the same again. If you are like me you will be aghast at its handling afterwards. The 43 can do seamless oof and is a hell of a lot sharper than the 50 at any aperture wider than f/5.6.

an example, one of my first shots with the 43
05-13-2011, 06:16 PM   #10
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I have owned both the 50 and the 43. For MY purposes, the 50 was just a little too long. It's sharpness and rendering was fine, but not extraordinary. The 43 is just the right FL for me. Wide open it is plenty sharp, and when you stop it down - even once or twice - it becomes the definition of "razor sharp". The bokeh is creamy, but with a hint of excitement. It makes the subject "pop" like no other lens I own (except maybe the 77). It's my favorite and most used lens. YMMV.

- Mike
05-13-2011, 06:52 PM   #11
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I just went through the same dilema. I finally decided to keep my FA 50 and not buy the FA 43. After many sleepless nights, I took a decision based on this:

On one hand, FA43 on APS-C is too long to be considered normal and not long enough (in my opinion) to be a good portrait lens. Plus, bokeh is a little harsh for portrait.

On the other hand, FA 50 is an excellent portrait lens on APS-C since better FL and bokeh, less expensive (I paid 199 $ new for mine in 2009) and I have the FA 31 which I use as a normal lens.

Thus, my advice, if you are looking for a normal lens with excellent bokeh and sharp as a knife, save your money and buy the FA 31 instead of the FA 43 and keep your FA 50.

One last thing, you might want to buy an hood for the FA 50 if you don't already have one. It significantly increases the contrast of this lens at aperture larger than f2.8. I bought a Kalt hood and am very satisfied with it.
05-13-2011, 06:59 PM   #12
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SylBer, that all makes sense, but I personally decided to keep a 43 over a 31 + 50/1.4 combo. The 43 is really nice, and much smaller than the 31. To my eye it looks pretty normal, but individual results may vary.
05-13-2011, 08:48 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by mmphilip Quote
I have owned both the 50 and the 43. For MY purposes, the 50 was just a little too long. It's sharpness and rendering was fine, but not extraordinary. The 43 is just the right FL for me. Wide open it is plenty sharp, and when you stop it down - even once or twice - it becomes the definition of "razor sharp". The bokeh is creamy, but with a hint of excitement. It makes the subject "pop" like no other lens I own (except maybe the 77). It's my favorite and most used lens. YMMV.

- Mike
Did I write this ? It mirrors exactly my own thoughts.

Sold the 50/1.4 and kept the 43 Ltd. The beauty is that the 43 is so incredibly sharp that you can easily crop it to a 50 'perspective', in fact even at 1:1 shots are printable. Magical lense - the 50/1.4 doesn't have that 'pixie-dust' for me.
05-13-2011, 08:54 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by SylBer Quote
On one hand, FA43 on APS-C is too long to be considered normal and not long enough (in my opinion) to be a good portrait lens. Plus, bokeh is a little harsh for portrait.
Que !?!?

My wife. Sitting opposite me having dinner in a restaurant.

05-13-2011, 09:30 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by dgaies Quote
...I believe the OP was looking to replace his 50 with a 43, so it's not really about filling the gap as much as how the 43 compares to his current 50.
Oops. Yes, I misconstrued. I'll shut up now.

No, I won't! The FA50/1.4 is a damn fine lens! So is the FA43/1.9, but different, and that full-f-stop can be significant. OP should have both!

Last edited by RioRico; 05-13-2011 at 09:35 PM.
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