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05-26-2011, 10:44 AM   #1
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FA 50 1.4 on ASPC is pretty similar to the FA 77 1.8 on film

Not exactly, but nice and close. Same loose-portrait FOV. FA 77 has the upper hand in the sharpness department below f2.8, but the differences aren't major at f2.2. Similar colour rendering (although the FA 77 maintains a little more contrast, since you are using your 50 on digital, there are ways to help that), similar smooth bokeh (once again, the 77 edges the 50 out, but not by much).

Of course the build quality of the 50 1.4 leaves something to be desired, but the pictures are nice and close. The 50 is really just a utilitarian, no BS version of the FA 77 on a digital camera... while we might pay through the nose for a good wide-angle, we kinda luck out on the portrait lengths.

Just thought I would share my experiences... if someone is looking for a really good portrait lens on digital... the 50 can punch with the big boys.

PS - clearly these two lenses have very *little* in common if you compare both of them on digital. Please no hate this isn't an anti limited discussion... just a discussion on *both* great portrait lenses .

05-26-2011, 12:27 PM   #2
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If you want even closer match, look up 50/1.2. The FOV/DOF combvination of that lens on APSC is practically the same as 77 on 135 format.
Now of course the 1.2 is much softer than 1.8 so it'll take up to 2.5-2.8 to catch up with the sharpness but then the OOF from f1.2 is better and makes up for it IMO
05-26-2011, 01:10 PM   #3
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There is a reason I keep it around. It does great on my MZ-3 as well, but so does the FA 77mm.
05-26-2011, 01:44 PM   #4
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A few years ago, the FA 50mm 1.4 was a very highly esteemed lens. Now people say

- It's too short for portrait. It's 52mm actual x 1.5 = 78mm. How in hell is that too short for portraits?

- It's soft wide open. Sure, but what else do you have that opens up to 1.4? It's very useable wide open and has good bokeh. It's sharp by f2, sharper than my DA 40mm at 2.8 and as sharp as the DA 55 at 2.8 and smaller.

Mike Johnson said the Pentax 50mm 1.4 is better than the Canon and Nikon versions. I bet they get more respect. It's a damn fine lens IMO.

05-26-2011, 01:57 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
Mike Johnson said the Pentax 50mm 1.4 is better than the Canon and Nikon versions. I bet they get more respect. It's a damn fine lens IMO.
Actually IINM they get pretty bad rap too. Too slow focusing, soft wide open, etc etc. the DA55/1.4 and Sigma 50/1.4 are the ones consistently getting good reviews (barring slow SDM for the 55)
05-26-2011, 04:29 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
If you want even closer match, look up 50/1.2.
I would love that. One day I'll get my hands on one... I've actually seen bokeh I find much more pleasing from the 50 1.2 than I am able to get from the 77 1.8 (I think because the 77 cannot focus as closely). The 50 1.2 seems like *the* lens for abstracts!
05-26-2011, 04:43 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Andi Lo Quote
Actually IINM they get pretty bad rap too. Too slow focusing, soft wide open, etc etc. the DA55/1.4 and Sigma 50/1.4 are the ones consistently getting good reviews (barring slow SDM for the 55)
let's just say that it has somehow outlived it's glory days as an excellent fast 50mm considering there are better alternatives. yet for the price, it is more for those who can't afford the better fast lenses.
05-26-2011, 05:12 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
let's just say that it has somehow outlived it's glory days as an excellent fast 50mm considering there are better alternatives. yet for the price, it is more for those who can't afford the better fast lenses.
While there might be *some* better alternatives (there always are), I'm not sure exactly what you are referring to here...

The *glory days* of the 50 have always been about price/performance... have they not?

05-26-2011, 05:26 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
A few years ago, the FA 50mm 1.4 was a very highly esteemed lens. Now people say

- It's too short for portrait. It's 52mm actual x 1.5 = 78mm. How in hell is that too short for portraits?
*I* find on the short side. I very much prefer something around 70mm on APS-C, and if that wasn't available, I prefer longer than that to shorter. But indeed, some people prefer shorter.
05-26-2011, 05:34 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
*I* find on the short side. I very much prefer something around 70mm on APS-C, and if that wasn't available, I prefer longer than that to shorter. But indeed, some people prefer shorter.

I'm with you for headshots, actually. I find 50 too loose, too much distortion.

However for the half-body shots, I like the 50. Of course, that really depends on your environment... sometimes you can't move far enough back, other times you can't get close enough.

I just had a 77 (intended for film) and a 50 (intended for film) sitting around, and I did the math, and realized that the 50 could pretty much replicate the FL of the 77 if I threw it on digital. I always liked 50s on digital (more than a lot here), and I did a very informal comparison, I was pleasantly surprised. Of course the 70 and 77 (neither of which I particularly prefer) are wonderful on ASPC as well, but I suppose I was intrigued by the original intentions behind the 77's focal length... which spurred this little diatribe .
05-26-2011, 06:33 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
While there might be *some* better alternatives (there always are), I'm not sure exactly what you are referring to here...

The *glory days* of the 50 have always been about price/performance... have they not?
nope, I was referring to a better fast 50mm AF lens that is available for Pentax. when the 55 came in, it was definitely there to replace what the FA50 initially held for that purpose. otherwise, what would be the use for the 55mm? I don't believe it's there as an unnecessary expenditure.
05-26-2011, 07:50 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
nope, I was referring to a better fast 50mm AF lens that is available for Pentax. when the 55 came in, it was definitely there to replace what the FA50 initially held for that purpose. otherwise, what would be the use for the 55mm? I don't believe it's there as an unnecessary expenditure.
What af fast 50 with a Pentax mount do you refer? The Sigma 50/1.4 is huge compared to the FA. The sigma does have 9 aperture blades, but lacks an aperture ring and would be an mf lens on a film body. The DA 55/1.4 SDM was specified to by a portrait lens which was like why the af speed wasn't as much of a concern to the designers. I don't buy the argument that the FA 50/1.4 is outdated. The body could be better and Ghostless Coating added and that would be about the pinnacle for a fast af 50 unless the release an af DA* 50/1.2 based on the A/1.2 optics.
05-26-2011, 09:51 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
What af fast 50 with a Pentax mount do you refer? The Sigma 50/1.4 is huge compared to the FA. The sigma does have 9 aperture blades, but lacks an aperture ring and would be an mf lens on a film body. The DA 55/1.4 SDM was specified to by a portrait lens which was like why the af speed wasn't as much of a concern to the designers. I don't buy the argument that the FA 50/1.4 is outdated. The body could be better and Ghostless Coating added and that would be about the pinnacle for a fast af 50 unless the release an af DA* 50/1.2 based on the A/1.2 optics.
we are not going backwards here. we are going digital, and not the other way around (which you are saying is film). I'm not saying the FA is unusable, but would say outdated, which in fact it is. not just by virtue of coating and cosmetics.
05-26-2011, 10:20 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
we are not going backwards here. we are going digital, and not the other way around (which you are saying is film). I'm not saying the FA is unusable, but would say outdated, which in fact it is. not just by virtue of coating and cosmetics.
I don't think we'd be going bacwards by releasing 50/1.2 or 1.4.
As pointed out at the beginning of the thread the FOV of 50mm on APSC pretty much replicates that of 77ltd on 135 format. If there was space and need for that lens then why not for 50 on APSC?!?
Personally I'd love to see DA50/1.2 special. It would be just like the ltds but because it would be comparativly huge it wouldn't be called ltd. It would make a lot of sense on APSC and if equipped by SMC, ghostles and ABC coatings, it could be one hell of a lens. The only problem is that there is practically no way current Safox systems with their size of cross sensors could focus such lens accurately...
05-26-2011, 10:45 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
I don't think we'd be going bacwards by releasing 50/1.2 or 1.4.
As pointed out at the beginning of the thread the FOV of 50mm on APSC pretty much replicates that of 77ltd on 135 format. If there was space and need for that lens then why not for 50 on APSC?!?
Personally I'd love to see DA50/1.2 special. It would be just like the ltds but because it would be comparativly huge it wouldn't be called ltd. It would make a lot of sense on APSC and if equipped by SMC, ghostles and ABC coatings, it could be one hell of a lens. The only problem is that there is practically no way current Safox systems with their size of cross sensors could focus such lens accurately...
Hi Peter. I was referring to the FA50/1.4 specifically. I mean, it wouldn't make sense to re-release it or even change the name and say it's DA just to make people think it's an improved version of the old FA50/1.4. besides, we already have the 55 lens which is a great lens and better lens than the old FA50. and the only way that Pentax could release a new 50mm would be to release a DA or AF version of a faster(aperture) 50mm than the 55.

it's true that AF could be very well be a problem for the 1.2 and I'm not sure if Pentax is going to do something about it. besides, the fast 85s also faces the same dilemma as far as focus accuracy at wide open is concerned, but at least it is resolved by stopping down. I think a future 50/1.2 would also have to live with stopping at f1.4 for AF, and MF at 1.2 which is fine by me. or Pentax may try designing a new camera with a much better AF system with a compatible AF mechanism for the lens, or they may plainly use a DC motor for the lens which they say focuses much faster and more accurately.
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