Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
06-15-2011, 01:16 PM   #1
Pentaxian




Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Western Canada
Posts: 3,835
Praise for the 50 mm lens

When I started my photographic passion...way back in the 1960's...pretty well every manufacturer supplied a 50 to 55 mm....mostly a 50 though...'normal' lens when you bought one of their SLR's.

They came with the camera and reflecting back...IMO.. they were not regarded too highly....maybe because they were regarded as free...sort of like the bun or the little bit of green leaf (can't recall the name) that would decorate your plate with each and every restaurant meal back in those far off days.

Then came DSLR's and the ubiquitous 18-55 zoom kit lens....or with more expensive camera models ...nothing,, just the body.

Over the past couple of years I have picked up two Pentax 50 mm lenses....a FA normal, F 1.4 and a Pentax D FA Macro, F 2.8.

Frankly I don't use them enough...something that I have been trying to rectify in the past while.

The Macro takes great portraits, close ups of everything from flowers, vintage cars, animals, insects...aberrations on old trees....you name it.

The Normal F 1.4 is great for indoor available light and outdoor portraits....portraits with my 360 flash...any and many subjects. I've also used it for photographing vintage cars in the fading light of evening....it seems to create a wonderful 'creamy' effect that I cannot get with my slower wide angle zooms.

Both can provide stupendous bokeh and the clarity of these fine prime lenses is something to behold.

The Macro in particular almost seems to create a bit of a 3 D effect....well not quite....but it does seem to add an additional dimension to some pictures.

But rarely do I see anyone talk about them ...or use them much.

The great thing is that they are also very reasonably priced and on a cropped Pentax DSLR sensor give you about a 35 mm equivalent of a 70-75 mm lens....some might say...perfect for portraiture.

Not to be overly dramatic ...but am I just a lone voice in the wilderness...or do others feel the same way I do about the lowly 50 mm lens ?

Les

06-15-2011, 01:38 PM   #2
Senior Member
jays0n's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: San Francisco
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 134
I agree with both of your statements: the 50 can do many things well, and that it is a tad underrated. I added my thoughts to the review section for the (normal) FA 1.4 here, with some shots of a few different uses:

Pentax-FA 50mm F1.4 Reviews - FA Series Primes - Pentax Lens Reviews & Pentax Lens Database

That creamy look the FA has is what I really like about it as well. Was my first lens, actually I had it before my first Pentax camera arrived. I ordered it knowing I was getting a Pentax but before I had placed the order for the Pentax. B&H were having a sale and I think I got it for some crazy price like $150. I have changed all my other lenses around, even the camera but this lens alone has never left me and unless something terrible happens to it, it will not.

j
06-15-2011, 01:53 PM   #3
Senior Member
1r0nh31d3's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Edmonton, AB
Posts: 136
I'm guessing almost every photographer has a 50mm lens in some iteration. I would not call that underrated or overlooked.
06-15-2011, 02:13 PM   #4
Veteran Member
Pentaxor's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Vancouver, B.C.
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 6,513
there is no other focal length lens that is as popular as the 50mm.

06-15-2011, 02:20 PM   #5
Pentaxian
aurele's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Paris, France
Photos: Albums
Posts: 2,907
we are in the era of "i want everything, and i want it now" : that's why everyone has a DSLR and a 18-55mm.

But any personn who's liking taking real photos, not just snapshots, have a 50mm or is looking at it with envy.

it is just that it is more comon to have a DSLR, than having (at the film days) a SLR, with a 50mm - 28mm and any other lense.

think that, the price of an entry-level DSLR is half the price of a good SLR with a decent 50mm f1.7-1.4 lense at the film days. (a SLR cost one month of minimum wage, betwwen 1970 and 1990. A DSLR cost half of one month of minimum wage.)
06-15-2011, 02:38 PM   #6
Pentaxian
bdery's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Quebec city, Canada
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 5,659
I think the general advice to anyone asking "which lens after kit lens?" is to get a fast 50. I don't agree that they are underrated. I fully agree that they are excellent and nearly necessary tools.
06-15-2011, 03:13 PM   #7
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: National Capital Region
Posts: 738
My first serious lens purchase after the kit lenses was a Fifty.

Of course then I went a bit crazy and got M1.7 (x2), M1.4 (x2), F1.4, F1.7(x2) and a Tak55 before finally settling down with my very first fifty, which was an FA1.4.

I do remember seeing a poll or a thread on 50mm lenses a year or so ago, and there were quite a few others with 50s coming out of their ears so I'd say it is probably the most common focal length.
06-15-2011, 03:16 PM   #8
Senior Member
jays0n's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: San Francisco
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 134
I guess underrated only too a noob (and I was a noob for sure) and to backup what you are all saying, yeah a friend that is a photographer was telling me that I should get a 50 before I even know what that meant (I had a point and shoot, a nice one that had RAW etc. but I was a noob ) and then pushed me to get it even before I ordered a camera. He knew what you are saying I guess, and wanted me started out right.

06-15-2011, 05:39 PM   #9
Pentaxian




Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Western Canada
Posts: 3,835
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by 1r0nh31d3 Quote
I'm guessing almost every photographer has a 50mm lens in some iteration. I would not call that underrated or overlooked.
I would have to disagree. I have not seen many photographers have a 50mm attached to their digital camera in say the past 5-10 years. I'm out a lot with my cameras at different events.

Primarily they use wide angle zooms, wide angle primes or telephoto zooms and / or primes.

I've always been interested in different lenses and as such, make a point of checking out lenses in use.

I do see a few wedding photographer use 50mm normals....but that's about it.
06-15-2011, 05:41 PM   #10
Pentaxian




Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Western Canada
Posts: 3,835
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
there is no other focal length lens that is as popular as the 50mm.
I would say that was the case....way back in the film days when 50 mm's came standard.

Now I would say that honour belongs to the kit lens...generally the 18-55's or thereabouts.
06-15-2011, 05:43 PM   #11
Pentaxian




Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Western Canada
Posts: 3,835
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by EsBee Quote
My first serious lens purchase after the kit lenses was a Fifty.

Of course then I went a bit crazy and got M1.7 (x2), M1.4 (x2), F1.4, F1.7(x2) and a Tak55 before finally settling down with my very first fifty, which was an FA1.4.

I do remember seeing a poll or a thread on 50mm lenses a year or so ago, and there were quite a few others with 50s coming out of their ears so I'd say it is probably the most common focal length.
You sound a bit like me...a 50 mm aficionado. But I would bet that although there might be some 50 mm collectors out there....probably those that collect the 50's...but except for the rare individual...most would use a lens...probably a zoom...rather than a 50 prime.
06-15-2011, 05:45 PM   #12
Pentaxian




Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Western Canada
Posts: 3,835
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by jays0n Quote
I agree with both of your statements: the 50 can do many things well, and that it is a tad underrated. I added my thoughts to the review section for the (normal) FA 1.4 here, with some shots of a few different uses:

Pentax-FA 50mm F1.4 Reviews - FA Series Primes - Pentax Lens Reviews & Pentax Lens Database

That creamy look the FA has is what I really like about it as well. Was my first lens, actually I had it before my first Pentax camera arrived. I ordered it knowing I was getting a Pentax but before I had placed the order for the Pentax. B&H were having a sale and I think I got it for some crazy price like $150. I have changed all my other lenses around, even the camera but this lens alone has never left me and unless something terrible happens to it, it will not.

j
Much like you I don't intend to get rid of either 50. I also have three other 50's...two screw mounts...one an F 1.8, the other an F 2 and an F 2 K mount....all Pentax.
06-15-2011, 06:05 PM   #13
JHD
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jan 2010
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,407
50mm on FF, yeah!
On APS-C, no thanks!

Moreover I didn't care for the FA50, as a fast fifty it's practically useless at f1.4 and doesn't really sharpen up until f2.8 - so it lost its place in my bag. The DA40 is a far better lens.
06-15-2011, 08:19 PM   #14
Senior Member
1r0nh31d3's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Edmonton, AB
Posts: 136
You could disagree but I think you'd be incorrect. Add a poll to this thread and won't even need to discuss it.

I have a good community of photography friends in my city and 90% have a fast 50 no matter what brand they shoot on. They may not always take them out with them but they have them.

QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
I would have to disagree. I have not seen many photographers have a 50mm attached to their digital camera in say the past 5-10 years. I'm out a lot with my cameras at different events.

Primarily they use wide angle zooms, wide angle primes or telephoto zooms and / or primes.

I've always been interested in different lenses and as such, make a point of checking out lenses in use.

I do see a few wedding photographer use 50mm normals....but that's about it.

Last edited by 1r0nh31d3; 06-15-2011 at 08:39 PM. Reason: addition
06-15-2011, 08:22 PM   #15
Senior Member
1r0nh31d3's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Edmonton, AB
Posts: 136
I think you mean the DA 40 is slower and sharper. That is not better in all circumstances. My A 50mm 1.7 is sharp wide open. The DOF is paper thin but it's sharp when you hit focus.

QuoteOriginally posted by JHD Quote
50mm on FF, yeah!
On APS-C, no thanks!

Moreover I didn't care for the FA50, as a fast fifty it's practically useless at f1.4 and doesn't really sharpen up until f2.8 - so it lost its place in my bag. The DA40 is a far better lens.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
bit, camera, cars, fa, k-mount, lens, light, macro, mm, name, pentax, pentax lens, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Praise and an example... FHPhotographer Pentax K-r 6 01-24-2011 11:45 PM
In Praise of the Sigma 24-60 f/2.8 Damn Brit Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 33 12-02-2009 02:10 AM
In praise of the DA*16-50 + pics pschlute Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 2 09-14-2009 01:32 PM
More snow and in praise of an older lens Peter Zack Post Your Photos! 18 12-09-2007 03:14 PM
In Praise Of The 18-55 Kit Lens Mike Bokeh Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 21 10-12-2007 07:48 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:54 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top