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07-24-2011, 04:18 PM   #16
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got the FA50/1.7. so I'm not complainin.

07-24-2011, 04:38 PM   #17
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Not mentioned so far: the FA50/1.7 was discontinued in 2004, shortly after the *ist D was made and intended to be a pro model. They didn't even have an entry-level DSLR until 2005. At the same time, they were moving lens production to Viet Nam and trying to make more lenses for APS-C. If you look at the lenses released since 2003, they all have a purpose on APS-C. Pentax is small so they can't make everything; a loss-leading cheapo was not a priority. Then they got bought by Hoya, who was going to spin off the camera division anyway, and for that purpose was not going to spend money to put a loss-leader on the books. It makes sense to me.
07-24-2011, 04:40 PM   #18
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Because Pentax had a larger market share in the past, there are relatively many used lenses around compared to the current number of Pentax DSLR users. So a budget 50/1.8 would have to compete with all of them, and as some pointed out it would undercut the sales for their other primes.

Besides, they never had a 50/1.8. A 50/1.7 and 55/1.8 yes. Go get a used SMC Pentax 55mm f1.8 or a SMC Pentax-M 50mm f1.7. Some of the best value for the money among used Pentax lenses.
07-24-2011, 04:41 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote
Most newbies are entirely satisfied with the 18-55 and, unfortunately, really have very limited interest in primes; those Pentax users who want inexpensive primes have plenty of legacy glass to choose from. Releasing a series of inexpensive lens would likely not make Pentax any money while at the same time cannibalizing sales of their more expensive lenses.
The only thing on my wish list is that next Pentax k-5 succesor model to allow (if possible) focus point selection (even if it means only a few) instead of just centre point when a MF lens is mounted. Unfortunately that probably would not go well for Pentax as it is eating into the sale of more expensive lenses unless of course they see it as marketing strategy to increase the user base. Another point about entry level Pentax users, most of them have done their homework and choose Pentax because of certain features. Therefore, a cheap 50/1.8 with mediocre IQ would not be as easy sale compare to the other brands.

For now I am good with the MF lens and like many people who are comfortable with only Limited primes and cheap legacy MF lenses. Here is an example using two variants of Chinon-Tomioka-55/1.4 lenses.

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07-24-2011, 04:53 PM   #20
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Because 50mm doesn't make much sense for APS-C anymore, and you can find many fast 50mm used on the market already. I have myself a Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4 and wouldn't buy a brand new 50mm f/1.8, I had rather get a 35mm f/2.4-2 which is more useful.

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07-24-2011, 05:17 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote
My own wild ass guess is that Pentax doesn't think they can make any money on a 50/1.8 to make it worth their while.
QuoteOriginally posted by hcarvalhoalves Quote
Because 50mm doesn't make much sense for APS-C anymore, and you can find many fast 50mm used on the market already.
Indeed. Those are the decisive factors. A fairly cheap+fast 35 takes the place of a fairly cheap+fast 50 nowadays. And 35/2.4 isn't even fairly fast -- DOF- and FOV-wise, its 135/FF equivalent is 50/3.5. If you want thin DOF you get a 50/1.4 or 50/1.2. If you want a fast fairly-normal lens you get a 30/1.4 (135/FF equivalent is 45/2). If all you need is speed but not thin DOF, you pump the ISO. The world has changed. 50/1.8 no longer has a viable niche. Bye-bye.
07-24-2011, 05:27 PM   #22
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I think a better question is why do they make a 50mm 1.4 and a 55mm 1.4?

Why no 1.8? Well, up until a couple of years ago, the FA 50mm f 1.4 could be had for less than $200 new. That's why . . .
07-24-2011, 05:39 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rude Quote
Why no 1.8? Well, up until a couple of years ago, the FA 50mm f 1.4 could be had for less than $200 new. That's why . . .
Happily I picked mine up before the increase and at the time I thought it made canons 50/1.8 look overpriced.

Anyone know how the price of the FA50/1.7 compare to the FA50/1.4 at the time the 1.7 was dropped? When the 1.4 was around $200, it doesn't seem like there could have been much point to the 1.7. It's a different story now I suppose.

07-24-2011, 05:40 PM - 2 Likes   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rude Quote
I think a better question is why do they make a 50mm 1.4 and a 55mm 1.4?
The 55 is WR. I wish it was available earlier. It seems to be a great lens.

QuoteOriginally posted by Rude Quote
Why no 1.8? Well, up until a couple of years ago, the FA 50mm f 1.4 could be had for less than $200 new. That's why . . .
+1. I'm surprised no one pointed this obvious fact before. I got my FA50/1.4 for $200 - $180 after a mail in rebate. At that price, it didn't make any sense to provide a 50/1.8 for $100 - why would anyone want that?

Unfortunately, prices climbed and now the FA50/1.4 at $360 (or more elsewhere) might be unaffordable. A slower cheaper 50 would make sense now, but Pentax is not known for putting out cheap lenses. If someone's life dream is to own a cheap mediocre AF prime lens, I guess they should pick Canikon.
07-24-2011, 05:48 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by laurentiu cristofor Quote
if someone's life dream is to own a cheap mediocre af prime lens, i guess they should pick canikon.
07-24-2011, 06:21 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Indeed. Those are the decisive factors. A fairly cheap+fast 35 takes the place of a fairly cheap+fast 50 nowadays. And 35/2.4 isn't even fairly fast -- DOF- and FOV-wise, its 135/FF equivalent is 50/3.5. If you want thin DOF you get a 50/1.4 or 50/1.2. If you want a fast fairly-normal lens you get a 30/1.4 (135/FF equivalent is 45/2). If all you need is speed but not thin DOF, you pump the ISO. The world has changed. 50/1.8 no longer has a viable niche. Bye-bye.
as far as standard normal is concerned, the 50mm is a bit of a task on an APS-C camera, but it doesn't mean or far from not making any sense. the preference is more on a 35mm for everyday much, but I would personally would vouch for a 28mm instead which to me is very flexible compared to a 35mm. the biggest task for a wide-normal lens is that of thin DOF, well not just thin DOF but certain DOF blur capability which can be easily attained by a fast 50. the closest lens that comes to mind that has such capacity is the FA31, but not everyone can afford it. although the FA31 is great as a one lens solution. I'd say I'll have to trade my FA35,FA50/1.7 and A50/1.2 (probably) for it. the reason I chose not to is due to certain rendering that I would be missing with the other lenses. but that is only me. if I were to choose, a new fast Pentax 28mm would be the better deal.
07-24-2011, 06:24 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote

Anyone know how the price of the FA50/1.7 compare to the FA50/1.4 at the time the 1.7 was dropped? When the 1.4 was around $200, it doesn't seem like there could have been much point to the 1.7. It's a different story now I suppose.

rough guess would be $120-$150. nowadays, you pretty much want to hold on to your copy. it maybe a half-stop slower, but I don't think that's the reason why people won't go after it. I just love it's rendering better than the FA43.
07-24-2011, 06:41 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
if I were to choose, a new fast Pentax 28mm would be the better deal.
Yeah, a 28/1, that's the ticket! (FOV/DOF 135/FF equivalent: 42/1.5.)

Depending on which APS-C sensor your camera owns, 28-30mm is 'normal'. And my Komine 28/2 CFWA is about my most fave prime. The FA31Ltd is reputedly awesome (I don't have one so I can't testify). But isn't there a competitive 30/1.4, by Sigma I think? To go against that *would* require an awesomely fast 28mm, like around f/1.2. Good luck.

Last edited by RioRico; 07-24-2011 at 07:10 PM.
07-24-2011, 09:42 PM - 1 Like   #29
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Simple, they don't need to make one. If you want a really cheap fast prime theres millions of then but you have to MF. If you want AF you'll pay more and you'll get an extra stop (1.4) and it'll be cheaper than a Canon f1.4.


Canon probably dont have any old manual EF primes (dont know / dont care). FD mount glass is useless to anyone with a Canon DSLR. Theres a much bigger market for cheap EF mount fast 50mm especially because of the lack of older lenses. The Canon 50 1.8 is an old cheap design anyway it's just been made as plasticky as possible to keep the price down. As long as the old line will run 50mm 1.8's will be extruded out of the Canon sausage machine.


Do Pentax "need" to copy Canon with a fast AF 1.8? Hands up anyone who would trade all there Pentax gear in and buy into Canon just to get a plastic 50mm 1.8 built down to to the cheapest possible price.
Didn't think so.
07-24-2011, 10:12 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Yeah, a 28/1, that's the ticket! (FOV/DOF 135/FF equivalent: 42/1.5.)

Depending on which APS-C sensor your camera owns, 28-30mm is 'normal'. And my Komine 28/2 CFWA is about my most fave prime. The FA31Ltd is reputedly awesome (I don't have one so I can't testify). But isn't there a competitive 30/1.4, by Sigma I think? To go against that *would* require an awesomely fast 28mm, like around f/1.2. Good luck.
I don't think it is necessary to open that fast. I mean the FA31, yet being an f1.8 renders a shallow DOF. what it lacks in light transmission, certainly makes up for DOF capability. Pentax could create an F2 or f1.8 with such DOF.




the problem with the Sigma is that it is not an all-arounder. it is great for center shots but lacks the capacity as a strong wide lens performer. so you would still end up with a 2 30mm setup in the process.
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