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07-25-2011, 12:25 AM   #31
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So many good answers that it's hard to add anything new IMO. What I fail to see is why people with APSC cameras keep asking for 50mm?!?
AFAIK Pentax is committed to build APSC line up that would provide the FOVs folks were used to in 135 format fim days. In this way of thinking, the only lens that 50 would be replacing is 77ltd. And to replace that one with cheap plastic f1.7 or 1.8 50mm..... No thanks.

As others have said. 50 simply is not that usefull on APSC anymore. It lost it's flexibility. I for one love the FOV offere by 50-55mm lenses on APSC but I still fail to see why anybody would want 50/1.7 made of plastic if there are FA50/1.4 and DA*55.
Why there are those two and no 55+50/1.7. I think the reason behind this would be that FA50/1.7 was discontinuead way before 55/1.4 was planned, and since FA50 was still in production it was simply cheaper to keep it as cheaper option to 55 as opposed to bringing back 50/1.7

07-25-2011, 01:21 AM   #32
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The most logic is for Pentax to keep only 55mm DA* and a 50mm f1.7 as plastic and cheap as the 35mm DA f2.4
07-25-2011, 01:37 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Seems to be that this is precisely what they have done recently, with the one exception of their swerve into budget primes with the 35/2.4.
Yes... but I was thinking about this... It's different because a) its over f1.8, so there is a psychological block for some - it's 'slower' (although only by 2/3 of a stop).

b) And the higher end models that Pentax make are the top end of the top end - the FA31 is their most expensive Ltd lens, and the DA35 Ltd is also expensive and a macro. If you really want one of them, and can afford it, then the 35mm 2.4 isn't going to factor in the slightest... If you really want one and you can't afford it you might get the 35mm 2.4 in the meantime, and then everyone wins...
07-25-2011, 03:38 AM   #34
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Certainly Pentax could re-release the FA 50mm f1.7. However, I doubt that they would ever sell a lens as cheaply constructed as the Canon 50mm f1.8. People report those lenses falling apart after a year or two of moderate usage. Even Pentax's DA L lenses seem to hold up better than that.

All in all, 35mm focal length is generally more useful on a crop frame sensored camera than 50mm. I like my 55mm for portrait type work, but in doors or as a walk around it is just more than a little long.

07-25-2011, 04:58 AM - 1 Like   #35
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From the early 1970s....cost me about $20:





Pentax K20D
SMC Takumar 55/1.8


From 1957....also cost me about $20:





Pentax K20D
Auto-Takumar 55/2


What the hell would I want with a brand-new one costing hundreds of bucks when I can buy perfectly fine lenses like those two all day long for about twenty bucks? Most people who are savvy enough to know they need/want a fast fifty from Pentax are also savvy enough to know there are tons of them out there at very reasonable prices....even some of the AF models. The other people tend to prefer zooms. So what you end up with is a target market that is already largely taken care of by stuff produced decades ago. Hardly worth tooling up for.
07-25-2011, 07:03 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
the only lens that 50 would be replacing is 77ltd. And to replace that one with cheap plastic f1.7 or 1.8 50mm..... No thanks.
Why not? It's the FA 77 for beginners. Not everyone can afford a 900 dollar lens. A 150-200 dollar alternative would be fine with me no matter how much cheap and plastic they use .
07-25-2011, 07:05 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
So what you end up with is a target market that is already largely taken care of by stuff produced decades ago. Hardly worth tooling up for.
I would also have to agree with this.

I would imagine not too many companies will be in the business of producing 18-55mm zooms in about 30 years. There will simply be too many of them floating around.
07-25-2011, 07:26 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
Why not? It's the FA 77 for beginners. Not everyone can afford a 900 dollar lens. A 150-200 dollar alternative would be fine with me no matter how much cheap and plastic they use .
A plastic body with poly carbonate lenses, plastic mount, chromatic aberrations out the wazoo, and massive purple fringe isn't worthy of the Pentax brand.

One of the things I enjoy about the Pentax brand is that while you are usually paying less than the midrange gear from another brand that you are able to get much higher end optics and features than you would at the mid range in another brand.

$600 for a lens? well that's a DA* 55/1.4 and you are buying pro gear at a cheaper price than pro gear in another brand.

$350 for a lens? That's an FA 50/1.4 which is a steal for $350.

If you are looking for a $150 lens, IMO You will get better quality sticking with your kit lens @50mm or finding an inexpensive used lens than what could be produced and sold to you for $150.

07-25-2011, 07:40 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clinton Quote
If you are looking for a $150 lens, IMO You will get better quality sticking with your kit lens @50mm or finding an inexpensive used lens than what could be produced and sold to you for $150.
Nah. The old 50 1.7 / 55 1.8 / 50 2.0's are better than my kit at f5.6, easily. I find the kit strongest at 28mm (gives the old 28mm f2.8's a run for their money), but I don't think the kit cuts it at all as a cheap portrait lens. The 35 2.4 does not either.

Besides, why shouldn't Pentax release some mediokre stuff (like a re-packaged 50 1.7)? Everyone here seems to love that lens and it would be nice for there to be a cheap 50 on the market.

I don't care personally, the 50 1.4 is my lens. But I have a good friend who is an amazing photographer. He has some Canon L glass, but also loves his 50 1.8. It's completely disposable to him, and the quality is "great, if you are actually trying to take photos".

CA, softness, etc., do not matter one bit to him. What matters is DOF, framing, and light. And he takes much better photos than myself or many others here. There's nothing wrong with "Pentax" being on a cheaper lens. I think it could be a nice little cash cow for Pentax, too.

Not to mention that the Pentax 50mm f1.7 is a better lens then the Canon 50 1.8 .
07-25-2011, 07:51 AM   #40
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Let us journey back in time, back to the days before takeovers and buyouts and blogs, back to when Pentax still ruled a big chunk of the SLR world. My easy wayback machines are: LENS BOOKLETS! I have before me the booklets for the Pentax M- and A-series, and for the Minolta MC-series. Let's see what normal-ish lenses were being offered:

* M40/2.8, (K)50/1.2, M50/1.4, M50/1.7, M50/2, M50/4 macro
* A50/1.2, A50/1.4, A50/1.7, A50/2, A50/2.8 macro
* MC50/3.5, MC55/1.7, MC58/1.2, MC58/1.4
* all lines jump from 35mm to these normals to 85mm

These are just snapshots, of course. And except for the FA and DA booklets, they're all I have in paper. But they show that Pentax and Minolta offered several options in the normal-ish range, what in FOV equivalence would now be 35-40mm (with an outlier around 28mm). And they suggest that price matters, since slower budget-lenses were offered. If I look at my FA booklet, I see that with Pentax's diminished place in the SLR world comes a vastly different but powerful lineup between 35-85mm:

* FA43/1.9Ltd, FA50/1.4, FA50/1.7, FA50/2.8 macro, FA77/1.8Ltd

The closest to a budget option there is the FA50/1.7, which of course has been dropped.

And what happened in-between? Zooms. Now instead of a choice of normal 'kit' primes, you can choose a kit.zoom or a premium zoom, or some premium primes, or that one budget offering. If we translate those primes to APS-C we might get something like a simple D(igital)-series:

* D28/2Ltd, D35/1.4, D35/2 (budget), D35/2.8 macro, D40/1.2, D50/2Ltd

Of course the current DA/FA lienup isn't quite like that, for various reasons. (And I'm omitting the current DA/FA lineup.) But budget 'normal' primes have been wiped out by budget zooms. You want cheap, stay with the DA18-55. You want more, you gotta spend more. Such is life.

Last edited by RioRico; 07-25-2011 at 05:10 PM.
07-25-2011, 07:58 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by dgaies Quote
Someone should tell B&H, they actually have it listed as a "DA L" lens (link)
I'd say B&H is more "honest" than Pentax. Plastic mount, no hood, no Quick-shift AF: the 35/2.4 *is* a DA-L in all but official name. I can't understand why Pentax chose to call it DA.
07-25-2011, 08:01 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by RBellavance Quote
I'd say B&H is more "honest" than Pentax. Plastic mount, no hood, no Quick-shift AF: the 35/2.4 *is* a DA-L in all but official name. I can't understand why Pentax chose to call it DA.
I 100% agree with you. For the past two months I really thought it was called the DA L 35/2.4. Not being a smart-ass, I was 100% sure it was a "DA L". I didn't know it wasn't until this thread the other day.
07-25-2011, 09:21 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
Nah. The old 50 1.7 / 55 1.8 / 50 2.0's are better than my kit at f5.6, easily.
Absolutely. The quality of that glass isn't being disputed; and if any of them were being manufactured new, with auto focus, (or say even without AF), I believe they would cost well more than $150.

I'm basing this in the A50/1.2. The A 50/1.2 appears to still be made in Japan, but at today's conversion rate, it seems to cost more than $1000 to import. Quite a bit more expensive than the DA*55/1.4.

Last edited by Clinton; 07-25-2011 at 09:26 AM.
07-25-2011, 10:18 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clinton Quote
Absolutely. The quality of that glass isn't being disputed; and if any of them were being manufactured new, with auto focus, (or say even without AF), I believe they would cost well more than $150.

I'm basing this in the A50/1.2. The A 50/1.2 appears to still be made in Japan, but at today's conversion rate, it seems to cost more than $1000 to import. Quite a bit more expensive than the DA*55/1.4.
Sure, but the 1.2 is a pretty specialized piece of glass.

Let's draw a fairer comparison.

FA 35 was approximately 300 dollars (before the cult-status price hike)... DA L 2.4 is only 180-220 street. This is the same optical design!

The 50 1.7 sold for considerably less than the 50 1.4 in the old days. Even with the new price of the 50 1.4, the DA L version of the 50 1.7 should maybe be... 200, 250 MAX. It would be doable.

The bigger question is whether new and budding photographers wil gravitate towards these cheap 50s. Something tells me they would considering sales for the Canon and Nikon systems.
07-25-2011, 11:07 AM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
So many good answers that it's hard to add anything new IMO. What I fail to see is why people with APSC cameras keep asking for 50mm?!?
AFAIK Pentax is committed to build APSC line up that would provide the FOVs folks were used to in 135 format fim days. In this way of thinking, the only lens that 50 would be replacing is 77ltd. And to replace that one with cheap plastic f1.7 or 1.8 50mm..... No thanks.

As others have said. 50 simply is not that usefull on APSC anymore. It lost it's flexibility. I for one love the FOV offere by 50-55mm lenses on APSC but I still fail to see why anybody would want 50/1.7 made of plastic if there are FA50/1.4 and DA*55.
Why there are those two and no 55+50/1.7. I think the reason behind this would be that FA50/1.7 was discontinuead way before 55/1.4 was planned, and since FA50 was still in production it was simply cheaper to keep it as cheaper option to 55 as opposed to bringing back 50/1.7
I'm with you Peter. Partly, it is because I already have some 50s from the film days, but this request would be near the bottom of my list. There are also loads of A lenses out there in this range for cheap if one really wants an inexpensive option that allows metering, albeit no AF.

The fast 28 or 18 or even a 12mm prime are higher on my list.
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