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07-27-2011, 03:25 PM   #1
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Pentax F 50mm 1.7mm vs FA 50mm 1.4

Hi there!One question by my side.
If you had to choose between these two lenses which one would you prefer? Which one is better optically?Sharper?

regards
Nick

07-27-2011, 03:39 PM   #2
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These are different lenses. You don't use the 50/1.4 for wide-open sharpness; you use it to grab light, to shoot what's otherwise impossible. It just does more than the 50/1.7. If you want one that's sharpest wide-open, get a 50/2.8 macro. If you want a nice half-body portrait lens that's good wide-open, get the 50/1.7. If you want to go to extremes, get the 50/1.4. There's nothing else like it.
Sharpness is a bourgeois conceit.
--Henri Cartier-Bresson
07-27-2011, 03:54 PM   #3
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50 1.7 is sharper, but the 50 1.4 is better.

Wrap your head around that one .

PS - sharpness isn't very useful unless you are photographing newsprint.

--

Enough 'tude . The 1.4 is pretty sharp wide open, and while it is not AS sharp as the 1.7, it has a nicer rendering (softer backgrounds), nicer colour, and *IS* sharper than the 1.7 when you stop it down to f5.6.

The only thing the 1.4 is worse at is controlling flare and CA. My solution is to use a hood and stop pixel peeping.

Really though, since the 1.4 and 1.7 commonly sell for the same price these days, just get the 1.4. The 1.7 is only better if you ONLY shoot at f1.7 and need very high sharpness in low light. The 1.4 is better all around (and I also prefer it for low-light, since it gives you 50% more light).
07-27-2011, 04:02 PM   #4
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Or pay more for DA*55, get both the rendering and the sharpness plus weather sealing in one lens.

07-27-2011, 04:12 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by elho_cid Quote
Or pay more for DA*55, get both the rendering and the sharpness plus weather sealing in one lens.
True, but then you have to deal with AF that's about half as fast (at best). But I agree, optically the DA*55 would be the best of the bunch.

Between the 50/1.4 and 50/1.7, I've owned both, and while there's both excellent, I personally prefer using the 50/1.7 over the 50/1.4 for general use. While you do get slightly more DOF control with the 50/1.4, you also get better sharpness and contrast at wide apertures with the 50/1.7 (regardless of whether you use a hood or not). That said, if you do get the 50/1.4, you should most certainly use a hood as it helps quite a bit in terms of performance at large apertures.
07-27-2011, 04:25 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies, i just want to clarify that i am talking about the F (and not the FA) version of 1.7 compared to the newest FA 1.4.
07-27-2011, 04:31 PM   #7
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F or FA has the same optical formula.

I used to have a 50mm SMC F f/:1.7; and it was georgous at f/5.6.
07-27-2011, 04:43 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by davinci Quote
Thanks for the replies, i just want to clarify that i am talking about the F (and not the FA) version of 1.7 compared to the newest FA 1.4.
Yes, as clover said above, the F50/1.7 and FA50/1.7 are optically identical and differ only in their appearance (and price).

07-27-2011, 04:45 PM   #9
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My big problem with the 1.7 is the bokeh. It's pretty harsh compared to the 1.4.

The 1.4 has more of an old-school, dreamy vibe. But its also a preposterously sharp lens.

The 1.7 is sharp, but the colour leaves something to be desired and I find the backgrounds rather harsh. Harsher, even, then my K 55 f1.8.
07-27-2011, 04:51 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
My big problem with the 1.7 is the bokeh. It's pretty harsh compared to the 1.4.
It's not as smooth as the 1.4, but I'm not sure I'd go so far as to call the 1.7 "harsh".

QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
The 1.4 has more of an old-school, dreamy vibe. But its also a preposterously sharp lens.
Stopped down it's very sharp. It's certainly not preposterously sharp below f/2.8.

QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
The 1.7 is sharp, but the colour leaves something to be desired and I find the backgrounds rather harsh. Harsher, even, then my K 55 f1.8.
The colors are slightly different on the 1.4 and 1.7, but I don't know if it's fair to say one is "better" than the other.
07-27-2011, 05:46 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by dgaies Quote
The colors are slightly different on the 1.4 and 1.7, but I don't know if it's fair to say one is "better" than the other.
I don't know. The 1.7 renders very cold and leaves red/orange/yellows a bit desaturated. It makes people look pale (in my experience).

It also renders the background as little hexagons. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. It's certainly more distracting to me than the 1.4 is.

Neither is a dog, both very good lenses. I don't understand the love for the 1.7 over the 1.4, though.

1.7:





1.4



07-27-2011, 07:06 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by clover Quote
I used to have a 50mm SMC F f/:1.7; and it was georgous at f/5.6.
I have the 50mm SMC F f/1.7 and LOVE Love LOVE it. If I saw a 1.4 super cheap maybe I'd go for it, but for now I am quite pleased with my 1.7.

QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
It also renders the background as little hexagons
not always... I get some great creamy bokeh










Here are those Hexagons you mentioned. I find they happen when small lights are in the background. here it was christmas lights. Dont mind the pic, it isnt anything special, but to show your point:



QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
The 1.7 renders very cold and leaves red/orange/yellows a bit desaturated. It makes people look pale (in my experience).
it does render on the cool side, but that is what white balance and Post processing is for, and actually, with any other lens I found my kx (have the k5 now but have only had it for two days, so not a fair judge of it yet) to be on the warm side, so the 1.7 kinda balanced that for me. I in no way find the reds desaturated though!



and for a skin tone shot:

07-27-2011, 07:17 PM   #13
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between the two lenses, I would go for the 1.7. I just like it much better than the 1.4. I wouldn't say that it's bokeh is really harsh, but rather selective on certain occasions which make it appear harsh or busy. if you would consider a much better AF 50mm lens alternative, the DA* 55/1.4 would be the best choice, but comes at a cost.
07-27-2011, 07:25 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by CEWren Quote
I have the 50mm SMC F f/1.7 and LOVE Love LOVE it. If I saw a 1.4 super cheap maybe I'd go for it, but for now I am quite pleased with my 1.7.

and for a skin tone shot:
Tuche! Excellent stuff.
07-27-2011, 08:15 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
Tuche! Excellent stuff.
thanks
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