Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
07-30-2011, 10:10 AM   #1
Site Supporter
reivax's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: California
Posts: 740
Pentax FA 1.4 vs Pentax F 1.7

Hoping someone can help me out. I know this is one of those questions that really comes down to personal preference and specific situations, but I need an "in general" answer.

Which of these two lenses do you prefer?

I know they're both supposed to take great pics, but do the advantages of the FA 1.4 outweigh the F 1.7? Are they different mechanically? Does the .3 difference make a huge difference in quality? When price is taken in to consideration (less than 100 bucks from what I've found) which would you grab?

If you didn't already have a 50 mm prime, which would you purchase, and why?

Thanks.

07-30-2011, 10:13 AM   #2
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: N. Calif
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,595
How often do you plan on shooting at 1.4? Besides, the 1.4 is softer from 1.7 thru about 2.2 when compared to the 1.7. I would save the $100 and get the 1.7. If budget is not an issue, the best bet is the FA 43
07-30-2011, 10:22 AM   #3
Site Supporter
reivax's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: California
Posts: 740
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by manishved Quote
How often do you plan on shooting at 1.4? Besides, the 1.4 is softer from 1.7 thru about 2.2 when compared to the 1.7. I would save the $100 and get the 1.7. If budget is not an issue, the best bet is the FA 43
Yeah, I think budget would probably be an issue. The FA 43 is way out of my price range.

To be honest, this would be my first prime and my first 1.4 or 1.7 lens. I don't really live in an area where I would be able to test out the lenses either (no real photography shops). I've done enough reading where I know that 1.7 could give me more sharp photos than 1.4, but that's really the extent of my experience.

I hope I don't come off sounding too ignorant, but I guess a good question for me to ask would be, when would I need 1.4? At night, would I miss that .3?
07-30-2011, 10:22 AM   #4
Veteran Member
dgaies's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Maryland / Washington DC
Posts: 3,917
There are literally dozens of threads which discuss this exact topic. Here's a link to one of the more recent ones.

You're not going to find a consensus opinion on the debate, so it really will come down to your priorities and personal preferences. I personally prefer the 1.7 because it is sharper up to about f/2.8 (from which point they are effectively the same). While it's true using a hood with the 50/1.4 will help close the gap at and below f/2.8, the fact remains that the 1.7 is sharper. There are obviously other attributes to consider; the 1.4 is faster, most feel it has a smoother bokeh, some prefer the color rendering, etc. And of course, there is cost. To be fair you should probably compare a used 1.7 to a used 1.4 ($200-2$25 vs $250-$275), and that puts the price difference closer to $50.

07-30-2011, 10:24 AM   #5
Veteran Member
dgaies's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Maryland / Washington DC
Posts: 3,917
QuoteOriginally posted by reivax Quote
I hope I don't come off sounding too ignorant, but I guess a good question for me to ask would be, when would I need 1.4? At night, would I miss that .3?
Well, f/1.4 will give you a little more DOF control (which is to say it will allow you to go a little thinner on the depth of fiend compared to the f/1.7). It will also give you 50% more light, which can make a difference at night or in low light shooting. But again, it's hard to say whether or not you "need" it and whether or not it's worth the extra $50 to you.
07-30-2011, 10:25 AM   #6
Site Supporter
reivax's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: California
Posts: 740
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by dgaies Quote
There are literally dozens of threads which discuss this exact topic. Here's a link to one of the more recent ones.

You're not going to find a consensus opinion on the debate, so it really will come down to your priorities and personal preferences. I personally prefer the 1.7 because it is sharper up to about f/2.8 (from which point they are effectively the same). While it's true using a hood with the 50/1.4 will help close the gap at and below f/2.8, the fact remains that the 1.7 is sharper. There are obviously other attributes to consider; the 1.4 is faster, most feel it has a smoother bokeh, some prefer the color rendering, etc. And of course, there is cost. To be fair you should probably compare a used 1.7 to a used 1.4 ($200-2$25 vs $250-$275), and that puts the price difference closer to $50.
Yeah, I'm only looking at used. Thanks. Great info.
07-30-2011, 10:27 AM   #7
Site Supporter
reivax's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: California
Posts: 740
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by dgaies Quote
Well, f/1.4 will give you a little more DOF control (which is to say it will allow you to go a little thinner on the depth of fiend compared to the f/1.7). It will also give you 50% more light, which can make a difference at night or in low light shooting. But again, it's hard to say whether or not you "need" it and whether or not it's worth the extra $50 to you.
Yeah, you're absolutely right, there really is no consensus. Still a lot of great things to consider.
07-30-2011, 11:43 AM   #8
Veteran Member
RioRico's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Limbo, California
Posts: 11,264
And I'll say again: IMHO the FA50/1.4 is indispensable. It does what no other lens in the vicinity can. It's my gotta-get-the-shot lens. It is not for shooting razor-sharp images wide-open (although within its thin DOF it's damn sharp); rather, it's for grabbing light, for shooting action or in dimness or for 'artistic' control. If you want a budget Sharp Fifty, you can still get a Super Takumar 55/2 or even f/1.8 for under US$25 on eBay. (That's true; I just checked Completed Listings for Takumar 55mm.) If you want an affordable Fast Fifty, fast not just in aperture but in agility, the FA50/1.4 just can't be beat. I see it selling for around US$250, and worth every cent.

07-30-2011, 02:38 PM   #9
Site Supporter
Ahab's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Oracle, Az
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 739
I certainly agree with RioRico. Most museums do not allow flash and another place it shines is in those intimate places where a quick shot makes the day.
07-30-2011, 02:42 PM   #10
Veteran Member
dgaies's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Maryland / Washington DC
Posts: 3,917
QuoteOriginally posted by Ahab Quote
I certainly agree with RioRico. Most museums do not allow flash and another place it shines is in those intimate places where a quick shot makes the day.
I don't disagree with that either. However, in many cases I'd rather shoot in the museum with the 50/1.7 wide open at f/1.7 and either bump the ISO up half a stop or reduce the shutter speed by half a stop as compared to shooting the 50/1.4 wide open at f/1.4. Again, it's just a personal preference and certainly I'm not trying to disparage the FA50/1.4 as I think it's an excellent lens as well.
07-30-2011, 02:44 PM   #11
Site Supporter
mattt's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Niagara
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,806
I'm with Rio - FA50F1.4 worth every penny of $250. Never shot the 1.7
07-30-2011, 03:43 PM   #12
Pentaxian
hoanpham's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Strand
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,366
The DOF is thin at f1.4 and the FA50f1.4 is generally hard to use it well, but it is a must have for low light and artistic reasons
07-30-2011, 04:42 PM   #13
New Member




Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2
FA50F1.4 definitely a must have.
07-31-2011, 07:01 PM   #14
Veteran Member
paperbag846's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,396
50 1.4:

1) Smoother out of focus areas.
2) That extra 1/2 stop when you need it. (50% more light!)
3) (FA) has a nicer manual focusing ring than the (F) 1.7 does.
4) The price difference is not very significant.
5) I find the warmer 1.4 works better with skin tones, and I usually use this as my portrait lens. In other words, I like the colours better.

In my experience, though, the 1.7 has a slight edge for low-light scene photography because it has less CA in general, so it appears sharper between f1.7 - f2.5. Good for shooting small gigs, night shots. However, since the 1.4 can do this as well (and the CA does not bother me) I tend to prefer the more flexible 1.4 to the sharper but colder 1.7.
07-31-2011, 08:10 PM   #15
Pentaxian




Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Eureka, CA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,972
My vote would be 50/1.4. The complaints about the 1.4 being less sharp wide open strike me as a tad overblown. To the extent that it's true, it's insignificant. And I'm not even sure it is in fact true. Every resolution test I've seen involving versions of the 1.4 and 1.7 don't support that view.
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!
fa, k-mount, pentax, pentax fa, pentax lens, slr lens, vs pentax
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
For Sale - Sold: Film cameras - Pentax P5, Pentax SF1n, Pentax MZ-5 + grip (US/CAN) dugrant153 Sold Items 4 06-03-2011 05:47 AM
For Sale - Sold: Pentax DA12-24mm f4, Pentax FA50mm /1.4, Pentax DA18-55mm kit lens (Worldwide) geauxpez Sold Items 16 03-10-2011 09:20 AM
For Sale - Sold: Pentax K-x White, Pentax DA-L 18-55, Crumpler Clone, Pentax MX (Worldwide) hinman Sold Items 6 10-19-2010 02:10 PM
For Sale - Sold: Pentax DA 16-45mm/4, Pentax F 28mm/2.8, Pentax, DA 70mm/2.4 Limited (Worldwide dgaies Sold Items 5 04-08-2010 06:16 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:10 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.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