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09-01-2011, 09:26 PM   #16
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Great shots Simon.

I can't wait to upgrade from the 50 to the 55.

09-02-2011, 02:33 AM   #17
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Thanks mate
09-02-2011, 05:20 AM   #18
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The DA *55 is a great lens. Many people in evaluating it felt like it didn't offer enough over the FA 50 to warrant a move up (remember that for an awful lot of Pentaxians, the FA 50 was their first prime). I find it a very different lens. Obviously the package is nicer, with weather sealing and SDM. Auto focus is about the same between them in practice. I like the colors better on the DA, microcontrast and bokeh, although obviously all that is subjective and fixable in post processing. I just never really connected with my FA 50 f1.4, but I really like the DA 55.

09-02-2011, 06:51 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
depth of field at open apertures can be slight enough that the lens will look unsharp, and AF really isn't reliably accurate with fast lenses wide open.
That is very true.

QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
The 50 1.7 is NOT sharper according to lens tests, so something else must be going on
I'd like to see those tests. All the user reports, comparisons, etc, I've seen, and my own tests, suggest the F1,7s are sharper until about f2,8. Of course, we're splitting hairs, both the f1,4s and f1,7 are plenty sharp taken on their own.

09-02-2011, 07:41 AM - 1 Like   #20
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I remember when autofocus camera first appeared and everyone was so amazed at how fast and accurate they were. Modern cameras leave the old ones in the dust, so what's the problem?
If you are in a candid situation and really want fast, go to manual focus, set the hyper-focal distance, keep yourself within a certain distance range of your subject and fire away while fine-tuning the focus as necessary. Use your depth of field to your advantage.
09-02-2011, 09:44 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeverettfine Quote
If you are in a candid situation and really want fast, go to manual focus, set the hyper-focal distance, keep yourself within a certain distance range of your subject and fire away while fine-tuning the focus as necessary. Use your depth of field to your advantage.
There is too much reason and logic in this post for an internet forum!!!

A particularly good comparison of nifty fifties if you ask me:

Nifty 50 Shootout on Pentax K-7 (updated 1/22) ERPhotoReview
09-02-2011, 10:15 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
If you are after outstading IQ, you shoud consider seriously the Zeiss 50(1.4) and VL 58(1.4)
I second the recommendation those great lenses. I haven't used that Zeiss, but the VL 58 may be the best lens I have ever had the privilege of using.
09-02-2011, 10:22 AM   #23
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Another 50mm shootout

QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
There is too much reason and logic in this post for an internet forum!!!

A particularly good comparison of nifty fifties if you ask me:

Nifty 50 Shootout on Pentax K-7 (updated 1/22) ERPhotoReview
This one was done by Sean Carpenter, very thorough with 16 different lenses but a bit longer ago (6/07) so it doesn't include the DA 55mm
a great piece of work

NaCl(required reading for anyone interested in a Kmount 50)H2O

09-02-2011, 11:34 AM   #24
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If we're posting 50mm shootouts, Here's Mine.

Index of /Photos/50mmShootout

09-02-2011, 11:36 AM   #25
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Thanks for the responses guys. They have been very helpful!

QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
They're all usable wide open and yes, some are better than others. I have to wonder though, Why, with a camera like the K5, you believe the DA40 is not Fast enough? If you just want a new toy, I can appreciate and understand that.

A small part of me wants the new toy. But my primary reason for one is that my default lens on my old Pentax DSLR was an old Takumar 50mm f1.4. I love the shallow DOF field it produces, and the 2.8 just isn't enough for me sometimes I still use it on my K-5, but after using the DA40 I find myself missing the autofocus feature. I know it won't be accurate all the time, but neither am I haha.
09-02-2011, 01:10 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Codazzle Quote
Thanks for the responses guys. They have been very helpful!



A small part of me wants the new toy. But my primary reason for one is that my default lens on my old Pentax DSLR was an old Takumar 50mm f1.4. I love the shallow DOF field it produces, and the 2.8 just isn't enough for me sometimes I still use it on my K-5, but after using the DA40 I find myself missing the autofocus feature. I know it won't be accurate all the time, but neither am I haha.
That's why I didn't suggest any of the manual focus lenses to you.. I figured you were after AF.

Pentax FA43mm Limited - a set on Flickr

Pentax DA*55mm SDM - a set on Flickr

Pentax FA77mm Ltd - a set on Flickr

Pentax FA*24 f2.0 - a set on Flickr

Pentax FA 31mm Limited - a set on Flickr
09-02-2011, 02:43 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
They're all usable wide open and yes, some are better than others. I have to wonder though, Why, with a camera like the K5, you believe the DA40 is not Fast enough? If you just want a new toy, I can appreciate and understand that. Be aware that the 50 f1.7 options are out of production so your only choice there is Used. To get one at a reasonable price, you may have to hunt around a little bit. I'll guarantee (almost) that the people who bought Berts lenses, won't be reselling them for $200, IF they resell them.

All of these faster than f2.8 lenses are likely to have a few issues on the more modern cameras because the cameras just aren't set up for them. The typical digital Pentax lens tops out at f2.8 (or f2.4 in the case of the DA35). The exception to that in the Pentax lineup is the DA*55.

The FA50 f1.4 is a nice lens. I can't take away from the optical quality but I've never cared for the Build of the FA primes. They feel cheap to me and I hate the focus rings but that may just Be me.

The DA*55, I never had issues with the focus speed. I don't know what you are after in that respect but mine performs just fine. If I missed a shot, it is because I wasn't prepared at all for it. The lens completes your weather sealed camera, is quiet, has an AF/MF switch that I find quite handy. It Is bigger and heavier than the FA counterpart though.

If that range is what suits you, and the DA*55 is in your consideration, also consider the FA43mm f1.9 Limited. Or if you want to go a little longer, the FA77mm f1.8 Limited. Both can be had, used for DA*55 money.

I would consider though before spending a bunch of cash, answering the question I opened my response with.

There is more to a fast lens than just dof. Remember that the view finder works with A series and newer wide open while focusing which can be a big deal in challenging light. So going from f2.8 to F2 is a big deal with 2x the light. Furthermore, the ISO improvements also work with faster lenses, and not just a crutch for slow lenses.
09-02-2011, 02:47 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
. . .
Something to remember with fast lenses, they may well be sharp enough wide open, but depth of field at open apertures can be slight enough that the lens will look unsharp, and AF really isn't reliably accurate with fast lenses wide open.
I see this mentioned from time to time but with A series and newer lenses, these lenses are wide open until the shutter fires. In the A setting, the A 50/1.2 is easier to manual focus in low light because of this even if I have the aperture set to 5.6 via the dial for flash photography. Generally an SLR camera performs its autofocus using the maximum lens aperture -- regardless of the aperture setting you have set for the exposure. The aperture setting will therefore not affect your camera's autofocus performance, and when looking through the viewfinder, you are always seeing the image at its maximum aperture except with the dof preview.

Last edited by Blue; 09-02-2011 at 03:01 PM.
09-02-2011, 05:27 PM   #29
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You will not regret getting the DA* 55mm... Those of us who have used it (and gotten good copies) are totally wowed by it.
09-05-2011, 10:05 AM   #30
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I too have the DA40, which I totally love, however I feel like I will forever wonder what could have been if I had got the DA55 or FA50 1.4 lens :/ Mainly I picked the DA40 because I already had a M50 1.7 but I never want to MF so it never gets used anymore....
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