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10-20-2011, 04:01 PM   #1
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DA 40 vs. M 50/1.7

Here's my dilemma. All of the holidays in the title of this thread are coming up and I usually negotiate with my parents to combine them all into one big present . This year I want an awesome new lens and I really need to add a wider one to my collection. However, I wouldn't mind getting the DA 15 used, cheaper and on my own. I've previously stated my love and adoration of my M-50 but I'm starting to wonder if that's just b/c I don't know any better . So, I'm thinking about asking for the DA-40 since I do regularly wish that my 50 was just a smiiiiiidge wider and I often hear the praises of the DA-40 being sung. So, fellow Pentaxians, help a friend out! Ask for the DA-15 b/c the M-50 is just soooooo awesome and the DA-40 isn't that much better or go with the DA-40 b/c its sooooooo amazing and will quickly have me forgetting all about my beloved 50?!

10-20-2011, 04:24 PM   #2
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I'll base my comment on the DAs' reputations 'cause I don't have them. I do have the M50/1.7.

IMHO the 40 is too close between your 35 and 50 to give you a great FOV change. The 15 *is* radically different, with a notably wider FOV than either of your 18-xx zooms. You have 40mm covered with your zooms (the kit.lens is 18-55 BTW; you might want to edit your .sig). You could tape down the kit to 40mm and shoot there awhile, see if it feels noticeably different than 35 and 50. IMHO the 40's man advantages over the 50 are convenience|AF and tiny size; the downside is that it's sort of a redundant focal length.

I vote for the 15. Good luck!
10-20-2011, 04:42 PM   #3
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The 40 is a wonderful tiny jewel of a lens, but in use I find I prefer my FA35 F2 field of view and IQ. (I believe the 35 2.4 is very similar to the FA)

I usually only bring the 40 when I want something verrrry compact.

Also the 40 is only 2.8 where your 50 is 1.7. M and A50 1.7s really are worth the praise.

The 15 would be something totally different, and if you want something wider the 15 would be the ticket.

Plus it would cheaper for you to get a DA40 on your own - they can be found used regularly at very reasonable price and condition.

My vote - ask Santa for the 15.
10-20-2011, 04:43 PM   #4
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+1, if you have the 35mm already, maybe a DA 21 for something not quite as crazy as a 15 if you arn't used to that FL.

10-20-2011, 04:50 PM   #5
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I personally dislike 35mm FL on Pentax.
I just don't understand why, but I just do. I picked up the 40mm ltd and fa501.4
10mm doesn't sound much, but they do produce radically different looking images.

but from 35 to 40? I don't know...

I use 40 and 50 almost full time on my camera, I am starting to like FA501.4 more and more.
40ltd produces amazing quality photos, no doubt. But FA50 has a certain characteristics that keeps bringing me back.
In anime term, FA501.4 is a Tsundere.
10-20-2011, 05:03 PM   #6
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The DA 40mm has a special rendering... more of a 3D feel. The M 50/1.7 is an exceptional budget lens, very useful for its wider aperture, capable to produce superb images--but the DA 40mm is a different kind of animal. Not to mention it's the tiniest lens in K mount, and by most accounts the fastest AF lens in K mount.
10-20-2011, 05:07 PM   #7
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Trust me, the 40mm Limited is gonna rock your socks off. Metal body, Autofocus, the size, the color renditions, the sharpness oh the sharpness! The only area where the M would be better is low light and possibly bokeh. You will not be disappointed with the 40mm.
10-20-2011, 05:29 PM   #8
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As indicated by several posters, you want to choose a focal length which complements your line-up. As such the DA15 is a better choise than the DA40mm.

However I may suggest two alternatives which might be out of price range:
- FA31mm Ltd and
- FA77mm Ltd

The FA Ltd are faboulous lenses and their IQ are too often under-stated. (Yes, under-stated.) The Fa31m would complement nicely your 50mm. The F77mm would also complement in the longer focal length.

Food for thoughts...

10-20-2011, 05:30 PM   #9
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DA21 or DA15 makes more sense, but you're paying big time for compactness. I love the focal length of the DA21 for people shots, but how I wish it were 1 stop faster, 3.2 is %#^$^% slow
10-20-2011, 05:32 PM   #10
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I own the 40 and the 21 and a 50 A 1.4 and 1.7. I bought the 21 instead of the 15 because even though the guys on this forum take some great shots I was not sure I could do the same. Even in their excellent shots I see some bending at the edges that I personally do not care for. That is strictly a personal opinion from a casual shooter.

Back to your question, if you want wider I suggest the DA 21. The 40 is way too close to your 50. A 35 2.4 is a great lens also but it is still not a true wide for a DSLR.

If you care to post how you want to use the lens, I or others will post some shots of the same scene using both the 40 and the 21. If you don't need a lot of examples I can do a 50, 40 and a 21 of the same scene.

The 40, 21 and 15 are all quality lenses and seem to do a great job wide open. I know the 40 and the 21 do.

You won't be disappointed no matter which you choose.
10-20-2011, 05:34 PM - 1 Like   #11
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OK you made me go out and do a quick test.
These are jpegs direct from the camera @ f2.8, on a tripod that I did not move between shots.
Hope it helps. Sorry I do not have a 15 (yet )!

FA35


DA40


A50 1.7



For me there appears to be a greater difference between the field of view between 50 and 40 than between the 35 and 40.
I guess it makes sense since one is 10mm vs 5mm, (duh)
IQ wise the 35 and 40 are pretty close for me as well.

If the 40 wasn't such a pretty little thing I probably would have sold it by now, but I just can't bear to part with it since the size is so convenient.

Last edited by crewl1; 10-20-2011 at 05:48 PM.
10-20-2011, 05:54 PM   #12
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Reason #938556523 why I love this forum: that helped out TREMENDOUSLY! Looking at the photos, focal length wise, there's a much bigger difference between 40 and 50 (much more than I was expecting) BUT there's a much smaller difference between the 35 (which I already have) and 40. I think this seals the deal for the DA 15!!! Thank you so much!!!
10-20-2011, 06:02 PM   #13
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I'll second the DA 21. It has hardly left my camera since I bought mine. I think if I had too choose between my FA 50 and DA40 I'd go with the latter due to the shorter focal length and solid metal construction vs plastic. I like the low light capability but I could live without it if I had to.
10-20-2011, 06:08 PM   #14
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Owning the DA21 & DA15, I find the DA21 much more useful for people, and teh DA15 spectacular for landscapes & cityscapes. Mind you teh DA21 does landscapes pretty well, and I've got some good people shots with the DA15, but in terms of what the lenses are "best" used for this is my experience.
10-20-2011, 06:19 PM   #15
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My experience with the wide end of wide lenses echoes twitch's comments - 15mm is great for landscapes and video, but it's kind of hard to use in practical use. I mean, it's nice to be able to take a full body photo of a person from 3 feet away and all (and it has a very unique look!), but I find that something in that range is kind of limited use for me. As a litmus test for the DA15 with your current equipment, keep the kit lens at 18mm on your camera for a week or so. See if you're yearning for wider. If that's the case, then go for it.

Now, for the difference between those lenses that you mentioned, I find that I want to shoot for bokeh with the M50/1.7 and for scene work with the DA40 (probably because of the 3d effect).
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