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12-19-2007, 08:15 PM   #1
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Thoughts on FA 50mm 1.7

I was at a local photo store today they had one in stock. One of the employees said he liked the 1.7 better then the 1.4. Said he felt the 1.7 was sharper then the 1.4. So I was wondering what people that have USED BOTH thought about it.

12-19-2007, 08:47 PM   #2
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That is a true statement, but they seem to even up when you back them both up to f/2. The general understanding is the f/1.4 is the bokeh king and the f/1.7 is the sharpness king. I have used both, and have since sold them both, and have regretted it ever since.
12-19-2007, 09:16 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Flaco Quote
I was at a local photo store today they had one in stock. One of the employees said he liked the 1.7 better then the 1.4. Said he felt the 1.7 was sharper then the 1.4. So I was wondering what people that have USED BOTH thought about it.
I owned M50/1.7 which is optically the same as A and FA. Also, I currently own A50/1.4 which is optically the same as FA50/1.4. Here is my experience:

M/A/FA 50/1.7 is sharper than A/FA 50/1.4 for the good reason: 50/1.4 has (intentional) imperfection: field curvature and spherical aberration are more pronounced than with 50/1.7 and Pentax itself is NOT recommending 50/1.4 in combination with extension tubes or close-up lenses, while 50/1.7 is fine to use for macro work. However, due to pronounced field curvature and spherical aberration 50/1.4 has one big plus: "creamier" bokeh. Since 50/1.7 is more "technically correct" it results in better sharpness while producing bokeh that some people find to be somewhat "harsh", although it is very good as well. (FA35/2 AL is getting similar comments about the "harsh" bokeh for the same reason, I own FA35/2 and I do not complain.)

Bottom line: both are excellent lenses. 50/1.4 is better if you are after smoother bokeh and if it is acceptable to shoot at f/4-f/11 for optimal sharpness. 50/1.7 will serve you better if you are after improved and more uniform sharpness across the frame at all apertures, and if you want to combine it with extension tubes or close-up lenses for macro work, assuming you are fine with technically cleaner (not bad!) bokeh.
12-20-2007, 01:28 AM   #4
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interesting. This just about sums up my concerns with the FA 50mm 1.4.

12-20-2007, 04:33 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ivan Glisin Quote
... Pentax itself is NOT recommending 50/1.4 in combination with extension tubes or close-up lenses, while 50/1.7 is fine to use for macro work.
Extension tubes can be used on the Pentax 50mm f/1.4 so long as the magnification does not approach life size. (info from the Pentax Auto Extension Tube K manual that I have). I have tried the FA50 f/1.4 with different combinations of the Pentax Auto Extension Tube K and the image quality isn't very good at the corners when the tubes are stacked up (compared to a budget A50 f/2).

Other than macro use, I think the FA50 f/1.4 is a fine lens.
12-20-2007, 08:12 AM   #6
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I have a manual M50 1.7(vivitar). But I'm wanting to upgrade to a autofocus 50mm. So just wanted to get some opinions on the FA's.
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