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02-06-2012, 04:37 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
One day I'll buy the FA43, but FWIW I think the FA50 is a stunning lens, especially in f/2.x territory. I have no hesitation using it over my other limiteds when I want the FOV a 50mm provides. The only downside with it is the lack of built in hood, the clip on hoods are a bit clumsy, I'll have to try one of the screw ins.
3 stage rubber hoods are terrific, plus if you don't like it once you've used it theres no great loss in terms of investment. Btw, which Ltd do you use most?

02-06-2012, 04:50 PM   #17
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FWIW, I had the 50/1.4, bought the 43Ltd with all the recommendations people had for it. Expected a huge difference. Main difference is the's a bit wider.
Contrast is slightly better w/ the 43. Sharpness is slightly better, but once you get up to f2.4, they're close enough that you won't notice unless you pixel peep. I thought the 50/1.4 has slightly smoother bokeh as well. Kept the 43 because it has nicer build quality :-)
If I had to do it over, I probably wouldn't have bothered...
02-06-2012, 04:51 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Btw, which Ltd do you use most?
Thanks for the tip on rubber hoods, I'll have to investigate those.

I use my FA31 the most for people/family shots and the DA15 the most for any landscape/cityscape shots. I actually prefer the FOV the DA21 gives, but it's no match for the FA31 in IQ. I've only just bought a FA*24 which might just become my new most used lens..... time will tell
02-06-2012, 05:04 PM   #19
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If you are interested in a good quality zoo for outdoors, then keep an eye open for the sigma 50-150mm. Only problem with it is that it's discontinued and owners won't part with them. I'm certainly keeping mine - it's superb!

02-06-2012, 06:15 PM   #20
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I have not owned an FA50, but have owned an SMC Pentax-A 1.4 50MM since the mid 80s. It worked very well on film, and still gives a good accounting of itself on digital. Pretty sharp IQ. My FA43 is the best lens I have used. Great IQ and color rendition.
02-06-2012, 06:15 PM   #21
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About fast lenses being soft: I have K50/1.2, SuperTak and FA 50/1.4s, planar Yashica ML 40/1.4, and Tomioka 55/1.4. I also have numerous slower Fifties. Yes, slower lenses seem sharper wide-open -- that's because their apertures are tighter! Thicker DOF!

All my fastest Fifties are quite sharp wide-open, but only in a very thin DOF range, and not necessarily a perfectly flat subject field. If I want edge-to-edge flatfield sharpness, I use the Industar-50 or Meyer Primotar-E 50/3.5 or Macro-Takumar 50/4 or Simmon Omega Anastigmat 51/4.5 enlarger lens. I certainly don't expect such wide-open sharpness from the K50/1.2 or any of the f/1.4s. Those lenses are for grabbing shots that would otherwise be impossible.

For wide-open sharpness, get a slow lens. For extraordinary performance, get a fast lens, and stop it down for sharpness. That's how optics works.

Last edited by RioRico; 02-06-2012 at 06:47 PM.
02-06-2012, 06:21 PM   #22
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50 has a more old timey look to the photos and is better for portraits due to focal length. Available used for 250.

43 has a starker, modern look, all the sex appeal and prestige, and is miles better than the 50 on a full frame camera. Available used for 500.

I mostly shoot digital and like the imperfections the 50 introduces. For 50% of the price I feel like I have 90% of the lens. Good deal.

Buy the 43 is you are rich or will be shooting a lot of film. Otherwise I would suggest the 50 is the best deal in Pentaxland.
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02-07-2012, 01:36 AM   #23
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I did some tests this afternoon and although mine is the M50/1.4 which is considered to be inferior, it should be a good indication on what the FA50/1.4 might be like against the FA43. All done on tripod with 2s timer. DNG converted by LR3.6 with camera calibration and exposure tweak for closest match. I will let you be the judge.

FA43 vs M50/1.4 on K-m Photo Gallery by Alan Chan at

Last edited by wlachan; 02-07-2012 at 05:15 AM.
02-07-2012, 02:20 AM   #24
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The FA50 and FA43 are good but the DA*55 f/1.4 is better than both of them.

Last edited by TOUGEFC; 02-07-2012 at 02:26 AM.
11-03-2012, 01:03 PM   #25
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I can second the suggestion on the DA55. It is fantastically sharp, sharper I believe than some of my limited lenses. The DA 55 picks up everything, and my wife will not let me take her photo with it unless she takes time for makeup. Ditto with weddings, you might just want a softener/diffuser on this lens as it may give more details of the bride's face than desired! Seriously, this lens does not disappoint, and the aperture at 2.8 has not bothered me. It is still an excellent low-light lens. Highly recommended. I think I would give up my 77mm limited before I would give up this one.

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