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02-06-2012, 12:08 PM   #1
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pentax fa 43mm f1.9 limited vs fa 50mm f1.4

so i got the pentax fa 50mm f1.4, but i am one of those guys that am never happy with what i got and am constantly looking for something better. and so i am wondering if there is a big difference between these two lenses.

i guess the 43mm is better build since it seems to be all metal and so on, but is there a big difference in sharpness, IQ etc.

the smc fa 50mm f1.4 i got
SMC Pentax-FA 50mm F1.4 Reviews - FA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

the fa 43mm 1.9 i am considering buying
SMC Pentax-FA 43mm F1.9 Limited Reviews - FA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

02-06-2012, 12:58 PM   #2
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I have both lenses right now, and I'm considering whether or not I want to sell the FA50.

I generally find the 43 to be a touch sharper, and as you said the build feels fantastic.

I think it depends on what kind of shooting you primarily do. If you are often in low light, the extra wiggle-room on the aperture of the 50 might be better for you.

In my case, I often find the 50 a bit too long, so shaving 7mm makes shooting inside my house a bit more comfortable. If you like the 50 focal length and can even go a bit longer, you might also consider the DA* 55, which seems to be a fantastic lens.
02-06-2012, 01:09 PM   #3
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i dont think ill miss the little i lose in aperture. yes i looked at that too, but seems like people are more fond of the limited lenses.
02-06-2012, 01:23 PM   #4
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The slower Limited rates as very very sharp.
The faster Fifty will get shots other lenses can't.
IMHO they are not either-or but get-them-both.

Personal note: I don't have the 43Ltd. I do have some exceptionally sharp 40mm and 45mm lenses -- but I use Fifties much more. It's a focal length thang.

02-06-2012, 01:23 PM   #5
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I feel like the 50 1.4 is meant specifically for "i need the speed" - at least when i look at comparisons made between the 1.4 and 1.7. The 43 1.9 is actually more "normal" in FOV than the 50, because of the diagonal of the sensor.

And according to a few people on this forum, it has pixie dust inside.
02-06-2012, 01:26 PM   #6
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Until recently I have had both (I've had 3 copies of the FA 50).

The FA50 was my first prime. Initially I thought it was a fantastic lens especially compared to the kit lens. However since venturing into Limited territory I now realise that its merely a good lens.

I have the DA15, FA31, FA43 and FA77 and I have used the FA43 the most.
02-06-2012, 01:30 PM   #7
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RioRico is spot on. I thought the 1.4 would be more important until I bought the 43. Now the 43 is my go-to lens and the 50 for those dim-need-the-fastest lens shots.
I won't part with either.
02-06-2012, 01:46 PM   #8
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thanks for the info guys, now just to decide if i go for this or a better zoom lens

02-06-2012, 01:51 PM   #9
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What's a "better" zoom lens?
02-06-2012, 02:00 PM   #10
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got a lousy sigma 70-300. the cheapest they got
02-06-2012, 02:05 PM   #11
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Oh haha.. well, then it comes down to which you've used more, right? Did you have fun with the 50 1.4? Or did you spend more time with the Sigma going out with family, going to zoos, etc...

Although from most accounts, it appears that "fun" with the 50 1.4 is merely an illusion once you've met the 43 1.9.
02-06-2012, 02:15 PM   #12
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just to make the debate a little more intreseting, what about the da* 55 1.4? i know its sdm so that is always a double edge sword but i hear great things and its fast. so 43 + 55 combo thoughts?
02-06-2012, 02:15 PM   #13
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yeah i don't really know, i have the 50 on all the time, kit lens is pretty much out. and i am a outdoors person so i spend a lot of time on mounts and in forests so i do use the zoom, but i just think is just so not sharp. so i might go for zoom first
02-06-2012, 02:33 PM   #14
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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.
02-06-2012, 03:09 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by boosted03gti Quote
just to make the debate a little more intreseting, what about the da* 55 1.4? i know its sdm so that is always a double edge sword but i hear great things and its fast. so 43 + 55 combo thoughts?
I would say that the 55 and the 43 overlap a lot less than the 43 and 50. The 55 is designed as a portrait lens whereas the 50 was basically a cheap standard lens.

I've never found the 50 very sharp wide open - to such an extent that I'd much rather up the ISO and shoot at f/2.8 with it. It's a solid lens to be sure but the 43 has a very unique image quality and if you like the way it renders the 50 simply can't compete.

The 43 doesn't have super amazing bokeh. It's not bad or anything but it can be a little stark at times and this might be where the 50 pulls ahead - and the 55 for that matter.

There is also the issue of price.
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