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02-12-2012, 10:23 AM   #1
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Pentax 50mm .... add ?

I have the following lenses i use with my K-r. 55 -300, 18-55 kit, 12-24 Pentax wide, and in December I added the DA 35 f2.4 AL. The new lens takes very sharp photos but I haven't used it in different situations. I bought it for $180.00 Now I'm considering buying a SMCP FA 50mm 1.4F. Is this lens too similar to the 35mm I got in December ?

02-12-2012, 11:17 AM   #2
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You might want to wait until the DA 50 1.8 is released. Even if you end up with the 1.4 it should lower the second hand price.
02-12-2012, 11:18 AM   #3
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A fast fifty lens would be a nice addition to your lens line up. The FA50mm f1.4 is well regarded, although possibly not as sharp at the DA*55mm. There are other 50 mm incl. the older Pentax 50mm f1.4 and f1.7 (both MF), Alternatives include further the Zeiss 50mm f2 and Voigtlander nokton 58m f1.4, both MF. The VL58mm f1.4 is very wel rgarded among Pentaxians although it is no longer manufactured.

Petnax will further introduce shortly another DA50mm f1.8 (Pentax Lens Roadmaps - 645, Q, K 2012 - Pentax Camera News & Rumors - PentaxForums.com) which will be cheap and possibly very good value. (The DA50m f1.8 will be similar to the DA35m f2.4 in contruction and placed as an entry level prime.)

Hope that the comment may help.
02-12-2012, 12:08 PM   #4
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I've got several fast-fifities among which is the FA50/1.4 and I have the 35/2.4 as well. I like the rendering of the SuperTak 50/1.4 and 55/1.8 a lot but they are manual and that is a limitation - they're each <$100 for nice versions and sometimes a LOT less. The FA50/1.4 is fast, has good AF, and handles well except for MF which is a pain due to the very narrow MF ring. It gets used when I HAVE to have the shot regardless of the light. ISO performance on the K-r is good and all but it can only do so much. At $250 or so for a solid used copy it's a good deal IMHO. I'm hoping that the new DA50/1.8 turns out to be a real bargain like the DA35/2.4 that it is very similar in appearance to but there is no telling until users get to take it out in the field. It should be out sometime this year but that could be just in time for Christmas for all we know right now. As for the 55, its SDM and I avoid that problem by not buying any.

Bottom line, if you have the money I'd get the 50/1.4 if you need it now because you can always sell it if you don't like it. If you do not need it right away, wait on the 50/1.8 which holds out the hope of a great lens at a great price BNIB

02-12-2012, 12:48 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by ovrexposed Quote
I have the following lenses i use with my K-r. 55 -300, 18-55 kit, 12-24 Pentax wide, and in December I added the DA 35 f2.4 AL. The new lens takes very sharp photos but I haven't used it in different situations. I bought it for $180.00 Now I'm considering buying a SMCP FA 50mm 1.4F. Is this lens too similar to the 35mm I got in December ?
I don't see it as too similar. However, I have a different thought... Looking at what you have, you are really missing a macro lens.
50mm macros are a joy to use. they aren't that fast--- newer ones usually only go to f2.8 but with that limitation (not that fast) you can use
them for anything you would use any other 50mm for. --- but in addition to that, they have a long focus throw so if you want to get in a bug's face
or take a full frame photo of a postage stamp you can. I own both a Pentax-F --50mm macro, and an FA 50 1.4 and I frankly use the macro for everything.
02-12-2012, 12:57 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by rvannatta Quote
I own both a Pentax-F --50mm macro, and an FA 50 1.4 and I frankly use the macro for everything.
I actually ended up selling the FA50, the macro DFA50 seemed so much sharper...
02-12-2012, 02:43 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by elho_cid Quote
I actually ended up selling the FA50, the macro DFA50 seemed so much sharper...
It's just a focal length that I tend to grab for 'still lifes' and the like. You may start out shoot some distance away, but often I end up getting
close and personal with the object.... you are good to go---- up to around 6 inches (.195m). A lens that focuses from 6" to infinity
is just a good thing.

It would appear that the F, FA, & DFA likely share the same optics with my old model having a steel barrel (shared with the FA) but lacking the limit switches of the FA & DFA. IT looks like the 'progress' between the FA and DFA is the elimination of the steel well casing style body in favor of lightweight plastic (reducing the weight by a third)and more user friendly limit switches.
02-12-2012, 03:05 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
You might want to wait until the DA 50 1.8 is released. Even if you end up with the 1.4 it should lower the second hand price.
I'd be amazed if that happens because
1) the FA50 didn't appear on the roadmap so is probably now discontinued, no more supply
2) f/1.4 is fast enough than f/1.8 to matter
3) the FA has an aperture ring
4) the FA is full frame compatible
5) the FA has a metal mount
6) the second hand price of a FA50 now is low $200's, and the new price of the DA50/1.8 is not likely to be much less that. If we have a all plastic DA50/1.8 for $200, and to get a new 1.4 now we have to spend $600+ for the DA*, you think a faster better built more capable lens like the FA50 is going to slip below a DA50 in price? I doubt it.

Whatever happen though, I'm hanging on to my FA50, and there's not a chance I'm trading it for a DA50.

02-12-2012, 03:15 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
6) the second hand price of a FA50 now is low $200's, and the new price of the DA50/1.8 is not likely to be much less that.
Really? Because I still see it over $300, i.e. Amazon has 16 new from $360 to $666 and 5 used from $320 to $400. KEH has one in EX+ for $310 and I don't want to bother with evilBay.

A DA alternative, even if slightly slower, will lessen demand for the 1.4. If Pentax wants to be competitive with Canikon street price for the DA will have to be less than $150.
02-12-2012, 03:27 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
I'm hanging on to my FA50, and there's not a chance I'm trading it for a DA50
Agreed... I'd love the DA*55 but I reckon I'd stilll keep my FA50 (if only for my film body)
02-13-2012, 03:34 AM   #11
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My very carefully chosen original kit for my K20D were DA10-17, DA18-250, and FA50/1.4. The latter is my gotta-get-the-shot lens. I now have hundreds more lenses, but those original three (plus the Tamron 10-24) are still my most-used, supplemented by some fast old MF primes (24-28-35-58-85mm f/2). I don't know what the DA50/1.8's optics will be, but the FA50/1.4 will totally outclass it. The DA*55/1.4 is reputedly even better, but can't be used well on FF cameras and costs considerably more.

Now, if you want *ultimate* optical quality, there's the K- or A-50/1.2. The A can be fairly costly, the K not so bad -- I got my K50/1.2 last year for US$250, which was right on target then. It can be slightly tricky to use but it's very rewarding.
02-13-2012, 04:12 AM   #12
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The new DA 50/1.8 ... worth a wait maybe?

Bonjour,

I do not think that the two lenses (35mm & 50mm) are too similar ... plus the 50 f1.4 is pretty darn fast, if you need this aspect.

I have the DA 35 f2.4 and it has a PF in-depth review rating of 8.2 (which I think is an "under-estimation", especially only a "7" for sharpness, come on ... PF gave a "10" sharpness to the D FA 100 f2.8 Macro WR, and I can tell you that the 35 can give the 100 run for its money under many conditions!). Although it's only a f2.4, it gets the job done quite well on the K-5 ... while I'm saving up for certain "elite" type glass.

I have been debating the FA 50 1.4 for a long time ... and I was surprised the the PF review of this lens was so mediocre. ( Score of 7.7 - see Pentax-FA 50mm F1.4 - Review - PentaxForums.com - to quote, "In an interesting turn of events, the new DA-L 35mm f2.4 is the true successor of the FA 50mm f1.4 in focal length and intended audience, but it falls short when comparing aperture versatility." )

Today, I'm "on hold" until the new DA 50 f1.8 comes out and gets reviewed ... and in the meantime I'll continue to play around with my A 50 f1.7 that's great, too, and the M 50 f2 which is OK, but fun as well. I want an AF 50-ish, but there's no way I'd buy the DA* 55 ... it's expense and SDM issues, and many others above this one on a potential wish list; a 40 Limited (for compact size & IQ performance), a 70 Limited, and/or a Tamron 10-24, etc.

Salut, J Frog

Last edited by Jean Poitiers; 02-13-2012 at 05:02 AM.
02-13-2012, 05:32 AM   #13
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Its a shame that most people cant get past the fact the DA*55 f/1.4 is "expensive" because they are missing out on one of the finest lenses by Pentax.

As for SDM problems, its the zooms that have those problems, Ive never heard of an SDM related problem on a DA*55.
02-13-2012, 06:05 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by ovrexposed Quote
I have the following lenses i use with my K-r. 55 -300, 18-55 kit, 12-24 Pentax wide, and in December I added the DA 35 f2.4 AL. The new lens takes very sharp photos but I haven't used it in different situations. I bought it for $180.00 Now I'm considering buying a SMCP FA 50mm 1.4F. Is this lens too similar to the 35mm I got in December ?
Why do you feel in the need of the 1.4/50 mm lens? Larger F-stop at an affordable price? In the long run you will probably only need the 35 or 50 or better to say the second prime could be a different focal length. Pricewise you can not get f/1.4 at lower cost than in the 50 mm lens. At the same time YOU need to decide what focal length to get. Maybe a 2/35 would suit you better.

The 55SDM is not expensive it is worth the cost.
02-13-2012, 06:05 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by TOUGEFC Quote
Its a shame that most people cant get past the fact the DA*55 f/1.4 is "expensive" because they are missing out on one of the finest lenses by Pentax.

As for SDM problems, its the zooms that have those problems, Ive never heard of an SDM related problem on a DA*55.
Re-bonjour,

I can see your point and agree as well ... All of the French photo magazine reviews of the DA*55 have been very flattering or better, but here in France, I find the cost/benefit ratio to be too steep for my needs and taste ... As the French say, "la note est un peu trop salée" ...

The SDM problem for the DA*55 was told me me by an employee at my local camera speciality store ... they had to exchange one after a few months of use. Guess that can happen to any lens, but still not a positive selling point to tell a customer directly! Also, I think that I read a PF member posting where his lens' SDM failure was outside of the warranty protection and it cost him quite a bit to fix.

Allez, bien cordialement - J

Edit PS - For fun I just double checked my camera shop: for the price of a DA*55 with a 4 year warranty (669 Euros), I could buy a 40 Limited and a FA 50/1.4 ... without any hagglingly .... and still have pocket change for a lunch and un café ... Voilà !

Last edited by Jean Poitiers; 02-13-2012 at 08:08 AM. Reason: DA*55 too rich for my blood ...
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