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04-06-2012, 07:09 AM   #1
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Which is better Pentax F 50mm f1.7 or FA 50mm f1.7

I'm looking a placing a bit on either of these to lenses offered on fleebay

SMC Pentax F 50mm 1.7 or SMC Pentax FA 50mm 1.7

Which is the Better if the two (the reviews and comparable enough to make a conclusion)

04-06-2012, 07:41 AM   #2
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It is my understanding that the optical formula is the same for both. The used FA's go for more than the used F's typically because it seems less of the FA's were made. The F is known for having brittle filter ring threads. I am sure someone will come with a more thurough response. But until then, that is what I know.

EDIT: I have had both a F and an FA at diffrent times, and loved them both. The FA I currently have is a bit sharper. The diffrence is due to sample variation, I believe.
04-06-2012, 07:46 AM   #3
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Apisto is right ! Both are identical on the optical construction, and FA cost more than F (even if i don't get why ...)

used to own the F version which i loved, but it was too noisy for me (same kind of sound as the DA 18-55).

If you have a good opportunity, go ahead, because you can't go wrong with those lens. You can only go wrong for the price
04-06-2012, 07:50 AM   #4
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With having quite a bit of experience with both lenses you mention. You can't go wrong with either lens. The F version has quite a bit more of a solid build than the FA. Do a search in the forum for "my FA lens fell apart" horror stories. It has happened in my experience with the front element slipping out of synch and it cost $170.00 for Pentax to repair and is a factor to consider when buying used. Three years after the FA repair it has been very solid. So the F version does have the no worries factor attached with it.

As far as speed and how quick. The FA is a tad bit faster and for some reason a bit sharper with slightly better bokeh than the F version but marginally noticeable. Optically the elements are identical.

The FA version is quite difficult to find these days and you will be paying a premium in cost for that factor.

Hope this helps good luck with your fleabay hunting.


Last edited by Indecent Exposure; 04-06-2012 at 07:56 AM.
04-06-2012, 09:01 AM   #5
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F seems easier to find and the price is still reasonable. I have it and like it, though some dislike the gray color and 'retro' styling. Very few FA's on the market compared to F's. The reverse seems true with the f/1.4's, I see a lot of FA's but very few F's. Maybe because the FA has a longer production run.
04-06-2012, 10:34 AM   #6
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Get the one in better condition. Or the cheaper one.

Seb.
04-06-2012, 05:41 PM   #7
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Thanks guys for comments.
unfortunately the 'F' has gone out of price ranges, someone took the price $100 to $200 in a single bid (either no brains or reeeally wants it)
04-06-2012, 06:40 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdparker Quote
Thanks guys for comments.
unfortunately the 'F' has gone out of price ranges, someone took the price $100 to $200 in a single bid (either no brains or reeeally wants it)
Well there are two such people (the Max Bidder and the New Bidder)

04-06-2012, 10:18 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Well there are two such people (the Max Bidder and the New Bidder)
Getting down to that comment,

My thoughts are its prudent to ask a reasonable question about prices. What would be the realistic price for these gems?

From my experience over the past few years an F 50 1.7 in excellent condition should be bought in the $135-150.00 range. Unfortunately they seem to be up in the 200-250 range lately. It could be the lens is becoming highly sought after and less available with supply and demand.

Let alone the FA which when available can run up to the mid $350.00 range. That just blows my mind when they fly out the door used for that price.

Then attempt looking for an F 50 1.4 and they are unheard of at less than two C notes if ever they are on the market.

So my thoughts are that "MAX BIDDER" is speculating and driving the market up with good reason Pentax only made a limited amount of these gems.and we all want them.

So my best advice when looking for one at a good price is tag sales, flea markets, the off day (mid week eBay auction) , film bodies with sets of lenses and most of all be very patient and you shall find it.

Or we team up on these "Max bidders" as Pentax users and establish a price and don't buy the lens till the price comes down,to what we feel is reasonable. That's highly unlikely but it works In the North American and European economies. But now the China Syndrome market is opening up BIG TIME.

Good golly these gems could become so rare that the price will drive up to $5,000.00 plus. LOL food for thought.

Econ 101 revisited, The "Marginal Propensity to Consume". Lets sell our stuff off make a profit and move on to the lesser C and N stuff and settle for less.

Last edited by Indecent Exposure; 04-06-2012 at 10:55 PM.
04-06-2012, 10:40 PM   #10
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I'd wait for the upcoming DA50/1.8 "plastic fantastic" for the simple reason that I don't like the harsh bokeh of the the f/1.7 variant. I thinik Pentax thought the same, they could just have re-issued the same f/1.7 glass on the plastic fantastic and they did not...
04-07-2012, 10:43 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Asahiflex Quote
I'd wait for the upcoming DA50/1.8 "plastic fantastic" for the simple reason that I don't like the harsh bokeh of the the f/1.7 variant. I thinik Pentax thought the same, they could just have re-issued the same f/1.7 glass on the plastic fantastic and they did not...
I've always liked the bokeh from my 1.7's.
04-07-2012, 02:28 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edgar_in_Indy Quote
I've always liked the bokeh from my 1.7's.
Me too...one of my personal fans in fact.
04-07-2012, 02:53 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Asahiflex Quote
they could just have re-issued the same f/1.7 glass on the plastic fantastic and they did not...
I've always considered the bokeh of my 1.7's one of their strong points, but almost any lens can have issues with bokeh under certain conditions. I can think of a few other more plausible reasons they didn't just revamp the 1.7, than fearing a bokeh-backlash.

1) They want the lens to be in line with the budget 50mm 1.8's from Nikon and Canon

2) They don't want to be too ambitious with a budget lens. Apparently the larger the aperture, the more costly it is to make a quality optic with good edge-to-edge image quality.

3) They want to maintain more distinction between their budget 50mm and their more-expensive 1.4 lenses. Gotta pay to play!

4) If this is a DA lens for APS-C, then the old 50mm 1.7 would have larger elements than the new lens may require.

5) Maybe their are some other aspects of the lens they wanted to improve, such as close-focusing abilities.

6) etc
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