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07-04-2012, 02:44 PM - 1 Like   #16
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the correct answer is to buy BOTH the 43 and 55 and quit asking these questions, lol.

I love the portrait rendering of the 43 and 77 and rarely have a need for something in between; as such, i have a box of 50, 55, 58-ish lenses that see very little use.


Last edited by mikeSF; 07-04-2012 at 02:57 PM.
07-04-2012, 03:35 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sagitta Quote
You could also grab the 43mm and then bag yourself a really old (and cheap) 50mm f/1.7 or f/1.4 and rock manual focus. With the focus peaking features on the incoming Pentax cameras these days, sharpness issues should be a thing of the past with these lenses (provided you don't have a lousy copy).

If autofocus and that possible extra stop (ok, and the weather sealing) are your main interest, go for the 55mm. If not, then the 43mm would probably be a smarter choice simply because its a stranger/less available sized length then anything out there.

Old, cheap, manual prime shot taken with a Sears 50mm f/1.7 @ 1.7:

And this is a 100% crop of that shot. I paid $16 and change for the lens off flea-Bay.


So basically the only REAL reason to grab the 55mm is if you want autofocus, weather sealing, and bragging rights to owning a DA*. There are enough similarly sized lenses out there (decades worth) that are close enough that if those things aren't your bag, then it would render the lens redundant against much, MUCH cheaper glass. (convenient due to the AF capabilities, but still redundant).

This thread and post also just killed my own lusting for the DA*55 and decided me on going for something different when I pick up my new camera later this year... thanks, I think?
The DA * 55 is a step above the older 50mm f1.4 and f1.7 lenses in my opinion. I owned the FA 50 f1.4 for quite awhile and it never clicked with me, the DA *55 is something else...


Last edited by Rondec; 07-04-2012 at 03:43 PM.
07-04-2012, 03:36 PM   #18
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I would only buy the 55mm if you need the weather sealing or if you particularly like the feel of the lens. I otherwise, for a used 43mm is a great investment. I have one and I love the images it can produce. Of course, upo, playing with a 55mm I wanted one too.... But, I already have the 43.
07-04-2012, 06:28 PM   #19
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I have the FA 43mm and DA* 55mm. I've owned and used most of the Pentax 50mm manual focus lenses, the Voigtlander 58mm and have owned three copies of the FA 50mm AF. Clearly people who want to believe their old 50mm lenses are on par with the DA* 55mm probably haven't even tried the lens and need to justify their cheap and cheerful old 50s are comparable... bottom line is the DA* 55mm is quite a bit better. As to whether to go with the FA 43 or DA* 55, the consideration should be angle of view and the subject you want to shoot. I enjoy both lenses but the DA* 55 is the better choice for portrait head shots and image isolation. Silent SDM focusing and Quick Shift are a big plus too.


Last edited by creampuff; 07-04-2012 at 06:33 PM.
07-04-2012, 07:00 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
Silent SDM focusing and Quick Shift are a big plus too.
The relatively noisy screw drives don't really bother me. Actually, my three primes seem faster than my DA* zooms most of the time. Maybe that's just an illusion from hearing the screw drive work though. Silent is nice for sure, I won't dismiss that, but it's not at the top of my priorities. I've read that the DA*55 is slow at focusing. Any opinions on that? How's the DA*55 with manual focusing. Based on my experience with my other FA Limiteds, I'd think that the FA43 has the 55 beat on manual focusing. They both have about the same minimum focusing distance of 1.5 feet, with the DA* surprisingly being ever so slightly less. At times I wish that the FA77's MFD was shorter.

Quick Shift would no doubt be very welcome on the FA Limiteds. I hope that Pentax reissues them in DFA form with at least the digital lens coatings and Quick Shift but hopefully with WR too, all while keeping the aperture ring. One can hope, right? I know they had to ditch the aperture ring on the DFA 100mm macro likely to accomplish the weather sealing. Anyway, I'm starting to get off topic.

I'm sort of in the same boat as the OP but have pretty much already made up my mind on the FA43 because its two other amigos have impressed me so much and I really like it's diminutive size.
07-05-2012, 12:05 AM   #21
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Thanks all of you~I think i will go for the fa43~~
When i compare the picture of both, i like the bokeh of 43 much more
Sharpness is not the first priority of my girlfriend haha
07-05-2012, 12:17 AM   #22
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Nice, let us know what you think of the 43 once you get it. and also since you'll be getting the 43, maybe you can get an old takumar 55 1.8 for the 55mm focal length (;
07-05-2012, 12:40 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by kaiserz Quote
Nice, let us know what you think of the 43 once you get it. and also since you'll be getting the 43, maybe you can get an old takumar 55 1.8 for the 55mm focal length (;

thx for your advice, but i am also waiting for arrival of a F50/1,7 from ebay..haha
I will try the 50 first, if it satisfied me , i will pospone the plan of 43 1.9

07-05-2012, 01:19 AM   #24
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I'm pretty sure you're gonna be happy with the 50 1.7
07-05-2012, 02:05 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by kcobain1992 Quote
Have you tried a gun?
That's a bit sinister considering your avatar, isn't it?
07-05-2012, 02:41 AM   #26
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Ive had both (yes, at the same time too) , the DA*55 is the BETTER LENS.

Last edited by TOUGEFC; 07-05-2012 at 02:46 AM.
07-05-2012, 03:25 AM   #27
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I have Simon's old FA43, and a new DA*55. The latter is a better lens in every sense except size.
07-05-2012, 05:36 AM   #28
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I have both and I think the FA43 is the better lens (better focal length, better size, pixie dust) but you can't go wrong with either.
07-05-2012, 06:19 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by TomTextura Quote
The relatively noisy screw drives don't really bother me. Actually, my three primes seem faster than my DA* zooms most of the time. Maybe that's just an illusion from hearing the screw drive work though. Silent is nice for sure, I won't dismiss that, but it's not at the top of my priorities. I've read that the DA*55 is slow at focusing. Any opinions on that? How's the DA*55 with manual focusing. Based on my experience with my other FA Limiteds, I'd think that the FA43 has the 55 beat on manual focusing. They both have about the same minimum focusing distance of 1.5 feet, with the DA* surprisingly being ever so slightly less. At times I wish that the FA77's MFD was shorter.

Quick Shift would no doubt be very welcome on the FA Limiteds. I hope that Pentax reissues them in DFA form with at least the digital lens coatings and Quick Shift but hopefully with WR too, all while keeping the aperture ring. One can hope, right? I know they had to ditch the aperture ring on the DFA 100mm macro likely to accomplish the weather sealing. Anyway, I'm starting to get off topic.

I'm sort of in the same boat as the OP but have pretty much already made up my mind on the FA43 because its two other amigos have impressed me so much and I really like it's diminutive size.
I think the FA limiteds manual focus a little better than the DA *55, although the 55 isn't bad. At the same time, I do think quick shift is awfully handy to have. DA *55 focuses about the same speed as the FA limiteds on my K5s. It sure isn't speedy, but I have no trouble taking photos of my (fairly active) three kids.

Anyway, as far as focal length spacing, 31 -- 55 -- 77 works better for me than 31 -- 43 -- 77 and that is the biggest reason that I picked the 55 over the FA 43.
07-05-2012, 04:04 PM   #30
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Manual focus on the 55 is better you have a much bigger/easier focus ring to use plus has a bigger throw for better accuracy.

Yes the FA43 AF is faster than the 55 but the 55 is far more accurate in getting a lock. The 55 AF isnt slow anyway, Ive had no problems locking focus on kids on swings/ kids running/ kids jumping into pools.




Two of those shots were wide open, slow focus?? Pfffft!!!


The FA43 is fine lens but its biggest let down os its 8 straight aperture blades, as soon as you stop that lens down you start getting ugly ninja star OOF highlights!

Last edited by TOUGEFC; 07-05-2012 at 04:45 PM.
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