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07-05-2012, 04:44 PM   #31
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@TOUGEFC I was thinking of the shots of yours that I've seen when I said that the DA*55 can be very sharp!

@SandyHancock Didn't you get a bad copy of the DA*55 before you got a good one? If I recall the SDM was DOA or something.

07-05-2012, 04:52 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by TomTextura Quote
@SandyHancock Didn't you get a bad copy of the DA*55 before you got a good one? If I recall the SDM was DOA or something.
Quite right Tom. The replacement is perfect though
07-05-2012, 09:19 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by TOUGEFC Quote
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!
I recently decided on a DA*55 in large part due to how great your kids pics are and how you've been able to expertly capture kids in motion with a shallow depth of field (I had heard all the stigmas about this lens being too slow which made me very hesitant). I love the rendering and sharpness even wide open, and have also been pleasantly surprised by the AF (both speed and accuracy) but I can't help to wonder how it compares to a D800 with the 85mm F1.8 (AF speed - specifically continuous/tracking mode). I see you have the D700 & 85mm F1.8 - how would you compare the K5/DA*55mm for tracking AF? I've captured many great shots already, but have also missed many split second shots where my son looks away or changes expression before the AF is locked and the shot is no good. I'm not sure if I'm dreaming of something that doesn't exist or if that type of thing would be relatively easy with Nikon's D700/D800 AF???
07-05-2012, 10:00 PM   #34
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Thanks for you comments Jay
As for the the K-5's AF compared to the D700, no comparison, the difference is like night and day the D700 blows the K-5 away.

07-06-2012, 04:06 AM   #35
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Both are awesome and I was split aswell. First I got my DA*55 then I found a FA43 (Months apart mind you lol). The 55 is probably my favourite on apsc and the 43 is my favourite on my K1000. I find the 43 focal length a little odd on my K7 initially, but I'm getting used to it and its growing on me
07-06-2012, 07:07 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zaphodmonster Quote
I find the 43 focal length a little odd on my K7 initially, but I'm getting used to it and its growing on me
I completely understand that. Though I want a 43, it's low on my list and really just a rep for a FF body. the FOV of the 43 on 35mm I love though (ie a 28 or so on apsc - too bad there is no modern 28 available grrr)
07-06-2012, 08:36 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
I want a 43, it's low on my list and really just a rep for a FF body. the FOV of the 43 on 35mm I love though
Absolutely! Regarding full frame, that is the lens that makes me see what all the fuss is about!
07-06-2012, 09:06 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zaphodmonster Quote
Absolutely! Regarding full frame, that is the lens that makes me see what all the fuss is about!
the leica m mount version is highly regarded too. If I ever won a lottery and went leica digital I would hunt one down

07-06-2012, 11:35 AM   #39
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I have the FA43 and really like it. I once also owned a manual 50mm 1.4 from Pentax but quite often I struggled with its focal length when shooting indoors.
I really like the 43mm focal length of the FA43. I like the bokeh it produce, expect in "busy" light, there it can be rather distracting (not to say ugly ).

It really makes for a great supplement to the FA77 which I also have.

Last edited by zeitlos; 05-03-2014 at 04:23 AM.
07-07-2012, 12:12 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by TOUGEFC Quote
Thanks for you comments Jay
As for the the K-5's AF compared to the D700, no comparison, the difference is like night and day the D700 blows the K-5 away.
That's not what I wanted to hear If only I could buy a D800 with a K mount!
07-07-2012, 12:44 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
O well then also a DA*55 portrait:
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.
@RonHendricks, that is painfully sharp.

@Sagitta, I'd just go for the 50, or 60 f1.4, then spend the other 450 on a nice holiday, or maybe something that needs doing?

I've only been alive 14 years, and I really really don't like modern lenses. What is wrong with me?

IMHO, I wouldn't bother with the DA* at all. It's a lot of money, and sure, it probably is sharp, but it's expensive, and in the end, what are you paying for? That little "*".

QuoteOriginally posted by Sagitta Quote
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?
I'm glad you said this. It means I'm not the only one who enjoys trawling through the marketplace every so often for old and very cheap glass, that is generally sharper than most mainstream lenses.

I would swear my life on primes. On MF. And, because there are 2 or 3 versions, sometimes more, of the more popular models (50mm, 135mm, 28mm, 200mm) every single one is slightly different in design, or Bokeh, or focusing distance. I love that.

So, In conclusion, forget about expensive, modern day glass, unless, and this is a big unless, you can be certain you would be better off with a modern day bit of glass.

Good speech?
07-08-2012, 11:07 AM   #42
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This comparison was the deciding factor for me - not an issue if all your portraits are dead center in your frame on APS-C maybe, but you can imagine how much better the DA*55mm would fare on the mythical Pentax FF to be

I went with the 55mm over the 43 for this reason and Tougec's child portraits even though I would have preferred a limited lens for the metal body and aperture ring (and cool factor) but it's hard to argue with these test results. SLRGear.com considers a "blur index" of 1 to be tack sharp for reference. Of course the 55 has the extra advantage of going to F1.4 with still impressive sharpness and good corner to corner results (and high contrast).
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07-08-2012, 11:15 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by jay_akita Quote
SLRGear.com considers a "blur index" of 1 to be tack sharp for reference.
In my mind, you can not evaluate the qualities of a lens like the FA43 with laboratory data. It has a special character you can not measure.
This doesn't mean that it's better or worse than the DA*55 but in my understanding basing your decision on laboratory data would neglect what is much more important => the special kind of pictures it's able to produce.
07-08-2012, 11:39 AM   #44
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I personally think that we're comparing apples to oranges here. they're both awesome lenses that can do different things, and I believe that they will indeed compliment each other if you have them on your line-up. Also lets look at the fact that the FA 43 was made for the 35mm film (FF) camera and the DA* 55 was made for the aps-c. Yes the 43 can be used on a cropped sensor and will do awesome in the hands of a photographer who will take the time to learn its strengths and weaknesses and same for the DA* 55 it does cover the FF circle and I know it will also do awesome once the Pentax FF unicorn reveals itself.

So which one is it? I guess it depends on the needs of the owner, but we're talking 500 - 600 dollars here, I think that's serious money right there. And I personally think that OP did the best thing here, which is to settle down on the F 50 1.7 a great compromise to a huge dilemma.
07-08-2012, 12:14 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by zeitlos Quote
In my mind, you can not evaluate the qualities of a lens like the FA43 with laboratory data. It has a special character you can not measure.
This doesn't mean that it's better or worse than the DA*55 but in my understanding basing your decision on laboratory data would neglect what is much more important => the special kind of pictures it's able to produce.
Which is why I based my decision on the best of both worlds - first hand experience with both lenses via one of the best photographers on this site (who happens to shoot the same type of subjects I'm most interested in with this lens - portraits of active kids) and defacto test results from a "lab". The DA*55 also has 9 rounded aperture blades which is a big plus for me. Great bokeh with nice rounded specular highlights, accurate AF and tack sharp corner to corner @ F2.8 plus very usable F2.0 corner to corner - hard to go wrong with that! Weathersealing is a great bonus. Although I'm not thrilled with Pentax's (lack of) SDM warranty...
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