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09-20-2012, 07:53 AM   #1
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Pentax-F 50mm F1.7 and Pentax-FA 50mm F1.4

i'm planing to buy fixed size lens and cannot decide which one is better. I'm interested in "Pentax-F 50mm F1.7" and "Pentax-FA 50mm F1.4" by review better is "Pentax-F 50mm F1.7" but seams is quite old lens. mostly I will use for low light indor photography, also maybe for astrophotografy.

09-20-2012, 07:57 AM - 1 Like   #2
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There are quite a few threads on this precise comparison. Many believe that the 1.7 is better in sharpness and IQ. I disagree with them and always point out that the 1.7 has a very recessed front element and the 1.4's is very exposed, so the 1.4 MUST have a hood to perform decently. The other issue for me is that the 1.4 is still in production and is faster.
09-20-2012, 08:19 AM   #3
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You can't go wrong with either one. They are both excellent.
The F series is the first generation autofocus. The FA series was the second generation. Both 1.7 and 1.4 were made in both series. The FA50 1.4 is still in production.
The f50 1.7 was built from ~1987 to ~1991
Their optical formulas can be traced back to the A and M series manual focus generations.
Personally, I prefer the f1.7 as my A series copy is a hair sharper than my M series f1.4 but that was really pixel peeping. The 1.4 can benefit from a hood to improve contrast a bit, where the 1.7 is again a hair better because of the more recessed front element.
Bottom line, both are great.
I love fast 50's (who doesn't?) and I just purchased an F50 1.7 that should be in my hands in the next few days.

Thanks,
09-20-2012, 08:29 AM   #4
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+1, you won't go wrong with either. When sample variation is included I doubt there is much difference in final image quality.

I have the F 50mm f/1.7 and get very good results from it. As noted above the biggest difference is that the F has a recessed front element so a hood is not as critical as it is on the FA. Pricing is similar with the FA maybe a touch more expensive and of course the FA is available new where the F is only available used.

09-20-2012, 09:02 AM   #5
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Have you looked at the new 50mm 1.8?

SMC Pentax-DA 50mm F1.8 Reviews - DA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
09-20-2012, 09:47 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
There are quite a few threads on this precise comparison. Many believe that the 1.7 is better in sharpness and IQ. I disagree with them and always point out that the 1.7 has a very recessed front element and the 1.4's is very exposed, so the 1.4 MUST have a hood to perform decently. The other issue for me is that the 1.4 is still in production and is faster.
I agree!
I've had 5 versions of the 1.7 (2M,2A,1 F) and 5 different 1.4s (S-M-C, SMC, K, M, FA), plus 3 different 55/1.8s and used with a hood, and also in a non scientific but controlled test, they all performed (for me) so close to the same that it was/is near impossible to see a difference IMHO.
For me, there's one major difference and that is the (most) 50/1.4s have an eight blade diaphram and the 1.7s and 1.8s have six. I much prefer the bokeh when stopped down from the 1.4s.
09-20-2012, 09:51 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Swift1 Quote
I agree!
I've had 5 versions of the 1.7 (2M,2A,1 F) and 5 different 1.4s (S-M-C, SMC, K, M, FA), plus 3 different 55/1.8s and used with a hood, and also in a non scientific but controlled test, they all performed (for me) so close to the same that it was/is near impossible to see a difference IMHO.
For me, there's one major difference and that is the (most) 50/1.4s have an eight blade diaphram and the 1.7s and 1.8s have six. I much prefer the bokeh when stopped down from the 1.4s.
Excellent point! I forgot the bokeh issue.
09-20-2012, 10:21 AM   #8
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I have had the F 1.7 and now have the FA 1.4 IMO the 1.7 is sharper from 1.7-2.5. The 1.7 is louder focusing though. Both great though

09-20-2012, 11:41 AM   #9
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i will stay with 1.7 lens, but problem that i cant find who is selling in europe.
09-20-2012, 06:59 PM   #10
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Like some others have mentioned, the bokeh on the 1.4 is a lot smoother than the 1.7. They're both reasonably sharp but for me the bokeh pushed me towards the 1.4. The 1.7 can be a bit busy. Take a look through these galleries and you'll get the idea.

Flickriver: Photos taken with Pentax smc P-FA 50mm F1.4 lens
Flickriver: Photos taken with Pentax smc P-F 50mm F1.7 lens

The 1.4 also does really need a lens hood. There's a Pentax dedicated collapsing rubber hood. It works on both lenses.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/41350-REG/Pentax_34260_49mm_Round_Rubber_Lens.html
09-20-2012, 10:40 PM   #11
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bokeh for me is not a problem, lets say right now everything depends on finding lens. in my country i found only 50mm f1.4 and its quite expensive, but since it is not urgent as I can and wait and look for the most suitable option.
09-21-2012, 12:32 AM   #12
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And one more question, what do you think about Pentax SMCP-FA 43mm f/1.9 Limited? if compare with two other which i mentioned, which one is worth to buy, comparing the price and quality?
09-21-2012, 02:06 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Swift1 Quote
I agree!
I've had 5 versions of the 1.7 (2M,2A,1 F) and 5 different 1.4s (S-M-C, SMC, K, M, FA), plus 3 different 55/1.8s and used with a hood, and also in a non scientific but controlled test, they all performed (for me) so close to the same that it was/is near impossible to see a difference IMHO.
For me, there's one major difference and that is the (most) 50/1.4s have an eight blade diaphram and the 1.7s and 1.8s have six. I much prefer the bokeh when stopped down from the 1.4s.
+1 to this.
I've had all the A50's and M50's.
There was no significant difference in sharpness between them.
The f1.7 has a hexagonal shaped aperture when stopped down which can be a distraction in some cases.

IMO, given the choice today, I'd just go for a DA50/1.8
09-21-2012, 05:05 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by knight6178 Quote
And one more question, what do you think about Pentax SMCP-FA 43mm f/1.9 Limited? if compare with two other which i mentioned, which one is worth to buy, comparing the price and quality?
I don't have any experience with the 43/1.9, but from what people say on the forums, it has a rather legendary status. If you have a bunch of money burning a hole in your pocket, that would be a good choice, but you'd get plenty good quality for much less money going with one of the others.
09-21-2012, 05:45 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChooseAName Quote
I don't have any experience with the 43/1.9, but from what people say on the forums, it has a rather legendary status. If you have a bunch of money burning a hole in your pocket, that would be a good choice, but you'd get plenty good quality for much less money going with one of the others.
Thanks, i was thinking the same, just wanted to hear others opinion. Of course, is posible to buy this lens paying some small amount of money every month and maybe someone can explain diference between FA and DA prime lenses? as i know FA is FF and you can use it for photo or film, DA is not FF and mentioned to use only for Photo. But maybe available some other diferencies between this type of lenses?
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