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10-08-2012, 06:34 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by MBT74 Quote
Finally forced myself to make a choice and I've ordered the 55mm 1.4 so fingers crossed it's a good one. I'll definitely get an extended warranty with it.
Nice choice. FWIW, I don't think anyone here has had trouble with the SDM failing in the 55/1.4 prime. At least I've yet to read an account of an issue with the 55/1.4 SDM.


Last edited by Clinton; 10-08-2012 at 06:39 AM.
10-08-2012, 06:36 AM   #17
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The 55 1.4 has delicious rendering for portraits. Much better contrast that the 50 1.4 as well.
10-08-2012, 08:33 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by MBT74 Quote
Most of my photography is low light concerts (guitar bands, not orchestral) and I've moved from fast zooms to fast primes because I like being able to go below f2.8 to get more shutter speed and better isolate subjects against a sometimes busy and unflattering background. I'm using the 35mm f2.4 and the Sigma 85mm 1.4 (love this lens!) at the moment and want to add a 50ish fast prime in the middle. I'm not interested in MF because my eyesight and technique aren't good enough to have to rely solely on that when I've only got 3 songs to get my shots. I'd prefer quiet focus over screw drive so that I can use it in quiet settings occasionally. So I've narrowed it to the Sigma 50 1.4 and the Pentax 55 1.4.

I think I like the Pentax bokeh more than the Sigma and WR would be a nice bonus but not at the expense of missing shots due to slow focus. I figure the throw of the 55mm is pretty long and so slows the focus down but is it a real issue in real life shooting when subjects aren't moving great distances? Is the point to point focus fairly snappy if you're only shifting small distances? I'm also curious how well does the 55mm maintain focus in AF-C mode?
I tried 2 different DA*55mm lenses before buying a Sigma 50mm F/1.4. At the time I was using the K-7 and AF was definitely faster for the Sigma. I have not tried a DA*55 since picking up a K-5.

The Sigma is actually a little wider than 50mm (closer to 47mm). The Sigma is sharper from F/1.4-F/4.0. From F/4.0 and smaller the DA* 55mm is sharper. I shoot bands here in Nashville and I chose the Sigma because of AF speed, and IQ at F/1.4 through F/4.0. It doesn't rain much inside venues so the WR is not a huge factor. If it starts raining bands get off the stage. There is way too much electricity on the stage to play in the rain.
10-09-2012, 01:40 PM   #19
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Great thread guys; am considering this lens and need fast decent low light focusing...

10-16-2012, 02:59 AM   #20
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Right. I got the DA* 55mm. It's a nice size and weight and solidly built. Feels really good on the K30.

But, it's my most frustrating lens yet. It took no time at all to dial in my Sigma 85mm, Pentax 18-135mm and my 35mm 2.4 and they work great now. I cannot get the adjustment right for it. I think it's perfect and then take some more shots and the focus is off again. It hunts and then fails to find focus on targets that should be fine and fairly often I can half press the shutter to lock focus, release the shutter and press it again and the focus motor will micro adjust again. And I can repeat that process a few times before the camera just simply beeps and doesn't try and correct the focus lock. Focus consistency is all over the shop.

I don't want to have to buy a lens align tool just to dial this in properly.
10-16-2012, 06:01 AM   #21
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Do you have the latest firmware?

I say this because my K-5 used to behave this way with a couple of my fast lenses, but one of the latest firmwares resolved it.

I'd say, if it's misbehaving send it back and get a replacement.
10-16-2012, 06:11 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clinton Quote
Do you have the latest firmware?

I say this because my K-5 used to behave this way with a couple of my fast lenses, but one of the latest firmwares resolved it.

I'd say, if it's misbehaving send it back and get a replacement.
No firmware update yet for the K30. The DA* 55 is the only lens that's unreliable on the camera. I'll keep playing with it for a while longer and then take it back if I can't get it sorted.
10-16-2012, 06:35 AM - 1 Like   #23
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My 55/1.4 did need a +8 adjustment.

If you want to make yourself a poor person's lens align, tripod your camera, take a ruler, set it at a 45 degree angle next to something small, upright, and very contrasty, set your focus point to center (this is key) and focus next to the ruler on whatever you've set up as your target.

Take a shot and see where the focus ends up. Also see if it readjusts the focus as you've said. 55/1.4 is pretty narrow so even moving a little will cause it to re-adjust the focus.

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