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11-29-2012, 10:50 AM   #1
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New da 55 1.4 {Update 10/30}

I got my second copy of this lens from b & h yestarday.
The first one I returned to adorama for back focus issues and poor performance overall.

This copy performs better with less pf but it is a very soft lens until f2 and up. Autofocus is definetely more accurate but it does require a +8 fine adjustment on both my cameras.

I don't know if I should just keep this lens and learn to live with it. I guess being softish and needing af adjustment is the norm of this lens . B&h is out of stock so sending it back for a replacement seems like too much hassle.


Last edited by Vindemiatrix; 11-30-2012 at 11:22 AM.
11-29-2012, 10:59 AM   #2
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Could be your camera's fault, too- have you tried the lens on a different camera?

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11-29-2012, 11:03 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Could be your camera's fault, too- have you tried the lens on a different camera?

yes on my k5 and k20d is the same. reading the reviews of this lens seems like most people needs a big af adjustment.
11-29-2012, 11:07 AM   #4
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I guess I am giving the lens a hard time because I was blown away with the sharpeness of my d fa 100 wr copy, sharp sharp and perfect focus from 2.8. This lens is less sharp at 2.8 and on than the 100mm.

11-29-2012, 11:45 AM   #5
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Your observations are typical. I am planning to send my DA*55 in for it's +8 back-focus issue before the warranty expires. I've read this is easily fixed. I don't mind keeping the copy I have since it seems to be quite "normal" for this lens, provided it can be ultimately fixed by the factory/CRIS. Now if you received a copy that had front-focus, then I would be really concerned.

Yes, the D-FA 100 WR is really super-duper sharp at f/2.8. I don't feel you can use that as a basis for comparing the DA*55, even though the latter is still considered quite sharp.
11-29-2012, 12:26 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tanzer Quote
Your observations are typical. I am planning to send my DA*55 in for it's +8 back-focus issue before the warranty expires. I've read this is easily fixed. I don't mind keeping the copy I have since it seems to be quite "normal" for this lens, provided it can be ultimately fixed by the factory/CRIS. Now if you received a copy that had front-focus, then I would be really concerned.

Yes, the D-FA 100 WR is really super-duper sharp at f/2.8. I don't feel you can use that as a basis for comparing the DA*55, even though the latter is still considered quite sharp.
I guess I see this lens as being really sharp from f2 on. Between f1.4 and f2, it is decent, but not great. I do have a focus adjustment on both of my K5s (did on my K7 before that). Can you get it sharp with live view focusing? Some people have reported funny focus variability with their copy, but that should be eliminated with live view.
11-29-2012, 01:30 PM   #7
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I have set a +5 too on my k5. But in LV it it very sharp also at 1.6. Usually I don't use it at 1.4. Super sharp after f2.0.
But I have a question: is it possible that the 55 is sharper than the fa31? I have both and have this feeling.
11-29-2012, 01:43 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by gabro822 Quote
is it possible that the 55 is sharper than the fa31?
I dont have a 55 1.4, but i do have the 31mm. its def soft at 1.8 (for raw files if you dont apply sharpness). sharpness really becomes great 2,8 and up

11-29-2012, 01:45 PM   #9
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How unsharp is it at 1.4, and at what distances?

I've noticed my Sigma 50 1.4 is a bit weaker at close focus than far focus.

Close focus at 1.4
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7237/7404812672_7e319c4519_o.jpg

Far focus at 1.4
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8315/8037491972_fa1e425e92_o.jpg

Of course, by F2, it's really really sharp
11-29-2012, 01:46 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by oxidized Quote
I dont have a 55 1.4, but i do have the 31mm. its def soft at 1.8 (for raw files if you dont apply sharpness). sharpness really becomes great 2,8 and up
Thank you for reply! I have thought to have bought a bad copy, but it is just the same as you said! So no worry for me
11-29-2012, 01:51 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
How unsharp is it at 1.4, and at what distances?

I've noticed my Sigma 50 1.4 is a bit weaker at close focus than far focus.

Close focus at 1.4
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7237/7404812672_7e319c4519_o.jpg

Far focus at 1.4
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8315/8037491972_fa1e425e92_o.jpg

Of course, by F2, it's really really sharp
Hi JinDesu,
this is at 1.6, unfortunately I don't have one at 1.4 - this is in close focus

Muji di gabro822, su Flickr

This one at f2.0 - This is in mid distance, like 1 or 2 meters

ML di gabro822, su Flickr

This at f5.6 - This is something like 7 meters

ML di gabro822, su Flickr

PS. I'm not good with distances, so thake them with a pinch of salt
11-29-2012, 02:00 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
How unsharp is it at 1.4, and at what distances?

I've noticed my Sigma 50 1.4 is a bit weaker at close focus than far focus.

Close focus at 1.4
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7237/7404812672_7e319c4519_o.jpg

Far focus at 1.4
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8315/8037491972_fa1e425e92_o.jpg

Of course, by F2, it's really really sharp
Wouldn't that be because dof is increased at longer distances?.

here is a quick comparison shot. this is in bad bright sunshine 100% crops . first at 1.4 second at f8 as you can see there is no sharpeness whatsoever on the first shot,and it was on focus .

Last edited by Vindemiatrix; 12-17-2012 at 04:51 PM.
11-29-2012, 02:04 PM   #13
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Have you made fine adjustments wide open (1.4)? Are those pictures made after the adjustments?
11-29-2012, 02:07 PM   #14
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It's not necessarily that the DOF is increased - you can see that my leaf shot, the in focus areas are still a little soft and bloomy, but my bench shot lacks the soft and bloomy-ness (specifically, look at the bench). And this has been true in my experience with using that lens.

Your 1.4 shot of the hose looks a heckuvalot more like missed focus - do you have any other samples?

@Gabro - the 1.6 shot isn't full size, so it's a bit tougher to judge, but it looks sharp. The DA*55 is supposed to be almost as sharp (or just a little sharp, sample variation) than my Sigma 50 - and I know my Sigma 50 is extremely sharp once stopped down to F2.8+
11-29-2012, 02:07 PM   #15
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Ok here 100% crop of a 1.8 shot. There is a great improvement from 1.4.

Last edited by Vindemiatrix; 12-17-2012 at 04:51 PM.
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