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12-05-2012, 12:42 PM   #1
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F 1.7 or DA 1.8 50 mm

Considering adding a 50 mm lens. Which way to go ? F 1.7 or newer DA 1.8 . Not a whole lot of difference in price, but what about optical/ photo quality? I prefer not a manual lens.

Thanks

12-05-2012, 12:50 PM   #2
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I have the F 1.7 and am happy with it. I think the advantage of the newer DA 1.8 would be improved coatings. Also consider whether you might want to go FF in the future. The DA 1.8 is listed as APS-C though some have reported it might work OK on FF. The F 1.7 of course is FF so you are good there.

I do find the F series in general to have somewhat less contrast than newer lenses, with the exception of the F 70-210. This is easily fixed in PP of course but one more thing to do. I assume this is due to the coatings but have no data to support that.
12-05-2012, 06:11 PM   #3
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I have a manual Rikenon XR 50mm 1.7 P and a newly acquired DA 50 1.8. Optically, both are very sharp wide open but I think the Rikenon is a tiny bit tad sharper. I bought the DA because I wanted an AF 50 lens. On initial test, the DA hunts on difficult lighting on my K-x and when that happens I just disengage the AF and focus manually. With ample light, the DA is nice to use. Bokeh from the round blades is fine and also delivers nice star burst.

I would have opted for the DA 55 or the Sigma 50 but the cost difference does not justify it since I also have other fabulous 50's such as the Cosina 55 1.2, Takumar 55 1.8 and the Vivitar 55 2.8.

Last edited by mannyquinto; 12-05-2012 at 06:36 PM.
12-05-2012, 09:16 PM   #4
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You may as well also look at the FA 50/1.4 since used prices have stabilized around the $250 mark and they can be had for a bit below that.

Main differences:

1.7 may be the sharpest wide open, but its bokeh can look a little busy.

1.8 is also sharp wide open, has the least CA/PF, smoother bokeh from rounded 7-blade aperture, and if you want a warranty it's your only option.

1.4 is a little less sharp wide open, needs a hood for best results (this helps a lot), has a tad more CA/PF than the 1.8, and has the smoothest bokeh

Me personally, since I had portraits in mind for the purpose of a 50mm lens on APS-C, I went for the 1.4 and have been very happy with it as my portrait lens.

12-05-2012, 11:24 PM   #5
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I love my F 1.7! I use it in the studio more than any other lens I have. Sharp to a fault. Sometimes portraits need to a little softer. Ladies and some guys do not like seeing every wrinkle or spot.
12-06-2012, 03:46 AM   #6
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Another vote for the Pentax-F 50mm f.7 - superb quality, nice build, FF compatible - I always have one of these in my collection, they can sometimes be picked up as a bargain (often attached to an SF series body)
12-06-2012, 06:23 AM   #7
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Based on reviews (and my experience) the DA f1,8 is great but not as sharp as the F50 f1,7. I believe it's a decision between sharpness vs warranty, honestly.
12-06-2012, 10:30 AM   #8
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We have a F 50mm 1.7 and like it, but if it was a year ago I would of bought the 50mm f1.8. Why? The 1.7 has a six bladed iris, the 1.8 a 7 bladed one, and we like to use sunstars if possible on many of our pics. The 6 blades makes a six pointed star, the 7 blades makes a 14 pointed star, and from what we have seen the newer f1.8 lens is quite sharp and comes with a warranty. We have the DA 35f2.4 and it only has the 6 bladed iris, a bummer sometimes(I use the 31 LTD to avoid that issue). YMMV,

David

12-06-2012, 11:01 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by bass3587 Quote
I love my F 1.7! I use it in the studio more than any other lens I have. Sharp to a fault. Sometimes portraits need to a little softer. Ladies and some guys do not like seeing every wrinkle or spot.
We find out doors we do gets some purple fringing and CA on the FA 50 1.7. That would happen with any lens under the conditions shot, but I like to think they might not be as bad with a lens that's corrected to be digital.
12-06-2012, 11:09 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
We find out doors we do gets some purple fringing and CA on the FA 50 1.7. That would happen with any lens under the conditions shot, but I like to think they might not be as bad with a lens that's corrected to be digital.
I've never seen that with my copy, and I often use it near the widest setting.
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