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02-11-2013, 05:39 PM   #1
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Fast 35-55mm prime

Hey all. I'm looking for something to "replace" my M 50/1.7. It's a great lens but sometimes manual focusing can be a pain. I'll continue to use it on my MX and when I need its "character". Otherwise I want something equally (or near-equally) fast and around the same focal length. I'd use it as a general purpose prime, especially for night photography.

I've been looking at the FA 43/1.9 and DA* 55/1.4. These seem to fit my budget (somewhat ) and are similar to the M50/1.7. I've been looking around and haven't really found any other lenses like this. I considered the 40mm Ltd at first but it's a 2.8. The Sigma 30mm that's on sale looks interesting but I've seen some less-than-stellar reviews on it.

Maybe it's just LBA and I'll be set with the M50? But even if that's the case, I'm still curious.

02-11-2013, 05:52 PM   #2
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https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/214558-best-fast-p...der-500-a.html

A similar discussion.
02-11-2013, 05:57 PM   #3
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What about this one? SMC Pentax-DA 50mm F1.8 Reviews - DA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
Is the lens for your MX, or digital?
02-11-2013, 06:30 PM   #4
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Digital. And wow, surprised I overlooked that one. It has a plastic mount, though. Not sure how that will hold up in the long term since primes are switched quite often.

And I'm sure this kind of question gets posted quite often -- but just didn't see that topic. I don't look in the DSLR section as often as I look here. \
EDIT: Now that I think about it, there are a lot of lenses like this... So I guess I change my question:

Would you go with a DA*55 or a similar other lens (FA 43, FA 50/1.4, F50/1.7, etc)? I am slightly leaning towards the DA*55 for its weather sealing, but I won't be using my gear in heavy rain so not sure if it's worth it for the WR. Also I haven't handled an F/FA non-limited lens and they look very plasticy. I'm not really a fan of that.


Last edited by NitroDC; 02-11-2013 at 06:38 PM.
02-11-2013, 06:59 PM   #5
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FA 35mm f/2 will compliment the 50 mm /1.7 and works on MX, or if you like the m 50mm f/1.7 so much how about the FA 50 mm f/1.7? Both are reputed to be excellent lenses. [I also like the m 50 mm f1.7, and I have the k 35mm f/2 (b/c I don't us AF).]
02-11-2013, 07:02 PM   #6
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Sorry I missed your last email about FA's. My FA 28-70mm f/4 does feel plastic/cheap. Don't know about the 35 or 50mm FA's. Certainly they are not (metal) limiteds.
02-11-2013, 07:13 PM   #7
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The FA primes are very different from the zooms. They're rugged and quality glass.
02-11-2013, 07:24 PM   #8
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Around $400, you can have Sigma 50/1.4; or wait for Sigma 35/1.4 price go down.

02-12-2013, 06:36 AM   #9
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And keep an eye on the Marketplace, you can add some key search words and you'll get emails when someone posts something similar (ie. FA35, FA50 etc.)
02-13-2013, 01:37 AM   #10
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A relatively cheap 'upgrade' path for you would be the Pentax SMC-F 50mm f1.7 - Quality is excellent, it has the obvious advantages of AF and full lens info passed to the body, it's sort of cheap, and is one of the best all-rounders you can get.

The DA*55mm f1.4 is a great lens, but I find that I rarely use a lens at an aperture wider than f2.0 (the depth of field is so thin at f1.4), so the benefit of a faster lens is often not required. If you do a lot of outdoor photography in the rain and need the ultra-thin DOF then this may well be the lens for you!

To be honest you won't go far wrong with any of the Pentax lenses that have been mentioned - and LBA is part of the joy of being a Pentaxian
02-13-2013, 04:07 AM   #11
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I am in the same boat! Looking at the FA 35 or 50. Hearing that the 50 1.7 is better than the 1.4. Also considering the sigma 30mm as its around 250 now.
02-13-2013, 11:49 PM   #12
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If digital is your only concern with this lens purchase I would go with the DA* 55mm its an excellent lens. But if you want this lens for digital and your MX the 43mm ltd lens is also awesome and has the aperture ring.

Also I would not worry to much about the plastic mount of the DA 50mm 1.8. I have the 35mm 2.4 and initially I was worried about the build but no longer its quite good for what it is and I expect more of the same from the DA 50mm 1.8
02-15-2013, 07:45 AM   #13
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Went and tried a load of primes today on the k5 II.

Firstly was the DA 50 f1.8. Nicer than expected. Fairly noisy but was very quick to focus. Build quality pretty good for an all plastic lens. Much better than the plastic fantastic canon I have been using. Bonus that it does not extend during focus.

Next Sigma 30mm f1.4. Built like a tank but with the size to go with it. Again focus was quick but kept touching the focus ring as it went round. Not ideal for me.

Finally the pentax 55mm. Built very well, quite bulky but felt very nice. Focus was quiet but slower than the two above. For me I can't justify the price tag.

So my decision is....

Getting the DA 35mm and DA 50mm.
02-15-2013, 08:17 AM   #14
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My only question on that choice (both solid choices) is whether they're too close in FOV, and you might benefit from something longer than 50mm...
02-15-2013, 02:01 PM   #15
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If MF is okay I'd definitely consider the Voigtlander Nokton 58 1.4. It's hands down my favorite lens.
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