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04-25-2013, 02:21 PM   #1
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50 1.7 vs 50 1.4, Finally Decided...

I few months ago I picked up the SMC 50M F 1.7. - already owned the 50 FA 1.4. I'd heard wonderful things about the 1.7, so I figured I'd try it out for a couple of weeks, do my comparison and ultimately unload one of the 50s. Ha!! The few weeks turned into months.

The lenses are virtually identical, with a couple of very distinct differences:
  • 1.4 bokeh is simply a beautiful thing, whereas I found the 1.7 bokeh to be more pronounced - some say harsh
  • 1.7 is more accurate focus-wise, and renders slightly cooler colors

I finally decided to revisit the reason I went after fast 50s in the first place: TO SHOOT THEM WIDE OPEN.
And a low-light portrait at 1.4 is one of my favorite things. So, whew!

I'll be putting the 1.7 up for sale in a day or two.
Cheers!

04-25-2013, 02:31 PM   #2
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Thanks, nice comparison. I'm always tempted to get rid of my FA 50 f/1.4 but it's been a workhorse and excellent performer and I just can't bring myself to part with it. Yes it's soft at f/1.4 but it's got such dreamy bokeh at a low price point. Yesterday, I took several portrait shots of my wife using my FA43, FA50, and DA70, and the FA50 held up quite well in the comparisons. (photos I took with my DA70 came out the best, but surprisingly, the FA43 and FA50 produced about equal results at similar apertures)
04-25-2013, 02:48 PM   #3
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seventy...
the DA70 or the FA77 is my next lens purchase.
04-25-2013, 04:32 PM   #4
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If you wanted to smooth out bokeh, couldn't you merely apply a 49->28mm step down ring, thus making it an F1.8 lens with a perfectly round aperture?

04-25-2013, 06:33 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by strangeboy Quote
the DA70 or the FA77 is my next lens purchase.
you'll have a hard time deciding which to buy... may depend on whether you plan to go FF or not ... and FA77 is farther from FA50 so there's less overlap. DA70 is faster autofocus, more compact and cheaper. But you can't go wrong with either choice though.
04-26-2013, 12:47 AM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by strangeboy Quote
I'll be putting the 1.7 up for sale in a day or two
So now your ready to try the 50 mm F1.2.
04-26-2013, 10:14 AM   #7
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@Eulogy - not really trying to change the characteristics of the 1.7, since I already own the 1.4. Besides, some of the members here prefer the bokeh of the 1.7.
@seventy - yes, it may come down to price alone., pentax has a way of driving you crazy with really great, closely related lenses... like some weird form of "lens inbreeding".
@kerrowdown - don't start with me! 'cause i'll be honest: if i located a 50 1.2, i'd buy it in a heartbeat.
04-26-2013, 11:25 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by strangeboy Quote
don't start with me! 'cause i'll be honest: if i located a 50 1.2, i'd buy it in a heartbeat.
Oh yes, they're out there and your not getting mine.

04-26-2013, 11:35 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by kerrowdown Quote
Oh yes, they're out there and your not getting mine.
Yeah. I just checked ebay... they ain't cheap!
I gotta' be strong and stay focused (no pun intended) on the 70 or 77 limiteds, especially since a used 50/1.2 is about the same price.
smh!
05-06-2013, 10:50 PM   #10
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I'm liking my FA50/1.4 more than the DA70 I had. Yes, the 70 is pretty clear at 2.4 but the FA starts at 1.4. It's hazy at 1.4-1.6, getting there at 1.8 and presto! at f/2 it's remarkable. The bokeh smooths out completely, and it's very clear. Beyond that, it's guaranteed sharp. The FA is plasticky, but it's about as compact as the limited. Good value.
05-08-2013, 01:31 PM   #11
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@Canuck...
Yes, luv my 1.4 as well.
Shooting the 50/1.4 @ f/1.4 is the real beauty of the lens in my opinion. That haze you speak of, or what feels to me like a soft glow is priceless.
Just about every fast Pentax prime moves toward razor sharp @ f/2 and beyond... but then you lose that buttery bokeh. And that, my friend, is a crime!
Shoot 'em wide open, I say...

@f/1.4

05-08-2013, 01:46 PM - 1 Like   #12
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These fine lenses always attract beautiful women to stand in front of them.

If that's the shot with the 1.4, just imagine what the 1.2 could do...

It's little known and undocumented feature, not even in the lens review section of this forum mentions it.
05-08-2013, 09:47 PM   #13
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I have a 50/1.2, 50/1.4 and 50/1.7 - they are all very different, but if I had to only keep on it would be the 50/1.2
05-08-2013, 11:32 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Smeggypants Quote
but if I had to only keep on it would be the 50/1.2
A man after my own heart.
05-09-2013, 07:07 AM   #15
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TS, good choice (never was a wrong one either way )

I too find that I prefer the bokeh of the 1.4 (both A and FA) version better.
The f1.7 seems normal to a bit busy at times (depending on distance and type of background)
I use the f1.7 mostly on FF and the 1.4 has been on aps-c
But I should be using my A50/1.4 on FF soon to see if my observations still hold true.

I never found any of the Pentax f1.7 to be sharper than the f1.4 version (and I had all the M and A versions at one point)
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