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06-28-2013, 05:36 PM   #1
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Did I make a mistake?

I know it's a matter of personal choice... but I bought a 50mm F1.4 A lens, manual focus obiviously, and now I wonder if I shouldn't have gone with a 50mm that is auto focus?? Any one else have this dilemma? What are other's experiences with using any "A" series lens? I would appreciate some input...

06-28-2013, 05:41 PM   #2
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Not a mistake in my book. Nothing like the feel of a manual focus Pentax lens...except maybe a Takumar. It all depends on if you're shooting static objects or moving ones. Try it out for a week or two, then decide if it's a good match for you.
06-28-2013, 05:49 PM   #3
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Even if you don't keep it you should experience what a real manual focus lens is like. In many situations I prefer an AF lens, but for some things a good manual focus like an 'A' or a Takumar is just a real pleasure to use. The image quality will be very good, the only advantage a modern lens might have is in the coatings, so use a hood.
06-28-2013, 05:58 PM   #4
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Have you shot with it yet? AF confirmation works pretty well, and Catch-In-Focus is just about as slick as autofocus as long as you turn a bit slowly. Your keeper rate will be lower, but you will have more fun.

When I need to shoot fast, I get close to the right focus and turn through focus with the drive mode set to high. One of them is usually pretty good. It doesn't cause me much grief to delete the other 6 that aren't focused well.

06-28-2013, 06:26 PM   #5
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As you say, it's a personal preference. You'll find many folks here and in other forums who use manual focus lenses, either almost exclusively or shared with autofocus lenses. I think you'll either love the MF experience, or shelve the 50/1.4. Hitting precise focus is a challenge, but once a technique is mastered, it's fun. The MF lenses generally have good optics, and yours is very good.

Give it a try!

Craig
06-28-2013, 06:59 PM   #6
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I have that lens and an autofocus Pentax-F 50mm f1.7 because I got them both cheap. I go back and forth between them. Either way, you can't use them wide open without excellent focus. It is either up to you or the camera. With the DL, I would trust myself more.
06-28-2013, 07:15 PM   #7
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+1 No mistake IMO.

Its a great lens and if you choose to stick with it you will a lot!
06-28-2013, 08:02 PM   #8
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If you haven't already done so, you might want to make a split prism focusing screen your next purchase. You will sudden love your manual 1.4 lens. I think I have a higher keeper rate than the camera's AF system, quicker in many cases too.

06-28-2013, 08:09 PM   #9
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The A 50mm 1.4 is one of my favorite lenses. I also have the F 50mm 1.7 that I use about equally.

I say it's a good start. Pentax has made so many great 50mm lenses, it might benefit you to own a few versions (a manual focus and an autofocus...as well as a Takumar). You will find you enjoy all of them for different shooting conditions.
06-28-2013, 08:52 PM   #10
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Thanks for the personal insights... I bought it because I thought it made sense, I am a photographer for many decades so I am not unused to using manual focus. But when I used to use manual focus the focusing screens were bigger and my eyes better. I have done some test shots with it and next week I am working with a model that I will certainly give it a try with. The main purpose for it was low light work and almost always people images. For the price I paid, I think I will give it a good try next week and then decide on eBay'ng it or not.

My initial comments are that I love the size of the lens and the quality in the test shots were very good, so I know it is sharp. Oh, and I ALWAYS use hoods on my lenses! LOL!
06-29-2013, 12:44 AM   #11
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You really need a new focus screen to get the best of it. The EE-S one on focussingscreen is very good. Do a search on the forum for EE-S and you'll find some info.
06-29-2013, 03:58 AM   #12
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Its a mistake if after a couple sessions with it you still can't get the focus you want. I say, give it a chance, you will probably get used to it and it will give you good results. If you can't, if you lose hope and give up, then you can sell it without a loss and buy a FA 50mm f1.4 or a DA 50mm f1.8 (the DA should have faster AF due to shorter focus throw and being made for digital)
06-29-2013, 09:10 AM   #13
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It is only a mistake if the price was high and you find that you don't use it or are unhappy with the results.

In regards to the last point, I think you may find that focus will probably be an issue. I won't go into details as to why, but I think you may find that missed focus will be pretty common at apertures wider than f/2.8 at portrait distance. This is true even with CIF and/or focus confirm or focus using the stock focus screen. I have several manual focus fast 50s and depend heavily on an aftermarket screen for better focus precision and to attain accurate focus appropriate for the subject.

The stock screen provides DOF similar to about f/4...not good and the AF system is not very good at discriminating what part of the subject you want in focus when the DOF is measured in millimeters (only 10 mm at 0.7 meter distance to subject at f/1.4).


Steve
06-29-2013, 09:15 AM   #14
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Took some pics of the wife this morning... Nothing wrong with the lens, I just don't want to focus it! It is very sharp, love the build quality... but I need/want AF. So off it goes to eBay!
06-29-2013, 09:37 AM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by pbmax Quote
So off it goes to eBay!
Sell it here on the marketplace instead!
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