Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home

Show Printable Version Search this Thread
06-28-2013, 05:36 PM   #1
Junior Member
pbmax's Avatar

Join Date: May 2013
Location: Camden, SC
Photos: Albums
Posts: 42
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
Loyal Site Supporter
foto guy's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Vernon, Connecticut
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 276
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
Site Supporter
jatrax's Avatar

Join Date: May 2010
Location: Oregon
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 10,770
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
Kozlok's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Albuquerque
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,789
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
c.a.m's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 1,062
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!

06-28-2013, 06:59 PM   #6
Just1MoreDave's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Aurora, CO
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 4,859
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
Site Supporter
kiwi_jono's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,081
+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
Veteran Member
maxfield_photo's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 1,215
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
New Member

Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 15
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 well as a Takumar). You will find you enjoy all of them for different shooting conditions.
06-28-2013, 08:52 PM   #10
Junior Member
pbmax's Avatar

Join Date: May 2013
Location: Camden, SC
Photos: Albums
Posts: 42
Original Poster
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
Senior Member

Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Middle of England
Photos: Albums
Posts: 295
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
Na Horuk's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Slovenia, probably
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 10,863
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
Site Supporter
stevebrot's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vancouver (USA)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 27,416
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).

06-29-2013, 09:15 AM   #14
Junior Member
pbmax's Avatar

Join Date: May 2013
Location: Camden, SC
Photos: Albums
Posts: 42
Original Poster
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
johnyates's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Saskatoon, SK
Posts: 1,192
QuoteOriginally posted by pbmax Quote
So off it goes to eBay!
Sell it here on the marketplace instead!

  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
50mm, k-mount, lens, pentax lens, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Did I make a Monster or a Beauty? Vasyl Photographic Technique 34 03-01-2013 09:45 PM
Did I Make a Mistake? Heie Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 27 03-20-2012 05:21 AM
Did I make a mistake buying a Pentax emr Pentax DSLR Discussion 41 10-18-2008 09:30 PM
I did a big mistake, but learned from it. devisor Post Your Photos! 5 03-13-2008 05:55 AM
Sigma 70-300mm DG APO vs non-APO (or, did I make a bad choice?) aerodave Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 28 09-01-2007 01:51 PM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:57 PM. | See also:, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]