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04-13-2008, 06:13 AM   #1
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DA 40mm pancake or FA 50mm 1.4 ? UPDATED

Hi everyone

I have just recieved my upgrade the K10 fromm the 100 super. I want to get the best i can from my k10, hence the need for my first prime.

For many of my requirements and financial restrictions and after many hours of research im still stuck on the decider between these two. Focal length is not an issue as i have working feet I will use the lens for everthing and anything in all conditions, including with off camera flash.

My primary concern is image quality. The following MTF data are borowed from Photozone and if the data is to be believed then the 40 is the clear leader. However i read everywhere that users seem to be in love with the 50. In the face of the data here is it not so the i will get a better image from the 40?

I also read in many places that the 50 has CA issues.

Your wisdom and input eagerly anticipated

Peter


Last edited by Spooked; 04-17-2008 at 11:54 AM. Reason: update
04-13-2008, 06:35 AM   #2
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There is a reason (or reasons) that everyone owns a 50 and only some of us own the 40 ... mostly it's speed, availability and price.

I own both the FA 50 f/1.4 and the DA 40 f/2.8 Limited. The 50 is more versatile because it gives you the extra stop when you need it, but the truth is the 40 is sharper in terms of capturing more detail across the frame.

The 40 also has the quick shift manual focus found on all DA lenses ... and it's obviously more compact than the 50. Unfortunately, it only gives you f/2.8 (which isn't horrible, but it's always enough in low light).

Bottom line, if you can only pick one of these lenses I'd probably tell you to buy the 50.

My DA 40 and my DA 70 have replaced my 50 for most of my work ... but there are times when I "need" f/1.4 and the 50 is the only game in town.

Of course, when the DA* 55mm f/1.4 SDM is released later this year I will probably replace my FA 50 with that lens.
04-13-2008, 06:36 AM   #3
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Having both, I think you would be better off with the 40 despite its relative 'slowness'. The 50
can be 'touchy' to use though capable of excellent pix. Also the DA's profile and weight are added conveniences.........just my views..........
04-13-2008, 08:20 AM   #4
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also own both and use the 40 much more, simply because I love my limited lenses I got the 50 just for those low light situations.

04-13-2008, 08:24 AM   #5
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Thanks JJ and John

for the informative replies. Im still struggling with the light gain on the 50 as opposed to the more even distribution of detail accross the frame from the 40. I mean, is the difference displeyed in the MTF data critical? Is the measured difference perceptable when printed and displayed?



Peter
04-13-2008, 08:31 AM   #6
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I would recommend the 50 1.4 only if you're going to use it a lot in low light situations where you really need the 1.4 aperture. Other than that, I would go for the 40. Of course, there's also the price to consider...but if that's not a factor, get the 40.
04-13-2008, 09:02 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Spooked Quote
for the informative replies. Im still struggling with the light gain on the 50 as opposed to the more even distribution of detail accross the frame from the 40. I mean, is the difference displeyed in the MTF data critical? Is the measured difference perceptable when printed and displayed?



Peter
This shot was taken with the 50:



This shot was taken with the 40:



In my opinion, the difference in captured detail is only visible at full magnification or in prints that are 11"x14" and larger. The 50 is basically as sharp as the 40 at f/4 and above, so you can always stop down the 50 to get more detail ... but you can't open up the 40 to give you more than f/2.8 when you're in extreme low light.
04-13-2008, 09:04 AM   #8
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one thing to consider is the focusing in low light isn't that great so MF in low light isn't that bad. considering that, you can grab a DA40 and then an A50 1.4 used ... more money and more versatility. but if you want only one, then the FA50 def has more versatility as well it's not a very large or heavy lens either.

04-13-2008, 09:06 AM   #9
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I strongly recommend the 40 Ltd simply because it is specifically designed for digital SLR. The 50 1.4 is an excellent lens and has more capability to shoot in low light, but most situations don't need that kind of speed and there is some image degredation as you widen the aperture. As you can see from your own charts, the 40 will give you great results through its entire range.
04-13-2008, 09:56 AM   #10
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40mm is enough wider than 50mm that it can basically serve as a normal/standard lens. 50mm ends up being a portrait length and not as versatile.



(I have the 40mm and not the 50mm, and I don't regret my decision. I'm still struggling to decide between the 77mm and 70mm for my next purchase.)
04-13-2008, 10:11 AM   #11
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Strong division

Opinion seems sharply divided on this issue and therefore ponts to both lenses being of exceptional quality. Still it brings me no closer to a decision.

The input has been very helpful so far and for that i say than you ladies and gentlemen. Please chime in if you have any images or experiences you can share that will enlighten further.

Peter
04-13-2008, 10:27 AM   #12
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Unless enlargements are the biggest concern (you'll get a bit more detail on the bigger prints as indicated above) then the decision is more toward what you will do with it.
1) is low light important? FA50=winner
2) large print fine detail? = DA 40 = winner
3) FOV wider or narrow?
4) limit the DOF for isolating the subject from surroundings? FA50 = winner.
4) MF focus ability = DA 40 winner.
5) size (portable/weight) = DA 40 = winner
6) Size (ability to actually get your fingers on the lens) FA 50 = winner
7) FF wider image circle for less vignetting FA50 = winner
8) FF future upgrade (???) FA 50 = winner


There may be some other considerations but that's all I can think of at the moment.
If I had to make the choice again. It would be the FA50. I would later consider adding the 40 to the bag.
04-13-2008, 12:04 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
40mm is enough wider than 50mm that it can basically serve as a normal/standard lens. 50mm ends up being a portrait length and not as versatile.
but then you can go and get FA 35/2... you gain a stop, it will be wider and sharp
04-13-2008, 12:08 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
4) MF focus ability = DA 40 winner.
6) Size (ability to actually get your fingers on the lens) FA 50 = winner
MF is not just a quick shift... so I doubt that DA40 is a winner here.
04-13-2008, 12:25 PM   #15
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Not sure I understand that comment. the 40 has quick shift and of course with both, you can turn the AF off on the body. So the advantage would be the quick shift going to the 40 assuming you can comfortably do that with such a small lens.
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