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02-15-2014, 04:53 PM   #1
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DA* 55 from KEH

So I just ordered a DA* 55 from KEH in EX+ condition at what I think's a pretty good price. From what I've heard, KEH's grading system is very conservative, and it includes all the extras: case, hood, caps, etc. My rationale was that this lens is AW, and can also be used on the unicorn FF DSLR (or MILC) from Pentax I do have a 43 and yes I've read the thread about that vs. the DA* 55, but I think it'll be able to find a spot in my stable even though it looks ridiculous with the hood on...

I have two questions - do I have anything to worry about with the SDM? I know this can be pretty subjective, but I have no idea when the lens was manufactured and I've heard less about SDM issues on the DA* 55 vs DA 16-50 for example.

Also, I have a K 50 1.2 which I don't think will get used that much now that I have another fast(er) AF lens. I would say it's in EX+ condition as well, do you guy think it's worth selling in the current market?

02-15-2014, 04:57 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by slipdm16 Quote
I have two questions - do I have anything to worry about with the SDM? I know this can be pretty subjective, but I have no idea when the lens was manufactured and I've heard less about SDM issues on the DA* 55 vs DA 16-50 for example.
The SDM on this lens isn't prone to failure- it's just rather slow.

And yes, I think the market for F1.2 lenses is still fairly competitive since there are so few of them.

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02-15-2014, 05:03 PM   #3
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Thanks - that was quick. Although I know I'd be really sad to sell it given it's an absolute classic and I special ordered the original matching hood to go with it

PS - hope everything works out in Tokyo

Last edited by slipdm16; 02-15-2014 at 10:39 PM.
02-15-2014, 05:23 PM   #4
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I'd just hold on to the 1.2... You'll wish you had if you let it go. Just consider it like a classic car that sits in the garage - you aren't going to drive it everyday, but damn if doesn't feel good having it around to take out now and again. And it isn't going to depreciate, this is certain.

---------- Post added 02-15-2014 at 06:27 PM ----------

I have the around 50mm range covered 3 times over or more, but I've considered the 55 1.4 just so I've an auto lens in that range that is weather sealed but not the heavy tank that the 50-135 is. Eventually I probably will and not worry about it. It's my most used range for certain.

02-15-2014, 08:17 PM   #5
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Haha I like your style...I kind of view them like old cars, some are everyday drivers, some I only take out when everything's just right I'm sure there are many who'd scoff at that notion, but it's not every day I can go on a photo walk or make sure everything's right for that perfect shot...
02-15-2014, 08:29 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by slipdm16 Quote
I do have a 43 and yes I've read the thread about that vs. the DA* 55, but I think it'll be able to find a spot in my stable even though it looks ridiculous with the hood on...

I have two questions - do I have anything to worry about with the SDM? I know this can be pretty subjective, but I have no idea when the lens was manufactured and I've heard less about SDM issues on the DA* 55 vs DA 16-50 for example.

Also, I have a K 50 1.2 which I don't think will get used that much now that I have another fast(er) AF lens. I would say it's in EX+ condition as well, do you guy think it's worth selling in the current market?
Ah, the very reason I don't have the DA*55! I also have the FA43 and K50/1.2, and I'm afraid of neglecting two of the more extraordinary lenses I have!


All of which proves I should probably just get a DA*55 and use it, and forget about the early MIJ FA43 with excellent color and the K50/1.2 which is the fastest and has the nicest, soft backgrounds.

But if I really, really needed it I would have bought one a while ago. So I may not actually need it either. In reality I can get along pretty well with just 4 primes and two zooms (FA*24, FA*85, FA135, F*300, DA*16-50, DA*50-135), plus macro or wide choices for special occasions. In other words, as much as I admire these 50ish lenses, I could probably live without any of them.

And if I didn't need the faster AF and discreet size of the FA135 (since I also have the DA*50-135), I could do with just 5 lenses plus the D FA 100 WR macro and the DA10-17.



Are there others here who also find that, when push comes to shove and they have to pack their backpack, they tend to work around the fast 50s and pick either longer or shorter lenses for fast primes?

(nevertheless I'm still a bit jealous, slipdm16!)

Last edited by DSims; 02-15-2014 at 08:41 PM.
02-15-2014, 10:04 PM   #7
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Not I... I love the 50-135 but I'd never do without at least one fast fiddy.

---------- Post added 02-15-2014 at 11:06 PM ----------

Well... I suppose that's not entirely true. Sometimes I don't bring it out. My most common pack includes two bodies, one with the 50-135 and one with the FA 31, and on many occasions the 50mm doens't come out. But there are definitely times when the light gets sparse enough that the 2.8 on those longer lengths isn't enough. So, it's always at the ready.
02-15-2014, 10:28 PM   #8
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Lol DSims, I thought this was a community of LBA enablers!! Yes I know it is ridiculous but as I told my 1 year old son today (in confidence of course), these are the ways I rationalize these purchases. Really I wanted something faster than 3.5 that was WR so I could take it in the snow, to the beach (I cringe at the idea of taking the beautiful, scratch-prone Macro WR to the beach) and not worry about it. If Pentax would just make a cheap WR prime I would've been happy but nooo...now I have to get this

I have also been reading the thread about whether photography is people's most expensive hobby...two common denominators seem to be fishing and hunting (which run in my wife's family), both of which have significantly higher carrying costs...


Last edited by slipdm16; 02-15-2014 at 10:37 PM.
02-15-2014, 11:38 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by slipdm16 Quote
Lol DSims, I thought this was a community of LBA enablers!! Yes I know it is ridiculous but as I told my 1 year old son today (in confidence of course), these are the ways I rationalize these purchases. Really I wanted something faster than 3.5 that was WR so I could take it in the snow, to the beach (I cringe at the idea of taking the beautiful, scratch-prone Macro WR to the beach) and not worry about it. If Pentax would just make a cheap WR prime I would've been happy but nooo...now I have to get this
Pretty funny!

I guess that's true about a fast WR lens, but I'm Southern California (with 80+ degree days this week), so I don't really think about it much. In a rainstorm I love putting on the DA*50-135 or 100 WR while other photographers are carefully covering their gear, but it doesn't happen that often.


It's a good thing you told your son about this (to ease the guilt) - of course you know he understands you and he's going to tell on you some day! (When my daughter was 2 months old she used to listen in from the back seat of the car and she'd laugh whenever I said something sarcastic (no one else did); when she was 6 months old we realized she was quietly paying attention because when her brother's Hot Wheels crashed into each other off the jump she thought it was hilarious!)


But LBA, well ... yes, I see you have a few holes in your lens lineup, let me help you with that ...

Last edited by DSims; 02-15-2014 at 11:50 PM.
02-16-2014, 12:32 AM   #10
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I just got an EX+ FA 77 ltd from KEH and was very happy with the condition of the lens. My only complaint is that the case was a generic pentax case instead of the leather pouch.
02-16-2014, 12:45 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikemike Quote
I just got an EX+ FA 77 ltd from KEH and was very happy with the condition of the lens. My only complaint is that the case was a generic pentax case instead of the leather pouch.
It's probably the case that KEH bought from the owner along with the 77.

I find I have to read their descriptions very carefully and decode their abbreviations even more carefully. The fact that the case was not a genuine 77 case should have been reflected in the description, and in the lens price. If not, I would complain to them.
02-16-2014, 12:50 AM   #12
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I did complain and they offered me only a $10 refund, I am still trying to decide if that is enough consideration.
02-16-2014, 01:28 AM - 1 Like   #13
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@DSims - yes my son will remain my confidant until he starts asking why the lenses cost as much as almost 2 weeks of daycare...though as of right now I am the funniest person he knows Will have to see if this supercedes the FA 43 as my "go to" lens...

@mikemike - hopefully everything that comes w/ it is original, although I believe my DA* 60-250 case is a "generic" Pentax case...will have to keep you guys updated on condition when it arrives next week...
02-16-2014, 01:37 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikemike Quote
I did complain and they offered me only a $10 refund, I am still trying to decide if that is enough consideration.
$10 does seem a bit low. $15 would be more reasonable if they sent you a good fitting genuine Pentax case like an S-80 80. Otherwise $20 minimum for a generic case.

Last edited by Gray; 02-16-2014 at 02:00 AM.
02-16-2014, 03:46 AM   #15
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You have some good answers to your questions. I wouldn't worry about the SDM. I have owned one for four years without any issues. I think it is the zooms where there have been more problems over time. As to selling you 50mm f1.2, I would advise waiting, just to see how you connect with the DA *55. However, that said, my 55 is one of my favorite lenses. I have said many times that if I was on a desert island, the lenses I would want with me are the DA *55 and DA 15 limited.


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