Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
03-08-2014, 06:20 AM   #1
Forum Member




Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 73
50mm comparisions -- my head is spinning

I am new to Pentax and just bought a K5, which I LOVE! I have been reading and researching the 50mm for about a week and I still feel confused. My budget is no higher than $125/$150. From my understanding there are 4 different kinds

50mm M 1.7 -- all manual
50mm A 1.7 -- auto
50mm FA 1.7
50mm F 1.7

What is the FA & F?

I know I have a crop frame and these are closer to a 75mm.

03-08-2014, 06:29 AM   #2
Site Supporter
boriscleto's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Liverpool, NY
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 12,872
F was the first AF lens series made by Pentax, from 1986 to 1991.

FA was the second series of AF lenses made by Pentax, from 1991 to the present (FA 50/1.4).

Pentax K-Mount Lenses Explained: The differences between various Pentax lens series

The A 50/1.7 is well within your budget. The F might be available for less than $150, the FA is somewhat rare and usually more expensive (though I got mine for $100 on craigslist).

Pentax Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

Pentax M 50mm f/1.7 samples - PentaxForums.com
SMC Pentax A 50mm F1.7 Samples - PentaxForums.com
Pentax F 50mm f/1.7 samples - PentaxForums.com
SMC-FA 50mm 1.7 - PentaxForums.com
03-08-2014, 06:32 AM   #3
Veteran Member




Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 466
50 mm is 50 mm is 50 mm regardless of sensor. They will all be like 75 mm lenses on a crop sensor.

M requires green button to meter. I would avoid this one.
A does not and also allows PTTL flash metering. A good inexpensive choice if you are willing to forgo autofocus.
F adds auto focus. I carry a 50mm F 1.7 almost all the time. I'm not upgrading until I get a serious bargain.
FA adds slightly better flash automation.
03-08-2014, 07:23 AM   #4
Forum Member




Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 73
Original Poster
These are great resources! I was looking through the F & FA examples (I also looked on Flickr) and some of the bokeh on the F looks smeared like. Is that from user error?

QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
F was the first AF lens series made by Pentax, from 1986 to 1991.

FA was the second series of AF lenses made by Pentax, from 1991 to the present (FA 50/1.4).

Pentax K-Mount Lenses Explained: The differences between various Pentax lens series

The A 50/1.7 is well within your budget. The F might be available for less than $150, the FA is somewhat rare and usually more expensive (though I got mine for $100 on craigslist).

Pentax Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

Pentax M 50mm f/1.7 samples - PentaxForums.com
SMC Pentax A 50mm F1.7 Samples - PentaxForums.com
Pentax F 50mm f/1.7 samples - PentaxForums.com
SMC-FA 50mm 1.7 - PentaxForums.com


03-08-2014, 08:52 AM   #5
Pentaxian
mgvh's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: MD
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 855
For $125/150, you should be able to get the new DA 50 f1.8 used. I have the M50 f1.7 and A50 f1.7 also. Those latter two have their charms, but if I just had to choose one to keep, it would be the DA 50.
03-08-2014, 09:03 AM - 1 Like   #6
Site Supporter




Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Middle of Everywhere
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,169
QuoteOriginally posted by julbelle Quote
I am new to Pentax and...have been reading and researching the 50mm for about a week and I still feel confused...

Confusion is easy to overcome, if you are willing to take some time and do a little work...


Did your K-5 purchase include the 18-55 kit lens? If No, get one (used is OK). If Yes, do some research on it and identify it's strengths. You may read a lot about its weaknesses, but put those comments aside. Instead, everyday, shoot to its strengths for (say) six months. Learn everything you can about it and your K-5, then return with your question (if it still remains ). Should you return, you may have a better question and be better prepared to understand suggestions offered by others.


Want to learn more? Check this out:


http://dtmateojr.wordpress.com/2012/04/20/zoom-lens-vs-prime-lens/


...my 2 cents... M

Last edited by Michaelina2; 03-08-2014 at 11:49 AM.
03-08-2014, 10:00 AM   #7
Pentaxian
TaoMaas's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Oklahoma City
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,197
QuoteOriginally posted by julbelle Quote
I have been reading and researching the 50mm for about a week and I still feel confused.

You are WAY over-thinking this. There's not a tremendous amount of difference in the lenses you listed. I have a few copies of the M50 f1.7, but those are left over from my film days. If I were buying now, I'd look for an A, F, or FA version, simply because of the convenience. However...I do think you're smart to be considering these lenses because they're all full-frame. When (or if....heaven forbid) Pentax comes out with their full-frame camera, you'll be ahead of the game. For what it's worth...I once read an article that said that almost all 50mm lenses are decent because it's such an easy lens formula. (Granted, this was during the film days. With digital, this may not be completely true.) If you're going to anguish over a lens purchase, save it for wide-angles, telephotos, or zooms.
03-08-2014, 10:58 AM   #8
Veteran Member
sterretje's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Roodepoort, South Africa
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,534
QuoteOriginally posted by julbelle Quote
I know I have a crop frame and these are closer to a 75mm.
Forget about crop factor; FOV and DOF will be the same as the 18-55 or 18-135 lens @ 50mm and equivalent apertures on your K5.

Crop factor is only of interest if you're comparing FOV on different systems (APSc, m4/3, FF, and so on).

03-08-2014, 11:16 AM   #9
Pentaxian
Just1MoreDave's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Aurora, CO
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 4,863
QuoteOriginally posted by mgvh Quote
For $125/150, you should be able to get the new DA 50 f1.8 used. I have the M50 f1.7 and A50 f1.7 also. Those latter two have their charms, but if I just had to choose one to keep, it would be the DA 50.
I agree with that. All of the Pentax 50mm f1.7 lenses (M, A, F, FA) use the same optical formula. The only optical differences are in the lens coatings, so there are small color rendering differences in each series. It's tough to see these unless you have all of them for a comparison. Physically, the M has the best build, the A is cheap but a well-treated copy disguises its cheapness. The F was built with no regard to manual focus and the FA is only a little better. If you buy and sell a lot of stuff, you eventually will see most or all of these. It would be a lot of work to take photos that show differences between these versions.

The DA 50/1.8 is somewhat different. It has seven aperture blades, new coatings, a plastic mount and a 52mm filter. And you can get it brand new or barely used, while the other ones haven't been made for a while. The aperture blades can make a distinct difference in night shots that anyone can see. The lens has a correction profile but a 50mm usually doesn't need one.
03-08-2014, 12:08 PM   #10
Pentaxian
chickentender's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Seattle, WA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,993
Personally, if you're quite interested in really *learning*, I would pick up the most simple version possible, namely the M 50mm 1.7 - this will allow you to gain the most amount of understanding in the shortest amount of time. Focus and aperture setting will be done manually and if you're shooting in manual mode you'll set the shutter speed on-camera and can use the Green button to quickly allow the camera to meter for you and work up or down from there.

Also, the M will by far be the cheapest and easiest place to begin.
03-08-2014, 12:30 PM   #11
Pentaxian




Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Oklahoma USA
Posts: 1,503
What lenses do you have now?
03-08-2014, 01:04 PM   #12
Forum Member




Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 73
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by tibbitts Quote
What lenses do you have now?
Originally I had a Canon T3, kit lens, flash, 50mm 1.8, and a 70-200mm lens. The T3 was nice but I didn't love it, came across a used K5 with the 18-55 kit lens and LOVE it. Sold all my Canon gear and need to build my Pentax gear up. This link has helped a lot Pentax K-Mount Lenses Explained: The differences between various Pentax lens series

I want something that I can use for portraits and gives me nice bokeh, I do like the kit lens I just want more options I am trying to buy a M 50mm 1.7 off Craigslist to learn, but I also want one that has auto focus and and auto aperature. It just feels like there are so many options for a 50mm it's over whelming.
03-08-2014, 02:48 PM   #13
Forum Member




Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 73
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Michaelina2 Quote
Confusion is easy to overcome, if you are willing to take some time and do a little work...


Did your K-5 purchase include the 18-55 kit lens? If No, get one (used is OK). If Yes, do some research on it and identify it's strengths. You may read a lot about its weaknesses, but put those comments aside. Instead, everyday, shoot to its strengths for (say) six months. Learn everything you can about it and your K-5, then return with your question (if it still remains ). Should you return, you may have a better question and be better prepared to understand suggestions offered by others.


Want to learn more? Check this out:


Zoom Lens vs Prime Lens | Demo Mateo


...my 2 cents... M
I am learning a ton from this guy! Thanks! I'm on this blog now Understanding Your Lens (Part 1) | Demo Mateo
03-08-2014, 04:57 PM   #14
Site Supporter
6BQ5's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Nevada, USA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,109
I think there is a F 50mm f/1.7 on the marketplace right now.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/24-photographic-equipment-sale/253501-sal...-50-1-7-a.html

The 50mm optical design has been well established and it's kind of hard to find a bad 50mm lens. Even the older manual ones can capture great images.

I agree with others who say get a FF lens if you can. The build quality is good and you will be ahead of the game if/when a FF body is released. Get an A, F, or FA lens for the automatic aperture control. I got my FA 50mm f/1.7 from eBay in camera/lens/accessory bundle. My initial thought was to sell of the extra goodies but I fell in love with the accessories and use them well. It made the perceived price of the lens lower than if I bought it separately.
03-08-2014, 05:16 PM   #15
Moderator PEG Judges
Kerrowdown's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Highlands of Scotland.
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 32,811
QuoteOriginally posted by julbelle Quote
50mm comparisions -- my head is spinning
This maybe of interest to you too.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/26-mini-challenges-games-photo-stories/25...-giveaway.html
Reply

Bookmarks
  • 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, fa, k-mount, pentax lens, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Pentax 645, 67, Mamiya RB and 645... My head is spinning. fretlessdavis Pentax Medium Format 40 11-22-2013 09:52 AM
Tripod Head - Can I add Rotation to my current ball head claimed4all Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 5 10-11-2011 09:34 AM
People Excedrin Headache #57: There is a knife on my head jmbradd Post Your Photos! 6 09-10-2010 07:43 PM
My head is spinning. 16-45mm or 17-70mm or... Unsinkable II Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10 05-16-2010 11:30 AM
tripod head spinning off :( rdrum76 Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 9 01-27-2009 09:46 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:37 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com 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?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top