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01-23-2007, 09:19 PM   #1
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50mm f/1.4 help

hey im just a starter and was wondering if any of you guys could help me out. theres so many 50mm f/1.4s im confused -.- i was looking at smc takumars on ebay and wa wondering if that gives sharp/clean images. i really like taking portraits. so if any one could help me out, thanksss guyssss. and gals ^___^

01-23-2007, 09:34 PM   #2
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SMC Takumars require screwmount adapters for digital bodies, but their image quality should be about as good as that of any other Pentax 50mm. They're fully manual, though.

K, M, A, F, and FA versions of the 50/1.4 also exist. They're very similar to each other (construction and MF/AF being the only obvious differences), so if I were you I'd get the FA 50mm F1.4, unless your prefer MF.

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01-23-2007, 09:39 PM   #3
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ohhhhhh. yah i was looking for something really cheap >___< say,less than $100 dont think i can afford that fa 50mm althouh it looks really awesome but i actually do prefer manual fr 50mm because personally i think you can make it clearer heh. anysuggestions for "cheap" 50mms? and how does that adapter thingy work? im noob thanks alot though really appreciate it ^____^
01-23-2007, 09:50 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by rapphaelray Quote
ohhhhhh. yah i was looking for something really cheap >___< say,less than $100 dont think i can afford that fa 50mm althouh it looks really awesome but i actually do prefer manual fr 50mm because personally i think you can make it clearer heh. anysuggestions for "cheap" 50mms? and how does that adapter thingy work? im noob thanks alot though really appreciate it ^____^
Too bad you didn't get one earlier because with the $50 rebate the FA50/1.4 was an absolute bargain at $170. It is still nicely priced at $195 (with a $25 rebate) and worth every penny.
I have 8 or 9 50mm lenses (and a couple I sold...) and the FA50/1.4 is the best. Next IMO is my screw mount SMC Takumar 50/1.4.
A great option - and my first 50mm lens - is the smc Pentax-A 50/1.7. It is manual focus but has all the other electrical connections, allowing you to control aperture from the camera body in all shooting modes. If you choose to get one of the smc Pentax-M or just plain 'smc Pentax' lenses, you must shoot the camera in M mode in order to control the aperture.
The older screw mount (M42) lenses must be stopped down manually - there is no connection between the camera and the aperture in the lens.

You can search for M42 adapter, among other things, to find out more.

01-23-2007, 10:46 PM   #5
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You mention taking portraits. A 50 mm even with a 1.5x reduction in field of view, is still a 50 mm lens for portraiture. (For a given lens focal length for 35mm, multiply it by 1.5 to see what the 'equivalent' field of view is for the digital camera. So 50mm would be like looking through a 75mm lens.) The thing is the depth of field and forshortening of the image with a 50 mm or even 75mm is not great for portraits. Good 35mm portrait lenses start at 85 mm and go to 105. At this focal length the background is usually out of focus and the facial features seem flattened. You don't want the nose to look large because it is closest to the camera.

Hope this helps.

Michael

See my picture of Elyse in my Gallery Photos. This was takem with the 100mm F2.8 macro.
01-24-2007, 02:09 AM   #6
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carpents so which one shud i get? i mean i want one which i can shoot in all modes, but im totally fine with manual focus. which one has the electricalconnections and stuff? oh yeah thanks michael for the tip i tried myfriends canon rebel xt 50mm 1.7 i think. i really want that background blur thats why. heh by the way, thanks alot for helping guys :d im new to this lens thingy -____-
01-24-2007, 08:07 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by rapphaelray Quote
c which one has the electricalconnections and stuff?
PENTAX-A 50mm f/1,4
01-24-2007, 08:37 AM   #8
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50mm lenses

QuoteOriginally posted by carpents Quote
Too bad you didn't get one earlier because with the $50 rebate the FA50/1.4 was an absolute bargain at $170. It is still nicely priced at $195 (with a $25 rebate) and worth every penny.
I have 8 or 9 50mm lenses (and a couple I sold...) and the FA50/1.4 is the best. Next IMO is my screw mount SMC Takumar 50/1.4.
A great option - and my first 50mm lens - is the smc Pentax-A 50/1.7. It is manual focus but has all the other electrical connections, allowing you to control aperture from the camera body in all shooting modes. If you choose to get one of the smc Pentax-M or just plain 'smc Pentax' lenses, you must shoot the camera in M mode in order to control the aperture.
The older screw mount (M42) lenses must be stopped down manually - there is no connection between the camera and the aperture in the lens.

You can search for M42 adapter, among other things, to find out more.
I also have several 50mm (and 55mm) lenses. All of mine are manual focus. One of the nicest IMO for portraits is my Super Multi Coated Takumar 55mm f1.7. It has to be used fully manual as Sean said but creates beautiful images and the out of focus area is so nice - softly blurred. It is excellent for low light situations - I was shooting a church function my kids were in, a friend had a Canon 30D and I forget which lens but he couldn't get a decent shot because his fastest lens was f3.5 or something. With that 30+ year old SMC takumar I got a number of very sharp shots of the kids. there were no house lights on and only a bunch of candles for light.

I am seriously considering the FA 50mm 1.4 simply because it is Auto Focus. my local shop has it for $169.

Sean,
why do you think the FA50 1.4 is the best? Do you like it better than shorter focal length lenses for general use? I had also considered a 40mm limited . . . . not as fast and a little more $ but seems like a pretty nice piece of glass.

Ed

01-24-2007, 01:24 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by photodad Quote
I am seriously considering the FA 50mm 1.4 simply because it is Auto Focus. my local shop has it for $169.

Sean,
why do you think the FA50 1.4 is the best? Do you like it better than shorter focal length lenses for general use? I had also considered a 40mm limited . . . . not as fast and a little more $ but seems like a pretty nice piece of glass.

Ed

Ed... you want to buy that FA50/1.4 now. Quick before anyone else figures out where it is. If you don't like it you can sell it for a profit, and use the proceeds to fund the DA40. B&H is selling this lens for $200 (after rebate) but they are out of stock. In fact this lens (along with a bunch of other FA lenses) seems to be sold out everywhere.

Production of the FA lenses will eventually be shut down as lens production gets moved from Japan to Vietnam. This includes the FA50/1.4.
01-24-2007, 03:49 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by photodad Quote
Sean,
why do you think the FA50 1.4 is the best? Do you like it better than shorter focal length lenses for general use? I had also considered a 40mm limited . . . . not as fast and a little more $ but seems like a pretty nice piece of glass.

Ed
Hi Ed,
I think the FA50/1.4 is the best among my Pentax f/1.4 lenses. I did some testing with a Super-Takumar 50/1.4, SMC Takumar 50/1.4, and the FA 50/1.4. Those lenses would be from roughly 1965, 1975, and probably 1995. The difference between the non-super-multi-coated Super-Takumar and the others was distinct - more flare, less resolution especially wide open, more axial chromatic aberration. The SMC Tak and the FA50 were very close in all aspects, but the FA50 had (very) slightly less flare and (very very) slightly less CA. For all intents and purposes I would say that the following lenses could be considered equivalent as far as image quality:
  • Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 50/1.4 (M42 mount)
  • SMC Takumar 50/1.4 (M42 mount)
  • smc Pentax 50/1.4 (the K version)
  • smc Pentax-M 50/1.4
  • smc Pentax-A 50/1.4
  • smc Pentax-F 50/1.4
  • smc Pentax-FA 50/1.4
Obviously the F/FA versions have autofocus. The A, F, and FA versions offer electronic controls. I would rather have the A version than the FA version because I'm a manual focus junkie. But I would guess - assuming they are all in Like New condition - that the image quality is within production tolerances for all of them.
I also compared the FA50/1.4 with the A50/1.7, M50/2, and A50/2 a long time ago. I remember liking the bokeh the best on the FA50/1.4 and that the A50/1.7 was surprisingly sharp all the way down to f/1.7. The other two are worth the ~$25 for which they usually sell.

I now have the A50/1.2 which I like above them all. It has nice bokeh and less CA than my 1.4 50s. It is also perfectly sharp and usable at f/1.8 - but I've been known to use it all day at f/1.2.

I don't have the DA40 unfortunately, so I don't know too much about it.

--Sean
01-24-2007, 05:30 PM   #11
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ohh wow. lol i didnt expect this convo but thanks for the info! heh. hmmm now about all these. im thinking of getting the pentax-a-50mm1.4 or 1.7 >___< which ever i cheaper. so can you guys help me out on which one to get/find? what i want in the lens...

-f1.4
-manual focus
-able to shoot in all modes
-hows the 55mm?
-a nice background blur
-good image quality >___<

thanks for all the help guys
01-24-2007, 05:31 PM   #12
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or f1.7, hows the background blur in that? does that shoot good in low light? and the lens gotta fit on k100d k thankssss sry guys. <newbie here
01-24-2007, 06:59 PM   #13
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50mm

QuoteOriginally posted by carpents Quote
Hi Ed,
I think the FA50/1.4 is the best among my Pentax f/1.4 lenses. I did some testing with a Super-Takumar 50/1.4, SMC Takumar 50/1.4, and the FA 50/1.4. Those lenses would be from roughly 1965, 1975, and probably 1995. The difference between the non-super-multi-coated Super-Takumar and the others was distinct - more flare, less resolution especially wide open, more axial chromatic aberration. The SMC Tak and the FA50 were very close in all aspects, but the FA50 had (very) slightly less flare and (very very) slightly less CA. For all intents and purposes I would say that the following lenses could be considered equivalent as far as image quality:
  • Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 50/1.4 (M42 mount)
  • SMC Takumar 50/1.4 (M42 mount)
  • smc Pentax 50/1.4 (the K version)
  • smc Pentax-M 50/1.4
  • smc Pentax-A 50/1.4
  • smc Pentax-F 50/1.4
  • smc Pentax-FA 50/1.4
Obviously the F/FA versions have autofocus. The A, F, and FA versions offer electronic controls. I would rather have the A version than the FA version because I'm a manual focus junkie. But I would guess - assuming they are all in Like New condition - that the image quality is within production tolerances for all of them.
I also compared the FA50/1.4 with the A50/1.7, M50/2, and A50/2 a long time ago. I remember liking the bokeh the best on the FA50/1.4 and that the A50/1.7 was surprisingly sharp all the way down to f/1.7. The other two are worth the ~$25 for which they usually sell.

I now have the A50/1.2 which I like above them all. It has nice bokeh and less CA than my 1.4 50s. It is also perfectly sharp and usable at f/1.8 - but I've been known to use it all day at f/1.2.

I don't have the DA40 unfortunately, so I don't know too much about it.

--Sean
Sean,
thanks for the reply. This is great info and confirms (somewhat) my limited testing of the Super Takumars against the Super mUlti Coated Takumar. I like the color rendition and bokeh on the Super Multi Coat Tak 55mm 1.7 better than the Super Tak 50 1.4.

I am currently shooting the smc tak above, a Super Takumar 135 f3.5 and a Super Takumar 300 f 4. I also have the kit lens and the DA 50 - 200.

I love the photo page you have with the lenses and photos taken with them it is really great.

Thanks for the reply,

Ed
01-24-2007, 07:13 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by rapphaelray Quote
ohh wow. lol i didnt expect this convo but thanks for the info! heh. hmmm now about all these. im thinking of getting the pentax-a-50mm1.4 or 1.7 >___< which ever i cheaper. so can you guys help me out on which one to get/find? what i want in the lens...

-f1.4
-manual focus
-able to shoot in all modes
-hows the 55mm?
-a nice background blur
-good image quality >___<

thanks for all the help guys
'Convo'. That's cute.

Anyway, if you want the lens to 'work' with your K100, it is easiest to stay with the A or FA series lenses. The f/1.4 lenses have been going for insane prices IMO, and your best bet is to just get a new FA 50/1.4 if you can find it. The manual focus Pentax-A 50/1.4 is going to cost just as much.
Now, the smc Pentax-A 50/1.7 lens is a much more affordable and really good quality option. It is much more common and therefore is still sanely priced.

And yes, it can blur the hell out of your photo. It all depends on your subject distance, of course, but at f/1.7 focused on a close subject there is a very very small plane of sharp focus. Very fun to play around with that lens.
01-25-2007, 10:17 AM   #15
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hmmmm thats sounding pretty good. is there much difference with the 55mm 1.7 than the 50mm1.7? which would you prefer ? convo. thats real cute bahahaha
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