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05-27-2008, 06:21 PM   #1
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curious about the rave reviews of the FA 50mm f1.4

I'll open up by asking is the FA 50mm 1.4 a "people portrait" lens for the most part, or is it a great all purpose lens. It has been said many times on the forum, how wonderful this optic is, and I was wanting to know how most of you use your FA 50? For such a small investment and all the positive feedback, I don't think I should hesitate on the purchase of this lens.

05-27-2008, 06:34 PM   #2
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I can provide you an extra odd reason to get this lens. Once I get this prime, it helps me reduce my urge to get other manual 50mm. Not that anything bad on getting another 50mm, but this one is the newest one and it also happen to be the cheapest Pentax prime that you can buy it brand new. Unless you are interested in saving bucks in getting a manual lens in the 50mm, it can't hurt to get this prime with fast speed at f/1.4 at maximum aperture. There are other 50mm manual that is sharper than the FA 50 f/1.4 but you lose the AF. For the price, value, AF and film camera compatibility, I recommend FA 50 f/1.4 highly, and here are few thinkings that pop up in mind
  • Least expensive prime NEW from Pentax with AutoFocus
  • Good for both digital, film and full frame
  • Great speed at f/1.4, but I use it mostly at f/1.8 and f/2.0 for the widest
  • Ideal speed for focusing for night time shooting
  • Great and smooth bokeh for portrait
  • Good color and contrast for daytime photos
  • Good sharpness when stopped down to f/2.0 in my experience. Some people go higher as in f/1.8
  • Reassonable PF/CA noted in my use, see purple lights in night shooting,
  • Reasonable AF, and manual focus is NOT bad on this prime

I have an older write up that summed up my amateur impressions on this lens

The other alternatives will be Pentax FA 35mm f/2.0, DA 40mm f/2.8, and the latest DA * 35mm f/2.8 Macro. But none are as inexpensive as the FA 50 f/1.4. And for my amateur needs for night time photos and portraits, the lens does more than I can ask for.

Last edited by hinman; 05-29-2008 at 01:26 PM.
05-27-2008, 07:03 PM   #3
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Well, I just recently got one after buying a 50/1.7 a few months back. If my eyesight and manual focus skills weren't so bad, I may have passed on the 1.4. I haven't done any direct comparisons with both at f/1.7 to compare the two, but for now I'm keeping the manual lens, because when I nail it, that sucker is razor sharp! But I love the f/1.4 too! Fast focusing and pretty quiet (never realized how loud some of my other lenses were), it's a versatile lens, but not without some limitations. If you do a lot of indoor, close in shooting, it may be too long. But on the flip side, f/1.4 is great for indoor lighting without using flash. And the bokeh on it is sweet for shots of static objects. If you have a zoom that falls into the 50mm range, keep it there just to get a feel of what you can and can't use that focal length for and if it's for you. If it is even a little, I think you'll enjoy this lens.
05-27-2008, 07:05 PM   #4
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I use the FA 50 when I do portraits, when I want to mess with very small depths-of-field (depth-of-fields? depth-ofs-fields?), or when I need the low-light capabilities. It's not wide enough (on a DSLR) to capture more than one person comfortably (if you have them squeeze, you can get a head+Torso shot of two people) indoors (ie, party situations). I've not used it a whole lot, but that's because I've not been doing a lot of portraits and my shooting style tends towards wide sweeping landscapes.

05-27-2008, 07:15 PM   #5
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I use this lens for pretty much everything. As one of the posters above noted....check 50mm length of one of your existing lenses to see if that length works for you. You should find the length pretty versatile.

If you find the length comfy for what you like to shoot...then there is no reason NOT to get this lens. Yes, it's that good.

c[_]
05-27-2008, 07:45 PM   #6
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I've got a bunch of 50mm's and they are all great lenses but when a shot really means something to me, out comes the FA 50/1.4. It was my first really nice lens and yes, it's that good.
05-27-2008, 08:20 PM   #7
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I use it for product shooting and is quite nice and versatile

Last edited by Not Registered; 05-28-2008 at 12:03 PM.
05-27-2008, 08:44 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by roverlr3 Quote
For such a small investment and all the positive feedback, I don't think I should hesitate on the purchase of this lens.
Unless you are a pro it's not an investment; it's money down the drain

But true you should not hesitate.
Allow me to again "borrow" from Kresica this pic (FA50/1.4, iso100, 1/125s, f/4)



05-27-2008, 09:01 PM   #9
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Some indoor samples



#1 1/30 sec, f/1.6, 50mm, iso 800, 0 Ev, hand-held with K100D


#2 1/30 sec, f/1.6, 50mm, iso 800, 0 Ev, hand-held with K100D


#3 Soft unfortunately
1/50 sec, f/2.0, 50mm, iso 800, 0 Ev, hand-held with K100D


#4 1/40 sec, f/2.8, 50mm, iso 800, 0 Ev, hand-held with K100D


Thoughts on Pentax FA 50 f/1.4 - Hin's Tech Corner

Regards,
Hin

Last edited by hinman; 05-29-2008 at 11:48 AM.
05-27-2008, 09:08 PM   #10
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I think that it is a great portrait lens but it is also a great lens in general. You can certainly shoot outdoors with it, keeping in mind that the FOV is going to be what it is. There is a place for a tighter landscape shot.

05-27-2008, 09:16 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by felix68 Quote
I think that it is a great portrait lens but it is also a great lens in general. You can certainly shoot outdoors with it, keeping in mind that the FOV is going to be what it is. There is a place for a tighter landscape shot.
Awesome picture! Wowww.

Hin
05-27-2008, 09:23 PM   #12
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It was my 3rd lens after the DA 18-55 and 50-200 kits, and it's the lens that made me really understand what my camera was capable of. My wife uses it now on the K100D ("her" camera) almost exclusively.
05-27-2008, 10:08 PM   #13
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Nope. Don't hesitate to get this lens.
It is by far my sharpest lens - but then I don't have any * lenses...
But value for money 5/5
You'll never regret that purchase...
05-27-2008, 10:35 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by hinman Quote
Awesome picture! Wowww.

Hin
Thanks Hin. That shot was at f2.0 with a custom white balance, all incandescent light in a bathroom with no windows. Pretty amazing for a $200 lens brand new, but you know that. This is my favorite lens by far and most of all on a good film body with some Tri-X. I prefer the Z-1p as I find the autofocus to be amazingly good and that camera has all of the speed and functions that I could ever want.
05-28-2008, 12:09 AM   #15
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o and dont forget the flowers...








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