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05-27-2015, 07:33 PM   #1
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How is the FA 50mm f1.4 for manual focus?

I have a chance to buy the said lens for a good price. So I'm thinking of getting this as my one and only 50mm prime and thus, retiring my bunch of 50mm lenses. I alreadyhave a Ricoh 50mm f1.7 and Pentax-A 50mm f2.0. I'm also thinking of letting go my Helios 44K 58mm f2 so I can consolidate my lens collection. I've got all the Pentax systems, digital, AF and MF film. So I'm wondering if the FA 50mm 1.4 is practical on MF bodies? Any experience on this?

Last edited by weijen; 05-27-2015 at 07:43 PM.
05-27-2015, 07:51 PM   #2
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It is not optimized for MF but the narrow ring is easy to grip.

My copy lacks good damping but it Is usable as throw is not too short.

Your older 50s are more fun to MF.
05-28-2015, 01:57 AM   #3

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The focus ring is light making it prone to being 'bumped' more so than stiffer MF lenses. I've had both and would go with the FA if you're still using AF, and an MF if you're going full manual.
05-28-2015, 02:40 AM   #4
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I shot film camera with this lens and had no problems with focusing it. I do have to admit that it is not the most convenient lens to focus manually, but it does work.

05-28-2015, 06:18 AM   #5
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The MF ring is functional and capable but not optimized for the operation. You will be very happy with the sharpness of the lens and its color/contrast rendering. I would keep the Helios if I were you. It's a good lens with a unique rendering. I would sell/trade/whatever the A f/20 and the Ricoh f/1.7. Nice lenses but with the FA in one hand and the Helios in the other you won't be using those two much.
05-28-2015, 07:39 PM   #6
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I guess I'll have to try out the focus ring myself to see if it will work for me. Is the aperture ring clicky enough? I have some F and FA zoom lenses and the aperture ring is rather plasticky and doesn't rotate that smoothly. Is that the same case for the FA50?
05-28-2015, 09:00 PM   #7
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The aperture ring has a plasticky, jangly click to it. It's not horrible but it's not as smooth and solid as what is found in vintage lenses.

05-29-2015, 10:35 AM   #8
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Might be easier to just pick up a Pentax M 50mm f/1.4.

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