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08-04-2015, 06:21 AM   #1
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Search for a FF normal prime and wishlist

I always find something to pick on and cant find the perfect walk around normal prime for the upcoming FF. First i'll present the shortcomings, then a wish to Pentax.

Pentax 40mm f/2,8 (4 variants): I have the M variant the only one officially covering full frame, but it lacks AF and have no effective lens hood. The AF variants just have unofficial support full frame, but none of them have a hood. f/2,8 is a bit slow too and the focus ring is too small in my opinion. They also lack WR.

Pentax FA 50mm f/1,4: Nice size, but the size isn't used for a comfortable focus ring. The ring should be wider. Also its a very old design both externally and internally. Its far from sharp at f/1,4. Why buy a f/1,4 lens if its "useless" at f/1,4? I will rather have a f/2 lens that performs well from f/2. At apertures where it is sharp the bokeh is edgy/not good. It lacks WR. Hood lacks filter turning window.

Pentax DA 55mm f/1,4: Very nice. WR, sharp and hood with filter turning window. But its pricey, the hood is not flower shaped and its a bit much longitudinal CA (green-purple edges of out of focus lights). Its also a bit long.

Pentax DA 50mm f/1,8: Very nice price, but it its not sharp at f/1,8 or f/2. Why buy a f/1,8 lens if it should be used at f/2,8 or smaller? Also it lacks a plastic reversible hood with filter turning window. Lacks WR.

Pentax f/2,8 Macro DA 35, HD 35 or 50: Sharp and nice but only f/2,8, no WR, a bit long and not very chap to compensate for the shortcomings. Macro is also something i personally need myself in this focal length.

Pentax 35mm f/2,4: Sharp and nice from full aperture, lightweight and cheap. Much nice to say about it. But it doesn't have WR, is only f/2,4 a bit to wide for a normal on FF, no official support for FF, the rectangular plastic hood is bulky (and not reversible?)

Pentax 43mm f/1,9: Nice size, aperture and build quality. No WR, very pricey, old optical design could be better and have more magnification. Not the kind of hood i like.

Sigma 50mm f/1,4: The Art performs excellent, but its big, heavy, expensive and doesn't offer WR. The older siblings and a Sigma macro is cheaper and not that sharp, but still have the other shortcomings. Sigma is not treating Pentax users very well.


________________


My Wish for Pentax: Look at this list, pick the good sides and avoid the bad.

- Make a new D-FA normal prime with 40-50mm focal length and f/1,8-2,0 aperture
- Better optical formula (sharp from fully open, odd number rounded diaphragm, less aberrations, HD coatings, at least 0,2x magnification)
- WR and metal mount
- Quick shift focus on a 1,5 - 2 cm wide ring, and Ultrasonic AF
- Include a reversible plastic hood with flower shape and filter turning window. Add a hood extension ring optimized for APS-C image circle.
- Try to keep it 3 - 4 cm long, less then 250 grams and 250 $


Last edited by Simen1; 08-04-2015 at 06:51 AM.
08-04-2015, 06:39 AM   #2
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I'd think the natural choice for Pentax to compliment the new FF body would be a modern WR, DC motor, HD coating 50mm lens. It would be a compelling kit pairing.
To stay below $300, look for a refresh of the current DA50mm format - don't expect a Limited for that money...but it could be quite nice.

I have no idea whether this is even on the map.
08-04-2015, 07:18 AM   #3
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The last thing we need is more and more lenses that leave the earlier DSLRs unable to autofocus, especially at the kit-lens level.

Give me screwdrive plus DC freely selectable in firmware, thank you, or preferably just screwdrive (except perhaps for the really huge lenses). This new habit of putting the motors in the lenses without some sort of in-body reversion is IMO something Ricoh/Pentax are going to regret.
08-04-2015, 07:42 AM   #4
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Get over it. There are lots of choices. Take your pick. Sheesh!

Add the K or A 50/1.2 if you want to complete the list, but they are also awesomely imperfect.

08-04-2015, 07:55 AM   #5
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At 50mm, practically everything is good. Some are excellent. Even my old FA 35-80 is good. But my choice should I be in that position will be the FA 50 ƒ1.7, because I already own it, or the DA* 55, 1.4 because it's an awesome lens and I don't own any ƒ1.4 lenses. For low light photography needing ƒ 1.8, sharp is vastly overrated.

ƒ 1.8 isn't sharp on Pentax 50? Really? On the test charts or are you unhappy with what you are shooting. Usually when I take a shot in darkness I'm happy to get anything. And how is this unsharp? By what measurable standard?

There's a big difference between saying the test charts say it's not sharp, and looking at a picture and saying "this isn't sharp enough for me." Test charts can point you towards lenses you might like, but they in no way can determine whether or not you actually like the way lens renders.

SO if you're making 60 inch wide prints, you might have to worry about the sharpness of a particular 50, but since most of us are reducing the size of the images to print, overall sharpness is way overrated.

08-04-2015, 07:56 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Simen1 Quote
I always find something to pick on and cant find the perfect walk around normal prime for the upcoming FF. First i'll present the shortcomings, then a wish to Pentax.

Pentax 40mm f/2,8 (4 variants): I have the M variant the only one officially covering full frame, but it lacks AF and have no effective lens hood. The AF variants just have unofficial support full frame, but none of them have a hood. f/2,8 is a bit slow too and the focus ring is too small in my opinion. They also lack WR.

Pentax FA 50mm f/1,4: Nice size, but the size isn't used for a comfortable focus ring. The ring should be wider. Also its a very old design both externally and internally. Its far from sharp at f/1,4. Why buy a f/1,4 lens if its "useless" at f/1,4? I will rather have a f/2 lens that performs well from f/2. At apertures where it is sharp the bokeh is edgy/not good. It lacks WR. Hood lacks filter turning window.

Pentax DA 55mm f/1,4: Very nice. WR, sharp and hood with filter turning window. But its pricey, the hood is not flower shaped and its a bit much longitudinal CA (green-purple edges of out of focus lights). Its also a bit long.

Pentax DA 50mm f/1,8: Very nice price, but it its not sharp at f/1,8 or f/2. Why buy a f/1,8 lens if it should be used at f/2,8 or smaller? Also it lacks a plastic reversible hood with filter turning window. Lacks WR.

Pentax f/2,8 Macro DA 35, HD 35 or 50: Sharp and nice but only f/2,8, no WR, a bit long and not very chap to compensate for the shortcomings. Macro is also something i personally need myself in this focal length.

Pentax 35mm f/2,4: Sharp and nice from full aperture, lightweight and cheap. Much nice to say about it. But it doesn't have WR, is only f/2,4 a bit to wide for a normal on FF, no official support for FF, the rectangular plastic hood is bulky (and not reversible?)

Pentax 43mm f/1,9: Nice size, aperture and build quality. No WR, very pricey, old optical design could be better and have more magnification. Not the kind of hood i like.

Sigma 50mm f/1,4: The Art performs excellent, but its big, heavy, expensive and doesn't offer WR. The older siblings and a Sigma macro is cheaper and not that sharp, but still have the other shortcomings. Sigma is not treating Pentax users very well.


________________


My Wish for Pentax: Look at this list, pick the good sides and avoid the bad.

- Make a new D-FA normal prime with 40-50mm focal length and f/1,8-2,0 aperture
- Better optical formula (sharp from fully open, odd number rounded diaphragm, less aberrations, HD coatings, at least 0,2x magnification)
- WR and metal mount
- Quick shift focus on a 1,5 - 2 cm wide ring, and Ultrasonic AF
- Include a reversible plastic hood with flower shape and filter turning window. Add a hood extension ring optimized for APS-C image circle.
- Try to keep it 3 - 4 cm long, less then 250 grams and 250 $
There's a rumor out there that new FF prime lenses are coming next year.
08-04-2015, 07:56 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Simen1 Quote
I always find something to pick on and cant find the perfect walk around normal prime for the upcoming FF. First i'll present the shortcomings, then a wish to Pentax.

Pentax 40mm f/2,8 (4 variants): I have the M variant the only one officially covering full frame, but it lacks AF and have no effective lens hood. The AF variants just have unofficial support full frame, but none of them have a hood. f/2,8 is a bit slow too and the focus ring is too small in my opinion. They also lack WR.

Pentax FA 50mm f/1,4: Nice size, but the size isn't used for a comfortable focus ring. The ring should be wider. Also its a very old design both externally and internally. Its far from sharp at f/1,4. Why buy a f/1,4 lens if its "useless" at f/1,4? I will rather have a f/2 lens that performs well from f/2. At apertures where it is sharp the bokeh is edgy/not good. It lacks WR. Hood lacks filter turning window.

Pentax DA 55mm f/1,4: Very nice. WR, sharp and hood with filter turning window. But its pricey, the hood is not flower shaped and its a bit much longitudinal CA (green-purple edges of out of focus lights). Its also a bit long.

Pentax DA 50mm f/1,8: Very nice price, but it its not sharp at f/1,8 or f/2. Why buy a f/1,8 lens if it should be used at f/2,8 or smaller? Also it lacks a plastic reversible hood with filter turning window. Lacks WR.

Pentax f/2,8 Macro DA 35, HD 35 or 50: Sharp and nice but only f/2,8, no WR, a bit long and not very chap to compensate for the shortcomings. Macro is also something i personally need myself in this focal length.

Pentax 35mm f/2,4: Sharp and nice from full aperture, lightweight and cheap. Much nice to say about it. But it doesn't have WR, is only f/2,4 a bit to wide for a normal on FF, no official support for FF, the rectangular plastic hood is bulky (and not reversible?)

Pentax 43mm f/1,9: Nice size, aperture and build quality. No WR, very pricey, old optical design could be better and have more magnification. Not the kind of hood i like.

Sigma 50mm f/1,4: The Art performs excellent, but its big, heavy, expensive and doesn't offer WR. The older siblings and a Sigma macro is cheaper and not that sharp, but still have the other shortcomings. Sigma is not treating Pentax users very well.


________________


My Wish for Pentax: Look at this list, pick the good sides and avoid the bad.

- Make a new D-FA normal prime with 40-50mm focal length and f/1,8-2,0 aperture
- Better optical formula (sharp from fully open, odd number rounded diaphragm, less aberrations, HD coatings, at least 0,2x magnification)
- WR and metal mount
- Quick shift focus on a 1,5 - 2 cm wide ring, and Ultrasonic AF
- Include a reversible plastic hood with flower shape and filter turning window. Add a hood extension ring optimized for APS-C image circle.
- Try to keep it 3 - 4 cm long, less then 250 grams and 250 $
You are asking for the impossible. No brand does it.

You want sharp at f/1.4-7 at $250 and 250g? No way. You are into Sigma Art lens territory. They manage to get pixel sharp wide open but at the cost of substantial weight and price.

WR and metal mounts add price. WR also definitely adds mass and bulk and perhaps focus resistance on the seals.

Flower shape hoods on the 50mm range are not really the norm. Not sure you know your research here. Generally the short barrels of the 50mm "normal" lens require a consistent round hood shape.

Manual focus rings also add cost and bulk and price, so they've mostly been kept small. Not much demand for them, TBH.

What you want is the Sigma Art or the DA*55. You just don't want the necessary price or other compromises.

This isn't about massaging optical formulas; if you want wide open sharp you need mass and cost.

Last edited by Aristophanes; 08-04-2015 at 03:15 PM.
08-04-2015, 08:00 AM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
The last thing we need is more and more lenses that leave the earlier DSLRs unable to autofocus, especially at the kit-lens level.
So Pentax should still be supporting cameras that are more than 9 years old? It's not time to say to *ist or K100/110D owners "It's time for a new camera"? Or just use one of the millions of older lenses available...

This isn't like Nikon who left the ability to use older lenses out of the low-end cameras...

08-04-2015, 08:55 AM   #9
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Bargains do exist; I grabbed a DFA 50 macro graded E for $139 at Adorama just a few weeks ago. Not f/1.7 but oh-my sharp and I really like its close focus work.
08-04-2015, 09:02 AM   #10
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Better optical design for the FA 43 limited.

"Pentax 43mm f/1,9: Nice size, aperture and build quality. No WR, very pricey, old optical design could be better and have more magnification. Not the kind of hood i like."

If Pentax ever comes up with a better optical design than the FA 43 limited, I will be the first one in line to buy it! Oh, you forgot to tell us the main faults of the 31 and 77 limited. Inquiring minds want to know.
08-04-2015, 09:10 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Simen1 Quote
First i'll present the shortcomings
Were these sharpness shortcomings found looking through reviews, or have you tried all these lenses? I get sharp results with my DA 50mm 1.8, K 55mm 1.8, and my Super Takumar 50mm 1.4 all when used wide open. Most modern lenses are based on these formulas, so they should all be equal or better optically. My 77mm 1.8 and A 135mm 2.8 lenses are sharp wide open too but those are different beasts. I can bet that the majority of these users claiming softness are either not calibrating their lenses properly, or are not using proper technique which is crucial with super narrow depth of field and the high megapixel cameras available these days. I do agree more lenses sold new should include WR, and I hope in the future this happens.
08-04-2015, 09:11 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
It's not time to say to *ist or K100/110D owners "It's time for a new camera"?
Not if they can't afford one, no. I reckon there's some people who hocked the farm (perhaps not literally) to get their dream camera, and why should they be forced to give it up and buy another if it's still working, in order to use newer and better optics? Why should ANYONE be forced to do that, regardless of their income?

It's bad enough that we have the DA/FA discrepancy. At least my film bodies can handle any DA lenses which cover the full frame, thanks to their (admittedly basic) program modes.
08-04-2015, 09:38 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Simen1 Quote
Sigma 50mm f/1,4: The Art performs excellent, but its big, heavy, expensive and doesn't offer WR. The older siblings and a Sigma macro is cheaper and not that sharp, but still have the other shortcomings. Sigma is not treating Pentax users very well.
You forgot about the Sigma 35mm F1.4...it's more of a wide normal but probably be best lens in its class that money can buy right now. I'd recommend it especially if you're looking for something that's FF ready.

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08-04-2015, 10:19 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Simen1 Quote
I always find something to pick on and cant find the perfect walk around normal prime for the upcoming FF. First i'll present the shortcomings, then a wish to Pentax.

Pentax 40mm f/2,8 (4 variants): I have the M variant the only one officially covering full frame, but it lacks AF and have no effective lens hood. The AF variants just have unofficial support full frame, but none of them have a hood. f/2,8 is a bit slow too and the focus ring is too small in my opinion. They also lack WR.

Pentax FA 50mm f/1,4: Nice size, but the size isn't used for a comfortable focus ring. The ring should be wider. Also its a very old design both externally and internally. Its far from sharp at f/1,4. Why buy a f/1,4 lens if its "useless" at f/1,4? I will rather have a f/2 lens that performs well from f/2. At apertures where it is sharp the bokeh is edgy/not good. It lacks WR. Hood lacks filter turning window.

Pentax DA 55mm f/1,4: Very nice. WR, sharp and hood with filter turning window. But its pricey, the hood is not flower shaped and its a bit much longitudinal CA (green-purple edges of out of focus lights). Its also a bit long.

Pentax DA 50mm f/1,8: Very nice price, but it its not sharp at f/1,8 or f/2. Why buy a f/1,8 lens if it should be used at f/2,8 or smaller? Also it lacks a plastic reversible hood with filter turning window. Lacks WR.

Pentax f/2,8 Macro DA 35, HD 35 or 50: Sharp and nice but only f/2,8, no WR, a bit long and not very chap to compensate for the shortcomings. Macro is also something i personally need myself in this focal length.

Pentax 35mm f/2,4: Sharp and nice from full aperture, lightweight and cheap. Much nice to say about it. But it doesn't have WR, is only f/2,4 a bit to wide for a normal on FF, no official support for FF, the rectangular plastic hood is bulky (and not reversible?)

Pentax 43mm f/1,9: Nice size, aperture and build quality. No WR, very pricey, old optical design could be better and have more magnification. Not the kind of hood i like.

Sigma 50mm f/1,4: The Art performs excellent, but its big, heavy, expensive and doesn't offer WR. The older siblings and a Sigma macro is cheaper and not that sharp, but still have the other shortcomings. Sigma is not treating Pentax users very well.


________________


My Wish for Pentax: Look at this list, pick the good sides and avoid the bad.

- Make a new D-FA normal prime with 40-50mm focal length and f/1,8-2,0 aperture
- Better optical formula (sharp from fully open, odd number rounded diaphragm, less aberrations, HD coatings, at least 0,2x magnification)
- WR and metal mount
- Quick shift focus on a 1,5 - 2 cm wide ring, and Ultrasonic AF
- Include a reversible plastic hood with flower shape and filter turning window. Add a hood extension ring optimized for APS-C image circle.
- Try to keep it 3 - 4 cm long, less then 250 grams and 250 $
For US $250, under 250 gms, WR, and razor sharp at f1.8-2.0 that's not going to happen anytime soon. Unfortunately your requirements do not match up with
what's possible from a financial or technological standpoint. I would say make the best with some of the F and FA 50's which work quite nicely or pony up $350. for a used
Sigma 50mm F1.4 as is.
08-04-2015, 10:25 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
Not if they can't afford one, no. I reckon there's some people who hocked the farm (perhaps not literally) to get their dream camera, and why should they be forced to give it up and buy another if it's still working, in order to use newer and better optics? Why should ANYONE be forced to do that, regardless of their income?

It's bad enough that we have the DA/FA discrepancy. At least my film bodies can handle any DA lenses which cover the full frame, thanks to their (admittedly basic) program modes.
How many new $500 lenses is this mythical *ist or K100 user going to buy if a new $500 camera is way out of reach? It's not like there aren't millions of lenses out there already for this person anyway.
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