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03-14-2016, 09:49 AM - 1 Like   #1
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The DA 50mm f:1.8 prices have dropped considerably!

I have a good friend who has been a savior when I've needed someone to transport me to the VA emergency room over the past couple of years due to some on-going health issues and I was looking for a gift to show my appreciation for his continued, unwavering support. So, knowing that he didn't have a good 50mm prime, I decided that the DA 50mm f:1.8 would be just the ticket.


I was expecting to spend something north of $100.00, but surprisingly, I found a brand new one on eBay for $67.60 + $8.00 shipping. I thought that was a remarkably cheap price for such a nice lens. I've been delighted with mine.


I'm a lucky man to have such a faithful, loyal bud. But.... he knows I'd do the same for him, should the tables ever be turned.

03-14-2016, 09:59 AM   #2
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I think I spent close to twice that for mine, not more than a year ago. It's an absolutely, insanely low price for what really is a damn good lens.
03-14-2016, 10:12 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
I think I spent close to twice that for mine, not more than a year ago. It's an absolutely, insanely low price for what really is a damn good lens.

I thought the same thing, Doc! And, what a hell of a lens! I was fortunate enough to win mine here on PF through a drawing. I've been forever grateful and every time I use it, I think of the nice folks here who saw that I got it. It produces some insane colors and sharpness!

Last edited by Dewman; 08-05-2017 at 04:10 PM.
03-14-2016, 10:13 AM - 1 Like   #4
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That sounds like a great gift, as long as he has a Pentax body to put it on.

If he's a Nikon guy, not so great then.


Last edited by normhead; 03-14-2016 at 11:52 AM.
03-14-2016, 10:24 AM   #5
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Could be that the dropping price of the 50mm f1.8 is to some degree influenced by the advent of the K1, as the lens is APS-C only. Perhaps retailers, maybe Ricoh, are anticipating the introduction of a new 50mm f1.7 to f2.0 lens. The discontinued 50mm FA f1.7 has an excellent reputation - will it be resurrected in a new mount?
03-14-2016, 10:29 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
The sounds like a great gift, as lon as he has a Pentax body to put it on.

If he's a Nikon guy, not so great then.

No.... he's a dyed in the wool Pentaxian. I introduced him to the K-50 a couple of years ago and he went ape-$^%T over it! He's got the Storm Trooper model and a red one to match his Corvette. He's got several nice lenses, but for some reason, he didn't have a nice 50mm. He will NOW!

Last edited by Dewman; 08-05-2017 at 04:10 PM.
03-14-2016, 10:41 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
Perhaps retailers, maybe Ricoh, are anticipating the introduction of a new 50mm f1.7 to f2.0 lens.
Ricoh don't need to anticipate; they KNOW.

I had heard that the DA50/1.8 is just FA1.7 glass in a plastic case, accounting for the excellent performance, but then I have also heard differently. Give it a metal mount, WR and quick shift, and it will be ready to be the basic D-FA fifty.

Note that as I type this, the "Similar Threads" window at the bottom of the page lists a 2012 thread title "DA 50mm 1.8 for $249 - crazy prices". At this rate, it won't be long before we're at $49!!
03-14-2016, 10:43 AM   #8
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Not sure the f1.8 & f1.7 are identical. The former is supposed to be APS-C only, the latter, obviously, is FF compatible.

03-14-2016, 10:58 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
Not sure the f1.8 & f1.7 are identical. The former is supposed to be APS-C only, the latter, obviously, is FF compatible.
they are the same lens, different package. Optical diagram, and some dissassemblies confirm it.

Both are FF.
03-14-2016, 11:31 AM   #10
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My DA 50 shoots 35mm film very well, so whether it's related to the older models or not, it seems to fill the 35mm image circle well enough - I shot a whole roll of Ektar 100 through my Z-1p with it in bright sunshine and didn't notice vignetting even at wide apertures.
Also, even if it was different, I can't imagine it was a radically new APS-C only design - with the massive back catalogue of 50s out there, it would certainly have made sense for Pentax to at least have based it on an existing optical design. It will be interesting to see how it performs in full-frame mode on the K-1.
03-14-2016, 12:34 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dewman Quote
I found a brand new one on eBay for $67.60 + $8.00 shipping.
I have seen gray market at about that price point off and on for some time.

QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
I think I spent close to twice that for mine, not more than a year ago.
The price has been volatile in the last year or so. I am not sure, but I believe the street price from an authorized dealer dipped to between $80 USD and $90 USD at one point. Retail when I got mine Spring of 2014 was about $130.


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03-14-2016, 12:56 PM   #12
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I paid $181 for my DA 50mm 1.8 when it was on sale from $250. I had sold all my Sony gear and was deciding between Pentax and Nikon but when pricing out systems it was neck and neck until it came down to this lens costing about $40 less than its Nikon counterpart so I guess the reason I am with Pentax is all because of this lens! The funny thing is even though this is a great lens I actually use it the least after discovering the Takumars and FA Limiteds...

Last edited by stillshot2; 03-14-2016 at 01:15 PM.
03-14-2016, 12:57 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
I had heard that the DA50/1.8 is just FA1.7 glass in a plastic case, accounting for the excellent performance, but then I have also heard differently.
I also have heard differently

The FA 50/1.7 is also in a plastic case and is essentially similar optically to the M, A, and F versions of the lens. I own the DA 50/1.8 as well as both M and A 50/1.7 and the former behaves somewhat different than the other two. The DA 50/1.8 vignettes on FF film. This is obvious on direct examination of the negative. It is likely this vignette that was responsible for Ricoh's omission of the DA 50/1.8 from the K-1 compatible list.


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03-14-2016, 01:06 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
Could be that the dropping price of the 50mm f1.8 is to some degree influenced by the advent of the K1, as the lens is APS-C only. Perhaps retailers, maybe Ricoh, are anticipating the introduction of a new 50mm f1.7 to f2.0 lens. The discontinued 50mm FA f1.7 has an excellent reputation - will it be resurrected in a new mount?
Pretty sure it's just retailers playing the pricing game with each other

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03-14-2016, 01:08 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by edmundrt Quote
I shot a whole roll of Ektar 100 through my Z-1p with it in bright sunshine and didn't notice vignetting even at wide apertures.
I shot several rolls of Ektar and a couple on Acros 100 with the DA 50/1.8 in the mix of lenses on my Super Program and based my conclusions above on those rolls. On my K-3 the DA 50/1.8 is definitely its own lens and has quite different rendering than its older cousins, at least in my opinion. I suppose I could cobble together a test jig and measure the image circles at various subject distances and apertures or even provide some example photos, but I am lazy.

QuoteOriginally posted by aurele Quote
...Optical diagram, and some dissassemblies confirm it.
Optical diagrams show that they are both Planar-derived design with the same element formula but with different thickness and curvatures. I think it might be enough to note that rear element on the DA 50/1.8 measures 23mm and the earlier lenses measure 25mm (28mm vs. 30mm for the front element).

Edit: I don't want anyone to get the wrong impression. I think the DA 50/1.8 performs like a champ and is very high value as an AF lens on APS-C for the focal length. It may well have acceptable image circle on the K-1. Time will tell.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 03-14-2016 at 01:38 PM.
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