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07-12-2008, 01:16 PM   #1
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Focusing FA 50mm f/1.4

Hows the focusing with the FA 50mm f/1.4? I am thinking manually focusing and autofocus in bad lights also, does it sound like a tractor, as the DA 50-200 for example? Could I walk into a funeral and shoot with it's autofocusing without getting hanged?

And how does it work with MF? Is it sloppy as DA or firm as SMC-M? Do I have to turn AF off for it to MF properly?

07-12-2008, 01:28 PM   #2
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My FA50 makes a rather sharp whining noise i auto focus mode, but it finds focus rather quickly even in low light. On th other hand itīs easy to focus manually thanks to the bright viewfinder (f 1,4)
07-12-2008, 01:31 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by PFH Quote
My FA50 makes a rather sharp whining noise i autofocus mode, but it is easy to focus manually thanks to the bright viewfinder (f 1,4)
How does the focusing ring behave? Is it smooth, yet a bit resistant or just easy? I hate the focusing ring on the DA 50-200 compared to my Takumars and alike. I suppose at 1.4 it will be easy, got a splitscreen installed so that shouldnt really be a problem.

Also, do I have to turn off autofocus on camera to MF? Or does it allow me to mix AF and MF?
07-12-2008, 01:35 PM   #4
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My FA 50mm takes a long time to find focus in low light. Noise is hmm... intrusive. So is the shutter clack from the K100DS. Manual focus is easy to manage, the focus ring works well when I need it. If only there was quiet fix for the shutter noise.
The lens does not allow quick-shift focus.

07-12-2008, 01:54 PM   #5
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So, for a wedding lens, I should look at some other option? Unless I want to stick all manual?
07-12-2008, 02:40 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zewrak Quote
So, for a wedding lens, I should look at some other option? Unless I want to stick all manual?
I thought you said it was a funeral? If you can wait, Pentax are releasing a 55mm with SDM that will be very silent when focusing. It will also NOT cost $200 like the FA 50mm does, but if you want silent...

Oh, and Sigma just released a 50mm f/1.4 with HSM (Sigma's name for SDM) I believe. There was a thread about it on here, somewhere. But again, a lot more expensive than the FA 50mm.
07-12-2008, 03:12 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Miserere Quote
I thought you said it was a funeral? If you can wait, Pentax are releasing a 55mm with SDM that will be very silent when focusing. It will also NOT cost $200 like the FA 50mm does, but if you want silent...

Oh, and Sigma just released a 50mm f/1.4 with HSM (Sigma's name for SDM) I believe. There was a thread about it on here, somewhere. But again, a lot more expensive than the FA 50mm.

Well I might be shooting all kinds of ceremonies. And I thought a funeral was the most fragile one to take as an example. Ofcourse I will always have the permission to shoot, but I still want to make as little disturbances as possible.

Sigma is not an option and the 55 I have no idea when it will acctually arrive.

So bear with me for a while. Lets assume I would go for the FA50 f/1.4. If I would have to run around manually focusing it, why would I pick the FA50 over a SMC-M 50 1.4 or even a S-M-C/Super Takumar? The later are 5 times cheaper (here atleast). What pros would the FA have compared to the others, but the AF? Seem rather unrational to go for a FA if your going to MF?
07-12-2008, 07:10 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zewrak Quote
What pros would the FA have compared to the others, but the AF? Seem rather unrational to go for a FA if your going to MF?
You won't need to manual focus all the time. At a wedding the actual ceremony is the only time it would be an issue, maybe 45 minutes out of the entire day. No one cares about a little noise from the camera lens at any other time. Personally I would not give up the option to autofocus.

Shooting a funeral??? I've never heard of that, and I've never seen anyone bring a camera to a funeral.


Last edited by audiobomber; 07-12-2008 at 07:40 PM.
07-12-2008, 08:59 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
You won't need to manual focus all the time. At a wedding the actual ceremony is the only time it would be an issue, maybe 45 minutes out of the entire day. No one cares about a little noise from the camera lens at any other time. Personally I would not give up the option to autofocus.
Agree with you on this one. The lens noise is not that intrusive and generally lasts only for an instant if you have the camera set to Single focus rather than constant focus. In F-S, it will refocus only when you first touch the shutter release button, then hold that focus. In F-C, you'll hear it clunk around as the subject changes distance.

QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
Shooting a funeral??? I've never heard of that, and I've never seen anyone bring a camera to a funeral.
Again, I agree, but I think he was just making a point...

All that said, a manual focus option as a backup is a good idea IMHO. Few moving parts in these cameras, but those that do move are the ones prone to failure. If that focus screw locks up & won't retract (I've seen it in a K100D body) you'll need a manual focus lens handy.

The A series would be your best bet as you retain all the programming mode options as well as flash options. An M lens won't let you do that. There is an A series 50mm 1.7 for sale in the marketplace RIGHT NOW, and it ain't even mine....
07-13-2008, 12:47 AM   #10
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Thanks for the replies.

Bugger, it's hard to make my mind up, wish there was a SDM one with quick-shift. But then on the other hand it would not be good for full format or have an aperture ring .

Damnit.
07-13-2008, 01:26 AM   #11
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Maybe I should just try to trade my Sigma 18-50 EX DC Macro for a 50/1.2 .

I could not find that SMC-A in the marketplace, only some -M.
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