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08-06-2008, 01:26 PM   #1
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Do I need my 50/1.4?

I'm pretty new to photography, and haven't really had the chance to shoot with any of the more expensive lens. I currently have a K10D with the 18-55 kit lens, the FA50/1.4 and a Tamron 70-300.

-I've mainly held on to my kit lens for the wide angle.
-I really like the 50mm. Easily my favorite lens of the bunch.
-The Tamron, I just got, but for the price, I was pleasantly surprised and I've been having fun with macro.

That being said, I've been looking at lens in a similar focal range as the 50mm, but something a little shorter. This includes the FA43 ltd, DA40, DA35 Macro ltd, and the FA35 (wish I could afford the 31mm).

As tough a decision to decision it is to decide on a lens, its just as tough to decide whether I'd still need my 50/1.4 or if I should part ways with it to help finance a new lens. Would it even get used much if I had one of the aforementioned lens? Chances are, I'd probably keep it, just because it's been my favorite lens since I bought my Pentax less than a year ago.

Just wanted to hear anyone's thoughts...

08-06-2008, 01:32 PM   #2
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Hi Paolo, I'm also in Houston (Clearlake).

Why not just keep the 50mm? You won't find anything faster in the Pentax lineup, and the price is right. As for the other lenses, I can't speak for them. I know the people that have them, like them. I've found I'm more of a zoom guy, though. I had the 77Ltd, but found I was using the DA*50-135 much more often, so I sold my 77Ltd, and haven't really regretted it.

To me, the differences between the FA50 and the other lenses you mentioned are a couple of clicks on the aperture setting and a few steps back. The one truly different lens would be the 35mm macro. That's a different focal length, plus the macro feature is useful.
08-06-2008, 01:35 PM   #3
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You'll find out that you'll miss the f/1.4 if you were to get one of those slower lenses.
08-06-2008, 01:46 PM   #4
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how often do you go wide open? do you crave thin depth of field?

08-06-2008, 01:48 PM   #5
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Keep the FA 50/1.4 and buy the FA 35/2. Unless you really need the macro the FA 35 has the most bang for the buck of any current Pentax lens except the FA 50/1.4.
08-06-2008, 02:01 PM   #6
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Allow me to complicate your decision even further.

If you want something wider than the 50mm f/1.4 but want low light and cannot afford the FA 31mm Limited, have you considered either the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 or the Sigma 28mm f/1.8?

I had both lenses for a while and loved them both but finally sold the 30mm f/1.4 and kept the 28mm f/1.8 because the 28 was sharper with less obvious distortion. Also, the Sigma 28mm f/1.8 actually shows up as f/1.7 on both my K10D bodies and my *ist DL (and in the EXIF). I'm not sure what to trust (Sigma's rating of f/1.8 of the camera's rathing of f/1.7) but either way the 28mm Sigma is great lens in low light.

Wide open at f/1.8 (or f/1.7) it's roughly as sharp as the FA 50 is wide open at f/1.4 ... but you get a wider field of view (more like the FA 43mm Limited on a film camera) and you aren't sacrificing as much low-light performance as a f/2.8 lens.
08-06-2008, 02:04 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by JJJPhoto Quote
Also, the Sigma 28mm f/1.8 actually shows up as f/1.7 on both my K10D bodies and my *ist DL (and in the EXIF). I'm not sure what to trust (Sigma's rating of f/1.8 of the camera's rathing of f/1.7)
EXIF just because Sigma is trying to fool the camera by presenting another lens model ID back... I guess that is because either they did not want to pay Pentax or Pentax did not sell them the license.
08-06-2008, 02:28 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by deejjjaaaa Quote
EXIF just because Sigma is trying to fool the camera by presenting another lens model ID back... I guess that is because either they did not want to pay Pentax or Pentax did not sell them the license.
I suspect you are 100 percent correct. However, I still love the Sigma 28mm f/1.8 and think it's a good alternative to other primes in the 28mm to 35mm range.

I had the DA 35mm Limited Macro on loan from Pentax for a while (since I write reviews for a couple different publications) and I really like that lens as well ... but I couldn't justify buying it because I own the Sigma 28mm and the Pentax DA40 and I personally like both those lenses more.

08-06-2008, 03:20 PM   #9
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I think you'll miss the 50mm 1.4.

It is a pretty small lense, and fast. The kit lense, fankly, is pretty terrible to use in doors. The wide angle in this aspect is 5, maybe 10 steps back. Also, the I have not used the tam zoom you mention ---

However, my initial lense set was the kit (18-55), the 50mm 1.4, and FA 80-320.
I often found my self using the 50 1.4 for shooting moving targets as even when cropped, the images were sharper than the zoom.

Also, if you want quality portriat shots - the 50 1.4 is a great way to do it on a budget. The depth of field really adds some pop/3dish look the pictures.

I actually went and got the manual focus sigma 24mm 2.8 to cover the wide angle aspect to provide superior image quality on scenic shots, as it is much better than the kit lense IQ wise. 80 dollars used from BH was a pretty good bargain. If you shoot wide angle and outdoor/lanscape stuff where everything is in focus, the auto focus won't really give you much since you can just flip the manual lense to infinity, drop it to f/8 (or shoot wide open if the lense is really good) or so and most people will have no clue you were using a manual lense, as long as it has high Image Quality/sharpness.
08-06-2008, 03:27 PM   #10
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08-06-2008, 04:09 PM   #11
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I knew there would be a response from someone who would be willing to take the lens off my hands

Everyone pretty much has confirmed what I thought all along, the 50/1.4 is a great lens, especially for the price. I would probably end up missing it as well.

Now I have to decide what my next lens will be...

Seems like the 35/2.0 is also very popular. One reason I liked that one was because it will give me a little more room to work with when I am shooting indoors. Size might also be a consideration, I have been intrigued by the "pancake" lenses.
08-06-2008, 10:41 PM   #12
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You've mentioned yourself that the 50/1.4 is *easily* your favourite lens.
So why part with it?

For me it's a no brainer...
Determine which of the focal lengths you'll 'need' at the moment, i.e. whether wide angle or telephoto (I presume the former), and sell your current kit and 70-300 lenses to fund a better quality wide zoom, like the DA 16-45 or Sigma 17-70.

If you like your primes, then a 28mm (as already mentioned) or 24mm would be a good option, only less versatile and more expensive if you want more focal lengths.
08-07-2008, 12:47 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by paolojackson Quote
I'm pretty new to photography, and haven't really had the chance to shoot with any of the more expensive lens. I currently have a K10D with the 18-55 kit lens, the FA50/1.4 and a Tamron 70-300.

-I've mainly held on to my kit lens for the wide angle.
-I really like the 50mm. Easily my favorite lens of the bunch.
-The Tamron, I just got, but for the price, I was pleasantly surprised and I've been having fun with macro.

That being said, I've been looking at lens in a similar focal range as the 50mm, but something a little shorter. This includes the FA43 ltd, DA40, DA35 Macro ltd, and the FA35 (wish I could afford the 31mm).

As tough a decision to decision it is to decide on a lens, its just as tough to decide whether I'd still need my 50/1.4 or if I should part ways with it to help finance a new lens. Would it even get used much if I had one of the aforementioned lens? Chances are, I'd probably keep it, just because it's been my favorite lens since I bought my Pentax less than a year ago.

Just wanted to hear anyone's thoughts...
Your kit is the same as my primary kit. DA 18-55, FA 1.4/50, and Tamron 70-300 Di.

I would trully miss the fast fifty. It is my go-to lens when I want sharpness, or low light, of shallow DOF, or portraits.

It is the only lens I think everyone should own.

My next lens purchase is going to be one of the wide angle zooms. The sigma 10-20 or the Pentax 12-24. Once I have the range covered, Then I plan to replace the kit lens and eventually the Tamron.

The only reason to sell the lens is if you do not use it. Then I agree, sell it to someone who will use it before it grows fungus.

Have you considered a Takumar 35? They are easy to use in AV mode, and the wider lenses are easy to focus. Or even an SMC-M 2.8/28.

So from me, you get a strong vote to keep the lens.
08-07-2008, 08:27 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
You've mentioned yourself that the 50/1.4 is *easily* your favourite lens.
So why part with it?
It is my favorite lens because (sadly) I've only used the three lenses mentioned.

Taking a look at everything, I think something like the Sigma 28/1.8 would fit my needs best. The 50mm will continue to serve me well, but something a little wider will be good for me, because I do take a lot of pictures indoors. The Sigma 28/1.8 is also fast, so thats a plus. Does anyone have any experience with this lens? Or perhaps an alternative (zooms welcome)?

Last edited by paolojackson; 08-07-2008 at 08:58 AM.
08-07-2008, 03:50 PM   #15
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Before you sell the lens, make you that you have a cool off period for at least 6 months before selling. In that time frame, try to use it to see what you like or dislike about the lens and any winning photographs with the lens despite your continuous effort to use it.

You shall evaluate what the intended purposes are with this lens and the new desired lenses would really substitute the role of the lens you are intending to sell.

It is just far too often to regret the lenses being sold for a small price.
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