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03-03-2017, 11:55 PM   #16
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I think if money isn't an object the DA 55mm * is an awesome piece of glass to consider too.

03-04-2017, 08:41 AM   #17
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Best all-around 50mm lens

QuoteOriginally posted by shutter_count Quote
Hi, all. I posted the other day seeking advice on a new walkaround lens for my K3. Thanks so much for all the thoughtful suggestions. Yesterday, I spent an inordinate amount of time testing every camera/lens combination in my collection and came to the conclusion that 50mm is my sweet spot, especially on either the K3 (better bokeh) or K110d (an old flame which, in perfect light, looks like Portra film on a K1000).

Now the question becomes: which autofocus 50mm plays best with the K3? Which one has the most accurate AF most of the time?

My ancient SMC-M 50mm 1.4 is my go-to, and I'm 100% happy with the IQ, bokeh, etc. (It's a legendary lens for a reason!) The only problem is that I'm not getting younger and my eyes tire faster with MF. I would really like to invest in an AF equivalent ... but which one? There are so many on both the new and used markets, and most of the reviews and posted images are from older bodies. It's true that the K3 weeds out lenses.

I'm most interested in shooting "things" in daily life (restaurants, friends, nature, curiosities). I have focal lengths at other ends of the spectrum to fill in where necessary, but the 50 will stay on the K3 about 80% of the time.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

TL/DR: I need a new or used accurate, artful 50 for the K3.
I would vote for the Pentax-D FA 50mm f 2.8 macro. This lens in identical or at least very similar optics is also available in DA, F, A, M, SMC, and even Takumar versions. However, the lens tends to hold its price extremely well, and it seems to me that the greatest value is available in the auto-focus versions (D FA, FA, and F).
The D FA 50mm f 2.8 lens has been tested in several different places as the top or near the top of all Pentax lenses in terms of sharpness (resolution), and is indeed so painfully sharp that you may need to use it with caution for close-up portraiture unless you want to reveal every pimple and skin imperfection. The lens is a great macro lens, although with this focal length you have to stand pretty close to the bug or bee, and most folks will prefer 100mm macros. I have no problem with build quality, focussing accuracy and speed, or color fidelity. The 2.8 aperture maximum might be a disadvantage if you are doing a major part of your work in low light, although with today's camera quality and ISO levels, I have to say that I have no hesitancy in using the lens under any lighting conditions. One downside is cost because this lens in D FA, FA, and F versions can still sell for prices ranging from around $150 up to $400, and when you get to the top of that price range there are other attractive options.

On the other hand, if price is a major concern, I would just stick with the stellar and very low cost SMC Pentax-DA 50mm f 1.8. You can find this lens for a little over $100 as well as used copies in excellent condition for under $100. At the low price, however, I would rather buy a new copy.
03-04-2017, 11:46 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by gm4life Quote
I think if money isn't an object the DA 55mm * is an awesome piece of glass to consider too.
I don't think that lens will work on the k110d (no sdm) which I got the impression was a requirement.
03-04-2017, 01:44 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
I don't think that lens will work on the k110d (no sdm) which I got the impression was a requirement.
Nope if it must work on an older K110 my 55 * is a no go. Thanks for reminding me I must have missed that?!

03-04-2017, 03:03 PM - 1 Like   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by gm4life Quote
Nope if it must work on an older K110 my 55 * is a no go. Thanks for reminding me I must have missed that?!
I could be wrong. But the impression I got was that he really likes the k110d enough that it could be.
03-05-2017, 09:25 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
I could be wrong. But the impression I got was that he really likes the k110d enough that it could be.
Nope you are prolly right!
03-08-2017, 07:16 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by shutter_count Quote
"Showing my work" here with my forum research:
M 50mm 1.4 (7 elements; ~8.2 oz); 9.25 rating <== Already Have
So for the time being no requirement for a 1.4 50mm lens, you can always sell this one and get
another one.

QuoteOriginally posted by shutter_count Quote
F 50mm 1.4 (7 elements; 8.1 oz); 9.47 rating
F 50mm 1.7 (6 elements; 7.2 oz); 9.19 rating
FA 50mm 1.4 (7 elements; better bokeh; softer focus; AF hunts indoors; 7.8 oz); 8.86 rating
FA 50mm 1.7 (6 elements; sharper focus; busier bokeh; 6 oz); 9.61 rating
DA 50mm 1.8 (6 elements; inaccurate AF; annoying mf focus ring; loud AF; only 4 oz; avail on Amazon Prime and easy to return if I hate it); 9.31 rating
I'd go then for the F50/1,7. It is an awesome lens, I particular love the colours it displays. It is fast enough for low light which you need in bars etc.

But I agree fully with pepperberry farm's comments allthough I have the 1,8 instead of the 2 Super Takumar.

The great thing about the Takumars: They are inbetween manual and A-lenses for comfort.
I have many Taks and aside of the orig. Pentax M42 adapter I bought a load of the cheap chinese version, took the tiny screw and spring off and leave it tight on the lens so it actually is a K mount.


QuoteOriginally posted by shutter_count Quote
All of these are in the same neighborhood price-wise. Decisions, decisions.

** No pancakes for me. I've always braced my left hand under the lens, especially on the K3 where there's not much to the left side to grip!
I agree, the K3 and a pancake is an odd weight distribution.

Decisions no, choice yes: Huge difference. The decision comes when you have worked with a lens for long enough time and know it well.
The choice is quite easy, the DA50/1,8 one just keeps as a spare anyway, all the others are can be sold without hardly any loss.
Inaccurate AF with the DA50? Not with my sample. Get yourself a "DSLRKIT Lens Focus Calibration Tool Alignment Ruler and test your AF lenses anyway.

I would not go for a macro lens in your case, as much as I love them, but they can hunt.
Great lenses, no question, but not for your needs.
03-08-2017, 07:42 AM   #23
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Selling all my "standard" type glass, then I'd keep would be my FA 50 macro for my K-1, or my 40XS for my K-3. My 50 macro, same as my 21 ltd. I got for a decent price second hand, and it then, also like the 21 ltd. just fought its way into my camera bag, and kicked less capable lenses out of the nest. But as noted above, it's not the fastest focusing. But it's fast enough that taken as a whole with it's other attributes it's awesome. I don't think my FA 50 1.7 has been on the camera since the first day I took it out. My advice would be look a little further than fear out speed. But my old SMC 50 1.4 has been used twice. I just don't care about super narrow DoF. So, I'm not you.

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