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04-11-2017, 06:32 AM   #1
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Current Pentax 50mm primes on K-1?

Looks like Pentax is making a large DFA* 50mm f1.4 lens. It will have the usual * features, which is really nice. But it looks like its pretty big, for maximum correction and very high image resolution, even on demanding FF.

Can anyone comment how the current 50mm lenses perform on K-1? Particularly FA 50mm f1.4 and DA* 55mm f1.4. Both were considered really sharp back when they were introduced, but how relevant are they today? Especially since their designs are rather "compact" compared to what Samyang, Zeiss, and Sigma have released recently. The trend is towards 50mm lenses with big filter threads, and weight of over 400g
I would really like to see sample photos!

Just wondering I am still using MF primes on a 16MP camera lol


Last edited by Na Horuk; 04-11-2017 at 06:38 AM. Reason: title fixed
04-11-2017, 08:39 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Can anyone comment how the current 50mm lenses perform on K-1? Particularly FA 50mm f1.4 and DA* 55mm f1.4.
I don't own a K-1, though I can offer the usual comments. Conventional wisdom is that the FA 50/1.4 performs as well or better than it did on 35mm film.* The DA* 55/1.4 will perform similarly (crop mode) to its performance on the K-5 and will sort of suck in the corners as a FF lens. The DA 50/1.8 vignettes badly and is soft in corners and edges (personal experience on 35mm film).

A lot depends on your expectations and intended use. If you can sacrifice 1/2 stop, the FA 50/1.7 and F 50/1.7 will outperform all other available 50mm and 55mm AF primes (macro lenses excepted) for Pentax K.


Steve

* A little soft and lacking in contrast wide open and catching up with its f/1.7 brethren by about f/3.5

Last edited by stevebrot; 04-11-2017 at 08:46 AM.
04-11-2017, 09:12 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
DA* 55mm f1.4
This is on my K-1 more often. It is is nothing short of stellar on K-1. The sharpness, DOF, bokeh (I appreciate this more on K-1), contrast, saturation, size, SDM (mine is working absolutely fine and fast), WR... you name it.
DA*55/1.4 is 85 FOV on APS-C (a perfect portrait lens) so I like this lens not once but twice. Once for superb renderings on the K-1 and one more time for being an 85mm FOV on K-5iis. I cannot part with this lens. The more I used it the more I think this lens was so well thought out by Pentax that it caters to both systems equally well.
This is the prime to own if the new DA*50/1.4 happens to be too expensive or large for some, hands down.
04-11-2017, 09:57 AM   #4
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Though the 50mm focal length doesn't sing to me as much as most others, I have had very satisfying results using older Pentax glass on my K-1. The character of the SMC Takumar 55mm f1.8 comes through quite nicely, and the FA 50mm f1.4 seems sharp enough. Both of these I focus using magnified Liveview on a tripod. I really like the size of these lenses vs. the bulk of the DFA 24-70mm.

Couple of samples:
SMC Takumar 55mm f1.8 @ 2.8



FA 50mm f1.4 @ f5.6; there is a bit of purple fringing I've tried to correct.



M

04-11-2017, 01:32 PM - 1 Like   #5
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The FA50 f1.4 is pretty good on the K-1 (especially stopped down a bit). Like most of the old school fast 50s it does lack contrast at f1.4 and is a bit soft at that setting. Still usable though:


An advantage is its a small lens and is easy to keep in the bag. That said my main go to lens is the FA35 f2 which seems to really shine on the K-1.
04-11-2017, 03:33 PM - 2 Likes   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Current Pentax 50mm primes on K-1?
I must admit to being happy enough with my "Special Lady” (Pentax-A 50mm F1.2), an early Dublin morning.
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04-12-2017, 04:40 AM   #7
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Pentax has made manual focus 50mm F1.2 lenses in the past, why didn't they ever develop an auto-focus successor? Or did they?
04-12-2017, 05:05 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Amigo Quote
Pentax has made manual focus 50mm F1.2 lenses in the past, why didn't they ever develop an auto-focus successor? Or did they?
They never bothered, neither did Nikon.

Canon did, though.



04-12-2017, 05:21 AM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Amigo Quote
Pentax has made manual focus 50mm F1.2 lenses in the past, why didn't they ever develop an auto-focus successor? Or did they?
I think the real problem with f1.2 lenses is the AF. And secondly, the high cost of the lens. But mostly AF, which works really well with f2.8 lenses, works okay with f1.8 lenses, but faster than f1.4 gets fuzzy. Maybe AF will be good enough for super fast lenses in the near future, though
QuoteOriginally posted by kiwi_jono Quote
An advantage is its a small lens and is easy to keep in the bag.
Looks good! Yeah, the new one is rumoured to be quite heavy
04-12-2017, 05:44 AM   #10
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The DA*55 is fabulous on the K-1. The hood seems to be a non-issue as well.

An album of images HERE. Ignore the first ten - they were made with the A50/1.2 before I got the K-1
04-12-2017, 04:09 PM - 4 Likes   #11
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The FA50/1.4 is very good on FF.
The idea that with new lenses out, old ones suddenly turn to mold is wrong anyway.

The newer lenses are generally sharper from wide open, but often, on the 'rules of thirds' area where most subjects are placed, the old lenses are fine/adequate as well.
The better central sharpness of the older lenses wrt the off center can also be used to emphasize the subject (say in a portrait).


FA50/1.4 @1.8



M50/2 at f8

The stopped down shooting in this use situation basically levels the field wrt newer lenses.


M50/2

Many portrait situations (esp on FF) are in fact not shot wide open. This one was a f4 probably for better DOF to all over more of the subject.


Indeed, as can be shown from the lenses used in the above picts, the portability of a lens is an undefined advantage that numbers based reviews can't show.
04-13-2017, 03:51 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by pinholecam Quote
The newer lenses are generally sharper from wide open, but often, on the 'rules of thirds' area where most subjects are placed, the old lenses are fine/adequate as well.
Good point, and amazing photos! Really got the point across that even the "old cheap" M 50mm f2 can take great shots in capable hands
04-14-2017, 04:17 AM   #13
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I've tried the 50 FA 1.4, 55mm f1.4 and the 43mm f1.9 Ltd (OK not exactly 50mm), I actually found the 50 FA 1.4 to be the best performer on the K1 and much cheaper than the other two, I mainly shoot landscapes and cityscape so tend to be stopped down but very impressed with it.
04-14-2017, 09:09 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by edin_togger Quote
I've tried the 50 FA 1.4, 55mm f1.4 and the 43mm f1.9 Ltd (OK not exactly 50mm), I actually found the 50 FA 1.4 to be the best performer on the K1 and much cheaper than the other two, I mainly shoot landscapes and cityscape so tend to be stopped down but very impressed with it.
Much cheaper, yes. Best performer, I would differ.
There isn't anything that beats the DA*55/1.4 (I will save the M50/1.2 for another discussion) on K-1 right now. DA50/1.8 (yes that plastic nifty) is very very close and is the cheapest of the lot (I have a feeling that people rate their lenses based on the price they have paid for but this DA50 is easily, very easily the best 50 out there if 1.4, WR and SDM is not needed). M/A/F-50/f1.7 are the next best on K-1 although I do find the F50/1.7 renderings a little bit on the cooler side than the M/A. I sold my FA-50/1.4 as it needed a couple of stop downs to get the sharpness. I needed at times. I always found myself using the M/A/F-50/1.7 @1.7 and catching up tad on the ISO than using the FA50/1.4 @1.4. The images from the DA*55/1.4 are delicious and if I HAVE TO use 50mm focal length and needed AF and warmer renderings I use DA50/1.8 @ 1.8. Given the sharpness of the DA50 @1.8 that half a stop loss means nothing on K-1.
Having said that if you don't care about wide open and use them stopped down most of the time @f2.8+ or @f4+ then pick any 50 or the 55 and it should not matter there are subtleties to the renderings though and the the bokeh starts to dominate the choice stopped down not the sharpness (cos they are all sharp stopped down).

Last edited by shardulm; 04-14-2017 at 09:12 AM. Reason: completed the sentences.
04-14-2017, 09:18 AM   #15
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I own DA 50 1.8 and Pentax-A 50 1.4

Neither are particularly sharp wide open, but stopped down they are very good in that regard (2.8 onwards). DA has soft corners on K-1, and SD af motor gets on my nerves if I use it a lot. Whenever DFA 50 1.4 comes out, ill probably end up selling the DA and upgrading to the new one (unless it's unreasonably expensive, like 2k or something).
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