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08-11-2017, 07:14 AM   #1
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Best 50mm lens for landscape in full frame

Since my first DSLR, the K20, I have been using my older Sears/Ricoh 50/1.7 manual focus, non A lens, which is quite decent at most apertures. With the K-1 it still does good, but I am thinking I really want to see what the K-1 can do and have the option for AF

Today I came upon a used 50/1.4 A lens at a decent price, but I really don't need the speed for landscape, unless it is a better all around performer. Which 50mm lenses have the best reputation for edge to edge sharpness at middle apertures? I also looked at the new 28-105, which has good reviews for a zoom. I am still thinking a prime might suite me best.

Dan

08-11-2017, 07:29 AM   #2
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Dispite the f/1.4 versions being the most popular one, any of the f/1.7 will have the best performance and should outperform your Ricoh by quite something. That said, the difference with the f/1.4 will not be overwhelming. Your f/1.4 should be good to go... Alternatively you could look at the 43 limited which should be in a league of it's own...
08-11-2017, 07:32 AM   #3
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why 50mm?

why not something a bit wider?
08-11-2017, 07:34 AM - 1 Like   #4
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If f/2.8 is fast enough, and sharpness is your main concern, the DFA 50mm macro seems the obvious choice.

08-11-2017, 08:16 AM   #5
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In the 50 range, I think the M50 1.7 the K55 1.8 and most definitely the 43 Limited will greatly outperform your 50 1.4. Good luck in your quest!
08-11-2017, 08:18 AM   #6
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For edge to edge sharpness, a 50mm macro as the previous poster indicated.
08-11-2017, 08:28 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jens Lyn IV Quote
If f/2.8 is fast enough, and sharpness is your main concern, the DFA 50mm macro seems the obvious choice.
QuoteOriginally posted by jrpower10 Quote
For edge to edge sharpness, a 50mm macro as the previous poster indicated.
Aren't macro lenses usually optimized for short distances? isn't a landscape going to be at hyperfocal most of the times?
08-11-2017, 08:43 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by LensBeginner Quote
Aren't macro lenses usually optimized for short distances? isn't a landscape going to be at hyperfocal most of the times?
Yes, but a macro would have a very flat image, little or no curvature and would likely be optimal with a closed down aperture.

08-11-2017, 08:47 AM - 4 Likes   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSLRnovice Quote
Which 50mm lenses have the best reputation for edge to edge sharpness at middle apertures?
If this is the most important criteria just get the Pentax-A 50mm f/2.8 macro. Since it is for landscape the relatively slow aperture will not matter, it has a long focus throw and is sharp across.
QuoteOriginally posted by DSLRnovice Quote
I also looked at the new 28-105, which has good reviews for a zoom.
"Good reviews for a zoom" is a bit of a hold out feeling from days gone by. Most good quality modern zooms will produce images as good or better than film era primes. The DFA 28-105 is an exceptional lens especially for the price. I have a complete set of prime lenses but rarely use them as the images from my zoom lens are indistinguishable from those from my primes. Why fuss about with carrying and changing lenses when the zoom is better? Now if/when we get some modern primes such as the DFA 50mm f/1.4 that might be a different story. But film primes versus modern zooms is a toss up and the zoom wins on convenience.
08-11-2017, 08:51 AM   #10
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What jatrax said. I'm more likely to grab my DA 20-40 for a landscape for the convenience and I get amazing image quality that outdoes many of my old primes.
08-11-2017, 09:17 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jens Lyn IV Quote
If f/2.8 is fast enough, and sharpness is your main concern, the DFA 50mm macro seems the obvious choice.
Why didn't I come up with that one myself...? Sharpest 50mm you'll ever get!
08-11-2017, 09:19 AM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by LensBeginner Quote
Aren't macro lenses usually optimized for short distances?
The dfa100mm is terrifically sharp at all distances, and the dfa50mm appears to be as well. I think most of the complaints about the performance of macro lenses at far distances stems from older 'inert' designs (all lens elements move as one group when focusing) that were optimized for close up work at the expense of distance stuff. Pentax touts the FREE (fixed rear element extension) design as a component to upping the dfa macro's awesomeness at all distances (I'm paraphrasing here). I think versions date back to the mid 80's for Pentax.
08-11-2017, 09:23 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxke Quote
Why didn't I come up with that one myself...? Sharpest 50mm you'll ever get!
The older Takumar/K/M 50/4 is no slouch either.
08-11-2017, 09:33 AM   #14
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I think at f/5.6-11ish you'd be hard pushed to see a big difference across most decent 50mm primes? They all seem to be pretty decent once stopped down in my experience...

---------- Post added 2017-08-11 at 17:33 ----------

Although I'd always recommend the DA*55!
08-11-2017, 09:35 AM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSLRnovice Quote
Which 50mm lenses have the best reputation for edge to edge sharpness at middle apertures?
I took some really nice and sharp landscapes with M 50mm f1.7. I think all the f1.7 lenses are really sharp from f3 to f11. So sharp they would be hard to tell apart. So I think A, F, FA 50mm f1.7 are great choices; same optical lineage. M is good, too, but these days I recommend something with A on aperture ring.
DFA 50mm f2.8 macro is often mentioned as edge to edge sharpest 50mm lens.

That said, pretty much all 50mm lenses are acceptable at f5.6, many of them are already stunning by f2.8. Hard to go wrong. Sigma 50mm, Samyang 50mm, Rikenon 50mm,...
Of the 50-60mm lenses that I have, the M 50mm f1.7 is the sharpest, but the others are really super budget glass. If you spend over $75 you should get a good 50mm and if you spend over $500 it might be 10% better
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