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06-09-2018, 12:25 PM   #1
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Fast 50 delimma, old school f1.2 versus DA f1.4

I've been looking for a fast 50 and have a question regarding older f1.2 lenses versus the newer DA 55 F1.4. Since i'm more interested in photographic output, namely rendering and exquisite bokeh , auto-focus is not a consideration. So, what is your recommendation?. Furthermore, does anyone have a hands-on comparison, or provide insight into what I might expect the difference between the two might be? Any and all input is greatly appreciated.

06-09-2018, 12:48 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by onlineflyer Quote
I've been looking for a fast 50 and have a question regarding older f1.2 lenses versus the newer DA 55 F1.4. Since i'm more interested in photographic output, namely rendering and exquisite bokeh , auto-focus is not a consideration. So, what is your recommendation?. Furthermore, does anyone have a hands-on comparison, or provide insight into what I might expect the difference between the two might be? Any and all input is greatly appreciated.
The f1.2 sharp as and great lens. have not tried the DA 55 f1.4 so no real compare the two. Give my son the 50mm f1.4 and there is barely any f1.2 to f1.4. so help that compares.probably try the one.cheers.
06-09-2018, 01:16 PM   #3
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Price. Expect the new 50 to be 4 to 5 times more expensive than a used 50 1.2. Infinitely better af. 4x corner sharpness. 1.5x center sharpness. 4x better ca. Cleaner bokeh. 3x sharpness and bokeh at the same time. 1.5x better color. 2x better contrast.
This is my speculation. Not meant too seriously. Meant more to think about what matters.
And 4x heavier and 2x more conspicuous.
06-09-2018, 01:18 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by swanlefitte Quote
Price. Expect the new 50 to be 4 to 5 times more expensive than a used 50 1.2. Infinitely better af. 4x corner sharpness. 1.5x center sharpness. 4x better ca. Cleaner bokeh. 3x sharpness and bokeh at the same time. 1.5x better color. 2x better contrast.
This is my speculation. Not meant too seriously. Meant more to think about what matters.
I was referencing the current DA 55 f1.4, not the upcoming 50mm.

06-09-2018, 01:19 PM   #5
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The da is 1.8 the fa is 1.4
06-09-2018, 01:23 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by swanlefitte Quote
The da is 1.8 the fa is 1.4
This is the lens I'm referring to.


SMC Pentax-DA* 55mm F1.4 SDM Reviews - DA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
06-09-2018, 01:39 PM - 1 Like   #7
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Sorry my bad. I read 50 not 55. Carry on, nothing to see here. ;p
06-09-2018, 01:47 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by onlineflyer Quote
I've been looking for a fast 50 and have a question regarding older f1.2 lenses versus the newer DA 55 F1.4. Since i'm more interested in photographic output, namely rendering and exquisite bokeh , auto-focus is not a consideration. So, what is your recommendation?. Furthermore, does anyone have a hands-on comparison, or provide insight into what I might expect the difference between the two might be? Any and all input is greatly appreciated.
You already received good advice. Let me share a different perspective since AF is not your priority.

I have three fast 50s: Pentax FA50mm f1.7, Pentax A50mm f1.2 and Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f1.4. Of these, I rarely use the FA50mm f1.7, because the other two have much better IQ. The A50mm f1.2 is an excellent lens, but the VL50mm f1.4 is my preferred one. The VL 58 mm f1.4 is a metallic lens, built like a tank, with great IQ and outstanding results. It is an amazing lens, particularly in poor lighting conditions. Not just low light, but also smoke, fogg, smogg.... I shared a few experiences at:

FA31mm f1.8 vs VL Nokton 58mm f1.4 - PentaxForums.com

I rate my copy of the VL58mm f1.4 as being very very close to the FA31mm Ltd and FA77mm Ltd lenses in terms of IQ. The VL58mm is my most used prime lens when I travel, because it can cope with many different conditions: not just light conditions, but also weather conditions. The lens is not officially WR, but is is built like and perform like a WR lens IMO. If i have to take one prime (only) for a trip, it will be the VL58mm f1.4.

I can highly recommend the VL58mm f1.4 if you want great rendering and fast lens at 50mm.

06-09-2018, 02:09 PM   #9
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Keh has a 50mm f1.2 K-version (earlier version) for sale: Pentax 50mm F/1.2 SMC K Mount Manual Focus Lens {52} at KEH Camera Store
06-09-2018, 02:21 PM   #10
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I would suggest finding an f/1.2 lens and actually taking a few shots with such with the intent of fine focus. If you have the luxury of a helpful companion, take a couple of head shots ala pro photog. Do the same with the f/1.4 of your choosing. A short tour with a f/1.7, f/1.8, or f/2.0 might also be helpful.


Steve

(...has had opportunity to purchase f/1.2 in the past, currently owns two f/1.4, and favors the Pentax-M 50/1.7, Pentax-K 55/1.8, and KMZ Helios 44M 58/2...)
06-09-2018, 02:22 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by disconnekt Quote
Keh has a 50mm f1.2 K-version (earlier version) for sale: Pentax 50mm F/1.2 SMC K Mount Manual Focus Lens {52} at KEH Camera Store
Note the price for BGN grade...I will pass.


Steve
06-09-2018, 02:53 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I would suggest finding an f/1.2 lens and actually taking a few shots with such with the intent of fine focus. If you have the luxury of a helpful companion, take a couple of head shots ala pro photog. Do the same with the f/1.4 of your choosing. A short tour with a f/1.7, f/1.8, or f/2.0 might also be helpful.


Steve

(...has had opportunity to purchase f/1.2 in the past, currently owns two f/1.4, and favors the Pentax-M 50/1.7, Pentax-K 55/1.8, and KMZ Helios 44M 58/2...)
I already own the M 50/1.7. Why do you prefer this lens?
06-09-2018, 02:54 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Note the price for BGN grade...I will pass.


Steve
I think I've seen used DA* 55/1.4 lenses for that price, and close to what I paid. The SDM might be a problem but the DA* still will have camera control over the aperture, lens data, weather sealing, nine aperture blades, and a cool hood. The K has f1.2 bragging rights but wide open DOF is nearly the same with either, because the DA* is 55mm. Maybe if I had a K-1.
06-09-2018, 03:04 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
I think I've seen used DA* 55/1.4 lenses for that price, and close to what I paid. The SDM might be a problem but the DA* still will have camera control over the aperture, lens data, weather sealing, nine aperture blades, and a cool hood. The K has f1.2 bragging rights but wide open DOF is nearly the same with either, because the DA* is 55mm. Maybe if I had a K-1.
Yes, I have no interest in buying a bargain lens, too many variables.

The reason I'm asking is I see the DA 55/1.4 at lower prices than f1.2's and am wondering if it provides similar rendering and boken as higher priced 1.2's. I'm basically looking for best bang for the $$$.

---------- Post added 06-09-18 at 06:12 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by swanlefitte Quote
Sorry my bad. I read 50 not 55. Carry on, nothing to see here. ;p
Ha, I often make the same mistake. Perhaps I was not clear in my wording but thanks for your interest.
06-09-2018, 03:36 PM - 3 Likes   #15
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They are both superb, but my A50/1.2 rarely gets packed because the AF, AW sealing, dedicated hood and better coatings of the DA*55 usually win out.

I compared them side by side a while back - before the K-1 was released.

And on the K-1. Some f/1.2 goodness for y'all







And the DA*55 wide open on the K-1



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