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08-09-2018, 07:40 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Comparing DFA* 50mm with 50mm f2.8 MACRO

All these photos out-of-camera jpg, shot in aperture priority mode. Some camera jpg processing including lens correction. I shot the DFA* at 1.4, 2.8, 5.6 and 16. I shot the macro at 2.8, 5.6, and 16 and at f32.

It was a slightly windy day, so some there is some motion blur at the slower shutter speeds. Here I was mainly interested in comparing the out-of-focus areas, rather than sharpness (which I will do in studio).

The DFA* runs first.

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08-09-2018, 07:55 AM   #2
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Another set
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08-09-2018, 08:02 AM   #3
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I prefer the rendering of the D FA lens … beautiful pictures for both lenses but, then again, that new D FA sure rocks in the "Bokeh" department and in the details wide open (i.e.: f1.4) !
Cheers!

---------- Post added 08-09-18 at 11:02 AM ----------

I prefer the rendering of the D FA lens … beautiful pictures for both lenses but, then again, that new D FA sure rocks in the "Bokeh" department and in the details wide open (i.e.: f1.4) !
Cheers!

---------- Post added 08-09-18 at 11:03 AM ----------

Sorry for the double posting …. not my fault !
08-09-2018, 08:14 AM - 6 Likes   #4
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Based on that, I think I'll pick my FA 50 macro and $1600 CAD. The bokeh is smoother, with the DFA*50 but is ti $1150 CAD smoother? You see the same kinds of things with the 31 ltd and Sigma 30 Art. Some will say, I want that, some will yawn and pass. Some jump up and down about the Sigma, some jump up and down about the 31.

Nothing to change my opinion there. A nice lens for those who can afford it. But it's unlikely anyone will like a picture with the DFA* 50 that they wouldn't like taken with the 50 macro, if they were side by side.
If I were wealthy or a pro, I'd buy it. I prefer to maintain my amateur status.

I'm still looking for that image, taken with the 50 where the image is so much better it would justify the cost.

But the stated purpose of this lens has nothing to do with people like me. It's for people willing to pay a premium for "best in class". I'm more of a "what's the minimum I can get by on" type of guy.

I'm seriously unaffected by the hot shots with the $20,000 rigs looking down their noses at my gear. Especially since when they post on facebook etc. I don't see their images as better than mine. As long as I can get along with my patchwork of unlikely solutions, and produce good images, lenses like this will not interest me. I don't buy new lenses unless what I have isn't good enough, or because they are cheap enough to buy, just to play with.

For some of us doing more with less has always been part of the fun.
IF someone gives me a copy, however, I certainly won't say no. At that point it's cheap enough to enjoy it as new toy to go out and play with.


Last edited by normhead; 08-09-2018 at 11:32 AM.
08-09-2018, 08:25 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Here's another at f1.4 that's less clinical
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08-09-2018, 08:44 AM   #6
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I'm really liking this new lens, but what also is clear is how good some of our existing lenses are. Both the 50 macro here and the DA* 55 do a really nice job in comparison to the new DFA*. As I mumbled in another thread, my problem is I'm wanting them all, but what has surprised me is how appealing I find the DA*55. I am an amateur and can't justify any of this, but I also know that a lens like the DFA* 50 will provide years of enjoyment, and from that standpoint, I think it will be worth every penny for many of us. I'm sure I will buy this lens at some point. It's really just a question of timing.

Thanks for posting the shots.
08-09-2018, 08:51 AM - 1 Like   #7
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I do not think it makes sense to even compare those two lenses. If I was happy with F2.8 I'd not look at F1.4 glass and vice versa.

The last bits of speed always raise prices like crazy.
This lens is for cases when I want to isolate the subject with creamy bokeh and using other / cheaper lenses I couldn't.
That typically is upper body or full body portraits of humans.
08-09-2018, 09:15 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by beholder3 Quote
I do not think it makes sense to even compare those two lenses. If I was happy with F2.8 I'd not look at F1.4 glass and vice versa.

The last bits of speed always raise prices like crazy.
This lens is for cases when I want to isolate the subject with creamy bokeh and using other / cheaper lenses I couldn't.
That typically is upper body or full body portraits of humans.
The 50mm macro was my go to prime lens for portraits, and I've taken some beautiful portraits with it, so I guess it made sense to me.

I could also do a comparison gallery that shows how similar these lens also look for portraits! f2.8 on macro is very thin.

However the difference is that the new lens is creamier, and I think a bit sharper in the studio for portraits. Macro is however a LOT lighter

08-09-2018, 09:23 AM   #9
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Just a point of clarification: Which 50mm f2.8 MACRO are you testing? I assume that it is one of the F, FA, or DFA?
08-09-2018, 09:25 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by dofmaster Quote
The 50mm macro was my go to prime lens for portraits, and I've taken some beautiful portraits with it, so I guess it made sense to me.
I could also do a comparison gallery that shows how similar these lens also look for portraits!
If you can't tell the difference between a shot at F2.8 or F1.4 then any discussion is futile.
08-09-2018, 10:06 AM - 1 Like   #11
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Interesting. That DFA*50 is so sharp @1,4. also not so surprising, it beats the macro @ 2,8 IMO. After 5.6 it is matter of taste. But colour, sharpness, rendering in general is really good(as expected) with DFA* till 5,6. But then again Macro has other things that it has it's advantage
08-09-2018, 11:33 AM   #12
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The original goal for macro lenses was mainly reproductions (= flat 2D items).

So the main difference to other lenses were:
1) Absolutely no field curvation.
2) Absence of distortion.
3) Resolution equal for all of the frame, sacrificing maximum (center) resolution.

To offer nice creamy bokeh was surely apreciated, but not part of the design.
When I started with Photography, the word "Bokeh" was not even invented.

Last edited by RKKS08; 08-09-2018 at 11:36 AM. Reason: Point added
08-09-2018, 11:39 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by RKKS08 Quote
The original goal for macro lenses was mainly reproductions (= flat 2D items).

So the main difference to other lenses were:
1) Absolutely no field curvation.
2) Resolution equal for all of the frame, sacrificing maximum (center) resolution.

To offer nice creamy bokeh was surely apreciated, but not part of the design.
When I started with Photography, the word "Bokeh" was not even invented.
The original reason for creamy out of focus areas was backgrounds that didn't intefere with the text layer that was going to go on top of it. The little bit of extra creaminess was quite desirable and worth paying for, because it made your prints more desirable to commercial interests who might buy your image for use in an ad. I've never been clear on why it's a thing in non commercial photogrpahy. It seems like a cult. I suspect that people who didn't understand why the pros needed that creamy background started thinking that a creamy back ground was an artistic kind of thing, and that these pros valued it's artistic value.

It's all a big misunderstanding.

It reminds me of the Cargo Cults of the South Pacific for some reason.
http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/watkins/cargocult.htm
08-09-2018, 12:10 PM   #14
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One viedography artist said in interview when he was asked why so shallow DoF... because it is so much more easy to make shots looks nice.

he shoots documentary kind of shots, but want to make it more 'artistic'. Basically, because background is blurry, you don't have to worry about that too much, unless you need it for something.

But now it is all about Bokeh, some still hates it(when it get's too blurry) and some just adores it. Matter of taste. I happen to be one who likes it.

QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
It seems like a cult. I suspect that people who didn't understand why the pros needed that creamy background started thinking that a creamy back ground was an artistic kind of thing, and that these pros valued it's artistic value.

It's all a big misunderstanding.

It reminds me of the Cargo Cults of the South Pacific for some reason.
The Cargo Cults of the South Pacific
08-09-2018, 12:33 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by repaap Quote
One viedography artist said in interview when he was asked why so shallow DoF... because it is so much more easy to make shots looks nice.

he shoots documentary kind of shots, but want to make it more 'artistic'. Basically, because background is blurry, you don't have to worry about that too much, unless you need it for something.

But now it is all about Bokeh, some still hates it(when it get's too blurry) and some just adores it. Matter of taste. I happen to be one who likes it.
Some school of art proposed the background should be lower definition than the subject, shallow DoF took it to an extreme. Ansel Adams and the ƒ64 club took the opposite position. You have big guns behind you no matter which side you take.

Most of us wander around in between those two positions, and ar happy with what we can accomplish with the lenses we own. This is definitely a lens for the extremists. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

The more people who can find what they want, hopefully the happier all of us Pentaxians will be.

Last edited by normhead; 08-09-2018 at 12:41 PM.
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