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09-07-2018, 04:49 PM   #61
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I have 50mm f1.4s in M42 and K mount and will use either wide open on film with no hesitation.

On the K1, I tend to move the plane of focus and it’s obvious, so tend to use a f1.7 lens there.

I also have a Rokinon 85 f1.4 that is even less forgiving, but I love the results when I get it right, focus-wise. Just soft enough to be dreamy while keeping lots of resolution.


09-07-2018, 07:29 PM   #62
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Several f1.4 lenses, but I rarely shoot wide open because the depth of field is inadequate for the subject and the sharpness is not up to when they're stopped down, even in the centre.

Samyang 24mm, Pentax DA*55, Sigma 35mm and 85mm.

09-08-2018, 10:32 AM   #63
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Pentax 55mm x f1.8 in the M42 and K versions. Great lens. Most of my lenses are f2.8, f3.5, or f4 with focal lengths 28mm to 400mm. I have 14 lenses in M42 and K mount for Pentax. 11 are manual focus with 9 being primes, while 3 are autofocus zooms and 2 are manual focus zooms. I have other manual focus lenses for Minolta and Fujica with the "fastest" being a 50mm x f1.7.

Being age 63, near-sighted, and with an astigmatism, an f1.2 or 1.4 manual focus would be challenging or frustrating. I use f3.5 to f16 most of the time.

09-08-2018, 09:10 PM - 1 Like   #64
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
I just paid 499 CDN (400 USD) for my DA* 55 1.4. That sounds absolutely insane to me.
Yes, paying 450 bucks for the old Pentax-A f/1.2 is kind of insane, but...
1) the K version can be had for much less
2) comparing an f/1.2 to an f/1.4 is not about mathematics: it's not just a little more than half stop gained. I usually shoot very fast lenses wide open, I have three f/1.2 in PK mount, but I never realized how different the OOF rendering can be, especially at very close range. I've seen a comparative test - I don't remember on which forum - that showed a huge difference. I have been amazed by how such a small speed difference translates into something so easy to see, even to an uneducated eye.
3) the DA* is sharper, has AF, but should not considered an alternative. A discerning buyer should not consider the two lenses for the same kind of use. Each has its own. The DA* is everything but a bokeh monster. People who don't consider bokeh quality a priority, and don't frame the picture to make it an important part of the final image, should reconsider the investment in a super-fast lens and opt for something easier and less extreme, like for example your 55mm.
Of course it is always possible to do the opposite: buy the lens and learn how to make best use of it afterward. I did the same.

For the record, I give my personal preference to the Revuenon/Tomioka 1.2/55mm, second the SMC Pentax 1.2/50mm, third (at some distance) the Porst/Cosina 1.2/55mm (which needs to shorten one of the contacts of the camera).

Last edited by cyberjunkie; 09-09-2018 at 06:15 AM.
09-09-2018, 02:03 AM - 7 Likes   #65
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QuoteOriginally posted by UserAccessDenied Quote
Going through my bag, I realised I don't own anything in the F1.X range...
I have several "Ladies" in the harem that meet your F1.X range criteria, each has quite unique feel about her and often gets used wide open, which for me is what fast lenses are for.

"Special Lady” (Pentax-A 50mm F1.2)

“Sweetheart” (Pentax-A* 85mm F1.4)

"Lady Luck” (Pentax-A* 135mm F1.8) but taken at F1.7

QuoteOriginally posted by UserAccessDenied Quote
Is the A50mm F1.2 worth the $500 price tag?

P.S. Here's another from today (10/8/18), taken again with "Lady Luck” (Pentax-A* 135mm F1.8) but taken at F1.7

Last edited by Kerrowdown; 09-10-2018 at 06:12 AM.
09-15-2018, 10:29 AM - 1 Like   #66
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My fastest is the A 50 f1.2; which didn't cost $500 !!!! Bought off eBay in 2015 for £200 which if you remove our glorious 20% Value Added Tax is around $208
To be fair it isn't mint and has a "cleaning mark"? on the front element but it doesn't seem to affect any images.

First image I took in the New Forest @ f1.2 APSC

Shop window in New Oxford Street @ f1.4 APSC

Dancing with Dolphins at Tower Bridge @ f1.4 FF

Bastions of Valletta in Malta @ f5.6 FF
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09-15-2018, 12:01 PM   #67

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QuoteOriginally posted by UserAccessDenied Quote
Would you say a lightly used FA50mm F1.4 for under $100 is a good deal?

I think I need something faster than F2.4 lol.

I've never really been a fan of the 50mm on APS-C, but maybe I just need to try it again and learn how/when to use it...
Grab it. Don't let that great deal get away. It's like a 75mm/1.4 on APS-C. I'm sure you'll get lots of use from it.
I paid full price for mine. I use it mostly at f/4 on digital because that's where it's at is sharpest. Of course when the sun goes down I open it up.
On film it's a really good lens. Would shoot it at f/1.4 every day.
As for the fastest, a 1.2 projector or X-ray lens (I'm not really sure) for a project, and a loaned Canon 55mm 1.2 SSC on an F-1.
As for medium format it's the 6×7 S-M-C Takumar 105mm f/2.4 and Mamiya 80mm f/1.9.

Last edited by torashi; 09-15-2018 at 01:06 PM.
09-16-2018, 05:43 PM   #68
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I have a Ricoh Rikenon 55mm f1.2 lens. Its nice and hefty and that f/1.2 aperture... But I don't use it at all so I'm trying to sell it to get a Sigma 50mm f1.4 EX DG HSM. Other than that I have a Pentax-A 50mm f1.4, Pentax DA 50mm f1.8 and a Sigma 28mm f1.8 which is my go-to lens that is always affixed to my K-3II.

09-16-2018, 05:58 PM   #69
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This is it for me, Nikkor s ans Fujinon EBC 50mm 1.4.Oldies but useful in my style of shooting. I wont fork out the high dollar on anything else. That's just me of course

09-21-2018, 12:12 PM   #70
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Really Fast

QuoteOriginally posted by UserAccessDenied Quote
What's the Fastest Lens You Own?
I keep waiting for Digitalis to jump in... whom I believe owns a couple of LEICA NOCTILUX-M 50mm f/0.95 ASPH
09-22-2018, 12:07 AM   #71
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My fastest lens is a Fujinon 55mm f/1.6, a left-over from my "screw-fit" days, but it rarely gets used. What does get used regularly however is another "left-over", my Fujinon 35mm f/1.9

I used a Fujinon 50mm f/1.2 in my film days, but as it was in Fujica's bayonet mount it wasn't practically adaptable to anything else I wanted to own, so I sold it recently to a collector in Japan ... turned out that it had unknowingly been a good long-term investment
09-23-2018, 05:26 PM   #72
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Pentax M 50/1.4 and Rokinon 85mm/1.4
Both are incredibly sharp.
09-25-2018, 09:43 PM   #73

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I have several 50/1.4 lenses—an A, an F, and a Nikkor-S. I don’t shoot them wide open that often, usually at f8 or f11. I have them because I like the flexibility for shooting in lower light, especially when I loaded 100 speed film and shot most of the roll during the day, but a few frames are left, and the sun is setting and I have less light to finish off the roll.

I also have a Pentax 105mm f2.4, which, on 6x7 has a depth of field similar to the 50/1.2. It was actually a little disconcerting when I first put it on my 67 to see how shallow the focus was.
09-26-2018, 02:01 AM   #74
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Sigma dc 30mm f1.4, only 1.x lens I own. Would accompany me on holidays with potential for astro. Since this summer the main astro combo would be the K-1 with dfa 24-70. This dc 30mm can 'almost' be used on the K-1, but never tested in in the field.

K-5, Taken at the Friesenberghaus, Austrian Alps.

K-1 vignette test @ f1.4 (max)

K-1 vignette test @ f16 (min)
09-26-2018, 05:25 AM - 1 Like   #75
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QuoteOriginally posted by UserAccessDenied Quote
Going through my bag, I realized I don't own anything in the F1.X range...

My fastest lens is the HD DA 70mm F2.4 Limited - fantastic lens, even wide open in my honest opinion... But I'm thinking I need something a bit faster, ya know, just for feeding my LBA?

What's the FASTEST lens you own?
I love this forum!
Different choices and different tastes. It's fascinating.

I have many lenses, some are pretty slow and some fast. However I'm mostly using very fast MF primes. Since quite a long time, actually.
Since I bought my K-1 I use AF zooms even less than before.
In the last months the only zoom I've used is the old FA 28-105mm (the last one, "silver" version).
I like to shoot at night, and I also like to give a lot of room in the picture to out of focus areas and blurred backgrounds.
Can't have pets? I have lenses!
I have three different f/1.2 fifties, that I try to rotate, cause they are actually quite different, and I like to learn their pros and cons, and how to get the most out of them.
I have two Samyang's with me, both very fast: 1.4/24mm and 1.4/35mm.
Then I have two portrait lenses, the Auto Takumar 1.8/85mm and the Leitz Summicron 2/90mm.
Last but not least, I brought with me the Soligor/Tokina C/D P 2/28mm and 2/135mm.
Yes, my bag is not small

When I photograph I take notes, and after uploading the photos to a Lightroom library I tag the raw files using Lens Tagger. It's painfully slow but it allows to record the name of the lens and the aperture used.
Few days ago I checked the only archive I have with me, filtering by metadata, to find out what's the prevalent use I make of each optic.
The majority were wide open, and most of the others were at f/4. I definitely like thin DOF!
If I had to shoot landscape, I'd use other lenses, stopped down around f/8 (like the Pentax K 3.5/28mm), but this kind of lenses don't usually travel with me. They go in the trunk of the car, together with a tripod, for a short journey out of the city.

I understand my perspective is kind of original, and maybe a little silly. I collect old funky lenses, and I really like to "test" them and find how they work.
This is the most fascinating side of collecting vintage objectives: using them!
Some photographers buy high level lenses, test them with some accuracy, and after they sell them. They end up with a keeper for each focal/type, their personal choice.
Others collect in a focused way, sticking to one kind/maker.
I just follow my personal taste, and the simple pleasure of doing that.
Doing that, I found that "testing" fast lenses is way more fun!
Differences are rather evident comparing old fast optics one to another.
Newer, sharper high-speed primes are a pleasure to use too. At close range a 35mm f/1.4 allows to separate the planes (and blur the background) much better than a zoom, or a conventional f/2.8 prime.
Good AF zooms have reached very good sharpness, but are much more similar.
It is not so interesting to tell the difference between very sharp and a tiny bit sharper. Of course this is just my personal perspective.
I have interests that are not centered only on the picture. The lens is more than a simple tool to me.
I have a huge library of books about optics and the history of photographic lenses.
I'd say that it's a personal interest that could live on its own, but gets mixed in funny ways with the hobby of taking pictures.

I guess that talking about very fast lenses is very much like talking about personal taste.
To each his/her own.
For some photographers it's an acquired taste. You try for curiosity and slowly realise that you like it.
For some strange reason I have always been attracted by fast lenses, maybe because I also like the unconventional in general.
It's already a long post... while I'm at it I'll tell a little story.
I was working in medium and large format with a Linhof Technika and a Linhof Bi-System, so I already had a few large format lenses.
One day I decided to drive to Milan and visit the best italian shop for second-hand and professional equipment.
I had some money and a couple of Leica M lenses to swap.
I had no idea about buying anything in particular.
I didn't "need" any of them, but in the end I came back home with a Pentax-A* 2.8/300mm (with a few expensive accessories), a large format tele (that would see little use), and another large format lens that I acquired for sheer curiosity: a Komura 2.8/152mm on Copal No.3.
It was such a beautiful, unusually fast lens! I could not resist.
Later I found out that it was the fastest LF lens ever made (focal/aperture). The only similar lens was the Schneider Xenotar 2.8/150mm, a hugely expensive objective with almost mythical status (though, because of the 2mm difference, relatively a touch slower).
I didn't need it for work, I didn't know anything about its peculiarity, it was just FAST, huge and beautiful.
Even at that time, when the word bokeh was confined to the land of the rising sun and I was concentrated on other aspects of photography, something clicked inside my brain and all rational considerations were pushed aside by a little voice in my brain that instantly convinced me that I would really like that bombastic lens.
I used to shoot with f/5.6 and f/8 objectives, f/2.8 was much more uncommon than an f/1.2 on 35mm.
In the endI liked it a lot. Never used it for work. Just for personal projects.
I did a few portraits, but I liked more the rendition of my previous "fast lens", an Heliar 4.5/210mm on a huge Compound shutter, that also had a more useful focal length.
It was a jewel of a lens though, and I'm sad I sold it for a song (one of the very few lenses I ever sold) to a british enthusiast who courted me for a while...
End of the story.
If at the end of any story there has to be a comment, I'd say that it's all about taste.
In my case, I liked fast lenses even when I still had no idea I liked them so much.
Others don't like to see the tips of the stamen in focus and the flower blurred.
I like it, and I try to shoot the flower in a way to use it creatively.

Last edited by cyberjunkie; 09-26-2018 at 07:41 AM.

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