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10-13-2018, 06:22 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
The only issue for some, is not what it's worth, but if they can afford to pay it.
Absolutely spot on.

Hobbyist photography is and always has been expensive. Even in film days shooting enough slides to become a good photographer was prohibitively expensive for most people, and professional grade gear was out of reach too.

Other than the decade from about 2005 - 2015 enthusiast digital photography with the ‘best’ gear has been an upper middle class avocation. IMO, similar to luxury sport sedans, Pentax * lenses and their cousins in other mounts are and always will be priced above the willingness of many and capacity of most people to pay for them. Yet we still want them because we’re wired to be acquisitive.

At least with Pentax we don’t have to carry the cost of making and distributing a million entry level BigBox kits as loss leaders. The D FA*50/1.4 costs less money than it might cost because it is a Pentax lens.


Last edited by monochrome; 10-13-2018 at 06:35 AM.
10-15-2018, 04:36 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
The D FA*50/1.4 costs less money than it might cost because it is a Pentax lens.
I'd like to believe it.
Not sure it's true.
Tamron zooms cost less than their Pentax/Tamron equivalents.
The Tokina version of the D FA* would probably cost less.
The K-1 was a price/performance champion when it was introduced... but the first time you want to buy a top level third-party prime, like some Voigtlander/Cosina, you'll find that the same used lens costs almost double the price of a Nikon mount.

I'll stay with Pentax as long as possible, though the reason is not the availability of cheap optics (new or used, OEM or third-party).
10-15-2018, 08:38 AM   #33
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The Tokina Opera 50 is pre-order priced at $950 USD with the big retailers we all know and love. D-FA*50 is $1200.

I do not understand this situation and hope that Ricoh is somehow making a pile of money off of each Tokina sold. Somehow.
11-08-2018, 12:40 PM   #34
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I found a DA* on eBay for a very good price, but I forgot to change my primary address to a US one, and the bid was not accepted (I used a sniping tool, so I found out when it was already too late).
Maybe it's destiny... for a few dollars less I found a Sigma EX DG HSM in spotless conditions, with box, hood, etc. I made an offer, it was accepted, and now it's on its way to a US address, where my wife will pick it up in a few days.
I will get it before Christmas. It will be my self-given gift for the festivities

Of the three lenses, I suspect that the Samyang would prove a tiny bit better optically, and it would be cheaper, IF you can find one second hand (which is not very easy, few have been sold in PKA mount). Though this lens has its weaknesses: the build is not on par with the others, and it's not AF. Considering I have plenty of very good vintage fifties, I don't regret I didn't buy the Samyang when I found one second hand at a convenient price. Under a practical point of view I need a fast AF fifty much more than an MF one.
The DA* seems to work fine even after the SDM motor develops the squeaking noise. The build is good (for a modern AF lens) and bokeh and central sharpness are very good, judging from the pictures I have seen online. Though it has its limitations: the AF is slow and it's impossible to convert it to screwdriver AF, and the lens was originally designed to be a portrait objective for APS-C. Vignetting and border sharpness are not outstanding, and unfortunately there is no Lightroom correction profile made for FF.
The Sigma has fast AF, good sharpness stopped down (not outstanding wide open), decent bokeh. A pity I have to use it on APS-C only until I can ship the lens to Sigma to have the bayonet exchanged. I don't want to scratch the body
None of the three lenses is perfect.
The one close to perfection - probably the state of the art of current fifties - is the new D FA*.
For my specific needs it is too expensive. Which means that I'm not so sure it's too expensive in general, I would probably see everything under a different perspective if I just bought a K-1 II and had to build my lens arsenal from scratch. Though in my situation, and considering my tastes (I'm not crazy for absolute sharpness), the investment on the D FA* would be excessive. I already have plenty of valuable vintage fifties with different optical signatures, usable in different conditions and for different purposes (including three f/1.2), and I also have two Pentax F/FA fifties with screwdrive AF. I just needed an affordable fast fifty with better performance wide open and across the frame. The silent AF is a nice plus.
For 270 USD shipment included I hope it will prove to be money well spent.
The only real pity is that I didn't remember that the 50mm EX DG HSM was part of the group of lenses that scratch the body of the K-1.
I checked only after committing to the purchase. The problem is not really about the scratch, I sent my other two affected lenses (24-70mm and 120-400mm) to be repaired on warranty because in the process Sigma technicians always update the firmware to the last version. Often it makes a huge difference. So it's always better to have the lens serviced, even if you don't care about the scratch.
While I am writing these lines it came to my mind that I have no idea if the free bayonet upgrade service had a time limit or not. Does anybody know anything about this matter?


Last edited by cyberjunkie; 11-08-2018 at 12:45 PM.
11-25-2018, 01:36 PM   #35
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I found a Sigma EX DG HSM 1.4/50mm for a decent price, and decided to buy it.
Unfortunately I completely forgot that is one of the lenses that are "incompatible" with the K-1.
I am more concerned about the firmware than the scratch. The positive thing about Sigma repair service is that they always upgrade the firmware to the latest version when they work on a lens.
Does anybody know if the free swap program of the bayonet is still active?
I should check if there is any official Sigma repair centre in Thailand...

cheers

Paolo
11-25-2018, 02:40 PM - 2 Likes   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by pres589 Quote
The Tokina Opera 50 is pre-order priced at $950 USD with the big retailers we all know and love. D-FA*50 is $1200.

I do not understand this situation and hope that Ricoh is somehow making a pile of money off of each Tokina sold. Somehow.
Third party lenses, even when excellent quality, are always priced relatively cheaply compared to brand name options. That said, the DFA *50 was sale priced recently at 996. Considering that the Milvus 50mm is priced at 1100, the Nikon 58mm f1.4 is 1500, and the Sony 50mm f1.4 Planar is 1400, Pentax actually seems relatively cheap for brand name options. I imagine that Pentax is making some on each lens they build for Tokina (not on the ones Tokina sells) and that they make more money on the ones they brand as Pentax and sell to consumers.

For most of us, as hobbyists, a new 50mm is not needed, even if it is so sharp you will cut yourself just picking it up. That doesn't mean that we don't want top end lenses and there are a lot of other lenses that are priced in the same ballpark that perform a lot worse.
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