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06-27-2019, 01:17 AM   #1
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DA 50mm f/1.8, SMC-A 50mm f/1.7 or both?

Minuscule predicament time.

I've recently procured a DA 50mm f/1.8, at first light appears to be a great little lens with a quirky focusing noise. The seller I purchased the SMC-A 28mm f/2.8 is also selling a SMC-A 50mm f/1.7 for a good price, and there's some possible haggling to be had if I purchase this alongside the 28mm.

Question is, do I get both as the latter appears to be at a very good price? I think I'd comfortably sell either the DA-50 or SMC-A 50/1.7 if I found favour with one over the other... or does anyone have both?

Apologies for the long-winded question!

---------- Post added 06-27-19 at 01:52 AM ----------

Update: I've plumbed for it. 15 for that plus 21.50 for the other totals 36.50 for the two.

If I treat it as 18.25 each including postage, I think it's not really a bad purchase! If I'm way off, however, and it's a terrible one, don't hesitate to let me know!

06-27-2019, 02:50 AM - 1 Like   #2
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nothing wrong with keeping both - for me, however, it would be eventually replacing the 50/1.7 with a 50/1.4...
06-27-2019, 03:11 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by pepperberry farm Quote
nothing wrong with keeping both - for me, however, it would be eventually replacing the 50/1.7 with a 50/1.4...
Thanks for this Mr/Ms P'Berry. On a slight tangent, for what reason is the 50/1.4 better than the 50/1.7? I know there's some subjective elements involved, but it'd be good to have a grasp of why you'd opt for one over the other.
06-27-2019, 03:16 AM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Benz3ne Quote
Thanks for this Mr/Ms P'Berry. On a slight tangent, for what reason is the 50/1.4 better than the 50/1.7? I know there's some subjective elements involved, but it'd be good to have a grasp of why you'd opt for one over the other.
age-old question there - the A50/1.7 vs A50/1.4

the 50/1.7 has an unfortunate tendency to have problems with its aperture ring - it gets worn and graunchy, while the 1.4 doesn't...

the 1.4's focus ring is larger than the 1.7, so easier to manipulate...

and it's f1.4...

I had the 1.7 and there's absolutely nothing wrong with the photos it can capture.... but I love the 1.4's build quality and I really love its shots...

06-27-2019, 03:26 AM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by pepperberry farm Quote
age-old question there - the A50/1.7 vs A50/1.4

the 50/1.7 has an unfortunate tendency to have problems with its aperture ring - it gets worn and graunchy, while the 1.4 doesn't...

the 1.4's focus ring is larger than the 1.7, so easier to manipulate...

and it's f1.4...

I had the 1.7 and there's absolutely nothing wrong with the photos it can capture.... but I love the 1.4's build quality and I really love its shots...
Ardderchog, diolch! Great, thanks! Brilliantly concise answer. I think I'll start getting used to my 5 most recent purchases (18-135 WR, DA50/1.8, SMC-M 135/3.5, SMC-A 28/2.8 and SMC-A 50/1.7) and see where I go from there! I shouldn't be bored, so I should stop spending (for now, I really want a 55-300 PLM...). I'll keep my eyes peeled and perhaps peruse a car boot sale on the weekend!
06-27-2019, 04:42 AM - 1 Like   #6
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concise response, sorry I like thorough, I hope that is allowable

_________________

I have, [ among others, check my profile if interested ] both the SMC Pentax-A 50mm F1.4 and SMC Pentax-DA 50mm F1.8

both are fine lenses and I recommend either of them

this article might be of interest:

" . . . Currently Pentax makes three different 50mm lenses: the SMC Pentax FA 50mm F1.4, D FA 50mm F2.8 Macro, and DA 50mm F1.8. All three can be used on digital cameras and the first two are considered full-frame lenses. Although the DA 50mm is marketed as an APS-C-only lens, some speculate that it may also work on full-frame (i.e. film) cameras. There is thread concerning this issue on our forum, but until the issue is finally put to rest we will have to take the position that the lens is to be used only on APS-C digital cameras and is not full-frame compatible. . . . "

Read more at: Pentax 50mm Prime Lens Shootout Review - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews

unfortunately for our purposes, neither the SMC Pentax-A 50mm F1.4 or the SMC Pentax-A 50mm 1.7 were included but here is the link to the " user reviews " of those lenses:

SMC Pentax-A 50mm F1.4 Reviews - A Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

SMC Pentax-A 50mm F1.7 Reviews - A Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

____________________________________

the biggest problem for me [ as always caused by " Operator Error " ] is nailing the focus on the 1.4 quickly

so in situations where I am concerned about fast focusing, I tend toward the 1.8

but I keep on trying to improve my focusing skills on the 1.4

the only other difference is the filter size, the 1.4 is 49mm and the 1.8 is 52mm

I have more lenses that use the 49mm than I have that use 52mm

Last edited by aslyfox; 06-27-2019 at 05:03 AM.
06-27-2019, 05:13 AM - 2 Likes   #7
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I've got Pentax HD FA 50mm f/1.4 SDM AW, Pentax smc DA 50mm f/1.8, & Pentax 55mm DA* SDM f/1.4 lenses. Given the redundancy, I'd been trying to sell the little, cheap, plastic-bodied DA 50mm f/1.8, but the 55mm f/1.4 developed a problem with the SDM gizmo (apparently a common issue), and has been in the gentle care of Precision Camera since May, waiting on a "is it covered under warranty" response from Ricoh. So I used the 50mm f/1.8 instead; it had been a while since I'd last used it (got it with the K-50 as a "kit" lens and used it until I got some "real" lenses, like years ago). What a surprise! That's a terrific little lens, completely trouble-free, works fine and makes good pictures. I rescinded the offer to sell, thinking, that lens is worth more to me than I could get on the resale market - in fact, if I needed one like it, and knowing what I do now, I'd pay a good bit more than the hundred-bucks-or-so current retail price.

I do think it's a good idea to have a good "normal" lens with a 1.4 aperture for indoor ambient lighting pictures, particularly portraiture. And the 55mm is a terrific lens for that (when it works). The lenses I have are due to how I was thinking at the time I bought them. My current thinking is that (1) if you have the 1.8 already, keep it, it's a great lens especially for the price; and (2) I won't buy anything else that says "SDM" on it; and (3) I'm buying only full-frame lenses now, since they work fine on APS-C cameras and the converse is not true.

That said, the Pentax HD FA 50mm f/1.4 SDM AW, has worked fine thus far, and produces great pictures on both types of sensor. If you can presume that the SDM failure issue has been rectified for currently produced models, then that would be my recommendation, whether you have a FF camera or not - you may get one in the future, after all. But, OP, since you've already got the 1.8, I'd stick with that until you really feel the need for another lens because you've identified a niche that needs filling. (Collecting lenses other than for historical interest is a waste of money by my lights.)
06-27-2019, 05:31 AM   #8
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Adding to the above, I found that the manual focus on my DA 50/1.8 (sold it - about 10 or so 50mm lenses left ...) is actually much more usable than on any of my other 50mm AF lenses (F, FA, D-FA Macro). Given the more up-to-date coatings and, to me, nicer shape of the aperture, I see little reason to also carry an A 50/1.7 unless you either want to use the aperture ring on extension tubes or the lens reversed or you're in a manual-focus-only setting because of AF noise.

06-27-2019, 05:39 AM   #9
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I'd say both: da 50 for modern, smoother bokeh and 50mm f1.7 for old school bokeh with more defined edges. In fact, I prefer 50mm f1.7 but that's me...
06-27-2019, 06:44 AM   #10
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Thank you all for the considered, absolutely anecdotal (exactly what I wanted) responses! To answer consecutively;

aslyfox - I will allow thorough answers for sure! I'm here for discussion as much as being steered towards an answer. I can envisage some 'operator error' on my behalf with these manual lenses I've picked up. It'll be a great experience if nothing else, however!

dlh - Sorry to hear about your issues with the SDM lens. Hopefully it won't be much longer until issues are rectified/resolved! I've heard nothing but good things about the 'plastic fantastic' as it's endearingly known. Ergo, I had to pick one up when the opportunity rose to grab at 50 posted, lightly-used, second-hand. Typically, they've been going for around 70-80 on 'the auction site' and other second hand prices have been around 70, so I'm happy with the price I paid. It's easy to lose focus (I know, I'm sorry) on what lenses are required and why, and to over-purchase without said focus. I don't think I've any need for anything else in the 50mm department as things stand, unless a 50/1.4 in whatever guise came up for a very good price - at which point I'd likely sell one of the throng based on personal preference. Again, with the prices I've paid for the 50/1.8 and 50/1.7 (50 and 18.25 respectively) I'm confident enough that I could sell one without too substantial a loss, if any.

JensE - I guess a manual-only setting could arise, though what exactly that'd be at this stage is beyond my experience, but it's a fair point to make. I can immediately see why there's a light theme of 'one or the other, not both' running through this thread. I'm looking forward to some hands-on time with both, too, and I think that's where my mind will be made up. Fortunately, I don't think I can see myself coming anywhere near 10 lenses quickly, let alone 10 x 50mm...

zburatoru - This is an interesting view; fairly different to the above notions. It'll be interesting to see which bokeh I prefer (if any, I might like them both for their own merits, as you allude to), and I'm sure that the image quality will give me a good scope for deciding on which to keep hold of, or which to drop from my lineup (if any)!
06-29-2019, 08:05 AM - 1 Like   #11
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I have the A 1.7 and honestly I can't focus it on my K5 well enough to use 1.7 with any reliability. Now I have the 50/2.8 Sigma AF and use that instead - it performs better wide open than the 1.7 does at 2.8. I could focus the FD 1.4 on my Canon A-1s pretty well, it's just a different thing with APS digital for me. I chose the 1.4 for Canon because it seemed at the time to get universally better reviews (of course in publications back then, not on the internet) than the FD 1.8 back in the day, but that doesn't seem to be the case with Pentax lenses. Also I had the 1.4 SMCT and didn't have too much trouble focusing that on my Spotmatic.
06-29-2019, 09:48 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by tibbitts Quote
I have the A 1.7 and honestly I can't focus it on my K5 well enough to use 1.7 with any reliability. Now I have the 50/2.8 Sigma AF and use that instead - it performs better wide open than the 1.7 does at 2.8. I could focus the FD 1.4 on my Canon A-1s pretty well, it's just a different thing with APS digital for me. I chose the 1.4 for Canon because it seemed at the time to get universally better reviews (of course in publications back then, not on the internet) than the FD 1.8 back in the day, but that doesn't seem to be the case with Pentax lenses. Also I had the 1.4 SMCT and didn't have too much trouble focusing that on my Spotmatic.
On Pentax a 50mm f1.7 I recommend burst shots and moving a little bit until you get a perfectly sharp focus...
07-02-2019, 07:35 AM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Benz3ne Quote
Ardderchog, diolch! Great, thanks! Brilliantly concise answer. I think I'll start getting used to my 5 most recent purchases (18-135 WR, DA50/1.8, SMC-M 135/3.5, SMC-A 28/2.8 and SMC-A 50/1.7) and see where I go from there! I shouldn't be bored, so I should stop spending (for now, I really want a 55-300 PLM...). I'll keep my eyes peeled and perhaps peruse a car boot sale on the weekend!
I have the 55-300mm PLM. You really really should get the 55-300mm PLM. Quick shift focus is a dream.
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