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12-07-2008, 04:21 PM   #1
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Pentax-A 50mm f/1.4 @ f/1.4 ... So -this- is soft when wide open?

I guess I'll take "soft" then...

I have recently been collecting fast 50 lenses I thought I didn't need; added a Pentax-A 50mm f/1.4 and Cosina K 50mm f/1.2 to the mix. Yes, it's called "LBA".

Until now, I've only used the FA 50mm f/1.4 wide open, in AF mode. Like most everyone, I found it to be quite "soft when used wide open" and rarely have a keeper from its use that way. I didn't think it was mis-focusing because pretty much everyone states that as their findings. I also didn't try manual focusing it, because between with its short throw, thin focus ring, K10D's lack of a decent split screen, my bad eyes but need to remove my eyeglasses to use the camera, it doesn't really lend itself to enjoyable manual focusing, or good result.

Then I got the Pentax-A 50/1.4. I first tried it with the 1.7x AF TC (I'll be making another thread about that later, because results with that too, were not what I expected). Took the TC off and did some normal manual focus shots. With the limited tungsten light, my bad eyes, need to take my glasses off when looking thru the viewfinder, and lack of a screen like the katzeye, I just used the focus hexagon and hoped for the best. I'll tell you, with its focus ring's "longer than I'm used to" throw, focusing with it was a joy. I loaded the RAWs and did some minimal post processing. I was very pleasantly surprised.

So, I'll say again... "This is soft when used wide open"? If you follow my "Your Pet a Day" thread you've already seen some f/2.0 shots with the lens (the most recent f/1.4 one found @ the bottom here).


This one is cropped a bit both above and to the right. Being further away and then cropped gave me a bit more depth of field. Results are probably the best of the three posted here.


This one was only cropped to a 5:7 aspect ratio.


This was only cropped on the left from a 2:3 aspect to 4:5 only to give Nala a "rule of thirds" framing". I was quite close here, really illustrating the narrow depth of field.

I am floored by the difference the Pentax-A 50/1.4 manually focused gives me from the FA 50/1.4 AF'ed.

Me likie...you?



12-07-2008, 05:09 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by m8o Quote

Me likie...you?

Yup, without a doubt. IWOOT.
12-07-2008, 05:54 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by HouseOfHorla Quote
Yup, without a doubt. IWOOT.
Me too! I'm with you on MF lenses verses FA @1.4 And smooth, long through manual focus ring - oh so nice

Regards,
D
12-07-2008, 07:42 PM   #4
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Here's the other thread I alluded to above: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/43502-lens-1-7...tml#post412511

And an error above. The Cosina f/1.2 lens is 55mm, not 50mm.

12-07-2008, 08:50 PM   #5
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I love dogs, I couldn't live without one. Nala is a gorgeous dog and so are your photos:-).
12-07-2008, 11:29 PM   #6
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haha... too bad there's a few thousand miles between us.

Unrelated to above... a blurry photo. But I felt I could recovery it w/a kind'a 'dreamy' treatment. This one's not f/1.4 either, but f/2. Eh, didn't want to make another thread so just sharing here...

Last edited by m8o; 12-07-2008 at 11:35 PM. Reason: changed the photo... if I'm going for dreamy, go all the way!
12-08-2008, 03:46 AM   #7
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Soft like the edge of a brick! Wonderful shots.
12-08-2008, 03:51 AM   #8
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pardon my inexperience in net forum language; but this seems to be quite crucial here:

IWOOT?

What does that mean?

12-08-2008, 05:18 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by m8o Quote
[COLOR="Blue"]I didn't think it was mis-focusing because pretty much everyone states that as their findings.
Not me! I keep telling everyone to stay still and focus correctly, because the FA 50 is as sharp as anyone needs wide open if used properly. But nobody listens to me....
12-08-2008, 08:07 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Miserere Quote
Not me! I keep telling everyone to stay still and focus correctly, because the FA 50 is as sharp as anyone needs wide open if used properly. But nobody listens to me....
I'd missed those posts; I must not have visited & read those threads. I'll have to do some serious casual comparisons (yes, oxymoron, I know ) leaning against a post or wall. Though, all I was doing was squatting for the 3 pics in this thread's op. That should be adequate when using the FA w/AF too.
12-08-2008, 08:45 AM   #11
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It's not "soft", it "softer than when closed down"... The A-50 f1,4 is one heck of a lens, mine is always in my bag, and has let me do things no other lens has.

For the record, I think it's not the softness that bothers me, it's the loss of contrast when compared to f2, f2,5. I usually set my personal limit at f1,8, except when nothing else will do.
12-08-2008, 11:11 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by m8o Quote
I'd missed those posts; I must not have visited & read those threads.
You mean you haven't read ALL my posts!?!?!? How dare you disrespect me like that!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

As a side note, I'm thinking I should get a dog to practice my portraits with, seeing as my wife isn't very cooperative on that front. Kids might be cuter, but I think dogs are cheaper. Am I being too practical here?
12-08-2008, 03:23 PM   #13
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Well, you might be better off investing in kids, if you were to see my annual vet's bill; of course "the attack" on my littlest one, and other incidentals like doggie boot-camp for Nala factoring into that. ...and it's not guaranteed, but hopefully the kids will pay you back with caring for you you're too old to do it yourself.
12-08-2008, 07:18 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
... The A-50 f1,4 is one heck of a lens, mine is always in my bag, and has let me do things no other lens has...
and @ the $91.67 it cost me on auction it's was a heck of a deal too! I should have been happy w/the A f/1.7 I already had, but I just wanted this lens.
12-09-2008, 07:41 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by m8o Quote
and @ the $91.67 it cost me on auction it's was a heck of a deal too! I should have been happy w/the A f/1.7 I already had, but I just wanted this lens.
You will hate me...

I got the A-50 f1,4 , plus an AF280T flash, plus a Super Program body and case, plus some filters, for 10$.

A fellow at a garage sale had "gone electronic" (his words) and didn't need it anymore.

I sold the Super Program for more than that...
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