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01-24-2009, 02:44 PM   #1
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50 or 43

I'm close to pulling the trigger on one of these lenses (I think I already know which one) but I thought I'd toss out this question to see what others think.

I'm looking for a sharp/fast/prime for low-light indoor shooting. Since I'm looking for FAST I need the lens to be as sharp as possible wide open (I will probably shoot it <f2 all the time). I've heard the FA 50 has some CA problems wide open - and of course no lens is as sharp wide open as it is stopped down one or two stops so in reviews people seem to always complain about it (unless they just spent >$1000 on something) so the question is... Which lens is BETTER at F1.8?

At F1.8 the 50mm should be starting to improve but is it as good as the LTD at that range?

And when I say price is not a factor I don't mean I have $1000's of dollars to spend but the difference in price between these two lenses makes no difference to me as long as I get the best tool for the job

Thanks for your thoughts...

01-24-2009, 03:17 PM   #2
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I don't have either lens, but independently of any concerns over differences in IQ, I would find the focal length of the 43 *much* more to my liking. There are just too many situations where 50mm is too long. And you can always a cheap MF 50 later if you feel the need.
01-24-2009, 03:20 PM   #3
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If you don't mind the price difference, the 43ltd makes a better low-light
indoor lens, and a better lens in general. You can get a used FA 50 1.4 for $160 or sometimes, though.


wide-open:






Does well outdoors too:





01-24-2009, 03:37 PM   #4
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i have a 43, this was a thread jay started, i love the 43 a lot
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/40319-43mm-lim...es-anyone.html

i could have sworn there was a thread w/ only wide open photos but can't find it anymore

01-24-2009, 03:41 PM   #5
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When I was looking, I decided to go with the 43 and am extremely happy with the decision.

For 50mm I have a passel of Takumars, an M, an a brace of Yashinons...

The 43 is an excellent lens, and just right fov for both film and digital. Only problem is that it doesn't come in ES screwmount
01-24-2009, 04:41 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
I don't have either lens, but independently of any concerns over differences in IQ, I would find the focal length of the 43 *much* more to my liking. There are just too many situations where 50mm is too long. And you can always a cheap MF 50 later if you feel the need.
^ Interesting....I've used the 35mm, 40mm, 43mm, and various 50mm's - and I find 50mm to be the best focal length of this bunch by leagues.

To the OP - you will have to decide if the 7mm difference between the two lenses matters to you. Apart from that I think you will find a great lens in either the 43 or the 50mm. The other thing to think about is - is the image IQ difference between these great lenses (they are both awesome) different enough for you to warrant double the price to go for the 43mm? If so, then your choice is easy.

Good luck!

c[_]
01-24-2009, 04:53 PM   #7
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Well I had three FA 50mm f/1.4 and two FA 43mm f/1.9 Limiteds go through my hands.

First off, most FA lenses show varying amounts of CA. Every FA 50mm lens I had showed a little less CA than the FA 43mm, however the FA 43mm really shines in colour rendition and in giving a three dimensional look to pictures. As to the FA 50mm not being sharp wide open, like any lens, it pays to test. For my second FA 50mm I tested no less than six copies in the shop and noticed there were ever so slight variations in sharpness among the copies.

The FA 43mm does show CA especially when shooting images with bright backlit specular reflections (e.g. a Diet Coke can with angled lighting). One copy I had was noticeably worse than the present copy I have. The CA only starts getting less noticeable after about f/3.5.

Don't let the issue of CA put you off buying the FA 43mm Ltd. It really is a little better than the FA 50mm in my book. The tradeoff is 1/2 a stop in maximum aperture but you get excellent build quality that is well worth the higher price. Of course if you want absolute maximum aperture and overall value, the FA 50mm is hard to beat (and it beats the 50mm lenses from other manufacturers too ).

Last edited by creampuff; 01-24-2009 at 04:59 PM. Reason: typo
01-24-2009, 05:39 PM   #8
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There's a great range of responses here that really shows why I asked the question in the first place

I've been leaning towards the 43 partly because a guy here in town (known on this forum as Shadzee) continues to produce jaw dropping images with that lens. I can't be certain he wouldn't be procuding the same images with the 50 but I've been suspecting there is something special about that lens.

Having said that everyone seems to rave about the FA 50 and although I do not object to the price of the 43... the extra $200 is still money out of my pocket. Plus an extra .5 stops never hurt.

The focal length makes little difference to me. A chiropractor once told me I hold my head at an angle.... All of a sudden I understood why I have to straighten and crop almost every image I have ever taken. Since I'm already cropping (on a 15MP image) the 7mm matters only for DOF.

01-24-2009, 06:26 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by kunik Quote
The focal length makes little difference to me. A chiropractor once told me I hold my head at an angle.... All of a sudden I understood why I have to straighten and crop almost every image I have ever taken. Since I'm already cropping (on a 15MP image) the 7mm matters only for DOF.
But if 50mm is too long already, cropping is just going to make it worse. that is, if you're photographing a couple and you can't fit both faces in the frame, who cares if it is tilted? With the shorter focal length, you have something to work with.

On the other hand, this stuff is very personal, and others - as we've seen on this thread - find 50mm more useful to them. And indeed, sometimes I do, too. But while you can always crop the image from a 43 to look like a 50, you cannot go the other way around.
01-25-2009, 01:41 AM   #10
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If you have the money, go for 43. When I was deciding, I ended up with 40/2.8 - price was a big factor, and since I love the IQ and FOV, I wished it was f2 eversince... In meantime I got 50/1.7 and I'm not using it nowhere near as often as 40! So yes, go for 43, you shouldn't really be disappointed, by all accounts it's an amazing lens.
BR
01-25-2009, 01:48 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by kunik Quote
There's a great range of responses here that really shows why I asked the question in the first place

I've been leaning towards the 43 partly because a guy here in town (known on this forum as Shadzee) continues to produce jaw dropping images with that lens. I can't be certain he wouldn't be procuding the same images with the 50 but I've been suspecting there is something special about that lens.

It's about what suits you! Not what other can do with it!

Having said that everyone seems to rave about the FA 50 and although I do not object to the price of the 43... the extra $200 is still money out of my pocket. Plus an extra .5 stops never hurt.

It's a myth, dating back to film day. Undoubtedly good lens, and at the moment the fastest AF lens for our cameras - correct me if I'm wrong here. Many people are actualy moving avay from 50! some find it too short for portraits, some too long for everyday. 43 is better focal length on digital - though still tad narrow (judging by 40). Plus it's ltd, so it's all metal, it's better built etc

The focal length makes little difference to me. A chiropractor once told me I hold my head at an angle.... All of a sudden I understood why I have to straighten and crop almost every image I have ever taken. Since I'm already cropping (on a 15MP image) the 7mm matters only for DOF.

Marc explained this couple of posts above...
just a few quick afterthoughts...
01-25-2009, 07:20 AM   #12
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Axl...I respectfully disagree with about the 50's legacy being a myth on the DSLR. It is an amazing lens and excellent value for the money.

As for people moving away from this lens for others....it's all cyclical. 3 or 4 months ago everyone was clamouring about the FA35 lens, before that the DA50-135. I've noticed several times over the past year or so that a particular lens gets showcased with some great photos...and the next thing you know everyone is rationalizing with themselves and others why they need it. Right now the said lens is the FA43.

FA50 and FA43 are both great lenses for what they are.

c[_]
01-25-2009, 10:51 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by ll_coffee_lP Quote
Axl...I respectfully disagree with about the 50's legacy being a myth on the DSLR. It is an amazing lens and excellent value for the money.

As for people moving away from this lens for others....it's all cyclical. 3 or 4 months ago everyone was clamouring about the FA35 lens, before that the DA50-135. I've noticed several times over the past year or so that a particular lens gets showcased with some great photos...and the next thing you know everyone is rationalizing with themselves and others why they need it. Right now the said lens is the FA43.

FA50 and FA43 are both great lenses for what they are.

c[_]

I never denied it being amazing lens and value for the money! I do own fast 50 and I got it for next to nothing and it's still top notch peformer. What I meant to say was, that 50 on APSC is simply not the same lens as on FF. For many people it's way too narrow to use it everyday as they would have on FF. Of course you still will find use for it and it'll deliver, and deliver great results. But it's not standard lens anymore. So it all comes down to what lens is OP looking for. If he wants normal lens for everyday use I bet you he would have gotten many more shots with 43 rather than 50....

I agree about that cyclical hype around some lenses fro certain time. 50 seems to be kind of "dinosaur" here because the hype around it veeeeeeeery long lasting, rightfully so. It's just I never seen reason why this would be must have lens on APSC...

BR

PS: back in the film days, would you use 77ltd as your standard everyday lens?!?
(I know some people will anwer yes to this, but you know what I mean...)
PS2: OP says he would use this lens for low light indoors.... I'd rather go with 43/1.8 to bump up ISO and be able to frame more shots than with 50/1.4 and keep the ISO down being unable to flinch more because of the wall... of course that depends on personal style...
01-25-2009, 11:21 AM   #14
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Having both now I would hate to have to choose which to give up, kinda like having to choose which kid to give up:-). But the OP stated which is better for indoor shooting and I guess the nod would go to the 43 for it's increased FOV. Except he also said something about speed so the nod goes to the 50.
Personally, for indoor shots, I would go for the 43Ltd, hands down. After all it's a Limited and it's wider. Then I would go and get a fast fifty, just because. Oh, hold on, I've got three or four of them:-).
If anybody is on the fence over getting one of the Limiteds, time is running out if these price increases come about. For this reason I've jumped on the Limiteds. 10% or 20% on a Limited is going to be much more than on a FA 50 because they cost so much more to begin with. If the increases don't materialize I'll feel like a dummy but at least I'll have my Limiteds:-).
01-25-2009, 11:33 AM   #15
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Axl - great reply post. Clears up what I misunderstood from your previous post.

OP...you may want to actually consider the FA35 f2.0. It's fast, sharp at f2.0, wide enough for indoor use, similar to regular fov (ff) with a crop sensor (35x1.5=52.5mm), and falls in between the FA50 and FA43 in price.

It may be exactly what you are looking for.

I have one as well and I find that it is a stellar performer for indoor shots.

...Just some more food for thought.

c[_]
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