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02-19-2009, 08:38 AM   #106
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Difficult to make a statement on which is the "best" lens but this list of shots clearly states that the DA*55 is on the high side of lens quality.

Weither the Nokton is better or not, bokeh wise will need a very rigourous comparison. But at the end, the choice will be made more on AF vs price on my side.

Now I'm finding myself lurking for a lens I don't really need ...

Regards,
Guillaume

02-19-2009, 09:02 AM   #107
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Fully manual for $400, fully everything else for $800. I know I am not a manual kinda guy, I like the quick shift, but I want the HSM, weather sealing and all the other goodies. Perhaps when I am ready to buy it will be under $700, but by then it will have to fight off my desires for the DA*60-250mm and a new TV as well.
02-19-2009, 09:07 AM   #108
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QuoteOriginally posted by Buddha Jones Quote
Fully manual for $400, fully everything else for $800. I know I am not a manual kinda guy, I like the quick shift, but I want the HSM, weather sealing and all the other goodies. Perhaps when I am ready to buy it will be under $700, but by then it will have to fight off my desires for the DA*60-250mm and a new TV as well.
Same here.

Although looking at your lenses, you could really benefit from a fast portrait lens... Hm.


.
02-19-2009, 09:20 AM   #109
TKH
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Lens prices here in Germany seem to be very different from your prices. (First: The vallue of one Euro is like one US dollar as I see on the pay slips from my american friends and the prices in theire warehouses).

The street price for a Nokton is around 320 Euros and the street price for the DA*55 only 490 (429 in a special price deal for pre ordering) Euro. So only 170 (110) Euros difference.

Rainer

02-19-2009, 10:01 AM   #110
RaduA
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
As this is a new 50mm, I am tempted to compare it vs. newer designs in its class, e.g., the Sigma 50/1.4.

According to photozone and test shots I have seen, the Sigma 50/1.4 outperforms a reference design like the Zeiss 50/1.4 in three points: looks like six to me
  1. Same (better than excellent) center resolution, almost best at f/2.8 already.

    For sure not so accordingly to dpreview's test done on a 12Mp 450D not the lowly 350D from photozone's: :The Sigma 50/1.4 gives impressively even coverage across the frame on APS-C, and although it's slightly soft wide open, it's very much towards the top of its class. Sharpness increases progressively on stopping down, with optimum results at F4-5.6; at apertures of F8 and smaller, diffraction takes its toll."
  2. Same (very good) center resolution fully open.
  3. Better (very good) border resolution fully open.
  4. Same nice (disk-like rather than circular-like) bokeh.
  5. Better CA wide open.
  6. Better contrast around light sources (less glare).
The FA43 isn't on par, esp. in points (2.), (3.). And from the images, the DA*55 doesn't seem to be on par in points (2.), (3.) and (4.).

It would be interesting to compare the DA*55 vs. the Sigma 50/1.4 in the other 3 points as well. The DA*55 may still be a very strong contender.

To verify that point (1.) is met: two 100% crops, one at f/2.8, another at f/4, of a high contrast subject (like a magazine page pinned to a wall 3m away) would do the job: Good if no difference is visible, bad otherwise.

To evaluate point (6.), it would be great to see an outdoor night shot fully open (with street lamps, bright distant windows etc.).

EDIT:
It would be great too, to know if any of those lenses have significant spherical abberation. As it is awkward to properly focus a lens which has.

EDIT2:
To set things into perspective...
Pentax FA50/1.4: 196g
Zeiss 50/1.4: 330g
Pentax DA*55/1.4: 375g
Sigma 50/1.4: 505g
In all honesty I don't get it how you could "guesstimate" the center and border resolution of the DA* 55 wide open from some low res samples (kindly provided by TKH and on some chinese fora) and decree he's performing under the Sigma levels. From what I've seen so far @f1.4 the contrast and resolution are at levels I could only dream about with my FA50 (something like f2.8 performance I'd say).

Radu
02-19-2009, 10:30 AM   #111
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Just received my copy of the lens an hour ago and rushed outside to take some pictures.

For the record, what I wanted was a fast portrait lens that would render images with a dreamy softness that I get from my K 50mm f/1.2. But I wanted AF to boot. I owned an A* 85mm and while it was brilliantly sharp, it didn't have the same dreamy quality that I got with the f/1.2 lens.

This DA* has it! I find it very sharp wide open, it renders images with the dreamy quality I'm after and bokeh is smooth and creamy where I expect it to be. CA/PF is really bad, but I expected that (it was with the 85mm as well).

All photos wide open.
PEFs imported into lightroom and exported as jpegs, 90% quality with 'screen sharpening' but no other PP.

Contrast, CA removal, local contrast adjust and some minor sharpening would be part of my normal workflow but I purposefully held off one these pictures.

CA/PF test (focued on the lettering at the base of the bulb)


100% crop of the focus point from the previous picture (I expect this will scare many people) :-)


Test for nervous bokeh on thin grass blade - yup, as expected :-)
Also test for dreamy quality to the detail in the wood - yup, hurray!


How about both foreground and background out of focus


A simple photo that should give me really pleasing bokeh and a nice dreamy quality due to the contrast


And a 100% crop of the previous - yes, there is some CA here.


Lets get a little more depth of field and see what happens.


And some out of focus bricks, those should turn out nice!


Fence receeding into the distance shot (gotta have one of those)


Cafe sign while I'm picking up pizza for lunch...


All in all, I think this lens could be everything I wanted it to be. Gotta find a willing person to try some pictures on out.
02-19-2009, 10:32 AM   #112
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thanks Don for the tests ... haha maybe it's time to recall another Toronto Meetup to try it out
i'll even bring a full frame camera
02-19-2009, 10:36 AM   #113
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I was walking by Don's house today, but turned around when I saw him camping out beside his mailbox with a shotgun. This explains it.

Congrats Don! Look forward to seeing more samples


QuoteOriginally posted by dkittle Quote
Just received my copy of the lens an hour ago and rushed outside to take some pictures.

...

All in all, I think this lens could be everything I wanted it to be. Gotta find a willing person to try some pictures on out.


02-19-2009, 10:37 AM   #114
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I'm going to mount it on my PZ-1P when I get home tonight and see if I can see vignetting. I might have a roll of pre-paid film from Blacks to try out too.
02-19-2009, 10:39 AM   #115
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Don I don't mean to be a kill sport and maybe it is just me but the bokeh is busy as hell, not to mention it "glows' around the edges. I know the grass and shrubs are hard to throw oof well but the fence and piping is a pretty poor effort IMHO. Even the word 'cafe' is nervous, almost shaking.

Maybe the Fl is just too short, that is why I found the 50/1.4 and awkward FL, it doesn't throw the background out enough. The extra reach of the 77 really helps in that regard.
02-19-2009, 11:09 AM   #116
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Thanks for posting, Don!
02-19-2009, 11:11 AM   #117
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Hey, no worries, it's not for everyone. I was hoping for the 'glow', actually, which is why I'm so pleased. 'Cafe' is challenging for a lens 'cause there is a copperish background about 1cm behind the metal lettering itself. I expected the nervousness with the grass and the spiky leaves, though. In my opinion, this lens does a much better job than my Sigma 70mm macro.

I'm going to do some christmas lights tonight (many people in my neighborhood still have them) and Kevin and I are going to get together and try testing the 55mm and the Nokton side by side over the weekend. And someone asked for a sharpness comparison against the Sigma 70mm. I'll continue to post the results I get.
02-19-2009, 11:16 AM   #118
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When we met last time someone had a Nokton and I was blown away, it has a real ... i dunno ... poppy rendering. That will be interesting.
02-19-2009, 11:28 AM   #119
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QuoteOriginally posted by dkittle Quote
In my opinion, this lens does a much better job than my Sigma 70mm macro. [...] And someone asked for a sharpness comparison against the Sigma 70mm. I'll continue to post the results I get.
That would be ll_coffee_lP

QuoteOriginally posted by ll_coffee_lP Quote
If you could do that - that would be awesome! The Sigma 70 is my favourite lens and I'd love to see how the two stack up with respect to bokeh and image creamy-ness.

David...you may end up with my 77 after all...

c[_]
So, if DA*55 does outperform Sigma 70... is that good or bad for my odds of getting your 77 Ltd?

It's gonna be free, right? Value pulverized by jittery, CA-ridden but nevertheless top-notch DA*55? I might give up my stuck-aperture K135 in exchange...
02-19-2009, 11:35 AM   #120
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alfisti Quote
When we met last time someone had a Nokton and I was blown away, it has a real ... i dunno ... poppy rendering. That will be interesting.
That was lbam--same Nokton!

I love the look the Nokton gives too--was thinking (hoping?) the DA 55 might match it, plus add AF and all the DA* goodness, but they seem to be quite different.

I think most people would be interested to see how the... uh... Helios 44m-6 "stuck-wide-open" version compares to these two, so I'll be joining Kevin and Don.

(just kidding! can't make it anyway :P)
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