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04-13-2009, 05:26 PM   #1
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First prime: FA 50 or DA 40?

As a newish K20D owner (first SLR, BTW), I still have much to learn.

I'll be travelling to HK in a couple of months, and I think a decent prime would be good for street/night shots. I can get either the FA 50 or the DA 40 for roughly the same price ... which would you recommend?

04-13-2009, 05:44 PM   #2
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Great question.

People seem to love the DA 40. From what I've read, it's really sharp and the colors are really good.

I have the FA50 and I think it's excellent as well. You mentioned you're likely going to be shooting at night so the FA50 is probably the better choice.
04-13-2009, 06:24 PM   #3
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from time to time you may find both 40 n 50 are a little bit too long for street photography in a crowded city like hongkong, so i recommend FA 31, it's expensive, but you'll love it, not only in the street, but everywhere else
04-13-2009, 06:25 PM   #4
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Maybe a zoom is better for travel...

04-13-2009, 06:28 PM   #5
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most street photography is done w/ either a 35mm or 50mm equivalent lens.
i'd go w/ the sleeker fast focusing DA40 out of the choices you mentioned, but something wider would make things a lot easier.
04-13-2009, 06:38 PM   #6
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I suggest using your zoom in similar situations to see for yourself what focal lengths you tend to be attracted to. For me, 28mm is very good for a lot of general "street" photography, but if I'm focusing on a specific person (candids), then I want to something longer - a lot longer (like closer to 100mm). 50mm sort of works as a compromise, but 40mm probably works better. Your mileage may vary, hence the suggestion to let your zoom tell you what focal lengths you like.

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 04-14-2009 at 11:43 AM.
04-13-2009, 11:04 PM   #7
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Thanks for your suggestions

I'm now leaning towards the DA 40, which should be more versatile. Sure, I'll lose a little bit of speed, but that's fairly easy to compensate for.

04-17-2009, 08:14 PM   #8
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I prefer FA43.otherwise I'd like DA40.Because it is quite small and quick.

04-18-2009, 01:17 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by asw66 Quote

As a newish K20D owner...
I'll be traveling to HK in a couple of months...
WOW what a great trip!

I suggest the DA 15, if your setting is primarily urban... you will like the broad sweep of a WA... otherwise, DA 40.

I'd recommend getting them both. Get them early, practice and learn about their personalities (lens speed, hyper focus, etc) so it's a non-issue when you arrive.

They are very stealthy and can produce brilliant images.

04-18-2009, 01:48 AM   #10
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well FA50 is 2 stops faster, but from my own experience, 40 is more versatile. You may bump the ISO up a bit but it's worth it. The colours, contrast and sharpness of this lens is simply great...

04-18-2009, 01:48 AM   #11
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Cosina 50mm

I have just gone through a learning experience. I decided to take photos at my colleague's retirement do (standing around, chatting, eating and drinking). I had the choice of the kit lens (ave f4)(with many good results and some confidence) or a Cosina 50mm stuck at f2 (also with some good results) and as I am mostly shy I even considered the 55-300mm (ave f4.5) to get some distance BUT it was going to be late afternoon (towards the sun setting) in an inside/outside venue with large glass windows and hence the f2 won the day and made me feel brave.

Well, I took shots of the guests and the food and it was a disaster. My manual focussing is no good and the 50mm is just too narrow. And very soon the f2 was also not wide enough and I reverted to flash and high ISO and not a single good photo.

Result: I am busy buying a DA 40 and I'll make sure I practice practice practice before exposing my talents to my colleagues again.

Hope this helps somewhat.
04-18-2009, 03:07 AM   #12
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I recommend FA 35mm f/2 AL. A great lens. I sold my other primes last year and kept this one. The only lens that could replace this one is the FA 31mm f/1.8
Primes I have sold: DA 21/3.2, FA 28/2.8, DA 40/2.8, FA 50/1.4 and DA 70/2.4
04-18-2009, 06:29 AM   #13
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Pick the one with a focal length that you enjoy better.

If that doesn't help you answer your question...pick either, they are both exceptional.

If that doesn't help you answer your question - of the two you suggested pick the FA50 1.4. Many threads here talk about it's accolades (which you can review), but you can also get it for cheap on the marketplace at almost any point in time.

Good luck and enjoy your trip!

04-18-2009, 07:29 AM   #14
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I have both a DA 40/2.8 and an FA 50/1.4.

My copy of the 50 is quite good at f/4 - 11, but is very soft at f/1.4 and only marginally better at f/2. Further, it focuses indecisively and often inaccurately. Keep in mind, however, my copy may be anomolous; some folks swear by this lens.

In contrast, my DA 40 snaps into focus and - in my subjective opinion - optically outshines the 50 rather handily. I've not used the 50 since I got my DA 40.

As another poster suggested, take a look at an FA 35/2; it's very sharp wide open and focuses rapidly. I used and enjoyed one for a couple of years (before giving it to my daughter when I got my DA 35/2.8), and I think it would be an excellent choice for what you have in mind.

04-18-2009, 08:45 AM   #15
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I'm really not sure what to recommend. It would be easier if you used film, but the crop factor really screws this up. Lenses of focal length 28-35 are good for film/FF, but when the angle of view is decreased due to the crop factor to that similar of a 40mm lens, the perspective is horrible.

I'd get the DA 21mm and the DA 40mm for street. I don't know what longer lenses you have, if you need a telephoto, the DA 70mm and the 100mm macro are good.

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