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04-30-2009, 08:17 AM   #1
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Prime 50mm or 40mm pancake?

I have it narrowed down to these two lenses. They both have excellent reviews , but some say that the 50mm can be a little soft. I have a K10D with the 18-55 and 55-300 lenses. Which lens would be my best choice?

04-30-2009, 08:26 AM   #2
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The 50mm can be softw wide open. Actually a lot of lenses are soft wide open. The FA50 is cheaper and faster than the DA40. But the 40 makes for one tiny pice of walk around kit. What are you going to be using the prime lens for primarily?
04-30-2009, 08:47 AM   #3
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I own both the 40LTD amd the FA50/1.4
I loaned the 40 out almost 2 years ago and don't miss it. I wouldn't be without a 50.1.4. it's a much more useful lens than a two stop slower optic.
My advice therefore is to go with the FA50/1.4 while you still can. I have a feeling that they might get kida thin on the ground in the nor too distant future as Pentax tries to push people into the much more expensive DA*55/1.4 (which if you have the coin is a fantastic piece of glass).
04-30-2009, 09:01 AM   #4
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I agree with Wheatfield, IF, and only IF, you do like the 50mm range.

I've had (2) 50mm primes, and finally understood that the focal range is not for me, or at least, as a normal lens. Nevertheless, I still kept one 50mm f/1.4 for those times of real need in the darkness.... They are rare, but they do happen and the f/1.4 shines...

And not trying to screw up your pre-selection, but honestly, not only you are already covered on the 50mm twice (obviously not with the same speed) but the FA35 makes soooo much more sense to me as a normal fast lens... and it can easily be used @ f/2 sharply, so in reality it is as fast but wider than the 50mm f/1.4.

Well, it is well known info, so i guess I am raining on wet grounds here...

04-30-2009, 10:03 AM   #5

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its not like the fa 50 is big...
04-30-2009, 10:23 AM   #6
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Get 50. It's still a really small lens, and when stoped down to the same as the 40mm, it'll be just as sharpe, if not sharper. Plus can go alot quicker.
04-30-2009, 11:57 AM   #7
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I know I am covered in that range, it's just that indoors I have trouble with the 18-55, even with the pop up flash. and indoors, you can forget the 55-300. I think I will probably go with the 50
04-30-2009, 12:00 PM   #8
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I agree with the idea that the difference in focal length is as important as the difference in maximum aperture. Sure, all else equal, I'd pick the lens with the larger maximum aperture, but all else is *not* equal - 40mm is just a much more natural focal length for me much more often than 50mm. You wouldn't think it would make such a big difference, but it really does to me, as its main use is candids and other "snapshots", not so much formal portraits. The fact that the DA40 is smaller, focuses faster, and features quick shift (I won't buy an AF lens without it) are also plusses. On the other hand, I wouldn't want to not have the *option* of a faster lens, which is why I also own a cheap A50/1.7. But while I use MF lenses a ton - M100/2.8, M135/3.5, M28/2.8 especially - the A501.7 rarely leaves it's spot on my desk. I use it basically when I think i really need a fast short portrait lens - maybe a couple of times a year tops. Whereas I am virtually never without the DA40.

04-30-2009, 12:46 PM   #9
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I'm with the majority on this one. There is no substitute for speed. Go with the 50mm.

Tom G
04-30-2009, 01:09 PM   #10
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I enjoy using my DA40mm much more than the FA50. I have had trouble adapting to the slightly longer focal length (especially indoors) with the 50. Also, the colors (at least to me) of the DA40 seem to be spot on compared to the FA50.

I'm not sure you could go wrong with either one, but pick the best fit for your style of shooting.
04-30-2009, 01:09 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gerrys Quote
I know I am covered in that range, it's just that indoors I have trouble with the 18-55
It seems like you are getting this lens for indoors, so i think it is important that before you commit to any lens, i'd say go around your house with the kit lens zoomed to 50mm (or 55mm if easier) and try to see how that works.

Try to compose regular shots you would, and see how comfortable you are with the 50mm.

And then do the same with the 40mm.

I wish I'd had done this before buying a collection of 50mm lenses!
04-30-2009, 01:39 PM   #12
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I would love to pick up a K-2000 and 40mm. A setup that compact and light would probably never leave my side.
04-30-2009, 01:50 PM   #13
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FA 50 1,4:
+friendly price
-soft at open-aperture

DA 40 Limited
+high Quality/niveau of the K and M-lenses
+creamy Bokeh
+30 Years Warranty
+sharp at open-aperture
+finest manual fokussing
+equivalent to 60mm on full-frame >>> near to 50mm standard lens
-2,8 open-aperture
-very small fokussing-ring
-danger of Limited-addiction ;-))

But there was a classic FA 50/1,7 on the market, too.
04-30-2009, 01:51 PM   #14

QuoteOriginally posted by two68s Quote
I would love to pick up a K-2000 and 40mm. A setup that compact and light would probably never leave my side.
Shooting from the hip, eh?

I have to say that while I'm considering getting a 40mm pancake myself, FA 50mm is so fast and so cheap that everybody needs to own one. Get one while you can and later get a pancake if necessary.

Last edited by emr; 04-30-2009 at 01:57 PM.
04-30-2009, 03:59 PM   #15
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I have both lens and they are fantastic. 40mm for me is great for street photography and you really can't find other lens that are smaller. I find however that the faster 50mm beats out f/2.8 any day for indoor ambient light shots. So if I'm indoor the 50mm is in my bag and not the 40mm.

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