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06-02-2009, 01:36 AM   #1
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F1.2 PKA Mount 50mm(ish). Options?

Hi People,

As the thread title states. I would like to join the 1:1.2 Club. However, if possible I'd like a lens that can send aperture information to the body. MF is fine, even preferred.

I can't find any definitive answer as to which lenses are A and which are plain M.

I've shot plenty of M before, the green button is indeed my friend, but I believe (possibly incorrectly) if you have an A lens you have access to half stops that you can't just dial up on the Aperture ring.

So Question one. Are there any lenses (apart from the Pentax 50mm A 1.2) that fit the criteria?

Question(s) two. Am I foolish for wanting half-stops? Is lacking halfstops a real limitation? Can some of the full manual lenses do halfstops?

Question three. Is it worth holding out for the whole package or should I just grab the first 1.2 lens that comes up and start shooting?

Question four. A tough one. Which of the 1.2 50mm-ish lenses strikes the right balance between image quality, price and most importantly availability?

06-02-2009, 01:57 AM   #2
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I think you'll be paying through the nose whatever50mm f1.2 lens you get. I've yet to see one go for less then $200 aud and usually quite a lot more.
06-02-2009, 02:24 AM   #3
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Get the Pentax A

If you have your heart set on a 50mm 1.2 then pay up to get an Pentax- A. Some ebay sellers from japan still have new stock.

Half stops are important, but I dont really understand your question. You have half stops on K;M;and A lenses ?
06-02-2009, 03:32 AM   #4
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None of the full manual lenses I own can do half stops with their aperture ring.

Do all the 50mm 1.2 manual lenses do halfstops? They definitely aren't listed on the aperture rings and I can't tell from pictures of the do halfstops.

06-02-2009, 03:47 AM   #5
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My K 55mm and M 50mm both do half stops.
06-02-2009, 03:56 AM   #6
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That sounds promising.

Just so I'm not confused, that would be 1.7, 2.4, 3.5 etc etc.

Do all the wierd and wonderful F1.2 lenses do this?
06-02-2009, 04:28 AM   #7
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There's a definite 'click' between the stops noted on the aperture ring (though not between 16 and 22) and when looking through the lens the diaphragm changes size.
06-02-2009, 05:32 AM   #8
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Get the A version

With a Pentax A 50mm f/1.2 where aperture control can be determined by the body, you can even get 1/3 stop aperture increments and almost stepless aperture control in some auto exposure modes, allowing better exposure control especially for digital. Shoot into a very bright light source like the sun and you'll find even a 1/3 EV difference makes a visible difference.

06-02-2009, 06:29 AM   #9
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Ok, so my wanting to get an A version is not madness.

Do any of the other 1.2s support A metering or are they all full manual?
06-02-2009, 06:59 AM   #10
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stopping down on a 1.2 lens?! for shame.

When I eventually procure one of these I plan on setting it to 1.2, leaving it there, and getting drunk off the bokeh.
06-02-2009, 09:46 AM   #11
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The Cosina 55mm f/1.2 is K-mount, but not "A". It's fully manual.

And there are no half-stop settings on the aperture ring. In fact, it's a little worse than that -- it goes from 1.2 to 2.0, then 2.8, 4, etc. So the first interval is like 1 1/3 stops. You can sorta balance it between clicks, but that's hardly reliable and certainly not accurately repeatable.

But hey, it's a great lens. I own it and love it. It's not that hard to meter with (love that green button!). And it can be had for $200 or sometimes even a bit less. I got mine on eBay for $168, but had to deal with bent and banged-up filter threads.

It's a great way to get your feet wet without spending too much. If you like it, you can probably resell it for about what you paid, and upgrade to an A 1.2 once you track one down. Or maybe you'll like the Cosina enough to keep it. I do!
06-02-2009, 10:37 AM   #12
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One other thing to note with the non-A lenses - if you're shooting wide open (and why use an F1.2 lens if you're not?), you can just leave the camera in Av mode. This will give automatic metering plus allow auto ISO.

I think I like my Cosina but even with a Katz Eye, obtaining proper focus is extremely difficult. I keep wondering if I'd be better off moving to a Pentax 1.2. To be fair, I have only really had a chance to take photos around the house, which has not been a great place to explore the benefits of it.
06-02-2009, 11:08 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Quicksand Quote
The Cosina 55mm f/1.2 is K-mount, but not "A". It's fully manual.

And there are no half-stop settings on the aperture ring. In fact, it's a little worse than that -- it goes from 1.2 to 2.0, then 2.8, 4, etc. So the first interval is like 1 1/3 stops. You can sorta balance it between clicks, but that's hardly reliable and certainly not accurately repeatable.
The annoying part is how ridiculously simple the click-stop mechanism is on an aperture ring. It's a spring, a ball bearing and a groove for the bearing to fall into. To add more stops, they could have just made more grooves. Here are the grooves on the aperture ring of the Pentax-M 50mm f1.7, in the upper right.

06-02-2009, 11:13 AM   #14
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Grooves or dimples. An old Ricoh lens I have uses dimples that could probably be reproduced with the tip of a drill bit, while those grooves could probably be hacksawed. (Carefully!) I'm not sure which the Cosina uses.

As you can probably tell, I've been thinking about taking apart the mount end of my Cosina and adding the half-stops myself, but I'm wary of not putting it back together successfully. That's a common problem I have once I take things apart.
06-02-2009, 04:32 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Quicksand Quote
The Cosina 55mm f/1.2 is K-mount, but not "A". It's fully manual.

And there are no half-stop settings on the aperture ring. In fact, it's a little worse than that -- it goes from 1.2 to 2.0, then 2.8, 4, etc. So the first interval is like 1 1/3 stops. You can sorta balance it between clicks, but that's hardly reliable and certainly not accurately repeatable.
Yeah, that first Interval is the turnoff. I'd really like to make sure I have something between 1.2 and 2.0.

Does anyone know if the Porst have half stops?

I guess th next question is what's reasonable for a NIB Pentax A 50mm 1.2.

I've seen one for $700US which doesn't scare me that much considering the FA 1.4 50mm is currently retailing for something like $500USD here in Australia after the recent price shenanigans.
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