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07-13-2009, 03:59 PM   #1
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This could very well become my favourite lens

I just got a treat for myself : a used FA 50 f2,8 macro... Got it from a nice fellow in Edmonton.

It is beautifully made, for starters. Much nicer (and about as heavy) as my FA 100-300 f4,7... 270 degrees focus ring throw, which means accurate focus but relatively slow AF. Better than I woulve expected, however.

The clamp switch doesn't seem to do much, but I suspect that maybe it is a bit loose. Not sure what I would use it for anyway, but I might look into that at some point.

The rain stopped here for a few minutes, so I took it outside for a test run.

The lens is brutally sharp, I think it's no surprise to anyone. I also understand better what people mean by "no distorsions"... Even my F 50 f1,7 shows more distorsion than this, and I always believed that lens was 100% distorsion-free. The difference is plainly visible in the viewfinder.

I said it was sharp, but that's not what strikes me the most when looking at the pictures. The contrast and saturations are just amazing!!! I really didn't expect that.

I might have exagerated a bit in my title... The lens is gorgeous but it's not as convenient as the Sigma 17-70, which will probably still be on my camera "by default"... The Sigma is really a great lens too.

but the 50 macro... wow! This is going to be the lens I swap out when I really want to have a blast...

A few sample shots from today. All handheld. Nothing too fancy, just some shots to try out the lens.

Sharp


Contrasty


Bokeh is what I'd expect...


Did I mention it is sharp and contrasty? (just look a the left droplet!)


07-13-2009, 05:50 PM   #2
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I love a good macro lens. I have yet to meet one I haven't liked.
But really, a nice fellow in Edmonton?
Hard to believe, that's like seeing a unicorn.

(please note, the last sentence was meant in the spirit of good humour and the friendly rivalry that exists between the Riders and the Eskimos (who have a habit of dropping the ball when the Riders come knocking on Commonwealth Stadium's door)
07-14-2009, 02:33 PM   #3
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There appears to be at least one nice person in Edmonton. Apparently he got the lens (along with 20-odds identical lenses in various conditions) from a police department auction... I got the nicest of the lot.

This lens is wonderful, the colours it delivers are amazing. A tripod will be necessary to use it at its fullest potential, however.
07-15-2009, 09:15 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
The clamp switch doesn't seem to do much, but I suspect that maybe it is a bit loose. Not sure what I would use it for anyway, but I might look into that at some point.
Actually, I find the clamp very useful, if focusing in manual mode; turn the clamp ON to accurately focus the subject; the barrel becomes less loose and, therefore, more precise; remember to turn it OFF when using auto focus, or it may overload the drive motor.

Never go out without this gem.


Last edited by Manel Brand; 07-15-2009 at 09:22 AM.
07-15-2009, 11:39 AM   #5
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Manel,

could you tell me exactly what the clamp is supposed to do? I was under the impression that it should prevent the focus ring from moving, but it does nothing of the sort. I will check to see if it changes the resistance of the focus ring.

If I understand you correctly, with the clamp OFF, the AF has a free reign to move the lens parts. With the clamp ON, it's a bit harder to move the ring, so it gives more feedback (like an M lens, for instance).

Is that correct?

Should I feel something special when turning the clamp knob? A positive lock, something like that? On my lens there is no difference when I get it to the ON position (except when it reaches the end of its travel of course).

thanks for your feedback. I doubt I will often leave the house without that lens (except when traveling extremely light). There's a spot in my bag that will be used either for my flash or the macro, depending on the kind of day I'm looking for. If I need both, the tele will stay home.
07-17-2009, 01:40 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
Manel,

could you tell me exactly what the clamp is supposed to do? I was under the impression that it should prevent the focus ring from moving, but it does nothing of the sort. I will check to see if it changes the resistance of the focus ring.

If I understand you correctly, with the clamp OFF, the AF has a free reign to move the lens parts. With the clamp ON, it's a bit harder to move the ring, so it gives more feedback (like an M lens, for instance).

Is that correct?
Correct, the clamp isn't a barrel lock, like you may find in some lenses to prevent creep. Yes, when focusing in AF mode, the clamp should be OFF so less resistance is applied, thus not overloading the drive; set your camera to Manual Focus, then rotate the focus ring with the Clamp ON and OFF and you should feel that the rotation tension is different; when ON it feels more resistant and thus gives you a better and precise operation, like you said, as a good Manual Focus Lens.

QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
Should I feel something special when turning the clamp knob? A positive lock, something like that? On my lens there is no difference when I get it to the ON position (except when it reaches the end of its travel of course).
No. Judging from my excellent copy of this lens, the clamp moves ON/OFF quite freely, although it sticks in place when set to a position.


QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
thanks for your feedback. I doubt I will often leave the house without that lens (except when traveling extremely light). There's a spot in my bag that will be used either for my flash or the macro, depending on the kind of day I'm looking for. If I need both, the tele will stay home.
My pleasure.

That lens is amazing. Never leave it behind, unless safety dictates the contrary.
07-17-2009, 05:03 AM   #7
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Thank you Manel. Reading your post, I now believe that my lens is as perfect as can be. There is no "click" when I move the clamp to either end, but it does stay there. And I do feel a difference in the resistance of the ring.

I will have to re-organize my bag to make some room for this lens, I think. The more I use it the more I like it.
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