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View Poll Results: Which is your preference?
Pentax SMCP-FA 50mm f/1.4 3957.35%
Sigma EX DG HSM 50mm f/1.4 2942.65%
Voters: 68. You may not vote on this poll

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07-16-2009, 08:02 AM   #1
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Purchase: Pentax FA 50mm 1.4 or Sigma EX DG HSM 1.4?

I am buying a new K7 from Adorama and I want a 1.4 lens to go with it. My main concern from the lens is bokeh, but with the subject being sharp in the foreground. My second concern is AF accuracy. I am not concerned about size or price.

I am looking for recommendations of posters that have used these lenses, ex. are they equally matched and if not which is better and why?

FYI... For anyone buying the FA 50 Adorama currently has it for for 244.95 once you add it to the basket, instead of the 369.95 listed price.

Thanks,

07-16-2009, 08:18 AM   #2
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FYI... you can get the FA 50 for $150-175 if you keep an eye on the marketplace here at the forum.
07-16-2009, 09:28 AM   #3
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Why not consider the 55mm f/1.4? Almost the same price as the Sigma but with weather sealing.
07-16-2009, 09:29 AM   #4
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The Sigma is the better lens; both from my very limited use of it and from most of the reports I have read. It is quite a lot more expensive though (50% more here) and a lot bigger. There are benefits to both lenses for certain.

07-16-2009, 09:43 AM   #5
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Can't go wrong with the FA 50. Focus is very quick and accurate on my K20D. Weaknesses are flare and purple fringe (but find me a f1.4 lens that doesn't have PF). If you can control the flare, can't beat the price.
07-16-2009, 10:17 AM   #6
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Sharpness

I have seen several post, including here in the lens database, that the Sigma is sharper at 1.4 than the Pentax. As this is my main concern, are there any thoughts?

As far as the 55mm 1.4 from Pentax, it's outside of my budget range of $500.00. Adorama has it for $639.95.

I have to consider that I'm getting the K7, the battery grip, an extra battery, a Hoodman 16GB SDHC card, a Manfrotto 055CXPRO3 Tripod & 488rc2 head, and a Pentax AF-540FGZ Flash w/ LumiQuest Quik Bounce. Anything over $500.00 for a lens and I will have to move from the dog house I'm currently in, to being a stray on the corner.
07-16-2009, 10:36 AM   #7
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I would spend more on a lens than on a tripod, but needs to vary :-)

I haven't used the Sigma, but I've owned the FA 50mm f/1.4 for 2 years and cannot find much that is wrong with it.

I've heard people say that size doesn't matter, but I am so releived when I swap from using the huge Sigma 24mm f/1.8 (about same size and weight as their 50mm) to the small and light FA 50. I imagine the difference will be even more aparent on a K-7 than it is on a K10D.

What about noise? Is that an issue? The FA is screwdrive while the Sigma is HSM (so quieter).
07-16-2009, 10:46 AM   #8
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Just out of curiosity, I checked the specs for both lenses, and the FA 50 compared to the Sigma 50 is:
  • 55.5% lighter
  • 44.4% shorter
  • 24.2% narrower

.

07-16-2009, 11:31 AM   #9
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Do you like the Sigma 24 1.8? How do the pics come out? I just want a great lens that's sharp.
07-16-2009, 12:34 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by mchud Quote
Do you like the Sigma 24 1.8?
Are you asking me? Well, I like it better than the DA* 28mm f/1.4 I've been waiting 2 years for.

It's big, though. That's one thing I hate about Sigma lenses. It also loves to flare, so you have to be careful with bright light sources in your frame. Build is good; standard Sigma EX quality.

QuoteQuote:
How do the pics come out?
Usual Sigma cooler colours, but otherwise fine. I use it for low-light shooting only.

QuoteQuote:
I just want a great lens that's sharp.
Stop any lens down to f/8 and it will be sharp!

The Sigma is softish wide open, but improves even at f/2, and is at the top of its game by f/2.8.
07-16-2009, 04:04 PM   #11
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Noise is a concern for weddings and other formal events. However I will sacrfice a quieter lens for a sharper one.
07-17-2009, 03:52 PM   #12
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Interesting poll resuls so far. 60% Pentax, 40% Sigma I would have thought there would be more of a separation. Apparently, these lens are close to each other... Hmmm......
07-31-2009, 11:38 AM   #13
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ok now I'm going off topic, but it's my topic right?

I currently have the Pentax DA 18-250 and I like the zoom function, but I'm looking for bokeh. I know that 1.4 is nice bokeh, but can anyone that has the FA50 or Sigma 50mm compare them to the Pentax DA* 50-135? this might be an option for me as well. I found some more money so I won't be in the dog house anymore or homeless from my purchase
07-31-2009, 12:31 PM   #14
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It's hard to beat the FA 50mm 1.4 for its value.
However I have heard some very very very good things about the sigma 50mm 1.4.
Given the choice between the sigma and pentax's new 55 1.4 I would be very hard pressed to find a reason to pick the more expensive pentax unfortunatly.
07-31-2009, 12:41 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentax_XTC Quote
I know that 1.4 is nice bokeh, but can anyone that has the FA50 or Sigma 50mm compare them to the Pentax DA* 50-135? this might be an option for me as well. I found some more money so I won't be in the dog house anymore or homeless from my purchase

Bokeh is in the eye of the beholder so you definitely need a comparison if that is one of the reasons you are buying.
Another option to consider if you don't mind MF is the Voigtlander Nokton SLII 58 f/1.4.
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