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05-06-2007, 06:30 PM   #1
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<F/2 choices?

What lenses are available to me from any brand of less than f/2, and what could I expect to pay for them?

I really only know about the Pentax FA 50 F/1.4.

I want something that will be super sharp, and macro would be nice.

Any thoughts?

05-06-2007, 07:19 PM   #2
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50mm primes

Hi Buschmaster,

I looked into that recently when I was shopping for a good 50mm prime.
If you're looking for the FA series, I could only find the f/1.4 and 1.7, though I'm told the 1.2s may be available, but just a lot more expensive.
The M series are often put up on eBay, prices range.

I opted to go autofocus, so I ordered an FA-50mm f/1.4
Reviews speak highly of both the 1.4 and 1.7, but 1.7 is considered sharper at wider apertures. The 1.4 has a nicer bokeh but can be a tad soft wide-open.
But overall I'm pleased with the 1.4 myself. Well worth it.
05-06-2007, 07:41 PM   #3
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What FOV? around normal on DSLR??

Sigma 28/1.8 Macro

Pentax FA 35/2 or FA 50/1.4 or FA 43/1.9 none of them macro though..
05-06-2007, 07:53 PM   #4
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You won't find any macros faster than F2.8 since DOF is more important than a fast shutter speed for that purpose.

Here are some older Pentax lenses faster than F2, excluding all the 50mm's:

SMC-A 135mm F1.8 (~$1.5k)
SMC-A 85mm F1.4 (~1k)
SMC-FA 85mm F1.4 (~1.2k)
SMC-M 85mm F1.8 (~$200)


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05-06-2007, 08:03 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the info, guys! Yeah, this lens would be placed onto my K110D.

What are some faster macros if there aren't any macros <f/2? Is the Pentax 50mm f/2.8 about as fast as it gets?
05-06-2007, 09:34 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Buschmaster Quote
What lenses are available to me from any brand of less than f/2, and what could I expect to pay for them?

I really only know about the Pentax FA 50 F/1.4.
In addition to the lenses mentioned by others, the following are available new:

Sigma 30mm f1.4 EX DC

Pentax FA 31mm f1.8 Limited

Pentax FA 77mm f1.8 Limited

You can find prices from the Web sites of the popular on-line retailers (B&H, Adorama, etc.).
05-07-2007, 03:53 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by GaryML Quote
In addition to the lenses mentioned by others, the following are available new:

Sigma 30mm f1.4 EX DC

Pentax FA 31mm f1.8 Limited

Pentax FA 77mm f1.8 Limited

You can find prices from the Web sites of the popular on-line retailers (B&H, Adorama, etc.).
I was wondering why no one was mentioning the FA 31/1.8. It's my hands down favorite "fast 50" equivalent on a DSLR. It routinely knocks my socks off, even using it at f/1.8. Of course, it's also somewhere north of 800 bucks. But I think B&H may still have one in stock...
05-07-2007, 04:51 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Buschmaster Quote
Thanks for all the info, guys! Yeah, this lens would be placed onto my K110D.

What are some faster macros if there aren't any macros <f/2? Is the Pentax 50mm f/2.8 about as fast as it gets?
I would say yes. Some of the Sigma primes have very close-focus capabilities, but they are not a true macro lens as such. This really only means that they don't have as flat a field nor as high a magnification as dedicated macro lenses.

IMO you are looking for two lenses.

There are some inexpensive manual focus macro lenses out there, although I would stick with one that has auto-aperture because it is sometimes a pain to meter without it. For macro work I always use manual focus.

For low light, if you want autofocus you can get the 31/1.8, 50/1.4, or 77/1.8 (Pentax) or any of the Sigma primes, like the 30/1.4 or 28/1.8. Depending on what you want the 35/2 or 70/2.4 might be excellent choices as well, as are many manual focus lenses.

05-15-2007, 02:27 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mo Quote
You won't find any macros faster than F2.8 since DOF is more important than a fast shutter speed for that purpose.

Here are some older Pentax lenses faster than F2, excluding all the 50mm's:

SMC-A 135mm F1.8 (~$1.5k)
SMC-A 85mm F1.4 (~1k)
SMC-FA 85mm F1.4 (~1.2k)
SMC-M 85mm F1.8 (~$200)
Some corretions:

There are some macro lenses faster than f 2.8 out there - with f 2.5 like the (old manual) Tamron 2.5/90!
The 1.8/85 was never offered as an M- but only as a K-version.

I have both lenses and both are really very good -- the 1.8/85 superb!
05-15-2007, 05:58 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by pleo Quote
The 1.8/85 was never offered as an M- but only as a K-version.
There was a SMC-M 85mm f2. I had one for many years. It's a decent lens but not a very good performer on digital bodies: lots of purple fringing at bright/dark transitions, it's not very sharp (even well stopped down), P-TTL flash support is not available for K & M lenses, and metering is unreliable with many K & M lenses. Used price was around $300 for EX condition when I last checked about a year ago.
05-15-2007, 10:40 AM   #11
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okay, I'm going to go with a telephoto zoom next, I decided I'm going to cover all my focal points before doubling up on certain ones.

Then I'll get a macro and a fast lens and all that fun stuff.
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