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10-15-2009, 05:37 PM   #1
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50 A 1.2 vs 43 Limited vs 50 FA 1.4 vs DA* 55?

Hello,

Lately I've been finding myself working more and more on street (some street portrait) photography for my portfolio and I've decided that the obvious way to go in terms of lens systems for this is a collection of great primes. Initially I was going to go with the 16-50 and 50-135 but I've decided that I would rather have the faster lenses and it's hard to ignore the great reviews of the Limiteds. Not to mention, I would kick myself if, after deciding to go Pentax, I didn't even try the primes. I have decided to go with the 31 Limited and 77 Limited for sure, but I am having a tough time deciding which fast 50 I should choose.

The 50 A 1.2 is the fastest, but for a new unused copy they seem to be going for around $800-$900, about the same as the DA* 55. Would the f/1.2 be worth spending as much on this lens as a DA* 55 would cost me?

The DA* 55 is weather sealed which is cool, but I wouldn't be able to use it with my K1000 when I feel like playing around with film. In your opinions, is the IQ on this lens significantly better enough to buy it rather then the f/1.2, or spend much less on the 43 or 50FA?

The 43 Limited is the slowest, is on the short end (but maybe this is not a bad thing on a APS-C?), and is more expensive then the 50FA, but it is a Limited series lens. Is this Limited as legendary as the 31 and 77?

The 50 FA 1.4 i isn't weather sealed, as fast as the 1.2, or a Limited series lens. But if the IQ is the same quality, the other stuff doesn't matter as much and the price is right.

I'd rather spend less if I can get away with it, but IQ is more important then price as long as it's under $1000 which they all are. Which would you get? Which is "best"? Keep in mind I will also have the 31 and 77.


Thanks for any input, I know you probably hear this one a lot! I have done quite a bit of searching both on Google and on these forums and I've found some great info on all of them, but I just want to know what you folks suggest to someone who is willing to buy any of the 4.


Last edited by McLovin; 10-15-2009 at 06:07 PM.
10-15-2009, 06:34 PM   #2
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I've thought long and hard about it as well - in a similar set of circumstances.
I have the 77 and 50/1.4 and will have the 31 soon.
Something within me wants to know what the 55 has to offer, but also to get the 43 to complete the ltd collection. But as soon as I ask myself why, it falls apart with insufficient justification. Not that the 55 or 43 aren't any 'better' than the FA 50, but for my purposes I would gain very little in results by replacing it with either.

Nevertheless, from what others say about the 43, it is still legendary, only not as highly regarded as the 31 or 77 - some faulting its softness to f/2.8, some its characteristic bokeh (some loving it). I don't know enough about the 55 to judge, but again, so far a very well regarded lens.

I'm not into WR for my fast fifty-ish lens, so that's why I'm not crash hot after the 55 but the 43 does get me thinking once in a while - I still like the fact that my current fifty goes to f/1.4, and is sharp from f/2...
10-15-2009, 07:30 PM   #3
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I find I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum; I have the FA 43mm, recently picked up the DA 40mm, but am dying to know what having an AF-based 50mm F1.4 would be like...
10-15-2009, 07:49 PM   #4
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@ Ash: I'm kind of feeling the same way about the DA*55, I am curious about it's IQ compared to the other choices, but I have a feeling I am paying for weather sealing I am never actually going to use. I'm a little nervous about getting an SDM lens after hearing about all the AF motor failures, and all the other lenses wouldn't be weather sealed anyways so chances out are I wouldn't be out in harsh conditions anyways if my whole collection isn't weather sealed. I am also interested in the 43 simply because it would complete the Limited trinity, but I think it's just a tad too slow for me, especially since I'm using a K10D right now and the high ISO isn't as good as the K-7 so that extra stop would really help me out for indoor and night shots.

@ legacyb4: How are you finding the 43? If you do any photography at night or any portrait shots, do you find you are restricted by f1.9?


EDIT: I just realized that the A 50 1.2 is not autofocus (I thought thats what the A meant :P). So I've kinda narrowed this down to the 50 1.4 or the 43 Limited.


Last edited by McLovin; 10-15-2009 at 08:04 PM.
10-15-2009, 08:37 PM   #5
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In my opinion, I would go for the FA 50mm. Lately when using it in daylight the lens could be better however it really shines in low light situations. Its also relatively inexpensive. Using it with an istD and K10.

unless you can get the 43mm for a good price that is.
10-15-2009, 09:14 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by McLovin Quote
EDIT: I just realized that the A 50 1.2 is not autofocus (I thought thats what the A meant :P). So I've kinda narrowed this down to the 50 1.4 or the 43 Limited.
'A' means auto aperture - the aperture can be set by the camera's e-dial rather than the aperture ring.

'F', 'FA', 'D-FA' and 'DA' lenses are the only Pentax autofocus lenses.
10-15-2009, 09:17 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by McLovin Quote

@ legacyb4: How are you finding the 43? If you do any photography at night or any portrait shots, do you find you are restricted by f1.9?
Don't mean to hijack, but you can check out some cool 43 ltd shots from another fellow forum member, roentarre....

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Just go to the pull down menu and select the 43 ltd.
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