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10-26-2009, 11:07 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by al_undy Quote
I had the FA 50 and 35. The 35 was a much sharper lens with better overall IQ than the 50 IMO.
I'm really wondering if your 50mm was defective. I have the 35mm f2 and 50mm f1.4 and I don't believe I could tell which took a particular photo, even with intensive pixel peeping. According to Photozone, the FA 35 is slightly sharper than the 50mm, but the 50mm is a very sharp lens, sharper at every common f-stop than the 40mm Ltd you recommended above. IMO all three of these lenses merit consideration, I can't see any reason to discount the 50mm if the OP wants a super-fast, short portrait length, reasonably priced lens.

10-26-2009, 11:09 AM   #17
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As I have gotten more into photography I have been moving towards primes too. They make me think harder about composition. I can recommend the Sigma 28mm f/1.8, it is bigger than the 30mm f/1.4 and the FA 31mm, but the field of view is perfect for me. I carry it with the FA 50mm f/1.4 in a Tamrac sling bag (the 50 is always with me).
10-26-2009, 11:41 AM   #18
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Although the FA 31 Limited is an excellent and maybe the best lens I wouldn't pass up the DA 35 Limited. It's a stop slower but nearly the same FOV and it's extremely sharp. It's currently half the $$ of the 31 too. The DA 35 is a Macro as well. If you want to keep small and light there's the DA 15 Limited as an alternative to the DA 12-24 although I think I like the 12-24 better. The DA 15 and DA 35 easily fit in a pocket also. Just my .

Last edited by wtlwdwgn; 10-26-2009 at 11:48 AM.
10-26-2009, 12:34 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
I'm really wondering if your 50mm was defective. I have the 35mm f2 and 50mm f1.4 and I don't believe I could tell which took a particular photo, even with intensive pixel peeping. According to Photozone, the FA 35 is slightly sharper than the 50mm, but the 50mm is a very sharp lens, sharper at every common f-stop than the 40mm Ltd you recommended above. IMO all three of these lenses merit consideration, I can't see any reason to discount the 50mm if the OP wants a super-fast, short portrait length, reasonably priced lens.
I suppose it is possible the FA 50 was defective but I really don't think so. I did some quasi-test images with the lenses and was able to tell a differance. Nothing really rigorous but enough for me to establish my opinion. I was often using it under low light conditions at high aperture and images just seemed soft to me. I aslo have the A 1.4 which seems to perform a bit better than the FA 1.4. As always, the mileage will vary and thanks for pointing this out.

10-26-2009, 12:41 PM   #20
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Keep in mind that if you are pegged out on the 18mm lens, the 31mm ltd is nearly 2x that focal length. If you were going 2 lenses, and want AF, the FA 50 and DA 21mm ltd (or 15mm ltd)would be one possibility and then add something in the middle later like the FA 31mm ltd, FA 35mm F2 or DA 35mm ltd.
10-26-2009, 01:10 PM   #21
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Welcome Steven.
Primes only, zooms only or a mixture of both all depends on how you would like to see the world through your camera.

Travelling lots or photographic fast-action subjects/events? You'll appreciate zooms more.
Happy to zoom with your feet? You'll appreciate the quality and compactness of primes more.
Just like a lot of people here, I have both - each has its application.

None of the lenses you mentioned are lacking in quality, both physically and optically. So starting of with an FA 50/1.4 and progressing along the lines of the FA limited series, you'll be impressed by some amazing images and build quality of the lenses to boot.

Or getting the FA 50/1.4 along with ultra wide zoom DA 12-24 along with DA 55-300 would give you a decent range as well as reasonable image quality (the weakest link would be your kit lens, and then the 55-300, which is very good but quite slow and needs a decent amount of light to get good results).

There are so many combinations you could work with, it'll be all a matter of what focal lengths you'd like to have and work towards getting each lens you want bit by bit.

Hope this helps.
10-26-2009, 01:29 PM   #22
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I'd probably go with DA 40mm if I had to pick just one prime but I want to go wide also, I'd go with 16-45.
10-26-2009, 01:33 PM   #23
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My three primes are DA40mm limited (F2.8), Tamron 90mm Macro (F2.8) and DA300 (F4.0). Each are true gems.

For just walking about the DA40mm is fantastic. So light, small and quick to focus. The 90 mm has limited value for longer distances and may have value as a portrait lens, but for shooting bugs and archaeological artifacts its the best... C. Durfor

10-26-2009, 01:52 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
I'm really wondering if your 50mm was defective. I have the 35mm f2 and 50mm f1.4 and I don't believe I could tell which took a particular photo, even with intensive pixel peeping. According to Photozone, the FA 35 is slightly sharper than the 50mm, but the 50mm is a very sharp lens, sharper at every common f-stop than the 40mm Ltd you recommended above. IMO all three of these lenses merit consideration, I can't see any reason to discount the 50mm if the OP wants a super-fast, short portrait length, reasonably priced lens.
I don't believe so. the 50mm lens that I saw that could match the FA35's sharpness is the 1.7, not the 1.4. they have the same sharpness from f/2 onwards. the only difference that I saw is the color rendering and the 50/1.7 is brighter. what I can say though is that the 50/1.4 is sharper than the 50/1.2 from 1.4 to f2.8 and very slightly at f4. at f5.6 they equalize. I understand that the 1.2's purpose is for softer image rendering. though I didn't say that the 1.2 is not sharp. it is just not as sharp as the other 50's all across the frame due to it's much thinner DOF.
10-26-2009, 05:47 PM   #25
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Hmmm. Much to think about.

I definitely prefer to move about to get the shot I want rather than use the zoom to frame the picture in the view-finder. I've found my compositions tend to be a lot better when I stick to a single focal length as I focus more on whats in the frame as opposed to what I can crop/add in and tend to end up being a bit more creative with angles etc.

Some of the last few posts have made some good arguments for the DA40 and after looking at some of the user reviews I'm toing and froing between it and the FA50. The DA40 seems to have sharper, better images and might provide a more useful focal length (closer to "eye-view" so I can see it being a good workhorse for both portraiture and landscape) but the FA50 has the wider aperture.

I do like utilising a narrow depth of field for creative purposes. For anyone that has used both is there a noticeable difference between the two? I've heard the image quality on the FA50 is higher at F2 than it is at F1.4, which is still wider than the F2.8 on the DA 40. Added with the FA50's slightly longer focal length (which should further enhance the depth of field) I'd be interested to know if it is a noticeable difference? If the DA 40 also has a really useful DOF for portraiture I think maybe I might change my mind and go for that one instead?

PS. Good story about Jane Bown. Shows that it's always more about the photographer than it is about what's hanging around their neck!
10-26-2009, 05:49 PM   #26
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Just to add quickly... Too anyone with a DA 40. How do they find it performs for portraiture?
10-26-2009, 05:56 PM   #27
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You've nailed it down to the crux of the matter...

FA 50 for the ability to go to f/1.4, and DA 40 for slightly wider FOV and sharp, colourful images.

But when it comes down to it, the FA 50 at f/2.8 is very sharp (just as sharp as the DA 40 according to Photozone), and exhibits a minimal amount of all the negatives of a lens (e.g. vignetting mainly disappears by f/2, whilst it is significant on the DA 40 wide open) except for CA, which remains with the FA 50 but not with the DA 40 (not a deal-breaker IMO).
10-26-2009, 06:24 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
You've nailed it down to the crux of the matter...

FA 50 for the ability to go to f/1.4, and DA 40 for slightly wider FOV and sharp, colourful images.

But when it comes down to it, the FA 50 at f/2.8 is very sharp (just as sharp as the DA 40 according to Photozone), and exhibits a minimal amount of all the negatives of a lens (e.g. vignetting mainly disappears by f/2, whilst it is significant on the DA 40 wide open) except for CA, which remains with the FA 50 but not with the DA 40 (not a deal-breaker IMO).
but the DA40 is cuter !!! it is so small !
10-26-2009, 06:31 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
but the DA40 is cuter !!! it is so small !
OK, I forgot to mention that very important detail.
It's very stealthy - not all that easy to MF, though, if that's a consideration...
10-26-2009, 06:45 PM   #30
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The FA50 is a great lens for the price, there's no reason not to have especially if you shoot portraits or lots of low light, it's the cheapest way to get f/1.4 with AF.

As far as the 70 vs 77 debate goes, both have exceptional build and IQ. The 70 has quick shift and is more compact, it's sharpness wide open matches the 77s when stopped down to the same aperture (f/2.4). The FA77 is more expensive but it's about 2/3rds of a stop quicker and has an aperture ring (important if you use old film bodies).

Below 50mm the FA31 is without a doubt the best in terms of IQ and build unless you shoot macro. If so you should consider the DA35 but at f/2.8 it's not exactly fast. Another option is the FA35 which is nearly as fast as the FA31 and performs well wide open. Build quality is similar to the FA50. Personally I'd find both the DA40 and FA43 too close to the 50mm.
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