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06-09-2007, 03:13 PM   #1
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SMC FA 50 1.4 vs. *55 1.4?

will the new *55mm 1.4 lens really be that much better then the FA 50 1.4? (besides the build quality, that is)

any thoughts welcomed

randy

06-09-2007, 04:27 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by slipchuck Quote
will the new *55mm 1.4 lens really be that much better then the FA 50 1.4? (besides the build quality, that is) any thoughts welcomed
randy
Hi

I have some high hopes for the DA*55/1.4. But those are hopes. Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised to see Pentax wipe the dust of one of their old usual 50-55mm lens constructions. Now I certainly hope they have done something new, something that is like the Leicasonic 25/1.4, Leica 50/1.4, Canon 50/1.2, FA35/2, FA31/1.8 rather than the old flare/ghosty FA50/1.4.

But those are hopes only. Who knows? (We also don't get any information about the DA35/x.)

What makes you think the build quality of the DA*55/1.4 will be very great? Weather sealing doesn't necessarily bring great build quality in its train. It often does but we haven't really seen it yet.

I have a DA70/2.4 now that I very much would like to sell and replace with the DA*55/1.4.

we'll have to wait,
06-09-2007, 05:28 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonas B Quote
Hi

I have some high hopes for the DA*55/1.4. But those are hopes. Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised to see Pentax wipe the dust of one of their old usual 50-55mm lens constructions. Now I certainly hope they have done something new, something that is like the Leicasonic 25/1.4, Leica 50/1.4, Canon 50/1.2, FA35/2, FA31/1.8 rather than the old flare/ghosty FA50/1.4.

But those are hopes only. Who knows? (We also don't get any information about the DA35/x.)

What makes you think the build quality of the DA*55/1.4 will be very great? Weather sealing doesn't necessarily bring great build quality in its train. It often does but we haven't really seen it yet.

I have a DA70/2.4 now that I very much would like to sell and replace with the DA*55/1.4.

we'll have to wait,

Haha the Canon 50/1.2 is not that good. Some bad CA. but yea, it should be very good because of the STAR label. Hopefully they haven't diluted it like they did with the Joint Tokina zooms.
06-10-2007, 03:18 AM   #4
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Star lenses have always been a notch or two above all the others, and I hope that Pentax doesn't disappoint us with their new DA* series. Sadly, I have a feeling that star lenses now aren't what they used to be 10+ years ago, but let's hope I'm wrong...

The DA* 55mm will probably be a bit bigger than the FA, and the build quality will probably the the same, but it's the IQ that counts. I think Pentax will work on improving it...

BTW, if you want a sharper 50mm lens and you don't want to wait, try out the FA 50/1.7!


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06-10-2007, 03:21 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by FotoPete Quote
Haha the Canon 50/1.2 is not that good. Some bad CA. but yea, it should be very good because of the STAR label. Hopefully they haven't diluted it like they did with the Joint Tokina zooms.
Hi Pete,

I don't know what you mean with "not that good". Can you elaborate a little and let us know?

The EF50/1.2L has some bad CA, yes. Wasn't that expected? How bad is it compared to the Pentax 50/1.4?

What the 1.2L also has is a bit dissapointing lack of microcontrast, a focus shift and pronounced vignetting. That's not good. OTOH it delivers pictures with a wonderful bokeh, the highest contrast and resolution I have seen at that aperture opening and the pictures are also ver free from flare/ghosting. In all these areas it beats the Pentax f/1.4 versions.
So, what I mean when I say I hope the new DA*55/1.4 is a more modern construction more similar to the lenses I mentioned above is that I hope for a lens that is very useable wide open. It takes a new optical formula to achive that. As Canon has showed it isn't impossible I have no doubt that Pentax can do it. A DA lens means a lens for a APS-C sized sensor and that could possibly make for a better and one notch smaller lens than the 1.2L, especially considering that it is a difference between f/1.4 and f/1.2.

regards,
06-10-2007, 04:42 AM   #6
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Speaking of Canon 50mm f1.2L, I had it on order from Hong Kong. Hopefully not a grey market stuff. I used it a while back as a colleague of mine bought it when it first came out. Its bokeh is certainly better than EF 50mm f1.0L as the out of focus rendering is more evenly smoothed out and more resistant to flare. Sharpness is always an issue with 50mm focal length faster than f1.8 ... Canon 50mm f1.2L is a lot more improved with its MTF acceptable at f1.2, usable from f1.4 to f2, very sharp after f2.8; much more accurate with AF at f1.4 even in dim lit situation; something that shames EF 50mm f1.4

There were a couple of threads in DPR showing some test comparisons regarding all the 50mm lenses. Pentax Fa 50mm f1.4 wide open is actually inferior to Nikon, Canon or even sigma counterparts in terms of centre or corner sharpness.

I want a copy of EF 50mm f1.2L as it is really a lens to die for. Its bokeh can be really addictive.

Da* 55 f1.4 is on my list of purchase. However, I would really want to see people testing it out first unless the price is not too dear and it is like the pancake series being so small to carry. I think the image quality is always the key factor in getting a prime lens. Otherwise, it would be pointless getting it.

I found a similar problem with Fa* 24 f2L that does not perform too well on my k10d. I own Canon 24mm f1.4L which has a common criticism as one of the failure of canon lens product. Canon 24mm f1.4L produces better pictures for me than Fa* 24 f2 in general especially with sharpness or bokeh. I am not saying Fa* 24 as a bad lens; Fa 31 Ltd certainly beats it by a mile ...

Cheers

James
06-10-2007, 05:17 AM   #7
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A current option

QuoteOriginally posted by Mo Quote
Star lenses have always been a notch or two above all the others, and I hope that Pentax doesn't disappoint us with their new DA* series. Sadly, I have a feeling that star lenses now aren't what they used to be 10+ years ago, but let's hope I'm wrong...

The DA* 55mm will probably be a bit bigger than the FA, and the build quality will probably the the same, but it's the IQ that counts. I think Pentax will work on improving it...

BTW, if you want a sharper 50mm lens and you don't want to wait, try out the FA 50/1.7!
If you don't mind the loss of 2 stops, then the F/FA 50 f2.8 macro (and also the D-FA if you want quick shift) are sharper than either of the two other 50's at f2.8 upwards, they also have less distortion, CA and better contrast and, IMO, even better bokeh.

Okay, they are more costly, but you have the added benefit of one of the best macro lens designs, they also work extremely well with a Tamron 1.4x TC to give you a 70mm f4 macro, just that bit of extra reach for those bug shots! If you have the luxury of a 100mm macro as well then you can get a very nice 140mm f4.0!

I've rarely found the need for anything faster than f2.8, especially now with SR on both the K-D bodies. The very shallow DOF of less than f2.8 at 50mm, I actually find more of a hinderance than help, but I know that others love the effect.
06-10-2007, 05:40 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by roentarre Quote
-snip-
I want a copy of EF 50mm f1.2L as it is really a lens to die for. Its bokeh can be really addictive.
Hi James,

I didn't know you felt that way about the EF50/1.2L. I thought you allready had it. I eBayed my one last week, GBP 570. Maybe I should have asked you first?

regards,

06-10-2007, 08:08 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonas B Quote
Hi James,

I didn't know you felt that way about the EF50/1.2L. I thought you allready had it. I eBayed my one last week, GBP 570. Maybe I should have asked you first?

regards,
Hi Jonas

I had EF 50 f1.0 and f1.4 (sold f1.4 already through Joel). Tried EF 50 f1.2L and ordered one early this year but the lens never arrived (I cancelled it in February).

Actually I only decided to invest in this lens after all the pentax LBA...

Sure your lens will be a better option with a better price (Since all canon lenses depreciate too quick and too low in prices over time - bleeding heart)

If I had known this earlier, I would have acquired the lens from you (your lens is always kept in the best condition). I thought you were only considering EF 50 f1.2L ...
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