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11-25-2009, 07:14 PM   #1
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FA50mm/1.4 vs FA50mm/1.7

From what I have read in previous threads, there isn't a clear cut winner between the FA50/1.4 vs the FA50/1.7. It seems like the general consensus is that the FA50/1.7 is slightly sharper wide open, and perhaps sharper in the range from 2.0 to 2.8. The FA50/1.4 is obviously faster and several people have noted that it had a better bokeh and might be better suited toward portraits.

So here's the question; If you could only keep one of the two lenses, which one would you keep and why?

11-25-2009, 08:09 PM   #2
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I recently sold my f1.4 to pay for the purchase of an A50 f1.2. After selling, I quickly missed having a auto-focus fast-50, and opted for the F50mm f1.7. Since my portrait needs are being met through the 1.2, I preferred the sharper performance wide open of the 1.7-- it's cheaper too!
11-25-2009, 08:33 PM   #3
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I'll note that the focus on even an f2.0 is just too narrow for portraiture at that focal length. So makes sure your motivation for getting is something else than portraiture if you opt for f1.4!
11-25-2009, 08:52 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by brkl Quote
I'll note that the focus on even an f2.0 is just too narrow for portraiture at that focal length. So makes sure your motivation for getting is something else than portraiture if you opt for f1.4!
I have actually owned the FA50/1.4 for 3 years and found it to be a great little lens. However, I seldom shoot at 2.0 or lower since I am usually taking pictures of people and as you said the DOF is just too narrow down there.

The other day I happen to come across a like-new FA50/1.7 and without giving it much thought decided to buy it because of what I had read about it being sharper and the fact that I almost never shoot at 1.4 anyway. (Also you seldom see them for sale so i figured why not).

I haven't had a chance to really test the two lenses out side by side (in part because we have a 2 week old newborn at home) so I was hoping to solicit some opinions from those who may have owned or used both. I will likely end up selling one as I would have a hard time justifying keeping both.

11-25-2009, 08:58 PM   #5
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I hear the 55mm DA* is better than either below f2.

And that a lot of the softness of the 1.4 is due to no lens hood and it being rather prone to flare. Which can be fixed with a rubber hood that screws into the filter thread you can get for $2 off ebay.
11-25-2009, 09:11 PM   #6
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I did notice the front element of the FA50/1.7 is recessed a lot further than the FA50/1.4's front element.

The 55mm DA* does look nice, albeit a little expensive.

QuoteOriginally posted by WerTicus Quote
I hear the 55mm DA* is better than either below f2.

And that a lot of the softness of the 1.4 is due to no lens hood and it being rather prone to flare. Which can be fixed with a rubber hood that screws into the filter thread you can get for $2 off ebay.
11-25-2009, 09:45 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by dgaies Quote
I have actually owned the FA50/1.4 for 3 years and found it to be a great little lens. However, I seldom shoot at 2.0 or lower since I am usually taking pictures of people and as you said the DOF is just too narrow down there.

The other day I happen to come across a like-new FA50/1.7 and without giving it much thought decided to buy it because of what I had read about it being sharper and the fact that I almost never shoot at 1.4 anyway. (Also you seldom see them for sale so i figured why not).

I haven't had a chance to really test the two lenses out side by side (in part because we have a 2 week old newborn at home) so I was hoping to solicit some opinions from those who may have owned or used both. I will likely end up selling one as I would have a hard time justifying keeping both.

I had tried the FA50/1.4, M50/1.7 and the DA40. the 1.7 was way sharper than the 50/1.4 but the 1.4 has a smoothy bokeh. the DA40 has great contrast but is 2 stops slower.

I was choosing between the FA 50/1.4 and the DA40 since the autofocus 1.7 is difficult to find. and if I find one, someone else already had purchased it. I was ready to buy an AF 1.4 but lucked on an AF 1.7 which was on eBay. as far as smoothy bokeh is concerned, I had the faster and brighter 50 1.2 to do that particular bidding. did I mention that the 1.2 produces some of the most surreal images that can't be duplicated by neither the 1.4 nor the 1.7?
11-25-2009, 09:58 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
I had tried the FA50/1.4, M50/1.7 and the DA40. the 1.7 was way sharper than the 50/1.4 but the 1.4 has a smoothy bokeh. the DA40 has great contrast but is 2 stops slower.

I was choosing between the FA 50/1.4 and the DA40 since the autofocus 1.7 is difficult to find. and if I find one, someone else already had purchased it. I was ready to buy an AF 1.4 but lucked on an AF 1.7 which was on eBay. as far as smoothy bokeh is concerned, I had the faster and brighter 50 1.2 to do that particular bidding. did I mention that the 1.2 produces some of the most surreal images that can't be duplicated by neither the 1.4 nor the 1.7?
So what you're saying is I should sell both and buy a FA50/1.2 (or learn how to properly use a MF lens)

There seem to be a ton more FA50/1.4s out there than FA50/1.7s. Just looking through ebay the other day when I was looking to buy the 1.7, in the past weeks over a dozen FA50/1.4s sold and just one FA50/1.7. Also, it seems like whatever gap in price they originally had has been closed due to their more limited supply.

11-25-2009, 10:51 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by dgaies Quote
So what you're saying is I should sell both and buy a FA50/1.2 (or learn how to properly use a MF lens)

There seem to be a ton more FA50/1.4s out there than FA50/1.7s. Just looking through ebay the other day when I was looking to buy the 1.7, in the past weeks over a dozen FA50/1.4s sold and just one FA50/1.7. Also, it seems like whatever gap in price they originally had has been closed due to their more limited supply.

LOL ! what I meant was the 1.2 is a special purpose lens, though it is very sharp at f8 but that's f8. so there's a need for something sharper at higher aperture. if I were to say it, the 1.2 is more like a soft-sharp portraiture lens (dreamy output) and the 1.7 is for the ultra-sharpness at wide open. it depends on your preference and use. some people like a softy-sharp-image, some like it very sharp. MF in the 1.2 is easy for me.

regarding the FA50/1.4 and FA50/1.7 market statistics, that is true.
11-26-2009, 09:50 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by dgaies Quote
From what I have read in previous threads, there isn't a clear cut winner between the FA50/1.4 vs the FA50/1.7. It seems like the general consensus is that the FA50/1.7 is slightly sharper wide open, and perhaps sharper in the range from 2.0 to 2.8. The FA50/1.4 is obviously faster and several people have noted that it had a better bokeh and might be better suited toward portraits.

So here's the question; If you could only keep one of the two lenses, which one would you keep and why?
I have just sold an FA50 1.4 and still have the FA50 1.7. The bokeh on the 1.4 is slightly softer but realistically there is not much in it. However I do think the edge sharpness of the 1.7 is inferior to the 1.4, even though the sharpness at wide aperture is definitely better. Mind you, having now got an accurately focusing camera (K-7) I am of the opinion that many criticisms of the 1.4 wide open are due to focusing errors. I would get whichever you can get hold of at a reasonable price. In the real world I don't think the difference between them is enough to merit losing a single moment of sleep over.
08-09-2010, 09:29 AM   #11
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Resurrecting this thread as I have the dilemma of having both lenses and do not wish to retain both.

Hmmm......

I am comfortable with the FA 50mm 1.4 and find it a very good lens. Yes, soft at 1.4. All are. I find the 1.7 slightly soft wide open as well. Both sharpen up by f/2, and by 2.8 they demonstrate stellar performance.

Really, it's about equivalence at a f-stop. Anyone care to enlighten with shots that show demonstrable difference?
08-09-2010, 09:41 AM   #12
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I don't have any of my sample shots handy, but from my experience, the 1.7 is sharper overall. I'd also recommend keeping it over the 1.4 because it's harder to find.

Also, in the lens DB (which I'm sure you've already checked), the 1.7 has a higher average (9.38 vs 8.83).

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08-09-2010, 10:32 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Resurrecting this thread as I have the dilemma of having both lenses and do not wish to retain both.

Hmmm......

I am comfortable with the FA 50mm 1.4 and find it a very good lens. Yes, soft at 1.4. All are. I find the 1.7 slightly soft wide open as well. Both sharpen up by f/2, and by 2.8 they demonstrate stellar performance.

Really, it's about equivalence at a f-stop. Anyone care to enlighten with shots that show demonstrable difference?
You could try this thread as it has some sample shots.

I've owned both and would agree that the FA50/1.7 is the sharper of the two lenses, at least through f/2. By f/2.8 it doesn't really matter (in terms of sharpness) as they're both very sharp at that point. Rendering and bokeh are slightly different between the two, but it's more of a person preference I suppose. Also, as Adam said, the FA50/1.7 is a bit more rare (says the man who currently has two of them ) so that might be a factor as well.
08-09-2010, 11:14 AM   #14
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I used the M50 f2, A50 f1,4, F50 f1,7. The f1,7 is the better I've used. (I do not include the FA50 macro here).

Bokeh is great with all the 50s. The f1,7 is indeed sharper wide open, and the bokeh of the f1,4 is indeed a tad creamier.

I would sell the f1,4 because:

1-you'll get a better price

2-your f1,7 is sharper

3-your f1,7 is harder to find

4-your f1,7 has a recessed front element, meaning a hood is not really needed

Have a nice day!
08-09-2010, 11:32 AM   #15
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my vote would be to keep the 1.7. 1.4 is easy to find. while the 1.7 would be more of a chance acquisition nowadays.
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