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12-07-2009, 09:52 AM   #1
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Pentax-D FA 50mm F2.8 Macro-any good ?

Another lens I'm considering...potential Xmas gifts..... is the Pentax-D FA 50mm F2.8 Macro. I've hesitated over this as it's a 50, compared to the Pentax 100...shorter focal length, etc...but up here, is considerably cheaper.

I've got a 50 mm F1.4...not a macro of course, just a standard lens...so no macro capability.

I'm wondering if the 50mm is too short a focal length to get close to insects without scaring them...but then on my K10D and KM it's actually about a 70 - 75 mm...so it may not be too bad.

Anyways those who have them or have used them...how do you find this lens...good, bad and even ugly...if there is an ugly regarding this lens?

Thanks,

Les

12-07-2009, 11:48 AM   #2
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Personally, I think this is a great lens for macro work. I have both the D FA 50 and the D FA 100. The 100 is clearly better for getting some distance between you and the subject but the depth of field on the 50 is easier to work with. After I bought the 100 (I had purchased the 50 first), I had decided to sell the 50, but I've realized that both are important with the 50 having a better DOF.

If you want to do insects, you may need something longer than both like a good telephoto say a Tamron 70-200 f2.8. That will allow you to stand off at least 3 feet or so.

Bottom line is that if you had to choose 1 I might go with the 100mm first but other than being able to be a bit further away from the subject, I think the performance of both the 50 & 100 are very similar.
12-07-2009, 01:32 PM   #3
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I have both... the FA 50 macro and the FA 100 macro. Now... I do mostly flower shots, so I don't have to worry about running off insects... but I reach for the 50 almost every time. Just a wonderful lens, looks great and brings home the bacon when you need that perfect shot.

I have NO bad words for the 100 macro, however... I just find that I am not reaching for it as much.... I don't need the reach the 100 macro gives me. My feel is this lens is every bit as good as the 50 in color rendering and contrast.

So ... you can't go wrong with either of these lenses. If you're really really into insects, you may want to give the 100 a harder look. Both are wonderful glass, a worthy investment.

Germar
12-07-2009, 03:46 PM   #4
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I also own the Fa 50 macro. And I just love it... The distance difference between a 50 and a 100 is really not that different, considering the 100 is longer.

You can't get sharper than this lens. A must-have for macro!

12-08-2009, 10:30 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by germar Quote
I have both... the FA 50 macro and the FA 100 macro. Now... I do mostly flower shots, so I don't have to worry about running off insects... but I reach for the 50 almost every time. Just a wonderful lens, looks great and brings home the bacon when you need that perfect shot.

I have NO bad words for the 100 macro, however... I just find that I am not reaching for it as much.... I don't need the reach the 100 macro gives me. My feel is this lens is every bit as good as the 50 in color rendering and contrast.

So ... you can't go wrong with either of these lenses. If you're really really into insects, you may want to give the 100 a harder look. Both are wonderful glass, a worthy investment.

Germar
I'm starting to think 50 Macro. I would like to get some pix of my wife's garden and it sounds like a lens that would do her garden justice.
12-08-2009, 10:32 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
I also own the Fa 50 macro. And I just love it... The distance difference between a 50 and a 100 is really not that different, considering the 100 is longer.

You can't get sharper than this lens. A must-have for macro!

The more I think about it...the better the 50 sounds...after all on my K10D / KM the focal length is about 70-75 mm and at F 2.8 it's fast, although mostly I tend to stay away from wide open.
12-08-2009, 10:34 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by blackcloudbrew Quote
Personally, I think this is a great lens for macro work. I have both the D FA 50 and the D FA 100. The 100 is clearly better for getting some distance between you and the subject but the depth of field on the 50 is easier to work with. After I bought the 100 (I had purchased the 50 first), I had decided to sell the 50, but I've realized that both are important with the 50 having a better DOF.

If you want to do insects, you may need something longer than both like a good telephoto say a Tamron 70-200 f2.8. That will allow you to stand off at least 3 feet or so.

Bottom line is that if you had to choose 1 I might go with the 100mm first but other than being able to be a bit further away from the subject, I think the performance of both the 50 & 100 are very similar.
I'm thinking the 50 Macro might be better for me.

I have a Pentax 35-105 A Macro that on a DSLR would be about a 66 - 160 mm Macro. Manual focusing, but it might take care of macro shots where I need distance between the subject and the lens.
12-08-2009, 11:27 AM   #8
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wow ! I can smell LBA right there. lol.

Les, although the DFA is a very good macro lens, I think you should look for the FA macro, if you can find one cheap. I saw one in the marketplace a couple of weeks back sold for 290. it's considered to be the sharpest 50mm. but just in case you are concerned about having a redundant focal length and a shorter or longer focal length, the Sigma 70/2.8 macro is the best compliment between those 2 ranges and I'd say it's darn razor sharp (prolly as sharp as the FA50 macro or a bit sharper than it) with a very nice bright bokeh to go with it. IMO, it is certainly the sharpest lens at that focal length and a great potraiture lens as well. I think this is one of the best lenses that Sigma has come up with.

having said that, I don't feel the need to get a DA70 nor the FA77 unless you are concerned with size issues. but IQ-wise, the lens is can hold it's own against the 2 LTDs. IMO, it is better than the DA70, and could easily rival the FA77 if speed and size aren't considered. although the Sigma is bright at f2.8.

the only negs I have for the lens is it's sluggish AF (my FA100/2.8 has a better and faster AF), occasional focus hunt or failed focus (the Sigma's focus limiter is a big help), no quick-shift. size and a bit of weight (not as portable nor handy as the 2 LTDs). and the screw-in metal lens hood (replaced this with a retractable rubber lens hood).

if you don't mind the cons, and you think that excellent IQ and versatile focal length are the two most important factor for your macro lens, I would highly recommend the Sigma 70/2.8.

12-08-2009, 12:07 PM   #9
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One thing that must be considered is that 50mm will give you greater DOF. I have a 100mm macro and it's frustrating at times.
12-08-2009, 03:00 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
wow ! I can smell LBA right there. lol. Yeah....I got it real bad....lol

Les, although the DFA is a very good macro lens, I think you should look for the FA macro, if you can find one cheap. I saw one in the marketplace a couple of weeks back sold for 290. it's considered to be the sharpest 50mm. but just in case you are concerned about having a redundant focal length and a shorter or longer focal length, the Sigma 70/2.8 macro is the best compliment between those 2 ranges and I'd say it's darn razor sharp (prolly as sharp as the FA50 macro or a bit sharper than it) with a very nice bright bokeh to go with it. IMO, it is certainly the sharpest lens at that focal length and a great potraiture lens as well. I think this is one of the best lenses that Sigma has come up with.I checked out the reviews on it after your post. Very highly regarded lens, especially for sharpness. Never thought of that one.

having said that, I don't feel the need to get a DA70 nor the FA77 unless you are concerned with size issues. but IQ-wise, the lens is can hold it's own against the 2 LTDs. IMO, it is better than the DA70, and could easily rival the FA77 if speed and size aren't considered. although the Sigma is bright at f2.8.

the only negs I have for the lens is it's sluggish AF (my FA100/2.8 has a better and faster AF), occasional focus hunt or failed focus (the Sigma's focus limiter is a big help), no quick-shift. size and a bit of weight (not as portable nor handy as the 2 LTDs). and the screw-in metal lens hood (replaced this with a retractable rubber lens hood).

if you don't mind the cons, and you think that excellent IQ and versatile focal length are the two most important factor for your macro lens, I would highly recommend the Sigma 70/2.8.
Something to consider. My wife is the banker...good thing for the survival of our budget ...I just bought a Pentax FE 10-17 back around the middle of October/09...so I'm not sure what my price range maybe...except to say...not a lot at this point...Xmas or not...
12-08-2009, 03:32 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
Something to consider. My wife is the banker...good thing for the survival of our budget ...I just bought a Pentax FE 10-17 back around the middle of October/09...so I'm not sure what my price range maybe...except to say...not a lot at this point...Xmas or not...
well the reason that I got the Sigma is primarily because of wanting to have a AF short telephoto lens for portraiture. got a lot more than just an AF lens but a really great lens. never considered it first since I was looking for a DA70 or the FA77 for a cheap price as well and I also have a macro lens already. did some digging here and saw the cheaper Sigma 70 as an alternative. it took some of the guys' photos, especially jsherman's to convince me of getting it instead. now I don't find the need for a DA70 nor the more expensive FA77. I felt bad for my FA100 since the Sigma 70 has now taken up it's role as one of my longer portraiture telephotos and macro. I'd probably keep it for the meantime, until such time that I might consider selling it whenever I decide to.

not so merry of a X'mas, eh?
12-08-2009, 03:47 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
well the reason that I got the Sigma is primarily because of wanting to have a AF short telephoto lens for portraiture. got a lot more than just an AF lens but a really great lens. never considered it first since I was looking for a DA70 or the FA77 for a cheap price as well and I also have a macro lens already. did some digging here and saw the cheaper Sigma 70 as an alternative. it took some of the guys' photos, especially jsherman's to convince me of getting it instead. now I don't find the need for a DA70 nor the more expensive FA77. I felt bad for my FA100 since the Sigma 70 has now taken up it's role as one of my longer portraiture telephotos and macro. I'd probably keep it for the meantime, until such time that I might consider selling it whenever I decide to.

not so merry of a X'mas, eh?
I shot myself in the foot...I suggested that it would be nice to get my Xmas gift early in case prices went up before Xmas. Well that seemed like a good idea back then...but not now LOL.....
12-08-2009, 11:00 PM   #13
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DFA 50mm is not good!

It is great optically. One of the best Pentax lenses, expect for minor PF. The built quality is not the same as FA or earlier K series lenses. The positive side is that it is relatively light.
12-11-2009, 10:28 AM   #14
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Thanks for the input from everybody. I now have a 50mm Macro F 2.8 coming in on order...hopefully in time for under the Xmas tree.
12-11-2009, 11:07 AM   #15
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Which version? The FA (used) or the DFA (new) ?

Congratulations on your purchase. I should have posted this earlier, but here's what you can expect (I still have a lot to learn)...











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