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01-08-2010, 08:20 AM   #1
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DA 40mm Ltd vs. FA 50mm 1.4, AHHHHH!

I was just about to pull the trigger on the 40mm reading so many glowing reviews on it. I had it in my card on B&H and then.... uh oh. Some wonder came into my head. Would I be better off with the 50 1.4? I worry that 50mm is too much for inside. I often can't use it like I'd want to with my M 50mm f/2. Yet, the 50 can reach all the way down to 1.4, that's outstanding!

I've heard the 40mm focuses insanely fast, also. That would be nice. And it'd be nice to have a limited lens to use once in a while.

Either way I'll also need a filter and some other random stuff in my cart, so I'll post this and shop some more. Hopefully someone can reassure me and tell me what the true right purchase is for me.... or maybe fill my head with more worry.

01-08-2010, 08:53 AM   #2
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For indoors, 40mm will also usually be too much in the same cases where 50mm is too much. Also, f/2.8 will often be too little for indoors.

If you're using it mainly for indoor shots, there is no contest -- get the 50/1.4. The 40 ltd is best suited for people who like pancakes, frankly. It has excellent sharpness, but so does the 50/1.4 at f/2.8. It's more of a "street shooting" lens. Yes, it focuses very fast, but the FA50 isn't a slouch.

Basically, if you're doing *any* indoor shooting on a regular basis, I would get the 50/1.4 and go after another limited like the 70/2.4 or 21/3.2.
01-08-2010, 08:57 AM   #3
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The extent of indoor shooting is when people are hanging around and I'm snapping pics. Most of the shots I take are when I'm walking around with decent light. I should've been a little more fair in my descriptions.
01-08-2010, 09:47 AM   #4
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https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/8559-pentax-fa...-40-2-8-a.html

01-08-2010, 10:55 AM   #5
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I think I'm still leaning towards the 40mm. An added 10mm would be nice, and I'd likely see much better results on the FA at 2.8 anyway. Maybe I'll pick up an older manual focus 1.4 lens and get the best of both worlds in some regards.

The DA seems to give way less CA from tests, that's another plus.
01-08-2010, 01:09 PM   #6
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There are ton and tons of threads on this, but for indoor cndids, I find the DA40 *far* more useful than a 50mm lens. The difference in focal length is significant, and very often makes the difference between the shot being perfect as is versus me wishing I could take a few steps farther back. And with SR and ISO 1600 performance being what it is these days compared to the bad old days of film, plus shallow DOF presenting major difficulties for in candid photography at very wide apertures apertures, I find f/2.8 enough. Toss in the focus speed advantge and it's an easy win in my book.

As for filters, you presumably are aware of the perennial debate over their use in general. I use them at the beach only; otherwise they are just invitations to flare, reduced contrast, and slower focus, it costs only a couple of dollars a year to insure it against damage. But even for someone who just can't imagine not using a filter on other lenses, you might consider it on the DA40, because unlikle other lenses, the hood will likely stay on all the time because it is so small, and the hood actually curves inward and protects the lens against all but the most determined potential lens-damager.
01-08-2010, 01:45 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Buschmaster Quote
I think I'm still leaning towards the 40mm. An added 10mm would be nice, and I'd likely see much better results on the FA at 2.8 anyway. Maybe I'll pick up an older manual focus 1.4 lens and get the best of both worlds in some regards.

The DA seems to give way less CA from tests, that's another plus.

Get the DA 40mm F2.8 Ltd. I was stuck choosing between the two myself, but in the end I chose the 40mm because I liked the contrast and color better. Later I purchased the M 50mm F1.7 for low light situations but that was a mistake. The M 50mm F1.7 is a great lens but 50mm is just too long....

Kind regards
.lars
01-08-2010, 01:50 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
As for filters, you presumably are aware of the perennial debate over their use in general. I use them at the beach only; otherwise they are just invitations to flare, reduced contrast, and slower focus, it costs only a couple of dollars a year to insure it against damage. But even for someone who just can't imagine not using a filter on other lenses, you might consider it on the DA40, because unlikle other lenses, the hood will likely stay on all the time because it is so small, and the hood actually curves inward and protects the lens against all but the most determined potential lens-damager.
I think Marc makes a good point. I'm one who likes to keep filters on all my lenses. However, the DA 40 is the only lens I own which I've never attached a filter to.

01-08-2010, 03:35 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
There are ton and tons of threads on this, but for indoor cndids, I find the DA40 *far* more useful than a 50mm lens. The difference in focal length is significant, and very often makes the difference between the shot being perfect as is versus me wishing I could take a few steps farther back. And with SR and ISO 1600 performance being what it is these days compared to the bad old days of film, plus shallow DOF presenting major difficulties for in candid photography at very wide apertures apertures, I find f/2.8 enough. Toss in the focus speed advantge and it's an easy win in my book.

As for filters, you presumably are aware of the perennial debate over their use in general. I use them at the beach only; otherwise they are just invitations to flare, reduced contrast, and slower focus, it costs only a couple of dollars a year to insure it against damage. But even for someone who just can't imagine not using a filter on other lenses, you might consider it on the DA40, because unlikle other lenses, the hood will likely stay on all the time because it is so small, and the hood actually curves inward and protects the lens against all but the most determined potential lens-damager.
Thanks for the help, this is EXACTLY what I needed.

QuoteOriginally posted by builttospill Quote
I think Marc makes a good point. I'm one who likes to keep filters on all my lenses. However, the DA 40 is the only lens I own which I've never attached a filter to.
Ok, DA 40 without a filter it is!
01-08-2010, 04:03 PM   #10
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the DA40 is so cute !
01-08-2010, 04:05 PM   #11
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would rather have the Sigma 50mm 1.4
01-08-2010, 04:07 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Buschmaster Quote
Thanks for the help, this is EXACTLY what I needed.
Someone simply reinforcing the beliefs you already had instead of providing a contrasting viewpoint?

Isn't that what we all like
01-08-2010, 05:03 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by wallyb Quote
Someone simply reinforcing the beliefs you already had instead of providing a contrasting viewpoint?

Isn't that what we all like
Yep! I just needed the reassurance I suppose! It's all ordered up now, I'm very excited!!
01-08-2010, 06:08 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Buschmaster Quote
Yep! I just needed the reassurance I suppose! It's all ordered up now, I'm very excited!!
Well there's no doubt, either way you went, you'd end up with a great lens. Congrats on the buy, and do post some shots when it arrives!
01-08-2010, 08:26 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by wallyb Quote
Well there's no doubt, either way you went, you'd end up with a great lens. Congrats on the buy, and do post some shots when it arrives!
Will do!! I am very excited!

I'm excited to finally have a limited lens!
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