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01-11-2010, 06:38 AM   #1
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FA 50/1.4 - Now?

Good morning,

I know the price increases on the FA50/1.4 have been debated to death on other threads, so I don't want to get into that, but I have been debating on the FA50/1.4 for a couple months now and as the price seems to be on the rise, is now the time to buy????

Yes, I know there are better lenses out there that I would like to have the ability ($$$) to go after, but as I have we have a baby on the way, indulging my hobby may not be the most responsible.... so all that said, would now be the time to go after the FA50, considering that it can still be found for sub-300 CAD, where as I see it creeping up on 400-450 USD in the states.... I am new to DSLR and Pentax, so I don't have alot of insight on how the pricing fluctuates.... are these prices the new norm (I know it is out of production) or will they come back down, or likewise, is it likely that another fast prime will come along that will be in the 200-300 range?

Also, does anyone know if the rebates that are offered are valid in Canada?

Thanks

P.S. I have a M-50/2.0 so I have a feel for the focal length, but MF is a bit of a pain, so that's why I am looking at the FA 1.4.

01-11-2010, 06:53 AM   #2
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I think it can still be had for ~$350 here in the states. But you're right, it does seem to be rising. The REAL time to buy is right when my roommate did, when it was $200. What a bargain for such a great lens...

If you feel that 50mm is a good focal length for you, go for it. I felt like I need a little more room so I opted for the 40mm f/2.8 and I've heard it focuses faster and is a bit sharper as well. I could certainly shoot indoors almost all of the time at f/2.8 and turn the ISO up a bit, so I don't feel like I'm losing much.

The main point is: I don't see the prices coming down much, sorry to say... If you know that's your lens, go ahead and snag it!
01-11-2010, 09:03 AM   #3
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If you don't mind a used one.... There are one or two for sale on this forum for under $300
01-11-2010, 09:07 AM   #4
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Better lenses in 50mm than the FA 50/1.4? I don't think so.

01-11-2010, 09:10 AM   #5
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The 40/2.8 is one that I have (seriously) considered, but I think its tough to find for less than 450-500 .. plus it seems to be a bit tougher to locate in Canada as it seems to be a 'special order' at places like Henry's and others dont seem to carry it at all... although I have only been looking for a month or so, so I could be off on that...

As far as used is concerned, that doesn't bother me, but I don't mind as slight premium for new, especially considering the cost of shipping from the US/duty on used ones can bring them pretty close to in line with new...
01-11-2010, 10:12 AM   #6
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I'm very pro-this-lens. Total no-brainer at 200 that it was, it's still just that good, especially if you love the short portrait range.

The price of everything else went up, too, so there we are.
01-11-2010, 02:20 PM   #7
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May as well go for the FA 50/1.4 - you won't find better in an AF lens. It's said the F 50/1.7 is sharper, but you'll find the 50/1.4 sufficiently sharp at least from f/2 onwards. I've been pleased with my f/1.4 results from this lens. It's worth every cent.
01-11-2010, 05:15 PM   #8
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As Ash says, the FA50 1.4 winz in the speed department.... but the AF 1.7 lenses are reputedly amongst the sharpest of Pentax primes.

IMHO - You don't buy these lenses to stop down so it would be nice to see a reintroduction of the FA50 1.7 for those who want a cheaper alternative.

01-11-2010, 05:25 PM   #9
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MF is a pain until you master it but incredibly rewarding once you have. I know how much money a child can eat up (congratulations BTW) so, regardless of price, if you are going to do it, do it now and get it out of the way before the funds go elsewhere.
The alternative is to force yourself to master MF and get a decent 50 for around $100 (or less).
01-11-2010, 05:41 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ahab Quote
Better lenses in 50mm than the FA 50/1.4? I don't think so.
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM. It's better in almost every appreciable way: Less vignetting, less CAs, sharper across the board, and it has (subjectively) slightly smoother bokeh. It also produces some very bright colors and good contrast.

The only real disadvantages are size, weight, and price. Even then, the $499 price it retails for isn't bad when you consider that it beats the more expensive DA*55 wide open. I bought my FA50 when they were dirt cheap, and being my least used prime it isn't worth it to me to upgrade. But, if I was in the market for a new 50 today, I'd probably spend the extra $150 on the sigma.
01-11-2010, 05:45 PM   #11
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I say get it for ~$300 if you can. Check craigslist and other places too.

You'll get stunning images of your newborn with this one.
01-11-2010, 05:57 PM   #12
Igilligan
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No truer words...

QuoteOriginally posted by Kirivon Quote
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM. It's better in almost every appreciable way: Less vignetting, less CAs, sharper across the board, and it has (subjectively) slightly smoother bokeh. It also produces some very bright colors and good contrast.

The only real disadvantages are size, weight, and price. Even then, the $499 price it retails for isn't bad when you consider that it beats the more expensive DA*55 wide open. I bought my FA50 when they were dirt cheap, and being my least used prime it isn't worth it to me to upgrade. But, if I was in the market for a new 50 today, I'd probably spend the extra $150 on the sigma.
I agree with this.

But to the OP... unless you have a big house, a 50 is pretty long. I bought the FA 50 right after my two lens kit. Recommended by almost everyone. It was too long to capture many family moments in my little house. My least used AF lens now. Good little head and shoulders lens, but in no way worth the crazy money they are asking for it today. A 30-35mm would be my choice if starting again. I have the DA 40 and it is more usable for kid shots, but you won't get the shallow dof with it.

Get a cheap mf 50 or 35 first. You may never go back to spending $500 bucks on an AF lens again.
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