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02-08-2010, 07:25 AM   #1
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Help me pick a 50mm 1.4 lens!!

Ok I have been looking at these 4 and keep switching which I like best
Pentax Lens Review and Specification Database - 50mm F1.4
Pentax Lens Review and Specification Database - 50mm F1.4
Pentax Lens Review and Specification Database - 50mm F1.4
Pentax Lens Review and Specification Database - 50mm F1.4

Please list in order what your choices would be. I like the F a lot I just had trouble finding it.

By the way I am very new to photography so Im not great at knowing what is better and why.

02-08-2010, 07:34 AM   #2
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I'm sure others will better answer it. First here are some resolution test from http://www.takinami.com/yoshihiko/photo/lens_test/pentax_normal.html
02-08-2010, 08:23 AM   #3
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Im a little noobish so I dont understand the chart too well I would assume that the higher number for the aperture is better?

Anyone else able to respond to my first post?
02-08-2010, 08:40 AM   #4
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Do you need it to autofocus? What camera are you putting it on?

02-08-2010, 09:01 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by CrossStealth Quote
Ok I have been looking at these 4 and keep switching which I like best
Pentax Lens Review and Specification Database - 50mm F1.4
Pentax Lens Review and Specification Database - 50mm F1.4
Pentax Lens Review and Specification Database - 50mm F1.4
Pentax Lens Review and Specification Database - 50mm F1.4

Please list in order what your choices would be. I like the F a lot I just had trouble finding it.

By the way I am very new to photography so Im not great at knowing what is better and why.
Well, First of all, I doubt you are going to find an F50 f1.4 and if you do, it's going to be very expensive due to rarity. The FA50 f1.4 is still in production (or they have a massive nearly unlimited supply). If you want full auto everything, it's going to be your only choice. I've not done any tests to verify this but I've read that the A50 f1.4 is optically the same as the FA50. Might just be the same optical formula with an updated SMC coating. The K50 f1.4 you selected, again, rare bird and finding one is going to be tough. There is of course also the M50 f1.4 that in function, is identical to the K50 but easier to find and likely to be a lot less expensive.

Can't tell you how much of your money to spend, just offering that information for you. Being an old school Manual focus type of guy, I prefer the A50 f1.4 over the FA. In fact, I've resold every copy of the FA I've ever owned. In 4 years, I think I've come across an F50 f1.4 for sale, once or twice (and let the highest bidder take it).

Good luck..

02-08-2010, 09:19 AM   #6
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First of all thank you for all the replys

Second I actually found a F 1.4 but its an auction and probably will be out of my range

Third Sorry for the lack of information. My Camera is a Pentax K-x and I dont need autofocus. Like I said I am very new but as of now I like having control over everything so I prefer to be all manual. But I guess I have to just keep playing with cameras until I know if I will prefer either. Right now either way is ok Ill go with whats cheaper but still better.

And finally I would like to spend 200 or less but if its not too much over 200 thats ok by me.
02-08-2010, 09:28 AM   #7
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Best fast 50?

Non-answer answer: Any of the lenses you selected will do an outstanding job for you. Differences in final IQ from a Pentax DSLR (or film SLR) are small enough to be not meaningful. The most important action you can take is to use a hood to improve contrast (control stray light from oblique angles). Beyond that its more a matter of personal preference and fitting the lens you choose to those preferences. If you want to use MF on a DSLR or automatic-aperture film camera and control aperture from the camera, you should, of course, select the A50/1.4.

I currently use the S-M-C T50/1.4, K50/1.4 and FA50/1.4 and have copies of the A and M versions For Sale (as well as the M50/1.7). I'm not good enough to detect any final sharpness difference, just subtle effects of the different coating formulas over time, so for me the distinguishing factor is the feel and construction of the MF lenses and the relative low cost of the FA50 when I bought it ($169 new). I have tried the FA50/1.4 on film cameras and it is acceptable to me, although not my first choice for a focus ring.

I have all these lenses because I decided to buy one of each and try them to decide for myself what I wanted to keep. The MF lenses are inexpensive enough that you could try that - the K50/1.4 is not as rare as you might think if you keep your eyes open. The FA has gone up in price dramatically over the last six months and the F is truly challenging to find at ANY price.
02-08-2010, 10:51 AM   #8
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They are the same

I have the FA, the F and the A 50mm 1.4. I would not be able to tell what photo had been taken with which lens in a Blind folded test (stupid test for a photo comparison) I guess any difference is more due to sample variation than to model differencies.
The A is manual focus and has an old time quality feel, the F is the nicest looking and the FA is the... newest!

Kjell

02-08-2010, 11:33 AM   #9
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Currently I own a SMC Pentax-M 50mm F1.4 and the new SMC Pentax-DA* 55mm F1.4 SDM. Both are very good though I prefer 50mm over the new 55mm as it returns better images than the 55mm. 50mm f/1.4 is a good lens if you dont care about the autofocus.
02-08-2010, 11:37 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by CrossStealth Quote
First of all thank you for all the replys

Second I actually found a F 1.4 but its an auction and probably will be out of my range.
The F version has a reputation for being better in some way, coupled with the rarity everyone mentioned. It's the same optical formula as the A and FA models so I'm not convinced about "better", and it often sells for a big premium over an FA.

QuoteQuote:
Third Sorry for the lack of information. My Camera is a Pentax K-x and I dont need autofocus. Like I said I am very new but as of now I like having control over everything so I prefer to be all manual. But I guess I have to just keep playing with cameras until I know if I will prefer either. Right now either way is ok Ill go with whats cheaper but still better.

And finally I would like to spend 200 or less but if its not too much over 200 thats ok by me.
If you don't need AF, you can save some money by skipping it and getting the A model. It was built for manual focus and works very well if you will primarily do manual focus. You can save a bit more and get the M model, more common and less convenient.
02-08-2010, 01:31 PM   #11
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Pentax Normal Prime Lenses

Look at the optical formula. A, F and FA 50 f/1.4 have the same optical formula.
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