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12-06-2010, 10:02 AM   #16
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I should add - I took your 50mm rule very literally, but the 40 and 43 are worth considering. If you are not concerned with speed, the DA 40 has amazing quality right from wide open. The 43 is expensive, but it is very nice.

12-06-2010, 10:20 AM   #17
Rin
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if you receive a good sample of the Sigma 50mm 1.4 then it is an awesome but a heavy lens. It appears to be sharper wide open compared to the most of 50mm 1.4 prime lenses i encountered. good contrast also.
12-06-2010, 10:28 AM   #18
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The FA50/1.4 was the first lens I got for my K20D, and of 155+ other lenses I've added since, including 25 Fifty's, it's still my most-used prime (and my only AF prime). It was mentioned above that the FA50/1.4 has 8 iris blades for smoother bokeh. Of my Fifty's, not counting slower and/or non-Pentax-mount lenses, only that FA50/1.4 and the Helios-44 58/2 have 8 iris blades.

I got my FA50/1.4 for US$200 and my Helios-44 for US$20 about 2.5 years ago. Prices for both have risen a bit since, and a PK-mount Helios demands a premium price. The FA50/1.4 remains my go-to lens for low-light work, although my 'fastest' Fifty is an M42-mount Sears (Tomioka) 55/1.4 (6 iris blades) -- I got my second for TWO BUCKS a few weeks ago, and sold it for US$50. Wide open, it's like a knife for slicing a subject away from their surroundings.

One area none of the mentioned lenses excels at is close focusing -- they all have a minimum focus of 45cm / 18 inches or more. The M42 Meyer Oreston (aka Pentacon Electric) 50/1.8 will focus to 30cm / 12 inches, and of course the Macro-Takumar 50/4 (1:1) will focus down to almost 5cm / 2 inches. That MacTak is also the sharpest kid on the block, if not the fastest, and it has 8 iris blades. The MacTak and the Meyer/Pentacon give great rendering.

But of PK-mount Fifty's, the FA50/1.4 is the best IMHO.
12-06-2010, 10:54 PM   #19
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when it comes to a 50mm lens, I gotta hand it to the A50/1.2.

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