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04-10-2010, 08:38 AM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by switters Quote
It's not that I can't get good images with the FA50. But as I noted in the title of the post, I'm underwhelmed by the results. I admitted that this is likely because I'm comparing it against the FA43 and FA77, which were the two primes I had a few years back when I was using a K10D. The FA50 is perfectly adequate. It's just missing that "something special" that I noticed with the FA Limiteds. This isn't surprising, of course.

I came to this conclusion in part by comparing my current FA50 shots with my past FA43 and FA77 shots. The FA43 is my favorite lens in any mount, so the comparison is probably not fair. But there it is.
Well, there aren't many lenses that are going to go toe to toe with the FA43 & 77 on an image by image basis. Sometimes yes, but not on the average. I think the same thing can be said of the FA 35 although it may fair better on the average.

04-10-2010, 08:49 AM   #47
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K10D - FA 50 f1.4
K20D - FA 50 f1.4
K-7 - FA 50 f1.4
K-x - FA 50 f1.4

?????
04-10-2010, 09:27 AM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by ll_coffee_lP Quote
You make a good point Rondec, with respect to build.

What if the FA50 was called a limited, had an all metal construction, and cost $600? My guess is that everyone would be falling all over it. The mere fact that it is a budget lens lends itself to scrutiny.

How many people shoot landscapes at f/8-f/11 in good light, but wouldn't really consider using the kit lenses - just because it is a kit lens...?

c[_]
I used to shoot landscapes with my kit lens at f/8ish with great results. It's really a great lens if you take the time to learn how to use it. I don't use it normally because I upgraded to the 16-45, but I still use the kit for IR.
04-10-2010, 10:10 AM   #49
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Yes, it's soft at 1.4 but really handy in low light street shots and over f2, it is just excellent. This one was shot today using FA1.4 @f2

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04-10-2010, 12:24 PM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by switters Quote
Rondex,

Where are you seeing the DA 40 for less than $370 US? The cheapest I can from a reputable seller is $430.

I just found a 43/1.9 I can borrow for the weekend and I'm going to try it out again. I see that they're selling for about $550 in the marketplace, so it's not an insurmountable difference from $430 for the DA 40 that I was prepared to spend.
B and H has it for 340. The problem with a lot of US retailers is that you have to add the item to your cart in order to see the real price. Doesn't mean you have to buy it, but I think there is some sort of minimum advertised price that they can't show below, but once you add it to your cart they can.
04-10-2010, 03:04 PM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by switters Quote
I've been using the FA 50/1.4 for the past 2-3 months. I'm rather underwhelmed. I don't think there's anything wrong with my copy, it just lacks something.

I've just returned to Pentax after an absence from photography in general. A few years ago I had a K10D with FA43 and FA77, so that's what I'm comparing the 50/1.4 against. Which probably isn't fair.

This time around funds are much tighter. I don't think I can afford the FA43, which would be my first choice. Maybe I should try the DA40? How does that lens compare to the FA50?

I know there are other good manual 50s, but I want the AF.
I do not buy the argument only to shoot fast lens wide open as at F1.4, its DoF is razer thin.
My F50mmF1.7 is the same as FA50mm and at F.2 or F2.8, its sharpness is undisputed. Both of the 50mm are great lense and it reaches 95% of the sharpness by F.4


04-10-2010, 04:49 PM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by danielchtong Quote
I do not buy the argument only to shoot fast lens wide open as at F1.4, its DoF is razer thin.
My F50mmF1.7 is the same as FA50mm and at F.2 or F2.8, its sharpness is undisputed. Both of the 50mm are great lense and it reaches 95% of the sharpness by F.4


Agreed. Sub f/1.8 is soft for almost every lens. That's part of its aesthetic appeal. Shallow DOF and soft.

The greatest misnomer in photography is the use of "fast" when referring to a large aperture.

If you buy a 50 1.4 for sharp 1.4 photos, you've made a mistake. Maybe a stopped down Leica 0.95 will get you there...
04-10-2010, 05:03 PM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
Well, there aren't many lenses that are going to go toe to toe with the FA43 & 77 on an image by image basis. Sometimes yes, but not on the average. I think the same thing can be said of the FA 35 although it may fair better on the average.
I'd say that is true of AF lenses, with the FA35 is among that group. From the manual focus era, there are more worthy contenders, including the 50/1.4 or 1.7.

04-10-2010, 08:19 PM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by joele Quote
After borrowing Roentarre's Nocton 58 I will buy one of them too, but the FA50 still has its place for me and I won't sell it..
Why would you keep the FA50 next to a Nokton 58mm?
For the AF? I'm not questioning that it does make sense to keep both, just wondering what your reasons are.

QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
If you buy a 50 1.4 for sharp 1.4 photos, you've made a mistake.
It is a rare occasion but I'm disagreeing with you on this. There are 50/1.4 lenses which create shallow DOF but keep the area in focus contrasty. Zeiss and Sigma spring to mind. Also, the FA* 85/1.4 is an example of another "fast" (I agree, this is daft terminology) lens which is soft where it should be but remains sharp and contrasty in the in-focus area.

I don't think a lens should give you a forgiving, glamour, soft-filter effect automatically. I prefer to apply this in PP if I want to and rather have the "pop" of lenses which keep a subject sharp even when the DOF is razor thin.
04-10-2010, 09:04 PM   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Why would you keep the FA50 next to a Nokton 58mm?
For the AF? I'm not questioning that it does make sense to keep both, just wondering what your reasons are.


It is a rare occasion but I'm disagreeing with you on this. There are 50/1.4 lenses which create shallow DOF but keep the area in focus contrasty. Zeiss and Sigma spring to mind. Also, the FA* 85/1.4 is an example of another "fast" (I agree, this is daft terminology) lens which is soft where it should be but remains sharp and contrasty in the in-focus area.

I don't think a lens should give you a forgiving, glamour, soft-filter effect automatically. I prefer to apply this in PP if I want to and rather have the "pop" of lenses which keep a subject sharp even when the DOF is razor thin.
I can't tell how many times on DP Review or other forum some guy gets a "fast" 1.4 lens, goes to a nightclub for a shoot, the goes online and complains about his "fast" lens is soft.

I agree the "fast" 50's have excellent contrast in general, and near centre, yes, sharp, but of what? Tip of nose sharp, but ears fuzzy wuzzy?

Talking about the qualities of lens sharpness on shallow DOF without the context of subject matter is also somewhat daft. The added variable of subject and distance to only serves to emphasize that the shallow DOF creates, across, frame, much larger soft areas than, say, the DA 15/4.

I find the my FA 50/1.4 extremely sharp at 3.5 90% across the frame in portrait use, has excellent contrast, but yellows and browns need PP (too banana). The bokeh can be hit or miss. It's needs big light from somewhere, as lots of little fractals make it messy. Takes awesome big light sidelit and b+w photos.
04-10-2010, 09:21 PM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
Well, there aren't many lenses that are going to go toe to toe with the FA43 & 77 on an image by image basis. Sometimes yes, but not on the average. I think the same thing can be said of the FA 35 although it may fair better on the average.
I think this post sums up the whole thread. The FA 50/1.4 has about doubled in price from years ago, and OK, it's a bit expensive now. Yes, it has some weak spots. But look at the lenses people are suggesting as outperforming it - much newer designs, aiming at ultimate performance, with much higher price tags or not AF. Since the OP mentioned price, it should be a factor here.
04-12-2010, 01:06 AM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
I don't think a lens should give you a forgiving, glamour, soft-filter effect automatically. I prefer to apply this in PP if I want to and rather have the "pop" of lenses which keep a subject sharp even when the DOF is razor thin.
I agree that a portrait lens should be sharp enough in the centre (or close to the centre) to get the eyes tack sharp with little or no PP. However, I can't think of any lens that I have owned/tested that are not capable of doing this. The problem with lenses that are sharp from centre to corner, such as my DA 70, is that you lose the subtle 3D effect which I find difficult to create in PP.

Kind regards
.lars
04-12-2010, 09:51 AM   #58
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I'm surprised that no one's mentioned the front-focus problem with Pentax cameras (not the K-7) at large apertures under Tungsten light. IME this is the source of many complaints of soft FA 50's.

I have the FA 50 and FA 35 and they're close enough in rendering that I can't tell which took a particular photo. The focal lengths are radically different, normal vs portrait, so I don't see how one would be a substitute for the other.

If the lack of contrast at f1.4 is the issue, the DA*55 would seem to me to be the ideal solution.
04-12-2010, 10:59 AM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
I'm surprised that no one's mentioned the front-focus problem with Pentax cameras (not the K-7) at large apertures under Tungsten light. IME this is the source of many complaints of soft FA 50's.

I have the FA 50 and FA 35 and they're close enough in rendering that I can't tell which took a particular photo. The focal lengths are radically different, normal vs portrait, so I don't see how one would be a substitute for the other.

If the lack of contrast at f1.4 is the issue, the DA*55 would seem to me to be the ideal solution.

had you taken shot from minimum to maximum focus shots as comparison? as far as minimum focusing distance comparisons are concerned, the results don't seem to be far fetched from each other. center sharpness seems to be equal but corner or border sharpness would vary.

I did a comparison before, but not with the f1.4 but 1.7 against the FA35. they do look very close to each other except that the 1.7 seems slightly brighter at the same aperture openings.
04-12-2010, 04:09 PM   #60
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I'm surprised that you were underwhelmed by this lens as the copy I used was very sharp. Perhaps you could send it to pentax to see if something is out of alignment.
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