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07-24-2007, 08:22 AM   #1
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all in f/1.4 form: 50mm-K/M vs. 50mm-A vs. 50mm-FA ???

Hello,

I want at least one super fast lens for very dim available light shooting. edit/supplement: one that I can use with the 1.7x AF TC to make a short telephoto AF if I need/want yet still retain a f/2.4 fast lens combo.

From my previous readings all around the 'net, I think I concluded that the 50mm-A lens gets the nod of the three for sharpness/quality. Would you concur?

I know from the photozone.de test the 50mm FA f/1.4 it really wants to be stopped down to f/2.8 before it shines, good @ f/2, only 'ok' @ f/1.4. (I know its plastic body isn't as desirable as the older metal either) Is the 'older' lens indeed sharper @ a wider aperture settings, objectively?

Thanx much for your comments and suggestions,
-steve


Last edited by m8o; 07-24-2007 at 08:44 AM.
07-24-2007, 09:27 AM   #2
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Hi Steve,

From my experience, and interestingly enough, I've found the FA 50mm F1.7 to be my sharpest 50mm lens (after the F2.8 macro, of course, but that's a given). Unless you really, really, really need the extra half-stop on your 50mm lens, I'd recommend the above FA. You won't regret having the autofocus, either

Since I own almost all bayonet 50mm's produced by Pentax, I'll also go ahead and list them in order of the image quality that they've been giving me (highly subjective, but I think most would agree):

-FA 50mm F2.8 Macro
-FA 50mm F1.7
-A 50mm F2.8 Macro
-M 50mm F4 Macro
-K 50mm F4 Macro
-A 50mm F1.2
-A 50mm F1.4
-FA 50mm F1.4
-A 50mm F1.7
-M 50mm F1.4
-M 50mm F1.7
-M 50mm F2
-A 50mm F2

(I don't have the K 50mm F1.2 or the K 50mm F1.4)

Oh, and one more thing- I wouldn't recommend using teleconverters with any standard (40 or 50mm) lens. Although there are a few exceptions (this one will blow you away: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/4269-my-sharpest-700mm-tele-shots.html), you'll see a significant drop in IQ if you snap on the F 1.7x converter and shoot wide-open.

Adam
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07-24-2007, 09:51 AM   #3
m8o
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Re: recommendation not using the 1.7x w/short focal length wide open...
Darn, I'm always getting my bubble burst! (need a "boo hoo" smiley here... ) ...now I'm quite sure I no longer need the 1.7X AF TC.... Well, maybe if I hold it long enough I'll get back the inflated price I felt I needed to pay in the interest of assuring that I have it in time for my trip...

That is an exceptional list for the archives of this board! ; and I'm glad I could do what I can to help you exercise your memory. Kidding aside, that's very impressive you remember the characteristics of all of them over the years. Much appreciated!
07-24-2007, 10:05 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by m8o Quote
Re: recommendation not using the 1.7x w/short focal length wide open...
Darn, I'm always getting my bubble burst! (need a "boo hoo" smiley here... ) ...now I'm quite sure I no longer need the 1.7X AF TC.... Well, maybe if I hold it long enough I'll get back the inflated price I felt I needed to pay in the interest of assuring that I have it in time for my trip...

That is an exceptional list for the archives of this board! ; and I'm glad I could do what I can to help you exercise your memory. Kidding aside, that's very impressive you remember the characteristics of all of them over the years. Much appreciated!
Get a 200mm f3.5 prime from vivitar or something. They are really good and are equivalent to 300mm on dslr. It might be more than enough tele depending on your needs.

07-24-2007, 10:22 AM   #5
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Mo:

I was just about to do a post concerning the FA50mm 1.4 vs the FA50mm 1.7... There is a used FA50mm 1.7 available locally and I wasn't sure if I should 'scoop' it up or get a new FA50mm 1.4... I just purchased a used A50mm 1.7 and have been very impressed with it, but know that there will be situations when AF will be necessary - for instance I attended a Harry Potter event the other evening and brought my camera with the A50 1.7 and was frustrated because of the need to focus (and I'm not that fast yet...) - lost many good opportunities!

So you've helped me make up my mind, anyone else have any input?

Thanks

Mike
07-24-2007, 10:46 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by m8o Quote
That is an exceptional list for the archives of this board! ; and I'm glad I could do what I can to help you exercise your memory. Kidding aside, that's very impressive you remember the characteristics of all of them over the years. Much appreciated!
Glad I could help

QuoteOriginally posted by schmikey Quote
Mo:

I was just about to do a post concerning the FA50mm 1.4 vs the FA50mm 1.7... There is a used FA50mm 1.7 available locally and I wasn't sure if I should 'scoop' it up or get a new FA50mm 1.4... I just purchased a used A50mm 1.7 and have been very impressed with it, but know that there will be situations when AF will be necessary - for instance I attended a Harry Potter event the other evening and brought my camera with the A50 1.7 and was frustrated because of the need to focus (and I'm not that fast yet...) - lost many good opportunities!

So you've helped me make up my mind, anyone else have any input?

Thanks

Mike
I hope you'll be able to find a clean copy of the FA 50mm- they're becoming more and more expensive online, but if you can find a local offer for under $200, you'd still be stealing a bargain!

Adam
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07-24-2007, 11:00 AM   #7
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Mo/Adam, off-topic I know... but regarding that thread above and a recent 'Birding' thread you pointed me to ... would you be willing to share your Workflow and typical (if there is such a thing) RAW -> JPEG software conversion settings?
07-24-2007, 08:24 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by FotoPete Quote
Get a 200mm f3.5 prime from vivitar or something. They are really good and are equivalent to 300mm on dslr. It might be more than enough tele depending on your needs.
Sorry I missed this reply.

I actually have the long end covered now. I decided I needed to focus on the trip to Africa; I went for a new (w/4yr warranty) Sigma 300 f/2.8 and both 1.x and 2x TC for just a few hundred more then the FA* 80-200 f/2.8 would have cost me... I have a 28-75mm f/2.8 too now.

I was just hoping to have something that could be a) really -real- fast when I need it for low light, and could still be a bit longer then my 28-75 yet still faster with a TC (1.7x with the f/1.2 or f/1.4). But Adam set me straight on doing that anyway as I won't get the sharpness I expect...

So I have up to 75mm covered, then jump to 300mm. It'll have to do. (oh, duh, I almost forgot, I'm winning a bid on a 'slow' tamron zoom up to 300mm that I really don't actually want/need anymore now that I jumped on the Sigma, so I will actually have the mid tele covered... just a lot slower.) I may still buy the FA* 80-200 f/2.8 in a few months to have... maybe a DA*.

hope all that wasn't too confusing...if also a bit OT.

07-26-2007, 08:11 PM   #9
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Wow a Sig 300/2.8! good stuff. Hope you'll get some nice shots on your trip!
07-26-2007, 08:59 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by FotoPete Quote
Wow a Sig 300/2.8! good stuff. Hope you'll get some nice shots on your trip!
Thanx. Looking forward to the trip more now... Here's my 1st day btw.
07-29-2007, 10:42 AM   #11
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Thanks for your list!

Is there any practical difference between the 50/1.7 'F' and 'FA'? Other than the colors of the barrels they seem identical.

And other than sharpness, what about unmeasurable qualities such as bokeh?

TIA!/Scottax1
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