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02-18-2012, 12:38 PM   #1
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Pentax k-r and pentax smcp-fa 50mm f/1.4 lens

Hi all

I know there's a lens section but I get easily confused (am very new to all this) and so wanted to ask the question here, where it might have more relevance:

I'm looking to get a fixed lens for low-light portrait photography without flash (already have the lens it came with, 18-55 zoom and got a Pentax 55-300 zoom as well for landscape and wildlife) for the k-r, and found this...

pentax smcp-fa 50mm f/1.4 lens
Pentax SMC 50mm f1.4 FA Lens: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics

My (perhaps simple) questions are:
A) is it compatible with the k-r?
B) if so, does anyone have experience of using it for what I'm describing?
C) if compatible, what functions are disabled/different when using the camera compared to the lenses I already use (other than zoom obv!)?

Many thanks for any light people can shed on the matter (pun not intended!)

02-18-2012, 02:15 PM   #2
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a. yes
b. it's a great lens, see the reviews (all 104 of them ): SMC Pentax-FA 50mm F1.4 Reviews - FA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
Personally I'd say it's a little short for portrait work, but it will definitely get the job done. I think this is more of a matter of taste/style.
c. it works just like DA L lenses, except it has an aperture ring, which you should leave in the "A" position

Here is our in-depth review of the lens: Pentax-FA 50mm F1.4 - Review - PentaxForums.com

Adam
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02-18-2012, 02:45 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dr Meerkat Quote
A) is it compatible with the k-r?
B) if so, does anyone have experience of using it for what I'm describing?
C) if compatible, what functions are disabled/different when using the camera compared to the lenses I already use (other than zoom obv!)?
Totally compatible.
It's a great lens, very popular and sharp.
Nothing is disabled, it works up to its original spec.
02-18-2012, 02:55 PM   #4
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Adam nailed it. The FA50/1.4 was in my first dSLR kit and it's still my gotta-get-the-shot lens. As for portraits... my constant question is, what is meant by 'portrait'? 50mm is a little short for close headshots. It's excellent for half-body and torso shots. For full-body shots, use your DA18-55 at around 30mm. For tight headshots, use your DA55-300 at around 80-100mm, maybe up to 135mm for a little more distance.

After (or before!) you get a FA50/1.4, I'd suggest looking for a used F35-70/3.5-4.5, which often goes for under US$50. This smallest zoom Pentax ever made is agile and sharp and nicely fills-in between your 18-55 and 55-300. I recommend this because I (and many others) shoot a lot in its range, and swapping the 18-55 and 55-300 is a real pain and can mean missing shots. Like the FA50/1.4, its aperture ring should be left at A.

Good luck!


Last edited by RioRico; 02-22-2012 at 06:00 PM.
02-20-2012, 02:20 AM   #5
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Many thanks for the info, links and advice guys, have ordered it so may well be back with more questions once it arrives! ;-)
02-22-2012, 11:52 AM   #6
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Well the lens arrived and have great fun with it a jazz session in a candle-lit crypt. A quick (and no doubt dumb/newbie) question though as promised...

So I smugly take it out knowing there won't be a flash to ruin the atmosphere and...

...a hulking bright green light comes on instead when taking photos of people close to me!? Could someone with more nuance than me perhaps kindly explain or link to what this green light is called/for, and under what settings i can expect it to come on/how I can turn it off, as it can rather destroy the romantic mood if not expected!

Many thanks for your continued support, once I get brave enough (and worked out how) i might even link to a photo or two!
02-22-2012, 02:16 PM   #7
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That would be the AF assist lamp, and it can be disabled in the menu. I don't have my camera in front of me, but you should be able to find it knowing what it's called.

Predictably enough from the name, its purpose is to help you get an AF lock in low light.
02-26-2012, 07:07 AM   #8
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Switch the camera to Manual Focus.....the MF/AF switch on the left side. The light won't come on, but you'll still get focus confirmation in the viewfinder and catch-in-focus shutter release still functions.

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