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02-01-2013, 08:25 PM   #1
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40mm or the F50mm 2.8 macro

Hi all,

Someone has shown interest in my 40mm XS and has offered me a direct swap for his F50mm 2.8. As I have never owned a macro, I like the idea of having a dedicated macro lens (they say its sharp although I am not sure how sharp it is compared to the 40mm as it is also sharp wide open albeit the long minimum distance). What I am worried about is the long focus throw and CDAF.

For those who have a macro lens (and a K-01), what are your experiences with K-01 and a Macro lens. I mainly shoot portraits and sometimes backup photog for events i.e. weddings so am wondering if the lens (macro) could serve me double: as a fast portrait lens shooting the beauties and the little details.

The 40mm is good and fast but the reputation of the 50mm is preceding it. Should I pass the chance of owning a rare lens?

Thanks.

Alvin

02-01-2013, 10:00 PM   #2
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If it's in good shape the 50mm macro is worth roughly twice as much as the 40mm XS, so you can always resell it and buy another 40mm.

The 40mm XS probably has slightly better bokeh due to its extra aperture blade (9 vs. 8) but it won't be a big difference. I used to have a D FA 50mm macro and it worked quite well as a short portrait/macro lens. It was definitely sharper than my 40mm XS wide open.

I don't know how well the long focus throw CDAF will work on your K-01 as I haven't tried a macro lens on mine yet, but on the plus side you always have manual focus with peaking and magnification as a backup. An advantage the D-FA macro had even on my K10d was the ability to pre-focus to infinity when working at portrait distances so the lens wouldn't hunt through the whole range. One trick with screw drive lenses without quick shift is to press the lens release button, which retracts the screwdrive and allows you to turn the focus ring freely.
02-01-2013, 10:04 PM   #3
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Tough call, they are very different lenses. From a collecting standpoint, I would jump on it. The 40mm is in production and easily available. The F 50mm f/2.8 is seen very rarely, I think I have seen maybe 2 on ebay in three years. But from a useability viewpoint, I'm not so sure. Especially on the k-01 that is going to feel like a much bigger lens than the 40mm.

Personally I would take the swap and then look for another 40mm but only you can know what you need. No question the 50mm is a sharp lens but I'm not sure it is what I would want to use at events. I don't have the F 50mm f/2.8 but I do have the F 50mm f/1.7, which I have used on the k-01 and it works just fine. But I would be nervous about the long return to focus if it misses.
02-01-2013, 10:59 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steinback Quote
One trick with screw drive lenses without quick shift is to press the lens release button, which retracts the screwdrive and allows you to turn the focus ring freely.
This is a very helpful trick.

Thank you Steinback, jatrax, I would proceed setting up a meet up for lens inspection.

02-01-2013, 11:09 PM   #5
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The K-01 works brilliantly for macros. The focus peaking is great for critical manual focussing, and the lack of mirror slap is built in.
The long throw AF of my DFA100WR is much less of an issue with the new firmware.
Get the macro!
02-01-2013, 11:26 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
The K-01 works brilliantly for macros. The focus peaking is great for critical manual focussing, and the lack of mirror slap is built in.
The long throw AF of my DFA100WR is much less of an issue with the new firmware.
Get the macro!
Thank for the reassurance.

I'll just tell my friends that I am prepping for Pentax-Ricoh's dollar-coin-thin lens. (hole)
02-02-2013, 05:49 AM   #7
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The Pentax DFA 50mm f2.8 macro is optically one of the best lens that Pentax makes at this time, but... I use is regularly on a variety of Pentax cameras including the Pentax K-01.

While the optics are nothing short of great; it's best only to use the 50macro if you have a bit of time on your hands. As far as focusing it is the slowest focusing lens in my entire arsenal - and occassionally it does search to find it's target - even in very good lighting, even if the subject has extraordinary contrast in the middle of the entire viewfinder using spot focus. Also noting; due to the long throw of the macro focusing device - it could n fact tae close to five second to find focus - ouch.

Other good features of the 50macro... The usual 49mm front filter, it has a type of focus lock mechanism, the lowest end aperature of f32 is a plus. And outdoors one can lock in the focus and also use the aperature scale to get quite the range of focus - such as by example only - using f22 or f32 and then having everything from five feet on in focus.

And even with all of the plusses and minuses - I'd still chose this Pentax 50 selection over any of the other Pentax variations. By the way did I also mention it's a fullframe lens??
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