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10-10-2014, 07:39 AM   #1
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will the smc FA 50mm F1.4 work for a k-01

I'm on the fence about what new camera to purchase. I was looking at the K-3 or K-01. I'm more of a weekend warrior that hikes and photos of my family gatherings. I would also like to take video. I was wondering if the smc FA 50mm F1.4 will auto focus for a K-01. All my research says yes but I wanted to verify this.

Also if someone would like to talk me into a K-3 or K-01 let it rip! My old camera is a *ist back in 2004


10-10-2014, 07:50 AM   #2
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Hey, welcome! Yes. All K-mount lenses will fit on the K-01, as well as K-50 and K-3 and any other Pentax DSLR. There might be some limitations, for example a lens made before AF was invented, will not have AF (but will allow catch in focus). Anyway, FA lenses will work fully on modern DSLRs, just make sure the Aperture ring is set to A instead of a number. You need to push a little button on the aperture ring to put it in that setting. Btw, the K-3 and K-01 have the same K-mount standards, so if a lens works well on one, it should work just as well on the other. K-3 will have faster AF, though. This is only noticeable with lenses that have a high f-number, in low light situations, or with macro lenses (of course, when doing macro, you probably use manual focus anyway).
K-01 is very compact, and due to its boxy shape fits nicely into bags. Its especially great if you get it with the DA 40mm XS kit. Make sure you upgrade the firmware to the latest one when you get it, it improves overall speed and AF. Good luck
10-10-2014, 08:51 AM   #3
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K-01 or K30

I own the K-01 and for the money it is a great camera. The caveat is that it is not weather proof and I find that in comparison to my KX or K200, the sensor seems to get dirtier faster than the other two bodies. I have also found it difficult to use the camera in sunlit conditions, due to the glare on the LCD screen and this is using the camera for landscape photography. The K-01 is very difficult to use for any kind of action photography. So for what you are considering, I would favor the K30, unless money is tight.
10-10-2014, 09:55 AM   #4
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Get the K-01 and you will have no worries (other than rain). I have both cameras, and right now I am fighting the K-3 on two fronts. On one, relevant to you, I just find the audio recording capabilities inferior to the K-01, as I get distortion on heavy bass items, like marching bands that I don't get with my K-01.

I got the K-3 in January originally, and due to my favoring the K-01's video capabilities, promptly sold it (for the same price). I bought again due to the great deals, but the video is still feeling lacking. If you are looking at AF and weathersealing, then get the K-3, but if those are not a concern, I think the K-01 is best bang for the buck....

May I recommend another lens the FA 1.4 as well. I have that, as well as the F 1.7 and A 1.4. The FA is the softest wide open, and I need to put it to 2 to match the sharpness of the F at 1.7.

10-10-2014, 12:28 PM   #5
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Keep in mind that if you want a WR system, you need a WR camera as well as a WR lens. The FA 50mm is not WR. You can check which lenses are WR in the lens review database
10-28-2014, 10:09 AM - 1 Like   #6
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Yes it will work, one caveat though:

The first time I tried that combination I noticed that the auto focus was all over the place if I had the aperture set to f1.4. From f2.8 on it was fine, but wide open it just couldn't cope. Switched to manual and had no trouble getting it spot on thanks to that big LCD.

I mentioned this on another forum and it was suggested that the K-01's AF is designed for f2.8 or slower lenses. I don't find this a problem at all, in fact I love the way I can manually "walk" the focus point back and forth within a composition and see depth of field in action. However, if you're planning to shoot wide open and use AF you need to be aware of this.

I would also recommend a good copy of the Pentax-A 50mm f1.7, it's smaller, lighter, considered sharper at wider apertures and also cheaper. I have both, having bought the A lens first and then hung onto it as it completes my old P30 outfit. It's manual, but on this body that's no problem at all.

For the use you have planned I'd probably take my Pentax-A 28mm f2.8. It'll give roughly the same field of view as a 42mm lens on full frame, so it's a more flexible lens if you're packing light. Again, manual focus but if you shoot around f8 the lens pretty much becomes a panfocal, subjects over about 3m away will be in reasonable focus with the lens set to infinity.

One of those and an A50 together shouldn't cost anything like as much as an FA50/1.4.
11-01-2014, 12:05 AM   #7
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Every K mount works great, even the screw mounts, I use all of them with K01
11-01-2014, 04:34 AM   #8
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I've used a lot of SMC-M primes with it...
One word of advice: don't rely on focus peaking, since it has a very broad concept of "focus", and it's not precise enough when using a large aperture prime...
Best thing, although a little cumbersome, is to use 6x focus magnification by pressing the "ok" button (having the focus switch in the MF position of course, otherwise you'll end up choosing the focus point for AF, which you won't have).

11-01-2014, 05:31 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dangermouse Quote
The first time I tried that combination I noticed that the auto focus was all over the place if I had the aperture set to f1.4. From f2.8 on it was fine, but wide open it just couldn't cope.
IIRC, the AF module in the K-01 is f/2.8 (as are many CDAF AF modules) so autofocusing wide open isn't trustworthy.

But thin DoF focusing calls for manual focus anyway and with focus zoom I can be accurate enough.

The issue I always have with the K-01, especially using the FA50/1.4, is focusing in low light or on low-contrast subjects. SInce it uses contrast detect, if there isn't an apparent edge to calculate it won't focus at all. Sometimes even with a narrow aperture I have to focus on an edge somewhere else in the frame and recompose.

Don't interpret this as a fault or a complaint. I use the K-01 as much as the K-3. The sensor and image processor offer a special rendering that differs from the K-3.

Truth be told, if we're counting number of snaps, I use the Q7 more than everything else combined - but they're mostly documentary shots, not art.

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