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02-10-2009, 11:19 PM   #16
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The lens that the DA* 55mm f/1.4 should be compared to should be the AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G. It's pretty similar specification and price wise (eg. SDM vs SWM, rounder aperture blades). To compare it with the older FA 50mm f/1.4 is not comparing like with like.

02-10-2009, 11:28 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
I'm going to be ordering the Nikon DX 35 1.8 for my D80 as soon as it's available in mid-March - MSRP is supposed to be $200, and it's optically supposed to be superior to the existing Nikkor 35 f/2. I bought the D80 for low-light indoor fast AF, and this lens will be a perfect compliment to the 50 1.8.

If it's 80% as sharp as the Pentax FA 35 f/2, I'll be happy

I really, really hope that DA* 55 gets down into reasonable territory soon and doesn't hang up around $6-700 like the 16-50 & 50-135, 77ltd, etc.


.
those da* were at 1000$ when they came out.
02-11-2009, 01:08 AM   #18
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The DA*55/1.4 is no upgrade for the FA50/1.4, that's for sure. You should really see it as a APS-C equivalent for the FA*85/1.4.

It is a completely different beast than the FA50/1.4. Not just the weather sealing, but the overall feel is quite different. Build wise and size wise, but also a great dedicated hood (which the FA50/1.4 lacked). Not sure, but it looks different opticaly as well. The poster describing a bokeh centered design sounds about right. Of course the price says it all as well. More than twice what the FA50/1.4 cost.

But in terms of focal length it's closest to the FA50/1.4. Since moving to digital my FA50/1.4 gets used much less, whereas it used to be my most used lens on film. I do still occasionally use it in studio situations, but I suspect the DA*55/1.4 will be better suited for that. Because of the optical design (from the little I have seen from it playing with a copy myself) and because of the hood design which is better in the complex lighting situation multiple lights can cause.

In spite of the weather sealed design I wouldn't take this lens out on a walk. Challenging weather situations that require sealing mean I cannot change lenses as I please, and as such a zoom lens is preferred generally. When weather permits lens changes, I'll always opt for the compact kit that is composed of my various limited lenses.

Conclusion: the DA*55/1.4 looks like the ideal studio lens to me.

Wim

PS: one thing I forgot to check when I played with the DA*55 copy I got my hands on... minimum focus distance. For flexible use in studio it should be rather short I think...
02-11-2009, 04:51 AM   #19
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Why is it that almost everyone on this site owns a $900 CDN FA31 ltd, but complains about the price of the new DA*55? I don't get it.

FA31 (900) FA35 (300)
DA55 (800) FA50 (200)
- the price differences between these lenses are exactly the same for these two sets of lenses that are very close in nature.

As for whining about it's FL...please understand that not everyone in the world wants to shoot <24mm. In fact, there are plenty of us who never shoot outside the range of 35-75mm (me included).

DA*55 does not replace your FA50 - it's a specialty lens just like the fisheye and long primes.

Sorry for the rant, but I'm tired of reading people's complaints about this lens WHEN IT ISN'T EVEN AVAILABLE TO MOST OF US YET. There are plenty of us on this site that are really looking forward to it's release and see it's price as good value - rather than an overpriced toy.

/rant

c[_]

02-11-2009, 05:06 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by ll_coffee_lP Quote
Why is it that almost everyone on this site owns a $900 CDN FA31 ltd, but complains about the price of the new DA*55? I don't get it.

FA31 (900) FA35 (300)
DA55 (800) FA50 (200)
[_]
Foremost you have to realize that the FA31's 900$ in the street price, whereas the DA55's 800$ is not. Just to give an example: In Germany you can get the FA for about 840 (link) and you can order the DA*55 for about 440 (link). Now consider that the introduction price is usually higher than the final price some months after introduction. And remember that Sigma has just release their EX50/1.4 for K-mount at about 380, with HSM and the best wide-open performance on the market.

You won't see Pentax asking 800$ for the DA*55, so calm down.
P
02-11-2009, 05:35 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by pareto Quote
Foremost you have to realize that the FA31's 900$ in the street price, whereas the DA55's 800$ is not. Just to give an example: In Germany you can get the FA for about 840 (link) and you can order the DA*55 for about 440 (link). Now consider that the introduction price is usually higher than the final price some months after introduction. And remember that Sigma has just release their EX50/1.4 for K-mount at about 380, with HSM and the best wide-open performance on the market.

You won't see Pentax asking 800$ for the DA*55, so calm down.
P
Yet the signa seems soft as hell outside center and signa is neither sealed nor does sigma pays any licence. What will interesting will be at speed: sigma true hsm against pentax micromotor.
02-11-2009, 06:18 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by pareto Quote
You won't see Pentax asking 800$ for the DA*55, so calm down.P
pareto, I'm EU as well
But no, this is strange!
Assuming Imaging One in Germany charges list price as they usually do (EUR 549.- incl. VAT), it translates to almost exactly 599.- USD (excl. VAT) list price in Germany.
600$ in Europe vs. 800$ in US.
And Pentax US does charge it, it is their shop price!

BTW, street price in Germany is down to USD 475-. For USD 542.- it seems to ship next week here.

BTW, not a first timer. The same happened with tha DA35 Ltd. and the K-m. Best sellers in Europe and never really affordable in the US (K-m body price already approaching $299,- here (kit price $325,- in one retail chain)).


UPDATE.
I just found the list price document (with the price increase in Feb 2009). According to this document, the DA*55 list price in Germany is 629.- EUR, or 687.- USD w/o VAT.

Last edited by falconeye; 02-11-2009 at 06:53 AM. Reason: found the official list price
02-11-2009, 06:35 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by thibs Quote
Yet the signa seems soft as hell outside center and signa is neither sealed nor does sigma pays any licence. What will interesting will be at speed: sigma true hsm against pentax micromotor.
Are you sure? Consensus seems to be that Sigma's 30/1.4 is, as you say, "soft as hell outside center" when shooting wide open. The new Sigma 50/1.4 I'm talking about here is considered to have the best edge to edge performance at 1.4 across all brands. Just take a look at dpreviews test where you can compare it directly to the 50s from Pentax, Sony, Canon and Nikon. At 1.4 Sigma has by far the best contrast and has the highest resolution across the frame. Photozone's test confirms the excellence of Sigma's 50. Don't get me wrong, I hope Pentax' DA*55 will be as good or even better. My whole point was that it won't cost 800$ given the first street prices in Germany and given the tough market.

Pareto.

02-11-2009, 07:32 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by pareto Quote
Are you sure? Consensus seems to be that Sigma's 30/1.4 is, as you say, "soft as hell outside center" when shooting wide open. The new Sigma 50/1.4 I'm talking about here is considered to have the best edge to edge performance at 1.4 across all brands. Just take a look at dpreviews test where you can compare it directly to the 50s from Pentax, Sony, Canon and Nikon. At 1.4 Sigma has by far the best contrast and has the highest resolution across the frame. Photozone's test confirms the excellence of Sigma's 50. Don't get me wrong, I hope Pentax' DA*55 will be as good or even better. My whole point was that it won't cost 800$ given the first street prices in Germany and given the tough market.

Pareto.
This is what I read. Very sharp in the center but soft to very soft on the outside. However I havo no way to check that, sure I'd like to be able to.
02-11-2009, 07:49 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by cousinsane Quote
The $800 is just MSRP. Actual street price will be a lot lower.

For reference, the lens goes for around 3900 Chinese yuan in China, which equals $571 American dollars.
$763.49US at Amazon

Amazon.com: Pentax SMC DA* 55mm f/1.4 SDM Prime Standard Lens w/ Case for Pentax Digital SLR Cameras: Camera & Photo
02-11-2009, 10:27 AM   #26
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Early adopter's price. I'm sure it will drop at least $200 within a few months. Of course, that's based on the current yen-to-dollar valuation - all bets are off in regards to the US dollar's future value.
02-11-2009, 11:18 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by thibs Quote
This is what I read. Very sharp in the center but soft to very soft on the outside. However I havo no way to check that, sure I'd like to be able to.
I think you're talking about the sigma 30mm f1.4. The new sigma is supposed to be performing much better on the edges. However, the lens looks huge for a 50mm lens.
02-11-2009, 12:26 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by MidwestMax Quote
Well put. The $800 price tag is way too steep for a standard prime. Aside from the weather seals, etc., we'll see how much of an upgrade the DA* 55 actually is from the FA 50.
Sheesh; $800? How can they justify asking that? What exactly is the difference in this lens and the Nikon 50mm 1.4 AFS that sells for under 500? Both are weather sealed, both have ultrasonic motors, both are "pro-grade".
02-11-2009, 12:55 PM   #29
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I have been looking at this new Pentax 55MM lens, but also waiting for the Sigma 50MM F1.4 EX DG HSM to ship in a Pentax mount, which according to one of the places I buy lenses from, just became available yesterday at a reasonable price. I have yet to buy a non-Pentax branded lens, but am tempted.
02-11-2009, 12:56 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Buddha Jones Quote
And how do you do that, make the same lens, with the same optical formula, lose the metal casing in lieu of plastic, drop some of the extra coatings, drop the HSM and the weather seals and whalla, a ~$300 versio of this lens is made.
I'm asking because I don't know, but are they discontinuing the $200 FA 50mm?

Also, I think you meant to say "voila."
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