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View Poll Results: Which lens should be the winner of this match?
FA 43mm F1.9 Limited 7853.42%
A 50mm F1.2 6846.58%
Voters: 146. You may not vote on this poll

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10-21-2014, 09:31 PM   #1
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Lens Tournament: FA 43mm F1.9 Limited vs A 50mm F1.2

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the knockout round of the Greatest Pentax Lens Tournament! The rules are simple: Two lenses enter. You must choose one. The winner moves to Knockout Round Two. The loser is gone. Check out the bracket here, which is based on the user nomination results.

In this normal knockout match, the SMC Pentax-FA 43mm F1.9 Limited faces the ultra-fast SMC Pentax-A 50mm F1.2.

Make your choice by voting in the poll above. You will need to log in or register if you don't yet have a forum account.
Feel free to argue, persuade, and generally carry on after that. Voting will be open for exactly 24 hours.

Lens Info:


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10-21-2014, 09:55 PM   #2
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OK, this is perhaps the toughest call yet. They're about equal, and they're both fantastic. But having owned both the FA43 and the "optically identical" K50/1.2, I have to give the nod to the A50/1.2.

While the FA43 may yield colors unmatched by any other lens, the 50/1.2s produce beautiful images with outstanding, smooth backgrounds.
10-21-2014, 10:06 PM   #3
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I used to own the FA43, and now own the A50/1.2. I'd say the A50 takes the cake, especially shot at ~f/1.9. At f/2 and higher, the iris is a convex hull, and the spherical aberrations (circle highlights) disappear from the bokeh balls, leaving a buttery bokeh behind with excellent in-focus sharpness. The FA43 can produce stunning images, but I wasn't a fan of the focus ring, nor the finicky white balance and exposure (though maybe I just needed to hug it more first).
10-21-2014, 10:39 PM   #4
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That silver A50/1.2 is just gorgeous!
I don't have either of these, it's interesting to see what others are talking about them.

10-22-2014, 12:02 AM   #5
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Having owned both of these lenses I only have one of them now and that's the A50 1:2. The bokeh, sharpness and handling on the A is outstanding. Having compared the clarity of shots from both lenses over the past hour, the A 50 is the winner hands down. As Jeff stated, I also wasn't a fan of the focus ring on the FA43.
10-22-2014, 01:18 AM   #6
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They are both great lenses. The 50 f1.2 has a far better bokeh but if you pixelpeep or crop as I do, you find that at it misses sharpness and contrast below f2.8 apertures. FA 43 is sharper in the center and has nicer colors. And, it has AF.

Sharpness + colors + AF (43) vs bokeh (50). I vote FA 43.
10-22-2014, 01:34 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Naruto Quote
They are both great lenses. The 50 f1.2 has a far better bokeh but if you pixelpeep or crop as I do, you find that at it misses sharpness and contrast below f2.8 apertures. FA 43 is sharper in the center and has nicer colors. And, it has AF.

Sharpness + colors + AF (43) vs bokeh (50). I vote FA 43.
Agree with all Naruto.

David
10-22-2014, 01:34 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Naruto Quote
They are both great lenses. The 50 f1.2 has a far better bokeh but if you pixelpeep or crop as I do, you find that at it misses sharpness and contrast below f2.8 apertures.
The AF 50s are this way, but I never thought the 50/1.2s were. Perhaps I should look more closely, but I never felt the need to since the photos come out so nice looking.

Besides, unlike its FA Ltd peers, the FA43 is a classic example of a lens that under-performs at apertures wider than f/2.8. So it hardly seems fair to knock the A50/1.2 for performance problems in this range while ignoring the FA43's weakness at these very same apertures! Furthermore, since the FA43 lacks the nice backgrounds of the 50/1.2s, it almost begs for more sharpness in this aperture range, yet it can't quite deliver.


Last edited by DSims; 10-22-2014 at 01:53 AM.
10-22-2014, 01:41 AM   #9
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Nominate the FA 43. To be honest, I love the 43 but have never used that 50.
10-22-2014, 02:30 AM   #10
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I have them both. Tough call.

A50/1.2


She'll be apples.


Tending the line.


Scratching pole 2


A50/1.2 Brenizer


Water lights 2


Root


Cat


Not there, Sammy!


....and then you go too far....

FA43


Shady shroom


Noisy Miner


A nice place to bee


Welcome rain


New toy!


K_3S0172


Ian Ball ISO 640


21st

---------- Post added 22-10-14 at 08:07 PM ----------

Still a tough call. Reviewing my own shots, I reckon the FA43 has the edge for Pixie Dust. But they are both keepers.
10-22-2014, 02:37 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
Besides, unlike its FA Ltd peers, the FA43 is a classic example of a lens that under-performs at apertures wider than f/2.8. So it hardly seems fair to knock the A50/1.2 for performance problems in this range while ignoring the FA43's weakness at these very same apertures! Furthermore, since the FA43 lacks the nice backgrounds of the 50/1.2s, it almost begs for more sharpness in this aperture range, yet it can't quite deliver.
I was talking about the center of the frame. The FA 43 does not underperform. It is very sharp at f1.9. It is crazy sharp between f2.8 and f5.6. At full aperture, it is the corners that are soft if you look at 100%, therefore the critics in some reviews. It is not the best lens for landscape but, even there, some people get astonishing pics (just look at the FA Ltd lens forum).

I love both lenses, they are wonderful. But I have to vote and it is just a game
Cheers!
10-22-2014, 04:30 AM - 3 Likes   #12
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There are many 50/1.2's that perform pretty close to eachother but there are no other 43/1.9 that creates that unique look.
10-22-2014, 10:05 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Naruto Quote
I was talking about the center of the frame. The FA 43 does not underperform. It is very sharp at f1.9.
The FA43 is never, ever "very sharp" at f/1.9. Not in my own copy or photos I've seen online, including test photos.

The FA43 is a fantastic lens, but let's not become blinded to its true character or attributes!


It begs to be stopped down to at least f/2.2, and is much happier at f/2.8. Even the photozone tests back this up - in fact, according to their measurements, at f/1.9 the center performance is barely above "fair," and the border performance is atrociously "poor!"

Last edited by DSims; 10-22-2014 at 10:18 AM.
10-22-2014, 11:16 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
... a lens that under-performs at apertures wider than f/2.8...
"Under-performs", that is an interesting word.

A lot depends on perspective.

One can base one's judgement on technical measurements, and to be sure, these have their usefulness.

But again, I have numerous photos taken on the FA43, at wider than f2.8 and indeed even wide open at f1.9 - photos of astounding beauty.

Perspective is crucial.

"Under-performs"? I hardly think so. Unforgettable pictures? Yes, indeed.
10-22-2014, 11:38 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
The FA43 is never, ever "very sharp" at f/1.9. Not in my own copy or photos I've seen online, including test photos.

The FA43 is a fantastic lens, but let's not become blinded to its true character or attributes!


It begs to be stopped down to at least f/2.2, and is much happier at f/2.8. Even the photozone tests back this up - in fact, according to their measurements, at f/1.9 the center performance is barely above "fair," and the border performance is atrociously "poor!"
I quote photozone "Anyway, the center performance of the tested sample was very good at f/1.9." I do not think that "very good" and "fair" mean the same. Also the graphics does not look like "fair" or "above fair".
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