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01-16-2022, 07:28 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by vector Quote
Everyone is going to have different opinions here but you don't need wide angle for landscapes. My DFA*50 is my favourite lens and if I had to go down to only 1 this would be it (#2 would be the DA*300)


DFA*50 on K1

Absolutely. Today I did my daily walk with K-1 and M1.7/50. Landscapes, nature and if it‘d be important to get wide angle shots of landscape or architecture with this lens then a tripod and pano stitching would give outstanding results, I guess. I once tried the DFA*1.4/50 with the KP when it was availlable. A wonderful lens, built and image quality, and although around 1kg I didn‘t realise any handling problems with it.


Last edited by acoufap; 01-16-2022 at 07:43 AM.
01-17-2022, 01:44 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by quillasophink Quote
Thanks everyone. Sorting replacement/return now.
Thatís such a disappointment! I hope a replacement is forthcoming, because the D FA*50 is everything people here have said it is. I often just take mine on a walk and shoot a panned series for later stitching if I want anything wider.
01-18-2022, 08:30 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by garywakeling Quote
I have both and while the 24-70 is useful and takes good quality photos, from the first photo I took with the 50mm I was just wow, it is an amazing lens, take 3 steps back to go wide or 2 steps forward for slight telephoto so you don't even miss the zoom
some examples here
Single in Jan 2020 DFA*50mm 1.4 | Flickr
Single in March 2020 DFA HD 24-70mm | Flickr
TLDR: The DFA* lens is superior in image output and it overcomes all other factors in light of this (pun intended).

Replacement DFA* has arrived and I’ve had more gos at it. It’s a stickler to the body almost every time.

Thanks Gary - I think your reply summed everything I wanted to say having spent some time with both lenses in much less words and more pictures. I’ll summarise my learnings:

A. General Handling

Both the DFA* 50 f1.4 and DFA 24-70 f2.8 are hefty. They are frankly comparatively a PITA to lug around as someone who is used to the compactness of the APS-C/Limited and older 49mm-ish filter sized film era systems. The 200g ish difference between the two of them is bothersome to me and the slightly larger 24-70 (therefore less dense) package is perceivably more balanced when mounted to the K1ii body.

Subjectively, my impression does put the tactile/handling/physical build feel of the DFA* above a notch with comparative top of the line Zeiss Planar T* 50 f1.4 and G Master 50 f1.2, both from Sony.

B. General Image Ouput

The DFA* 50 f1.4 definitely feels like the more ‘reliable’ workhorse here in terms of putting out images that I prefer/like more. The DFA 24-70 f2.8 leaves me always wanting that ‘it could have been better’ - could I have held the shot with less shake? Shall I bump the ISO a bit higher for the next shot? As such, the 24-70 IMHO does not deserve the * suffix/status

Being able to obtain less noisy and sharper outputs wide open is a deal breaking factor for me over versatility of the lens. Am of the school of thought that if you’re in a favourable setting you’re to take the shot - the hardware should not let you down. That was the premise for the move to the FF system from APS-C.

As wadge22 has succinctly coined, “The excellent prime will mean every shot you take can be superb, but you can't necessarily take every shot.“ I am leaning to superb shots here and the 24-70 has become moot.

Again subjectively - I would rank the DFA* on par if not better than Sony’s Planar T* 50 f1.4 and G Master 50 f1.2. The fact that the current line of FF alpha bodies are just *&^% to hold onto/handling ergonomics vs the K1/K1ii makes this an academic point. I do actively suggest to others to consider modular video/cine cam systems and skip the FF alpha bodies if that is the prevalent task.

C. Pricing

I know that many have commented that the 650USD price of ownership for both is extremely tempting but the dry cabinet mop-up crew side of me tells me to stay the course above and not accumulate anymore ‘jack of all trades and master of none’ glass like the 24-70 despite its ‘pro zoom’ reckoning by others.

D. Other Speculations/Observations

These do come into play in terms of dictating the route map/system of modern lens I’ll adopt moving forward with the DFA* 50 f1.4 as the first in line.

Lenses designed for video capture - having some experience with the top end of the Sony alpha side of things, are the newer larger FA lenses from Pentax a hint at professional video capture as things to come? They have done quite well for themselves from an optical engineering to commercialisation point of view by re-hashing more traditional formulas into the Limited range (but the recent DFA*21mm Ltd has bucked this trend).

On that segway - considering a wide-normal-tele-ish set-up - having the DFA* 21 and DFA* 85 fill in before and after is what I am leaning towards as end of line for me for the K1-based system.

This ends my closing remarks for this post/topic but I’ll leave a curveball right here - what of other 50s outside of this question?

I’ll end it off by saying that if manual focus (no cats or running kids) is acceptable and weather sealing ain’t dealbreaking - the SMC M 50 f2 gives you almost equivalent image output…you have to ask yourself for about 600USD more, is SDM AF and AW worth the premium of 600USD? Could you just hoard, stash and thrash a lot of 6 pieces of these real nifty fifties…

My finance director will probably strong arm me towards the above and take the 24-70

Last edited by quillasophink; 01-18-2022 at 10:04 PM.
01-19-2022, 12:56 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by quillasophink Quote
TLDR: The DFA* lens is superior in image output and it overcomes all other factors in light of this (pun intended).

Replacement DFA* has arrived and Iíve had more gos at it. Itís a stickler to the body almost every time.

Thanks Gary - I think your reply summed everything I wanted to say having spent some time with both lenses in much less words and more pictures. Iíll summarise my learnings:

A. General Handling

Both the DFA* 50 f1.4 and DFA 24-70 f2.8 are hefty. They are frankly comparatively a PITA to lug around as someone who is used to the compactness of the APS-C/Limited and older 49mm-ish filter sized film era systems. The 200g ish difference between the two of them is bothersome to me and the slightly larger 24-70 (therefore less dense) package is perceivably more balanced when mounted to the K1ii body.

Subjectively, my impression does put the tactile/handling/physical build feel of the DFA* above a notch with comparative top of the line Zeiss Planar T* 50 f1.4 and G Master 50 f1.2, both from Sony.

B. General Image Ouput

The DFA* 50 f1.4 definitely feels like the more Ďreliableí workhorse here in terms of putting out images that I prefer/like more. The DFA 24-70 f2.8 leaves me always wanting that Ďit could have been betterí - could I have held the shot with less shake? Shall I bump the ISO a bit higher for the next shot? As such, the 24-70 IMHO does not deserve the * suffix/status

Being able to obtain less noisy and sharper outputs wide open is a deal breaking factor for me over versatility of the lens. Am of the school of thought that if youíre in a favourable setting youíre to take the shot - the hardware should not let you down. That was the premise for the move to the FF system from APS-C.

As wadge22 has succinctly coined, ďThe excellent prime will mean every shot you take can be superb, but you can't necessarily take every shot.ď I am leaning to superb shots here and the 24-70 has become moot.

Again subjectively - I would rank the DFA* on par if not better than Sonyís Planar T* 50 f1.4 and G Master 50 f1.2. The fact that the current line of FF alpha bodies are just *&^% to hold onto/handling ergonomics vs the K1/K1ii makes this an academic point. I do actively suggest to others to consider modular video/cine cam systems and skip the FF alpha bodies if that is the prevalent task.

C. Pricing

I know that many have commented that the 650USD price of ownership for both is extremely tempting but the dry cabinet mop-up crew side of me tells me to stay the course above and not accumulate anymore Ďjack of all trades and master of noneí glass like the 24-70 despite its Ďpro zoomí reckoning by others.

D. Other Speculations/Observations

These do come into play in terms of dictating the route map/system of modern lens Iíll adopt moving forward with the DFA* 50 f1.4 as the first in line.

Lenses designed for video capture - having some experience with the top end of the Sony alpha side of things, are the newer larger FA lenses from Pentax a hint at professional video capture as things to come? They have done quite well for themselves from an optical engineering to commercialisation point of view by re-hashing more traditional formulas into the Limited range (but the recent DFA*21mm Ltd has bucked this trend).

On that segway - considering a wide-normal-tele-ish set-up - having the DFA* 21 and DFA* 85 fill in before and after is what I am leaning towards as end of line for me for the K1-based system.

This ends my closing remarks for this post/topic but Iíll leave a curveball right here - what of other 50s outside of this question?

Iíll end it off by saying that if manual focus (no cats or running kids) is acceptable and weather sealing ainít dealbreaking - the SMC M 50 f2 gives you almost equivalent image outputÖyou have to ask yourself for about 600USD more, is SDM AF and AW worth the premium of 600USD? Could you just hoard, stash and thrash a lot of 6 pieces of these real nifty fiftiesÖ

My finance director will probably strong arm me towards the above and take the 24-70
You really need a faster 50 the A series 1:1.2 works well.........

01-19-2022, 10:57 PM - 1 Like   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by garywakeling Quote
You really need a faster 50 the A series 1:1.2 works well.........
Well, maybe. For sheer resolving power, contrast and the Pentax colour reproduction, the closest 50 is the DFA50/2.8 Macro. The A 50/1.2 isnít a match for either, IMO, and I have all three. The A50/1.2 has the aperture bragging rights, but as far as resolution goes itís way behind the others. Of course, I donít have the dilemma of choosing which to purchase.
01-20-2022, 02:13 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobA_Oz Quote
Well, maybe. For sheer resolving power, contrast and the Pentax colour reproduction, the closest 50 is the DFA50/2.8 Macro. The A 50/1.2 isnít a match for either, IMO, and I have all three. The A50/1.2 has the aperture bragging rights, but as far as resolution goes itís way behind the others. Of course, I donít have the dilemma of choosing which to purchase.
Ah but the A 50 1:1.2 has wonderful bokeh in the true "limited" way
01-20-2022, 04:21 AM - 1 Like   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by garywakeling Quote
Ah but the A 50 1:1.2 has wonderful bokeh in the true "limited" way
The D FA*50/1.4 has equally impressive bokeh, thanks to its aperture blade configuration, although clearly the A50/1.2 wins on minimum DoF. I hang onto mine for curiosity and for showing off on my LX and K2DMD.

01-20-2022, 05:02 AM   #38
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If I had to choose between a fast fifty and a 24-70/2.8 in general I would choose the fifty. But in this case I don't think I'd be happy with the DFA* 50/1.4 because it's just too big and heavy to use in the way I normally would a standard prime. I would go for the DFA 50/2.8 macro over the DFA*, though if Pentax were to bring out a smaller, lighter fast fifty with in-lens focus motor I would likely go with that, even if it wasn't sharp wide open.
01-20-2022, 03:52 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonathan Mac Quote
If I had to choose between a fast fifty and a 24-70/2.8 in general I would choose the fifty. But in this case I don't think I'd be happy with the DFA* 50/1.4 because it's just too big and heavy to use in the way I normally would a standard prime. I would go for the DFA 50/2.8 macro over the DFA*, though if Pentax were to bring out a smaller, lighter fast fifty with in-lens focus motor I would likely go with that, even if it wasn't sharp wide open.
A revamp of the DA50 with in-lens AF drive, perhaps? Anything like that is necessarily going to make it bigger and heavier, nonetheless, particularly if you want fast AF.
01-20-2022, 05:06 PM   #40
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Some additional use observations:

- Specific to the K1 lineage - the magical articulating screens gives you good breadth in covering ‘wider’ set-ups but taking a couple of steps back (or forwards). In fact this non-eye level shooting is much preferred vs the cinema cam/external, recorder handling from work experience. This massively skews the favour towards the DFA* 50 f1.4. The quick brightness bump up and reduction shortcut also stacks on this.

- DFA* 50 f1.4 lens hood is longer and more annoying to affix from inverted storage position. 28-70 is much better and familiar like most of the back in the day ‘super zooms’ by Tamron. Still having slight jitters about the front cowling coming off…

- The 28-70 though is much taller and fits less nicely into the standard sized Lowepro/top loading cases.

- Aperture preference range (subjective) - having had various fstop lenses to muck around with, f1.8 is still the minimum width I can accept at this point no less due to the AF Nikkor 50 f1.8 being the default ‘lens cap’ on my F601/F90/F4 days. I used to enjoy the 28-200 Tamron (f3.5-f5.6) on the Nikon but that was on film with low res scan outputs from the shop. Am starting to turn into a pixel peeper perhaps with age so at least I’ve found that out about my preference from this micro exercise.

---------- Post added 01-20-22 at 05:21 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Jonathan Mac Quote
If I had to choose between a fast fifty and a 24-70/2.8 in general I would choose the fifty. But in this case I don't think I'd be happy with the DFA* 50/1.4 because it's just too big and heavy to use in the way I normally would a standard prime. I would go for the DFA 50/2.8 macro over the DFA*, though if Pentax were to bring out a smaller, lighter fast fifty with in-lens focus motor I would likely go with that, even if it wasn't sharp wide open.
That was persistently a line of query as I was spending time with both lenses.

- The ageing pixel peeper in me however recalls rolls of negatives and starting out with the 18-55 kit with the k5ii on student budget and left wanting for better resolving of shots taken.

- Therefore my suspicion on Pentax moving towards professional quality video output over the horizon - Sony as an example - you can see the take no prisoners approach with the G Master range on the EF mount wrt optical resolving superiority. The laws of physics at this point in time cannot be circumvented leading to the huge PITA things we see from every single mirrorless maker. Even the Zeiss Planar T* 50 f1.4 became a victim of that. (On that note - we see the Pentax-Zeiss rivalry of same performance even better value reminiscent of the Takumar days here.)

- SMC M f2.0 would be a prime candidate for this. In fact Sony has also mirrored the limited range philosophy with some of the the G (non master) range in smaller packages,

If not for the M42 inconvenience (in my book having to deal with the adapter) - I would have gone straight for the radioactive Takumar 50 f1.4. Had a pristine copy with original leatherette case that left me after a break-in. That truly was what the limited lens should have aspired to become/held as a standard to.
01-21-2022, 01:27 AM - 1 Like   #41
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It seems to me that here you choose the Star optics for its high definition. The zoom does not give a bad image, so you could combine it with an FA 50mm f.1.4 that has an excellent bouchet, without bothering various M Series or Takumar. In addition, this is particularly light and in addition has the autofocus coupled.
It's not a bad lens, but if you're just looking for high definition....
01-21-2022, 05:28 AM - 1 Like   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobA_Oz Quote
A revamp of the DA50 with in-lens AF drive, perhaps? Anything like that is necessarily going to make it bigger and heavier, nonetheless, particularly if you want fast AF.
Yep, I agree, though the extra weight and size from adding an in-lens motor would be minimal. I have the Canon 50/1.8 STM and it's small and light yet feels pretty high quality in the hand.

I think a DFA 50mm f/1.7 DC WR for full frame for around $400 (max) would do well, and retire the old FA 50/1.4 design.
01-21-2022, 01:34 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonathan Mac Quote
Yep, I agree, though the extra weight and size from adding an in-lens motor would be minimal. I have the Canon 50/1.8 STM and it's small and light yet feels pretty high quality in the hand.

I think a DFA 50mm f/1.7 DC WR for full frame for around $400 (max) would do well, and retire the old FA 50/1.4 design.
If I understand the Canon nomenclature correctly, that lens uses a DC stepper motor (they use USM to denote their ultrasonic piezo-electric drive), as (I think) with the Pentax DC lenses. I had the DA18-135, which uses the DC drive, and it was reliable and quiet, but I donít know if it was all that small, as part of a drive assembly with circuit board and gearing. Anyway, I think your suggestion is an eminently sensible one.
02-16-2022, 06:46 PM - 1 Like   #44
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Let's call this a one month later update - the DFA* 50mm f1.4 replacement has held up very nicely. This journey of 'self-discovery' has led me to realise that what truly motivates and excites me is that added 'pop' coming from the Star lens. Recently acquired a DFA* 70-200mm f2.8 (near mint ex-display copy from a shop for actually less than the 50mm at barely 630USD).

It didn't seem that long ago that I was a wee punk using film SLR systems as a budget means of accessing FF photography. The ease of making images that 'pop' with Star lenses makes up for the lack of time being a still working adult unknowing came up top on my list of desirability and more likely so with snappy AF on the K1ii body in the near when younger humans come into the fray.

Here's a closing toast - picture of the cat taken with the DFA* 50mm f1.4:
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02-19-2022, 01:36 AM - 1 Like   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by quillasophink Quote
Let's call this a one month later update - the DFA* 50mm f1.4 replacement has held up very nicely. This journey of 'self-discovery' has led me to realise that what truly motivates and excites me is that added 'pop' coming from the Star lens. Recently acquired a DFA* 70-200mm f2.8 (near mint ex-display copy from a shop for actually less than the 50mm at barely 630USD).

It didn't seem that long ago that I was a wee punk using film SLR systems as a budget means of accessing FF photography. The ease of making images that 'pop' with Star lenses makes up for the lack of time being a still working adult unknowing came up top on my list of desirability and more likely so with snappy AF on the K1ii body in the near when younger humans come into the fray.

Here's a closing toast - picture of the cat taken with the DFA* 50mm f1.4:
I am so glad you are happy with the lens, I can't explain it myself other than the lens really has that something special about it, enjoy
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