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03-04-2012, 09:10 AM   #1
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DA* 55mm f1.4 woes

Hello everyone.

I bought a K5 about a month ago & swapped out the 18-135 kit lens for a 40mm Limited & a 70mm Limited -very nice. Best crop sensor setup I think.

BUT I'm trying to purchase a DA* 55mm f1.4 lens that works. So far I have ordered 2 & I didn't even leave the store with them. The store is ordering in another one from another location. I'm not optimistic. Even with the back focus problem I could see the potential of this lens in terms of contrast & that pop factor that brings a scene to life.

So I'm going to try this next one when it arrives - but if I can't find one that works I'll be a short-lived Pentax user. It seems their quality control is not under control.

I have just retired & am studying photography at the local community college & don't have time for this sheer stupidity on the part of Pentax.

I don't want the Fa 1.4 & the huge Sigma is not a preference either. I think that the DA* 55mm is one of the best if not the best portrait lens around - IF IT WORKS! But Pentax is converting more people to Nikon & Canon users than those companies themselves. And it appears I may soon be one of them.

Can someone advise me how to find a 55mm that works? It should be sharp right out of the box & not require fiddling with the AF fine adjustment. A good friend just purchased a 50mm f1.8 brand new for his old Canon rebel & at $129, it's sharp as a tack. Should we not expect Pentax to provide the same for over $800?

I won't be buying a wide-angle or 100mm macro if I can't get a 55mm, I'll be switching companies. Any help & advice you can provide would be much appreciated.

03-04-2012, 09:32 AM   #2
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Well I do fiddle with all my lenses and adjust AF. So I would just try that and when it is good, go with that lens.
03-04-2012, 09:43 AM   #3
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I suggest going to Canikon, and soon.
03-04-2012, 09:51 AM   #4
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Pick another brand. If you can't do a simple AF adjustment, perhaps go back to P&S cameras. As an aside, Canon got pilloried by their users for not offering micro adjust on their cameras.


Last edited by Wheatfield; 03-04-2012 at 12:03 PM.
03-04-2012, 10:00 AM   #5
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Hi and welcome to the forums i would also say use the K5's ability to fine tune your lens. I use Canon DSLR right now with L lenses i was surprised how many had to actually calibrate their lenses after spending so much on just one lens but i'm also lucky as to not be in that group thus far.

Anyhow it's pretty much a friendly group once you get pass some sarcasm
03-04-2012, 10:53 AM   #6
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All brands may need micro-focusing depending on your luck, read this to understand why :

LensRentals.com - "This lens is soft" and other myths

And good luck with your 3rd lens. It seems you have been amazingly unlucky but once you get past it you have a superb camera and lens to get you started.
03-04-2012, 11:20 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
It seems you have been amazingly unlucky but once you get past it you have a superb camera and lens to get you started.
Actually, from my personal experience with several copies of the DA*55, and based on my conversations with many other who own that lens, it's actually quite common for the DA*55 to need a fairly substantial amount of positive AF adjustment. I know both copies I've owned needed somewhere in the +6 to +8 range.

That said, the OP needs to decide whther he's willing to go ahead and fine tune his lenses, accept poor performance or move on to something else.

Last edited by dgaies; 03-04-2012 at 02:10 PM.
03-04-2012, 11:29 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
All brands may need micro-focusing depending on your luck, read this to understand why :

LensRentals.com - "This lens is soft" and other myths

And good luck with your 3rd lens. It seems you have been amazingly unlucky but once you get past it you have a superb camera and lens to get you started.
Good article. Very informative. Maybe I'll try AF with 3rd lens.

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