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01-07-2014, 09:54 PM   #1
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SMC Pentax-DA* 55mm F1.4 SDM

I recently bought the Pentax SMC DA 18-135mm F/3.5-5.6 ED AL (IF) DC WR Lens via Amazon and while f8 to f22 day time shots are fine to great and center sharpness is excellent, I'm finding that I'd rather have a prime and use my feet to adjust the composition. Further, I do travel quite a bit around Europe and Asia and need the weather protection. Recently while on a short vacation in North Vancouver, I got hooked on nighttime action shots and the the 18-135mm won't support it well, but my Pentax SMCP-FA 35mm F/2.0 does. Therefore, I'm looking for a new or used SMC Pentax-DA* 55mm F1.4 SDM at a great price.

I'm currently back in the US, but I'm on the road for Cambodia and India next month. I'd like to have the lens by mid-February if possible.

01-08-2014, 05:32 AM   #2
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The DA* 55 is an incredible performer when it comes to optics and image quality. It's sharpness is crazy good past F/2.0. The SDM focus speed is not impressive, but it has a much longer throw than the FA 50 1.4. The manual focus on it is very good for an AF lens. I would say it will struggle in low light unless you have the K5II or K3. It doesn't lock as well as the screw drive lenses in low light. Just for the heads up. This is the lens I would never get rid of!
01-08-2014, 05:37 AM   #3
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KEH has one for $599 in EX+ condition.

http://www.keh.com/camera/Pentax-Digital-Fixed-Focal-Length-Lenses/1/sku-DP06999107895R?r=FE
01-08-2014, 01:18 PM   #4
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zbrueningsen,

Thank you for the feedback. What do you mean by "longer throw"? I understand it from a projector point of view, but not lens. I was doing low light action from f2.0 to f2.8, so I'm not quite worried about the f1.4 performance, though I'm sure I'll use it.

Also, I've started my DSLR journey with a Pentax K-5 ii. I went this route because watching my buddies go through the starter to mid-grade pretty quick and the image quality being important to me right off. Also, 7fps is pretty freaking awesome once I figured out the 1/200 to 1/360 shutter speeds to get crisper action.

One concern is that currently my Pentax SMC-FA 35mm F2.0 is my walk around lens, that the DA* 55 would become the new walk about and I'd want a DA 15mm or FA 21mm or some to get me back into wider things. Ugh… a month in a LBA is already in swing.

Ciao!

01-08-2014, 05:43 PM   #5
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Longer throw means it turns more to go from minimum focus distance to infinity. Autofocus lenses focus faster because their revolution is less turning of the focus ring. Manual focus lenses are more precise because they have more throw (essentially focus adjustment). The DA*55 is like right in the middle. The K5II improved AF in the dark significantly so you shouldn't have an issue.
If you are looking for something wider I have an FA*24 F/2 for sale in the marketplace currently
Truth be told - the DA* 55 is some of the finest optics you can get under 10k in my opinion.
01-08-2014, 05:53 PM   #6
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The DA*55 is an amazing lens. I just picked up over the recent black Friday sale. Well worth the money. Good luck in your quest. New or used you can't go wrong!! There is someone selling this lens on Craigslist in Arlington, VA for $525. The seller states they want local and cash, but you never know. Also, they might have on the forum....


Pentax Telephoto 55mm f/1.4 DA* SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR
01-08-2014, 05:55 PM   #7
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Black Friday was like $634 new right Eric?
01-08-2014, 06:01 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by zbrueningsen Quote
Black Friday was like $634 new right Eric?

$626.95. For new I thought it was a great deal.

01-08-2014, 06:04 PM   #9
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Yeah, it is a steal. I got mine at $530 used and thought it was a steal. I couldn't believe the Ebay seller accepted it! My favorite lens by far.
01-09-2014, 12:09 AM   #10
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The more I see from you guys here, the more I want the lens. Ugh… Paying full price is fine, but I'd rather not.

Any concerns about buying from Japan? Such as this Boxed Pentax SMC Da 55 mm F 1 4 SDM Lens Mint Condition from Japan 0027075147348 | eBay

On fungus, I've been keeping my lenses in cases with absorption packets.
01-09-2014, 02:49 AM   #11
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If you are spending 600 on it buy it from the keh.com link I gave you. 180 day warranty and 30 day money back return. If it is ex+ that is nearly perfect. They are an extremely reputable used lens store.
01-09-2014, 03:13 PM   #12
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I'm working with Lee for his Pentax Telephoto 55mm f/1.4 DA* SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR tonight. If no go, then I'll do KEH.

Last edited by comprock; 01-09-2014 at 03:13 PM. Reason: verbiage
01-09-2014, 03:29 PM   #13
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And I got my K5II today and it does pretty well in low light with the DA*55.
01-09-2014, 03:50 PM   #14
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Congratulations, I'm excited to be getting a DA*55 soon.
01-09-2014, 04:01 PM   #15
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It was kind of weird upgrading from K5 to K5II. Not much different. Focusing is better though.
 

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