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05-04-2010, 07:18 AM   #16
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Didn't know the hood makes such huge differences!
Judging from this crop my eyes tell me that the 1.7 as a slight advantage till f2.0 (can't say if is in sharpness, contrast or both) but starting from f2.4 i see better images from the 1.4 lens


Strange tough, my M50 1.4 seem sharper @ 1.4 than the FA used without hood in this test is @ f2...maybe ytterbium was right about the cause being the front element.

05-04-2010, 07:25 AM   #17
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Looks to me that the FA 50mm 1.4 w/hood wins at every aperture over the FA 50mm 1.7 w/hood.

I wouldn't call this a definitive test by any means, since sample variation can cause these subtle differences.
05-04-2010, 07:43 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
Looks to me that the FA 50mm 1.4 w/hood wins at every aperture over the FA 50mm 1.7 w/hood.

I wouldn't call this a definitive test by any means, since sample variation can cause these subtle differences.
Yeah, this test is by no means meant to be definitive, itt was more meant to see the effect of the hood on both lenses. Having used both lens to take actual photos of things other than price tags, I personally feel the 50/1.7 tends to be a bit sharper below f/2.4, but after that they're pretty much the same in terms of sharpness. That being said, the real take-away (for me) was that the FA50/1.4 greatly benefits from the use of a hood.
05-04-2010, 08:08 AM   #19
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I have used F1.7 almost 3 years back and always regretted selling it, beautiful lens.

Coming back to 1.4, it's a wonderful lens too and don't worry about being little softer wide open, it reproduces perfect skin tones for women and kids not to mention super creamy bokeh.

05-04-2010, 08:18 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by dgaies Quote
Yeah, this test is by no means meant to be definitive, itt was more meant to see the effect of the hood on both lenses.
You certainly showed that!
05-04-2010, 02:41 PM   #21
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Don't forget that the faster lenses also present a brighter image in the viewfinder to manual focus or for the AF system to use.

also, great demo on the effects of the hood!
05-04-2010, 10:48 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
Looks to me that the FA 50mm 1.4 w/hood wins at every aperture over the FA 50mm 1.7 w/hood.

I wouldn't call this a definitive test by any means, since sample variation can cause these subtle differences.

Really? I'd say the F/1.7 looks better up to F/2.4 where it evens out.
05-05-2010, 12:27 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by yeatzee Quote
Really? I'd say the F/1.7 looks better up to F/2.4 where it evens out.
Same here - the softness and longitudinal/bokeh CA (green edge) of the 50/1.4 at wide apertures is apparent, though the latter is actually pretty good for this lens in this test shot (the CA gets worse with non-flat subjects).

That said, I had no idea the use of a hood could make such a difference with this lens. That's good to know.

I own the A50/1.4 (2 copies, actually) and an M50/1.7 (used to also own the F50/1.7), which to my knowledge are both optically equivalent to the F and AF versions.

The main weaknesses of the A50/1.4 at wide-ish apertures are low contrast (though this could probably be improved with use of a hood), softness, and longitudinal (bokeh) CA. I was never entirely satisfied with the results I got with the A50/1.4 for these reasons.

While I have only recently begun shooting with the M50/1.7 on digital, I am reminded of why this lens was an old favourite of mine back in the film days. It's not flawless, but I'm happier than I was with the A50/1.4. Having an "A" setting would be nice, and as would AF. So I'm keeing my eyes opened for an F/FA version.

By the way, my ideal Pentax 50 lineup would be A50/1.2 and F/FA50/1.7.

05-05-2010, 04:37 AM   #24
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The whole point of shooting at f1.4 is to be able to shoot in settings where you otherwise couldn't shoot due to low light. I figure a ceiling in high iso shooting of around 1600 (maybe 3200 if I push it). That means if my iso is up to that max, the only thing I can do to improve my shutter speed is to get a bigger lens that will let more light in. f1.4 is two stops better than f2.8, so I could significantly change my shutter speed.

These lenses also tend to be quite sharp stopped down. Truthfully, the FA 50 I shot mostly at f2 or above. Still, there are certain situations where you want/need a photo and wide open is the only way to go.
05-05-2010, 04:57 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by yeatzee Quote
Really? I'd say the F/1.7 looks better up to F/2.4 where it evens out.
I looked again and I still see that the 1.4 lens has the advantage. Maybe the difference is that I only care about the right column, "with hood". Clearly the FA 50mm's should never be used without one. It looks to me that the poor contrast attributed to the FA 50mm 1.4 is in fact due to its bulbous front element not being shaded.
05-06-2010, 12:05 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by MSM Quote
Don't forget that the faster lenses also present a brighter image in the viewfinder to manual focus or for the AF system to use.
My reason/excuse for me owning the A50/1.4 and the F50/1.7:

The A50/1.4 is better to manually focus because it offers a brighter viewfinder and a focus ring designed for MF.

The F50/1.7 is better for AF (than the FA50/1.4) because it has more contrast wide-open where the AF system uses it, therefore AF has a better image to work with. It also has a flatter field so predicting AF behavior is easier for the user.

I haven't owned the FA50/1.4 so some of that is based on other's opinions and some on projection from my A version's performance. Prices today make it really impractical to follow my path, so it's not ideal advice.

BTW, I think the samples show the FA50/1.7 miles better at f1.7, and the test when it was originally posted made me buy hoods for everything.
05-06-2010, 03:36 PM   #27
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to me, with hoods, 1.4 has overall contrast advantage, 1.7 has micro-contrast advantage.
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