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10-27-2014, 02:56 AM   #1
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Best 50mm for Pentax K-50?

Hey what is up ya'll?

As you know that I am a newbie and I still haven't got the time to hack and slash with my kit lenses (18-55mm and 50-200mm) for random events like indoor, low light, group portrait, and landscape photo. I came to realize that I need a 50mm fast lens since my shots suffers a lot from blurs and out of focus issue (I know its user input inefficiency, don't beat me) and kinda gets me frustrated (busy office type of young guy whose on a budget and limited outdoor trips which constricts learning photography skills) so I think I reached a point to have a fast 50mm prime lens but the choices are that vast that I am very confused as to which I need to choose.. auto focus might be handy to me but I am willing to spend up to $280 bucks so which one is for me really?

Yes I already did a lot of research and I am just overloaded with so much information that I don't know what to choose for my Pentax K-50

Please help me out guys, I need to make the purchase this week ASAP so I really need a fast advice.

Regards,

Jes

10-27-2014, 03:02 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Hi, I was in exactly the same position as yourself a couple of weeks ago and found a really good deal on a used DA 50 f1.8.

I've found the IQ a massive improvement, and very nice to have a low aperture lens.

I paid 55 for mine , but they usually s/h go for nearer to 80 and brand new about 115.

hth
10-27-2014, 03:22 AM   #3
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Get an AF lens. I have M50/1.7 and FA43/1.9. Despite my love for M50 colors and sharpness (and I even prefer its flat rendering sometimes to more artsy 43) , lack of AF is a huge drawback in indoor, low light, [group] portrait setting (BTW, you might want to reconsider getting 50mm for group portraits, it's too narrow).
I haven't tried it but I believe DA50/1.8 would fit your needs and budget. DA35 even more.
10-27-2014, 03:31 AM - 1 Like   #4
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Hi jcagara08,


The Pentax F 50 mm F1.7 and the Pentax FA 50 mm F1.4 are also 2 good choices. They both focus quickly and can produce really good results. If you don't mind focusing manually, the Pentax A 50 mm F1.4 and the A 50 mm F1.7 are good and cheaper options. All of the above mentioned choices can be purchased here in the marketplace for decent prices.

10-27-2014, 04:00 AM   #5
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Legacy 50mm options: dozens of options, from Sears to Carl Zeiss, Takumar to Pentax. Most people prefer a series M or a slightly more automatic series A 50mm, f1.4 or f1.7. f1.7 is apparently slightly sharper, but some people prefer f1.4 for the extra bit of brightness and bokeh. If you want older lens and AF, look at F or FA 50mm f1.7.
New AF Pentax 50mm: DFA 50mm f2.8 macro (praised as sharpest and best 50mm, but only f2.8 and AF relatively slower), FA 50mm f1.4 (still can be bought as new, but is expensive in some locations, made for film, but okay on digital), DA 50mm f1.8 (the modern DA lens, made for digital, budget and well received, though doesn't have a cult following like some others do)
Should mention DA* 55mm f1.4. People love this lens, very sharp, made for portraiture, okay AF.
Third party new: Samyang 50mm f1.4 (new Samyang lens, not sure if available in stores yet, no AF), Sigma 50mm f1.4 (the older version and then the latest Art version. The older one is smaller and cheaper, but both are good. The latest Art version is better, of course, but it is huge).

I would recommend DA 50mm f1.8 (easiest to find, not expensive) or FA 50mm f1.4, if you can stretch your budget a little. Any of the lenses mentioned will be a significant improvement over the 18-55mm, both in low light capabilities, optical quality, as well as AF and overall build.

Where to buy? Depending where you live, but B&H and Adorama have a deal with this forum (enter code, get free forum upgrade), keh.com and shopgoodwill, as well as the marketplace on these forums, are good choices for buying used, as are local websites (local ebays, listings, even amazon). You might also want to look for local brick and mortar stores. Sometimes they carry Pentax and you might talk them into a discount. And at least you get to see the lens before you buy it, and there is no shipping wait/costs.
10-27-2014, 04:58 AM - 1 Like   #6
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Get a 35 for indoors, 50 is way too long and extra aperture and focal length just translates to more difficult focus and composition.

In the meantime, just increase your ISO! 18-55 should be just fine with the excellent k50, it's really not that slow and it has very fast AF, so, as you said, definitely look at your technique. :-) use it between 18 and 35 mm indoors, more towards 18 where possible.
10-27-2014, 05:26 AM   #7
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Remember one thing if you're looking at legacy lenses... You have to multiply the F-stop by the crop factor (1.6) because those lenses are designed and spec'd for 35mm full frame format. A 1.7 FF lens on an aps-c camera will actually be about 2.7. The older lenses are attractive because they are apparently faster but when the crop factor is taken into account they really aren't.
10-27-2014, 05:34 AM   #8
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There goes the thread.... buy a DA50 or DA35 and run! Don't look back!

10-27-2014, 05:39 AM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by dakight Quote
Remember one thing if you're looking at legacy lenses... You have to multiply the F-stop by the crop factor (1.6) because those lenses are designed and spec'd for 35mm full frame format. A 1.7 FF lens on an aps-c camera will actually be about 2.7. The older lenses are attractive because they are apparently faster but when the crop factor is taken into account they really aren't.
You haven't got a clue what you're talking about.
Exposure is three factors. Sensor sensitivity- time and Aperture.

If a an exposure value is 100ISO- ƒ1.8 - 1 sec on FF it will be exactly the same on APS-c, 4x5, 4/3, 5x7 8x10 645, 6x7. It doesn't matter what the format is the aperture values remain constant for exposure.

Whether a lens is fast or slow depends on exposure values. a 1.8 lens on APS_c is just as fast as an APS-c lens on FF.

This whole thing is getting totally out of hand. Where are the guys who push this equivalence BS up the everyones wazoo, to explain to this poor guy that the "beauty" of their beloved theory of equivalence doesn't mean what he thinks it means. I guess that is left to those of us who argued that using ƒ-stop for anything but exposure values was confusing.

Well, behold the results of your insanity you fools.
10-27-2014, 06:06 AM   #10
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Hey thank you very much all for your kind responses! But whoah whoah easy guys! I did not start this thread for a flame war ok?
Yes I know I need to do more studying on our course of Photography but I just could not get the results that I want with the 18-55mm kit lens and I don't want to push it.
I am geared towards the automatic focusing mechanism and I want the best bokeh too! As a noob I also care about sharpness contrary to what others say in these line of prime lenses.

So now I am down to three choices (I need a modern lens that has autofocus,
the f/1.4, f/1.7, and f/1.8 but which is best overall really?
Information is so drowning once you compare the three to each of its own attributes, I want a definite conclusion and a suggestion.

Otherwise if I could not decide on the broad confusing choices for a 50mm prime, I might go with the sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 art lens FTW LOL to eliminate carrying around multiple lenses.. see how noobish that line is?? So please guys I need a solid recommendation.

and by the way, I really want to shoot my images at ISO 100 but my hands are really that shaky and I got a cheap tripod that I could not carry everytime hence I get frustrated at all my night shots, indoors, and low light photography, in about 10 images I can only capture 2 good ones so I don't really know what I need to improve.
10-27-2014, 06:28 AM - 2 Likes   #11
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Its up to you, but I went for a cheap DA50f1.8 to see how I got on, then if I didn't like it could sell it on and at the price I paid not lose anything.

I found that it was sharper than the kit lenses, probably as noisy in AF, but was nice and sharp a couple of steps in.

Think I now realise how much of my issues are the fact that I try and avoid taking tripods supports with me, when outdoors and so consequently my photos were blurry, I think they are slightly better with the faster lens, as it allows me to increase the shutter speed on some shots.
10-27-2014, 06:37 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by jcagara08 Quote
So now I am down to three choices (I need a modern lens that has autofocus,
the f/1.4, f/1.7, and f/1.8 but which is best overall really?.
You are asking the question no one can answer but you. If there was clearly the best 50mm (or whatever) lens for all tastes&purposes, everyone would have just that. What you get here is advice for a good starting point for your budget&use. Unfortunately, you won't know what you missed on unless you try them all (and some peope do just that...).

QuoteOriginally posted by jcagara08 Quote
and by the way, I really want to shoot my images at ISO 100 but my hands are really that shaky and I got a cheap tripod that I could not carry everytime hence I get frustrated at all my night shots, indoors, and low light photography, in about 10 images I can only capture 2 good ones so I don't really know what I need to improve.
I had a similar idea about what I am missing some time ago and thought fast lenses and better camera will solve it all. Even though my current gear allows me to take much better photos in low light than before, that isn't all to it.
Most important factor - steady hands.
Next, shutter speed. Av mode tends to go low on shutter speed and you get motion blur. You also feel confident because of shake reduction so you go 1/3 or slower but that will work only for non-moving subjects. With people with anything below 50 (and that requires really calm subjects) you ll get blur.
Better to go TAv or M and push that shutter speed above 100. Also, don't be afraid to underexpose. You can pull a lot out of apparent darkness.
10-27-2014, 06:40 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by jcagara08 Quote
Hey thank you very much all for your kind responses! But whoah whoah easy guys! I did not start this thread for a flame war ok?
Yes I know I need to do more studying on our course of Photography but I just could not get the results that I want with the 18-55mm kit lens and I don't want to push it.
I am geared towards the automatic focusing mechanism and I want the best bokeh too! As a noob I also care about sharpness contrary to what others say in these line of prime lenses.

So now I am down to three choices (I need a modern lens that has autofocus,
the f/1.4, f/1.7, and f/1.8 but which is best overall really?
Information is so drowning once you compare the three to each of its own attributes, I want a definite conclusion and a suggestion.

Otherwise if I could not decide on the broad confusing choices for a 50mm prime, I might go with the sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 art lens FTW LOL to eliminate carrying around multiple lenses.. see how noobish that line is?? So please guys I need a solid recommendation.

and by the way, I really want to shoot my images at ISO 100 but my hands are really that shaky and I got a cheap tripod that I could not carry everytime hence I get frustrated at all my night shots, indoors, and low light photography, in about 10 images I can only capture 2 good ones so I don't really know what I need to improve.
There are so many 50s available, it would be really hard to know exactly what you might be happy with, and hard for most of us to recommend one, because we have the one we have, and not the others. Personally, I'm less than esoteric about this. A 50 is a 50. If you look at the images, at one point I looked at the 50 macro... I ended up looking at a lot of 50 images... and that's my conclusion, right up there with a lens is a lens.

Unless you're into manual focus, I'm not even sure what the issue would be. Get the DA 50 1.8 and get on with it. If you want macro, get the 50 macro, if you want 1.4 get an F 50 1.4, if you want DA* quality get at DA* 55 1.8. My advice would be, don't think about it, buy what's available. Your needs don't sound particularly specialized or unique.

A Sigma 18-35, from my understanding is a pretty substantial piece of glass. Big and heavy. It's not really comparable to a kit lens or a 50. In terms of weight and size, it's the anti-50.

Any 2.8 lens or faster will improve your AF over kit lenses. If that's your main concern, you don't have to go that wide. Since you're not considering WR, I'd probably advise you to go with the Tamron 17-50 2.8. It'w way better IQ than your kit lenses. It's 2.8 which will make maximum use of the most recent K mount AF systems. The bokeh isn't noteworthy but it isn't bad. And it gives you some flexibility and is a good compromise between the weight of a really fast Aperture lens and a kit lens.

But if you really want fast... one of the 50 1.4s is the way to go. Just remember, it's a telephoto, not a standard lens. The Sigma 30 (or 35) ƒ1.4 might also be more to your liking. More of a standard lens.

Last edited by normhead; 10-27-2014 at 06:58 AM.
10-27-2014, 06:56 AM   #14
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The thing with 50mm lenses is that pretty much all of the mare good. Any AF 50mm will be optically good, but they will draw the image differently. The colours, contrast, warmth might be different in ways that cannot be easily described. This is why some people have many, many 50mm lenses. F 50mm f1.7 is great, but some say its AF is very loud. The FA 50mm f1.4 is best for low light. The DA 50mm f1.8 is best bang for buck, light and compact. Keep in mind that the FA 50mm f1.4 shares its pedigree (optical construction) with previous Pentax 50mm f1.4 lenses, and the Pentax DA 50mm f1.8 shares its pedigree with previous Pentax 50mm f1.7 lenses. So the differences will be minimal. There is a much bigger difference between Sigma 50mm and Pentax 50mm, since they are completely different designs.
I suggest you look for what is actually available in your area, no sense to stress over a lens that you want "in theory", if it is too difficult to find, too impractical to buy.

Oh, and DA 35mm f2.4 is a good lens as well, not quite as bright, but a little wider, so it is more useful for indoors or group photos. But for closeup face portraits I would prefer 50mm over 35mm, as 35mm can make faces look too round.

QuoteOriginally posted by dakight Quote
Remember one thing if you're looking at legacy lenses... You have to multiply the F-stop by the crop factor (1.6) because those lenses are designed and spec'd for 35mm full frame format. A 1.7 FF lens on an aps-c camera will actually be about 2.7. The older lenses are attractive because they are apparently faster but when the crop factor is taken into account they really aren't.
Not true. Any f1.4 lens is f1.4 on your camera, regardless of whether it was made for FF or crop. Any 50mm lens is 50mm, as well. All 50mm lenses will have the same field of view on your K-50, and the same exposure at f1.4 (provided shutter and ISO are the same). The quote shows a misunderstanding between focal length (a lens property) and field of view (depends on focal length and film plane dimensions).

Last edited by Na Horuk; 10-27-2014 at 07:21 AM.
10-27-2014, 08:02 AM - 2 Likes   #15
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You have plenty of suggestions so i am going to say rather than getting a new lens learn to use the 18 55 first. Getting blurry pictures is operator error not the lens.

Once you can get good images with the 18 55 then is the time to look at new glass and you will have a better idea what you need. YMMV
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