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05-12-2009, 03:21 AM   #16
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A 50 mm lens is a great walk around lens, I just find it tough to use in doors where it is difficult to take two or three steps back. I own the FA 50 and I find it very sharp, even at f1.4. I had felt like it was soft when I was using it on my K10, but now on my K20, I think the issue was that it was misfocusing slightly. You have to remember that at f1.4, your depth of field is miniscule and just slight misfocusing will make your photo appear soft. I think it is interesting comparing manual focus lenses to auto focus lenses, because clearly if there is misfocus with the manual lens, it comes from the photographer and not the camera -- probably a lot easier to tolerate softness that you know you were the cause of.

Just thought I'd stick in a photo taken at f1.4 with the FA 50 of my son.

05-12-2009, 04:17 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by iht Quote

Incidentally, our family owns a Asahi Pentax S1, which comes with a Super Takumar f1.4 50mm. How does this lens (it's very yellow these days) compare to the more modern lenses? I understand it's a M42 mount and requires an adapter to use on a K20D, and exposure could be tricky and slow.

What's tricky or slow about Av mode?
05-12-2009, 05:03 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by iht Quote
This is my first post here!

I'm a newbie thinking of purchasing a K20D in the near future. I'm interested in getting a 50mm prime for it.

It seems, for the K20D, the options are from the Pentax-A onwards. What's the best 50mm in terms of IQ and value of money (in that order)? I don't mind MF. In particular, how does the Pentax-FA 1.4 compare to the older lenses?

Also, where's the best place to buy (both used/new)? I'm from Sydney, Australia.

Thanks again.
Hopefully, the following will be of use to you:

Pentax Normal Prime Lenses

EDIT: One thing of note is the shape of the aperture at different settings. The tips of the aperture blades can appear in the "hexagon" of confusion when shooting using an f/1.7 lens, between f/2.0 and f/2.8. They're not visible at f/1.7 and disappear by f/4. Google "ninja star aperture".

Last edited by asdf; 05-12-2009 at 05:14 AM.
05-12-2009, 05:14 AM   #19
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I have the M 50mm f/1.4,f/1.7 and f/2 and i love the f/1.7 is the better performer of the 3


cheers

05-12-2009, 05:54 AM   #20
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I don't see any mention of the f/1.2 lenses, is there any point in these?
05-12-2009, 05:58 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by mmoncaster Quote
I don't see any mention of the f/1.2 lenses, is there any point in these?
NASA and Stanley Kubrick found an f/0.7 lens useful:

Barry Lyndon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

05-12-2009, 07:46 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by asdf Quote
NASA and Stanley Kubrick found an f/0.7 lens useful:

Barry Lyndon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

So what trick did they use to achieve usable DOF? I saw the movie, and those candle lit scenes appear to have at least a good 3 feet of usable DOF @ f/0.7. We know the lens was 50mm, and I'm guessing the film format was either 16mm or 35mm cine, so with those tight shots the lens-subject distance couldn't have been more than, say, 10-15 feet. How did they do it?
05-12-2009, 08:10 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by iht Quote
I woke up this morning (I'm in Aust) and am astounded to find so many helpful responses so quickly. Thanks a lot!

I noticed "Mister Guy" pointed out that 50mm is really a short tele on the K20D, and recommended the FA f2.0 35mm instead. Yes, I do intend to have this as a walk-around lens. Just an open question: what's everyone's experience with the 50mm on the APS-C sensor, and why you picked the 50mm in the first place. I understand a short tele is good for portrait...

Otherwise, it sounds like the choice is between the A f1.7 and the FA 1f.4. I am on a budget, and I'm more than willing to forgo AF if the price difference is substantial for the same IQ. As far as I can see the A f1.7 go for at least AUS$150 incl. postage on ebay. Does this sound reasonable for an used lens in 2009? The FA f1.4 is at least AUS$4xx, but of course that is new.

Incidentally, our family owns a Asahi Pentax S1, which comes with a Super Takumar f1.4 50mm. How does this lens (it's very yellow these days) compare to the more modern lenses? I understand it's a M42 mount and requires an adapter to use on a K20D, and exposure could be tricky and slow.

Thanks a lot in advance, again!
That changes everything! I'd definitely consider trying to de-yellow the Super Tak in strong sunlight and getting an adapter to fill the 50mm slot, and saving for your next lens. After a little bit of usage, especially if you get the body with the kit lens, you'll definitely have a better idea of what you're looking for, be it a different field of view, sharpness, versatility, auto focus, whatever you find you're missing the most!

05-12-2009, 06:57 PM   #24
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Thanks everyone for your advice. Much appreciated.

Once I get the K20D, I'll do as suggested, i.e. get a kit lens, and try out the Super Tak on the K20D after sun bathing it.

Most K20Ds in Aust come with the Sigma 18-55, which have some pretty poor reviews here. Do you think the PENTAX DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL II is sufficient for my need? It's under AUS$200 here, so it's within my budget. I also had a look at the Tamron 18-250mm, but that's quite a bit more expensive at AUS$650 or so.

Being a newbie, I was a bit hesitant to use the Super Tak because I've heard people having trouble getting old lenses to work with a new DSLR. Also, I heard talk about needing to use it with a genuine Pentax M42 to K mount adapter for infinity focus, and the official adapter seems expensive. With your encouragement, and with articles like this, I'll give it a try perhaps just with an eBay adapter to start with, once I actually get the K20D. I'm holding off the purchase until the K-7 comes out, which hopefully will push down prices for the K20D.

I hope sun bathing the lens in the hot Australian sun won't damage it. According to a site I read awhile ago the procedure is to wrap it in foil, and only expose the rear element. Does that sound right to you?

All this is sounding great. Thanks again for all your input.
05-12-2009, 08:12 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by iht Quote

All this is sounding great. Thanks again for all your input.
Wrap the lens in aluminum foil shiny side in, except the glass part of the rear element, to keep the black paint from absorbing heat and melting the helicoid grease.

Place the lens somewhere so it receives sunlight most of the day through the rear element. The foil over the front element will reflect some light back through the lens.

I placed mine on the rear cap angled uppish on a (in the Northern Hemisphere) south-facing windowsill. In two weeks the glass was gin clear.

The UV in the sunlight "fixes" the florium coating s it is no longer yellow.
05-13-2009, 06:54 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by iht Quote
Thanks everyone for your advice. Much appreciated.

Once I get the K20D, I'll do as suggested, i.e. get a kit lens, and try out the Super Tak on the K20D after sun bathing it.

Most K20Ds in Aust come with the Sigma 18-55, which have some pretty poor reviews here. Do you think the PENTAX DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL II is sufficient for my need? It's under AUS$200 here, so it's within my budget. I also had a look at the Tamron 18-250mm, but that's quite a bit more expensive at AUS$650 or so.
If you're going to wait for the K-7, you might consider both looking for a lightly used K20D body only and then seeing how much the expected WR (Weather Resistant) kit lens turns out to be.
05-14-2009, 11:20 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by mmoncaster Quote
I don't see any mention of the f/1.2 lenses, is there any point in these?
They are great but not cheap. The extra half stop multiplies the price of the lens considerably.

A cheaper f1.2 alternative is the Cosina 55mm f1.2. I got one used for $200 US, lower than I expected. It has a characteristic look, visible in many photos in its own thread in the Lens forum. The Pentax f1.2s seem to be technically better.

For me, f1.2 is not a necessity and often a challenge because of depth of field. Photos can be as gimmicky as a fisheye. I don't think the Pentax versions are worth their price for my needs/skills.

Lenses like the 50mm f1.2s are always easy to sell, so anyone can "lease" them for a while to see how they like them. Just buy one from a reputable source at the going price and use it for a while. You may take a small loss when selling as an individual, the cost of the "lease".
05-15-2009, 10:58 PM   #28
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Thanks a lot for all your replies. Yep, will be waiting for the K-7 to come out and see if that'll push down K20D prices.

Will try using the Tak. I've posted a couple of questions on the manual lens thread.

Hehe...went to a local store, and was told the K20D is out of stock, and that I should get a Canonikon instead, because there are more accessories and lenses for them....another was pushing the 40D because apparently auto-focussing is "heaps faster" than the K20D.
05-16-2009, 12:18 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by mmoncaster Quote
I don't see any mention of the f/1.2 lenses, is there any point in these?
good luck finding one mate, I use a pentax K 50mm f/1.2 but from time to time I prefer to use my A-50mm f/1.7 because the f/1.2 is a big lens. and fast lenses like these are inordinately difficult to focus accurately at their widest aperture settings.

the image quality from the f/1.2 wide open is nothing to be sneezed at though. the Reason why they are so rare is because the people that own them don't want to part with them...and I certainly don't.

Last edited by Digitalis; 04-25-2010 at 12:41 AM.
05-17-2009, 11:23 PM   #30
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here is a 100% crop from a leaf picture I took with the pentax A 50mm f/1.7

Its from the lower right third of the image. Saved for web so a little is lost but i looks crisp to me? I gotta reccomend this lens as it can be had for 60 bucks and manually focuses very easily
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