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08-27-2009, 08:03 AM   #31
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Hmmm. I've been considering upgrading my Pentax-M 50mm/1.7 to a 50mm/1.4
I absolutely love my f1.7 but I'm probably about to start taking lot of shots at gigs and that extra bit of light might make all the difference if the lighting isn't all too friendly.
Would you not say it's worth it for more normal light level usage though?

08-27-2009, 08:32 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by lionsmane Quote
Hmmm. I've been considering upgrading my Pentax-M 50mm/1.7 to a 50mm/1.4
I absolutely love my f1.7 but I'm probably about to start taking lot of shots at gigs and that extra bit of light might make all the difference if the lighting isn't all too friendly.
Would you not say it's worth it for more normal light level usage though?
Under daylight shooting conditions at medium to long distances the fast f-stop makes no difference at all (and usually you would step down a bit, anyway), so then it wouldn't make much sense to replace the 1.7. For concerts and other indoor shooting, when you may more often need to catch the last photon, it sure makes sense. My personal decision was (from day 1 of my photography), to not use a 1.7 lens at all, I always opted for the 1.4 lenses or faster. At least the 50/1.4 is fairly cheap, high quality and hardly bigger or heavier than the 50/1.7 - so why give up the 1/2-f-stop advantage, if there is a sensible outlook, that you need the faster f-stop once in a while?

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08-27-2009, 10:50 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by lionsmane Quote
Hmmm. I've been considering upgrading my Pentax-M 50mm/1.7 to a 50mm/1.4
I absolutely love my f1.7 but I'm probably about to start taking lot of shots at gigs and that extra bit of light might make all the difference if the lighting isn't all too friendly.
Would you not say it's worth it for more normal light level usage though?
I've got a 50/1.7 and I don't use it much at gigs at all - the focal length is too short for me mot of the time. I'm much happier shooting a longer lens - 70, 100, 135, 200 - even if it's only f/2.4, f/2.8, or even f/3.5or f/4. That's because I usually go for closeups of individual band members. Or, if I want a shot of the whole band, I'll tend to need something wider than 50mm. When on relatively rare occasions I do decide I want the FOV of the 50, I rarely shoot it at f/1.7, because DOF is almost unusably shallow, and the lens sharpens up noticeably by f/2.4 too.

So for me, no, there would be no point in spending money to replace a 50/1.7 with a 50/1.4. I'd spend the money instead on a different focal length. As I've related before, I find 100mm the single most useful focal length for my style of concert photography, although since getting the DA70, I tend to use it and a 135, and leave the 100 at home.

If you tend to want more full body shots as opposed to closeups of individual members, you might find 50mm more useful than I do, but I'd still doubt you'd find that extra half stop worth bothering with.
08-27-2009, 11:57 AM   #34
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Cheers for the opinions guys.
Hmm I'm really caught in two minds now.

QuoteQuote:
I've got a 50/1.7 and I don't use it much at gigs at all - the focal length is too short for me most of the time
I tend to take photos at pretty small gigs, and seeing as I'm putting the 50mm on a dslr that makes it act longer than 50mm. So far I've found it pretty good if I'm at the front. I think your probably right though, I should save the money for some different focal lengths (as I'm only just starting out and my lens collection is hardly diverse).

QuoteQuote:
Under daylight shooting conditions at medium to long distances the fast f-stop makes no difference at all (and usually you would step down a bit, anyway)
Yeah I think this is a lesson I'm still yet to learn. I keep my 50mm/1.7 far far too glued to 1.7.

Almost going back on what I said a second though I'm still caught in two minds, because whilst I really need to get some different focal lengths, I can think of many a situation where I could have found that extra half a stop useful.

Hmmm...

08-27-2009, 12:10 PM   #35
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Remember, no one is forcing you to get the exposure correct in camera. If you don't get a fast enough shutter speed at f/1.7 with the exposure you want, simply speed up the shutter another notch and thus underexpose, then push in PP (assuming it isn't just as feasible to turn up the ISO another half-notch). Yes, you get a half-stop more worth of noise. It's not the end of the world, and is pretty easy to control in PP. No one expects concert shots to be as clean as your average landscape.
11-06-2009, 10:32 AM   #36
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I am a bit suprised by the number of responses and the content of some of them. There are two factors to conisder with each of the 50mm's QUALITATIVE and QUANTITATIVE. For Posters like k-9 who jab at the owners I wonder if he has a little too much"lens envy" ... I've marticulously shot the same sceen with each of these lenses and I can tell you this for certain; It is more than the Quantitative F-stop value that counts.

1) There is a big value in bright screen when using an auto focus lens

2) The build quality is outstanding on the f1.2

3) The bokeh: The out of focus area on all lenses is not equal. On some the focus is rapidly diverging and looses color, on others the colors stay true. Some form artifacts, streaks or stars. Some change drasticly from center frame to outer edge and others are consistant. The background and the subject are all part of your image, why should you not care what it is doing: Why would you not care to qualify the out of focus area treatment?

The F1.2 makes the out of focus areas look like a painting and the colors tend to form a rendition of the true background but with-out focus ,where as the 1.4 and worse, the 1.7 tend to smear it in to muted color with no personality.

The out of focus treatment of the f1.2 is why it is worth more than the half stop of light. I honestly can not do it justice.
11-08-2009, 01:48 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Andi Lo Quote
The Pentax 1.7s are a bit of an exception of the rule of "stopping down" however, since it is known that it's sharper than the others (1.4, 2) at 1.7 I'm not sure if it's sharper than the 1.2 at 1.7
it's not ! the 1.2 only equalizes the 1.7 sharpness slightly around f5.6 and finally gets it's razor sharpness at f8.

the 1.2 should either be used at f1.2 for isolating subjects (thin/shallow DOF) and producing a soft-sharp creamy image and at f8 for optimum sharpness.

as far as the 1.7 is concerned, it's a great lens for getting really sharp subjects shot under lowlights and the AF is quite handy as well.

Last edited by Pentaxor; 11-08-2009 at 01:58 PM.
11-08-2009, 01:50 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by K-9 Quote
Sort of like "Yay, I own a lens I severely overpaid for with an aperture I'll probably never shoot at, and even if I do, I'll have the shallowest DOF known to man!"
tell that to Leica, Carl Zeiss and Voigtlander as well !!!


Last edited by Pentaxor; 11-08-2009 at 02:19 PM.
11-08-2009, 02:18 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by oswego-otter Quote
I am a bit suprised by the number of responses and the content of some of them. There are two factors to conisder with each of the 50mm's QUALITATIVE and QUANTITATIVE. For Posters like k-9 who jab at the owners I wonder if he has a little too much"lens envy" ... I've marticulously shot the same sceen with each of these lenses and I can tell you this for certain; It is more than the Quantitative F-stop value that counts.

1) There is a big value in bright screen when using an auto focus lens

2) The build quality is outstanding on the f1.2

3) The bokeh: The out of focus area on all lenses is not equal. On some the focus is rapidly diverging and looses color, on others the colors stay true. Some form artifacts, streaks or stars. Some change drasticly from center frame to outer edge and others are consistant. The background and the subject are all part of your image, why should you not care what it is doing: Why would you not care to qualify the out of focus area treatment?

The F1.2 makes the out of focus areas look like a painting and the colors tend to form a rendition of the true background but with-out focus ,where as the 1.4 and worse, the 1.7 tend to smear it in to muted color with no personality.

The out of focus treatment of the f1.2 is why it is worth more than the half stop of light. I honestly can not do it justice.
I think K-9 should start looking up the 1.2 Photos thread inorder to see what an f1.2 use is all about. the reason that I never bought the 1.4 lens which is a great lens in it's own right, is it's inability to produce the same OOF effect that a 1.2 can only produce. right now, I haven't seen a single photo that could get that effect, although the 1.4 has a very nice OOF but just not the same as the 1.2. and the viewfinder is brighter on the 1.2 as compared to the 1.4, so that would negate the assumption that it's not brighter.

lastly, if sharpness was really the concern here, I would get a 1.7 instead of a 1.4 if the idea here was to get sharp images by stopping down and not using the lens wide open. btw, the 1.4 gets it's butt kicked by the 1.7 at f1.7 up til f2.8.

I just don't get the logic of owning a 1.4 without using it at wide open. should had bought a 50/2 instead.

since I own both 1.2 and 1.7, I have the luxury of having to produce an isolated soft-sharp images and outstanding sharpness at f1.7.

the only lens that has only come close to the 1.7 is the Super Tak 1.4. and could had easily beaten the Pentax 1.4 at f1.4 in terms of sharpness. but still, the Super Tak didn't produce the OOF effect that I was looking for at wide open. though I would consider it as a close-runner up in my book.
11-08-2009, 02:57 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
it's not ! the 1.2 only equalizes the 1.7 sharpness slightly around f5.6 and finally gets it's razor sharpness at f8.
...
Which is why some of us love the f1.7 above all else. It's sharper wide open than all the rest. The photos from the 50mm f1.7 are so sharp they will cut your eyes!
11-11-2009, 08:07 PM   #41
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Ah, so many opinions. That's why I have one of each 50! Although I think the best I have is the FA 50/2.8 macro. No scientific testing there, just love its pictures.
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