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11-16-2009, 10:18 PM   #16
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Thanks for replying!

Last questionof the night...what would be the best bang for the buck in 50mm prime used or new (let's saay under 500$, but that's a strech)? FA 50mm 1.4, Da limited 40mm 2.8, etc...

11-16-2009, 10:18 PM   #17
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I've got the Fa 50mm 1.4 at 265$ canadian (250$S) Is that a good deal?
11-17-2009, 12:12 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by mba1971 Quote
I've got the Fa 50mm 1.4 at 265$ canadian (250$S) Is that a good deal?
That sounds like a good price around now. I'm obviously a big fan of this lens, ...I don't think many will dispute the 'bang for buck' factor. definitely as much bang per unit dollar as I think you'll find in a new lens, really. It's pretty. You get speed, you get image quality, you get a very reasonable size, ... as long as you like the angle of view.

(The 40 is teeny and more versatile, focal lengthwise, and just plain cool, as well as giving you a DA type focusing ring, but obviously a couple stops slower and is more expensive. Never used it, myself. )

That 50 do bang, though. No worries, there. Should be the thing that shows you what your K-7 can really do.

If it's the bangs you'd like, go right ahead. Probably no need to rush about price, but it's good stuff.

Last edited by Ratmagiclady; 11-17-2009 at 12:23 AM.
11-17-2009, 05:24 AM   #19
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Just to echo what others have said, there is a difference in sharpness between most primes and most zooms. Primes are also smaller. The big thing is that the apertures wide open are very different. With the FA 50, you can shoot two stops faster than the Sigma can at its wide end, which is its fastest point. That means that if you would be shooting 1/4 second with the Sigma, you could conceivably shoot at 1/16 with the FA 50.

Wide open, both of them are going to be a little soft -- the FA particularly so, because it has such a narrow depth of field, but you can easily shoot from f2 without any problem.

250 sounds like a very reasonable price for this lens now. Overall, it has climbed quite a bit recently and it will really broaden your horizons -- probably be your first prime, but eventually one of many.

11-17-2009, 06:29 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by mba1971 Quote
Last questionof the night...what would be the best bang for the buck in 50mm prime used or new (let's saay under 500$, but that's a strech)? FA 50mm 1.4, Da limited 40mm 2.8, etc...
Kind of depends on priorities. If you've got no problem spending a few hundred dollars, the FA50/1.4 is great, no doubt. If you don't mind giving up AF, you can save a ton of money by getting a used "M" or "A" series 50/1.7 instead.

But 50mm is rather longer than I normally want for the sort of shots I was wanting it for - indoor candids, mostly - so I got the DA40/2.8 and am very happy I did. True, it's only f/2.8, but at ISO 1600 - which I'm comfortable using - I find f/2.8 is enough, barely. I also know that going to an even larger aperture is *not* necessarily a recipe for success in these shots, because DOF because increasingly shallow. others say 40mm is still too long, and prefer the FA35/2, or DA35/2.8, or FA31, or the Sigma 30 or 28, or other lenses. So I'd suggest getting comfortable with the zoom first so *you* can get a sense of which focal lengths you like.
11-17-2009, 07:11 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Kind of depends on priorities. So I'd suggest getting comfortable with the zoom first so *you* can get a sense of which focal lengths you like.
I absolutely, fully agree with Marc (after I cut his quote to two sentenses). Don't even think about spending any more money on lenses until you've spent some time with the zoom. Just shoot away taking the best composed shots you can. After you've got several (hundred), slowly go through them in the Pentax Photo Browser where you can watch what changes from shot to shot. Pay attention to the focal length, the aperture, and the shutter speed. Then go through them again and again. You'll quickly learn what focal length you like best and what apertures you generally shoot at. Then when (if) you decide to buy a prime, go for YOUR favorite focal length, and try to get an aperture that is one or two stops faster than you normally need. This will pull you away from the "shoot it wide open" problems.

Most importantly, enjoy what you'll be learning and learn what you'll be enjoying.
Regards,
Brian
11-17-2009, 07:16 PM   #22
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Thanks to everyone who posted on this thread (and any other thead of mine). As usual, very pertinent precice and useful input!
11-17-2009, 07:35 PM   #23
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i just got a pentax-a 50mm 1.4 and ohhhhh its nice - manual focus but the viewfinder still gives focus confirmation (not that its alot of use at f1.4 - dof is so narrow that focus sensors just cant get it accurate enough - unless its my autofocus thats buggered in which case let me know and will get my camera looked at while still under warranty)

is difficult to focus at the really wide end but stopped down abit and damn its a sharp lens - might hav gone for the fa 50mm if price had been more comparible but now i have this i'm not gonna bother - and this thing looks way more sexy than the fa 50mm

anywa here is a test shot with it - cropped slightly to improve composition - might not be able to see how sharp it is from this resolution but is sharp even at 100% crop


was shot at f5.6

anyway 50mm is a nice length for portraits with nice bokeh and shallow dof certainly worth considering getting one if you intend to take such pictures

11-17-2009, 07:44 PM   #24
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I've always enjoyed walking around with the 50 because I tend to shy away from a tight crop and it forces me to do so. It's a great lens - it's great for taking portraits of kids... It's just short enough of a portrait that a wound up youngster isn't out of arm's length. The bokeh's great and it's supa sharp. Also, I've seen several shots that I knew were shot with the 50 before even looking.
11-18-2009, 04:35 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by stormcloud Quote
i just got a pentax-a 50mm 1.4 and ohhhhh its nice - manual focus but the viewfinder still gives focus confirmation (not that its alot of use at f1.4 - dof is so narrow that focus sensors just cant get it accurate enough - unless its my autofocus thats buggered in which case let me know and will get my camera looked at while still under warranty)
In general, the problem with focus confirmation at large apertures isn't that the AF sensors aren't accurate enough, but that they are too *large* - the camera will happily tell you the shot is in focus if anything *in the general vicinity of the center focus point* is in focus - it doesn't wait until the very center itself is in focus. So unless you're shooting perfectly flat surface, the camera can't help but report report success in situations where the actual center is not in focus but something "near" the center is. The AF sensor is roughly the size of the whole bracketed area around the center. And when DOF is very shallow as it is at f/1.4, that difference can be enough to notice.

For the same reason, AF itself at apertures like f/1.4 can be iffy, since the camera might well focus on a nose when you aimed for an eye (and in fact, usually will, unless you are so close to the subject that the nose does not appear close to the eye).
11-18-2009, 07:07 PM   #26
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SMC-FA 31mm f1,8 Limited

How muche better is the SMC-FA 31mm f1,8 Limited compared to the Fa 50 F1.4?
11-18-2009, 08:54 PM   #27
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I'm just getting to know a Pentax-M 50mm 1.4 (and digital as well) but, here's a little of what I've encountered so far.

Picture is downsampled uncorrected JPEG of a Halloween weekend dinner performance at a gallery here. Gallery5, has about the dimmest stage lighting I've ever seen.

K200d, 1600 ISO, 1/60 at 1.4

Shooting wide open probably added to the "ethereal" glow. What was not welcome was the ghosting from the row of candles on the dinner table in the audience that I was using to direct the eye to the set. (cyan-ish orbs in the shadows onstage.) Hopefully, these can be worked of the RAW files.
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11-18-2009, 09:16 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by mba1971 Quote
How muche better is the SMC-FA 31mm f1,8 Limited compared to the Fa 50 F1.4?
They are totally different focal lengths, so you can't compare them directly. The FA31 is arguably one of the best lenses ever at what it does; I don't think anyone would claim the same about the FA50. But that doesn't make the 31 the better choice if you're looking for a 50mm lens. you need to first get a handle on what focal you want.
11-20-2009, 09:20 PM   #29
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One quick item to add...the FA50 renders the out of focus area beautifully (bokeh), as do the other 50mm's mentioned. This is one of the major reasons for it's popularity as well...a beautiful bokeh machine for cheap. To get this kind of rendering on a wide angle, or telephoto lens you have to spend significantly more money.

c[_]
11-21-2009, 05:20 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by mba1971 Quote
How muche better is the SMC-FA 31mm f1,8 Limited compared to the Fa 50 F1.4?
It's difficult to know how to quantify the difference. Basically, the 31 has some of the best rendering of any lens I have seen. The FA 50 has a real tendency to busy, distracting bokeh, while the 31 doesn't. There have been many threads over the years, mainly comparing the FA 35 to the 31 limited. In most photos, you won't see a difference, but there are differences in bokeh, edge to edge sharpness and obviously in cost.
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