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02-02-2007, 03:19 AM   #1
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Pentax primes 40mm 2.8 or 50mm 1.4

Since I can't locate a 28-105 mm pentax 3.2 I'm restructuring my approach thinking that it might be a good learning thing for me to buy a good autofocus prime lens. Since image quality is the most important thing to me why not go for the prime.
I already own the manual focusing 50mm 1.7 pentax but would rather have an auto-focusing lens which would be quicker to use when speed is important.
My main problem with the 50mm 1.7 is getting an accurate manual focus, which is why I want an autofocus lens.
I want the prime to be able to shoot landscapes, flowers up close, my family in the living room and all around outdoor shooting.
Since the currently rebated 40mm 2.8 and 50mm 1.4 are close in price I would like an opinion about which one would better suit my particular needs.
Will appreciate any comments. thank you, Freddy

02-02-2007, 06:31 AM   #2
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I have the 50 f1.4 and although it's highly desireable I personally don't care for the focal length all that much.

I think I'm going to sell it after I pickup the 35 f2.0 in the near future (a bit scarce right now). This lens is nearer to my old Nikon film 50 and 55mm primes I used back in the "old days." That focal length range was fantastic for what they call today a "walkaround" lens and spontaneous shooting at home and on the street. And, at f2.0, you're not giving up too much speed.
02-02-2007, 06:58 AM   #3
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Thanks, Photodan. In your opinion would the 40mm be more versatile than the 50mm. Freddy
02-02-2007, 08:38 AM   #4
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What's versatile for you depends on your shooting style. If you're using the kit lens or another zoom, check the focal length you "gravitate" toward naturally. I walked around with my 18-55mm one afternoon and framed up several shots, then checked the focal length. In my case, I was always in the 30-40mm range. That makes sense to me since I generally use a 50mm prime on my 35mm cameras, and 30-40mm on the K100D gives me a similar field of view.

02-02-2007, 09:25 AM   #5
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Thanks, pants. I usually shoot in a range of 18mm to 40mm on the 18-55 kit lens. So what what that indicate to you from a digital camera point of view, a 40mm prime or a 50mm prime. I think I would like to handle that range please have the bes depth of focus. Would appreciate your opinion. Thanks, Freddy
02-02-2007, 10:04 AM   #6
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I own the FA 50mm f/1.4 lens and absolutely love it! It is the one lens I don't leave home without. However speaking what is great for me, might not be the best for you.

You stated that you shoot between 18-40mm which is a very wide range to cover with a single prime, perhaps the upcoming DA 16-50mm f/2.8 might be more suited to your needs. If you get the DA 40mm f/2.8, that does not cover your needs towards the wider 18mm range. If you shoot consistently between 18-40mm, the middle of the two would be a 28mm. Have you considered the FA 28mm f/2.8? At around $225 it's a great price that is comparable to the price range of the 40mm and 50mm primes you are looking at.

"I want the prime to be able to shoot landscapes, flowers up close, my family in the living room and all around outdoor shooting." If that is your goal, a single prime lens is going to be tough to meet your wants whether it's the 40mm or the 50mm.

Last edited by ISH; 02-02-2007 at 11:32 AM.
02-02-2007, 10:39 AM   #7
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I agree w/Pants of St. Louis, MO. Given my slightly different preferences, I can use my DA40 f2.8 for walking around, and the FA50 f1.4 for low light shots at the end of the day or early morning. The two lenses fit easily enough in the smallest of camera bags.
02-02-2007, 10:52 AM   #8
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Hi Freddy, I have to agree with ISH. I don't own the 40mm so I can't make a comparison but I find the FA 50mm 1.4 a fantastic lens. I find it extrodinarily sharp stopped down and quite sharp wide open. It's color rendition is close to perfect, and I love the bokeh. I take lots of flower photos, and absolutely love this lens for that purpose. Here's an example of what I am talking about.
DS, f5.6 at 1/1000


NaCl(don't leave home without it)H2O

02-02-2007, 12:59 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by fevbusch Quote
I want the prime to be able to shoot landscapes, flowers up close, my family in the living room and all around outdoor shooting.
Hi Freddy,

I own the DA40 and the older F50/1.7, which is an auto-focusing lens. The F50/1.7 is my favorite lens, bar none out of the dozen or so lenses I own. The way it renders an image is simply breathtaking sometimes. Wide open or -1 stop it takes wonderful portraits. The FA50 has very similar qualities. It's length is inconvenient for indoor work and candids when combined with the 1.5x crop factor on Pentax digitals.

The DA40/2.8, even though it's shorter by 20% is still a little too long for "around the house" shooting. The DA40 takes nice shots, even at 2.8 they are well defined. The image quality is better than the kit, IMHO, and I wouldn't hesitate to use it in any situation. It's small size does make the camera tiny and it can fit in an oversize jacket pocket easily. For my shooting, I probably should've gone with the DA21.

-E
02-02-2007, 04:10 PM   #10
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Thanks for your reply, eric. What do you mean exactly when you say a lens is "too long" for around the house. Are you saying that it can't shoot at a wide enough angle to cover a family sitting on a couch, for example. Freddy
02-02-2007, 04:24 PM   #11
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Since the 50mm is actually a short tele on DSLRs, I'd recommend the DA pancake.

I have both of these lenses, and they're both nice, but I definitely use the pancake more. Also, remember that the pancake is compatible with film cameras.

Here's a nice sample shot taken with the pancake. As you can see, it has great bokeh because of its 9 aperture blades:



P.S. I don't recognize the DA 21 and 70 as pancakes.

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02-02-2007, 04:26 PM   #12
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40mm equivalent to 60mm on 35mm SLR

QuoteOriginally posted by fevbusch Quote
Thanks for your reply, eric. What do you mean exactly when you say a lens is "too long" for around the house. Are you saying that it can't shoot at a wide enough angle to cover a family sitting on a couch, for example. Freddy
That kind of focal length would be considered short telephoto focal length where tight landscape or protraits are mainly considered.

In the indoor environment, the space is rather limited to really place the family far away enough from the camera for a decent whole body shot. Otherwise you would just end up photographing the nose or the chin of the family member like display pictures of body museum library.

I am getting a DA 40mm f2.8 at the moment simply because it is a limited. Not only it is light and small to carry, it can also be used on flim SLR (just sounds good in case I want to use the lenses on films in future)

Its optical quality is on the same pars as any Fa primes and its AF speed is instant because there is not much to turn the manual focus to focus anyway.

The only pity is the aperture only 2.8 maximum. I would love to have f1.2 for this hehehe

Or wait til Da 55 f1.4 to be released
02-02-2007, 06:45 PM   #13
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..and then there are us weird guys who go out and buy the 43mm Limited and love it with its slightly longer 65-66mm equivalent on the K10D, but wanted that fast aperture! ;o)
Rob W
P.S. Also, lusting after and determined to find and buy the 31mm and 77mm as well!
02-02-2007, 08:11 PM   #14
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Another vote for the 30's or 40. I have a 50mm 1.4 and the 16-45, the 50 might be useful as an outdoor portrait (once it warms up!) but so far I reach for the 16-45 indoors, and to deal with normal sized rooms, much less than 45, say 20-30. I'm not sure that 40 would do it for me, but a fast 30 sure would.
02-02-2007, 09:45 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by noser Quote
Another vote for the 30's or 40. I have a 50mm 1.4 and the 16-45, the 50 might be useful as an outdoor portrait (once it warms up!) but so far I reach for the 16-45 indoors, and to deal with normal sized rooms, much less than 45, say 20-30. I'm not sure that 40 would do it for me, but a fast 30 sure would.
Perhaps the FA 35mm F2 would be close enough, very good lens.
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