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01-16-2016, 02:41 PM   #1
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f1.4 ?

Are there any Pentax or third-party lenses out there that are razor sharp at f1.4 and are under $1000 ?

01-16-2016, 03:13 PM   #2
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Er, no, there aren't, plain and simple. At least not F8-like-razor-sharp from corner to corner, if that's what you're after. Whether that is a reasonable thing to expect, is a different matter.
01-16-2016, 03:15 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by hjoseph7 Quote
Are there any Pentax or third-party lenses out there that are razor sharp at f1.4 and are under $1000 ?
Samyang, but they are all manual.

Samyang Optics, Lenses for Camera ? Cine ? Photo - VDSLR, Prime Lenses & Third party Lenses
01-16-2016, 03:34 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by zvon Quote
No, the Samyang 50/1.4 is hardly razor-sharp @ f/1.4.

01-16-2016, 03:43 PM - 1 Like   #5
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Razor Sharp at f/1.4 is an Oxymoron - The DA* 55 MM f/1.4 is an outstanding lens but razor sharp it is not. I'm not sure anyone shooting at f/1.4 is looking for pin sharpness but rather for subject isolation - Just my thoughts :-)
01-16-2016, 03:47 PM   #6
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I have a few older m42s that are *sharp* at f/1.4 when a lot of others aren't at all (but they might have a dreamy quality that is sometimes useful). But RAZOR-sharp, no, i.e. they always get noticeably sharper when you stop them down. There are also usually some aberrations to go along with fast lenses when wide-open...
01-16-2016, 03:49 PM   #7
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The Sigma 30/1.4 is pretty good at f/1.4 in the center. This may be more true of the older version than the newer ART version. It's not razor sharp, though.
01-16-2016, 03:50 PM - 1 Like   #8
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I think your best bet would be Sigma 35mm f1.4 Art. Probably the sharpest lens that I have seen for Pentax. Now, I don't exactly know how do you define razor-sharp, but in my book my copy is very sharp from f/1.4. Price should be below 1000$.

Those two pictures below are at f/1.4. Keep in mind that I was using AF handheld and my copy sometimes has FF/BF issues, so the focus might not be correct. I am sure I can do better on a tripod with Contrast AF in Live View, for instance.





Check the review of this lens here.


Last edited by Hattifnatt; 01-16-2016 at 07:12 PM.
01-16-2016, 04:11 PM   #9
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Winner winner chicken dinner! Your pics look good, and Lenstip shows a very impressive performance by the Siggy 35/1.4 A.
01-16-2016, 07:11 PM   #10
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My old Sigma EX 30mm 1.4 is pretty sharp in the center at f/1.4, but we're speaking relatively. From what I've heard, the new Sigma 50mm ART is one of the sharpest at f/1.4, but it's not even available for Pentax. I think my Sigma 85mm 1.4 is pretty sharp there also, but I rarely use it wide-open due to the extremely shallow DOF.
01-16-2016, 07:29 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by hjoseph7 Quote
razor sharp at f1.4 and are under $1000?
Your best shot is the Pentax FA31 Limited. There isn't a single lens from any manufacturer that is truly "razor sharp" at f/1.4 that doesn't carry a price tag over $2000.

QuoteOriginally posted by Edgar_in_Indy Quote
My old Sigma EX 30mm 1.4 is pretty sharp in the center at f/1.4,
Everything else outside the center even at f/11 is complete rubbish...
01-16-2016, 08:00 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edgar_in_Indy Quote
My old Sigma EX 30mm 1.4 is pretty sharp in the center at f/1.4, but we're speaking relatively.
QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
Everything else outside the center even at f/11 is complete rubbish...
Seems like we've been down this road once or twice before, and I still love my Sigma 30mm!

Here's a couple quick shots I just took with my Sigma 85mm 1.4 wide open. In the first shot, the focus was on the eye. And while the eye looks pretty sharp to me, everything else softens up pretty quickly because of the thin DOF. In the second shot, the focus is shifted a tiny bit to his neck and front of his jacket, and you can see how soft his eye has become. So for close subjects, f/1.4 is not terribly useful, even if it fairly sharp.

You can click on each of the pictures for a direct link to the full-size, uncropped image.





I'll look through my pictures if I get a chance before I head to bed, and I'll see if I have any good real-world examples of f/1.4 in use. In the meantime, here's the same subject shot at f/8, for the sake of comparison.



Okay, I dug up a couple more pictures at f/1.4. Like I said, this isn't an aperture value that I use often. One picture is a cement truck, the other one is a baby.




Last edited by Edgar_in_Indy; 01-16-2016 at 08:54 PM.
01-17-2016, 04:43 AM   #13
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If new then the FA50/1.4 goes for a third of that budget. No, it's not razor sharp at f1.4 either.

Seb
01-17-2016, 10:38 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
Your best shot is the Pentax FA31 Limited. There isn't a single lens from any manufacturer that is truly "razor sharp" at f/1.4 that doesn't carry a price tag over $2000.
By the way, now that I have two of the FA Limiteds (FA 43 and FA 77) I was thinking to complete the circle and get the FA 31 also. Do you think this is justified considering that I have the Sigma 35 f1.4 ?
01-17-2016, 10:41 AM   #15
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Look in to Summilux lenses.
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