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03-27-2007, 10:59 PM   #1
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30mm 1.4 versus 50mm 1.4

As a new K10D owner, I recently bought a genuine Pentax 50mm 1.4 prime lens to take natural light pictures. I bought the 50mm because as a long-time Pentax K1000 owner, 50mm is engrained in me as the "normal" lens which sees much the same as the human eye. I was vaguely aware that for DSLRs, you multiply the lens size by 1.5 times to get the effective actual size. But understanding something intellectually isn't the same as knowing something viscerally.

Taking pictures with the 50mm I find myself ... stepping 'waaaay back because it's the equivalent of 75mm. In fact, I find myself stepping TOO far back. Now the 50mm lens is really high quality, I'm very pleased with it and the resulting images, and it'll make a hum-dinger of a portrait lens, but if I buy a 30mm 1.4 lens, probably a Sigma, will I be just as happy with the image quality -- and not have to step back too far to take pictures? I want my "normal" lens back. Will I get it with a Sigma 30mm 1.4?

Jim

03-28-2007, 01:37 AM   #2
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Hi Jim,
I have never tried the 30mm 1.4 and I have always used the 50mm and gotten great results. I would say the answer to your question here is in all probability and because of the 1.5 crop factor I would say the 30 should do what you want it to do. I really don't think you will have the quality of the 50mm but that's just my opinion.
03-28-2007, 02:51 AM   #3
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The "normal" lens for the APS-C format would be around 30mm. I use the 31mm f/1.8 for a normal lens, and an A 50mm f/1.4 as a portrait lens.

Just like medium format, you have to match the lens to the frame size. A normal lens on a 645 camera is 75mm, which would be a wide-angle on a 6x7 camera.
03-28-2007, 04:18 AM   #4
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Is Phoenix Airozan the same as Phoenix Arizona?

The 30mm equates to 45mm on a 35mm camera and the 50mm to 75mm for the K10D.

Not all APS-C sensors are exactly the same size but for most the 'crop factor' is 1.5 or 1.6.

Old habits die hard...

03-28-2007, 04:32 AM   #5
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The Sigma looks to be a very good lens. It is quite sharp (enough for me, anyway) at all apertures, and the bokeh can be nice. I don't own the lens, so I am only going from a friend's copy. It sometimes puts strange triangles in the bokeh - I never got a good explanation why.
You can check out a lot of images with the Sigma 30/1.4 here:
Sigma 30/1.4 Images on Pbase

I use either the more expensive Pentax 31mm f/1.8 Limited (in low light) or the *much* less expensive Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 28/3.5 as my new 'standard' lens. Both are superb, with different pros and cons. Be warned - the 31mm is a stellar lens but not without flaws as some like to claim! It is understandable - I myself bought it as much to reward Pentax for making such a bold throwback lens with all-metal construction and an aperture ring as I did for the pleasant rendering characteristics.

You may also want to check out the user lens reviews on this site. Depending on your budget and eyesight, there might be a great manual focus lens out there for you, too.
User Lens Review Database on PentaxForums.com
Take care,
Sean
03-28-2007, 12:35 PM   #6
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I don't own either lenses, but I have a M50/1.7 and a K28/3.5. I find the 28mm lens is much more useful for me indoors. I had the M28/2.8 but gave it to a friend of mine as a thank you gift for loaning me his Pentax equipment for a few months. Both 28's can be purchased for a good price, but you'll have some fun trying to get it to work with on-board flash (set for 1/180, then adjust aperture accordingly).
03-28-2007, 09:44 PM   #7
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I own sigma 30 f1.4 for canon set up. It is almost identitical to Canon 35 f1.4 wide open except the different focal length.

It is smaller in size and lighter in weight. Sharp in the centre and MTF falls off quickly reaching the corners. The bokeh is beautiful and it is very capable in all sorts of lighting.

Though sigma 30 f1.4 tends to blow out highlights in harsh lighting, the problem is solved if you shoot raw.

There is a lot of complaints about this lens not being sharp enough etc. In real life, it is a all round lens - a lens I brought along to a Thailand watermarket where the boat proved one old chinese saying - a boat can either carry people or sink them to the bottom of the river. This lens has been all used to the extent I cannot re sell anymore. A good lens.

Examples of 31 f1.4

f1.8



f1.6



f1.8



f2.0



Fa 31 is a great lens especially for protraits. IMHO, it is better than sigma when it comes to elliciting "atmosphere" feel.
03-29-2007, 02:00 AM   #8
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Are we talking about the "new" Sigma 30/1.4 here?

03-29-2007, 02:05 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Arpe Quote
Are we talking about the "new" Sigma 30/1.4 here?
I did not know there is even a newer version! Thanks for letting me know.

It looks like a even better one for sure. (Price is a bit dear though)
03-29-2007, 02:08 AM   #10
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I didn't know there was an "old" version!
03-29-2007, 03:20 AM   #11
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If you want to stick with Pentax glass (and have a nice small lens), there really is no better bang for the buck than the FA 35/f2.0.

It is sharper than the FA 50/1.4 and focusses faster and has a nice MF feel when needed. It is still currently manufactured, although in short supply, and is not nearly as expensive, or big, as either the FA 31 Ltd or the Sigma 30/1.4.

I can heartily recommend this lens.

Some reviews and specs here:
The New smc PENTAX-FA35/2AL Impression
http://www.takinami.com/yoshihiko/photo/lens_test/pentax_35.html
03-29-2007, 09:01 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Richard Day Quote
If you want to stick with Pentax glass (and have a nice small lens), there really is no better bang for the buck than the FA 35/f2.0.

It is sharper than the FA 50/1.4 and focusses faster and has a nice MF feel when needed. It is still currently manufactured, although in short supply, and is not nearly as expensive, or big, as either the FA 31 Ltd or the Sigma 30/1.4.

I can heartily recommend this lens.

Some reviews and specs here:
The New smc PENTAX-FA35/2AL Impression
http://www.takinami.com/yoshihiko/photo/lens_test/pentax_35.html
Well i was having difficulty choosing between the Pentax 40mm f/2.8 & the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 but know you gave me another alternative with the Pentax 35mm f/2.

The only thing is i don`t seem to find it anywhere ? i`d like to buy it new , this is a 1999 lens ,don`t you think it`s going to be less suited for DSLR then a lens like the Sigma which was especially optimized for digital photography?
03-29-2007, 09:24 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by guillermovilas Quote
this is a 1999 lens ,don`t you think it`s going to be less suited for DSLR then a lens like the Sigma which was especially optimized for digital photography?
I have a few old SMC K and M series that I use all the time. I'm guessing they may be older or as old as I am. I don't know if these pictures do them enough justice, but I know they can handily hold their own against many modern lenses. The lenses can also be acquired for very reasonably low prices, if you're willing to look around.

#1 - SMC 55mm f2.0 (loaned from a friend)
#2 - SMC M 28mm f3.5
#3 - Gemini 135mm f2.8 (Old K mount, loaned from a friend)
#4 - SMC M 50mm f1.7
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03-29-2007, 10:42 AM   #14
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The new Pentax 35mm should be a beauty, is it a 1.4 ?


wll
03-29-2007, 11:21 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by guillermovilas Quote
Well i was having difficulty choosing between the Pentax 40mm f/2.8 & the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 but know you gave me another alternative with the Pentax 35mm f/2.

The only thing is i don`t seem to find it anywhere ? i`d like to buy it new , this is a 1999 lens ,don`t you think it`s going to be less suited for DSLR then a lens like the Sigma which was especially optimized for digital photography?
It works really well on digital, probably one of the best FA primes. I know that's why Pentax have kept in in production. I believe that the DA 35 on the new roadmap will be a rehoused version of this lens, probably for more money!

Try looking at some of the German stores as it will probably be easier for you to get one there than anywhere else.

TeKaDe seem to have it available for 309 Euros:
TeKaDe - Ihr zuverlässiges Internet-Fachgeschäft: Digital-Foto / Video, Zubehör - mit Beratung!
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