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02-27-2014, 07:43 PM   #1
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Bitten by the autofocus bug... is 43mm too wide?

I am now the proud owner of an MZ-S. I have been shooting various manual focus cameras for the last year (did an entire year of just film!) and it is getting super hard to nail my now toddling toddler in focus. 95% of my photos are people photos.

I currently am in *LOVE* with my FA 77 so I have been bitten by the limited bug. This lens on the MZ-S is just sick. Autofocus is nice as well.

I am also in *LOVE* with the 50mm focal length... I currently have an M 50 1.7 and an A 50 1.4. There is nothing better than family 'daily life' pics shot @1600 on tri-x on a fast 50.

I really think that I should save up for the FA 43 because it is limited and near fifty, but I am concerned it won't give me that same "look" as I get at 50mm due to depth of field and just the fact it is a tad wider.

For the record I don't like the 35mm focal length, it just doesn't work for me. I fear 43mm is treading into those waters.

If I don't get the 43mm, I will probably get the FA 50mm 1.4 but shoot it at f2 in most cases.

I will be keeping my M 50mm 1.7 in any case. The A 1.4 tends to 'glow' if you shoot it wide open in bright light. Not a fan of that unless its b&w film. Wonder if an F 1.7 wouldn't be better.

Thanks for any thoughts or opinions.

Jamey

02-27-2014, 07:53 PM   #2
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On film I shoot mostly 43mm and I love it. I think it has perfect field of view. I don't have AF bodies, so it's only MF for me.

Bit misfocussed:






I'm thinking of also getting a 50mm f1.4 or f1.2, but only for the extra speed and not field of view.
02-27-2014, 08:19 PM   #3
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Thanks nuff, those look great! If you want the speed go for that 1.2 man..... :-)
02-27-2014, 09:43 PM   #4
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I have experience with the exact same lenses, except only using them on digital. And, technically, it was the 'optically identical' siblings: A50/1.7, M50/1.4, and F50/1.4.

I did notice the M50/1.4 had a strange glow. I got it for a good price along with a couple of old K2s, a K50/1.2, and some worthless junk. It was fairly easy to decide to keep the K50/1.2 and make myself sell the M50/1.4. I already had the A50/1.7 anyway.

While the FA43 will be slightly wider, I don't think it's too much. It's clearly better than any of the aforementioned lenses except the K50/1.2 at any given aperture. It's even noticeably better than the F50/1.4 (which is already slightly better than the FA50/1.4, from what I've seen).


The FA43 doesn't have amazingly smooth backgrounds - it seems rather average in that regard. In fact the backgrounds are almost nondescript, it seems. But the foreground subject and the colors are wonderful - probably the best colors you'll ever see on whatever color film you use. And my early serial MIJ FA43 is probably even slightly better in this regard (the colors) due to what must be slightly different glass. But my AIV FA77 was certainly no slouch - on that lens I never felt shortchanged by not having an MIJ version.

---------- Post added 02-27-14 at 08:48 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Nuff Quote
I'm thinking of also getting a 50mm f1.4 or f1.2, but only for the extra speed and not field of view.
It's either the f/1.2, the DA*55/1.4 (if it'll work on your camera), or don't bother.

If you go with the f/1.2 make a deliberate choice between the smc "K" and A versions. I like the backgrounds on the K slightly better. But technically speaking, the cause of that should probably be called an optical flaw. So decide which you like better, and how much the A contacts matter to you.

02-27-2014, 10:16 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jamey777 Quote
I am now the proud owner of an MZ-S. I have been shooting various manual focus cameras for the last year (did an entire year of just film!) and it is getting super hard to nail my now toddling toddler in focus. 95% of my photos are people photos.

I currently am in *LOVE* with my FA 77 so I have been bitten by the limited bug. This lens on the MZ-S is just sick. Autofocus is nice as well.

I am also in *LOVE* with the 50mm focal length... I currently have an M 50 1.7 and an A 50 1.4. There is nothing better than family 'daily life' pics shot @1600 on tri-x on a fast 50.

I really think that I should save up for the FA 43 because it is limited and near fifty, but I am concerned it won't give me that same "look" as I get at 50mm due to depth of field and just the fact it is a tad wider.

For the record I don't like the 35mm focal length, it just doesn't work for me. I fear 43mm is treading into those waters.

If I don't get the 43mm, I will probably get the FA 50mm 1.4 but shoot it at f2 in most cases.

I will be keeping my M 50mm 1.7 in any case. The A 1.4 tends to 'glow' if you shoot it wide open in bright light. Not a fan of that unless its b&w film. Wonder if an F 1.7 wouldn't be better.

Thanks for any thoughts or opinions.

Jamey
I have the 50 F/1.4. I think I'd rather have the 43.
02-27-2014, 10:22 PM   #6
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I really like the Fa43 on film, the focal lenght is perfect. I like it better than 35mm and 50/55mm for a general walk around lens. The only issue is it's harder to manual focus than a larger K Series lens.

Phil.
02-27-2014, 10:39 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by ElJamoquio Quote
I have the 50 F/1.4. I think I'd rather have the 43.
I think you would too!
02-27-2014, 11:07 PM   #8
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Save a bunch of money and get an F 50/1.7. I've had the 43 and all the 50/1.7's (except the A). F 50/1.7 is by far the best combo of IQ and cost, with fast/accurate AF to boot. A great around-the-house lens, particularly for the price.

Brandon

02-28-2014, 06:47 AM   #9
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Thanks for the posts.

I think that if I don't feel like saving up, I will do the F 1.7. If I am feeling patient I will save up for the 43....

Just walked around the house framing kids etc and really the 43mm is only like 6 inches further back probably.

Brandon, have you ever used the FA 35 2.0? I had it for APS-C and loved the coloring and rendition. I wonder if the F 1.7 is similar?

I should be able to make some pictures with this rig:

-Pentax LX with FA77 loaded with Tri-x
-Pentax MZ-S with FA43 loaded with Portra

I always buy used so perhaps I just do the F 1.7 and then sell it once I have enough for the FA 43 :-) (If I even want it at that point)
02-28-2014, 05:05 PM   #10
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On film I prefer my M40/2.8 in terms of focal length, and on APS-C I prefer to use 28mm (almost the equivalent focal length). An FA43 would seem to be perfect on film (I'd buy one if I had the chance) - but the 50mm focal length works as a 'standard' on film and short-tele on APS-C and possibly more useful as a result (the FA43 is somewhere in between on APS-C).
02-28-2014, 05:20 PM   #11
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My MF camera and it's 75mm lens (pretty much 43mm in terms of 35mm lenses) definitely feels a lot wider than a 50mm. It's actually the same % difference of a 21mm vs 24mm wide angle. To me, I wish I would've gone with a longer lens at first.

If you're used to the 50mm and like it, stick to it. I can tell you, that sharpness wise, especially with Tri-X, or about anything but Delta/Tmax/Acros 100, Provia 100f, or Velvia 100, you won't see much difference in sharpness between the FA 43 and the FA 50mm f/1.7. Depending on what your goals are,, if you like the focal length, and like pushing Tri-X, an FA 50mm f/1.7 and a nother couple bricks of film is probably a better investment.
02-28-2014, 05:47 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by fretlessdavis Quote
My MF camera and it's 75mm lens (pretty much 43mm in terms of 35mm lenses) definitely feels a lot wider than a 50mm. It's actually the same % difference of a 21mm vs 24mm wide angle. To me, I wish I would've gone with a longer lens at first.

If you're used to the 50mm and like it, stick to it. I can tell you, that sharpness wise, especially with Tri-X, or about anything but Delta/Tmax/Acros 100, Provia 100f, or Velvia 100, you won't see much difference in sharpness between the FA 43 and the FA 50mm f/1.7. Depending on what your goals are,, if you like the focal length, and like pushing Tri-X, an FA 50mm f/1.7 and a nother couple bricks of film is probably a better investment.

You must be shooting 645. 80mm on 6x6 is the same as 43mm on 35mm. For me they are the most perfect lenses. If you look at my photos on Flickr, 99.9% of my photos are done at this 2 lenses. Quite often I think of selling everything else. Since it barely gets looked at.
02-28-2014, 05:49 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nuff Quote
You must be shooting 645. 80mm on 6x6 is the same as 43mm on 35mm. For me they are the most perfect lenses. If you look at my photos on Flickr, 99.9% of my photos are done at this 2 lenses. Quite often I think of selling everything else. Since it barely gets looked at.
Yup. I don't think it's perfect, actually. I prefer wider, and longer. My favorite and most used 'normal' for 35mm is actually my 58mm, though.
02-28-2014, 06:06 PM   #14
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When my daughter was an toddler I found that a fast 35mm focal length lens was far more useful than my 50mm for environmental portraits.
43mm is too close to 50mm. I strongly suggest you go wider. IMO 35mm is ideal; it will also serve you better when your daughter is grown.

Chris

Last edited by ChrisPlatt; 02-28-2014 at 06:16 PM.
02-28-2014, 06:45 PM   #15
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Chris,

I had the DA21 at one point for my K-01 and really don't like from 30-35mm equivalent. I am chasing older kids around with the 50 just fine on film. Once they are old enough to pose they will either do it or they won't :-)

The best way to get shots of the older kids is with the FA 77 when they aren't looking. You can't be incognito with a 50 trying to do a portrait :-)

I have a 24mm when the situation arises.

Jamey
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