Pentax A 50 1.4: how good is it?


giofi

Link Posted 14/01/2011 - 21:22
I would appreciate your views on the Pentax A 50 1.4. How good is it (compared for instance with the 1.7 version) and what is a reasonable price for it? Thanks!

Giorgio
Giorgio

Pentax Photo Gallery

amoringello

Link Posted 14/01/2011 - 21:37
What are your use intentions and/or requirements?
It is slightly better at lower light (f1.4 v.s. f1.7)
It is not as good for sharp focus open wide... it is rather soft at f1.4 but gets very nice nearer 2.0+.
I hear the f1.7 is sharper but not sure if that is comparing f1.7 v.s. f1.7, etc...

I've been seeing $350US (thats what I bought mine for 13 years ago).
I believe the f1.7, is much cheaper.

If I had it to do again, I'd probably go for the f1.7.

Smeggypants

Link Posted 15/01/2011 - 00:56
They go for about £120-150 IRRC

I have one and I love it. IMO they don't need to be ultra sharp ( especially the edges ) wide open as it's all about shallow DOF and Bokeh

I also have the A50/1.7 and A50/1.2

At f2.0 the 1.2 is the sharpest and the 1.4 and 1.7 are little different.

Personally I would get a 1.4 if you have to choose. The brighter viewfinder and availability of the shallower DOF is great.

Although ultimately try and get hold of an A50/1.2 as that is a lens with true vibe. And stopped down it's sharper than a sharp thing
[i]Bodies: 1x K-5IIs, 2x K-5, Sony TX-5, Nokia 808
Lenses: Pentax DA 10-17mm ED(IF) Fish Eye, Pentax DA 14mm f/2.8, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8, Pentax-A 28mm f/2.8, Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.2, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-FA 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7, Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8, Sigma 135-400mm APO DG, and more ..
Flash: AF-540FGZ, Vivitar 283

JonSchick

Link Posted 15/01/2011 - 07:57
Build quality of the 1.4 is a step up from the 1.7 - the latter being prone to fragile (plastic) aperture mechanisms. The 1.4 gives speed, more control over depth of field, and lots of fun to be had with bokeh.
Jon

Some occasional random stuff at The Photographers Block: link

sorted78

Link Posted 15/01/2011 - 08:19
The A50/1.4 is very good, but the A50/1.7 is much better value (less than half the price in the UK).

I have an A50/1.7 and FA50/1.4 (optically identical to the A50/1.4 as I understand it) and both are very good lenses. The main differences are in the performance wide open. The 1.7 is sharper, but I find the images from the 1.4 more pleasing (could well be down to luck/lack of skill on my part, though).

Algernon

Link Posted 15/01/2011 - 10:05
Both perform very similar. The f/1.7 probably just a touch sharper and with a flatter field. If your using it mainly in poor light the f/1.4 offers a slight advantage.
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Algi

Mike-P

Link Posted 15/01/2011 - 10:50
I had both the FA 1.4 and 1.7 at one time .. eventually sold the 1.4 as I felt the 1.7 was a touch sharper.
. My Flickr

JonSchick

Link Posted 15/01/2011 - 11:02
I think people buy f1.4 and faster lenses for different purposes - often because they want to use them wide open (or close to wide open) and often because bokeh or other aspects of the image quality are more important for the intended use (portraits perhaps) than edge to edge sharpness.

If general purpose use and sharpness across the image are of paramount importance, then the f1.7 would be a better option.
Jon

Some occasional random stuff at The Photographers Block: link

Mannesty

Link Posted 15/01/2011 - 12:54
I've had a few A50/1.7 lenses (kit lenses of their time), an F50/1.7, an FA50/1.4, and a K50/1.2. I sold them all for the DA*55mm/1.4 (SDM or MF only, no screw drive AF). No regrets so far.

Of the 50's, the 1.7 is sharpest overall but the 1.4 & 1.2 lenses give you a bit more opportunity in low light, but not much.

With an SR equipped body, a 1.7 is a much cheaper option unless you really want the narrow DOF and superb bokeh of the faster primes.
Peter E Smith

My flickr Photostream

giofi

Link Posted 15/01/2011 - 16:38
Thanks to all of you for the advice, all very useful. I have the M 50 1.7, but of course the A model is so much easier to use....

The A 50 1.4 I might be able to get costs approx. 110GBP, which looks like a reasonable price, but as many of you pointed out the 1.7 version is still much cheaper.

I will throw a coin...
Giorgio

Pentax Photo Gallery

Smeggypants

Link Posted 15/01/2011 - 16:59
Maybe just my copies but, excepting wide open, I doubt anyone would tell the difference in sharpness between my A50/1.4 and A50/1.7

For £110 I would definitely go for the 1.4
[i]Bodies: 1x K-5IIs, 2x K-5, Sony TX-5, Nokia 808
Lenses: Pentax DA 10-17mm ED(IF) Fish Eye, Pentax DA 14mm f/2.8, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8, Pentax-A 28mm f/2.8, Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.2, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-FA 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7, Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8, Sigma 135-400mm APO DG, and more ..
Flash: AF-540FGZ, Vivitar 283

Don

Link Posted 15/01/2011 - 18:04
it has been explained a few times before.. try searching the forums... the 1.7 may be better suited for macro use with extension tubes...
Fired many shots. Didn't kill anything.

johnriley

Link Posted 15/01/2011 - 18:10
Yes indeed. The f1.7 lenses have a flatter field and are more suitable when being (optically) abused by add on items such as close up lenses, bellows, etc.

The f1.4 lenses have higher contrast and lower resolution, as suits their low light reportage role.
Best regards, John

womble

Link Posted 16/01/2011 - 02:12
I have an A50 f/1.4 and hardly ever use it. If I want a 50mm straight I tend to use the K50 f/1.2 and if I am using tubes I use my M50 f/1.7. Sometimes I use my M50 f/2 for nostalgia reasons (it was my first ever lens) or simply because it is small (although if I want really small I use my M40 f/2.8 or my FED2). The K55 f/2 and A50 f/1.4 are the least used of my nifty fifties. When I get around to having my Program A serviced the A50 will probably get more use then.

K.
Kris Lockyear
It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head. Henri Cartier-Bresson
Lots of film bodies, a couple of digital ones, too many lenses (mainly older glass) and a Horseman LE 5x4.

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Hylas

Link Posted 16/01/2011 - 13:37
I don't have the f/1.4, but do find that (unless you have a non-stock focusing screen) it's pretty difficult to nail the focus if the aperture's wider than f/1.7 in any case. Unless you have incredible eyesight or some kind of focusing aid, I'm not sure the 1.4 offers that much more useable quality over the 1.7.

(Although this may just be my incompetence speaking.)
K-x with a bunch of primes (both auto and manual)
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