Pentax D-FA*50/1.4 introduced by Ricoh (UK) and SRS


Kim C

Link Posted 11/10/2018 - 00:58
johnriley wrote:
The new D-FA* 50/1.4 is much better than the FA version. The difference in resolution is very marked, but it also has that magic quality that makes a great lens, the qualities that can't be measured but give the lens its character. The FA lens is a bit bland for me. The 43mm is better and has a special character of its own, but the new lens is better again by a good margin.

I don't think anyone is saying that it is not a great lens John. And in some regards it is a "steal" at just over a £1000 pounds. The Leica 50/2 Apo is over £6000 and the 501.4 asph is over £3000. It is probably better VFM than those.

But I still like using the Pentax 43 Ltd on both the film and digital Leica bodies and no way could I justify spending the price of one of those Leica lenses for the use it would get. Would I get £1200 worth of enjoyment out of the new D FA? Probably not. If anything I would rather spend it on a Laowa 12mm lens. Why? Because it would enable me to cover situations I can't get with the 15mm. I do feel the discussion has been more about what might be the best alternative for those that do not feel they can justify the price.

There is also another reason, I would be loath to get one at the moment. In the days when the K10D was my "prime" DSLR, I was one of the early adopters of the 16-50 and 50-135 lenses. I wanted something that would be the equal of the 28-70 and 80-200 / 2.8 FA's. When the motors failed, I paid a lot of money to have them replaced supposedly with the "new" motors which would cause the problem, Just over a year later those have failed. In all of that Pentax and now Ricoh have refused to admit there was a problem. I accept that Ricoh is no worse than many other companies about "worldwide" warranties and accepting responsibility for a weak design. I do not wish to be burnt again by being an early adopter of a new technology by Ricoh. In a years time, I may change my mind.
Last Edited by Kim C on 11/10/2018 - 00:59

JAK

Link Posted 11/10/2018 - 01:29
Just to add I stuck with the ME/MX/K2 until the digital era as to me their successors seemed plasticky and inferior (starting with the A series.) At least that argument can't be levelled at the current crop of Pentax's which are indeed quite resilient and to be fair, less bulky than some of the comparable opposition.
It's all very well having a set of the wonderful new Pentax lenses (as indeed they are) but if because of their weight they would get left at home some may think twice about purchasing said items.
Someone enters a camera store and compares systems today, they'll find the current selection of K lenses are very heavy. Some may not worry but quite a number will. Pentax need to look back at that ad from the 70s which got them to the forefront at the time. They've shown they can do it for APS-C, they need to look at 135 format offerings too.
A lens that fits in the gadget bag is more use than one which doesn't, however good it might be, and the answer isn't necessarily buying a larger bag!
John K
Last Edited by JAK on 11/10/2018 - 01:33

RobL

Link Posted 11/10/2018 - 08:02
I follow a prolific Russian photographer on Flickr who uses just two prime lenses, a 50mm and an 85mm, for outstanding results. If that is all you need in the bag then the weight would be less of an issue; I don’t think this lens is really intended as a “”just in case” addition to your bag along with several others but is designed to be a no compromise best available lens for specific tasks.

Algernon

Link Posted 11/10/2018 - 08:28
Sadly to survive nowadays camera manufacturers have to increase the profit on each item they make/sell which usually means pushing top of the range products.

The new D-FA 50mm lens looks to me as though it would be very good for video. Maybe we will see more of that with the Tokina version.

It also looks to have very good front bokeh, which would be handy for portraits of say a scientist with microscopes etc. in the foreground.
--
Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

Pentax K-1 + K-5 and some other stuff

Algi
Last Edited by Algernon on 11/10/2018 - 08:31

johnriley

Link Posted 11/10/2018 - 09:55
Quote:
I don't believe the old lenses are performing any worse than they did in the past just because something new has come along!

In one way that's true, but on the other hand digital sensors like telecentric lenses, and especially the old wide angles are definitely not telecentric. So they are worse on digital. It does depend on the individual lens of course, and I'm happy with the FA 20-35mm f/4 on the K-1. The 17-28mm also gives a great performance, so there are definitely good ones.

Some of the film era lenses don't have enough resolution to get the best out of the K-1, but others are fine, it's knowing which are which that's the trick, so we can avoid buying things to find out.
Best regards, John

Kim C

Link Posted 11/10/2018 - 12:33
johnriley wrote:
Quote:
I don't believe the old lenses are performing any worse than they did in the past just because something new has come along!

In one way that's true, but on the other hand digital sensors like telecentric lenses, and especially the old wide angles are definitely not telecentric. So they are worse on digital. It does depend on the individual lens of course, and I'm happy with the FA 20-35mm f/4 on the K-1. The 17-28mm also gives a great performance, so there are definitely good ones.

Some of the film era lenses don't have enough resolution to get the best out of the K-1, but others are fine, it's knowing which are which that's the trick, so we can avoid buying things to find out.

Don't take all the fun out of it John.
It's not so easy on the Pentax but when I was building my RF outfit, I probably went through about 40 lenses, All sorts of makes including Leica. All bought second hand and most then sold on second hand and in just about every case, I sold them for what I paid , At least on average. So all it cost me was the postage at most.

As to some of the older lenses, I think it is more our "perception" of them rather than them actually being worse on a digital sensor. True the big difference between a digital sensor and film is that film has a much wider angle of acceptance. This can be critical but in reality the most "affected" camera/lens combos are mirrorless. On some the back of the rear element is only a few millimetres from the sensor plane. On an SLR with a mirror box it is never that extreme.

Overall, I don't think the older lenses, even the wides are worse on a FF digital sensor, I do believe we have become more aware of the imperfections that were always there. Places like Peak imaging suggest the optimum resolution for a scan to print 15x 10 is around 38Mb uncompressed. I would go along with that from my experience of the Nikon 8000 scanner. and in many ways relates to what I always "felt" about printing. With a good fine grain film in the LX with a good lens, I could expect a good print of up to about 16x12. If I needed larger, I used MF. I have a 20x 16 print on my wall which was printed from a 6x9 neg. You can go up to it with a magnifying glass and pick out fine detail. Now on the Nikon scanner a 6x9 scan uncompressed produced a file of about 125Mb.

With the K1, I might be able to get a print that size but the very fine detail would not be there. But then again not many go up with a magnifying glass. I might with the 645Z or other LF digitals. But back to the original point, prior to the digital age, I suspect very few people took photos of test charts etc and then went into the darkroom to produce a 20x16 print or selective part of it. However, the camera magazines di and they found the same "faults" with the lenses that people talk about today. But even so, it didn't stop people enjoying those lenses or producing stunning photos. Today that has changed with the digital revolution. Someone gets a new lens, what's the first thing they do? Go out and take some test shots maybe even download a test target. Then upload it to the PC and examine it at 100% ie about the same as looking at a very large print. The faults are not new, they are not because it's digital rather than film. It is 99% because people are pixel peeping.

Going back to the "wide angle problem", yes the angle of acceptance can affect but as you say the 20-35 works well. The 18-35 FAJ is not so good but it was never good on film. The 15/3.5A (which is the widest Pentax have done in a prime) works well. So does both versions of the 20/2.8 and the better 24's, 28's and 35's.

Technology and manufacturing has moved on and it is possible to produce even better quality glass but at a price. There are also drawbacks like the SDM problems. If you really want a perfectly corrected 50 mm lens on a FF body go get a Leica M10 and the 50mm apo asph. It will only set you back around £10K. Pixel peep to your hearts content and I doubt you will find a flaw. lol

johnriley

Link Posted 11/10/2018 - 13:19
Well put Kim C and I agree, let's not take the fun out of it!
Best regards, John

johnha

Link Posted 11/10/2018 - 14:22
Kim C wrote:
As to some of the older lenses, I think it is more our "perception" of them rather than them actually being worse on a digital sensor. True the big difference between a digital sensor and film is that film has a much wider angle of acceptance. This can be critical but in reality the most "affected" camera/lens combos are mirrorless. On some the back of the rear element is only a few millimetres from the sensor plane. On an SLR with a mirror box it is never that extreme.

+1 for the whole post. I agree with pretty much all of it.

There are those who need very few lenses and prefer primes to zooms - they sling a camera over their shoulder and shoot the world (or their life) with a 28, 35 or 50mm on the front. Many Leica users work like this, small compact, fast, very good quality primes (expensive too but manageable if you only need a few lenses). I sometimes work like this with my P6x7 - body, prism, one prime (either 45, 55, or 90), I find one prime allows me to concentrate more on the image.

I can see this new 50 doing very well in that kind of scenario - with WR on a K-1, probably as close to indestructible as you can get. However, it is very expensive to spend much of it's time sitting in a bag because the camera has an f/2.8 zoom on the front or a huge heavy 15-30 by default, only making rare appearances. In this case an FA50 is likely to be a more sensible choice.

A similar discussion on legacy glass exists in the MF world when discussing 645 A/FA & 6x7 lenses on the D & Z. There are some weaker lenses (known to be weaker on film), but many are still very good as long as you work within sensible aperture limits (obviously you're not using the whole image circle).

John.
PPG Flickr
Last Edited by johnha on 11/10/2018 - 14:36

Irek

Link Posted 11/10/2018 - 15:13
RobL wrote:
I follow a prolific Russian photographer on Flickr who uses just two prime lenses, a 50mm and an 85mm, for outstanding results. If that is all you need in the bag then the weight would be less of an issue; I don’t think this lens is really intended as a “”just in case” addition to your bag along with several others but is designed to be a no compromise best available lens for specific tasks.

could you share the link to this photographer please ?
Pentax ME-F, MZ-3, K-1
Pentax D-FA 24-70mm F2.8, FA 31mm F1.8 Ltd, FA 43mm F1.9 Ltd, FA 77mm F1.8 Ltd, Sigma 100-300 F4 + TC 1.4x, AF 540 FGZ
Hitech-Formatt 10% off all filters code - CIEJ10

RobL

Link Posted 11/10/2018 - 16:03
Irek wrote:
RobL wrote:
I follow a prolific Russian photographer on Flickr who uses just two prime lenses, a 50mm and an 85mm, for outstanding results. If that is all you need in the bag then the weight would be less of an issue; I don’t think this lens is really intended as a “”just in case” addition to your bag along with several others but is designed to be a no compromise best available lens for specific tasks.

could you share the link to this photographer please ?

Her name is Elena Shumilova, not a Pentax user but never mind it's her skill that gets the results not the equipment. Most are shot on or around her farm but more recently from trips abroad.

link
Last Edited by RobL on 11/10/2018 - 16:06

Algernon

Link Posted 11/10/2018 - 16:17
Irek wrote:

could you share the link to this photographer please ?

https://www.pentaxuser.com/forum/topic/kids-and-pets-47164

--
Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

Pentax K-1 + K-5 and some other stuff

Algi

Irek

Link Posted 11/10/2018 - 16:26
Thanks a million 🙏
Pentax ME-F, MZ-3, K-1
Pentax D-FA 24-70mm F2.8, FA 31mm F1.8 Ltd, FA 43mm F1.9 Ltd, FA 77mm F1.8 Ltd, Sigma 100-300 F4 + TC 1.4x, AF 540 FGZ
Hitech-Formatt 10% off all filters code - CIEJ10

derek897

Link Posted 12/10/2018 - 00:31
Ah yes, I too follow this photographer.
I know what i like, If not always why.
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