Pentax 50mm f/1.4 - manual vs auto focus?

Started Jul 8, 2012 | Discussions thread
Chris Mak Senior Member • Posts: 1,748
Re: +1 Re: Pentax 50mm f/1.4 - manual vs auto focus?

pentx4life wrote:

I have the FA 50 1.4 and K5 and normally use it in MF mode, as the AF is really ofteh way off. even in good light at 1.4 ;( I am sort of disappointed by this lens in this regard.

I highly recommend you another route to have easy and fast focus. A different focus screen will work like a charm on your pentax DSLR: CANON EE-S Screen.

Don't forget to mention that you can only get this screen for the pentax cameras at, a terrific little webstore based in Taiwan. I also exchanged the standard k5 screen with the customized ee-s screen, and it is quite a difference. (With this screen) manual focus isn't that hard at all, with good MF lenses (I use the Carl Zeiss lenses with pentax bayonet), and with some practice. But you will never get the blind speed of autofocus.

I have it and use it and I even start shooting manual focus with my FA* 300 and my 50-150 2.8 as I do now see the difference of OOF and in focus. will cost you less than AF-lens... and will enable you to get critical shots perfect.

for MF the FA-version of the lens is not ideal, as the focus throw is quite short. Because of that I normally use the A 50 1.7 of my sister.

If you would like to have a lens behaving like an A lens... you can either cut the aperture lever on the lens to enable the manual aperture selection on the lens. Et voilá, use it in Av mode.

if you don't want to cut it off, drill another hole in the lens mount of the lens, it's quite easy. so it will snap in fixed position before the camera opens the aperture via the aperture lever...

If you have questions about anything I wrote, feel free to send PM or answer via this thread.

Best regards!

Roland Karlsson wrote:

mistafill wrote:

I've had the SMC Pentax-M 50mm f1.4 lens for a while now, and love it. I've taken some great shots with it, and just love the overall image and build quality.

Here's one of my favourites:

However, it must be said that manual focus is not always so convenient - if you've got the time, then you get great results. If your subject keeps moving around, it's a bit harder!

I now have the opportunity to get the SMC FA 50mm f/1.4 at a very reasonable price from a work colleague, but it will require using some of the money I've been saving for a 35mm f2.8 Ltd. So my question is this: is the autofocus the only difference, or will I also see an increase in IQ between the two lenses (bearing in mind that I find the IQ - particularly the sharpness - to be pretty outstanding on the MF version. But then again I'm not really an expert.)

Any advice/thoughts would be much appreciated!

I dont know the answer to your question, but ... I have a FA 50/1.4 and I find that at least my camera has a problem auto focussing it. That is probably because there is a great focus shift at max aperture, making the image quite soft I would really, really, really like if the camera stopped down to 2.0 or even 2.8 while focussing. The auto focus would then be more reliable.

So - if I were you - I would just keep the manual 50 mm and get that 35 mm - its really a gem - and it focusses very well automatically. And if you dont need macro there is always the 35 mm F2.4. Its cheaper and very sharp.

BTW - nice guys on that image!

 Chris Mak's gear list:Chris Mak's gear list
Pentax K-3 Sony Alpha 7R II Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 2/28 Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 2/35 Carl Zeiss Planar T* 1,4/85 +3 more
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