What are your thoughts on this lens...

Started 3 months ago | Questions thread
Mr Garibaldi Contributing Member • Posts: 547
Re: What are your thoughts on this lens...

TomWret wrote:

Pentax SMCP-FA 50mm f/1.4 Lens Standard AF Lens #20817 as an affordable option when I can't really afford the 1.4 super expensive lens? Right now it's under $350.

Thanks, Tom W

I compared my FA50/1.4 directly to the D FA* 50/1.4 last year. The D FA* is definitely the better lens, but this difference shows up almost entirely at wider apertures, where the FA is quite soft by comparison. The FA gets a lot better as it is stopped down compared to the D FA* lens, which is excellent wide open and just gets better until f/5.6, which seems to be it's best aperture. By F/8, there isn't much to say between the two, the D FA* lens is still better, but the margin narrows enough that pixel peeping is required to really see the difference.

That's the optical stuff. What cannot be ignored is the size difference. The D FA* is huge and heavy. You are paying for it on several levels. Cost is only one. The size and weight difference is something to consider as well.

Also, the D FA* takes 72mm filters, so if you use a polarizer or ND filters, prepare to shell out some pretty heavy coin to accessorize it. I dropped almost as much on filters as I did on the lens. I couldn't justify buying cheap filters for a lens that expensive and good, and high quality 72mm polarizer filters and ND filters are not cheap.

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