Serious IQ

Started Jan 27, 2018 | User reviews
jamesm007 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,800
Serious IQ
2

Without question this is now the finest lens I own for IQ. I never thought this lens would be so good.

Some background info. I have been buying 50mm primes since my first dSLR some 10 years ago. My current 50mm is a Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7 This lens allows the body to control the aperture, but not focus, hence the A and not FA! Because I owned the classic pentax coated 50mm lens I did not even read reviews of this lens. Moreover thought anything good said about this lens would be equal for my film era Pentax A 50mm f1.7.

IMHO This lens is better than the old film era 50mm lens for at least one reason. I believe Pentax updated a film era 50mm with higher grade Pentax SMC (Super Multi Coat) and more elements coated with SMC. When I shined a bright light into the film era 50mm f/1.7 and this digital 50mm f/1.8, it wasn't even close. The new digital lens had a lot less light reflections reflecting back off of the elements.

If you ever shined a light at your image sensor you will note how reflective it is. It bounces light back at you like holding a flashlight to a mirror. When a lens is transmitting light to image sensor the light bounces back off the sensor and back into the lens. So its just like the flashlight test in reverse. Now the sensor is getting bounced back light from the lens. This phenomena does reduce contrast, color and overall IQ.

This fact of the better more modern Pentax SMC coating, less light reflection, perhaps better design, results in a 50mm that stands out from other 50mm lens. Just buy it if you think you want that focal length and f/stop. No use to save a few dollars in this case. Well maybe. If just starting out its still a bargain to get a film era 50mm prime for $40 or less. And its IQ is good. Just, this new one...

 jamesm007's gear list:jamesm007's gear list
Pentax K20D Pentax K-5 Pentax K-3 Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM Pentax smc DA 10-17mm F3.5-4.5 ED (IF) Fisheye +14 more
Pentax smc DA 50mm F1.8
Prime lens • Pentax KAF • 22177
Announced: May 21, 2012
jamesm007's score
5.0
Average community score
3.7
Batdude
Batdude Veteran Member • Posts: 6,394
Re: Serious IQ

Hahaha I put this lens on my K1 yesterday morning along with the 31 1.8 limited and my opinion is very different than yours.

I did NOT like the AF sound out of this 50mm 1.8 at all.  The noise is really irritating, at least to me,  and is not very responsive.  I liked the 31 limited more over all.

 Batdude's gear list:Batdude's gear list
Fujifilm X10 Nikon D4 Fujifilm X-E1 Fujifilm X-T1 Fujifilm GFX 50S +13 more
Lyff Regular Member • Posts: 437
Re: Serious IQ
1

Batdude wrote:

Hahaha I put this lens on my K1 yesterday morning along with the 31 1.8 limited and my opinion is very different than yours.

I did NOT like the AF sound out of this 50mm 1.8 at all. The noise is really irritating, at least to me, and is not very responsive. I liked the 31 limited more over all.

That’s strange, the DA 50 mm af sound is quite muffled on the K-1, nothing comparable to other K mount bodies.

Not sure of the relevance of the comparison with the FA 31mm, the DA 50mm is « just » ten times cheaper.

That said its performance is exceptionally good for it price, I find it better than the D FA 15-30 and 24-70 on the K-1, and it stomps over my pentax 16-50 f/2.8 and my sigma 30mm f/1.4 (the old version though).

The corners wide open aren’t stellar on the K-1 with  some purple fringing, but for the price I can’t complain (and it’s sold as an APSC lens after all).

I was planning to get a DA 70mm f/2.4 for portraits on the K-3, but in the end this one provided much better subject isolation and excellent flare control for 1/5 the price, so I bought it and never thought about the 70mm limited since.

 Lyff's gear list:Lyff's gear list
Sony RX100 IV Pentax K-3 II Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM Pentax smc DA* 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL (IF) SDM Pentax smc DA 55-300mm F4.0-5.8 ED +3 more
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