D FA 50 On Its Way

Started Aug 16, 2018 | Discussions
candgpics Regular Member • Posts: 171
D FA 50 On Its Way
3

Hi:

I just ordered the D FA 50 from Amazon (I often order from Amazon, as well as B&H). Should be here Friday.

I hope to use the D FA 50 at an ocean shoot this weekend, along with my 77 Lmtd, both on my K1.

I do not have the expertise to perform scientific testing, but I will play around with the lens and am happy to upload DNG files to Dropbox.

I have the 31, 43, and 77 Lmtds, along with the D FA 24-70, and D FA 28-105. Obviously these are all different lenses, with different designs, focal lengths, intended uses, and price points, but I plan on performing a general comparison.

I tend to focus on Mixed Martial Arts, strongman, and fitness photography, but I also take pictures of our children, occasionally take pictures of local musicians at night clubs, and do some portrait work where a high quality fast 50mm lens should come in handy.

If anyone has any requests for various kinds of pictures, please let me know (I also have a K3 and K5ii and am happy to use the D FA 50 on these, as well).

 candgpics's gear list:candgpics's gear list
Pentax K-5 II Pentax K-3 Pentax K-1 Pentax KP Pentax smc DA 10-17mm F3.5-4.5 ED (IF) Fisheye +11 more
Pentax FA 28-105mm F3.5-5.6 Pentax K-1
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Xiaomao
Xiaomao Senior Member • Posts: 2,563
Re: D FA 50 On Its Way

Congratulations! It's a heavy gem, you'd love it, at least I do.

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Regards.
_________
Xiaomao

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Pentax K-1 II Canon EOS-1D X Mark III
Florida Suse
Florida Suse Regular Member • Posts: 487
Re: D FA 50 On Its Way

Lucky you!! Congrats and enjoy!

DavidB77
DavidB77 Forum Member • Posts: 64
Re: D FA 50 On Its Way

If anyone has any requests for various kinds of pictures, please let me know (I also have a K3 and K5ii and am happy to use the D FA 50 on these, as well).

Sure, I would love to see how new 50mm performs on a K-3. For example, can you see a visible gap in image quality when taking landscapes at f/8 or f/11 compared to your limited lenses? Is it equally sharp corner to corner at these apertures? I also heard that starburst effects looks great with this lens, even if it has rounded aperture blades, can you confirm this? Thanks in advance for your hands on report

 DavidB77's gear list:DavidB77's gear list
Pentax smc DA 70mm F2.4 AL Limited Pentax smc DA* 300mm F4.0 ED (IF) SDM Pentax K-3 II Pentax smc DA 35mm F2.4 AL Pentax smc DA 50mm F1.8 +2 more
zakaria
zakaria Veteran Member • Posts: 5,406
Re: D FA 50 On Its Way

candgpics wrote:

Hi:

I just ordered the D FA 50 from Amazon (I often order from Amazon, as well as B&H). Should be here Friday.

I hope to use the D FA 50 at an ocean shoot this weekend, along with my 77 Lmtd, both on my K1.

I do not have the expertise to perform scientific testing, but I will play around with the lens and am happy to upload DNG files to Dropbox.

I have the 31, 43, and 77 Lmtds, along with the D FA 24-70, and D FA 28-105. Obviously these are all different lenses, with different designs, focal lengths, intended uses, and price points, but I plan on performing a general comparison.

I tend to focus on Mixed Martial Arts, strongman, and fitness photography, but I also take pictures of our children, occasionally take pictures of local musicians at night clubs, and do some portrait work where a high quality fast 50mm lens should come in handy.

If anyone has any requests for various kinds of pictures, please let me know (I also have a K3 and K5ii and am happy to use the D FA 50 on these, as well).

Congratulations on your new star dfa .

Sure it is not the macro dfa 50mm.

Please let me know through examples how the performance and the sharpness bokeh at wide aperture.

-- hide signature --

pentaxian .

 zakaria's gear list:zakaria's gear list
Nikon D750 Fujifilm X-H1 Pentax K-1 II Pentax smc FA 31mm F1.8 AL Limited HD Pentax DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited +7 more
Nivedita Contributing Member • Posts: 659
Do not buy Camera or Lenses from Amazon
1

Congratulations! You will love the lens.

I got mine from Adorama last week and like the lens very much.

Also, if possible try not to buy from Amazon as we all need to send a message to Amazon to protest the unfair practices of DPREVIEW while reviewing Pentax cameras and lenses.

 Nivedita's gear list:Nivedita's gear list
Sony a7R III Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS Phase One Capture One Pro
zakaria
zakaria Veteran Member • Posts: 5,406
Re: Do not buy Camera or Lenses from Amazon

Nivedita wrote:

Congratulations! You will love the lens.

I got mine from Adorama last week and like the lens very much.

Also, if possible try not to buy from Amazon as we all need to send a message to Amazon to protest the unfair practices of DPREVIEW while reviewing Pentax cameras and lenses.

I will order mine from b&h.

-- hide signature --

pentaxian .

 zakaria's gear list:zakaria's gear list
Nikon D750 Fujifilm X-H1 Pentax K-1 II Pentax smc FA 31mm F1.8 AL Limited HD Pentax DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited +7 more
Adam007 Contributing Member • Posts: 641
Re: D FA 50 On Its Way

Congratulations.

I'd love to see comparisons on the K-1 with the 43 Limited.  My first prime, it seems to be disappointing me more lately  - but that may simply be because I'm daydreaming about the new 50.

As an aside, it's interesting how lenses and FLs fall out of favor. I take only about 5% of my pictures with the 43 these days, and I assume that's because i tend to see things slightly wide, or telephoto - and choose that day's lens accordingly.  I wonder whether, as someone suggested here, a lens like the new 50 1.4 would make its own uses, whatever one's priors are.

Look forward to your report!

 Adam007's gear list:Adam007's gear list
Fujifilm X100F Pentax K-1 Pentax smc DA* 300mm F4.0 ED (IF) SDM Pentax smc FA 31mm F1.8 AL Limited Pentax smc FA 43mm F1.9 Limited +5 more
OP candgpics Regular Member • Posts: 171
Re: D FA 50 On Its Way
1

David: Will do. I actually have never tried for starbursts.  I tend to live at f4 and wider.

 candgpics's gear list:candgpics's gear list
Pentax K-5 II Pentax K-3 Pentax K-1 Pentax KP Pentax smc DA 10-17mm F3.5-4.5 ED (IF) Fisheye +11 more
OP candgpics Regular Member • Posts: 171
Re: D FA 50 On Its Way

Zakaria: yes, it is the new D FA 50 1.4.

 candgpics's gear list:candgpics's gear list
Pentax K-5 II Pentax K-3 Pentax K-1 Pentax KP Pentax smc DA 10-17mm F3.5-4.5 ED (IF) Fisheye +11 more
OP candgpics Regular Member • Posts: 171
Re: Do not buy Camera or Lenses from Amazon

Nivedita: I try to tune out any bias or unfairness towards Pentax from Dpreview. Dpreview is so gear and "bell and whistle" centered that it misses or minimizes the unique and perhaps more retro features of Pentax such as build quality, water and dust resistance, astrotracer, etc.  Having said that, I do wish Pentax had a full frame with a deeper buffer and quicker afc autofocus. A couple/few additional frames per second would be nice, too.  Alas, we cannot have everything for less than $2k USD.

As to Amazon, I wish its shipping dept packed fragile equipment better, but we have had nothing less than stellar customer service from Amazon and we do buy from Amazon frequently.

As to B&H, a great store and I often order from B&H, too.

 candgpics's gear list:candgpics's gear list
Pentax K-5 II Pentax K-3 Pentax K-1 Pentax KP Pentax smc DA 10-17mm F3.5-4.5 ED (IF) Fisheye +11 more
OP candgpics Regular Member • Posts: 171
Re: D FA 50 On Its Way

Adam: will do. I love the 43. Mine is silver and its size/weight is amazing. I am particularly curious how the 43 compares to the new D FA 50.

 candgpics's gear list:candgpics's gear list
Pentax K-5 II Pentax K-3 Pentax K-1 Pentax KP Pentax smc DA 10-17mm F3.5-4.5 ED (IF) Fisheye +11 more
OP candgpics Regular Member • Posts: 171
Re: First Impressions
1

I received the D FA 50 f1.4 on Friday.

I used it at a shoot on Saturday. Have not had too much time to play around with it, but I can make some observations. It was the only lens I used at the shoot (at the ocean), although I brought other lenses with me. I shot about 375 images.

And—I really will eventually post some examples and link to Dropbox comparison images to other lenses!

Build Quality

As other have noted, it is a heavy lens, but a bit less so than perhaps I was expecting based upon what I had read. It is a little slimmer and slightly less tall than the D FA 24-70. In use, it kind of feels like shooting with the DA*200: solid, a hunk of glass and metal, but well built and balanced. It operates very smoothly.

The petal hood is of decent size, but, again, slightly less in size than I had expected.

Nonetheless, this is no Limited or DA*55 lens. It is has heft to it and size. It is well balanced, though, on my K1 (have not used it on the K3 or K5ii yet)

Lens Performance – the raison d'être

I did make some informal comparisons to the Lmtd 43 and Lmtd 77. Cannot say too much right now, but the D FA 50 is noticeably sharper at similar apertures (I tested wide open through f4 so far). That is not to say the 43 and 77 are not sharp, but when looking for sharpness, and trying to keep in mind depth of field and auto-focusing accuracy, I found the D FA 50 to be noticeably sharper and have a larger area of sharpness at similarly wide apertures. Having said that, the 43 and 77 are very good lenses, particularly for their size. So, as with all new equipment these days, the differences are often small or at least not terribly great. Noticeable perhaps to all of us, but in the grand scheme of things, not night and day.

I did look for purple fringing and Longitudinal Chromatic Aberration (green and magenta fringing). Yes, if pushed in very high contrast areas (picture of my youngest son against a bright blown out window) you can see some purple fringing and LoCA at very wide apertures (1.4 – 1.8). Of course, LoCA can show up even under not blown out backgrounds in front of and behind the plane of focus. Nevertheless, it is when looking at high contrast scenes that forms of chromatic aberration tend to be more visible.

The purple fringing is pretty minimal in any event and really only obvious at fully wide open (f1.4). I took some pictures of some tall trees against a bright sky and did not see any purple fringing. At close up distances I could find it if looked for it, particularly at 1.4.

I think the lens is very well corrected for chromatic aberration and a little bit of Camera RAW (or whichever RAW editor you use) and the issue is gone. LoCA is perhaps harder to correct for, but I see it as not really an issue and if it was noticeable enough to be problematic an adjustment layer and masking in Photoshop should resolve it. And, at least in my opinion, even as a bit of pixel peeper, I think the D FA 50 looks like it has a similar level of chromatic aberration as the high end 50s from Canon and Nikon (as seen on photozone.de).

I did some quick centering tests and the lens looks perfectly spot on. At least from my quick shots I saw no difference in sharpness across the frame.

Bokeh—I did a senior picture shoot this weekend. Not really what I usually do. I typically photograph Mixed Martial Arts and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu events and do some fitness photography. I tend to live at f2.8 and wider since I am in low or at best modest lighting, but I usually do not notice bokeh too much. Looking over the pictures from this weekend’s shoot, however, shows nice smooth buttery bokeh.

The lens needed a +1 correction for the K1 to make it spot on when wide open.

I did not do any formal testing, but focusing seems reasonably fast and very accurate.

Conclusion—so far

I only have had the lens for a couple of days. All in all, so far, the D FA 50 looks like an extremely high quality lens. Well built, handles like a peach, accurate and sharp (I do not have my DA*55 anymore, but the new D FA 50 looks noticeably sharper and I had a good copy of the DA* 55). When I have a chance to look through my images I will compare it to DA*55 images I have taken in the past.

That's about it for now!

 candgpics's gear list:candgpics's gear list
Pentax K-5 II Pentax K-3 Pentax K-1 Pentax KP Pentax smc DA 10-17mm F3.5-4.5 ED (IF) Fisheye +11 more
Nivedita Contributing Member • Posts: 659
Re: Do not buy Camera or Lenses from Amazon

candgpics wrote:

Nivedita: I try to tune out any bias or unfairness towards Pentax from Dpreview. Dpreview is so gear and "bell and whistle" centered that it misses or minimizes the unique and perhaps more retro features of Pentax such as build quality, water and dust resistance, astrotracer, etc. Having said that, I do wish Pentax had a full frame with a deeper buffer and quicker afc autofocus. A couple/few additional frames per second would be nice, too. Alas, we cannot have everything for less than $2k USD.

As to Amazon, I wish its shipping dept packed fragile equipment better, but we have had nothing less than stellar customer service from Amazon and we do buy from Amazon frequently.

As to B&H, a great store and I often order from B&H, too.

I understand the great customer service at Amazon. Same is true for B&H and Adorama. A couple of times, I had some minor issues and both Adorama and B&H went above and beyond to address them in an absolutely satisfactory levels - Please be aware that I have no other relationships with B&H or Adorama.

The reason why I said to avoid the camera purchase from Amazon is to show some protest against blatant unfairness from DPREVIEW against Pentax. The Editor(s) even go in details by giving some counter arguments etc. At the end of the day money only matters and even if it is a small drop in a bucket, it is a way to show the protest. I understand your perspective and I appreciate that as well.

I have seen many comments recently that Amazon sends the packages (especially lenses) without adequate protection. I too had a few items (not lenses) that are delivered without proper padding in the packaging boxes by Amazon.

 Nivedita's gear list:Nivedita's gear list
Sony a7R III Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS Phase One Capture One Pro
Adam007 Contributing Member • Posts: 641
Re: First Impressions

Thanks for the update.  I may have to rent one and compare with my 43 (as well as walk around for a few days to see if I want to invest so much into this FL).

 Adam007's gear list:Adam007's gear list
Fujifilm X100F Pentax K-1 Pentax smc DA* 300mm F4.0 ED (IF) SDM Pentax smc FA 31mm F1.8 AL Limited Pentax smc FA 43mm F1.9 Limited +5 more
OP candgpics Regular Member • Posts: 171
Re: UPDATE
2

Hi:

I had meant to upload pictures this past weekend, but work and family have made life very busy. I will be uploading images soon and linking to RAW images, but thought I would add some additional observations.

I took my K1 and K3 to a local park and then to the Kennebec River here in Central Maine (in the US).

I compared the new D FA 50 to the 43 and 77 Limiteds, the D FA 24-70, and the D FA 28-105. I have not looked at the 28-105 images yet, but it is very clear that the new D FA 50 outperforms the 43, 77, and 24-70 in a very noticeable way at all comparable apertures--of course, looking closely at test images. Things even out a bit as you get to the more narrow apertures, but the D FA 50 is the clear winner (at least to me).

Funny thing happened with the D FA 28-105. Not sure if anyone else has noticed this. I could not get it to take a 50 mm image. It was either 48 mm or 53 mm--and, I tried several times making very slight adjustments.

I have used the 43, 77, and 24-70 to take great pictures and I think we all know these are all very nice lenses. The new D FA 50, though, really does squeak out better contrast, more sharpness (over a greater area of the frame), and has extremely pleasing bokeh. It is of course, bigger, heavier, and more expensive (well, comparable in price to the D FA 24-70). And, so far I have not noticed any weak areas in images suggesting all elements are properly in place (i.e., no de-centering).

I did (sometimes) notice more LoCA--but I was looking for it (pretty noticeable at f1.4 at times and other times when I would have thought it would be apparent at 1.4 it was barely noticeable). Using Photoshop CC 2018 Adobe Camera RAW I clicked the lens profile, clicked "Remove Chromatic Aberration," and under the manual tab under lens corrections I defringed green by +2 and any remaining magenta/purple by +1 or +2. And, I did this for testing. I may not have chosen to remove anything unless it was obvious.

A few years ago chromatic aberration was more problematic for me. I was over thinking things, I am sure. I tried the DA* 200 and obtained one of the best pictures of one of our children, which I printed and have framed in our living room. I returned the DA* 200 due to the very noticeable purple fringing. If I had it back I might be more patient with it.

I will post pictures soon and link to either Dropbox or Google Drive so you can review the RAW images.

So far, looking good.

 candgpics's gear list:candgpics's gear list
Pentax K-5 II Pentax K-3 Pentax K-1 Pentax KP Pentax smc DA 10-17mm F3.5-4.5 ED (IF) Fisheye +11 more
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