The simple joy of fixed-zoom photography, with an f1.4 aperture
Lisi Cai, Amazon
18 May 2011
Summary: It's been months since I bought myself a 50mm f1.4 Pentax lens, the first fixed focal length SLR lens in my arsenal. Sure enough the first things I feel is how different, if not difficult, it is to change my way of shooting photographs, especially when my everyday lens is the famously discontinued Pentax 18~250mm. But that discomfort disappeared quickly when I started to know what this lens is good at.
Summary: The "nifty fifty" is the best lens I own. It is challenging to use because it doesn't zoom and the aperture opening up to 1.4 makes for a razor thin DOF. You can actually take a picture where the subjects eyes are in focus and their nose isn't! Also, because my Pentax k-x has a crop factor of 1.5, it's more like a 75mm, so get ready to back up a bit if you want more than a close up. Buy one and have a blast learning to use it. It is all I want to use anymore.
Summary: Great lens, I love it. My favorite lens by far. I bought it new on Amazon for less than two hundr. less than 2 years ago--so the price has really shot up. Try to find a deal if you can, but the lens is so worth owning.
Summary: I must say, stepping up to a DSLR from a point-and-shoot camera was one of the best decisions I've made regarding electronics; the picture quality is out of this world, and I can take shots in challenging lighting that allows me to get pictures of my ever-moving daughter that I never could dream of before. Typical P&S cameras take far too long from focusing to capturing to get the photo before my daughter's out-of-frame, but the Pentax DSLR does the trick.
Summary: Its really a shame the price of this lens has gone up so much recently because this is one lens we should all own. Not for the fixed length and how it forces you to move around but for the speed! If someone made an affordable f/1.4 18-55 zoom I would buy that instead. Until then, I am sold on fast primes. This "Fast Fifty" has unlocked times and locations I didn't think I cold shoot. You NEED this lens! The lens itself is small and light.
Summary: **Updating of original entry, which praised the lenses performance, but dinged the wacky price fluctuations up to $600+!** PRICING: Pentax bumped up the prices of their lenses around February 2009, changing the purchase of this lens from being a 'no-brainer' to at least something to be mildly mitigated. This specific lens enjoyed a 37% price increase. It remains one of Pentax's fastest existing production lenses. AMAZON PRICING: So hence the wacky part.
Summary: I've gotten several really good chances to put this lens to good use since I received it on March 6th, 2009. I have used it at nearly wide-open (f/1.8) which left the background nicely out of focus on some tulips I was photographing, and I used it on assignment for a magazine to photograph details of an elegant restaurant--table settings, chairs, chandelier etc. I haven't tried it with people yet, but I cannot wait to.
Earned Reputation - Oh so Nice! Silky Background Crisp Foreground & FAST
9 February 2009
Summary: After recently switching to the Pentax line I have been attempting to purchase a variety of lens that allow the biggest 'bang for the buck'. This lense came up repeatedly as a great choice and after having tried it out I can see why. Although small and fairly lightweight, this no-frills little lens takes beautiful shots. It's very fast, has absolutely fantastic deep color rendition, performs wonderfully even in low lighting and is worth every penny.
Summary: With the Pentax K10D sensor the equivalent 35mm focal length is about 75mm. Coupled with the fast f1.4 aperture of this lens, this is a great low light short telephoto lens...very good for indoor personal shots. The low f also allows autofocus and metering to work well in low light conditions. Wide open (f1.4) this lens is soft, but sharpens quickly (noticeable difference from f1.4 to 1.8). Nice small lens.