16 July 2015

the DFA 50mm makes its case

I've owned the DA40 Limited more than once; I used it, enjoyed it, and captured many excellent images.  It really has no need to sell itself to me - that part has been played.

Now along comes another 50mm lens to squeeze out some space that the DA40 so dominates.  I've owned many 50s also: Sears f1.4, Pentax M and A series, and Sigma's f2.8 Macro.  What I had not tried is the DFA 50mm f/2.8 Macro - so now its time has come.

up close with the DFA 50/2.8
After a dozen or so test images, I must say that I'm impressed.  The lens is larger than other 50mm lenses, but nothing like Sigma's 50 was.  This little wonder telescopes with two nested tubes, not a typical way of doing things now.  This isn't a "now" lens though; introduced at the beginning of the digital era (hence the D), still fully functional for film (the F) but at heart an A-series lens with aperture ring and A-aperture position.

My first afternoon was decidedly windy, which plays havoc with any flower shots.  I found a fine and intensely blue hydrangea with blooms low to the ground - however now it was I that swayed a bit!  Color contrast and sharpness are exquisite, which is no surprise.  The ability to quick-shift to a different focus is really handy.  And AF was quite fast for the full range of a macro lens, which also was not what I remember of the Sigma model (or any others like the Tamron 90, Cosina 100/3.5 and Sigma 105).

I'm not done with my tests, but two things are immediately clear:
  • The DA40 has some stiff competition here, and
  • whichever lens goes I'll be keeping an amazing lens!

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