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05-11-2010, 09:28 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
Thanks for the re-post of 43 vs zoom at f4...
I was really interested in this FA* lens, but it is big and heavy but one shop close to my work still has it... asking price though: 799GBP... its been sitting there on the shelf for 6 months now (and for that price Im not surprised) so Im confident I could push the price down... But Id still have to sell and Im not ready to say goodbye to my ltds... far from it, Im eyeing 77 now just waiting for silver used copy to come around in EU or UK for good price

anyway, I have to say that IMHO your 43 is messed up or something. My copy spanks my 31 (even wide open) and even Ks I have (50+55) basically at any f stop!
But then maybe the worker who was assmbling my copy forgot himself and put bit more of the pixie dust in
My 43 smokes the 31 too , the FA43 is my favorite lens of the lot. Wide open the 43 is sharp (I don't care what photozone says) where as the 31 is not, and at F4 the 43 is easily the sharpest lens I've ever owned. I did these tests on carpeted floor, and I am not too sure whether the 2-sec. timer was enough? I did that F4 test multiple times until I could get something that is close, as most of the tests showed thre zoom to be sharper than the Limited.

However, If I were to choose between the Limiteds and the FA*28-70, it is easily the limiteds. The limiteds are faster, and the 31 and 43 are better at infinity focus and the 77 has better bokeh. The zoom may be a tad sharper at certain focal lengths than the limiteds, and that's about it. But, it does get close to the performance of the limiteds in most categories and that is saying a lot.

I will only use the FA* for indoor flash portraits when I don't want ot change lenses.

05-11-2010, 09:29 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bart Quote
I doubt that: that was the lens pcarfan used for the "Frog"...
Bart, you are right...and thanks for giving your thoughts on the lens prior to my purchase
05-11-2010, 09:30 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by farfisa Quote
Thanks for the test! No thanks for the LBA kick!

In the 43 crop, it looks like it might be back-focused. In the top right corner it starts to get a little more definition.

I actually found the K20 Live View easier because it went all crazy with the moire patterns when something was in focus. The K-7 screen is smoother so you can't use that to your advantage. I'd try some regular AF shots too, just to see.
It is defintely back-focused. I think I mentioned this above the photo when I posted it. I will do more tests and get to the bottom of it.
05-11-2010, 09:32 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Voe Quote
As others have said something is wrong with your 43mm Limited. Mine is sharper than that even wide open. At f/4 it beats any other out there. But no doubt the 28-70mm f/2.8 is a great zoom lens, one of Pentax best.


I will do more testing and report. Like I said the FA43 at f4 is brutally sharp, easily the sharpest lens. However, my early testing seems to say the FA* to be possibly even sharper.


Last edited by pcarfan; 05-11-2010 at 09:37 AM.
05-11-2010, 10:26 AM   #20
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An interesting test of lenses that are probably out of my league at the moment. I'd hate to test a group like this, because coming in, the expectations are pretty high for all of them. It's tough to make your test live up to that. I have one suggestion, to also look at the corners.
05-11-2010, 10:28 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by pcarfan Quote
...However, If I were to choose between the Limiteds and the FA*28-70, it is easily the limiteds...
Thanks for your assessment--the LBA is easing a bit! I use the Tamron 28-75 for indoor flash portraits and it's a great range for that. But from what I've seen, the FA*28-70 has a nicer image overall.

QuoteOriginally posted by pcarfan Quote
I did these tests on carpeted floor, and I am not too sure whether the 2-sec. timer was enough?
I'm wondering if the sheer weight of the zoom keeps things from moving there. The 43 is almost weightless by comparison!

QuoteOriginally posted by pcarfan Quote
It is defintely back-focused. I think I mentioned this above the photo when I posted it. I will do more tests and get to the bottom of it.
You did indeed--sorry, I skipped straight to the pictures. How easily distracted I am by the fluffy pink bearcat and weird little goblin sidekick!

Either way, looks like you've got a fantastic new lens in the zoom--enjoy, and keep posting pics!
05-13-2010, 03:15 PM - 1 Like   #22
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Center and corner crops:

Ok! here are the center and corner (Lower Left LL, Upper Left UL, Upper right UR, Lower right LR) 100% crops.

I ABSOLUTELY AND POSITIVELY HATED THE WHOLE EXPERIENCE I haven't even looked at the results, and will do so I as I post.

METHOD: Lenses on a tripod with the target as perpendicular as possible, used a remote with 3 sec. timer. Av mode. Used LV under highest magnification to focus.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I will post the comparison with the 31mm limited in this reply and the 43 in the next and the 77 in the last. The top image is from the FA*28-70 and the bottom image from the FA limiteds. I will mention the f-stop and the crop above each image.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
31mm f2.8 center



31mm f2.8 LL



31mm f2.8 UL



31mm f2.8 UR



31mm f2.8 LR



31mm f4 center



31mm f4 LL



31mm f4 UL



31mm F4 UR



31mm F4 LR



31mm f5.6 Center



31mm f5.6 LL



Ok I am done with this, it is too tedious......It looks like the zoom is sharper. The 31 limited overexposes, so the bright image makes it look a little softer, but still the zoom is sharper.

Last edited by pcarfan; 05-13-2010 at 03:39 PM.
05-13-2010, 03:24 PM   #23
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FA 43 (shortnened version)

The FA* zoom on the top and the FA limited on the bottom

f2.8 center



f2.8 LL



F4 center



F4 UR



f5.6 center



F5.6



I don't know...the zoom still fares better ???

05-13-2010, 03:32 PM   #24
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FA* at 70mm with FA 77 LTD

f2.8 center



f2.8 LR



f4 center



F4 UR



f5.6 center



f5.6 LR

05-13-2010, 03:38 PM   #25
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Conclusion

I feel like it was a giant waste of time............

The zoom is definitely sharper except wide open at it's longest end where it sharpens very nicely when stopped down.

I knew all of this with my first round of testing.

Limiteds are not special just for their sharpness (which they are, these are all 100% crops) but for overall rendering of the image. I am sure much cheaper zooms have been shown to be sharper than the limiteds. The designer of the limiteds designed if for 'flavor' and not just sharpness.

The zoom is sharper at close distances (At infinity the limiteds are sharper) but I still prefer the limiteds for the rendering, but I m glad the zoom comes so close.

I AM DONE WITH THIS TESTING...HOPE NEVER TO DO IT AGAIN
05-13-2010, 05:43 PM   #26
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Infinity focus

At infinity focus

FA 31 limited (100% crop of the extreme edge)


FA*28-70 (100% crop of the extreme edge)



This is what is so remarkable about the limiteds, they are created for their 'flavor'. At landscape distances the image is tach. sharp. from edge to edge at closer distances the edge suffers to give the creamiest of bokeh and a dreamy overall rendition. To me in spite of what the FA*28-70 can do in sharpness at close distances, for overall IQ and usage it is still not in the same league as the Pentax FA limiteds.....it may be sharp, but sharpness's got nothing over the pixie dust.
05-15-2010, 05:58 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by pcarfan Quote
At infinity focus

This is what is so remarkable about the limiteds, they are created for their 'flavor'.
Your FA43 has focus problems. Mine is RAZOR SHARP at f2.8-4.
Sharper than FA31 and FA77.
05-15-2010, 08:55 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by pcarfan Quote
At infinity focus

FA 31 limited (100% crop of

This is what is so remarkable about the limiteds, they are created for their 'flavor'. At landscape distances the image is tach. sharp. from edge to edge at closer distances the edge suffers to give the creamiest of bokeh and a dreamy overall rendition. To me in spite of what the FA*28-70 can do in sharpness at close distances, for overall IQ and usage it is still not in the same league as the Pentax FA limiteds.....it may be sharp, but sharpness's got nothing over the pixie dust.
I think all your testing – which by the way is a great and helpful exercise; thank you so much for your time and dedication – shows one interesting thing: the DA limiteds have a much more pronounced curvatore of field, which is evident in the poor corner performance at short distances, wheras the FA zoom has a much flatter field and thus better corner sharpness.

At near infinite distances the field curvatore will be less visible or vanish, which explains your last roof examples. The field curvatore is probaly due to the constraints the smalll sizes of these lenses impose. I personally would prefer a larger lens with better performance and thus keep on clinging to my 28-70. Though I also like the FA 31mm for the overall "look" of the image, even the humble FA 35/2, is sharper over the whole field.

Ben
05-15-2010, 01:12 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by ogl Quote
Your FA43 has focus problems. Mine is RAZOR SHARP at f2.8-4.
Sharper than FA31 and FA77.
It could be.....I've had it for about 2 years, and had used it extensively. In real life it is razor sharp with sublime rendering. It is by far, my most favorite lens....so, if it is defective, so be it...I've said this before and I'll say it again, if the K10D was the last DSLR Pentax ever made, I'll still shoot with a Pentax because of the FA43 limited....

P.S: This target was three feet away, I will test the zoom against the 43 at longer distances but closer than infinity and report back.
05-15-2010, 01:26 PM   #30
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Ben, I know what you mean.

At 100% the FA35 that I had was sharper than the 43. But, at anything less (like 50% view) the images actually looked sharper with the 43, and the overall rendering much better with the 43.

100% crops and testing are so finicky, that at times it is more of a nuisance than an asset. That's why I actually prefer user (vetted) input thyan tests.

Does anyone actually believe the photozone results for the DA 55/1.4 at 1.4 ????? after seeing many images with the lens and reading user reviews (I don't have one), I am convinced the lens to be a stellar performer even at 1.4...same with the 43, it is much sharper than the 31 wideopen unlike the results at photozone.

Also, I am convinced, Field curvature, which at times afflicts some Zeiss lenses as well when done right can add to the charm of a lens.
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