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05-12-2010, 06:55 AM   #1
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Which one will you choose, FA31mm or DA*16-50mm ?

Hi, I am currently struggled between FA31mm and DA*16-50?
If you were me, which one will you choose? And pls state the reason, thanks.
BTW now i have 50-135 and 16-45 in my hand, so I want to know is that worthy for me to change 16-45 to 16-50??

Last edited by dasha; 05-12-2010 at 08:12 AM.
05-12-2010, 07:14 AM   #2
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For travel and general shooting, I'll go for the 16-50

With a WR body, you shoot as and when you want to and won't miss that critical shot

I see the 31 as a special purpose lens :ugh:

Tried it, love the shots but doubt I'll use it that much

When I travel and when weight isn't an issue, the 16-50 and 50-135 plus a fast prime is my usual

When weight is an issue, I only take the 16-50 and really, I don't miss much
05-12-2010, 07:17 AM   #3
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the FA31 is a phenomenal lens, the DA*16-50 f/2.8 cannot match it at any aperture.

though which lens is "better" depends entirely on what you use it for.
05-12-2010, 07:17 AM   #4
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i'm a sucker for prime, so i would go with the FA 31.

However, in that price range, I rather get myself a DFA 100mm WR. =D

05-12-2010, 07:18 AM   #5
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Without knowing what your needs are, I suppose, as someone who has owned both lenses, I would go for the 16-50. It is a little more versatile (as zooms usually are) and it has almost prime image quality. It has been my workhorse for almost two years.
The FA31 is a legendary lens. It renders images with almost a dreamlike bokeh and it is nearly a perfect focal length on Pentax's digital cameras.
So, if you are looking for versatility, go for the 16-50. If you know that you will be comfortable with the focal length, go for the FA 31. My brother's 31 was tethered to his k20 for almost 2 years and it served as (for him) the carry around lens he always used.
It's the beauty of the Pentax system that there are so many great primes and zooms to choose from.
05-12-2010, 07:48 AM   #6
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Well, first of all I cannot speak for you at all. I have no idea what you like to shoot, how you like to shoot, or any of that. I don't know what lenses you own, and therefore whether or not either of the two lenses is duplicated in your kit.
For myself (and myself only) I would get the 31mm. Why?
1) I own the other two FA ltd's and find them to be stellar lenses
2) I like to shoot from wide to normal and the 31mm is a better fit for me
3) I really really really like the 31mm's bokeh
4) I already have a decent zoom in the 16-50mm category
5) The FA 31mm is slightly faster than the 16-50
6) The DA 16-50 has a somewhat dubious Quality Control record.

NaCl(But as I said those are MY reasons. YMMV. )H2O
05-12-2010, 07:49 AM   #7
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FA31mm. It doesn't have SDM that can fail on you.
05-12-2010, 08:05 AM   #8
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05-12-2010, 09:09 AM   #9
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I owned the 16-45 f/4 and FA31 combo for a little while and that served me well. When I needed something wide I took the 16-45, when I knew it was going to be darker or I wanted the FA31's image quality, I'd take that lens instead.

If you're just using your camera equipment for hobby uses or for pre-planned, static shoots, I think the DA16-45 and FA31 would work great for you.

I guess I'm curious if you're going to be selling your 16-45 lens to fund this new lens purchase either way. I'd also want to know if you do any wedding, event or photojournalism work, as these are the areas where my DA*16-50 has really paid for itself. Other times I'm more inclined to use prime lenses.

As for your other question:

I want to know is that worthy for me to change 16-45 to 16-50??
I thought it was worthwhile upgrading to the DA*16-50 from the DA16-45 for a couple of reasons:
  • Better Bokeh
  • Weather Sealing
  • The much maligned SDM lets you autofocus silentlly (SDM hasn't failed me so far, knock on wood)
  • f/2.8 versus f/4
  • Build quality is better (it has already survived a nasty fall)
  • Pentax was offering a discount at the time

Overall, if you get a good copy of the DA*16-50 and it stays good (the SDM doesn't fail) it is one of the overall best lenses that Pentax makes in my opinion. It's just a shame all the risks that go with it.
05-12-2010, 09:14 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by pop4 Quote
FA31mm. It doesn't have SDM that can fail on you.
Hahahaha ... seeing as you put it that way ... hell yeah.
Seeing as you have the 16-45 already (although not anywhere near as good as the 16-50 is supposed to be ... mind you there have been a lot of lemon 16-50's)

I'd get the FA31 as the specialist lens for those magic shots you really want to get.
I don't have the budget unfortunately ... but if i did ... I'd be all over an FA31 in a heartbeat.
05-12-2010, 01:59 PM   #11
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I have the 16-50mm, and it's an incredibly useful lens, it stays on my camera 95% of the time. That being said, I usually have a hotshoe flash as well, so it's not exactly a small and compact kit. Recently, I've borrowed a friend's Nikon D3000 with the 35mm f1.8 lens, and that combo is just great for casual snapshots. So if you're after a small setup for general-purpose shooting, the 31mm would be great. It's too expensive for me to just use for snapshots, though. So for me, the 16-50mm is a much more useful lens, I have no complaints about the IQ, and I've needed the weather-sealing several times
05-12-2010, 02:23 PM   #12
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Practically speaking neither. I won't touch anything SDM, and I don't want 16-50/2.8 misalignment. 31 is nice but not quite as useful on APS-C. Well maybe hang on to your money until you have found something you needed, instead of wanted.
05-12-2010, 03:33 PM   #13
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The question is do you want a Porsche or a motorcycle. Both are high performance, one more so than the other, but lacks the versatility. But you already know that.
05-12-2010, 03:33 PM   #14

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If I already had the 16-45, I'd get the 31 instead of the 16-50. The 31 is a better lens; and the 16-50, though a fine lens in its own right, has the QC and SDM issues that others have already mentioned.
05-12-2010, 04:10 PM   #15
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Heck I would get the 18-55 II kit lens before I would ever get another DA* 16-50.

Top 5 things I would rather do than buy another DA* 16-50

5) Use a disposable camera with a plastic lens
4) Kiss one of Wheatfield's Rottweilers right on the mouth
3) Brush my teeth with steel wool
2) Admit on a Pentax forum that Canon may not be evil after all
1) Chew glass

Get the FA 31 Ltd. Stay away from the 16-50. You have been warned...

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