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10-30-2010, 06:58 AM   #1
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43mm Ltd vs 40mm Ltd

what do you think guys? which one is better?

Pentax SMC-DA 40mm f/2.8 Limited - Review / Test Report
Pentax SMC-FA 43mm f/1.9 Limited - Review / Test Report

does the fa43 justify its cost relative to the DA 40?

10-30-2010, 07:24 AM   #2
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Well both are fantastic lens, and you would be happy with either one.

The da 40 is cheaper.
The fa43 is just over a full stop faster.
The da40 is slighter smaller.
Both lenses have excellent metal craftsmanship.
The fa43 has better colour rendition, and contrast (my personal opinion, as well as many others)
The fa43 has better center sharpness and is one the sharpest lens made by pentax.
The da40 has better border sharpness.
The da40 has quick shift. fa43 doesnt.
The fa43 has an aperture ring, da40 doesnt.

I think that sums it up, being both great lens.

Last edited by TOUGEFC; 10-30-2010 at 07:30 AM.
10-30-2010, 08:12 AM - 1 Like   #3
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I believe when you are comparing two very high quality lenses like the limiteds, you have to understand the rule of thumb with any high end gear - if you pay twice as much, expect 10% better performance. I've experienced this more in the audio-technology side of things, but I believe the principal applies to all technology.

Now I have not shot either of these lenses but I have seen countless fantastic photos from both. I have heard of people who owned both and sold the FA, and others who sold the DA. My thinking is that if you are strapped for cash, buy the DA and be confident you have a very high quality lens.

I might add:

The DA 40 is faster focusing, the FA 43 will work better on your older film cameras (although both will work!)
10-30-2010, 02:36 PM   #4
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The DA 40 has standard Pixie dust and the FA 43mm ltd has left handed Pixie Dust.

10-30-2010, 08:30 PM   #5
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the difference is that one is cost-effective while one has a tad better IQ.
10-30-2010, 09:21 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
the difference is that one is cost-effective while one has a tad better IQ.
That is what I said.
10-30-2010, 09:28 PM   #7
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From my experience with FA 35, DA 40's resolution would not touch the FA limited. The difference is definitely visible (and this is with the lesser resolution FA 35), but this is really only visible when pixelpeeping as images from DA 40 printed is sharp like a tack. That said it is an excellent lens in almost every aspect though.

Last edited by Andi Lo; 10-30-2010 at 09:35 PM.
10-30-2010, 10:50 PM   #8
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For me, I think it depends on the body.

If you have a K7, K20d, or a K5, i say go with the 43mm, it better suits it i feel.

But if you have a K-x, or the K-r, the 40mm is like the perfect companion.

10-30-2010, 11:28 PM   #9
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FA43 at f1.9



The original pic is mutch more sharp and offers a true three-dimensional touch.

The FA43 is open a beautiful knife.
10-31-2010, 02:26 AM   #10
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The FA 43 will give better image quality and more light gathering ability. The DA 40 is faster focus and smaller. If you have the money, I would go with the FA. I didn't and went with the DA 40 and have been quite pleased, but only you can judge how much you are willing to pay for that moderate bump in sharpness.
10-31-2010, 04:21 AM   #11
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Many threads before this have gone into similar discussion between these lenses, all with the same conclusion as here.

Beyond the exemplary IQ and larger maximum aperture of the FA 43, its build quality I'd say is a 9.5/10 and the DA 40 would score a 9/10 IMO.
10-31-2010, 12:54 PM - 1 Like   #12
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This must have been discussed bazzillion times but as owner of both I'm glad to chime in.
Generally TOUGFC said it all.
Couple of things from my experiences:
DA40 focuses faster (almost much faster)
DA40 has very typical DA rendering, warm but neutral, great contrast, kind of brutally honest
DA40 shows less CAs in contrasty situations (visibly so in certain specific conditions)
DA40 is smaller/lighter (almost half the size)
DA40 is sharp edge to edge
I've never seen jagged circular OOF from DA40 my FA43 does do it sometimes
DA40 is generally not as picky with background for delivering smooth OOF
FA43 has much warmer (yellowish) cast (I call it glow and so far I found out it's typical for all FA line lenses I've owned - *24, 31, 43, 77, 100/2.8 Macro, 135)
FA43 is visibly sharper in the center of the frame
FA43 for some reason gives more 3D look (or more pop to images as some say)
FA43 has weaker corners but by f4 it's as sharp in the corners as DA40 IMHO
FA43 is relatively slow to focus but has much better MF feel
I much prefer cap of FA43
FA43 has bigger resale value (especially if it's MIJ copy)
FA43 (at least my copy) seems to be less prone to PF (this varies wildly across the copies as I've seen images with quite some PF but even the worst cases were at least comparable with DA40)
FA43 feels bit better build (somehow) than DA40 (my copy of DA developed slight barrel wobble after 6 months or so...)
FA43 can have better OOF but user needs to keep an eye on the background otherwise the OOF can look quite nervous....
----
Bottom line, they are both great lenses. I used to love DA40 but the f2.8 was bit slow for my liking, 43 is pretty much all I called for but doesn't get used too much since I got K50/1.2....

good luck choosing
10-31-2010, 01:53 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
43 is pretty much all I called for but doesn't get used too much since I got K50/1.2....

good luck choosing
I think this is important. Something tells me that a DA 40 would make a good companion to a fast 50 (1.4 or 1.2).
10-31-2010, 02:06 PM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
I think this is important. Something tells me that a DA 40 would make a good companion to a fast 50 (1.4 or 1.2).
yes and no....
I got 43 because I wanted one lens to merge DA40 and F50/1.7.
Even with having 50/1.2 I still think 43 is better...
11-04-2010, 08:28 PM   #15
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So many nice lenses... either of these two is great.
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