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11-09-2010, 03:31 PM   #1
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Redundancy with Prime Lens

Currently, I've been saving up for some lenses and am planning to buy the DA Limiteds. However, the FA Limiteds have been lurking in the back of my mind. The only question is that would the DA Limiteds and DA* 55/1.4 be sufficient for most things so that buying the DA Limiteds and FA Limiteds together is useless?

11-09-2010, 03:52 PM   #2
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There's a lot of overlap:

31 vs 35, 43 vs 40, 77 vs 70.

FA lenses are faster and (in my opinion) just a little bit better, but if you've got one set of limiteds already, I still wouldn't buy the other.

Adam
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11-09-2010, 03:55 PM   #3
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how about another approach.

Some of us have both film and digital bodies.

I have a PZ-1 for example.

Given the option, I would take FA's and use them on both.

Aside from that, as adam said some FA-s are a little bit better.

Surely this is the case of the FA-77F1.8 over the DA-70F2.4.

Aside from the 1 stop faster and shallower DOF for those who want it.
11-09-2010, 04:00 PM   #4
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I don't have a film body anymore. I was hoping the DA* 55/1.4 would suffice as a fast prime, given that I don't really shoot that wide at lower focal lengths.

11-09-2010, 04:03 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by tux08902 Quote
I don't have a film body anymore. I was hoping the DA* 55/1.4 would suffice as a fast prime, given that I don't really shoot that wide at lower focal lengths.
You'll be very happy with it.
11-10-2010, 07:30 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
how about another approach.

Some of us have both film and digital bodies.

I have a PZ-1 for example.

Given the option, I would take FA's and use them on both.

Aside from that, as adam said some FA-s are a little bit better.

Surely this is the case of the FA-77F1.8 over the DA-70F2.4.

Aside from the 1 stop faster and shallower DOF for those who want it.
Hi Lowell,

Got to disagree with your assessment here Lowell. I'm not so sure the FA 77/1.8 is so much better as it is different than the DA 70/2.4. Both are fine lenses. I think it depends on what you are looking for in a lens. Yes, the 77is a little faster but has some issues with PFs which is not the case with the DA70/2.8. Klaus' dpreview review of the DA 70 provides a good comparison:


Verdict


The Pentax SMC DA 70mm f/2.4 Limited is an great lens with no really significant technical weakness. The resolution characteristic is generally excellent regardless of the (tested) aperture setting and the resolution distribution is much more harmonic compared to the SMC FA 77mm f/1.8 Limited although it sacrifices a tiny bit of peak performance. The vignetting is slightly more pronounced than desirable at f/2.4 but not really an issue beyond. Neither distortions nor CAs are field-relevant. You may be able to spot some traces of purple fringing. An interesting aspect of a large aperture tele lens is quality of the bokeh (the out-of-focus blur). Similar to its alcoholic counterpart it is a matter of taste to some degree - I'd say it is very good but not excellent. Here and there some of the out-of-focus halos seem to be a bit hard edged. The degree of background/foreground blur is also a bit limited by the comparatively small max. aperture (for a moderate tele lens). Typical for all Pentax Limited lenses the build quality is excellent and it is a joy to use such a high quality lens in the field. The price (around 500€/US$) is quite fair in relation to what you get here. Now is it a "better" lens than the FA 77mm f/1.8 Limited ? I'd be hard pressed to provided a real guidance here. Technically the DA 70mm is a bit better (more even resolution, less purple fringing) whereas the FA 77mm has a slight edge regarding the bokeh due to its larger max. aperture. Fortunately the choice is yours and not mine ... :-)

Klaus spends a lot more time testing lenses than any of us and I bow to his opinion in this area. I choose the DA 70 as it was less expensive and the FA 77 didn't seem to offer that much more (to me) for the added expense. As Klaus says the choice is up to you. In a perfect world I'd have one of each.

Tom G
11-10-2010, 07:47 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by 8540tomg Quote
Hi Lowell,

Got to disagree with your assessment here Lowell. I'm not so sure the FA 77/1.8 is so much better as it is different than the DA 70/2.4. Both are fine lenses. I think it depends on what you are looking for in a lens. Yes, the 77is a little faster but has some issues with PFs which is not the case with the DA70/2.8. Klaus' dpreview review of the DA 70 provides a good comparison:
Tom, I have both lenses, and I get where Lowell is coming from, because I also shoot film as well as digital. The DA70 is one of the sharpest lenses I have ever owned. I pick up amazing details in landscapes and buildings shot with that lens. However, if you shoot film, and have older bodies that you love, or you can carry only one lens for low-light, the FA 77 is in another universe of usefulness. If I had to keep only one lens, it would be the FA77.
11-10-2010, 08:10 AM   #8
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I hear you Gene and can appreciate both your and Lowell’s point of view.

As I don’t shoot a lot of film these days I’m in a different situation. Bottom line is they are both fine lenses.

Tom G


Last edited by 8540tomg; 11-10-2010 at 08:05 PM. Reason: typo
11-10-2010, 09:13 AM - 1 Like   #9
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I have the 35/2.8 LTD and the 31/1.9 LTD.
I've pretty much retired the 31 in favour of the 35.
I have the 70LTD and the 77LTD.
I've retired the 77 completely in favour of the 70.
I had a Nokton 58/1.4 and bought a DA*55/1.4
I sold the Nokton.

I haven't used the 43LTD much, but would be very surprised if it was better than the 35LTD.

Remember that the 43, 31 and 77 were designed for film cameras, and not for digital.
Digital does require things to be a little different from film.
11-10-2010, 03:22 PM   #10
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I have read great things about all of these lenses which makes decision making hard as to which ONE to get. I want to add a fast versatile prime lens for general low light shooting to my collection.

The faster lenses that I currently have are the DA *16-50 F2.8 and the F DA 100mm F2.8 macro.
11-10-2010, 03:28 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Digital does require things to be a little different from film.
Can you explain this, please?
11-10-2010, 03:56 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Buckeye Quote
fast versatile prime lens for general low light shooting to my collection.
I'm pulled two ways here. The FA 31 would be more versatile in low light due to the FOV, but it's only a stop faster than the DA 35, and the DA* 55 is one stop faster than the FA 31 (also less expensive, I believe) but the focal length is tight sometimes indoors.

QuoteOriginally posted by tux08902 Quote
DA Limiteds and FA Limiteds together is useless
Not useless, but likely overkill. The DA 55 would give you a nice portrait lens that would likely far outshine the performance of your zoom. Theres likely a good third option I'm not even thinking of.
11-11-2010, 09:01 AM   #13
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Thanks.
11-11-2010, 11:49 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
I'm pulled two ways here. The FA 31 would be more versatile in low light due to the FOV, but it's only a stop faster than the DA 35, and the DA* 55 is one stop faster than the FA 31 (also less expensive, I believe) but the focal length is tight sometimes indoors.
.
Actually,
the fa31 is 1 and 1 thirds faster than the da35, not just "only a stop faster".
And the da*55 is only 2 thirds of a stop faster the the fa31 not "one stop faster"
11-12-2010, 12:14 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by TOUGEFC Quote
Actually,
the fa31 is 1 and 1 thirds faster than the da35, not just "only a stop faster".
And the da*55 is only 2 thirds of a stop faster the the fa31 not "one stop faster"
Thanks for the correction. Since he does have a 35mm though (and a very good one) I would think that the faster 55mm would open more doors for the op over the 31. Neither would be a bad choice but for pure low-light flexibility (and you get more DOF control with the longer focal length), coupled with the fact that he owns the 35, I'm still leaning towards the 55. I would not feel so strongly if he was going to use it for film.

Maybe I'm just biased because I happen to quite like the 55 length on ASP-C, great portrait length.
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