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11-20-2010, 10:22 AM   #16
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You have generated quite a discussion here. I went and got the 35mm Zeiss about 2 months ago after conciderable research and debate. I read all of the reviews at B+H and Andorama, combined with other reviews I could find. I absolutely love this Zeiss lens and have never looked back. I have not owned an FA 31, but am sure it is a great lens. The bottom line for me was the price I got it on Ebay, from a great vendor. $200.00 or so less than the best price on a FA 31 I could find anywhere, and 100.00 less than the average used FA 31. I do not use AF very often even when I can with my other Pentax lenses. Here are a couple shots from the 35 Distagon... the first one @2.4 the second @2.2, both in very difficult lighting.





Last edited by dunerunner; 11-20-2010 at 10:23 AM. Reason: change wording
11-20-2010, 10:37 AM   #17
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That first shot is awesome.
11-20-2010, 11:16 AM   #18
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I could not resist posting a couple more Zeiss 35 shots. These Zeiss lenses (the 25 and 35 distagons) have opened up many creative avenues for me. I am sure the Pentax FA series have done the same for many. Hope these help with your decision!




Last edited by dunerunner; 11-20-2010 at 11:20 AM. Reason: change wording
11-22-2010, 03:55 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by farfisa Quote
I don't know where the OP is located, but this eBay store has new ZK 35/2's for $737 US:
ZEISS 35MM F/2 ZK DISTAGON T* PENTAX K MOUNT USA NEW on eBay.ca (item 170553226950 end time 14-Dec-10 20:01:51 EST)

Might sound steep, but what's a used FA 31? $850?

The Pentax K28/2 is indeed based on the same optical formula, but would require stop-down metering. The ZK lenses are A lenses, so one less thing to fiddle with!
Thanks for the tip, I just bought one. I recently started shooting with a Zeiss 100MP on my Nikon body, and it has become very hard to separate it from the body. The optics are phenomenal, and nearly everything else looks anemic by comparison to me now. I've been itching to try the 35 ZF, but have yet to find a lens I really love for my new K-7, so what-the-hell, I bought the ZK.

If I love it half as much as the 100MP, it will spend a lot of time on my K-7. I assume I'll probably be selling my DA 35/2.8 soon....

11-22-2010, 04:22 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
I shoot Canon,Nikon,Leica and Pentax; and I can testify that the Pentax FA31mm f/1.8 is every bit as good as a Leica Summilux 35mm f/1.4 ASPH and it is significantly more flare resistant too.
Not according to Steve Huff Wide Open: Pentax 31 Limited & Leica 35 Summilux ASPH | STEVE HUFF PHOTOS andthe preliminary testing that I've done so far (on the Summilux-r 35mm) - all that bulk, weight and cash have got to be good for something!
11-22-2010, 04:48 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by DanielT74 Quote
Not according to Steve Huff Wide Open: Pentax 31 Limited & Leica 35 Summilux ASPH | STEVE HUFF PHOTOS andthe preliminary testing that I've done so far (on the Summilux-r 35mm) - all that bulk, weight and cash have got to be good for something!
his testing methodology is flawed, what he is basically doing is testing the IQ between a rangefinder and a DSLR. Especially a DSLR that has a rather hard AA filter against a camera that doesn't have one - you couldn't get any less scientific than that.

I have a novoflex adapter that converts a Pentax K mount lens to a Leica M mount, unfortunately there is no rangefinder coupling, which prevents me from doing any kind of scientific testing. I assure you; on the 18 megapixel M9 the FA31 is sharp at f/1.8 and it becomes razor sharp at f/4

Last edited by Digitalis; 11-22-2010 at 04:55 PM.
11-22-2010, 05:16 PM   #22
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OK, so you compared them both on the M9?

Have you had a look at the comparisons I did with the summilux-r and the 31ltd? I will do thebrick wall next and make sure the focus is right. Still my impression is that the summilux is sharper(and less prone to CA).
11-22-2010, 09:18 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by DanielT74 Quote
comparisons I did with the summilux-r and the 31ltd?
I haven't yet seen a comparison between the R series lens and the FA31 but I'll point out that there will be a substantial difference in the optics between the between the M summilux and the R summilux.

I was comparing the FA31 to the Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f/1.2 and the summilux 35mm f/1.4 and 35mm summicron f/2 on the Leica M9

11-23-2010, 04:18 PM   #24
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I am trying to do this in the Ultimate 30-35mm lens thread.
11-23-2010, 04:54 PM   #25
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The Zeiss is a very nice lens, but keep in mind that one of the reasons it's so popular in Nikon mount is because they don't have the FA 31ltd available.

I chose the DA 35ltd in this FL range, but I think I'd get the FA 31ltd over the Zeiss if I were choosing between those two.
12-08-2010, 10:56 PM   #26
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I have the ZK 35 and the 35 macro limited. I love both of these lenses, the color of the ZK is just great but the selective focus of the 35 macro is awesome. I only use the limited for macros though but now that I have a 100 macro I might not use it as much.
12-09-2010, 12:13 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
keep in mind that one of the reasons it's so popular in Nikon mount is because they don't have the FA 31ltd available
the New 35mm f/1.4 From Zeiss(cosina) might challenge the FA31's throne.
12-09-2010, 01:25 AM   #28
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Let's look at it from a more pragmatic perspective. You're about to shell out a four digit figure of USD (or high three digit figure). The fact that Zeiss is stopping the production of K-mount lenses would be a serious concern for me. At least, I would have contacted Zeiss service (local or global) and inquired about the longevity of Zeiss K-mount lenses service. Imagine that in 2 years thence your lens will require ever so minor a repair and Zeiss wouldn't take it in, because they don't have the parts. That would be a major bummer.

I own FA 31 and it is excellent lens. No doubt there are other excellent lenses out there and most certainly Zeiss 35/2 can be one of them. But I cannot say anything wrong about FA 31 except may be the fact that it has a hood that you cannot take off. Some may find it a problem. I find it an advantage simply because it means that I am not going to forget to put it on.
12-09-2010, 09:13 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Boris Quote
Let's look at it from a more pragmatic perspective. You're about to shell out a four digit figure of USD (or high three digit figure). The fact that Zeiss is stopping the production of K-mount lenses would be a serious concern for me. At least, I would have contacted Zeiss service (local or global) and inquired about the longevity of Zeiss K-mount lenses service. Imagine that in 2 years thence your lens will require ever so minor a repair and Zeiss wouldn't take it in, because they don't have the parts. That would be a major bummer.

This would be of very little consequence. Build quality is one of, if not the number one strength of the ZK line. There are no AF mechanisms or electronics to break, and when you pick one up they feel as though you could use them as a weapon and incur no damage to the lens. Couple this with an increased level of QC before they leave Cosina's hands. I'm not saying it's impossible for them to ever need repair, but it is highly unlikely. Whatever spare parts Cosina has on hand should last quite some time, probably until they start producing ZK's again. Plus, the lens internals for ZK's are the same for ZF's and ZE's.
12-09-2010, 10:57 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by DogLover Quote
This would be of very little consequence. Build quality is one of, if not the number one strength of the ZK line. There are no AF mechanisms or electronics to break, and when you pick one up they feel as though you could use them as a weapon and incur no damage to the lens. Couple this with an increased level of QC before they leave Cosina's hands. I'm not saying it's impossible for them to ever need repair, but it is highly unlikely. Whatever spare parts Cosina has on hand should last quite some time, probably until they start producing ZK's again. Plus, the lens internals for ZK's are the same for ZF's and ZE's.
Yes. I fully agree with this. When I first held my zeiss 35mm distagon, wow! it really made my FA31 feels light and kinda filmsy. Prior to that, the FA31 felt like the heftiest lens I ever held. The other time I experienced this was when I compare my FA31 to my DA35 macro. The ZK's are imho, the very best lenses with a native K-mount (that leaves out Leitaxes) you can ever own (if you do not mind manual focusing).
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