Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
11-29-2010, 10:20 AM   #1
Veteran Member
soppy's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Gainesville
Posts: 348
DA 40mm ltd. or FA 43mm ltd?

I'm trying to decide between these two lenses. The smallness of the 40mm is attractive, but then the 43 is only 1/2 inch longer. The 43mm has a larger aperture which is always attractive. Which one has better IQ in your opinion? Sample pics are greatly appreciated.

11-29-2010, 10:44 AM   #2
Senior Moderator
Loyal Site Supporter
Parallax's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: South Dakota
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 15,599
Here is a good place to start:

Pentax SMC-FA 43mm f/1.9 Limited - Review / Test Report - Analysis

Pentax SMC-DA 40mm f/2.8 Limited - Review / Test Report - Analysis
11-29-2010, 10:53 AM   #3
Veteran Member
paperbag846's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,396
I've had it explained to me this way:

The DA 40 is really sharp corner to corner. It gives you rather "perfect" images, and good depth of field control considering it's just 2.8. It's my best lens (but I have no FA limiteds ). The DA 40 is harder to manually focus, but it is faster at autofocus than the 43 because the focus ring does not travel as far. While the 40 is really cool because it is so small, the 43 is pretty small too and I doubt it would really make a difference in practice.

The FA 43 is THE SHARPEST in the center. It will cut your eyes. It's also sharp in the corners, but not as sharp in the center. This gives your pictures more dimensionality, a more 3d look. Someone I know who sold his 40 for the 43 told me that the 43 has more character, while the technically perfect look of the 40 could sometimes resemble a point and shoot. He also mentioned he regretted selling the DA 40, and wished he could afford to own both. Of course, the 43 is also a little more than a stop faster, which is helpful in some situations.

Here's a shot I took with the DA 40 just hours after receiving it.



Good luck deciding! My choice was easier... it was dictated by finances (and the DA 40, used price, is hard to say no to).
11-29-2010, 10:54 AM   #4
axl
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Nove Zamky, Slovakia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 7,181
Not this one again. Have you tried searching the forums? This question gets asked frequently and regularly. Last time around 2-3 weeks ago or so and it sparked (relatively) heated debate and exchanges between both camps. I took part in that one and will try to post link later on....

11-29-2010, 10:58 AM   #5
axl
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Nove Zamky, Slovakia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 7,181
Found it! Even on the phone, ain't I gooooood
Here is the link:
pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/120386-43mm-ltd-vs-40mm-ltd.html
11-29-2010, 12:37 PM   #6
Veteran Member
soppy's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Gainesville
Posts: 348
Original Poster
Sorry about that. I tend to frequent the lens forum and hadn't seen one so I didn't think to search, I'll know better next time.

QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
I've had it explained to me this way:

The DA 40 is really sharp corner to corner. It gives you rather "perfect" images, and good depth of field control considering it's just 2.8. It's my best lens (but I have no FA limiteds ). The DA 40 is harder to manually focus, but it is faster at autofocus than the 43 because the focus ring does not travel as far. While the 40 is really cool because it is so small, the 43 is pretty small too and I doubt it would really make a difference in practice.

The FA 43 is THE SHARPEST in the center. It will cut your eyes. It's also sharp in the corners, but not as sharp in the center. This gives your pictures more dimensionality, a more 3d look. Someone I know who sold his 40 for the 43 told me that the 43 has more character, while the technically perfect look of the 40 could sometimes resemble a point and shoot. He also mentioned he regretted selling the DA 40, and wished he could afford to own both. Of course, the 43 is also a little more than a stop faster, which is helpful in some situations.

Here's a shot I took with the DA 40 just hours after receiving it.
Thank you for the excellent explanation, that is pretty much what I was looking for. I noticed the bokeh on the FA seems a bit harsh compared to the DA. Is this only wide open or is it through the whole range?
11-29-2010, 01:06 PM   #7
Senior Member




Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 200
QuoteOriginally posted by soppy Quote
...the bokeh on the FA seems a bit harsh compared to the DA.
Absolutely not true. Not sure what it is based on...
11-29-2010, 01:12 PM   #8
Loyal Site Supporter
eddie1960's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 12,264
i'd buy the FA for the construction and because i like to focus manually and the da is to small harder to focus (i also have a couple of mf bodies still so the FA is the better option
that being said i own neither unfortunately
i also like the extra speed of the FA given i frequently shoot in low light.
the DA appeals as the prefect street photography lens (if you aren't going to use a rangefinder which is my preference for that type of photography)

11-29-2010, 01:19 PM   #9
Veteran Member
soppy's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Gainesville
Posts: 348
Original Poster
Just based on a few photos I saw taken with the FA. I believe it was in the FA ltd club thread.

Specifically here:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3437/3377613355_d740475c78_b.jpg

The branches look a bit distracting, then again that could be more of a composition issue anyways. I also just realized thats the 77mm, not the 43... Well I'm being stupid today, please forgive.
11-29-2010, 01:25 PM   #10
Senior Member




Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 200
The example you posted looks pretty bad, but you might create this kind
of effect with any lens. Wind, distance to the bg, many things.
43 and 77 have a very similar look and IMO it's the best look in the entire
Pentax lens range.
40 is good, I got it because I thought it was so cool to have such a small lens,
but in real life it's too small for me (funny...). And it's not as unique as 43.
11-29-2010, 01:48 PM   #11
Loyal Site Supporter
eddie1960's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 12,264
distracting backgrounds are always distracting even with 16 blade bokeh monster lenses IMO
I've always thought the 43 and the 77 were the most tempting of the current crop based on what I've seen
11-29-2010, 01:53 PM   #12
Veteran Member
paperbag846's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,396
QuoteOriginally posted by soppy Quote
The branches look a bit distracting, then again that could be more of a composition issue anyways. I also just realized thats the 77mm, not the 43... Well I'm being stupid today, please forgive.
Those branches do look distracting, and I can't give you a definitive answer here because I have not shot much with the FA 43, but i will have a crack at it. I will begin by saying that my 50mm 1.7 tends to produce a similar look.

I have come to realize that there are trade off's to be made between sharp lenses and bokeh masters. Lenses that tend to have the best bokeh do not tend to have the most sharpness, and vica versa. There may be good exceptions to this rule, but I don't believe the FA43 is one of them. Photozone.de found the same criticism of this lens.

The 50mm 1.7 is a sharp, sharp lens. In many reviews, the 50mm 1.4 is explained to be soft. Well, it is. It's not corrected for sharpness like the 1.7 is. However, the 1.7 has busy bokeh, and the 1.4 has creamy bokeh. The reason for this is that the 50mm 1.4 is not corrected for spherical aberrations, which helps the OOF rendering, and also tends to give photos an overall dreamy look.

In general, it should be stated that sharpness is not everything, depending on what you want to take pictures of. The FA 43 and 50 1.4 could sit comfortably beside one another in the bag, due to their very different renderings. The FA 43 is a SHARP lens, and I would not expect it to excel in the bokeh department compared to some other lenses.
11-29-2010, 03:03 PM   #13
Senior Member




Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 200
QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
...I have not shot much with the FA 43
...I would not expect it to excel in the bokeh department compared to some other lenses.
Hard to beat this kind of arguments...
11-29-2010, 03:27 PM   #14
Veteran Member
paperbag846's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,396
QuoteOriginally posted by andi Quote
Hard to beat this kind of arguments...
I'm just being honest. There are many samples images available. A lesser lens (such as the 50mm 1.4) would handle a distracting background better, at the cost of subject sharpness.

As far as I'm aware, there are no perfect lenses...
11-29-2010, 11:00 PM   #15
Veteran Member
Pentaxor's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Vancouver, B.C.
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 6,513
QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
distracting backgrounds are always distracting even with 16 blade bokeh monster lenses IMO
I've always thought the 43 and the 77 were the most tempting of the current crop based on what I've seen
I tend to agree with this statement. branches are quite tricky to blur out nicely regardless of the number of aperture blades. and I don't think the number of aperture blades would matter if you are shooting at wide open.

the way to smoothen up or atleast improve the bokeh (blur) is to have a fast lens with an aspheric element. a longer focal length may also add to the effect of a nice bokeh due to a narrow background perspective and DOF.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
40mm, 43mm, da 40mm, k-mount, pentax lens, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
43mm Ltd vs 40mm Ltd dankoBanana Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 103 11-09-2010 10:55 PM
Has anyone compared Voigtländer 40mm and 43mm ltd? Ketsuppi11 Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 4 05-20-2010 11:45 PM
40mm DA vs 43mm FA andi Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 73 01-17-2010 10:53 AM
Anyone own the 40mm and 43mm loganross Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 5 05-27-2007 10:50 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:32 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top