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12-20-2010, 12:51 PM   #46
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You'll probably find it hard, lats, deciding between the series and may have to get a mixture of both!

12-20-2010, 01:16 PM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
They are both excellent and I'd love to have all of both. You could use some DA and FA lenses im similar situtations, but I see them as different animals. It is not just a matter of cost. The DA lenses are tiny compared to the FA--almost half the length in most cases. You can travel with 15mm to 70mm covered in sharp primes for less volume and weight than a 15-70 zoom. You can't do that with the FA series. However, if I could only have one prime lens as my entire kit, it would probably be an FA.

I own both the DA70 and the FA77, and I have no great desire to shed either one of them. IMHO, they serve different purposes. Oddly, the only DALtd lens I don't own is the excellent DA35, and it is partly because I lust after the FA31, and want it for film as well, and partly because the little DA40 suits my digital needs so well. Given its price, miniscule size and performance, the DA40 that no Pentax owner should be without even if one has the excellent DA43 in the stable.
I think I would have to agree to some degree the observation that robbiec had mentioned. if we were to equate the FA LTD and the DA LTD to their predecessors, it would be more like the FA LTD being the K series lens (optics) and the DA LTD for the M series lens (size).

I suppose you meant FA43, not a DA43. the only issues that I have with it is the focal length. other than that, it's an excellent lens.
12-20-2010, 01:22 PM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote

I suppose you meant FA43, not a DA43. the only issues that I have with it is the focal length. other than that, it's an excellent lens.
You haven't heard about the excellent DA43? Good catch.
12-21-2010, 01:17 AM - 1 Like   #49
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Simply put: people buy FA Limiteds to boost their e-*****, DA Limiteds to actually take photos
/joke

Kidding aside, there are some people who buy FA Limiteds only to show off and for bragging rights, and they take every opportunity to tell they have these lenses. Of course you never see any pictures from these people, the lenses are just a status symbol to boost their ego.

I don't care about FA or DA Limited label in general. I always check the individual lens and don't care about the label on it. If it does what I need and does it good then I buy it regardless of what label (or brand name) is on the lens & box. If it doesn't do what I need or doesn't do it good enough for me than I don't buy it and don't care about that lens anymore even if it's the praised FA31 Limited.

12-21-2010, 04:26 AM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by simico Quote
Simply put: people buy FA Limiteds to boost their e-*****, DA Limiteds to actually take photos
/joke

Kidding aside, there are some people who buy FA Limiteds only to show off and for bragging rights, and they take every opportunity to tell they have these lenses. Of course you never see any pictures from these people, the lenses are just a status symbol to boost their ego.
Sounds like collectors not users to me.
What a tragedy and a waste of good glass and metal..

QuoteQuote:
I don't care about FA or DA Limited label in general. I always check the individual lens and don't care about the label on it. If it does what I need and does it good then I buy it regardless of what label (or brand name) is on the lens & box. If it doesn't do what I need or doesn't do it good enough for me than I don't buy it and don't care about that lens anymore even if it's the praised FA31 Limited.
The utility of FA limited focal lengths are just as practical as those of the DA limiteds, except for the addition of the DA 15 ltd, and the macro ability of the DA 35 ltd. Now we can convince ourselves we may never need the FAs and the DAs will suffice, and for many of us this will be true. Deciding to acquire them needs no justification, however, but bragging about possessing them is simply jejune.

The virtue of the FA ltds should be evident in their results.
12-21-2010, 08:42 AM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote

The utility of FA limited focal lengths are just as practical as those of the DA limiteds, except for the addition of the DA 15 ltd, and the macro ability of the DA 35 ltd. Now we can convince ourselves we may never need the FAs and the DAs will suffice
question is, is f2.8 really enough? there were threads discussing about whether if fast lenses are still necessary and so far from the looks of it, they are. the topics are related or interconnected due to the fact that DA LTD's are slower and FA LTD's are faster lenses. some people overlook that certain capability of the lens.

I mean c'mon, an idiot wouldn't exactly know what's the relevance of an FA31 and it's usage.

to think that the FA LTD's are only meant for collector's item is trully jejune. is this any different to a person who wants to complete the 5 DA LTD lens lineup? I don't think so.

I would still strongly think that pricing is the biggest influence between lenses. we can see this in the marketplace where FA LTD's re sold near DA LTD price within minutes. imagine an FA77 selling for $650 or FA43 for $400 and FA31 for $750 or $800. they wouldn't last a day without getting noticed.

so no, it doesn't mean entirely mean that people dont care about the label nor the lens, but they care about the price. this is even true for someone who is trying to trade his gear or other lens. there is a cost here, especially if the person has only a few lenses to trade with and the lens being acquired is twice or 3x the cost of what he/she have. 3 lenses for 1 lens. could cost you an specific lens performance and focal length. there is a trade-off.

Last edited by Pentaxor; 12-21-2010 at 08:57 AM.
12-21-2010, 08:58 AM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
imagine an FA77 selling for $650 or FA43 for $400 and FA31 for $750 or $800. they wouldn't last a day without getting noticed.
Well, the DA trio goes for 400, 300, and about 300 respectively, or at least I have seen them at such prices.

That is 1000, vs. 1800 ish. Not exactly a similar price. And quite frankly, I do not agree that an f1.8 lens has a very different usage than an f2.4 lens, or f2.8. The "need for speed" is actually a little overblown, because you really need to stop any lens down to get a good DOF. I'm sorry, but the super-shallow DOF for certain artistic shots are pretty much a special effect, unlike in the film days when it was necessary to get a proper exposure in low light. Besides, f1.8 isn't exactly fast if you are going to start talking about speed, and most of these faster lenses are not very different stopped down to the DA wide open (e.g., FA 43 at f2.8 vs. DA at f2.8). There might be a small statistical difference, but not much of one you can actually see.

Now the FA limiteds take, beautiful, wonderful shots. They are worth it to those who can afford them. But give a DA 70 an FA 77 to an experienced photographer, and I doubt he or she would come up with stunningly superior results from one and not the other.

It also comes down to personal preference. I prefer the colour rendering of the DA's... it's more natural. But I won't sit here and argue that the FA's are inferior. Rather, I would argue that the DA's make a lot of sense to most photogs who shoot digital only.

So in most cases, I will argue that f2.8 is really enough. The only time I would want to go lower, a fast 50mm would fill the gap for very little money. In fact, I find the f2.4 of the 70mm the *perfect* aperture to get both eyes in focus, but leave behind a nice, mushy background.

Of course, YMMV.
12-21-2010, 10:06 AM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
I do not agree that an f1.8 lens has a very different usage than an f2.4 lens, or f2.8. The "need for speed" is actually a little overblown, because you really need to stop any lens down to get a good DOF.
it is not overblown, it is a known practice before the dawn of APS-C size cameras.
this is exactly why there are professional photographers and why they are called as such. the ability to use fast lenses at wide open apertures for their use illustrates their work. not to mention that they are using f1.0 f-1.2 lenses with Full-Frame cameras. to get a shot perfectly with focus at wide open with great background separation takes skill. some people stop down because of their inability to do so or lacks such skill. it is not the lens' fault if one sucks focusing at wide open and had to stop down. he/she needs to learn and practice more. one's own shortcomings is not a lens' demise.


QuoteQuote:
I'm sorry, but the super-shallow DOF for certain artistic shots are pretty much a special effect, unlike in the film days when it was necessary to get a proper exposure in low light.
super-shallow DOF is essential for typical portraiture. you mustn't have heard of people using it. it is not only used for exposure.


QuoteQuote:
Besides, f1.8 isn't exactly fast if you are going to start talking about speed, and most of these faster lenses are not very different stopped down to the DA wide open (e.g., FA 43 at f2.8 vs. DA at f2.8). There might be a small statistical difference, but not much of one you can actually see.
not true. anything above f2.8 is considered as fast and anyone who studied photography knows this. and f1.8 versus f2.8, that's a heck more than a stop difference. that's a lot. in general, a faster lens stop down gets much better as opposed to a slower lens at wide open. it is not a small statistical difference. an exception to the rule would be the 50/1.7 to the other 50mm except the DA*50/1.4 which is a fast sharp lens wide open, but these are not even DA LTD. besides, DA LTD's can't perform at faster apertures than f2.8. that's the reason why there are fast lenses. they use them at fast apertures. you could refer to the threads regarding necessity for fast lenses since it also co-related to this topic in terms of fast lens discussion. and why f2.8 lenses aren't enough. basically, an f1.8 lens can do an f2.8 while an f2.8 can't do an f1.8. big difference.


Last edited by Pentaxor; 12-21-2010 at 10:31 AM.
12-21-2010, 10:36 AM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
it ["need for speed"] is not overblown, it is a known practice before the dawn of APS-C size cameras.
this is exactly why there are professional photographers and why they are called as such. the ability to use fast lenses at wide open apertures for their use illustrates their work. not to mention that they are using f1.0 f-1.2 lenses with Full-Frame cameras. to get a shot perfectly with focus at wide open with great background separation takes skill. some people stop down because of their inability to do so or lacks such skill. it is not the lens' fault if one sucks focusing at wide open and had to stop down. he/she needs to learn and practice more.

. . .

super-shallow DOF is essential for typical portraiture. you mustn't have heard of people using it. it is not only used for exposure.
On this "need for speed" discussion, I dispute that the use of shallow DOF is synonymous with professional photography. Landscape and architectural work, for example, are domains of pro photography where shallow DOF is unimportant. And in sports/action photography, I dare say that while apertures wider than 2.8 might occasionally be used, they are not required by the subject matter and are most likely employed to compensate for low-light conditions (especially using film and early digital equipment), not because of a desire for shallower DOF.

As far as portraiture is concerned, while I appreciate results some have had from their FA 43 and FA 77 lenses, I have equally appreciated results from the DA 40, DA 70, and even DA 35 lenses -- I have not found that the difference between f1.8 and f2.8 translates into successful vs. unsuccessful subject separation. And all of these lenses shoot similarly well at 2.8 (with different rendering ofco). I would also point out the obvious, that it can be much easier to achieve subject separation with a DA 70 at f2.4 or 2.8 than it would be to use a FA 43 at f1.9, because of the difference in working distance.

Finally, I would point out that for sheer "need for speed" (wide aperture) on a Pentax body, the best options do not come from the Limited lines at all. DA 55/1.4, FA 50/1.4, A 50/1.2, Voigtlander 58/1.4, and Sigma 50/1.4 -- for that matter even the ubiquitous A 50/1.7 -- are all wider than any of the Limiteds, and at the normal end the Sigma 28/1.8 and 30/1.4 and the FA 35/2 compete with the FA 31/1.8 on all criteria except reputation and pixie dust. It seems to me that there is one cluster of opinion that holds that the FA limiteds -- designed for IQ but not exactly for speed -- are "just fast enough" at ~1.8 and defends them strenuously against another group for whom the DA limiteds themselves are "fast enough" at ~2.8. Then there is a third group for whom neither is fast enough, but most of that group are probably elsewhere, on FF and Canikon. :-p
12-21-2010, 11:44 AM   #55
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I didn't realize all pros were portrait photographers .

I put the word special effect in quotations because obviously, shallow depth of field is a useful too for SOME sorts of photography. If we are going to talk physics for a moment, though, most shots below f2 are going to have pretty much just the eyes in focus, and while this may be desirable for a classic portrait look, shallow depth of field is not the only sort of portrait that looks good. Speaking strictly about professional work, of which I can only go to samples because I am not one and will never be one, many, many stunning headshots I've seen were shots with what looks to be f4 to me. Commercial photography tends to be rather sharp these days, and while shallow depth of field has its place, it is not ubiquitous with professional results.

Fast lenses have their place, and are certainly useful, but I don't believe the average photographer will really be held back by a slightly slower lens (there is, IMHO, a much bigger difference in usability between f2.8 and f4 than between f2.8 and f2), and I don't believe that it is because they are so "unskilled" that they "need" f2.8 to keep things in focus. Rather, I think a lot of people agree that f2.8 is a very nice aperture to keep your *whole* subject in focus, while blurring the background nicely.

As many cases as there are where a soft-focus in desirable for a portrait, there are just as many cases where it harms the image or can look overdone. The point is that this particular aspect of the FA ltd's photographic abilities is really specialized, and likely not incredibly important for many individuals. I would think thing like bokeh rendering, sharpness, and features such as autofocus speed would have a much more dramatic effect on the value the average photographer would observe. This is important... value *is* in the eye of the beholder, and instead of talking about how one rendering is superior, let's discuss features for value. Obviously, this will come into effect, seeing as the DA ltd. trio is about 50% of the cost of the FA trio.

And no, I didn't take photography in school... but I do study people. Since you feel like mincing words, I would suggest then that the DA 70 2.4 is, in fact, a fast lens by your standard. I don't really see it as such, but I know that I rarely use any of the fast 50's I've owned below f2.4. When I do, it's often because the light is bad, and it generally results in sub-par images compared to f2.8 - f4.0. Maybe you prefer the look of f1.8 - f2.4. I don't think one could conclusively say that one is better than the other. This is supposed to be art, after all.

Last edited by paperbag846; 12-21-2010 at 11:49 AM.
12-21-2010, 01:03 PM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
Fast lenses have their place, and are certainly useful, but I don't believe the average photographer will really be held back by a slightly slower lens (there is, IMHO, a much bigger difference in usability between f2.8 and f4 than between f2.8 and f2), and I don't believe that it is because they are so "unskilled" that they "need" f2.8 to keep things in focus. Rather, I think a lot of people agree that f2.8 is a very nice aperture to keep your *whole* subject in focus, while blurring the background nicely.
Whilst soberingly true for a lot of photogs, there are a number of instances where f/2.8 (particularly in the shorter focal lengths) does not permit a shallow enough DoF in portraiture. If there is only small physical separation between the subject and the background, DoF can hardly be shallow enough to blur out the background. This is easier if let's say we're using an FA*/DA* 200/2.8, but not so with a Tamron 28-75/2.8. It has more to do with this (for pros) than just being able to handhold the camera in low light.

e.g. portrait at 100mm f/2.8


and now the same subject captured at 85mm at f/1.2


Getting such portraits right needs a perfectly perpendicular subject to the lens axis, but when done right, then the result is acceptably sharp. And while you may think the photog could have just separated the subjects more from the background, there *will* be instances in real life when this is not possible.

QuoteQuote:

This is important... value *is* in the eye of the beholder, and instead of talking about how one rendering is superior, let's discuss features for value. Obviously, this will come into effect, seeing as the DA ltd. trio is about 50% of the cost of the FA trio.
As subjective as this is, it's valid at a personal level. Certainly at this level of quality, the law of diminishing returns is going to apply, and thus value for money may decline with the FA ltds, however once again this does not mean there is absolutely no added value the FA ltds have over the DA ltds.

QuoteQuote:

Maybe you prefer the look of f1.8 - f2.4. I don't think one could conclusively say that one is better than the other. This is supposed to be art, after all.
Here's a FF shot (not mine) taken at 85mm at f/2:

Any more stopped down and this image would have a considerably more cluttered background, which dramatically alters the dynamics of the image and objectively degrade its impact.

You've happily convinced yourself that you don't need more speed than f/2.8, but don't bother trying to convince others of this as you simply won't win the argument.
12-21-2010, 01:21 PM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
You've happily convinced yourself that you don't need more speed than f/2.8, but don't bother trying to convince others of this as you simply won't win the argument.
Wonderful shots, Ash!

And no, I have not convinced myself that f2.8 is as fast as I need a lens to be. Also, I don't plan on winning any arguments (if this constitutes an argument). I personally like the DA 40, but it's a shorter focal length anyways, and for this lens, it is the rendering and autofocus speed that won me over.

Like I said, there are uses for faster lenses.

QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Here's a FF shot (not mine) taken at 85mm at f/2:
This one is a great example of where shutter speed AND dof combine to make a stunning image. The question that immediately comes to mind with this image is whether A) 2.0 is really the only aperture that would leave the audience acceptably blurred (vs. 2.4 on one hand), and B) whether the FA 77 or 43 would really be necessary to take this image. I would submit that the FA 50 or DA* 55 would work equally well for this sort of thing. The rendering advantages of the FA 77 see to be purpose-made for portraiture on film... and the less expensive DA* 55mm is the same thing for digital.

Just a thought. The limiteds, in my eyes, are about off-the-cuff, portable photography. There is a big difference between the Canon L 85mm 1.2, and the FA 77 1.8, in size, that is repeated if you go to the DA 70 2.4. But the DA* 55 wins in my mind w.r.t., DOF control, and focal length.

Last edited by paperbag846; 12-21-2010 at 01:28 PM.
12-21-2010, 01:49 PM   #58
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Pentax have their niche in compact high quality lenses. That's a challenge for producing faster and faster lenses - it would defeat their signature identity to produce a huge 85/1.2 lens, so they'd be more inclined to find a formula to perhaps compromise in creating a much more compact 85/1.4 (for example). That's the way I see it.

As for the question you posed: I would wager even half a stop down from f/2 would have made a big difference in background rendition, to the point where the result is noticeably less appealing. The 77 ltd would have been able to create very close to the same result if used wide open and on a full-frame body. On an APS-C, there would have to be more camera to subject distance, and thus less relative separation from the subject to the background crowd - this would make for a less blurred background due to the apparent increase in depth of field - perhaps not by much, but certainly noticeable.
12-21-2010, 01:58 PM   #59
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Well, we've just had a couple more examples just posted on the forum of aptly applied shallow DoF to add to the discussion:

see Pedro's action soccer shots:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/126562-sports-pt-k-5-da-...two-cents.html

and DWB's 43 ltd portrait at f/2.2
12-21-2010, 02:11 PM   #60
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QuoteOriginally posted by Impartial Quote
On this "need for speed" discussion, I dispute that the use of shallow DOF is synonymous with professional photography. Landscape and architectural work, for example, are domains of pro photography where shallow DOF is unimportant. And in sports/action photography, I dare say that while apertures wider than 2.8 might occasionally be used, they are not required by the subject matter and are most likely employed to compensate for low-light conditions (especially using film and early digital equipment), not because of a desire for shallower DOF.

As far as portraiture is concerned, while I appreciate results some have had from their FA 43 and FA 77 lenses, I have equally appreciated results from the DA 40, DA 70, and even DA 35 lenses -- I have not found that the difference between f1.8 and f2.8 translates into successful vs. unsuccessful subject separation. And all of these lenses shoot similarly well at 2.8 (with different rendering ofco). I would also point out the obvious, that it can be much easier to achieve subject separation with a DA 70 at f2.4 or 2.8 than it would be to use a FA 43 at f1.9, because of the difference in working distance.

Finally, I would point out that for sheer "need for speed" (wide aperture) on a Pentax body, the best options do not come from the Limited lines at all. DA 55/1.4, FA 50/1.4, A 50/1.2, Voigtlander 58/1.4, and Sigma 50/1.4 -- for that matter even the ubiquitous A 50/1.7 -- are all wider than any of the Limiteds, and at the normal end the Sigma 28/1.8 and 30/1.4 and the FA 35/2 compete with the FA 31/1.8 on all criteria except reputation and pixie dust. It seems to me that there is one cluster of opinion that holds that the FA limiteds -- designed for IQ but not exactly for speed -- are "just fast enough" at ~1.8 and defends them strenuously against another group for whom the DA limiteds themselves are "fast enough" at ~2.8. Then there is a third group for whom neither is fast enough, but most of that group are probably elsewhere, on FF and Canikon. :-p
I was referring to shots done at fast apertures which requires skill at handling with shallow DOF, not landscape. it is easy to keep everything in focus with larger DOF as opposed to thin DOF. even a simple PS shooter can do that without breaking a sweat. and as I mentioned previously, a fast lens can always stop down but a slower lens can't stop up.
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