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01-02-2011, 04:58 PM   #16
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nice review, I thought this was pretty funny:


"This is quite a price to pay for a prime lens that doesn't seem to have any real stand-out strength, other than its physical characteristics and tack-sharp images"

01-02-2011, 10:56 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
His cons...



1. I've experienced it too and can make any lens do it, especially wide open.
2. No FA lens I've ever owned had quick shift. The DA lenses do as do the DFA lenses. An easy work around is to hold the lens release button while turning the focus ring (also works for catch in focus).
3. Huh? This tells me he doesn't know how to use his Pentax Cameras. (Use Aperture Ring = Permitted)
4. Must be an old review. Pentax added the FA limiteds to the corrected list in a firmware update (or he doesn't keep his k7 up to date).
5. Originally Built for a full frame body.
6. Never a problem for me but personal preference prevails I guess.
7. Again, personal preference... I kind of like the Bokeh of the 43.
8. Expensive, Yes. Especially after the 2009 add on Pentax Tax. Hard to find? No. Hard to find at a willing to pay price? Probably.
9. As are all the screw drive lenses. I tend however to blame the camera more than the lens.



My Black one was made in Japan and yes, I'm the original owner of that one.

Overall though, his review doesn't really knock the lens. He just states he prefers something different (DA35 Macro).

Most of the "cons" list can be applied to most lenses made for film bodies.

Some of the so-called weaknesses relate to the camera body or are akin to saying your expensive Porsche is bad because it has a stick shift when everyone just knows it must have an automatic transmission in order to be a good car.

A few years ago the FA43's worst enemies was our own Pentax user base. There were a few (not many, just a few) Pentax users who roundly criticized this lens for all sorts of misdemeaners - bad bokeh, unsharp, soft corners, unable to pick up a hot date when seen in public with the lens, etc etc. Yick. They then posted their complaints over and over and over and over again.

This was more or less taken as gospel by many Pentax shooters who never really tried the lens. All because if someone says it on the internet it must be true. Then a few leaders on sites like DPR tried this lens and disproved the naysayers, and now the FA43 is a highly regarded lens.

On DPR I did read on good authority from Canon users that all the FA Limiteds are only manual focus lenses. This must be true because "someone" said it on the internet.

Last edited by tranq78; 01-02-2011 at 11:20 PM.
01-03-2011, 07:07 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by tranq78 Quote
Most of the "cons" list can be applied to most lenses made for film bodies.

Some of the so-called weaknesses relate to the camera body or are akin to saying your expensive Porsche is bad because it has a stick shift when everyone just knows it must have an automatic transmission in order to be a good car.

A few years ago the FA43's worst enemies was our own Pentax user base. There were a few (not many, just a few) Pentax users who roundly criticized this lens for all sorts of misdemeaners - bad bokeh, unsharp, soft corners, unable to pick up a hot date when seen in public with the lens, etc etc. Yick. They then posted their complaints over and over and over and over again.

This was more or less taken as gospel by many Pentax shooters who never really tried the lens. All because if someone says it on the internet it must be true. Then a few leaders on sites like DPR tried this lens and disproved the naysayers, and now the FA43 is a highly regarded lens.

On DPR I did read on good authority from Canon users that all the FA Limiteds are only manual focus lenses. This must be true because "someone" said it on the internet.


Since I paid (net) about $290 (might have been $325, don't remember the exact number) for mine, new, it's a good thing I've never put much stock in what people (who likely never touched the lens) on the internet say. Perhaps when mounted on an EOS mount via an adapter, the lenses Are Manual Focus. Don't know, never tried it, likely never will.

01-03-2011, 07:59 AM   #19
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I was looking at my friends great shots from a safari recently and then at his camera (50D) and lenses ... I was astonished at how light it was, it felt very delicate and I would be afraid to take that into some situations. Then I showed him my Pentax (with Tamron 17-50 onboard) and he was equally astonished at the solidity and weight .... "now that's what I'm talking about" .... was his exact comment.

01-03-2011, 11:59 AM   #20
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To get a decently-built Canon, there's little choice in the APS-C format - 7D's probably the only one IMO. FF - take your pick, they're all quite good. Same with Nikon - D300 would be the only APS-C I'd consider well-built, and FF - take your pick. Pentax OTOH haven't built a flimsy dSLR body to date IMO, although the flagship WR models certainly feel more robust than the entry-level ones.
01-03-2011, 12:14 PM   #21
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Then there is always this article in rebuttal

Probably the most quoted "favorable" article when mentioning the FA ltd's.
mikey likes it

NaCl(it was one of the reasons why I got my 77)H2O
01-03-2011, 12:44 PM - 1 Like   #22
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QuoteQuote:
epqwerty: It seems that the reviewer bashes Pentax more than just giving an unbiased review.
I just read the review, very carefully. I can not see how you arrove at this conclusion.

1) Re 43's Achille's Heel, CA: "Overall, however, it wasn't problematic enough for me to consider removing it in post-processing."

2) Re build: "There are few modern lenses built today of this caliber, but Pentax seems to have a habit of making well-built small prime lenses. The 43mm Limited is no exception, and perhaps one of the finer lenses you can buy today."

3) Re cosmetics: "This lens is gorgeous; lens manufacturers really don't make them look much nicer than this."

4) Re flare: "Flare performance is actually so good that I find the use of the included lens hood to be a moot point,......"

5) Re who its for: "The family man will appreciate its bright aperture for indoor shots of growing children, pets, and family functions, as well as bragging rights to having one of the nicest modern prime lens types from any camera manufacturer."

6) Re intangibles: "The 43mm LTD has the heritage, allure, and build to last a long time, perhaps a lens that I'd want to pass on to my son, and that he'd one day pass on to his."

Clearly, he loves the lens but, obviously, one must be diplomatic displaying love in a lens review: otherwise nobody will read it. Perhaps that is what our OP is doing here, incorectly introducing this thread, to get people to read it.

Pentax Bashing, are you kidding me! Heck the guy owns 2 Pentax DSLRs.

Last edited by Jewelltrail; 01-03-2011 at 12:55 PM.
01-03-2011, 04:42 PM   #23
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The FA 43 seemed more interesting as a lens option when it was priced more reasonably. To me, I see it as a very expensive, fairly slow, normal lens (considering that the FA 50 and DA *55 are both still available and are nearly a stop faster). If the FA was re released with quick shift and sealing, I could see it as reasonable for the price, but otherwise, what real benefit do you get over the FA 50, other than a higher price and better build?

I could see myself wanting the FA 31 or, the FA 77, but not this lens.

01-03-2011, 05:06 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
The FA 43 seemed more interesting as a lens option when it was priced more reasonably. To me, I see it as a very expensive, fairly slow, normal lens (considering that the FA 50 and DA *55 are both still available and are nearly a stop faster). If the FA was re released with quick shift and sealing, I could see it as reasonable for the price, but otherwise, what real benefit do you get over the FA 50, other than a higher price and better build?

I could see myself wanting the FA 31 or, the FA 77, but not this lens.
That's a personal choice, but if you've never used an FA 43, then you are not likely to know its virtue or its practical advantage over the FA 50/1.4 - IMO, and I've had both to compare, the difference in image rendition is like night and day.

Last edited by Ash; 01-03-2011 at 06:02 PM.
01-03-2011, 05:18 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
That's a personal choice, but if you've never used an FA 43, then you are not likely to know its virtue or its practical advantage over the FA 50/1.4 - IMO, and I've had both to compare and the difference in image rendition is like night and day.

I had both FA43mm and FA50 1.4 in the past and end up selling the FA50 1.4. There is something in the FA43mm I like better than the FA50 besides the focal length. As some have mentioned, the FA43mm seems to render the image quality with more 3D look; again, just a personal opinion.
01-03-2011, 11:26 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by NaClH2O Quote
Probably the most quoted "favorable" article when mentioning the FA ltd's.
mikey likes it

NaCl(it was one of the reasons why I got my 77)H2O
Yes, that is a classic article by MJ. He also mentions the other clutch of "best AF lenses money can buy" are the Contax G1/G2 rangefinder lenses. Those Zeiss lenses are as well made as the FA Ltds. If you ever have a chance to try them, don't hesitate. I bought an entire G2 kit from someone last summer at a reasonable price -- the camera and lenses were never used. Plus there are adapters that let you use the Zeiss lenses on the current crop of mirrorless digital cameras.

I still have my FA Limiteds though and don't plan on parting with them.


QuoteOriginally posted by aleonx3 Quote
I had both FA43mm and FA50 1.4 in the past and end up selling the FA50 1.4. There is something in the FA43mm I like better than the FA50 besides the focal length. As some have mentioned, the FA43mm seems to render the image quality with more 3D look; again, just a personal opinion.
I use the FA50/1.4 about 10x more than my FA43. But I have way more keeper photos from the FA43 than I've had from my FA50/1.4. That's pretty telling! Note to self - use the 43 more!


As for the comments about how expensive the FA Ltds are, there are always the DA Ltds which are cheaper and built for dSLR's. Complaining about price versus non-star Pentax glass is comparing apples-to-oranges in my opinion; that's like comparing the constant aperture zooms to the kit zoom. A proper apples-to-apples comparison of the FA Ltds is against the likes of Canon L glass or Pentax * lenses. If the Ltd lenses carried a "Canon" logo they would cost way, way, way more money than their current price, so these lenses still represent good value!

Last edited by tranq78; 01-03-2011 at 11:38 PM.
01-04-2011, 04:39 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
The FA 43 seemed more interesting as a lens option when it was priced more reasonably. To me, I see it as a very expensive, fairly slow, normal lens (considering that the FA 50 and DA *55 are both still available and are nearly a stop faster). If the FA was re released with quick shift and sealing, I could see it as reasonable for the price, but otherwise, what real benefit do you get over the FA 50, other than a higher price and better build?

I could see myself wanting the FA 31 or, the FA 77, but not this lens.
I currently have both ... as Ash said the difference is night and day, it's not all about speed. The 43/1.9 Ltd is on my camera 50% of the time, the FA50/1.4 about 1%.
01-04-2011, 07:18 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
I currently have both ... as Ash said the difference is night and day, it's not all about speed. The 43/1.9 Ltd is on my camera 50% of the time, the FA50/1.4 about 1%.
I've even found that my copy of the pentax A 50mm F1.7 is better than the FA 50mm F1.4, so much so that I gave my FA 50 to my brother in law. Even so the 43 ltd even beats out the A 50 1.7 in IQ, bokeh and PDF (pixie dust factor).

NaCl(a very nice lens and it sometimes can be magical)H2O
01-04-2011, 07:23 AM   #29
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Maybe not bashing Pentax hashly; but my point was that his cons where more based on the more body related issues then the lens itself. For the casual reader that doesn't go indepth might get the wrong impression I thought and that's why I brought this up.

2 No use of quick AF function
3 No use of Manual Aperture control on digital bodies (K7 and K-x tested)
4 No automatic lens correction (CA and Distortion) on new bodies (although you don't really need geometric correction)
5 Odd focal length on APS-C, would be much better on a FF body
9 AF slightly noisy

All these points seems to me that they are all body related issues and less to do with the lens itself.
01-04-2011, 11:05 AM   #30
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2 - If he means quick-shift AF, that's a lens capability (in most DA lenses).
3 - Just wrong, I think
4 - Yeah, that's a body thing - and possibly wrong anyway based on what others say!
5 - I see his point, because there is no FF digital body to put it on it becomes a lens issue.
9 - Noisy because it's not SDM, I guess. Can be seen as a lens issue, but who cares about a bit of focusing noise anyway.
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