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03-30-2011, 10:55 AM   #61
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QuoteOriginally posted by v5planet Quote
People will talk about 'the good old days', and the 'classic rendering of the FA Limiteds you just can't find anymore, c'est la vie, c'est la vie!'
Wish I could buy stock in this statement.

03-30-2011, 10:57 AM   #62
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QuoteOriginally posted by thorwb Quote
feilb: You're not alone with that exact same problem. Unfortunately, I haven't solved it yet.

A lot of good input and considerations here though, from praising the 31 to Paperbags sobering views. The latter seem to keep my LBA at bay (thanks!) even though it is generally considered an incurable disease and my LBA tells me paperbag is trying to lure me away from the 31 so he can have precious all by himself...

At the moment I think I would choose the 15, 40 and 70 DA ltds over the 31 if I could have them for the same price (~$1k. However, I'm held back by the fact that I'd like one of my primes to be a really fast one (<2), haven't found a solution for that yet.
I don't think it would be foolish to buy the FA 31, if you have lots of money.

However if you are hankering for a fast lens on a budget, please have another look at the old FA 50 1.4. It's a killer lens, honestly. The "magic" of the FA 77 is present in the FA 50 1.4 (in my experience). And the FA 50 1.4 is plain cheap. No, it's not the greatest lens in the world, not is the build going to blow you away. But for 250 dollars you get a lot!
03-30-2011, 11:04 AM   #63
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
I don't think it would be foolish to buy the FA 31, if you have lots of money.

However if you are hankering for a fast lens on a budget, please have another look at the old FA 50 1.4. It's a killer lens, honestly. The "magic" of the FA 77 is present in the FA 50 1.4 (in my experience). And the FA 50 1.4 is plain cheap. No, it's not the greatest lens in the world, not is the build going to blow you away. But for 250 dollars you get a lot!
I had a FA50. For the money, you're right, its not bad. But in no way did it have any of the FA77 magic.
03-30-2011, 11:40 AM   #64
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
If they decide to produce a 135 format, that would perhaps change the game, but then we also don't know how the 31, 43 and 77 perform on 135 sized sensors, though we do hear people complaining about the 77 and it's propensity for purple fringing on APS-C sensors.
I'd be interested in knowing this too, but I don't know if we have to wait for Pentax to (maybe) make one themselves. Every once in a while I see posts floating around this forum from people who have adapted their K-mount primes to fit a Canon FF camera (or in one case I remember, adapting the camera). I'm sure they might be able to offer valuable insight.

03-30-2011, 11:55 AM   #65
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QuoteOriginally posted by v5planet Quote
I'd be interested in knowing this too, but I don't know if we have to wait for Pentax to (maybe) make one themselves. Every once in a while I see posts floating around this forum from people who have adapted their K-mount primes to fit a Canon FF camera (or in one case I remember, adapting the camera). I'm sure they might be able to offer valuable insight.
I've seen some samples of a FA77 on a Canon 5D Mark II that had quite a bit of purple fringing. On the other hand, I've seen some great images from the FA Limiteds on the Canon 5D Mk. 1 and 2 so it might be situation where these lenses can produce very good images in some situations, but it would probably be more desirable from an engineering standpoint to make new lenses if Pentax were to go full frame.
03-30-2011, 12:02 PM   #66
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Regarding the original post, I think it really depends on how you're going to use your camera. The FA31 is optically my favorite lens that I own, probably by a long shot, and I'd put it up against the best lenses from other manufacturers. It is a lot of ways one of the main reason I'd be hard pressed to switch from Pentax to another brand.

However, I don't use it a ton in my day to day work because I favor both wider and tighter focal lengths. It's sort of my "special occasion" lens when I know the focal length will work and I want maximum image quality. I use it quite a lot for environmental portraits, for example, where I can control the framing and the magic (yes, I said it!) of the lens can be exploited fully.

On the other hand, if a wide normal focal length is suitable for your use, buying the FA31 could work great for you. In fact, it might be the only lens you really need.
03-30-2011, 12:08 PM   #67
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QuoteOriginally posted by Urkeldaedalus Quote
I've seen some samples of a FA77 on a Canon 5D Mark II that had quite a bit of purple fringing. On the other hand, I've seen some great images from the FA Limiteds on the Canon 5D Mk. 1 and 2 so it might be situation where these lenses can produce very good images in some situations, but it would probably be more desirable from an engineering standpoint to make new lenses if Pentax were to go full frame.

There's no doubt that the 77 can be made to produce PF, but I actually rarely see it in use. I almost have to be trying to produce it with mine. Yeah, it would probably be worse on FF, but I still doubt that it would be too much of an issue. Frankly, if "fixing" the PF issue means altering the rendering, then it would get a big "no, thanks" from me.
03-30-2011, 12:56 PM   #68
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
I don't think it would be foolish to buy the FA 31, if you have lots of money.

However if you are hankering for a fast lens on a budget, please have another look at the old FA 50 1.4. It's a killer lens, honestly. The "magic" of the FA 77 is present in the FA 50 1.4 (in my experience). And the FA 50 1.4 is plain cheap. No, it's not the greatest lens in the world, not is the build going to blow you away. But for 250 dollars you get a lot!
But it's not your budget feilb is working with, it's his budget, and he clearly stated the 31 is within range in the OP. Although it limits his purchases of more lenses for a while, if that's what they want I can't understand why you'd discourage them from buying it, especially for the FA 50. I also can't understand where your distaste comes from for the FA Limiteds in so many threads on this forum. They are magic, plain and simple. This magic is not present in the 50, nor any other lens.

If you don't like the price then don't buy them, but don't keep telling people they need to buy other lenses because they don't fall within your budget. I saved up for some time before buying them and it was worth every penny.

03-30-2011, 12:57 PM   #69
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QuoteOriginally posted by DogLover Quote
I had a FA50. For the money, you're right, its not bad. But in no way did it have any of the FA77 magic.
The "magic" of the FA 77 is largely due to the longer focal length, IMHO, because you can get bigger bokeh with a long focal length. It's sharp at f2 but so is the FA 50 / a lot of decent primes... the question is really about focal length - do you want the focal length of 77 / 31, or would you prefer more options?

I'd rather have a 50 and a 70 than just the 77, for example.

PS I currently own the 77, and will be selling it, because it's about as expensive as everything else I own, and don't see it being much better than the DA 70, frankly. It's about 10% better, but about 40% more expensive.

Last edited by paperbag846; 03-30-2011 at 01:10 PM.
03-30-2011, 01:14 PM   #70
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
The "magic" of the FA 77 is largely due to the longer focal length, IMHO, because you can get bigger bokeh with a long focal length. It's sharp at f2 but so is the FA 50 / a lot of decent primes... the question is really about focal length - do you want the focal length of 77 / 31, or would you prefer more options?

I'd rather have a 50 and a 70 than just the 77, for example.

PS I currently own the 77, and will be selling it.
Baloney. The magic of the 77 does not come from the FL. Where does the magic of the 31 and 43 come from, then?

You've already listed that 77 once, saying that you're selling it because you can't afford to keep it. There is no shame in admitting that, so why don't you just admit that while you appreciate the FA Ltds., you just can't afford them? No one is going to look down on you for that. And it would be a lot less tiresome than this constant drivel you post about other lenses being just as good. Sorry to be so blunt, but your tactic has grown old.
03-30-2011, 01:15 PM   #71
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
As for the uniqueness of the FA limiteds... well, I can only half agree on that one. They did select funny focal lengths, but I think most people who own other brands don't give a damn about them (except for internet pundits). FA 77 1.8? I have access to an 85mm 1.4. 43 1.9? Why not a 50mm 1.4? 31mm 1.8? I have a 28mm 2.0.
I actually think Pentax was really smart in selecting those focal lengths. Each fall within the range of other popular lengths, for example 31mm is between 35 and 28; 43mm is in the middle of 50 and 35; and 77 is in the middle of 85 and 70.
03-30-2011, 01:21 PM   #72
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The FA Limiteds were Holy Grail lenses for film. Just keep that in mind.

Personally, I would still get the DA Limiteds and keep an eye out for a used 31 at a decent price.
03-30-2011, 01:27 PM   #73
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QuoteOriginally posted by Spotmatic Quote
and keep an eye out for a used 31 at a decent price.
When's the last time you saw that? I don't think I can recall seeing one in the last couple of years that was offered at even a 10% discount from a new one at B&H or Adorama.
03-30-2011, 01:29 PM   #74
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QuoteOriginally posted by Spotmatic Quote
The FA Limiteds were Holy Grail lenses for film. Just keep that in mind.

You're right, of course, they're junk on digital.
03-30-2011, 01:59 PM   #75
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Why do people get into these FA limited versus DA limited flame wars? They are both good. The FA limiteds are generally a little faster, a little bigger, and focus just a little slower. Generally they are thought to be some of the best lenses out there for a given focal length. I personally would feel restricted with just one focal length, but I understand that the "kit lens" of most cameras at one time was a normal prime lens (usually a 50 f1.7 or f2).

If I personally were going to spend a thousand dollars, I think I would get a Pentax DA *16-50 and a DA 35 f2.4, but obviously that is pretty far afield from where the OP is at. Only you can decide how much you are willing to spend on an individual lens and how frustrated you would feel shooting only one focal length for an extended period of time.
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