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04-30-2011, 02:36 PM   #61
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
You cannot add contrast without taking away information from the original data. You also cannot add "tones" (or colour fidelity) without taking away information from the original data. You can easily take this information away though, without changing anything.

I find it is easier to make a DA lens look like an FA lens with post-processing than the other way around. My experience.
You may think that you are emulating the look of the FA Limiteds simply by reducing contrast, but you are not. See my post above.

Rob

04-30-2011, 06:16 PM   #62
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QuoteOriginally posted by robgo2 Quote
You may think that you are emulating the look of the FA Limiteds simply by reducing contrast, but you are not. See my post above.
I read your discussion of tonal gradations (microcontrast or whatever). In my experience, the FA and DAs are similar (this is simply an issue of contrast and saturation, after all), but the DAs are certianly more stark, and therefore, can be toned down. It's harder to go in reverse. Furthermore, the DA ltds are "certianly" more flare-resistant than the FAs (ANY FA), and I "know" I can make the DAs look like the FAs because I have access to both (most notably, the 70 and 77).

It makes more sense to buy the FA limiteds if you are shooting film, or require the aperture. It's fairly obvious which lens is which when you shoot the 70 at 2.4 and the 77 at 1.8. However, I don't buy the whole colour thing, which I think is placebo.
04-30-2011, 06:19 PM   #63
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
It makes more sense to buy the FA limiteds if you are shooting film, or require the aperture.
...or want an extra stop of speed either for low light and/or DOF control.
04-30-2011, 06:27 PM   #64
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QuoteOriginally posted by dgaies Quote
...or want an extra stop of speed either for low light and/or DOF control.
aka require the aperture?

Why can't someone put the usefulness of the FA ltds in perspective without mindless argument?

04-30-2011, 06:31 PM   #65
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
aka require the aperture?

Why can't someone put the usefulness of the FA ltds in perspective without mindless argument?
I read that as require an aperture ring, which is along the lines of needing it for an older film body.

But, if you want another "argument" for the FA lenses, the incorporation of an aperture ring allows the use of extension tubes that don't have "A" contacts.
05-01-2011, 06:21 AM   #66
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
I read your discussion of tonal gradations (microcontrast or whatever). In my experience, the FA and DAs are similar (this is simply an issue of contrast and saturation, after all), but the DAs are certianly more stark, and therefore, can be toned down. It's harder to go in reverse. Furthermore, the DA ltds are "certianly" more flare-resistant than the FAs (ANY FA), and I "know" I can make the DAs look like the FAs because I have access to both (most notably, the 70 and 77).

It makes more sense to buy the FA limiteds if you are shooting film, or require the aperture. It's fairly obvious which lens is which when you shoot the 70 at 2.4 and the 77 at 1.8. However, I don't buy the whole colour thing, which I think is placebo.
You may be able to "tone down" the DAs, but you cannot recover microcontrast that does not exist in the underlying image. Sorry, but it is physically (and logically) impossible to extract in post-processing subtle tonal transitions that were not captured by the lens in the first place. It would be like me trying to make myself into an NBA superstar by practicing really hard. I do not have the innate physical ability, and there is nothing that I can do to create it in myself.

I have no problem with the DA Limiteds. They are fine lenses, but they do render differently than the FA Limiteds. It you prefer that rendering, that is a matter of personal taste, but please stop making silly arguments about there being no real difference other than in global contrast.

Rob

Last edited by robgo2; 05-01-2011 at 08:46 AM.
05-01-2011, 09:09 AM   #67
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QuoteOriginally posted by robgo2 Quote
I have no problem with the DA Limiteds. They are fine lenses, but they do render differently than the FA Limiteds. It you prefer that rendering, that is a matter of personal taste, but please stop making silly arguments about there being no real difference other than in global contrast.
Actually I was arguing that the DA line in general picks up more information. I notice no difference in tones between the FA 50 1.4 and FA 77 1.8 if they are both properly shielded from flare and stopped down.

I simply don't see more microcontrast in the FA lenses. The one exception might be the FA 43... no lens is that sharp (and sharpness is largely due to contrast).

I would like to see some evidence of this tonal difference because I can't find any examples of it in my collection. To me, I see a stark difference between the made for digital and made for film lenses... and that's it.

And of course, the FA limiteds are about 1 stop faster than the DA limiteds, and designed for full frame (film). I think those differences *are* real, but you pay a lot for them, so make sure you need them.
05-01-2011, 06:04 PM   #68
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
Why can't someone put the usefulness of the FA ltds in perspective without mindless argument?
That's why I left this discussion. I found myself asking the same question, especially after you said my mention of your negative bias toward the FA Limiteds was inaccurate. Anybody who has read at least five of your posts here should know about your problem with them.

I've said this before, and I should probably mention this again here so others are aware of my position-I've owned both FA and DA Limiteds at the same time and while I found the DAs to be incredible lenses, they couldn't ever deliver what the FAs do. I see the benefits of owning DAs, but in my position and shooting style I get much more benefit from the FAs. I've never found myself regretting selling my DA Limiteds, but I think I would have definitely been wanting more if it was the other way around.

05-01-2011, 07:16 PM   #69
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
I simply don't see more microcontrast in the FA lenses.
Well, I can't argue with that. If you don't see it, then you don't see it.

I think I'm done here.

Rob
05-05-2011, 09:04 AM   #70
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given the considerable price difference, why not start out with the M50/1,7 and then work from there? A split screen will aid focus more than getting camera confirmation. Looking at the depth of field scales shows how little depth of field you have when wide open. Its less than you sway when wide open...

Something to then bear in mind will be the amount of throw for manual focussing on the FA Ltd...I have no idea how accurate they are, but the M50mm has masses of throw for being able to fine tune focus quickly.

The rest of the optical quality discussion borders on professional consideration, and if any inadequacy in the chain from exposure to print is greater than the quality reduction due to the lens choice, then the lens choice becomes secondary, obviously.

Take lots of pics.
05-05-2011, 11:46 AM   #71
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
Actually I was arguing that the DA line in general picks up more information.
This contradicts actual objective lens testing. The FA43 is the sharpest ever lens tested on Photozone and other sites. Historically, only the 50mm macro renders more detail. Your statement also contradicts the experience of those who have used both lenses, along with subjective appreciation of resulting images.

The design aims and objectives of the FA Limited series were different from other lenses, with specific priorities that privileged rendering quality (and small size). They were designed to be no-compromise glass, created with the utmost care. Jun Hirakawa knew that by optimising results off the focal plane these lenses would under-perform on formal tests. Thus the already stellar figures they obtain are actually not indicative of their true excellence.

The FA43 is the only lens Pentax thought worthy to release in Leica mount. Had the sales justified it, I am sure the 77 and 31 would have followed suit.

The DA Limiteds are also nice lenses but were created with more normative design criteria. I am glad you are happy with the DA40, but there is no evidence to support your over-zealous claims.
05-05-2011, 11:49 AM   #72
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QuoteOriginally posted by hoojammyflip Quote
Something to then bear in mind will be the amount of throw for manual focussing on the FA Ltd...I have no idea how accurate they are, but the M50mm has masses of throw for being able to fine tune focus quickly.
This is a good point. No AF lens can have the "silky smooth" highly damped manual focus action of an MF lens, because the motor would have too much friction to work against. In practice I enjoy manually focusing my FA Limiteds, but it must be said a Takumar or Zeiss objective has a better feel.
05-05-2011, 12:08 PM   #73
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
The DA Limiteds are also nice lenses but were created with more normative design criteria. I am glad you are happy with the DA40, but there is no evidence to support your over-zealous claims.
I sold my DA 40 in favor of the FA 50. It was largely motivated by finances (I'm not going to be one of those people who buys up the entire limited line, FA or DA.)

Furthermore, when I am talking about DA lenses, I am including non-limited lenses. There is a difference between how the DA 12-24 and the F 70-210 picks up colour, as well. I have suggested it might be due to coatings, but people like Blue start yelling at me.

I am happy with this swap (I actually made some money in the process). DA 40 had better contrast, stronger colours, sexy size (that was not fully appreciated attached to the k20d), quickshift. FA 50 has superior DOF control. I found myself also wishing the DA 40 was a little longer, so the 50 was a good step for me.

Importantly, when it comes to colour, I don't see a major difference between the 50 and the 77. I DO see a difference in sharpness (the FA 77 is VERY sharp, even from wide open). I believe this sharpness gives the lens a *pop*, which is what makes it so coveted.

The 43 is the sharpest lens that Pentax makes, no question. It is also more prone to flare than the 40, and has less colour saturation (confirmed by owners and in sample pictures). This is what I mean by "information". (Should have be "purity of spectra"). If sharpness is your only criteria though, the 50 1.7 is no joke either. It's a great lens for about 1/9th the price.

Since the OP is comparing a very expensive lens to a very inexpensive lens, one should question how badly the OP actually needs something like the 43.

I don't care about image tests, or resolution charts. I compare real images with my eyes to make decisions.
05-05-2011, 12:32 PM   #74
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
Since the OP is comparing a very expensive lens to a very inexpensive lens, one should question how badly the OP actually needs something like the 43.
That doesn't make a lot of sense. The OP has an M50/1.7 and was asking how it compares to the FA43. Why would you question how "badly he needs something like the 43" based on the fact that the FA43 costs ten times more than his M50/1.7?

Last edited by dgaies; 05-05-2011 at 12:42 PM.
05-05-2011, 03:52 PM   #75
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QuoteOriginally posted by dgaies Quote
That doesn't make a lot of sense. The OP has an M50/1.7 and was asking how it compares to the FA43. Why would you question how "badly he needs something like the 43" based on the fact that the FA43 costs ten times more than his M50/1.7?
Because he was asking primarily because he wants autofocus.

Autofocus isn't a great reason to invest in an FA limited IMHO. There are other reasons that are good, but not a desire for autofocus.

I mean, the F 50 1.7 is only 200 bucks.
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