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05-10-2011, 08:05 PM - 1 Like   #61
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This is an interesting thread, even if it's a bit academic for me now - I bought the FA31 last week, even though I already own the DA35 macro.

I've enjoyed using the DA35 macro - it works well as a normal lens for me, though I found myself wanting better bokeh every so often.

I was expecting I wouldn't notice the field of view differences with the FA31, but I did - it works more like a wide-angle. It took me a bit to get used to and at one point I questioned whether I was going to be able to get the most out of this lens. Also mine back-focused until I corrected for it one lunch-time.

My first real-world shooting (as opposed to shooting samples) with it was this weekend in Yosemite. I was blown away by the color and rendering - it was then that I finally emotionally understood what the FA31 could give me (before that it was intellectual understanding, a different thing altogether). I'm not going to sell my DA 35 macro right now, but I'm beginning to wonder whether it will find it's way back into my bag again.

But if I only had a limited number of lenses and focal lengths I would put the FA31 in the back of my mind and concentrate filling other needs. I did that with the FA77 (my first real "desire" lens, I already had the DA*50-135), buying a couple of other lenses to meet other needs before finally giving in and buying the 77. On the other hand, I really feel a need for a weather sealed wide-angle/normal lens like the DA*16-50, and have for a year or more, but I bought the FA31...

05-10-2011, 08:53 PM   #62
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if one were to construct a Maslow's hierarchy of needs pyramid for Pentax lenses, I suspect the FA 31 LTD would be at the very pinnacle of it.
05-10-2011, 10:09 PM   #63
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QuoteOriginally posted by selar Quote
I don't find 43mm a useful focal length on dSLR, OTOH, 31mm is just perfect. I found even the FA35 a bit tight, that was my main reason for getting the 31. The 43, of course, would be a great focal length to shoot on film.
Actually, the 43mm on APS-C is surprisingly useful, especially for portraits. People get too hung up on focal lengths, IMO. Great photos can be taken with virtually any FL. One way to conceptualize it is that the lens dictates the photo. As long as you are within a reasonable range, you should be able to do something good with whatever lens is at your disposal.

I have both the 31 and 43 Limiteds. I agree that the former is perhaps a better general purpose lens, but the 43 is so superb that I will definitely find reasons to use it as much as possible. And I will let it tell me what photos it wants me to take.

Rob
05-10-2011, 10:38 PM   #64
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QuoteOriginally posted by robgo2 Quote
One way to conceptualize it is that the lens dictates the photo.
Shouldn't it be the other way around - the photo dictates the lens. Unless one only has the one lens, of course. The job dictates the tool, the tool does not dictate the job. If you only have the one tool at hand because you decided to spend your entire budget for tools on a single high spec tool, thats going to limit the kind of jobs you can do.

05-10-2011, 11:00 PM   #65
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QuoteOriginally posted by selar Quote
Shouldn't it be the other way around - the photo dictates the lens.
IMHO it might be better phrased as "the lens in use dictates the photo". As long as that lens is mounted, it rules! Change lenses, and the next lens rules in its turn.

I spend my days now with a lens-of-the-day strategy. Yes, I carry other lenses, and sometimes swap for a specific need, like macro or long tele. But yesterday and today, I only used a manual 24/2 whilst walking around the old town. And it was mostly wide-open at f/2. It certainly dictated the quality and style of the photos taken. I *want* such a lens to define my shooting -- or at least, to define my limits.

If we choose to use any lens for its qualities, that lens dictates the photo.
If you can't be with the lens you love,
Honey, love the lens you're with.
05-10-2011, 11:11 PM   #66
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Rio, you are hardly typical of a camera user. You have lenses numbering in the hundreds. With such a collection, you would have to employ a "lens of the day" strategy, otherwise most of your lenses are going to be sitting in a cabinet unused. However, such a strategy might not be the right one for someone who is interested in actually buying lenses to suit their photographic requirements, and limit their collection to 3-4 lenses.
05-11-2011, 05:53 AM   #67
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QuoteOriginally posted by selar Quote
Shouldn't it be the other way around - the photo dictates the lens. Unless one only has the one lens, of course. The job dictates the tool, the tool does not dictate the job. If you only have the one tool at hand because you decided to spend your entire budget for tools on a single high spec tool, thats going to limit the kind of jobs you can do.
It can work either way. I can have a particular image in mind which determines a specific focal length, or I can have a particular focal length in mind which determines a specific image. Working in this latter fashion is very enjoyable and can really spark creativity. Some of my most successful photo outings have been with a single prime lens.

Let me add that I also use a zoom lens (DA*16-50,) because of its versatility, although less often than previously. But the point of my prior post was that almost any focal length can be put to good use by a skilled photographer with artistic vision. In particular, the FA43 on an APS-C camera has a focal length equivalent to 65mm in 35mm format, which is actually quite useful for general shooting and, especially, for portraits. The images that it produces are so luscious, that I just want to use that lens and take the photos that suit its unique focal length. I feel the same way about the FA31 and FA77, although the FA43, being my most recent acquisition, is my current favorite.

Rob

FA43, f2.8, K-7

Last edited by robgo2; 05-11-2011 at 07:21 AM.
05-11-2011, 07:20 AM - 1 Like   #68
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
If you can't be with the lens you love, Honey, love the lens you're with.
*ahem*

...when the lights are out, all lenses are good....


Last edited by Digitalis; 05-11-2011 at 08:25 AM.
05-11-2011, 08:22 AM   #69
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QuoteOriginally posted by selar Quote
Rio, you are hardly typical of a camera user. You have lenses numbering in the hundreds. With such a collection, you would have to employ a "lens of the day" strategy, otherwise most of your lenses are going to be sitting in a cabinet unused. However, such a strategy might not be the right one for someone who is interested in actually buying lenses to suit their photographic requirements, and limit their collection to 3-4 lenses.
And those 3-4 lenses don't dictate their use?? I started this dLSR thang with just the DA10-17, DA18-250, and FA50/1.4. Mounting any of those severely limited (dictated) what kinds of images could be captured. The fisheye produces its characteristic distortion, so most portraits and distant vistas and shots with strong vertical edges are OUT. The superzoom is fairly slow, so low-light handheld shots are OUT. The Nifty Fifty has just one focal length, so wide and long shots are OUT. A 10-400/1.7 lens would be an ideal almost-all-purpose zoom. Wait, do I hear reindeer on my roof? As is, I either must abide by a lens' parameters, or change lenses. The lens in use, rules.

As for average... Over on the ManualFocusLenses forum, a poll was held for members: How many lenses do you have? Of the couple hundred responses, the AVERAGE was 100 lenses each. One admitted to over 1500 lenses. I am a mere piker in comparison. And some of my lenses are collectibles and not for use, or are slated for sale. Still, I probably DO have enough. Almost. Except for Fifties. One can never have enough Fifties, eh?

QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
...when the light are out, all lenses are good....
A lens in need is a lens, indeed.

Last edited by RioRico; 05-11-2011 at 08:32 AM.
05-11-2011, 08:29 AM   #70
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
A 10-400/1.7 lens would be an ideal almost-all-purpose zoom. Wait, do I hear reindeer on my roof?
no, that's the sound of said lens falling through your roof. A lens like that would be more than I would be willing to carry around with me, I'll stick to my SMCP-K 50mm f/1.2 thank you.
05-11-2011, 08:37 AM   #71
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
And those 3-4 lenses don't dictate their use?? I started this dLSR thang with just the DA10-17, DA18-250, and FA50/1.4. Mounting any of those severely limited (dictated) what kinds of images could be captured. The fisheye produces its characteristic distortion, so most portraits and distant vistas and shots with strong vertical edges are OUT. The superzoom is fairly slow, so low-light handheld shots are OUT. The Nifty Fifty has just one focal length, so wide and long shots are OUT. A 10-400/1.7 lens would be an ideal almost-all-purpose zoom. Wait, do I hear reindeer on my roof? As is, I either must abide by a lens' parameters, or change lenses. The lens in use, rules.
Yes, every lens imposes some limitations, and the photographer has to learn to work within them. But some lenses are highly specialized and, thus, exceedingly limiting (e.g. fisheye and supertelephoto lenses.,) while others are more versatile and, thus, less limiting (e.g. 17-70 zooms.) Tradeoffs are part of life.

Rob
05-11-2011, 08:37 AM   #72
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
A 10-400/1.7 lens would be an ideal almost-all-purpose zoom.
+ truck to carry it
05-11-2011, 08:42 AM   #73
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
no, that's the sound of said lens falling through your roof. A lens like that would be more than I would be willing to carry around with me, I'll stick to my SMCP-K 50mm f/1.2 thank you.
Yeah, my K50/1.2 is a favorite too, and it only weighs half of the Schneider Betavaron 50-125. But if the 10-400/1.4 is made of Cavorite, it'll be light as a feather. And Cavorite's optical qualities will keep the elements compact. It's a win-win! Uh oh, watch out for reindeer droppings...

ObTopic: OP needs a 31. I need a 31. Everybody needs a 31. But if we all demand 31's right now, supply/demand will jack up prices. So we all need new jobs. What a pickle.
05-11-2011, 09:04 AM   #74
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
ObTopic: OP needs a 31. I need a 31. Everybody needs a 31. But if we all demand 31's right now, supply/demand will jack up prices. So we all need new jobs. What a pickle.

or a second job. I'm considering getting one next year. this year is more of a sacrifice and keeping expenditures in check.
05-11-2011, 10:13 AM   #75
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
*ahem*

...when the lights are out, all lenses are good....
Sometimes I have to drink a 6 pack before I can use some of my lenses.
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