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05-09-2011, 03:13 PM   #1
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Review of the FA 43mm on Lenstip

Thought this review published recently on Lenstip.com was interesting:

Pentax smc FA 43 mm f/1.9 Limited review - Introduction - Lenstip.com

(It's consistent with the Voigtlander 40mm vs Pentax 43mm shootouts I've seen.)

05-09-2011, 04:09 PM   #2
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A nicely put together review, comprehensive too.
Good to see the K-5 being used for the tests.
But it was not all roses for the 43 ltd.

They were disappointed with corner sharpness but were blown away by centre sharpness even from f/1.9
In their real-life photos though f/1.9 didn't look all that bad.
They found CA not to be great, but most obvious at f/2.8 (0.2%)
They weren't excited about distortion as it was in line with other lenses of similar focal length.
They were displeased with the coma produced by the lens in the corners.
Vignetting and ghosting was minimal.

They didn't give it a score, but had a few things to say in the cons section.
All that and it still remains as one of my favoured lenses...
05-09-2011, 04:30 PM   #3
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Gonna get some popcorn and settle down for this one
In general I think they have this one right, the 43 is softer in the corners than at the centre but I did not think it was as bad as they found with their example. I am begining to think that the K-5 (or the Sony sensor) has reached a level that is really highlighting any deficiencies in lens design with respect to light control off centre and at the edge of the frame especially.
As Ash has said already, it is still a go to lens in my bag, a firm favourite.
05-09-2011, 06:48 PM   #4
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I think the 43mm is an excellent lens for the right application, but yes it does have soft edges for a premium lens.

Photozone just re-performed the test for the DA 70mm on a K-5 and the results are very impressive on the K-5.

05-09-2011, 07:37 PM   #5
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I bought the Voigtlaender last year over the FA43, but I did not see a significant difference in the edges in sample photos I looked at before purchasing other than wide open.
05-09-2011, 08:42 PM   #6
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Yeah I saw that review yesterday and cringed a little. I was hoping for a smashing good review (for Pentax sake). Still, the center IQ was pretty impressive compared to the competition.

I have to admit, I also wasn't impressed with the 43 (returned it a couple days after I got it), but it certainly had character that lenstip didn't capture. I think it's like a fine wine, some love it (and take incredible pictures with it) and some spit it out.

Lenstip has good reviews (technically more accurate than PZ imo), but they don't look into subjective qualities like bokeh, color tone, etc. Not to mention that they take forever getting around to reviewing Pentax lenses (DA 35/2.4 excluded).
05-09-2011, 09:01 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote

Photozone just re-performed the test for the DA 70mm on a K-5 and the results are very impressive on the K-5.
Thanks for pointing that out, very interesting, Klaus has upgraded his rating on the DA70 from "4" to "4 to 4.5" (which means 4.25??? maybe he needs to change to out of 10 stars so we don't have to guess what he means by showing 2 ratings)
05-09-2011, 11:58 PM   #8
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i love 43 limited ,, my favorit lens

05-10-2011, 12:51 AM   #9
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Lenstip got the aperture blades listed wrong, they said 7 when it actually has 8 blades.
05-10-2011, 01:32 AM   #10
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i have good opportunity to read the review in original language (as lenstip is just english version of optyczne.pl) and the moste interesting part is always at the and of the reviw when discussion betw readers starts. There was many really many opinion about taking production of the limiteds over to Vietnam. There was couple of guys whitch pointed out coma results (myself inbetw) - they showed his own examples (made in japan version) of spotless coma results. The sample of fa43 they had was really really bad....

Last edited by filorp; 05-10-2011 at 02:04 AM.
05-10-2011, 08:23 AM   #11
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Another clueless test site...

QuoteOriginally posted by nater Quote
Thought this review published recently on Lenstip.com was interesting:

Pentax smc FA 43 mm f/1.9 Limited review - Introduction - Lenstip.com

(It's consistent with the Voigtlander 40mm vs Pentax 43mm shootouts I've seen.)
missed the point of the lens...and as far as CA goes, this lens was invented before CA was a problem for any of us, so what's the point? It's from the film days....

A great lens, and I hope they review the digital version (the 40 pancake).

Cheers,
Cameron
05-10-2011, 09:07 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by filorp Quote
i have good opportunity to read the review in original language (as lenstip is just english version of optyczne.pl) and the moste interesting part is always at the and of the reviw when discussion betw readers starts. There was many really many opinion about taking production of the limiteds over to Vietnam. There was couple of guys whitch pointed out coma results (myself inbetw) - they showed his own examples (made in japan version) of spotless coma results. The sample of fa43 they had was really really bad....
That's quite interesting, thanks for sharing. I know that their were at least two versions of the 43, one with leaded coatings, and one without. Src: http://ricehigh.blogspot.com/2008/07/when-old-is-unmatched-by-new.html

Perhaps that may explain some of the problem.
05-10-2011, 09:34 AM   #13
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As anyone who owns the FA43 or any of the other FA Limiteds knows, quantitative measurements cannot truly capture the qualitative traits that make these lenses so prized. One just has to look at the photos from the 43 Limited to know that laboratory test results are irrelevant. It is an older lens with some optical flaws, but those flaws are virtually inconsequential in comparison to its sharpness and superb rendering. I consider it my finest lens, and this latest review will do nothing to change that opinion.

Rob

Last edited by robgo2; 05-10-2011 at 09:34 PM.
05-10-2011, 10:48 AM   #14
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I like his model...
05-10-2011, 11:24 AM   #15
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Like Jun Hirakawa (the guy in my avatar and the designer of the FA43) said: I don't design lenses for test charts. End of story
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