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05-18-2011, 10:35 AM   #166
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QuoteOriginally posted by robgo2 Quote
I'm glad that we have finally gotten this straight, so in the future, when you want to argue that the FA31 is not worth what it costs, please make this point clear. You personally do not find the focal length particularly useful, but kindly allow that others might and that there are few, if any, alernative lenses that can match it. It is pricey, but that, too, comes down to personal factors, such as budget and willingness to spend.
You have a habit of not taking what I say at face value...

I said the 31 was best utilized on film. I maintain that. That's not really a knock on the lens itself... but more on the ASPC format. The 31 is remarkable because it is a wide angle lens that renders like a portrait lens. It's none too wide on ASPC.

Second, you said I don't find the focal length useful. I find normal lenses incredibly useful. My comment is simply that what makes the rendering of the 31 special is that it looks so damn good for a wide angle lens. When you throw it on a digital camera, it's no longer a wide angle lens. I don't think it looks better than every other lens out there. On digital, my major (and only) complaint is that it's a hell of a lot for what is essentially a very good fast 50. You could see this if you used a good fast 50 on film and compared it directly to the FA 31 on digital.

One of the first comments I read here on PF was "the 31 is a monumental waste of good glass on a crop sensor." I'm inclined to agree. Besides, no one is making you shoot digital - film cameras are cheap these days too.

I would maintain that 1000 dollars is not worth it for a fast 50. However, it is worth it for a fast wide-angle lens. And stop saying "I prefer the rendering". Be descriptive. Theres nothing magical about any lens, and it's certainly not beyond words.

PS - I also feel the same way about my FA 77 - looks good on digital, better on film.

05-18-2011, 01:11 PM   #167
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
I would maintain that 1000 dollars is not worth it for a fast 50. However, it is worth it for a fast wide-angle lens. And stop saying "I prefer the rendering". Be descriptive. Theres nothing magical about any lens, and it's certainly not beyond words.
If you have followed some of my posts on this forum, then you know exactly what I mean by the rendering qualities of the FA Limiteds. I am referring to the way that they handle subtle transitions of tone and color. Throw in gorgeous bokeh coupled with extreme sharpness, and you have something special that I have not seen from many other lenses. Still, even though I may be able to describe this in words, it does not do justice to the images themselves, which have to be seen in their original forms, not in web based jpegs, to be fully appreciated.

I have never used an FA Limited on 35mm film, but I really cannot see why these rendering qualities should be different on a cropped sensor, except for the fact that the digital sensor image will look a lot sharper and cleaner.

I hope that I have clarified my thoughts for you.

Rob
05-18-2011, 02:14 PM   #168
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
Well, yes, because of the focal length.

The 31 is a great, great lens. But what makes it really special is that it renders like a portrait lens, but it's a wide angle lens. That is pretty unique. I personally think that the FA 31 is the most amazing lens in Pentax... but you need to use it on film to truly see that. On ASPC, it acts like a fast-50, and isn't that much better than a top-notch 50mm lens from Nikon, Sigma, or even the humble (cheap) Pentax (on a full-frame camera!).

So it's still great, but I fear a lot of people miss out on what makes the 31 *truly* special... the rendering of a portrait lens, with the FOV of the DA 21 on a digital camera!
honestly, I find the FA31 special on APS-C as well. for two things, it serves two purposes. on FF, it's a great 30mm lens. on APS-C, it's a great 50mm equivalent lens. I'm sure it would cater both markets that prefer either system.

also, that's what separate it from what other lens manufacturers could provide on their existing arsenal if we are going to mention what 30+mm wide FF lens they offer or could use on either camera system that they sell. Canon and Nikon offer a 35mm, but it's a 35mm which gives the 31mm a bit more headroom for those who are concerned with FOV with distant shots. although both Canon and Nikon seems to have a faster aperture, it's kinda amazing that the wider and yet half-stop slower FA31 could render great bokeh. not to mention that it is significantly cheaper than the other two lenses. I would say it is definitely better than either lenses. I'm just making a fair comparison since we are talking about similar focal length lenses and not equivalence by virtue of sensor size because it defeats the purpose of a lens' characteristics, aside from the fact that it would nullify any sense of what fast 30mm lenses could Canon and Nikon offer to their APS-C system as well. so we can't really justify a 50mm focal length lens comparison with equivalence.

the Sigma 30 could had been a great cheap alternative. it's a great portraiture lens but sadly it fell short for overall use due to it's evident weaknesses across the image. and we can't use it for FF as well due to it being designed for APS-C., thereby it is for APS-C cameras and people who are looking for something that would be a fit along a normal focal length use.

as I mentioned, I don't see any point why people should be sore or feel it is being under-utilized. it's great or better than what Canon or Nikon could provide for their APS-C system. I would be equally happy on having it on either APS-C or FF camera.

Last edited by Pentaxor; 05-18-2011 at 02:41 PM.
05-18-2011, 02:24 PM   #169
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
You have a habit of not taking what I say at face value...

I said the 31 was best utilized on film. I maintain that. That's not really a knock on the lens itself... but more on the ASPC format. The 31 is remarkable because it is a wide angle lens that renders like a portrait lens. It's none too wide on ASPC.

Second, you said I don't find the focal length useful. I find normal lenses incredibly useful. My comment is simply that what makes the rendering of the 31 special is that it looks so damn good for a wide angle lens. When you throw it on a digital camera, it's no longer a wide angle lens. I don't think it looks better than every other lens out there. On digital, my major (and only) complaint is that it's a hell of a lot for what is essentially a very good fast 50. You could see this if you used a good fast 50 on film and compared it directly to the FA 31 on digital.

One of the first comments I read here on PF was "the 31 is a monumental waste of good glass on a crop sensor." I'm inclined to agree. Besides, no one is making you shoot digital - film cameras are cheap these days too.

I would maintain that 1000 dollars is not worth it for a fast 50. However, it is worth it for a fast wide-angle lens. And stop saying "I prefer the rendering". Be descriptive. Theres nothing magical about any lens, and it's certainly not beyond words.

PS - I also feel the same way about my FA 77 - looks good on digital, better on film.
I have to disagree with just about everything said in this post. For one thing the FA 31mm ltd IS a "normal" lens on a cropped sensor, or if you are really going to split hairs, it is slightly wider than true normal which mathematically is 33.5 if you accept 50mm as being normal on a 35mm film camera.
However, most people here shoot pentax digital, so the "crop factor" argument is arcane, moot and tied to old technology that isn't relevant for most of us. I could give a fig how the output of the 31mm looks on a film camera, even tho I own two, I never use them, I would be surprised if more than 15-20% of the posters here regularly use film cameras.
So by definition, the 31mm ltd is a "normal" lens on an ASP-C sensor, which according to your words would be "incredibly useful". As to the comment that film cameras are cheap, this is true until you buy film, shoot and get it developed. Then the hobby becomes quite expensive compared to digital.
Finally I have to take exception that describing the output of an exceptional lens can be described. "A picture is worth a thousand words". Actually it's even more than that. I can write "this lens has a 3D quality to it" What does that mean? But if I show you a shot exhibiting "3D quality" you know exactly what I mean. "Creamy smooth bokeh" what does that mean? But if I show you a shot, then you know. One of the reasons I take photographs is to show beauty, not try to describe it. If the output of lenses could be perfectly described in words, I wouldn't have to do that.

NaCl(climbs down off his soapbox)H2O

05-18-2011, 02:37 PM   #170
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I find it hysterical that anyone with even a modicum of ability with a camera would say that a 31 is a waste of glass on APS-C. Anyone that would say that is either delusional or is just regurgitating what some other delusional person has said and has never shot the 31.

Are the legions of Pentaxians that adore this lens all just drinking the kool-aid? Are we just engaging in some sort of conspiracy to trick others into spending good money for this "merely good" lens. No, there is a reason that it is the single most desired lens in the Pentax line-up. Because it is legen....(wait for it)...dary.

I say let the haters hate. If any of you want to deny yourself using this gem, then that's on you. But please stop trying to tell those of us who have the proof right in front of our eyes that we aren't seeing what we clearly are.
05-18-2011, 02:48 PM   #171
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I'm not sure there's much more to be said that hasn't been said in the past 4 posts.

The FA31 is an exceptional lens that makes an exception "normal" lens on an aps-c DSLR. Period.
05-18-2011, 02:49 PM   #172
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote

I would maintain that 1000 dollars is not worth it for a fast 50. However, it is worth it for a fast wide-angle lens.
It's a shame that there aren't more high end fast 50's for FF. It's a great focal length that I really enjoy using on FF--and sure, it caught on because it was cheap and easy to make--but most manufacturers (Nikon, Sony, Canon) have better 35's than they do 50's. Even Canon's high end 50/1.2 is a bit of a mixed bag.

But really, it's nice to have a fast "normal" of that quality available for crop sensors. Almost lucky to be able to use the 31 as a normal. I'd love to have a 50 built like it, with the same contrast, sharpness...

I'm trying not to say "rendering" or "optical qualities," but that's what I'm talking about.

Oddly enough, the best 50-ish lens I've tried is the DA*55 and there's no FF digital body for it.

Did I change the subject enough?
05-18-2011, 02:55 PM   #173
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QuoteOriginally posted by farfisa Quote
It's a shame that there aren't more high end fast 50's for FF. It's a great focal length that I really enjoy using on FF--and sure, it caught on because it was cheap and easy to make--but most manufacturers (Nikon, Sony, Canon) have better 35's than they do 50's. Even Canon's high end 50/1.2 is a bit of a mixed bag.

But really, it's nice to have a fast "normal" of that quality available for crop sensors. Almost lucky to be able to use the 31 as a normal. I'd love to have a 50 built like it, with the same contrast, sharpness...
And that's the point. On a crop DSLR, the 31 is the best "normal" option. It wouldn't matter even if a less expensive 50mm lenses offered similar IQ on a FF body, as this would only apply if you were comparing a Penatx DSLR + 31 to a Canon/Nikon/Sony FF + 50.

05-18-2011, 03:11 PM   #174
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QuoteOriginally posted by DogLover Quote
I find it hysterical that anyone with even a modicum of ability with a camera would say that a 31 is a waste of glass on APS-C. Anyone that would say that is either delusional or is just regurgitating what some other delusional person has said and has never shot the 31.

Are the legions of Pentaxians that adore this lens all just drinking the kool-aid? Are we just engaging in some sort of conspiracy to trick others into spending good money for this "merely good" lens. No, there is a reason that it is the single most desired lens in the Pentax line-up. Because it is legen....(wait for it)...dary.

I say let the haters hate. If any of you want to deny yourself using this gem, then that's on you. But please stop trying to tell those of us who have the proof right in front of our eyes that we aren't seeing what we clearly are.
I'm not sure that PaperBag hates the FA31 as much as he fixed ideas about it that seem unchangeable. Does he own a copy? Has he looked at his own photos with his own eyes? This really is not a subject that is amenable to reasoned argument. It can only be considered in the context of viewing original images. If he has done that and has come to his judgement, then the rest of us must accept it as a matter of personal taste. It won't change our opinions based on our own experiences, but at least we will understand the basis for his opinion. If he has never personally used the lens, then he would be well advised to cease opining about it.

Rob
05-18-2011, 03:24 PM   #175
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QuoteOriginally posted by DogLover Quote
I find it hysterical that anyone with even a modicum of ability with a camera would say that a 31 is a waste of glass on APS-C. Anyone that would say that is either delusional or is just regurgitating what some other delusional person has said and has never shot the 31.

Are the legions of Pentaxians that adore this lens all just drinking the kool-aid? Are we just engaging in some sort of conspiracy to trick others into spending good money for this "merely good" lens. No, there is a reason that it is the single most desired lens in the Pentax line-up. Because it is legen....(wait for it)...dary.

I say let the haters hate. If any of you want to deny yourself using this gem, then that's on you. But please stop trying to tell those of us who have the proof right in front of our eyes that we aren't seeing what we clearly are.

The OP was about the value of the lens v. two DA Limiteds but these threads always wax poetic about FA Limited Fairy Dust. It is a $1000 normal lens on APS....period.
05-18-2011, 03:37 PM   #176
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QuoteOriginally posted by robgo2 Quote
I'm not sure that PaperBag hates the FA31 as much as he fixed ideas about it that seem unchangeable. Does he own a copy? Has he looked at his own photos with his own eyes? This really is not a subject that is amenable to reasoned argument. It can only be considered in the context of viewing original images. If he has done that and has come to his judgement, then the rest of us must accept it as a matter of personal taste. It won't change our opinions based on our own experiences, but at least we will understand the basis for his opinion. If he has never personally used the lens, then he would be well advised to cease opining about it.

Rob
I believe he hasn't. although I don't own the lens, I did rented it and it's really great. this is coming from a person who owns an FA35, not saying that it's bad but rather has different rendering. I didn't necessarily quantify this scientifically or did some intricate testing, but someone who just knew and noticed from the start when the first images captured came out of the camera. not because it has a legendary status already or knew it was an FA31, but what I saw on the images. the DA*55 for example, eventhough it doesn't have that cult following, I would admit that it is a great lens on it's own right. very sharp, really great bokeh. my only complaint about it is it's AF is underwhelming for an AF lens (too slow for my intended use).
05-18-2011, 03:39 PM   #177
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Is there a trend in this thread where those that have actually used the FA31 on a Pentax APS-C camera know from experience that it is an exceptional lens and worth the money, and those that haven't used it but have a lot of "book knowledge" about the FA31 think it can't be very special and is overpriced.

Last edited by twitch; 05-18-2011 at 03:47 PM.
05-18-2011, 03:41 PM   #178
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QuoteOriginally posted by Spotmatic Quote
The OP was about the value of the lens v. two DA Limiteds but these threads always wax poetic about FA Limited Fairy Dust. It is a $1000 normal lens on APS....period.
it's a great $1,000 normal lens on Pentax APS-C. can we see similar ones on the other brand counterparts or cheaper and better?
05-18-2011, 03:44 PM   #179
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
Is there a trend in this thread where those that have actually used the FA31 on a Pentax APS-C camera know from experience that it is an exceptional lens and worth the money, and those that haven't used it but have a lot of "book" knowledge" about the FA31 think it can't be very special and is overpriced.
Yes, there most certainly is a trend, and I don't think it's a coincidence
05-18-2011, 03:49 PM   #180
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
Is there a trend in this thread where those that have actually used the FA31 on a Pentax APS-C camera know from experience that it is an exceptional lens and worth the money, and those that haven't used it but have a lot of "book" knowledge" about the FA31 think it can't be very special and is overpriced.
I think the problem is that because it's a Pentax, everyone should be able to afford it because it's cheaply priced.

personally I would feel it is overpriced or expensive. but considering it's a high-end optics and from a business point of view, it should be priced as such if I want to make money.
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