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05-19-2011, 03:28 AM   #196
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The difficulty with the FA31 is the vast amount of Post-purchase rationalization and Confirmation bias it inspires! The only way to know how good it is is to buy one and use it, we're told - but as soon as one does that, one becomes a victim of these effects (otherwise known as 'fairy dust'? ).

05-19-2011, 04:12 AM   #197
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QuoteOriginally posted by timh Quote
The difficulty with the FA31 is the vast amount of Post-purchase rationalization and Confirmation bias it inspires! The only way to know how good it is is to buy one and use it, we're told - but as soon as one does that, one becomes a victim of these effects (otherwise known as 'fairy dust'? ).
Or perhaps it's simply a case of sour grapes for those who don't own one

I don't disagree that there is a certain amount of post-purchase rationalization for some people after buying the 31. However, that in and of itself doesn't take away from the fact that the 31 is still the superior lens, even if it comes at a steep price and doesn't represent the best "value".
05-19-2011, 04:32 AM   #198
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What is anything worth? Folks that shoot Canon pay 1000 more for the 50mm f1.2 than they would pay for a 50mm f1.4 and maybe it is better, but just maybe they get more bragging rights for it. Since the people who buy FA limiteds tend to be better photographers (huge generalization), then the photos also tend to be better than those taken with, say, the DA zooms.

I remember when the kx was released, Gus started a "post your kx photos here" thread and someone else started a "post your k7 photos here" thread. The photos in the K7 thread were significantly better overall, but what you were seeing had little to do with the equipment and had a lot more to do with the photographers skill.

Anyway, I hope that someday Pentax decides to update the FA limiteds with weather sealing and quick shift (and that I come into a small fortune) because then they would be about perfect.
05-19-2011, 05:58 AM   #199
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QuoteOriginally posted by dgaies Quote
Or perhaps it's simply a case of sour grapes for those who don't own one
Certainly some of that too! Bottom line, I'm pretty sure these polluting factors contribute more to the discussion than the qualities of the lens being discussed - to the extent that the discussion becomes useless. It's pointless arguing.

QuoteQuote:
I don't disagree that there is a certain amount of post-purchase rationalization for some people after buying the 31. However, that in and of itself doesn't take away from the fact that the 31 is still the superior lens, even if it comes at a steep price and doesn't represent the best "value".
Aah, "fact"? I'm under the impression that proponents of the FA31 generally argue that it's the unmeasurable qualities of the lens which make it so special.

Perhaps one day there will be some way to scientifically and empirically measure "lens pleasingness".

05-19-2011, 06:38 AM   #200
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QuoteOriginally posted by timh Quote
Certainly some of that too! Bottom line, I'm pretty sure these polluting factors contribute more to the discussion than the qualities of the lens being discussed - to the extent that the discussion becomes useless. It's pointless arguing.
I agree with you on this point. The entire thread started trying to answer a question that can't be quantitatively answer. My first few replies to this thread were focused on the fact that the premise of the question itself was flawed (trying to determine the "value" of one lens compared to another, but things devolved quickly from there.

QuoteOriginally posted by timh Quote
Aah, "fact"? I'm under the impression that proponents of the FA31 generally argue that it's the unmeasurable qualities of the lens which make it so special.

Perhaps one day there will be some way to scientifically and empirically measure "lens pleasingness".
There are some indisputable ways in which the FA31 is superior. The FA31 is superior to the DA40 in terms of aperture speed. The FA31 is superior to the FA35 in terms of build quality. But you're right, once you get past the measurable, physical differences between the lens (and possibly the differences in MTF charts, which may or may not be meaningful), there isn't a good way to scientifically and empirically measure "lens pleasingness". It is precisely for that reason that I often suggest that if you're interested in the FA31, and can afford to rent/buy it, that is the best way to determine whether it's worth the expense compared to other lenses.
05-19-2011, 07:29 AM   #201
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QuoteOriginally posted by dgaies Quote

There are some indisputable ways in which the FA31 is superior. The FA31 is superior to the DA40 in terms of aperture speed. The FA31 is superior to the FA35 in terms of build quality. But you're right, once you get past the measurable, physical differences between the lens (and possibly the differences in MTF charts, which may or may not be meaningful), there isn't a good way to scientifically and empirically measure "lens pleasingness". It is precisely for that reason that I often suggest that if you're interested in the FA31, and can afford to rent/buy it, that is the best way to determine whether it's worth the expense compared to other lenses.
The FA31 is probably better than the FA35 in CA in a categorical sense. The FA35 is probably sharper in the corners than the FA31 in a categorical sense. There is probably greater sample variance within each lens type than there is between two ideal examples in the center frame area.

But yeah; these facts only recommend them technically, and their usefulness as artistic tools depend on how much your art demands those qualities. If you want to shoot a wide angle shot, a DA15 becomes a 'better lens' than the DA31. As I've maintained steadily, whenever there's a question of "What is the best piece of kit of type x" one must reply with the question "For what?" I've read several times that the 31 is "The best AF prime lens made by Pentax", but that's only (possibly!) true if a near-normal is what you *need*. If you need a 200 f2.8, the 31 will be a grave disappointment.

I've seen lovely images made with crappy gear - and seen instances where better gear could not have improved the image one bit. The important thing is "Does it make the images you see in your vision?"
05-19-2011, 10:08 AM   #202
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QuoteOriginally posted by timh Quote
Certainly some of that too! Bottom line, I'm pretty sure these polluting factors contribute more to the discussion than the qualities of the lens being discussed - to the extent that the discussion becomes useless. It's pointless arguing.



Aah, "fact"? I'm under the impression that proponents of the FA31 generally argue that it's the unmeasurable qualities of the lens which make it so special.

Perhaps one day there will be some way to scientifically and empirically measure "lens pleasingness".
The OP is a newbie and I am sure this thread confused him further.
05-19-2011, 10:11 AM - 1 Like   #203
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QuoteOriginally posted by Spotmatic Quote
The OP is a newbie and I am sure this thread confused him further.
I hope he took from this thread what everyone should have taken from this thread; you're not going to get a consensus opinion, even from users of both lenses, about the relative "value" of one lens over another. Period.


Last edited by dgaies; 05-19-2011 at 10:35 AM.
05-19-2011, 11:09 AM   #204
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QuoteOriginally posted by robgo2 Quote
Somehow, I have the feeling that this does not represent meaningful experience with the FA31. Perhaps you should spare the world your opinions about it.
Maybe you shouldn't get so worked up about some stranger's opinions on a discussion forum.

I maintain that the FA 31 is best utilized as a wide-angle on film. It's remarkable on a full frame camera.
05-19-2011, 11:34 AM   #205
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QuoteOriginally posted by dgaies Quote
I hope he took from this thread what everyone should have taken from this thread; you're not going to get a consensus opinion, even from users of both lenses, about the relative "value" of one lens over another. Period.
I agree. The 'value' is entirely subjective.
05-19-2011, 07:06 PM   #206
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At the time of this post the FA31 is exactly 3x better than the FA35.
05-19-2011, 07:07 PM   #207
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QuoteOriginally posted by selar Quote
At the time of this post the FA31 is exactly 3x better than the FA35.
You mean 3x as popular; it is a popularity contest.
05-19-2011, 07:15 PM   #208
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QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
You mean 3x as popular; it is a popularity contest.
In a free market economy popularity decides price.
05-19-2011, 07:21 PM   #209
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QuoteOriginally posted by selar Quote
In a free market economy popularity decides price.
So the prices of the FA 35/2 are coming down?
05-19-2011, 07:25 PM   #210
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
So the prices of the FA 35/2 are coming down?
No, because it is a wild lens and has escaped from the free market :P

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