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05-15-2011, 07:16 AM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by krendel154 Quote
Recent statements are so strong, voting for FA31. How to explain to my wife, that I am going to spend $1k for lens? It should be another thread:"How to buy lens for $1k and make her to believe that you need it really hard." Mayby I will start from watching "Tinker Bell" and paying special attention onto "pixie-dust"? I remember when I had 18-55 DA L and was going to buy DA40 it was really hard to explain that "40" is better.
Tell here that it will make her look 2.8x more beautiful in every shot that you take of her using the FA31. That might help a little bit...but hasn't always worked with me.

One thing a lot of people haven't mentioned regarding the FA31...In my opinion, it has the best bokeh of any lens in it's range. Even against other similar aperture/focal length lenses, the way that it smooths background details out is above and beyond other lenses.

05-15-2011, 07:26 AM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by arpaagent Quote
Tell here that it will make her look 2.8x more beautiful in every shot that you take of her using the FA31.
To look 2.8x more beautiful by using FA31 and saving on make ups, it will work! Thank you!
Plus, it will make me 2.8x better in photography

Last edited by krendel154; 05-15-2011 at 07:37 AM.
05-15-2011, 07:27 AM   #48
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Not really. You've reached the point of optical perfection with the FA 31. It's probably better than the DA 40, but with most high end gear, you take a step into the realm where 2.8 times the cost doesn't get you 2.8 times the lens.

If the best quality is important to you, there is no substitute for the FA 31. If you need the additional light gathering of the 31, but don't want to pay the cost, there's the Sigma 30/1.4. If these aren't important to you, the DA 40 will do amazingly well.
05-15-2011, 08:03 AM   #49
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F28 2.8 could be an option?



05-15-2011, 08:36 AM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by krendel154 Quote
FA31 is 2.8 times more expensive than DA40 . It means that FA31 HAS to be 2.8 times better
But what do you mean by "2.8 times better"? That's the problem. As dgaies has said there is not a real way to quantify the differences. The FA 31 to my eyes has much better bokeh than the DA 40, but I can't quantify that. The FA 31 has a 1 stop plus faster aperture, but that can't be quantified. The DOF wide open on the 31 is thinner, is that good or bad? And by how much? Because of it's thin focus ring and short throw, the DA 40 is harder to manually focus. Does that matter to you? Can you put a number value on it? I could go on and on. The point is that there is no way to physically quantify all of a lens characteristics. In fact I would say that there is only one possible characteristic that can be reliably quantified, and that is resale value. This I can state categorically, based on historical data, after 5 years, the resale value of a FA 31mm ltd lens is more than 2.8 times greater than the resale value of a DA 40mm ltd.
What you need to look at is what is called "percieved value". If the IQ, bokeh, ergonomics & etc are worth the price of the lens to you then the lens is worth the purchase price. If not, then not. Obviously by all your questions, the cost of the FA 31mm does NOT equal it's perceived value to you Therefore it would not be a good purchase for you at this time.
I will close with this: I have been shooting Pentax mount cameras for over 10 years, I own or have owned well over 2 dozen lenses. The only lens I still REALLY want is the FA 31mm ltd. I had a chance 5 years ago to buy one at a considerably lower price than they are offered for now and I turned it down because the perceived value of the lens wasn't as great or greater than the price offered. Today, 5 years down the road, I am still kicking myself for the lost opportunity, as the lens is now worth almost 2.8 times as much.

NaCl(percieved value can't be quantified)H2O
05-15-2011, 09:03 AM   #51
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Who knows, probably, after 10 years of shooting I will have two dozens lenses and still dreaming about ONE which is "one of the best"! What is the point to suffer 10 years? Probably I will buy it now? The only thing, that I understand, I won't be able to evaluate the real value of FA31 & its exclusiveness, because I am new in photography. Maybe in 10 years...But then it will cost $3k...
05-15-2011, 09:31 AM   #52
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other lens options

@ krendel

If you are finding the DA 40 a bit tight for indoor shooting there are a bunch of lenses, less expensive than the FA 31 you might want to consider.

FA 35mm F/2.0 and/or the DA 35mm F/2.4: these are both very nice lenses. The DA 35 was made and is marketed as an introductory prime, it has a plastic mount, and is light and small, in addition like the kit lens it doesn't come with a hood, nor does it have the very useful DA shift mechanism. The FA 35 has a metal mount is about 1/2 stop faster, and has a better reputation (actually in real world application less than that as the DA 35mm f2.4 test out at about F/2.2) I own both these lenses and I can say that I personally prefer the DA 35mm F2.4, I will be selling the FA 35mm sometime soon.
DA 35mm F2.8 macro. I don't own this lens but it comes very highly regarded, most people consider it VERY sharp, good bokeh and in addition, a true 1:1 macro. It is also relatively expensive (tho not in FA 31 terms!)
The 30mm F/1.4 Sigma mentioned by Frogfish. I have never used this lens, Take Frogfish's opinion and also check it out on our lens database. linky
note that there are two different versions of this lens one with hsm (in lens focusing motor) and one without. I linked the HSM version but I imagine the non-HSM version would be cheaper

There are a BUNCH of good fast primes in the 24-28mm range, too many for me to mention except that I personally own the Sigma 24mm F/1.8. This is a very good lens, quite sharp in the middle, soft around the edges wide open. It sharpens up a bit stopped down but still softer at the edges than I would like. Bokeh is good, like a lot of Sigmas it's somewhat flare prone but with a good "normal" hood it's not too bad, and the normal hood (standard rubber collaspable) I use doesn't vignett. It' is also a good close focuser, but I wouldn't buy into the marketing hype of it being a "macro" lens. It's main downside is that like a lot of sigma's it's huge, it feels twice the size of my FA 20mm F/2.8.

NaCl(if the FA 31mm ltd doesn't suit, there are many many alternatives)H2O
05-15-2011, 09:43 AM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by krendel154 Quote
Who knows, probably, after 10 years of shooting I will have two dozens lenses and still dreaming about ONE which is "one of the best"! What is the point to suffer 10 years? Probably I will buy it now? The only thing, that I understand, I won't be able to evaluate the real value of FA31 & its exclusiveness, because I am new in photography. Maybe in 10 years...But then it will cost $3k...
The only thing that does to/for you, is there is no baseline or rather the 31 becomes the baseline by which you measure other lenses. If I put price aside (which I can do because I already own the lens) the FA31 is one of the best if not THE best prime Pentax has ever produced in an Auto focus lens. I have a K30 f2.8 that I also consider to be quite nice and the best in That type of lens I've ever owned. The two are completely different lenses however. I also have a K28 f2.0 that gives both of them a run for the money but again, completely different lens.

The point is, if you're going to knock yourself about the head for the next 10 years about it, get the lens, deal with the wife (no disrespect to her intended), and give it a good workout. If you decide the lens isn't for you, sell it. That said, the DA40 is said to be one of the Sharpest lenses Pentax is making right now. I don't own one, have never owned one, I can't get past the tiny size of it. For some that's a plus.

What I also can't get past is the 'I'm a beginner so I can't use the good stuff' mentality. If you can afford it, want it, give it a try. You might do well to look for a used one though if you're in the USA. The price is considerably less than $1k last time I looked.



05-15-2011, 10:59 AM   #54
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It is an easy enough caculation:

1.f/ 1.8 is 1 f-stop faster than f/2.8 - double the amount of light, that obviously gives you a 2x price factor
2. it is a full format lens, which justifies another 2x price tag
3. it has an aperture ring, which gives you another 2x price tag
4. it is a shorter fl, with excellent cotrrection, which gives another 2x price tag.
5. the FA 31 has much more glass inside and boasts a lot more metall, all in all 345 grs. versus only 90 grs. for the DA40. Thatt is a 3.5x factor to consider!

So, the price of the FA 31mm should be 2x2x2x2x3.5 = 28 times the price of the DA40.

Calculated that way, the FA 31 is obviously way too cheap!

Ben
05-15-2011, 11:05 AM   #55
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On a more serious note: I fully agree with JeffJs: you need to explore for yourself, whether one lens is worth more money than another. I prefer the FAs in general, because they are not too tiny and I chose the FA43mm over the DA40mm (which by the way would be a much more valid comparisson, because their FOV is closer), because it is faster, sports an aperture ring, covers the full 35mm format and is simply a more substantial lens. I will not comment on image quality, as I haven't used the DA40 nor any other current DA prime.

Ben
05-15-2011, 11:12 AM   #56
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You are right Ben_Edict FA31 is obviously too cheap... And I like #5 which states that it has more metal. So, if I will decide to get rid from it I can get more money from metal recycling
05-15-2011, 11:39 AM   #57
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Photozone concludes the review of the FA 31 by saying "Quality comes at a price but 900-1000€/US$ seems a bit over the edge but then it is probably just another example of diminishing returns upon higher investments." So is the FA 31 2.8 times better than the DA 40? Probably not. But that's not the point. The The same principle is observed in many areas of life. For example, is a professional athlete paid 8 millions a year two times better than two athletes paid 4 millions a year? Marginal value is the key here and the laws of economics dictate that marginal value is decreasing as price increases. The real question is "Is the difference worth the investment to ME?" Only you have the answer. I answered that question for myself, but that doesn't mean that my answer is better or worse than the one you will take. Just a matter of preference.
05-15-2011, 12:00 PM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
The only thing that does to/for you, is there is no baseline or rather the 31 becomes the baseline by which you measure other lenses. If I put price aside (which I can do because I already own the lens) the FA31 is one of the best if not THE best prime Pentax has ever produced in an Auto focus lens. I have a K30 f2.8 that I also consider to be quite nice and the best in That type of lens I've ever owned. The two are completely different lenses however. I also have a K28 f2.0 that gives both of them a run for the money but again, completely different lens.
If you want to say "The best autofocus near-normal lens for an APS-c camera Pentax has ever made", I'll take it under consideration, because I don't own the lens. But "THE best prime Pentax has ever produced in an AutoFocus Lens" makes far too many assumptions and is unnecessarily hyperbolic. The FA31 isn't much use at all if what I really need for my purpose is a FA* 600mm f4, or if the 100mm 2.8 Macro is the Lens For Me. "Best lens" must include application.

QuoteQuote:
The point is, if you're going to knock yourself about the head for the next 10 years about it, get the lens, deal with the wife (no disrespect to her intended), and give it a good workout. If you decide the lens isn't for you, sell it. That said, the DA40 is said to be one of the Sharpest lenses Pentax is making right now. I don't own one, have never owned one, I can't get past the tiny size of it. For some that's a plus.
I'm fond of the FA 35mm f2 AL; For sharpness, the 31LTD score 2345, the FA 35 AL scores 2336 (photozone.de and personal experience). The FA35 AL is noticeably sharper in the corners than the 31mm LTD at all apertures. The FA31LTD has slightly smoother bokeh, but I don't find the FA35AL's bokeh unpleasant. If sharpness is your goal in a near-normal, the FA35 f2 AL is a great deal.

QuoteQuote:
What I also can't get past is the 'I'm a beginner so I can't use the good stuff' mentality. If you can afford it, want it, give it a try. You might do well to look for a used one though if you're in the USA. The price is considerably less than $1k last time I looked.

I completely agree, here. Buy the best you can get even as a beginner; bad gear can teach you bad habits.
05-15-2011, 12:05 PM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
I'm fond of the FA 35mm f2 AL; For sharpness, the 31LTD score 2345, the FA 35 AL scores 2336 (photozone.de and personal experience). The FA35 AL is noticeably sharper in the corners than the 31mm LTD at all apertures. The FA31LTD has slightly smoother bokeh, but I don't find the FA35AL's bokeh unpleasant. If sharpness is your goal in a near-normal, the FA35 f2 AL is a great deal.
This is good advice as well. I owned the FA35 for quite some time before buying the 31 and it was my favorite lens that stayed on my K10D almost all the time. Even after I bought the 31, I had trouble letting go of the 35 because my initial impression of the 31 was that it wasn't worth 3x the price of the FA35 (which I bought new "back in the day" for $299). However, after using the 31 more I grew to appreciate it's qualities and determined that while the 35 was the better value, the 31 was the better lens.

If the OP's initial question had been is the 31 worth three times the 35, I might have been inclined to just answer "no". In that case, the focal lengths and aperture speeds are close enough that it's a bit easier to compare the two lenses head to head in terms of IQ and value.
05-15-2011, 01:18 PM   #60
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I have both. I don't think they serve the same purpose.

FA 31mm
- Almost the perfect general purpose lens.
- No quick-shift
- Average sized

DA 40mm
- 40mm is a bit tight sometimes.
- quick shift
- Super small

When I want to one lens to do everything, I use the 31mm. When I want the smallest setup possible, I use the 40mm.
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