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05-16-2011, 05:58 AM   #106
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QuoteOriginally posted by peasant Quote
C'mon JHD let a little light in.The 31's rep goes way beyond analogies.
Okay, where is the proof / comparisons to the DA40 the OP has asked for?

05-16-2011, 06:00 AM   #107
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QuoteOriginally posted by JHD Quote
You could be right, however it seems he'd rather not have to buy the lens to find out it. He emphatically stated his desire to see identical shots from both lenses. Now if he sees nothing but more rhetoric and reluctance on the part of those who have both lenses to post identical shot samples, chances are he'll conclude the difference must be so negligible it must too embarrassing.
Trying to make a lens purchasing decision by viewing images posted on the web is of very limited value, mainly because web based files suck. What you do learn from web viewing is that some photographers can get great looking results from almost any lens, while others cannot do so even from the finest lenses. What this means is that to a very large extent, the qualitative differences that you will see will have more to do with artistic and post-processing skills than with raw lens performance.

I think that it is wise to heed the advice of knowledgeable, skilled photographers regarding lens quality, but ultimately, there is no substitute for personally using a lens in real world shooting.

Rob

Last edited by robgo2; 05-16-2011 at 08:51 AM.
05-16-2011, 06:11 AM   #108
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QuoteOriginally posted by JHD Quote


*snip*

That response was directed to those who concede they prefer to make decisions based on other people’s enthusiasm or irrelevant analogies as opposed to a controlled experiment.
If I buy something on the enthusiasm of someone whose photographic skill I admire that isn't necessarily a bad decision. From the very beginning of this thread ppl have said that there are characteristics of lenses that cannot be quantified. Therefore if there is someone whose work I admire says "I really like this lens!" I'm going to look carefully at it. Basically that is the whole purpose behind the lens database here. I have several stellar lenses in my kit that were bought using this very process. I have produced some photos that please me immensely using those lenses. If you want to make your purchases solely on photozone numbers fine, but like JeffS, I find their information of little value to the way I approach photography. I find bokeh and ergonomics and "character" as important to me as edge sharpness or barrel distortion. The characteristics I listed above aren't quantifiable. Just because they aren't quantifiable does not mean they aren't important or even vital for my enjoyment of the lens.
A case in point: I cannot afford the FA 31mm ltd, I wish I could but it simply is out of my range. So I looked on photozone and found that the FA 35mm F/2 has better sharpness numbers and I could afford that lens. So I bought it, figuring I would at least have a very sharp lens. Yes it is sharp, but that's about all. The color rendition is OK but not stellar, the bokeh is meh, barely OK. Ergonomics are OK but not great. The lens doesn't get used very much because sharpness isn't everything. I recently bought the DA 35mm F/2.4, the "DA-L" version of the FA 35mm F2.0 in response to Frank's post on the lens. I've always admired his photographic skills and he really liked the lens. I like it too, in fact much more than the FA 35mm. I'm selling the FA and keeping the DA. For me, despite it's excellent "controlled experiment" data, the FA 35mm F/2.0 is a dud.
You can of course use any criteria you want in making your purchase decisions, but for me I prefer the real world experience of real world photographers over numbers.

NaCl(there is a reason the FA 31mm has the reputation it does)H2O
05-16-2011, 06:12 AM   #109
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QuoteOriginally posted by robgo2 Quote
Good luck finding a used FA31 at a cheap price.
That's kind of my point. The used market for the 31 is very strong, so as long as the OP bought one at a fair/market price, he should have no issue selling it a few weeks later at that same price


QuoteOriginally posted by JHD Quote
You could be right, however it seems he'd rather not have to buy the lens to find out it. He emphatically stated his desire to see identical shots from both lenses. Now if he sees nothing but more rhetoric and reluctance on the part of those who have both lenses to post identical shot samples, chances are he'll conclude the difference must be so negligible it must too embarrassing.
QuoteOriginally posted by JHD Quote
That response was directed to those who concede they prefer to make decisions based on other people’s enthusiasm or irrelevant analogies as opposed to a controlled experiment.
I supose if the OP, or you, want to conlcude that the difference between the two lenses is negligible based solely on the fact that no one was willing to drop what they were doing last night to go shoot test shots between the 31 and 40, that's your prerogative. I have no issue with looking at test shots, spec sheets, MTF charts, etc... but from my experience that seldom tells the whole story. If you want to label that as rhetoric, so be it. I don't work for Pentax and I'm not trying to sell anyone anything. I am merely suggesting that the only way for the OP to come to a reasonable and informed conclusion on whether or not the 31 is right for him is to try the 31 himself.

05-16-2011, 06:19 AM   #110
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QuoteOriginally posted by robgo2 Quote
Trying to make a lens purchasing decision by viewing images posted on the web is of very limited value, mainly because web based files suck. What you do learn from web viewing is that some photographers can get great looking results from almost any lens, while others cannot do so even with the finest lenses. What this means is that to a very large extent, the qualitative differences that you will see will have more to do with artistic and post-processing skills than with raw lens performance.
Agreed, I bought both the FA31 and DA15 based on the wonderful images I've seen here. But so far my shots like them are few and far between. But I have the tools and they do make a difference in the finer points. I don't have a DA40 but I found my M40 a bit tight and I find the FA31 almost perfect as a walkaround. Occasionally the magic shows through, and when it does....

My take is that at this price it is impossible to quantify 'value'. What I find lovely about the FA31 or DA15 may be irrelevant to your priorities. On thing I would recommend is to buy one used. The depreciation if you don't like it is much less when you sell it and you fork out a lot less money anyway.

In my case I let it slip to my wife that if I say I'm selling one of my limiteds I should be kicked in the manberries for thinking such a thought. She wrote that down on the kitchen bulletin board for posterity.
05-16-2011, 06:31 AM   #111
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QuoteOriginally posted by robgo2 Quote
What you do learn from web viewing is that some photographers can get great looking results from almost any lens, while others cannot do so even with the finest lenses. Moreover, to a very large extent, the qualitative differences that you will see will have more to do with artistic and post-processing skills than with raw lens performance.
The alternative gear forum on Fred Miranda has a thread called Zeiss/ze/zf/zm/images/official thread,very educational.Lots of photos posted and analysis there of.Big thing for me was the guys who could pp well even photos of anything/nothing in particular stood right out compared to other good photographers.Lots could do both(eg Denoir).

Last edited by peasant; 05-16-2011 at 06:36 AM.
05-16-2011, 07:06 AM   #112
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QuoteQuote:
That's kind of my point. The used market for the 31 is very strong, so as long as the OP bought one at a fair/market price, he should have no issue selling it a few weeks later at that same price
And my point is that used FA31s are rarely put up for sale, and when they are, the prices may not be much below the price of a new one. We aren't talking about kit lenses being dumped on the market in large numbers. Someone who is really hot for an FA Limited either has to be very patient and vigilant in the second hand market or bite the bullet and buy a new one.

Rob
05-16-2011, 07:06 AM   #113
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QuoteOriginally posted by dgaies Quote
I supose if the OP, or you, want to conlcude that the difference between the two lenses is negligible based solely on the fact that no one was willing to drop what they were doing last night to go shoot test shots between the 31 and 40, that's your prerogative. I have no issue with looking at test shots, spec sheets, MTF charts, etc... but from my experience that seldom tells the whole story. If you want to label that as rhetoric, so be it. I don't work for Pentax and I'm not trying to sell anyone anything. I am merely suggesting that the only way for the OP to come to a reasonable and informed conclusion on whether or not the 31 is right for him is to try the 31 himself.
I’m not concluding the difference is negligible because nobody posted shots last night, but that the difference could quite possibly be negligible on account of the lack of interest to even commit to doing a comparison. Of course what one considers to be a negligible difference, may be quite significant to another. Nevertheless, let everybody be persuaded in their own mind.

05-16-2011, 07:37 AM   #114
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QuoteOriginally posted by robgo2 Quote
And my point is that used FA31s are rarely put up for sale, and when they are, the prices may not be much below the price of a new one. We aren't talking about kit lenses being dumped on the market in large numbers. Someone who is really hot for an FA Limited either has to be very patient and vigilant in the second hand market or bite the bullet and buy a new one.

Rob
I don't disagree. The used price of a 31 is not much lower than the new price. In fact, a used MIJ one often fetches more than an AIV new copy. An older MIJ silver 31 can go for even more than either.

All I was suggesting is that because people are willing to pay top dollar for used copies of the 31, it doesn't really matter what the current market price is for them so long as (1) you don't pay more than the market price and (2) the price of the 31 doesn't go down. You can control (1), although as you said, you might have to be patient and wait a few weeks. You can't control (2), although I personally don't see the value of the FA limiteds dropping significantly anytime soon.

But you're right, if you're really hot for an FA limited, you will probably overpay and/or have to buy new as (well-priced) used FA limiteds don't come up very often.
05-16-2011, 08:00 AM   #115
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QuoteOriginally posted by JHD Quote
I’m not concluding the difference is negligible because nobody posted shots last night, but that the difference could quite possibly be negligible on account of the lack of interest to even commit to doing a comparison. Of course what one considers to be a negligible difference, may be quite significant to another. Nevertheless, let everybody be persuaded in their own mind.
I'm sure you'd acknowledge that the photographer himself is going to have large influence on the quality of the test shots, especially if you’re trying to differentiate subtle differences between the lenses. I’m certainly capable of setting up some random objects, putting the camera on a tripod and taking some 1:1 comparisons between the 31 and 40 that would give you an idea about how they compare in terms of sharpness, bokeh, etc. However, I fail to see how that would help you see the full potential of the 31 (or the 40 for that matter) and do I can’t imagine it would be a very effective way to differentiate the subtle differences between them.

Look, I don’t consider myself to be a particular good photographer, nor have I ever claimed to be one. I have a lot of really nice lenses, but as just about anyone would point out, it’s not the gear that makes the photographer. I enjoy the gear itself, the buying and selling of lenses, trying them out, and deciding which ones I like best. I also like to see what other more skilled photographers can do with the same lenses I own, but at the same time I am not so arrogant as to think that I can just slap the 31 on my camera, take a couple shots and demonstrate the full potential of the lens.
05-16-2011, 11:02 AM   #116
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QuoteOriginally posted by NaClH2O Quote
A case in point: I cannot afford the FA 31mm ltd, I wish I could but it simply is out of my range. So I looked on photozone and found that the FA 35mm F/2 has better sharpness numbers and I could afford that lens. So I bought it, figuring I would at least have a very sharp lens. Yes it is sharp, but that's about all. The color rendition is OK but not stellar, the bokeh is meh, barely OK. Ergonomics are OK but not great. The lens doesn't get used very much because sharpness isn't everything. I recently bought the DA 35mm F/2.4, the "DA-L" version of the FA 35mm F2.0 in response to Frank's post on the lens. I've always admired his photographic skills and he really liked the lens. I like it too, in fact much more than the FA 35mm. I'm selling the FA and keeping the DA. For me, despite it's excellent "controlled experiment" data, the FA 35mm F/2.0 is a dud.
You can of course use any criteria you want in making your purchase decisions, but for me I prefer the real world experience of real world photographers over numbers.

NaCl(there is a reason the FA 31mm has the reputation it does)H2O
Because the FA 35 f2 has horrible color rendition and terrible bokeh:




Sorry, I hadda defend the poor thing, since no one else is.
05-16-2011, 12:01 PM   #117
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QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
Because the FA 35 f2 has horrible color rendition and terrible bokeh:




Sorry, I hadda defend the poor thing, since no one else is.
that's no way to treat the FA31's ugly stepsister. just kidding.


but anyways, this is my thought regarding the FA35. the FA35 is sharp but would only fit the needs of those who liked it's sharp rendering, so basically saltwater would be pretty much won't like this lens at all. I find the color to be very good to be honest and great at certain scenarios. I had used it outdoors and pretty much controlled flare extremely well. the bokeh shines on certain scenarios or simply saying it is very selective. this is where the difference between the FA31 and FA35 becomes obvious (disregarding sharpness and microcontrast). the FA31's bokeh is not selective. it renders bokeh nicely in every scene. having reviewed the FOV difference between the two lenses, I would say that the difference is negligible especially for close-up portrait photography nor would it give much of an impact for standard walk-around. also there were discussions that the actual FOV difference between the 2 lenses was only 2mm (not 4mm). a 28mm would be more of my liking.

the difference between the FA35 and DA35/2.4 is a slight improvement in the bokeh, basically at slower apertures. I still find the FA35's OOF rendering at f2 much better than the DA35/2.4. although the DA35/2.4 has slightly better bokeh, the trade-off is in the sharpness department (across the frame). I don't see the DA35/2.4 be a replacement for the FA35, much so for the FA31. although it is a great cheap alternative to those who are short on the budget.

between the DA40 and DA35/2.4, I prefer the overall rendering of the DA40, FOV wise, I like the DA35.

Last edited by Pentaxor; 05-16-2011 at 01:11 PM.
05-16-2011, 12:05 PM   #118
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QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
Because the FA 35 f2 has horrible color rendition and terrible bokeh:
Sorry, I hadda defend the poor thing, since no one else is.
Yeah, I always hated the FA35/2 too

05-16-2011, 12:10 PM   #119
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I am extremely happy with the DA40.
I am very happy with the FA35/2.
I am also quite happy using my Kiron 28mm/F2 PKA.

I'm covered all around the FL, but I'm sure I would love the FA31. I just can't see spending the money for three lenses on it, though.
05-16-2011, 12:13 PM   #120
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misquote

QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
Because the FA 35 f2 has horrible color rendition and terrible bokeh:

Sorry, I hadda defend the poor thing, since no one else is.
I didn't say the FA 35 F/2.0 has horrible color rendition I said "the color rendition is OK but not stellar". I also said that the bokeh is "barely OK" not 'terrible'. It's not a terrible lens, just not appealing to me.
Curiously, the DA 35mm F/2.4 does appeal to me and according to what I've been able to figure out the lens elements are identical. I've shot extensively with both and have even done a shoot out for my personal edification, and the FA shots are for the most part "OK", while the DA shots are "NICE!" Personally I chalk it up to sample variation and personal whim.

NaCl(it's not that I dislike the FA 35mm F/2.0 it's just that I don't like it)H2O
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