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05-16-2011, 04:25 PM   #1
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FA Limiteds and DA 40 shootout

In response to discussion on this thread https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/143921-fa31-re...ml#post1503354 I did this "comparison". The OP there wanted to know the difference between the DA 40 and FA 31. Many of us explained that these were two different beasts with their own niche uses and one cannot really quantify them. However, some people insisted that they see identical test shots.

I do not believe that test shots of boring stuff on a table can really be useful. But I did it anyway. I also threw in the other two FA limteds (If I am going to ruin an hour or two why not bring out all the limiteds?).

This is what I did. I set the camera up on a tripod (with 2 sec delayed timer) and took wide open shots with the Metz 46 at 1/32 power and at 45 degree angle. Then I repeated with all lenses set at f 4 with the flash power increased to 1/4 power.

WIDE OPEN SHOTS

31
[IMG] [/IMG]

40
[IMG] [/IMG]

43
[IMG] [/IMG]

77
[IMG] [/IMG]


ALL LENSES AT F 4

31
[IMG] [/IMG]

40
[IMG] [/IMG]

43
[IMG] [/IMG]

77
[IMG] [/IMG]


Last edited by mccarvindh; 05-16-2011 at 04:30 PM. Reason: Added remaining "comparison" pictures
05-16-2011, 04:38 PM   #2
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call me crazy, but i think the 40mm looks better than the 43mm at f4... =/
05-16-2011, 05:05 PM   #3
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Cool test! Exposure wide open is naturally a little uneven, but IQ looks pretty darn good across the board. The 31 wide open might be the least sharp, although hard to say from just one shot. I always found the 31 a little tricky. The 77 (a lens I have never tired) looks nice!
05-16-2011, 06:04 PM   #4
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The 40 will do just fine for those of us on a severe budget. Thanks for the comparison and setup.

05-16-2011, 06:10 PM   #5
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I love Flying Dog beer.

Oh, and thanks for the comparison!
05-16-2011, 06:20 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eagle_Friends Quote
call me crazy, but i think the 40mm looks better than the 43mm at f4... =/
It depends on what you mean by "better." The DA40 is at least as sharp, but it also exhibits somewhat stronger, less subtle contrast. Also, look at the flowers in the background. They are much more pleasingly blurred in the FA43 shot, and I cannot believe that that is entirely attributable to an additional 3mm focal length. Rather, this is the vaunted bokeh that is characteristic of the FA Limiteds. Indeed, the FA31 has softer bokeh, and it is 9mm shorter than the DA40.

That said, I really don't think that anyone should draw firm conclusions based on these samples. Thanks to the OP for doing the work.

Rob
05-16-2011, 06:26 PM   #7
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I own most of those lenses and unfortuantely I think the OP'er was right, these shots don't give a good idea of the differences. I've found the skin tones captured with the FA limiteds for example to be different (in a good way) to those captured on the DA limiteds.
05-16-2011, 06:36 PM   #8
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Thanks for taking the time and effort to do this. I was hoping to see the Exif data and download these into a viewer to flip between them.

05-16-2011, 08:02 PM   #9
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Thank you , mccarvindh !
05-16-2011, 08:23 PM   #10
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FA 31 looks like ts focusng on the front edge of the table in both shots. May need to calibrate the body for it.
05-16-2011, 08:27 PM   #11
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Looks like someone else is ready to conduct the same experiment with the FA31 and the DA40, so we'll have more than one shootout to evaluate.
05-17-2011, 05:37 AM   #12
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Exif view enabled for today on flickr

QuoteOriginally posted by JHD Quote
Thanks for taking the time and effort to do this. I was hoping to see the Exif data and download these into a viewer to flip between them.
Hi JHD I have enabled view of EXIF for today in my flickr stream.
05-17-2011, 05:37 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by JHD Quote
Looks like someone else is ready to conduct the same experiment with the FA31 and the DA40, so we'll have more than one shootout to evaluate.
Great! Looking forward to seeing that as well.
05-17-2011, 05:38 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by selar Quote
FA 31 looks like ts focusng on the front edge of the table in both shots. May need to calibrate the body for it.
Thank you - you may be right. I shall play around with AF adjustment and see if that needs tweaking.
05-17-2011, 05:41 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
I own most of those lenses and unfortuantely I think the OP'er was right, these shots don't give a good idea of the differences. I've found the skin tones captured with the FA limiteds for example to be different (in a good way) to those captured on the DA limiteds.
You are absolutely right I have found the 43 to render portraits in a more pleasing manner. The DA is great for sure, but the FAs do come ahead.
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