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View Poll Results: Which do you prefer
FA35 3029.41%
FA31 7270.59%
Voters: 102. You may not vote on this poll

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05-21-2011, 11:43 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
Well, whatever subtle difference there is would not be worth 3 times the price. I'm happy enough with my FA35.
I'm not coming anywhere near feeling limited by my FA35.

05-22-2011, 12:10 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by selar Quote
There is clearly a difference in the bokeh between the two lenses. Look at the oof highlights in FA35 @ f4, the aperture blades can clearly be seen.
Do you find that objectionable? I think you have to look pretty carefully to see 'em (I did, anyway, @ f4), and even once I saw them I didn't go "Oh, teh bokeh is icky!" It's more like "Hmmm. *shrug*"
05-22-2011, 05:25 AM   #33
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I prefer round highlights, but I am not bothered when they aren't round. More blades usually means smoother bokeh, but that's not always the case. Look at the FA 35mm vs the DA 35 macro Ltd for example. The LTD has more blades but bokeh on the FA 35 is smoother.

"Please vote for your favorite and tell me why you voted as you did."

BTW, the poll question is ambiguous, I wasn't sure if it was saying to vote for your favourite in general, or vote based only on what's shown here. Most people would rather have the FA 31mm. That's why it should have been a blind test. I'd love to have a 31mm Ltd too, but I'd still need a physically smaller normal.
05-22-2011, 05:37 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
That's why it should have been a blind test.
I have already said that I should have done a blind test. Thinking of doing one, but I can't figure out how much to crop the 31 image.
QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
Do you find that objectionable?
No. Just pointing out a difference.

05-22-2011, 06:53 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by selar Quote
I have already said that I should have done a blind test. Thinking of doing one, but I can't figure out how much to crop the 31 image.
There are only two choices; you can crop the 31mm fov to 35mm, or you can move the camera so both lenses capture the same scene. Why not include samples of both?
05-22-2011, 07:52 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by pinholecam Quote
+1 to this and the FA35.

* * *

I money was no object, I'd have every single lens made by Pentax be it Ltd or K-mount Takumar
Agreed. Most of us would have all the lenses if funds were infinite. I'd rather have the FA31 than the FA35 and the DA35 Ltd over the DA35, and on and on. Since I still shoot lots of film (as well as even more digital) and still use manual focus bodies, the feel of the FA limiteds is very nice, and it would be nice to have more of them.

Nevertheless, price is an object to some extent for most of us. Like Wildman, I do not feel particularly limited by the FA35, and the FA31, more than just about any other lens Pentax has made, demands an awfully large premium for relatively subtle improvements over other options. For the price of this lens, I could have two or three good lenses, and one of them could even be itself an FA Ltd.
05-22-2011, 08:14 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
Agreed. Most of us would have all the lenses if funds were infinite. I'd rather have the FA31 than the FA35 and the DA35 Ltd over the DA35, and on and on. Since I still shoot lots of film (as well as even more digital) and still use manual focus bodies, the feel of the FA limiteds is very nice, and it would be nice to have more of them.

Nevertheless, price is an object to some extent for most of us. Like Wildman, I do not feel particularly limited by the FA35, and the FA31, more than just about any other lens Pentax has made, demands an awfully large premium for relatively subtle improvements over other options. For the price of this lens, I could have two or three good lenses, and one of them could even be itself an FA Ltd.
I think the FA35 is already very efficient. the FA31 somehow gives a little more extra with respect to rendering which people would like to have on a 30+mm lens. somewhat like the 50/1.2's, where the 1.4's are sufficient but something with 1.2's would bring something extra as well. and this is no Spinal Tap.
05-22-2011, 09:23 AM   #38
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I voted for the 31, but I would guess that most of what I see could be matched in post (slightly more contrast in the flower in the 31).

Very close. Both great lenses. Questionable price spread. I'd imagine the benefits of the 31 would be more evident on film.

Would be interesting to see a DAL 35 vs. FA 31 match. I'm sure there would be a clear winner... but I wonder how close it would be?

05-22-2011, 09:48 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
I think the FA35 is already very efficient. the FA31 somehow gives a little more extra with respect to rendering which people would like to have on a 30+mm lens. somewhat like the 50/1.2's, where the 1.4's are sufficient but something with 1.2's would bring something extra as well. and this is no Spinal Tap.
I still think that a blind test would reveal very little difference between the lenses you're talking about. I would bet $5.00 that the differences would be insufficient to allow people to beat chance by a statistically significant margin. The "guess the lens" thread bears this out to some extent, though it's far from a methodical analysis.

That doesn't mean I don't understand that photographers have preferences, lenses they like, lenses they don't. I'm just saying that they're very personal and probably not visible in the final product - that is, more about how the photographer feels than how the images look.
05-22-2011, 09:50 AM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
I voted for the 31, but I would guess that most of what I see could be matched in post (slightly more contrast in the flower in the 31).

Very close. Both great lenses. Questionable price spread. I'd imagine the benefits of the 31 would be more evident on film.

Would be interesting to see a DAL 35 vs. FA 31 match. I'm sure there would be a clear winner... but I wonder how close it would be?
Given some of the stellar tests for both lenses I'm not so sure the winner would be more decisive than here, especially given the price spread. On Takinami's site, the FA35 was the first fast Pentax 35 to really shine in full frame on high resolution film. http://www.takinami.com/yoshihiko/photo/lens_test/pentax_35.html Its performance for me has been consistent with that. We are talking about two lenses that are really top quality performers, and clear winners are tough to call in that neighborhood.
05-22-2011, 09:57 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
Given some of the stellar tests for both lenses I'm not so sure the winner would be more decisive than here, especially given the price spread. On Takinami's site, the FA35 was the first fast Pentax 35 to really shine in full frame on high resolution film. http://www.takinami.com/yoshihiko/photo/lens_test/pentax_35.html Its performance for me has been consistent with that. We are talking about two lenses that are really top quality performers, and clear winners are tough to call in that neighborhood.
Zackly. I mean, I *think* I could set up a shot that would make it instantly apparent which lens was which, but I'd also be willing to bet that in normal use the images resulting from the two lenses would be indistinguishable.

I believe paperbag was talking about the new fantastic plastic DAL 35mm f2.4, though, not the FA 35 f2 AL (as this poll is about). It's supposed to have the same optical formula, but that can be tricky - changes in spacing or curvature can really change a lens' characteristics.
05-22-2011, 10:07 AM   #42
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A tough (theoretical) choice

QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
Given some of the stellar tests for both lenses I'm not so sure the winner would be more decisive than here, especially given the price spread. On Takinami's site, the FA35 was the first fast Pentax 35 to really shine in full frame on high resolution film. http://www.takinami.com/yoshihiko/photo/lens_test/pentax_35.html Its performance for me has been consistent with that. We are talking about two lenses that are really top quality performers, and clear winners are tough to call in that neighborhood.
.

Here's an interesting question: which combo would folks here rather shoot:

$2000 FF K-1 Pentax + $300 FA 35 f/2

or

$1400 K-5 + $900 DA 31ltd


Both combos come out to $2300.

That might be an easy question to answer, so how about:

What price difference in that combo would be your personal threshold to keep you in aps-c?

For example:

$2300 FF K-1 = $2600 for combo ($300 more for FF)
$2500 FF K-1 = $2800 ($500 more for FF)
$3000 FF K-1 = $3300 ($1000 more for FF)
...

etc... what would be your $ cutoff? (assuming a smallish-bodied FF Pentax with updated AF, at least equiv to D700 in performance, but a bit smaller)



.

Last edited by jsherman999; 05-22-2011 at 10:14 AM.
05-22-2011, 10:15 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
.

Here's an interesting question: which combo would folks here rather shoot:

$2000 FF Pentax + $300 FA 35 f/2

or

$1400 K-5 + $900 DA 31ltd


Both combos come out to $2300.

That might be an easy question to answer, so how about:

What price difference in that combo would be your personal threshold to keep you in aps-c?

For example:

$2300 FF K-1 = $2600 for combo ($300 more for FF)
$2500 FF K-1 = $2800 ($500 more for FF)
$3000 FF K-1 = $3300 ($1000 more for FF)
...

etc... what would be your $ cutoff? (assuming a smallish-bodied FF Pentax with updated AF, at least equiv to D700 in performance, but a bit smaller)
.
Well, a ff with a 35mm isn't anywhere close to the APS-c with 31... And I think the 31 is an FA, not a DA, innit? Since you used the FA 35 f2 in your example, I'd have to say a more apt comparison would be the $2000 FF Pentax with the ~$200 FA 50mm 1.4.

But, if Pentax released a FF ~ the size of a K20D (They can integrate the BG, that's fine with me), for ~$2000, I'd buy it immediately (assuming that it's got more MP than the K-5, as for most of my work the K-5 isn't noise limited). All but one of my lenses are FF capable, I think. Over $2000, they'd have to convince me (I'd pay $500 for the viewfinder alone ) with more MP, better DR, lower high-iso noise, etc.
05-22-2011, 10:43 AM   #44
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I think a K1 + FA 31 would cost the same, and be in direct competition, with the equivalent Nikon + Canon offerings. Unlike them, though, there would be that je ne sais quoi... .
05-22-2011, 10:47 AM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
Well, a ff with a 35mm isn't anywhere close to the APS-c with 31... And I think the 31 is an FA, not a DA, innit? Since you used the FA 35 f2 in your example, I'd have to say a more apt comparison would be the $2000 FF Pentax with the ~$200 FA 50mm 1.4.

But, if Pentax released a FF ~ the size of a K20D (They can integrate the BG, that's fine with me), for ~$2000, I'd buy it immediately (assuming that it's got more MP than the K-5, as for most of my work the K-5 isn't noise limited). All but one of my lenses are FF capable, I think. Over $2000, they'd have to convince me (I'd pay $500 for the viewfinder alone ) with more MP, better DR, lower high-iso noise, etc.
Right, I was sticking to comparing the two lenses being talked about in this thread, but if you want to keep the effective FOV the same, substitute maybe the $250 FA 50 1.7 in place of the 35. But that's a larger question that quickly gets out of scope from what I was asking. (would prefer to keep the general "FF vs aps-c" argument from breaking out )

My question was more... Pentax's best prime (arguably) on aps-c vs. a very, very close equivalent on FF, for about the same price. You could shoot either FAs on FF, but a $1000 lens on a $2000, $2500 or $3000 body might be passing the 'affordable' threshold for a lot of folks.

At some point would you be willing to sacrifice some (maybe very small) degree of lens IQ to make an affordable combo on FF?

(If you'd rather keep the FOV the same in the consideration, substitute the excellent FA 50 1.7 for the FA 35 f/2.)



.

Last edited by jsherman999; 05-22-2011 at 10:55 AM.
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