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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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06-15-2011, 10:18 PM   #76
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FA31 is slightly better but not by much. Looks like most of the money is going towards build quality. Not that there is anything wrong with build quality of FA35.

06-15-2011, 10:26 PM   #77
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QuoteOriginally posted by selar Quote
FA31 is slightly better but not by much. Looks like most of the money is going towards build quality. Not that there is anything wrong with build quality of FA35.
There's probably more sample variation in both lenses than the differences illustrated by e.g. photozone. Certainly insufficient to declare a clear technical winner, even by a little bit.

Build quality is obviously a big win for the LTD, no question. And the FA LTD lenses have a certain mystique.
06-15-2011, 11:57 PM   #78
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I might find a new love in the form of the Samsung 30mm. looks to be much sharper that the FA35 at f2 and wider as well. pretty fits in the focal length that I'm looking for.
06-16-2011, 12:33 AM   #79
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
might find a new love in the form of the Samsung 30mm. looks to be much sharper that the FA35 at f2 and wider as well. pretty fits in the focal length that I'm looking for.
too bad that it is designed for the NX system and cannot be used on pentax K mount bodies. The samsung 30mm f/2 also has substantially higher distortion than the FA31 and it also isn't as sharp at the corners the FA31mm f/1.8 aspherical design goes along way. Also don't expect the kind of Bokeh performance the FA31 is famous for, the samsung lens has some hard edged bokeh.

06-16-2011, 07:09 AM   #80
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
I might find a new love in the form of the Samsung 30mm. looks to be much sharper that the FA35 at f2 and wider as well. pretty fits in the focal length that I'm looking for.
This statement puzzles me, as the FA35 f2 is very sharp wide open (Both from personal experience with my own copy and bench tests available online). Wide open, it's much sharper than the FA31, center and corner, and even at f4 it's only behind by a fraction of a percentage point. It's one of the main reasons I just sent back my FA43 and didn't ask for a replacement. It's too close to the FA35 in focal length and performance (and, while I wouldn't call the FA43 "soft" wide open, it's certainly not as sharp as the FA35 is, wide open); I think the money would be better spent on a DA* 55, for me.
06-16-2011, 07:43 AM   #81
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
too bad that it is designed for the NX system and cannot be used on pentax K mount bodies. The samsung 30mm f/2 also has substantially higher distortion than the FA31 and it also isn't as sharp at the corners the FA31mm f/1.8 aspherical design goes along way. Also don't expect the kind of Bokeh performance the FA31 is famous for, the samsung lens has some hard edged bokeh.
of course, I'm not getting it for the K-mount. although distortion could slightly be a problem, I'm not sure how Samsung could improve the distortion further by their in-camera software. in fairness, the distortion seems manageable and also better compared to the Sigma 30 which it's only issue that I don't like is it's corner performance. I'm not sure where you got the impression that the Samsung 30 isn't as sharp at the corners. but if we would consider the factors involved like camera system + lens resolution equivalence, the Samsung has a few more lpmm that isn't computed, plus it has already a very high resolution value. I wouldn't say it's not as sharp as the FA31 in the corners if it somehow performs like an FA35, except that the Samsung is already better at wide open. so one would say that the FA31 doesn't have good corners at wide openings aside from vignetting.
the only thing that is a weakness for the Samsung is it's bokeh. but I expect it to be like that since it shows some shade of the FA35. I could live by it I suppose. besides, I'll always have the 50/1.2 or buy a new 85/1.4 Samsung equivalent for that bokeh purpose.

although the FA31 is a dream lens, the Samsung 30mm with it's pancake size and price value of sub-300, makes it more of an ideal lens for walkaround.
06-16-2011, 08:24 AM   #82
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
I'm not sure where you got the impression that the Samsung 30 isn't as sharp at the corners. but if we would consider the factors involved like camera system + lens resolution equivalence, the Samsung has a few more lpmm that isn't computed, plus it has already a very high resolution value.
In the centre of the imaging field the samsung 30mm f/2 produces excellent results, but at the borders things fall apart a bit (but nowhere as bad as the sigma 30mm f/1.4) - that is what you are paying for with the FA31 -consistent performance across the frame - with reduced sagittal coma flaring and reduced spherical abberration courtesy of the Aspeherical lens design. And lets not forget flare/ghosting tolerance, the NX system has a shorter flange distance and which shorter sensor>mount distances ghosting can become a big issue because the rear element of the lens is so close to the reflective sensor cover glass.

Distortion isn't as big an issue as it used to be with digital correction - just expect to have a bit cropped out of your images due to corrective measures from RAW converters. So if you place something important to your composition in the corners it's best that you give some slack for the software correction to adjust the image without affecting your composition too much.
06-16-2011, 09:00 AM   #83
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
And lets not forget flare/ghosting tolerance, the NX system has a shorter flange distance and which shorter sensor>mount distances ghosting can become a big issue because the rear element of the lens is so close to the reflective sensor cover glass.

interesting that you mentioned this. I think I've read somewhere where Samsung managed this potential problem. there is something about how they designed to control or block the level of reflective light entering the sensor. I'm not sure how to explain it since it's in Korean. but there was a diagram showing something like that nonetheless. in fairness to the lens, it is somehow managed well in handling flares, ghosting and coma correction. maybe they can thank Pentax for that for sharing any knowledge and lens design from their partnership.

06-16-2011, 09:28 AM   #84
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
maybe they can thank Pentax for that for sharing any knowledge and lens design from their partnership.
yet Samsung slapped the "schneider kreuznach" label on the lens, if Pentax did have something to do with the design of that lens Samsung gave Pentax a kick in the teeth for it.
06-16-2011, 09:32 AM   #85
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
yet Samsung slapped the "schneider kreuznach" label on the lens, if Pentax did have something to do with the design of that lens Samsung gave Pentax a kick in the teeth for it.
you meant sucker-punched. ouch.
06-16-2011, 10:26 AM   #86
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
yet Samsung slapped the "schneider kreuznach" label on the lens, if Pentax did have something to do with the design of that lens Samsung gave Pentax a kick in the teeth for it.
But they did that with all their lenses. My D-Xenon 100mm f2.8 is indistinguishable from the Pentax D-FA 100mm f2.8, but it says "Schneider Kreuznach". Same with their 10-17 fisheye, etc. I figured it was a licensing issue, not a 'thumb in your eye' kinda thing.
06-16-2011, 11:18 PM   #87
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Nice, just managed to scrape past the 100 vote mark.
06-29-2011, 01:24 PM   #88
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fwiw, another lens to consider is the Samsung 30/2. although it's not a Pentax compatible mount, it is pretty much Pentax-like in terms of performance. bokeh-wise, the FA31 is unmatched, but in sharpness and contrast, the 30/2 seemed to look a bit better compared to either FA lenses. what really got me interested to this lens is the 30mm focal length which is close enough to my preferred FOV of 28mm, which I was missing dearly on my FA35mm. the 30mm seems to render more like the FA35 except that it's somehow an improved version (sharper and a bit more contrasty at wider openings) and is wider which I was looking for a walk-around prime lens.
06-29-2011, 04:46 PM   #89
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i couldn't care less about what the results say 'on paper' - the 31mm LTD is an experiential thing; it's how it feels in your hands as much as its 'look'.

i'm spoiled. i grew up with film cams in an era of all-metal construction. i expect and want that handling. so the price point is relative to that, to how it meets my needs in terms of what i want from the experience of photography. if you don't enjoy the process, the products don't mean jack.
06-29-2011, 05:25 PM   #90
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QuoteOriginally posted by zuikoholic Quote
i couldn't care less about what the results say 'on paper' - the 31mm LTD is an experiential thing; it's how it feels in your hands as much as its 'look'.

i'm spoiled. i grew up with film cams in an era of all-metal construction. i expect and want that handling. so the price point is relative to that, to how it meets my needs in terms of what i want from the experience of photography. if you don't enjoy the process, the products don't mean jack.
the handling (feel) is pretty much negligible for me as much as the comparison between the 3 lenses is concerned. although I must say that the only handling that I see that is good on the FA31 is with mf operation which is really nice. AF however is subpar. on the other 2 f2 lenses, the AF operation is great but not so much on the mf.

although optical performance and buid could warrant the premium that one is paying for a lens, right now it is pretty much the demand of the lens rather than the asking price (MSRP) it is asking for. I remember the time when the FA31 costs around $800 brand new and no one could even justify such price other than the company would want to run it's business. in fairness however, the FA31 full-frame lens is more or less unmatched by any existing 30mm lens of any brand.
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