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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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05-17-2011, 07:49 PM   #1
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FA35 vs FA31 shootout

As I dont have DA40, I thought I would do a shootout between FA35/2 and FA31/1.8 to see what forum members prefer. I have uploaded the full sized originals to skydrive, so that you can pixel peep to your hearts content. Photos were taken on a tripod, with lens facing the sun and shining through foliage as stress test and focused close to get the bokeh happening with an ugly background to tame, subject backlit as well. Photos were taken in raw and converted in CS5 without applying any lens corrections or editing the image n any shape or form.
I would be interested in your opinion. Please vote for your favorite and tell me why you voted as you did.

Link to album with full sized images:

FA35 vs FA31 - Windows Live

FA 31 @ f1.8


FA 31 @ f2


FA 35 @ f2


FA 31 @ f4


FA 35 @ f4


FA 31 @ f8


FA 35 @ f8


05-17-2011, 07:59 PM   #2
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If I knew nothing about the price I would say the 31mm. Colours look a bit brighter? I don't know the proper terminology but something about the colour is better, it is most noticeable in the leaves if the rose. Colours in the 31 seem to encompass a broader spectrum of brights and darks and all the colours in between.

That being said I don't think the 35mm is too far off.
05-17-2011, 10:12 PM   #3
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This is going very badly for the FA35, at the monent. Where are all the FA35 fans?
05-17-2011, 10:17 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by 1r0nh31d3 Quote
If I knew nothing about the price I would say the 31mm. Colours look a bit brighter? I don't know the proper terminology but something about the colour is better, it is most noticeable in the leaves if the rose. Colours in the 31 seem to encompass a broader spectrum of brights and darks and all the colours in between.

That being said I don't think the 35mm is too far off.
you probably meant contrast.

05-17-2011, 10:19 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by selar Quote
This is going very badly for the FA35, at the monent. Where are all the FA35 fans?
why did you say it's going very badly?
05-17-2011, 10:32 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
why did you say it's going very badly?
12 votes for FA31, 2 for 35.
05-17-2011, 10:33 PM   #7
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What I see is higher contrast in the FA31 images. Higher contrast rendering is sign of a high quality lens, but with digital images, contrast, both at the overall and micro level is adjustable. Indeed, lower contrast level can preserve information in a high contrast scene.

Some photographers enjoy getting good images without post-production, and that's fine. Some people enjoy finishing wood by mechanical polishing alone. Some people like to fight with one armed tied behind their back.
05-17-2011, 10:40 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by selar Quote
12 votes for FA31, 2 for 35.
oh that one. that is expected, so no surprise there. fans of the FA35 are people who can't afford the FA31 primarily, so given the option, they would prefer the FA31, including myself.

05-17-2011, 10:48 PM   #9
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In this shootout I see your 31 has more contrast than your 35. That's fair enough for this test, I suppose. I see that the 35 is 1/200@f4, the 31 1/250@f4. Comparisons like this are difficult; did the lighting change, or is the 31 1/4 stop slower? My 35 has much higher contrast than these shots exhibit, assuming your roses are backlit by direct sunlight in both images and your images are not adjusted in post. When I've shot images like that, (flowers backlit by direct sunlight) I had to reduce contrast to keep from blowing out highlights or dropping the dark areas into shadow.

I'm wondering, here with the images in front of me, where the "oof rendering" of the 31 is so different from the 35. The differences here seem apropos to the 4mm difference in FL; the 35mm has slightly greater blur in each instance in OOF areas - and I like its bokeh better - like this:

Click for large view - Uploaded with Skitch

As bokeh's quality is a matter of preference, not "objective", I can certainly understand that others might disagree; I'm just pointing out, as you asked, what I like and why I like it.

Anyway, thanks for this; you've saved me having to purchase a 31 to find out for myself. I want to make clear that I've never suggested that the 31 is not a great lens. I do think its cult status is a little overblown, but I do believe it's an exceptional lens, like most of Pentax's primes, and specifically their LTD series; Pentax's prime glass is the reason I chose the marque.

@Pentaxor - If money really meant nothing to me, I would own every LTD lens, because I love Pentax primes; but the reason I don't own a 31 isn't because I can't afford it. It's that if I were going to break loose a thousand dollars and buy LTD glass, I can get the 15 AND the 70 for the price of the 31, and my 35 serves me admirably; in this test, I think the bokeh is better, too.
05-17-2011, 11:10 PM   #10
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Maybe I should do a blind shootout and see what people pick. How much would I have to crop a 31 image to make it look like a 35 image?
05-17-2011, 11:44 PM - 1 Like   #11
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Looks like the FA shot has a tad more exposure, which can be confused for less contrast. What do the histograms look like?
05-17-2011, 11:45 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by selar Quote
Just wanted to show that its idiotic to use emacs when vi is available.
rofl. Emacs does take the hits for his name. Emacs, just change you're name to vi!


.
05-18-2011, 02:36 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
Looks like the FA shot has a tad more exposure,
The histograms look pretty much the same on all the shots. They are both FAs, I assume you mean the FA35.
05-18-2011, 04:40 AM   #14
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Was the 35 used with a hood?
05-18-2011, 04:56 AM   #15
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I voted FA 35mm based on this test. The FA 31 is showing a bit of an orangey cast in the bloom, I like the FA 35's simpler pink. I don't know which is correct, not having seen the flowers. I also find the FA 31 photos a bit too contrasty, imparting a harsher look. Bokeh is very close, I can find minor things I prefer from either lens.

PS This should have been a blind test. There was a thread on the other site where a random series of photos was posted, not the same scene, and people were asked to say which lens was used. No one could tell the FA 31 from the FA 35 photos, despite lots of verbiage about 3D and superior bokeh.
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