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06-08-2011, 02:47 PM   #106
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
mtf charts are on a piece of paper and essentially 2-dimensional. In a "real life" situation, this isn't often the case and many times subjects aren't going to be lined up on a chalk line to get them in the same plane. Basically, they are 3-dimensional. There is a reason that in the film hay-days some lenses were made for flat-field copying of documents on a document table.
Sure; most macro lenses are still 'flat-field' lenses and have very high sharpness across the entire "film plane". I'm not saying that every lens should be designed so, I'm just saying that in situations where I might CARE about corner sharpness, it's easier for me to map a straight line than guess at a curved field. An irregular arrangement of subjects doesn't mitigate this circumstance, as you can't predict where they will fall in the curved field, either.

I'm not talking about which is *better*; I'm asking why one would be considered "for real life", and the other *not for real life*? Real life doesn't fit a specific curved field any better than it maps to a straight line or a plane, and if I control the arrangement, it's much easier to map a straight perpendicular line than guess at a unique curved field, no?

06-08-2011, 02:50 PM   #107
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QuoteOriginally posted by robgo2 Quote
I don't think that we are in disagreement on anything. As I said, sharpness is not the only measure of lens performance and should not be considered in isolation from other factors. It may be the case that for some uses, sharpness is the top priority, but surely it should not the only one.
Fair enough, then.

QuoteQuote:
I was very clear that rendering preferences are a matter of personal taste. I happen to love the rendering of the FA Limiteds. I adore the combination of silky smoothness and extreme sharpness, which I believe is their signature. To me, that is beautiful. Other users may prefer different rendering qualities, and that is their privilege. If they want crisper, punchier images, then the DA Limiteds may be a better choice. Different strokes for different folks. I just got my first DA Limited, a DA15. I like it very much, but it is a different species than my FA Limiteds.
Rob
I sold a DA70 to get my FA43. It was sharp, but aside from a third of a stop and compactness, it didn't offer much advantage over my DA* 50-135. Nice, but as you say, a different animal. I'm still getting to know the FA43, but so far I like it quite a bit; certainly more (most of the time ) than my FA50.
06-08-2011, 02:52 PM   #108
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Aha!
They need to develop a 3D test chart for the FA ltds to ascertain the 3D qualities of the lenses!
runs out the door to see patent attorney . . .
06-08-2011, 02:57 PM   #109
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
Yes this is about it. Also depends on how you view photography. I would imagine, for instance, that I have a very different way of looking at what a lens should be, because I love processing RAW. It's half of the fun for me. For others, they might want something that would work well with JPEG. In that case, the FA ltd colours matter a lot more to them. Etc.

I don't find the colours of the 50 muted, but you do have to stop it down and be aware of flare. The 43 certainly has more colour pop (and the 40 has even more).

The colours I get from my DA 15 are AMAZING. The DA limited line has the colour thing going for it, for sure. At the same time, though, I do like the look of old glass - colour there isn't bad, just less *accurate*.

K55 1.8

Attachment 93961

But that's the real fun of it all, isn't it? Choices choices choices.
'Zackly. Like choosing a brush to paint with. Or a roller. Or a Wagner Paint Crew.

And you're right; I mean 'muted' when compared to the FA43 or the DA* 50-135, or the DA35 or the DA70 or the FA35. It's not like the lens is color-flat; Pentax lenses all have excellent contrast and saturation in my experience, when compared with other manufacturers, on slide film (where that stuff really matters; on digital, it just makes me feel good )

06-08-2011, 06:39 PM   #110
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QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
Fair enough, then.



I sold a DA70 to get my FA43. It was sharp, but aside from a third of a stop and compactness, it didn't offer much advantage over my DA* 50-135. Nice, but as you say, a different animal. I'm still getting to know the FA43, but so far I like it quite a bit; certainly more (most of the time ) than my FA50.
The rendering quality of the FA Limiteds is unique and, to my eye, very beautiful. I am convinced that the majority of people who demean those lenses have never actually used one for any length of time. That said, I can certainly understand how some people may prefer the punchier rendering of the DA Limiteds. I find it a bit less life-like, but it is a matter of personal taste. They are fine lenses, without a doubt. I have no personal experience with the FA50, so I do not feel qualified to say much about it.

Rob
06-08-2011, 06:43 PM - 1 Like   #111
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QuoteOriginally posted by robgo2 Quote
I am convinced that the majority of people who demean those lenses have never actually used one for any length of time.
You might be mistaking a critical cost-benefit analysis as "demeaning" in many cases.

Just a thought. You arent the only one who makes that mistake.
06-08-2011, 06:50 PM   #112
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
You might be mistaking a critical cost-benefit analysis as "demeaning" in many cases.

Just a thought. You arent the only one who makes that mistake.
Nope, that is not what I meant at all.

Rob
06-08-2011, 07:10 PM   #113
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QuoteOriginally posted by robgo2 Quote
The rendering quality of the FA Limiteds is unique and, to my eye, very beautiful. I am convinced that the majority of people who demean those lenses have never actually used one for any length of time. That said, I can certainly understand how some people may prefer the punchier rendering of the DA Limiteds. I find it a bit less life-like, but it is a matter of personal taste. They are fine lenses, without a doubt. I have no personal experience with the FA50, so I do not feel qualified to say much about it.

Rob
Well, I like 'em all, and if I could afford it, I'd have 'em all. To me it would be like... "I feel like an FA50 today." and "Y'know, that FA31 would really be the lens for this scene" - because I absolutely believe each lens has unique 'rendering' - with 'rendering' defined as "a combination of sharpness, contrast, saturation, acuity, bokeh, and OOF imaging".

06-08-2011, 11:39 PM   #114
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
To Boris:

I agree with you on almost everything. I personally like the smoothness of the FA 50, don't much value corner sharpness (if I really need it, just stop down), don't really like busy rendering, and think that pop has just as much to do with DOF control and lighting as it does with sharpness. But these are my personal convictions, and others feel very differently. I'm not exactly a good photographer, so I simply seek to understand both sides, rather than discredit their preferences. Some of the talented photographers here do wonderful things with the FA ltds., so they clearly aren't *bad*.
If you understood me in a way that I was trying to attack or demean FA ltds in general and FA 43 in particular, then you got me all wrong. What I was trying to say is that:

1. One is better of by knowing why they want a specific tool, be it a lens or a flash or whatever.

2. Having followed the crowd so to say, I did have a phase where I thought that FA ltds would make my pictures better by being the top of the top Pentax had to offer at the time. That was wrong on many levels. Eventually I grew to appreciate these lenses to some extent, but certainly not fully or completely.

QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
However, I do tend to ascribe talent more to photographers then to lenses, so I would suggest that the FA ltds are good enough lenses that they don't snuff out the talent of a good photographer. As far as the lenses making them *better* I would suggest that this is such a personal decision (based on preferred rendering, focal length, etc.) that trying to nail it down to a specific lens is pretty challenging (esp. for a prime).
I totally subscribe to the notion that lens is a tool and if a person holding that tool knows how to take advantage of it - it is all for the better. The opposite however is usually not true. Give me a view camera, and I will screw up royally.

In fact, I know few people (albeit virtually) who would say that FA 43 is one of the hardest lenses to "cook" - to be able to take full advantage of its capabilities both at time of shooting and at time of post-processing.

QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
The only time I speak up is when members of the FA ltd cult advise newbies to spend a bunch of money on an FA ltd or two when they really would be better off with a good beginner's lens like a zoom or budget prime (i.e., DA L 35 f2.4).
Indeed. A cult is the right word here. I sincerely hope that my having all three FA ltd does not make me automatically a member of that cult. If so, I have to denounce it all the way through.

In a nutshell - there're two major reasons why people buy lenses that I am familiar with:

1. Toys. Everyone likes toys and as a proverb goes - "The difference between men and boys it the price of their toys"... So, it is just as good as any other reason to buy oneself an expensive lens, a watch, a car, a yacht, etc...

2. Tools. If one knows why certain lens will solve a specific problem one's having - power to them.

The biggest deal here is to be honest with oneself...
06-09-2011, 01:17 AM   #115
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I do not have FA43, but took a few comparison shot between FA77Ltd & FA50 to see how FA50 compares to a Ltd lens. The morning lighting was changing so fast, so not sure how valid the comparison is but nevertheless, here are a few snapshots.

FA77 @f2


FA50 @f2


FA50 @f2.8


F77 @f2.8

Last edited by yusuf; 06-09-2011 at 01:31 AM.
06-09-2011, 06:16 AM   #116
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QuoteOriginally posted by yusuf Quote
I do not have FA43, but took a few comparison shot between FA77Ltd & FA50 to see how FA50 compares to a Ltd lens. The morning lighting was changing so fast, so not sure how valid the comparison is but nevertheless, here are a few snapshots.

FA77 @f2


FA50 @f2


FA50 @f2.8


F77 @f2.8
huh. Those first two look to me like they're swapped (FOV and DOF).
06-09-2011, 06:23 AM   #117
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Mostly an issue of DOF w.r.t. sharpness in these photos, because the FLs are so different.
06-09-2011, 06:59 AM   #118
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QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
huh. Those first two look to me like they're swapped (FOV and DOF).
May be I need to understand your comment better. However, these pics are certainly not swapped. I was just trying to capture same FOV and hence need to push back with FA77 compared to FA50
06-09-2011, 07:12 AM   #119
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QuoteOriginally posted by yusuf Quote
May be I need to understand your comment better. However, these pics are certainly not swapped. I was just trying to capture same FOV and hence need to push back with FA77 compared to FA50
It wasn't an accusation, just an observation. If you look at the second pair, at f2.8, there is clearly more blur on the back leaves on the 77 than there is on the 50; at f2, the situation seems reversed. The colors reverse, too; in the first set (77,50, f2) the 77 shows less exposure and more saturation, while the 50 is warmer, and that reverses in the second set (50,77, f2.8) as well. I find the result puzzling and counter-intuitive.
06-09-2011, 07:37 AM   #120
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QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
It wasn't an accusation, just an observation. If you look at the second pair, at f2.8, there is clearly more blur on the back leaves on the 77 than there is on the 50; at f2, the situation seems reversed. The colors reverse, too; in the first set (77,50, f2) the 77 shows less exposure and more saturation, while the 50 is warmer, and that reverses in the second set (50,77, f2.8) as well. I find the result puzzling and counter-intuitive.
oh okay I agree but may be you missed that part where I said light was changing fast between the shots as clouds moving.
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