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06-04-2011, 07:26 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Chex Quote
Throw in a teleconverter and your well on your way.
Going back 30 years to my Mamiya Sekor film days. (Which I only really dabbled in) I remember teleconverters being rather bad. Maybe it was the one I had, but it really seemed to be light vampire. Are they any better these days?

06-04-2011, 07:28 PM   #17
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I just received mine, and it is *utterly* magical. I don't expect it to come off my camera much.

My instant conviction that this one's a keeper is pretty much totally inverse to my reaction to the vaunted 77mm, which I am having trouble bonding with... it could just be that I don't shoot a lot of formal portraits/headshots. seems weird to me to have a 'single purpose lens'. Sure, I love the build quality, IQ, handling etc - everything about the 77 screams quality like all the FA limiteds. But something just... niggles.

Maybe I'm just not a short tele guy? But then I loved (and still love, actually) my Zuiko 85 and 100, so go figure?
06-04-2011, 07:31 PM   #18
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The 100 macro isn't much of a telephoto lens, it's a dedicated macro and should be used for that purpose, or head shots. Not so good for birding for example.

QuoteOriginally posted by napawino Quote
What sort of quality could I expect from this lens. It's definitely not "upper tier".
Its optical quality is unrivalled for a consumer lens. Certainly sharp from wide open, but it's that wide open aperture that is the limiting factor. f/4 at 55mm and f/5.8 at 300mm. Slow.

But it can sure produce some stunningly crisp results:











06-04-2011, 08:06 PM   #19
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nice pics Ash!

06-04-2011, 09:52 PM   #20
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I think this issue really underscores the point of first finding what you like to shoot with the lenses that you have. As you said you are at both ends of the kit lens. Perhaps you need a 15 and 70 mm or 77 as was suggested. Simply buying what is said to be the best doesn't always work out. I rented the 31 mm myself. Though, I could see that it is a fine lens, I knew it was not a FL that appealed to me. I also have the 35 mm limited. It doesen't matter how great a lens is if it sits on your shelf. I would sell it. Think about what you like to shoot. I know it is not easy to sit back and take 6 mo or more to just shoot. You can save yourself from making many unnecessary purchases, though. Even an average lens that is used all the time is better than a great lens left at home.
06-04-2011, 09:54 PM   #21
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Ash: nice pics! I don't really like the longer lenses like the 300 mm etc. But, if I had a chance to take pics of Surfer Girls in action....

hope the guy on the jet ski survived.
06-04-2011, 10:42 PM   #22
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Coming back to the original post: you have a difficult choice, but you may need to think carefully.

I shoot a lot of outdoor situations, sometimes in places where I cannot get close. After nearly 2 years of SLR shooting, my favorite lenses are the DA18-250mm and the FA31mm Ltd. The DA18-250mm has so much flexibility, it is very sturdy and can cope with bad weather, and the IQ is good in its class. It may be the lens that you need.

On the other hand, the best prime for outdoor is the FA31mm f1.8 IMO and for my applications. The focal length (31mm) is spot on, not too wide, not too narrow. The lens is fast (f1.8) and definitely faster than the DA18-250mm. Importantly (for my work) the FA31mm generates very little distortion and it is perfect for architecture, construction and engineering, incl. forsensic shooting.

I think that you could consider to keep the FA31mm. It is an excellent investmetn and you are likely to come back to that lens one day (sooner than you think).

I hope that the comment will assist you.

Last edited by hcc; 06-06-2011 at 02:22 AM.
06-04-2011, 11:43 PM   #23
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IMHO (I own FA31 along with other FA limiteds) FA31 is the lens one shouldn't let go. On APS-C camera its field of view is roughly that of 50 mm (46mm or something like that, to be precise) with DOF of 31 mm lens and all the wonderful picture qualities that Pentax limited lenses have. It is relatively big and expensive. So, napawino, if you want something fast, sharp and with IQ second to none - keep it. If you're unsure but want a faster-than-kit lens for your low light shooting - you have FA 35/2.0 and DA 35/2.4. But I humbly suggest you simply mount your FA 31 on your camera and make yourself an exercise - go out and shoot with it exclusively for, say, a month. Then after that month you could review your photographs, your shooting and your gear.

06-05-2011, 12:10 AM   #24
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I couldn't imagine selling a 31mm Ltd, I would almost give my left nut for one... almost. I throw on my 28mm f3.5 and think.. well this will do for now.. but compared to my 43mm Ltd it's slow and soft, I would love a 28-35mm range lens that is tack sharp and faster than f2.8 and it sure is hard to beat the 31 Ltd with any other lens in its range. Besides for birding as long as your a fast runner you could get close enough to take a shot with the super sharp 31mm ltd and then crop it and it would probably be as good as a shot from the 55-300.
06-05-2011, 12:31 AM   #25
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OP: Spend your money on something you will use! The 31 is a nice and very good lens, but if you dont like it... dont try to...

My lessons has taking me through 15-20 lenses and im so happy i learned to let them go as fast as possible, not hanging on to reviews and what other people said.

Dont think! Just do it! Get the lens that fits you need and feel "just right" for you.
06-05-2011, 12:55 AM   #26
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If you're struggling to find a use for the 31 then I think that says something about how you see the world before you lift your viewfinder up to your eye: not at that focal length. No one can dispute the quality of the FA31Ltd but if the way it frames things feels alien, I don't think you should force it to work. I know for myself that I have no interest in ever picking up that lens, as I own the 35Ltd (my first lens) and quickly learned when I began adding more focal lengths to my collection that I simply do not find that field of view pleasing or natural to construct images in. You sound like you're in the same boat -- there's no shame in selling a great lens you won't use to finance a great lens you will use.
06-05-2011, 12:59 AM   #27
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If you can't return it for a full refund, I would hold on to it and give it a chance. The resell value won't change much so you won't really be losing money over time.

Who knows, maybe you might end up loving it.

Sent from my EVO 4G with CM7
06-05-2011, 02:15 AM   #28
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Well I think the 60-250 is a lot better then the 55-300, but then again, there is a pricetag. The price difference between 31mm and 60-250 overhere isn't that big that's why I brought it up (1139 euro for 31mm to 1249 euro).

If you are not going to use the 31mm, then I would sell it or trait it in for a lens I would use.

But it is still on my wishlist
06-05-2011, 07:08 PM   #29
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Its probably my most used lens - I use it mostly for full body shots.
06-05-2011, 07:29 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by napawino Quote
What sort of quality could I expect from this lens. It's definitely not "upper tier".
You are right that it isn't upper tier. But for 300-ish dollars you can see if you are really a telephoto shooter. I personally almost never shoot longer than 135mm (for which I have a 50-135. I do own a 55-300 for the occasional trip to the zoo and it does quite well for those times
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