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09-08-2011, 11:37 AM   #1
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FA 31mm f1.8 or DA 40mm f2.8?

In planning my lens purchases, I have been lusting over the possibility of getting an FA 31mm f1.8. Probably have spent 6 hours reading the reviews here and elsewhere and the various posts in these forums. Best price brand new seems to be about $1,000 at B&H:

Pentax smc Pentax FA 31mm f/1.8 Limited (Black) 20290 B&H Photo

But, I recently noticed that the DA 40mm f2.8 can be purchased for $245 at Amazon:

Amazon.com: Pentax DA 40mm f/2.8 Ultra Compact Lens for Pentax and Samsung Digital SLR Cameras: Camera & Photo

Given that either lens would be my walk-around prime, what do you folks thing about springing for the $245 40mm instead of the 31mm? That seems like an incredible value --- 1/4 the cost of the 31mm. For less than $1,000, I could get the 40mm and also the DA 15mm f4.

What do you think? Do you think the 31mm --- admittedly better for the APS-C than the 40mm --- is worth it at 4 times the price?

Thanks!

09-08-2011, 11:49 AM   #2
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GET THE 40MM ASAP
A lot of us have paid close to $400 for that lens.
I should also note that 40mm ltd. is my favorite lens.
31mm ltd. is on my to-buy list, but I don't think that'll happen in quite some time since it's just so expensive (thinking of getting Sigma 30 instead).

Last edited by RickyFromVegas; 09-08-2011 at 11:58 AM.
09-08-2011, 11:52 AM   #3
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I've used neither lens so my comment is quite untainted by reality. BUT... I've read that while the DA40 is a fine lens (if a tad slow), the 31Ltd is regarded as one of the all-time great pieces of glass made by anybody, anywhere. You probably already know that on APS-C, 30mm is 'normal' and 40mm is a short tele. I have 24-28-35-37-40mm lenses, and the 28's seem the most natural on my K20D. So besides sheer quality, you get to decide which FOV you favor. Have you tried your kit lens (if any) at those focal lengths to see which works best for you? Good luck!
09-08-2011, 12:04 PM   #4
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I think you'd be insane to spend a grand on the 31, when you could get the 40 & 15 For similar/less money! Simple

I'm not knocking the 31mm, far from it, but it's not renowned for been a bargain. It's hardly like your cheaping out with the DA's either.

09-08-2011, 12:05 PM   #5
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I would opt for the 31mm, because I prefer that Field of View as my go-to "walking around" range. To me the 40mm, is a tad too long for 'normal' use.
Of course, I cannot afford the 31mm myself, so it's moot, LOL.
I think RioRico had some good advice. Leave your kit lens at 31mm for a week or two, then at 40mm for a week, and see which one feels comfy.
09-08-2011, 12:09 PM   #6
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I forgot to mention, my walking around lens is the DA 35mm LTD, and even then I wish it was a tad wider, in the 28-31mm range would be my ideal.
Of course, this is highly subjective.
09-08-2011, 12:13 PM   #7
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The DA40 is the sharpest lens I have.

But for a "walk-around prime," I prefer the DA21. 40mm is too long IMHO.

So instead of the FA31, you can have both DA40 and DA21, and still have some left over.
09-08-2011, 12:17 PM   #8
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I tried both. I like the 31 much more: the wider angle of view, the better bokeh, the better image quality. On the other hand the 40 is smaller.... And cheaper of course. Needless to say that I don't own a 40mm nowadays. Have a look at the DA 35s, both of them.

09-08-2011, 12:17 PM   #9
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Well the 31mm is on my wishlist, but the 40mm was my first prime. It is a wonderful lens, wich gives totaly different pictures then the 31mm. For that price, I say take the 40mm and buy the 31mm later on.

Made with 40mm:










It is a very versatile tool that is not intrusive and lightweigth if you don't want to carry anything else.
09-08-2011, 12:34 PM   #10
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40mm is sharp from corner to corner at 2.8.
It's good for many uses. I would say it's not a walk-around lens nor a portrait lens, but more of a hybrid.
Don't get me wrong, I use 40mm mainly for portraits. But to me, it has characteristics of both 35mm and 50mm. I ended up selling 35mm since I like images 40mm produced a lot more.
09-08-2011, 12:35 PM   #11
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How about the Sigma 30 f/1.4 ?? The only negatives I have heard about it is soft image in the corners, but who has anything in sharp focus in the corners when shooting at f/1.4.
09-08-2011, 12:49 PM   #12
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$245 would be an instant purchase, but the cheapest I see on Amazon is $392
09-08-2011, 12:50 PM   #13
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Wow. Quite a few great responses to this thread. Thanks to all who have responded so far. I suppose in the proper LBA spirit, I should get both, funds permitting.!

RonHendriks1966: I just have to say that I appreciate very much that you took the time to post the outstanding pics with the 40mm.

RioRico: Great advice. I will definitely take out my 18-55 kit lens and do just that.
09-08-2011, 12:53 PM   #14
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If you really want 30ish FOV and don't mind using MF, the K30/2.8 is an excellent alternative at $250-$300
09-08-2011, 12:58 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by allio Quote
$245 would be an instant purchase, but the cheapest I see on Amazon is $392
Argh! You are correct. They must have sold out of the ones that were $245. I should have jumped at the chance.

"He who would not, when he should, when he may, he shall have nay."

Oh well, back to dreaming of an FA 31mm.
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