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10-17-2011, 04:07 AM   #31
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At web size almost anything looks sharp. But how big to you need your images? My FA31 does well enough for me wide open. Here's a recent wide open shot handheld at 1/6 (so probably not as sharp as the lens could be), with a 100% crop (16MP) insert.



Looks about as sharp as their test chart, but in practice this is good enough.

10-17-2011, 05:11 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gimbal Quote
I wish it where that cheap around here (Sweden) for some reason the better Pentax lenses are ridiculously expensive here, it's a $2000 plus lens right now. I could get three sigma 30/1.4 and still have money left.
or get a used FA31 .....i suppose that most of FA31 will be in excellent condition since most users will protect such expensive lens (certainly I do protect mine)
used one should be way cheaper than 2000$ (just insane price)
10-17-2011, 07:21 AM   #33
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I'm under the impression that they don't like Pentax at lenstip.com. The FA 43 mm ltd also gets a rather bad review...
10-17-2011, 09:57 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Davidw0815 Quote
I'm under the impression that they don't like Pentax at lenstip.com. The FA 43 mm ltd also gets a rather bad review...
Yes, those reviews are quite dissapointing....especially for FA43 which I like most from all limiteds i've tried. But I wouldn't go so far to say that they're biased against Pentax - see reviews for DA70 or FA77 (they even praise FA77 in Leica 75 review). So I believe they're trying to be honest.

10-17-2011, 02:38 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by kneonx Quote
Thats some nice colors going on in that picture love that pink hair!

But in all honesty, despite reviews, rants and pricing issues.
Every pentax fan boy will want/aim to own/use the FA31 once in their life, even if its just for a day.
If they don't they are either in denial, and this urge even exists in Canon Nikon and Leica shooters.
I agree there. It took me maybe around 5 years before I could get one, but it was always on the list from day one.

QuoteOriginally posted by Gimbal Quote
I wish it where that cheap around here (Sweden) for some reason the better Pentax lenses are ridiculously expensive here, it's a $2000 plus lens right now. I could get three sigma 30/1.4 and still have money left.
Really? Is it taxes or something? You could probably get a flight to New York and buy one around $2000... It would be a good way to test the lens out.
10-17-2011, 06:48 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by kneonx Quote
Every pentax fan boy will want/aim to own/use the FA31 once in their life, even if its just for a day.
That's precisely the forum-fed mass hysteria that impartial assessments like the Lenstip review help to counter.
10-18-2011, 01:00 AM   #37
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I hardly believe it helps to counter the mentality of it all Forum-fed mass hysteria, definitely While it may ultimately affect your choice to purchase it, I can't imagine anyone not wanting a lens with a reputed pixie dust 3d effect on their camera.
10-18-2011, 01:55 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by DirkG Quote
That's precisely the forum-fed mass hysteria that impartial assessments like the Lenstip review help to counter.
An impartial review has to look at more than just a few basic metrics to be complete. The lenstip review that I read regarding the 31 missed that mark by a wide margin.
It takes a more educated eye than they might have I suppose.

10-18-2011, 02:49 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
An impartial review has to look at more than just a few basic metrics to be complete. The lenstip review that I read regarding the 31 missed that mark by a wide margin. It takes a more educated eye than they might have I suppose.
quite correct, I also find their testing method for coma to be rather objectionable. I also find their use of the quaint term "detector" instead of the more commonly used and accepted Sensor, and rerferring to the FA31 as "quite elderly" is a bit of a joke: The optical design of the Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L* is almost 40 years old. I also find their contention that the FA31mm f/1.8 isn't really a "fast" normal lens - in the film days 55mm f/1.8's were considered to be fast and commonly accepted wisdom is that any lens with an aperture of f/2~ f/1.4 is considered fast, while f/1.2 ~f/0.75 is commonly referred to as a superspeed lens. The reviewers comment that the 31mm f/1.8 isn't sharp enough by f/2.8 tells me that their focusing technique is lacking, my FA31 is impressively sharp at that aperture and eminently usable at f/1.8 even on film, which is impressive. their argument that the Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 DX is a superior lens - especially when price** is taken into consideration is a bit misleading - in a direct comparison the nikkor 35mm f/1.8G DX is overshadowed by the FA 31 - even if you discount the differences in build quality between the two lenses. The thing that really kills the nikkor lens is it suffers from rather appalling amount of chromatic aberrations that seem to get worse as it is stopped down.


*in lenstip's review they gush on and on about the Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L while in their testing of the lens the reviewer fails to notice that the 35L never truly gets close to hitting the limits of the sensor's resolution on APS-C, or on full frame for that matter. However, in the FA31 review @f/4 the FA31's resolution at the centre of the image goes through the roof on APS-C format while the 35L @ f/4 on APS-C puts in a less convincing performance in the same area of the frame.


**there is a saying "after the sweet taste of low price is forgotten.The bitter taste of poor quality is long remembered" - although the price of the FA31 is hard to swallow, its quality will endure for decades to come.

Last edited by Digitalis; 10-18-2011 at 03:06 AM.
10-18-2011, 05:38 AM   #40
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Ok, I did fianlly have the time to have a look at his trhead properly and at the review too.
Here is what I thin:
To call 31 elderly design...well, what are 50s then?!? Comon, the lens entered production in early 21st century (2004 if I'm correct)! How much newer does it have to be to be labeled new design?!?
Sharpness wide open? Debatable. What is sharp for one doesn't necesarely have to be for other. Having said that, 31ltd is very sharp for 31/1.8 IMO. Definitely usbale (if you nail the focus!) And can get dangerous from 2.8 onwards (reveals too much portrait in details ). What I agree on is that there isn't huge diference between f1.8-2-2.2-2.5. Ok at 2.5 the is some visible diference but not as much as I'd hope for. Anyway, even if you look at the pictures the shot (namely the statue in the park) at f1.8 , they tell diferent story to the numbers they are providing. Also I have fairly hard time believing that there is such big diference between center and corner sharpness especially by f2.8. I find my copy to be one of the most uniform across the frame from the lenses I've shot (narrowly beaten by DA40, but beating 43ltd, DA*55 and easily FA*24).
Coma? Say what? Frankly, I don't care but would like to see what would these guys make of Cosina 55/1.2 in this respect
Fast enough? F1.8 is as fast as one needs these days shooting newer bodies in terms of light transmission. The DOF control is still very doable too, so I wouldn't say the lens isn't really fast.
Into the sun they are right, 31 fails miserably but it's not the first nor last, and definitely not worst lens to do so IMO.
Aberations can get annoying at times but again there are worse lenses.
Now given all this + size/speed ratio, build quality, fantastic OOF rendering (given it's a short lens)...and you want to compare it to 35/1.8G DX Nikkor? Please, don't make me laugh...

Price is diferent story. You US guys have to realise that lenstip guys are from Poland, where the lens would cost around 3x the average salary!!! So yes, for them it is uber expensive lens that they expect a lot from.

Regards
Peter
10-18-2011, 09:36 AM   #41
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Could someone elaborate on that European pricing issue? Why is the Pentax more expensive than any other lens? Wouldn't all of the lens prices go up regardless of the manufacturer? So if a sigma is $600 and a Pentax is $1000 in the USA, wouldn't it be the same ratio in Europe? So then the Sigma would be $1200 and the Pentax at $2000. If it isn't the same ratio then I would understand why it would be such a negative...
10-18-2011, 09:35 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by sjwaldron Quote
Could someone elaborate on that European pricing issue?
You should start from the assumption that in Europe every electronics item is more expensive and the relative ratios of prices have little to do with the US prices.
10-19-2011, 09:06 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
You should start from the assumption that in Europe every electronics item is more expensive and the relative ratios of prices have little to do with the US prices.
Do I have to work for it or something? I don't get all of the cryptic talk about it. A ratio or a difference is one regardless of the currency involved. If you mean that Pentax/Sigma difference is larger in Europe, then that's fine and it was my question basically.

A random site from the reseller list on Återförsäljare - PENTAX Nordic

Välkommen till Dustin home! - Hemelektronik på Internet
Pentax 31mm: 13490 kr
Sigma 30mm: 4994 kr
Difference of 8496 kr
So around 3 Sigmas could be bought for one 31mm.

Digital cameras, all other cameras and everything photographic from Adorama Camera
Pentax 31mm: $999.95
Sigma 30mm: $489.00
Difference of $510.95
So around 2 Sigmas could be bought for one 31mm.

So that being said, Sigma seems considerably cheaper than Pentax in Sweden.
10-19-2011, 10:13 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by sjwaldron Quote

So around 3 Sigmas could be bought for one 31mm.

So that being said, Sigma seems considerably cheaper than Pentax in Sweden.
And in neither instance is the Stigma a good deal.
10-19-2011, 11:29 AM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by sjwaldron Quote
I don't get all of the cryptic talk about it. A ratio or a difference is one regardless of the currency involved.
I was just saying that the ratios don't have to match. Like you noticed, you get 2:1 at Adorama, but 3:1 at that Swedish seller. The assumption that Sigma is half the price of the Pentax (or Pentax is twice the price of Sigma) won't carry over the ocean is what I was saying. At least, Pentax is consistently more expensive than Sigma in this comparison. But start looking at first party offerings and you may find weird things such as Pentax being more expensive than Nikon in some European countries.

BTW, the price of the Pentax at the Swedish retailer is $2000 vs the $1000 from Adorama. The Sigma is around $750 vs $500 in US. Both are significantly more expensive - the Sigma by 50%, the Pentax by 100%.
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