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12-11-2011, 01:14 AM   #1
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FA 31 or DA 21 + FA 43

Hi there,

First, sorry if the discussion already exists but I could'nt find it (links would be great if it does !).

Here's my question : what would you do if you had the choice between DA 21 + FA 43 or just FA 31 ? Prices are close on the marketplace...

The thing is, I prefer 30ish FL. But I also like the possibility to play with thin DOF and great bokeh, maybe the 43 is better for this purpose, at least with no close focus subjects ??
Your opinions may be helpful !

Thanks, Rez

12-11-2011, 01:22 AM   #2
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2 lenses instead of 1.
12-11-2011, 01:36 AM   #3
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FA 31 will give you thin DOF, great bokeh and 31ish focal length.
All in one lens.
12-11-2011, 01:50 AM   #4
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I only have FA 31..
I took it to Malaysia, Singapore and Korea...
Fantastic lens and i love it.. It kills all my LBL..

But it's what you like that is important. I shoot 90% of my photos with 50mm on Full Frame, so 31 on Pentax is perfect for me...

12-11-2011, 05:14 AM   #5
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Let's start with the lenses in your profile
DA-L35/2.4; doesn't that fit the bill for 30ish?
M50/1.7; doesn't that fit the bill for shallow DOF?

So the question is what you want to achieve? The magic of the limiteds? Expansion of your prime range? Better IQ?

In my opinion one needs one lens that can be one's daily walkaround prime lens. For me the FA31Ltd fills that requirement (wide enough and long enough). You say you prefer 30ish, so if the DA-L35/2.4 does not fit your requirements, there is only one option

If you want to expand your focal range, the DA21Ltd is an obvious choice (if you need wider). I don't think the FA43Ltd will fit your current setup; I would rather expand with a DA70Ltd or FA77Ltd.

Just my thoughts. I shoot with a FA31Ltd mainly (over 90%). I use a DFA100WR if I want to zoom in a bit or for macro; the gap is huge but I can work around it most of the time; if not, I use my M50/1.7 as a gap filler. My kit lens gets occasional use when I'm asked to do 'reporting' (about twice a year).
12-11-2011, 05:29 AM   #6
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31 kills 43 in OOF rendering. Pushed close enough will give you DOF thin enough (although for really thin DOF you would need lens either substantially longer than 31 or 43 or faster). If 30 ish is your favorite FL just go for 31. You can get 50 later to compliment it..

My 2p
12-11-2011, 06:54 AM   #7
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Rez already has a M50/1.7
12-11-2011, 06:58 AM   #8
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I'll agree with the consensus and recommend the 31. It took me a little while to warm up to it, but now it lives on my camera because it always seems to be "just right." As a bonus, it seems to be the most accurate lens in my bag when it comes to AF. I have micro-adjusted it, but it didn't need much and now it is astounding how well this thing nails focus on my K5. I know of at least one other user here who noticed the same thing about his 31.

The 43 is also a very desirable lens for it's sharpness and rendering, the 21 perhaps a little less so, but neither is the "all-rounder" that the 31 is.

12-11-2011, 07:03 AM   #9
Rez
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Thank you all for the advices.

QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
Let's start with the lenses in your profile
DA-L35/2.4; doesn't that fit the bill for 30ish?
M50/1.7; doesn't that fit the bill for shallow DOF?
So the question is what you want to achieve? The magic of the limiteds? Expansion of your prime range? Better IQ?
The magic of a FA limited and better IQ : Yes.

Actually, I look for a special rendering. I started with a DA 35 macro that I kept 4 days ; I really liked the rendering in close focus and the build quality but it wasn't sharp at all for landscapes, even at f11 (I thought it was a versatile lens...). So I changed for the DAL. It's sharp but I think it lacks something.
According to what I saw on the "FA limited club" thread (aka the LBA trap ?), the "pixie dust" that many people here talk about is not legendary, it's real... I like the pictures I get with the DAL, but...

So the choice is done, 31 it is ! Thanks again.
12-11-2011, 07:20 AM   #10
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I think that with 31mm you can do anything you like. Buy 15mm an 70mm (or FA*85mm) and your set in very nice complete.
12-11-2011, 07:31 AM   #11
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I'll keep that in mind... time to fill the hole. For now, it's the hunt of a used copy.
12-11-2011, 07:32 PM   #12
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I am running on a FA*24 and FA43ltd combo.
They compliment each other rather well. The FA*24 is just nice for me as a walk around lens.

That saying I have a FA35/2 as well, and its probably does a bit of the work of both the FA*24 and 43ltd.
A bit of wide (not much though) for general stuff and can do a bit of close up (35mm min focus), really sharp and adequate DOF control.
Sort of a jack of all trades, since its a 50mm equivalent on APS-C
Its more 'normal' in focal length.
Where its lacking are 2 things.
Not as wide a FOV compared to 24mm for landscapes and environmental portraits
Not as tight for portraits when the environment is not needed (or a distraction).


Given a choice, I'd probably take the 21; 43 and maybe a cheap DA35/2.4
12-12-2011, 07:07 AM   #13
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Given that you already own a 35mm, I would likely go for the 21+43 combo if I was in your shoes.
12-12-2011, 05:33 PM   #14
Rez
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I thought about it but with this option, I'm afraid not to use the 43 enough. The FL is maybe a bit awkward for me.

It sure would be interesting to complete my primes combo but I prefer get a very good lens in the FL I'd use the most. Perhaps I'll sell the 35 and M-50 (I'm not satisfied with the colors, maybe the coating has not aged well) and get something better between 50 and 85 later.
12-12-2011, 07:17 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rez Quote
I thought about it but with this option, I'm afraid not to use the 43 enough. The FL is maybe a bit awkward for me.

It sure would be interesting to complete my primes combo but I prefer get a very good lens in the FL I'd use the most. Perhaps I'll sell the 35 and M-50 (I'm not satisfied with the colors, maybe the coating has not aged well) and get something better between 50 and 85 later.
If you end up being as taken with the 31 as most others are, the 77 will seem a natural choice for your second lens, and a fine choice it would be.
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