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01-28-2012, 08:11 AM   #1
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FA 43mm Ltd to replace F50mm f1.7

The FA 43mm is a lens which has intrigued me for a while... it's the most affordable of the FA ltds, and many of the images I've seen on here and elsewhere have a nice look to them - good isolation and a warm colour.

I do have a DA35 f2.4 which I really like and would probably still keep, but am thinking of selling my Sigma 30/1.4 and Pentax 50/1.7 in order to get this fast FA ltd. The cosmetic advantages over the F50/1.7 are clear, but will the lens deliver nicer results?

I think I will prefer 43mm to 50mm in terms of FL, but the 43mm is beginning to stray a little close to the DA35mm (which I think is a great lens and prefer to the Sigma - although 'on paper' the faster aperture of the Sigma should be better for me I am not fond of the Sigma's bokeh rendering...)

Sorry, I realise this has been covered before, just thought I'd like to see if I could throw up a few new responses

01-28-2012, 09:14 AM   #2
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The FA 43mm has 8 aperture blades and might render out-of-focus areas more pleasing than the F 50mm which has 6 blades, but other than that I don't think you'll see any difference in image quality; both are great lenses. As for color rendition you can always tweak the white balance to achieve a warmer look.
01-28-2012, 01:03 PM   #3
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Practically speaking, you may benefit greatly by planning ahead and get what you really want or need because every trade will end up losing money. You have 3 very close FL primes and keep buying more. The F50/1.7 is a very fine lens and the FA43 has no clear advantage except the nice full metal body. Personally I feel the aperture shape hexagon and octagon are just the same practically. I would pick any good quality primes based on useful FL.

Last edited by wlachan; 01-28-2012 at 01:46 PM.
01-28-2012, 01:29 PM   #4
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i don't have the 43 but own the 40.

In term of FL, as Wlachan said, and i confirm, it is very close.

i really and strongly recommand you to keep what you have, and don't go for the 43 unless you've tested it. because if you sell everything and you are not happy, you'll be fuc*ed up !

01-28-2012, 02:47 PM   #5
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You are probably right that the FL and speed is a bit close, and perhaps the 'special rendering' is a bit overstated on these forums... I do have some M50 f1.7 shots that also show rather nice rendering!

Re losing money, well I always buy second hand and only at prices where I am sure I can recoup my costs. The only nightmare scenario for me would be ending up with all the lenses and liking them *all* too much to let them go, or simply not being able to make my mind up!
01-28-2012, 03:39 PM   #6
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I used to have the the 50mm f/1.7, whilst it was a great lens....the FA43 is a noticable step up in IQ.

35mm and 43mm however are too close too be used together in the same kit.
01-28-2012, 03:44 PM   #7
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I have one FA43 (not for sale, though) and had FA50 1.7....both very nice lenses, but i prefer rendering of FA43 more. Just out of curiosity, how much would you like for your Sigma 30?
01-28-2012, 04:22 PM   #8
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I think I'd want 275.00 GBP for the Sigma, which seems to be the going rate. It's a fairly new one, with the newer smooth EX finish. I like the Sigma 30 a lot but the DA35 gets used more due to its smaller size.

01-28-2012, 07:14 PM   #9
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One ring to rule them all - the FA 43mm. Sell the rest. If any, I would keep the Sigma 30/1.4 with the 43, for a slightly wider view, and faster if you need it. But you won't need a 35 or a 50 if you have the 43. (At least that has been my experience.)

Last edited by Nick Siebers; 01-28-2012 at 10:01 PM.
01-28-2012, 08:24 PM   #10
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I have both, and would never sell either by choice... The 43 is my "default" lens, and the 50 is nearly always on my wife's camera. I agree with other posters here that you will not get substantially different images with the 43mm. Why not go a different direction and consider the 15mm limited or another "different" FL?
01-28-2012, 10:06 PM   #11
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I don't have the F50/1.7, but I do have all the M's and A's (1.4, 1.7, 2).
The 43ltd is certainly the best of the lot.
Sharpness wide open and stopped down is better.
Rendering is subjective, so its a wash but the 1.7 does give a more hexagonal bokeh which shows up at times.
43mm is less tight on APS-C and at a push can be more easily used as a walk about lens (though I much prefer 35 and 24mm for this).
Indoors, 43ltd is again easier to use (don't know about homes in other countries which may be far bigger though).

So to me 43ltd is my most used "50" and worth every cent I paid for it.
01-29-2012, 04:09 AM   #12
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My only AF prime is the FA50/1.4 so I can't discuss those specific lenses, but I have some experience in the neighborhood. I have some rather nice sharp glass around 43mm: Kilfitt Makro Kilal-E 40/3.5, Meyer Helioplan 40/4.5, and Chinon 45/2.8. And I don't use them (or 35s) very much, because I just find wider (28mm) and longer (50-55mm) more comfortable. And of course nothing beats my K50/1.2!

If I had to dump all but three of the 60-odd lenses I have between 40-60mm, the keepers would be: K50/1.2, FA50/1.4, and Macro-Tak 50/4(1x). But I digress.

Suggestion: If you have a zoom covering 35-50mm, tape it at 43mm and see how you like the FOV, compared to 35mm and 50mm. (MY cheap F35-70 makes a good test bed for this sort of stuff.) And if you do buy the 43Ltd, remember that you aren't married to it. Divorce is cheap and easy. If it doesn't work for you, you can return it and try again.

Last edited by RioRico; 01-29-2012 at 04:25 AM.
01-29-2012, 04:54 AM   #13
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I will also iterate that from my experience the FA 43 easily replaces any fast fifty it is being compared to, and would render your DA 35 less useful if the DA 35 is not otherwise used as a knock-about prime. There is a brilliance in micro contrast and colour rendition the FA 43 produces that the 50mm lenses just cannot replicate. Sharpness is at least comparable between the fast fifties and the FA 43 at their respective apertures. I've never looked back with the FA 43 and find it worth the investment.
01-29-2012, 07:45 AM   #14
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I do have the F35-70mm which I make plenty of use of - in conjunction with a DA15mm - for general walkabout photography.

The DA35 and F50 are used for portraits - you know, the sort of shallow depth of field portraits which nevertheless include a bit of context. The DA35 is great for this although could be faster for my purposes. The F50 is plenty fast but I find rather tight.

DA35/2.4





50/1.7





As I said, I have a Sigma 30mm f1.4 which is on the reserve bench and I already have the ebay photographs taken - I find the bokeh rather coarse on that lens at certain focus distances (link). Close up, the background bokeh is sensational but the focal length is a bit wide for close up portraits (link).

So what is driving my interest in the 43mm is whether it offers a suitable combination of FL and bokeh/rendering for off the cuff portraits and shallow DOF shots, rather than its usability as a general purpose walkabout lens... oh, and the fact that one has come up at a reasonable price!

Last edited by ihasa; 01-29-2012 at 07:51 AM.
01-29-2012, 08:20 AM   #15
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Don't think anyone here can tell you what is going to suit you best because it seems like you are more than experienced enough (as your shots indicate) to know what you like and need.

For me the 30/1.4 is always in my street bag and the 43/77 combination are a great walk-round kit too. The 43 is brutally sharp - even wide open. However by far the best advice I can give is go and take a look at the FA thread on here and see if it gives you what you are looking for. Some great shots in there : https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/lens-clubs/59538-fa-limited-club.html
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