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03-10-2012, 07:23 PM   #16
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Well, I've 31 and 43, I use 31 for 60% of my photos and 43 for less than 20%. It all depends on how you see thing and what's your preferred focal length. It's best to go through your photos and see what focal lengths you have used until now.

03-11-2012, 01:54 AM   #17
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I've been using 16-50 2.8 for quite a long time to draw some conclusions on my preferred focal lengths. First, for indoors photos of my family, cats, dogs, flowers and close-ups, whatever... the FL of most keepers were between 41 and 48mm. So I think that 43mm would suit you perfectly for that kind of photos. BUT if I go outside I tend to use wider FL: 24-28mm for trees, cars, buildings, landscapes and other things which are bigger than the first group of subjects. So I think you probably should choose one based on the intended subjects and use cases (and based on what you mentioned, I think the first group is your intended subjects). I recently purchased 31mm for I thought it would be a compromise between the two most used FL I prefer but I now I have a feeling that 43mm would have been a better choice; it is not that 31mm is not good, it is a brilliant lens, but for the subjects I take photographs of more, 43 would be better.
BTW, I had already had 77mm (and it really shines in portraiture - head and shoulder shots) for nearly two years by time of 31mm purchase decision so I knew what to expect from the other two. After I got 31mm I found that I simply didn't want to mount 16-50 anymore because of its bulkiness. 43mm is the lightest and most compact of the three.... yeah, I convinced myself and I'll buy that 43mm soon
03-11-2012, 03:54 PM   #18
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The FA 31 Ltd is definitely better in all aspects than the FA 35 IMHO. Colours, sharpness at larger apertures, micro contrast and 3D effect are all exemplary in the FA 31.
03-11-2012, 05:15 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
The FA 31 Ltd is definitely better in all aspects than the FA 35 IMHO. Colours, sharpness at larger apertures, micro contrast and 3D effect are all exemplary in the FA 31.
I concur, it is a superlative lens. I have also noticed that the Pentax FA31mm f/1.8 ASPH has also developed a bit of a following amongst the Micro four thirds crowd, the reason for this is because of it excellent cost-to performance ratio especially when compared to Leica lenses which offer similar optical performance but at a substantially higher cost. The voigtlander 35mm f/1.2II is also popular but optically the voigtlander can't hold a candle the to the FA31 even when it is stopped down.

03-11-2012, 07:34 PM   #20
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I used to own voigtlander 35mm f/1.2 on m4/3 couple of years ago. It's a fast lens, 1 stop faster than 31mm ltd. But also 100g heavier, also like mentioned, it is very soft, even stopped down.
03-12-2012, 03:29 AM   #21
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Buy the FA43 is thats the lens you want. Save for the FA31 is thats the lens you want. Don't buy a lens wishing you'd bought another one.
03-29-2012, 10:56 AM   #22
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Thank you all for your input.

At the end I bought the 43mm, the 100mm macro was not the WR one. The 43mm I got is a silver one with serial number #0004338 Made in Japan.

Have to get now a silver filter, any recommendations?

I have to carry some tests, but with this lens, my thoughts that the autofocus of my camera is off came back... right now I just set +7 for this lens and it's close to manual, but I really think it's the body cause when I did some tests with the kit lens it seemed off too but I did not adjust it cause I wanted first to ask some friends if they have a lens cal tool to make it easier... anyhow have to make some tests without getting paranoid...
03-29-2012, 11:02 AM   #23
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Congrats, and forget the filter, you don't need one.

03-29-2012, 11:17 AM   #24
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One can see prime lenses either as supplementing the focal length range of a zoom or as providing superior IQ within the same focal length range. The latter approach is the one the I have taken, for the simple reason that I want to use my best glass in the range that I shoot the most. I have a 14 month old granddaughter, and I have found the FA43 to be the ideal lens for catching her as she moves about. I also own the FA31 and FA77, but the FA43 is my personal favorite. It is perfect for upper body and environmental portraits. It does not have macro capability, but life is full of compromises. That said, the FA31 is perhaps a better all-purpose lens. The DA35 Limited is, no doubt, very good, but it is not in the same league as the FA Limiteds, IMO.

At any rate, we Pentaxians are fortunate to have so many good prime lens options.

Rob
03-29-2012, 11:53 AM   #25
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Have to chime in for the 31mm as well - fantastic build and optics, but more importantly it seems to be a perfect 'normal' focal length. Recently, after a year or two of taking almost no photos, I dusted off that lens and my K-x and went for a walk around. It so perfectly matched my ideas that I lifted the camera to my eye and didn't have to move at all. Rarely did I miss not having a zoom - the 18-55 stayed in the bag.

David

EDIT: This is for APS-C cameras, but I guess that most of us are using digital anyhow.
03-29-2012, 12:48 PM   #26
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Ever considered the DA 35mm f2.8 Macro? It's bloody sharp, cheaper than either lens and wonderful in all situations.
03-29-2012, 01:13 PM   #27
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The 31 and 43 are very sharp at large aperture, but that is of marginal value in landscape photography. I suggest the Tamron 17-50/2.8 to replace the kit lens and give much better IQ, or a longer lens such as the DA70, Sigma 70, or Tamron 90.
03-29-2012, 05:08 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by robgo2 Quote
One can see prime lenses either as supplementing the focal length range of a zoom or as providing superior IQ within the same focal length range. The latter approach is the one the I have taken, for the simple reason that I want to use my best glass in the range that I shoot the most. I have a 14 month old granddaughter, and I have found the FA43 to be the ideal lens for catching her as she moves about. I also own the FA31 and FA77, but the FA43 is my personal favorite. It is perfect for upper body and environmental portraits. It does not have macro capability, but life is full of compromises. That said, the FA31 is perhaps a better all-purpose lens. The DA35 Limited is, no doubt, very good, but it is not in the same league as the FA Limiteds, IMO.

At any rate, we Pentaxians are fortunate to have so many good prime lens options.

Rob
I have a 7 months old daugther and I'm loving the high iso of the K5 and the fast 43 for making shots of her... don't like to use the built in flash. My idea is to slowly get also the 31 and 77, specially the 31, beside of those I would love to get the 15 and maybe the 21, I have to say I was about to buy the 21 the day after I bought the 43 because the shop had it could try it, but that day after it was sold already, actually some days earlier I was already shooting some landscape photos at 21 with the 18-55mm kit lens to get a feeling for it.

Regarding the 35 ltd macro, I was really thinking about getting this one instead of the 35 plastic one, but then I thought if I really want macro why not the 100mm.

The 31, is it really that good to justify its steep price? I mean, the 77mm is already 700 EUR, but the 31, 1000 EUR is really heavy IMHO.

Cheers,
03-29-2012, 05:17 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by civiletti Quote
The 31 and 43 are very sharp at large aperture, but that is of marginal value in landscape photography. I suggest the Tamron 17-50/2.8 to replace the kit lens and give much better IQ, or a longer lens such as the DA70, Sigma 70, or Tamron 90.
Yeah, I know, actually my initial plan was to get a D7000 or 60D with the 17-50 tamron 2.8 no VC I didn't liked either model so I finally wento for the K5 I just had the 18-55 kit lens option so I went for it. At that time I was undecided because for that focal range, there were people also suggesting the Sigma one. Anyhow be it as it is, I like to do landscape photography and for the moment I'm living with the kit lens, which for me is really good, comparing to other manufacturer kit lens.

My future plans include a 15mm ltd or a 17-50, 10-20 or 12-24 for landscape photography, which is something I really like, but for the moment, I wanted to have something *special* for shooting in interiors and in low light conditions, and I don't have so much time lately for early morning or late evening trips... see previous post.

Cheers,
03-29-2012, 06:55 PM - 1 Like   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by fmerges Quote
The 31, is it really that good to justify its steep price?

Pentax K-5 SMCP FA31mm f/1.8 Limited ASPH @ ISO 100 1/1250th f/1.8

Let me put it this way, there aren't many wide lenses that can produce smooth bokeh like that under those circumstances. The Pentax 50mm f/1.2 is the only lens that can beat the FA31 when it comes to bokeh, but the 50mm f/1.2 behaves more like a short telephoto on APS-C format.

Last edited by Digitalis; 03-29-2012 at 11:44 PM.
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