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03-31-2012, 09:05 AM   #1
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Fa 35mm 2.0 versus Fa 43mm 1.9 limited

Looking for a good fast lens. I have read the reviews about some drawbacks of the 43mm wide open showing a good deal of softness other than that seems like a very good lens. The 35 mm appears to be better wide open but has some focusing problems again according to some reviews I have read. Sharpness is important to me as well as good color rendition. At present in this category I have the Fa 28mm 2.8 that is quite good but looking for something faster. For focal length I think I would prefer the 35 but either would do for indoor family pictures etc. Any thoughts or preferences. Thanks.

03-31-2012, 09:22 AM   #2
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Why not look into the F or FA 50mm F/1.4 - superb optic
03-31-2012, 09:48 AM   #3
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The 43 Ltd hasn't been called (by a photo magazine editor) "one of the best 3 lenses ever made", for nothing. I have not seen any softness in mine wide open (though of course it is even sharper, cut-your-throat sharp, stopped down). I don't have, and have not tried, the 35/2 but if the FL isn't an issue for you then the 43 is an amazing optic.
03-31-2012, 09:51 AM   #4
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The FA 35/2 has been referred to as the poor man's FA31/1.8 Limited. It is on my list of lenses I won't sell before blindness.

03-31-2012, 11:52 AM   #5
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Compare the PhotoZone tests done on the K-10 and draw your own conclusions.
03-31-2012, 12:05 PM   #6
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I love my FA 35/2, but you may not like the hexagonal bokeh. It is very usable at 2.0, but of course much better at 2.8-4. I'd love to try out a 43 though. Good luck with your decision.
03-31-2012, 12:14 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ric Quote
Looking for a good fast lens. I have read the reviews about some drawbacks of the 43mm wide open showing a good deal of softness other than that seems like a very good lens. The 35 mm appears to be better wide open but has some focusing problems again according to some reviews I have read. Sharpness is important to me as well as good color rendition. At present in this category I have the Fa 28mm 2.8 that is quite good but looking for something faster. For focal length I think I would prefer the 35 but either would do for indoor family pictures etc. Any thoughts or preferences. Thanks.
There's a problem. Typically lenses are at their least sharp wide open. If you think f/2.0 @ 28-35mm-ish is acceptable, perhaps the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 would be worthy of consideration.

Just a thought, but if the primary use of the lens for indoor family snaps and portraiture, absolute sharpness may not be critical for this application. A little PP can certainly enhance detail, and in many cases a slight amount of softness may actually be desirable. Just my $.02.

Edit: looking at the FA 35/2 lens reviews on this site, I'm seeing that the AF is generally praised.
03-31-2012, 12:24 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
Edit: looking at the FA 35/2 lens reviews on this site, I'm seeing that the AF is generally praised.
It is really a wonderful all-around lens. Perhaps doesn't meet the OP's specific need but I am surely glad that I bought one before Pentax discontinued them.

03-31-2012, 12:26 PM   #9
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Not an easy decision between those two. Some time ago I had both, I kept FA43. Both are very good, to me FA43 seems to have higher contrast resulting in more punchy photos, better bokeh and maybe a tiny bit more saturated colours. On the other hand it may be a bit softer wide open, but only marginally. Every fast lens is softer wide open. What really makes it tough decision usually is the price difference. While FA43 is really a expensive luxury, FA 35 is pretty affordable and very solid alternative. Also 35mm may be bit more universal focal lenght for you.
According to Yoshihiko Takinami tests...FA35 has more resolution on large apertures but FA43 is sharper stopped down, check this out:


resource: http://www.takinami.com/yoshihiko/photo/lens_test/index.html
03-31-2012, 03:03 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ric Quote
Looking for a good fast lens. I have read the reviews about some drawbacks of the 43mm wide open showing a good deal of softness other than that seems like a very good lens. The 35 mm appears to be better wide open but has some focusing problems again according to some reviews I have read. Sharpness is important to me as well as good color rendition. At present in this category I have the Fa 28mm 2.8 that is quite good but looking for something faster. For focal length I think I would prefer the 35 but either would do for indoor family pictures etc. Any thoughts or preferences. Thanks.
When I read your post, I thought of myself 2 year ago. I needed a similar lens and I bought the FA31mm f1.8. Two years later, I know that I made the right decision.

You seem in need of the FA31mm f1.8. If you do not have the budget, the Fa 35mm f2.0 is a decent performer with a great quality/price ratio.

Hope that the comment may help...
03-31-2012, 05:31 PM   #11
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If I could only have 1 prime auto focus lens between 20mm and 77mm, it would be the FA 43/1.9 or the DA 35mm/2.8 Ltd macro. However, I certainly wouldn't rule out the FA 35/2 or FA 50/1.4 (or F 50/1.4).
03-31-2012, 05:42 PM   #12
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I owned the FA 35mm f2 and still own the 43 mm.

The FA 35 gave me nice, sharp, beautiful images just like every other major lens maker out there. The FA 43 gave me images that breathed with a wonderful 3D quality that I hadn't seen before. It was tack sharp where I wanted my focus to be, and then soft and painterly in backgrounds just inches out of the focal plane.

The FA 35 was a wonderful example of crisp modern optic design and delivers superior images that any camera company can attain if they really try. The 43's got that pixie dust that only Pentax can deliver. Yeah, it's the pixie dust.

I sold the FA 35 on the forum and I'll keep the 43 for as long as I shoot.
03-31-2012, 09:32 PM   #13
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Their major difference is in focal length.
Both are sharp enough from wide open. I've never felt that my copy of the 43ltd was soft wide open, though it becomes much sharper even stopped down 1/3 stop.
I feel thats the same for my FA35/2 too.
FA43ltd, it tighter FOV in most situations. The FA35 is a bit more flexible as a walkabout lens due to the wider FOV.

The other notable difference is bokeh.
The low number of aperture blades for the FA35/2, does mean a more hexagonal OOF highlights and renderings, though it does not always show up.
03-31-2012, 11:15 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ric Quote
At present in this category I have the Fa 28mm 2.8 that is quite good but looking for something faster. For focal length I think I would prefer the 35 but either would do for indoor family pictures etc.
Besides speed, do you find the FA28/2.8 to be too wide for your "indoor family pictures"? Because 35mm and especially 43mm have noticeably tighter AOVs. On my K20D the AOVs are:
28mm - 53 degrees
35mm - 44 degrees
43mm - 36 degrees
50mm - 31 degrees
I shoot the squirmin' vermin (my grandkids) with manual-focus 35/2 and 28/2 and especially 24/2 lenses. DOF at 24/2 is noticeably thicker than at 35/2, making dead-on focus less critical.

And if I'm shooting a slower lens indoors, I just boost ISO a little. If you need thinner DOF and tighter AOV, then a fast 35 or 43 will be great. But just think of the trade-offs -- and the money.
04-01-2012, 06:31 AM   #15
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great comments thanks very much
Perhaps I will add I have the K-5 that I bought with the 18-135 WR lens also the Fa28 mm lens I mentioned and a DFA 50 mm 2.8 macro
Still pondering between the 35 and 43 mm both fast lenses but now with more information. More comments are welcomed. Again thanks.
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