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04-07-2012, 10:24 PM   #1
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FA 43mm limited or DA*55mm

With my 77 limited virtually in my possession I'm already thinking of my next lens.

I love my M 50mm 1.7 but I am starting to discover its flaws and I have also started to learn more about myself as a photographer... so I want to upgrade this focal length.

I am worried about the 43mm as its close to my 40mm day limited which I do not use as often as I'd like, mostly due to the max 2.8

So ive seen the photos and read the reviews. I cannot go wrong with either lens. So.... here's the question....

Which one auto focuses faster?

I would love a lens that can keep at locked on a constant moving subject... and do it quickly. It would be best if its a Pentax lens in this focal length range... but I'm open to third party.

04-07-2012, 10:34 PM   #2
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If you have a DA40mm and FA77mm, the 43 mm lens does add much to your line-up and its purchase does not make sense IMHO. The DA*55mm would be a more sensible choice. Another MF alternative could be the Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f1.4. Both DA*55mm and VL58mm are fast lenses with excellent IQ and they would be complementing nicely your DA40mm.

Food for thought....

Last edited by hcc; 04-08-2012 at 03:05 AM.
04-07-2012, 10:44 PM   #3
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I liked the DA 40 fine, but I sold it because I preferred my FA 35/2.0 and it seemed redundant to me. I'm really interested in getting the 43 at some point. It's supposed to have pixie dust in spades, and I love the renderings I've seen.
04-07-2012, 11:11 PM   #4
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This is why I'm worried more about AF speed. If the 43mm wins vs the 55mm for AF speed, then I would sell of my DA 40mm to get it. Especially because I prefer the depth of field and low light abilities of a 1.4-2.0 stop lens.

04-08-2012, 02:05 AM   #5
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The FA43 AF is faster than the DA*55, but the DA*55 AF is far more precise

Im not a sports shooter but Ive never felt that the DA*55 AF was too slow.

Fastest enough for these shots-
f/1.8


heavy crop at f/1.8-


f/1.4-
04-12-2012, 01:28 PM   #6
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You'll end up selling the DA 40 if you get the FA 43 since you'll be looking at using it at the wide apertures a lot. Just be aware that the focus throw of the FA 43 is slightly longer, which makes its AF a little slower than the DA 40's.
04-13-2012, 03:14 AM   #7
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I have sold my FA77 for the DA*55. After some fine tuning and getting used to, I really enjoy the 55 mm lens - a lot. The AF is silent, not extremely fast, but typically we are talking about small adjustments and not the speed from infinity to close range. The 55 shares shares a filter size with the FA31. The 55 is weatherproof, focus override, ... The only disadvantage over the 43 mm lens is that the 55 is larger. I would not buy into outdated technology available in FA lenses like the 31/43/77 or even older ones. I do keep my FA31, but would be happy about a redesign. You already have the DA 2.8/40 so size should not be a problem here.
04-13-2012, 03:49 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by zapp Quote
I have sold my FA77 for the DA*55. After some fine tuning and getting used to, I really enjoy the 55 mm lens - a lot. The AF is silent, not extremely fast, but typically we are talking about small adjustments and not the speed from infinity to close range. The 55 shares shares a filter size with the FA31. The 55 is weatherproof, focus override, ... The only disadvantage over the 43 mm lens is that the 55 is larger. I would not buy into outdated technology available in FA lenses like the 31/43/77 or even older ones. I do keep my FA31, but would be happy about a redesign. You already have the DA 2.8/40 so size should not be a problem here.
Have you experienced the same focusing problem as the number of 55s reviewed by dpreview? How reliable is the SDM in the *55?

I believe the correct term is "weather resistent" not "waterproof" :ugh:

04-13-2012, 04:50 AM   #9
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As the others said, the FA 43 focuses faster than the DA *55, but slower than the DA 40 (which is about the fastest focusing lens Pentax makes). That said, I prefer the DA 55 to the FA 43 as far as rendering from f2 on. At f1.4, you have to be careful of the background. It can get pretty busy with lots of circles in it.

My kids at f1.4.


Last edited by Rondec; 04-14-2012 at 09:17 AM.
04-13-2012, 07:42 PM   #10
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I loved the DA 40, but found its max aperture too slow. The FA43 was a perfect replacement/ upgrade. Image quality is different, but no worse, and sometimes better.

(I may not have actually found f/2.8 limiting, but knowing I had other faster lenses I would sometimes not take the 40 even though it usually gave the best IQ. Now I just take the 43.)
04-21-2012, 06:51 AM   #11
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Thanks nick. I got a similar situation with my DA 40 now. I just end up taking the m50 because its faster.

What I might do is just get the FA50 F1.4 until I can save enough for the 55mm* as i got some projects coming up where I could use such a lens with AF.

This week I've booked three weddings.... they will be my first. I've also booked a children's photo shoot and two local bands. With only two paying gigs (holiday photos and archetectute) I'm pretty nervous. But very excited to use my new 77 on those shoots!
04-21-2012, 08:39 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by chesebert Quote
Have you experienced the same focusing problem as the number of 55s reviewed by dpreview? How reliable is the SDM in the *55?

I believe the correct term is "weather resistent" not "waterproof" :ugh:
A lot of trouble in low light situations. The focus (camera confirms focus) is completely off. Under normal light or in range of the focus assist light, no trouble. SDM is silent, the AF of the 77 is LOUD.
I keep the DA21/40 as tiny combo for travel. The 55 is my portrait lens - taking up about the same bag space as DA21/40. I would really like to see a weather sealed 24 mm with large apeture, SDM focus and 58 mm filter thread.
04-21-2012, 09:52 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by chesebert Quote
Have you experienced the same focusing problem as the number of 55s reviewed by dpreview? How reliable is the SDM in the *55?

I believe the correct term is "weather resistent" not "waterproof" :ugh:
I was unable to find a copy of the DA*55 that could focus consistently, and it wasn't for lack of trying.

To the OP, the FA43 is absolutely wonderful. If you get it, you will soon be putting your DA40 up for sale, as many others have done.

Rob
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