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04-17-2012, 10:51 PM   #31
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Haw haw haw.

04-17-2012, 11:37 PM   #32
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04-18-2012, 03:21 AM   #33
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Mike Johnston certainly thinks the Ltds belong to "The Best (Autofocus) Lenses Money Can Buy".
04-18-2012, 03:34 AM   #34
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Only problem with that article is that its 10years old, plenty of new designs have been released in the last 10years from many companys.

Dont get me wrong, I love the FA ltd's and that article could still hold true it todays time, but it would be nice to see it updated/re-visted considering new lenses.

04-18-2012, 04:30 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by TOUGEFC Quote
Only problem with that article is that its 10years old, plenty of new designs have been released in the last 10years from many companys.

Dont get me wrong, I love the FA ltd's and that article could still hold true it todays time, but it would be nice to see it updated/re-visted considering new lenses.
I'd venture to say that there hasn't been that much change in the science of optics in the last 10 years. Electronics? for sure! we've now got SDM, HSM, etc, and all kinds of improvement in AF focusing, but as far as pure optics is concerned (sharpness, color rendition, CA, bokeh and etc); the science is pretty mature, and has been for a long while.

NaCl(for instance, most of the lenses people consider legendary are all fairly old ... across all brands)H2O
04-18-2012, 06:21 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by NaClH2O Quote
I'd venture to say that there hasn't been that much change in the science of optics in the last 10 years. Electronics? for sure! we've now got SDM, HSM, etc, and all kinds of improvement in AF focusing, but as far as pure optics is concerned (sharpness, color rendition, CA, bokeh and etc); the science is pretty mature, and has been for a long while.
Coatings have improved steadily, and have allowed the use of more elements for better correction.
At the same time, the resolution of modern sensors has created a need for better designs.
04-18-2012, 11:43 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
Coatings have improved steadily,
Is this true? I'm not saying it isn't and I'm not very educated about this. I recall Nikon had some fancy new "nanocoat" a couple of years ago, but I don't know if it was a real advance or not. Have Pentax (or other manufacturers) really made significant advances in coatings over the last decade?
04-18-2012, 02:51 PM - 1 Like   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by Todd Adamson Quote
Is this true? I'm not saying it isn't and I'm not very educated about this. I recall Nikon had some fancy new "nanocoat" a couple of years ago, but I don't know if it was a real advance or not. Have Pentax (or other manufacturers) really made significant advances in coatings over the last decade?
For a view from the dark side, see

Canon : Canon Technology | Canon Science Lab | Lens Coatings

"SWC (Subwavelength Structure Coating), developed by Canon, is a new type of technology that uses aluminum oxide (Al2O3) as the structural material of the coating in order to align countless wedge-shaped nanostructures only 220 nm high, which is smaller than the wavelength of visible light, on a lens surface. This nano-scale coating provides a smooth transition between the refractive indexes of glass and air, successfully eliminating the boundary between substantially different refractive indexes. Reflected light can be limited to around 0.05%. Furthermore, it has displayed excellent reflection-prevention properties not seen in conventional coating even for light with a particularly large angle of incidence. Currently, SWC is being used in a broad range of lenses, not only wide angle lenses, which have a large curvature factor, but also large-diameter super telephoto lenses, greatly reducing the occurrence of flare and ghosting caused by reflected light near the peripheral area, which had been difficult in the past."

or

us.leica-camera.com/assets/file/download.php?filename=file_1742.pdf

"Leica now uses a new technique, developed in cooperation with Leybold: the plasma ion-assisted deposition. (IAD: ion-assisted deposition). With this technique the heating and cooling stages are no longer necessary and the growth of the coating layer is not pillarlike but amorphous, producing a smoother surface. The technique basically consists of bombarding the target, which consists of the coating material, with argon ions, setting free atoms that are deposited on the substrate to form the coating."

04-18-2012, 03:13 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
I don't disagree with any of that. FA43 is a much better lens than the DA40. FA43 bokeh suffers somewhat compared to it's FA limited cousins <f/2.8, but that's no shame as the FA31 & FA77 are as good as it gets, well, actually my K50/1.2 likewise has superb bokeh and the equal of the 31 & 77.
Understood, but to me it seemed to me that you were lumping the FA43 in with the DA Limiteds. For the record, the FA43 is my personal favorite of the FA Limiteds, all of which are splendid.

Rob
04-18-2012, 04:09 PM   #40
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It's good to see so much love for the FA43, which I happen to think is Pentax's best lens. I can remember thread after thread in which I had to actually defend this lens against those who thought it was somehow inferior to their own favourites. As part of that process I posted a slew of shots with the lens wide open, to refute those who said it wasn't sharp. Thing is, it's sharp enough for the purpose given the small DOF. No-one shoots at apertures like that and expects anything any different. When we want corner-to-corner sharpness we stop down. I have never met a lens at that field of view that was any different.

However, the FA77 is possibly a more useful lens, given its focal length. For those who like the DA70, I must respond that I can see no magic in that lens, though technically it is fine. I now own no DA Limiteds. They're nice but haven't made the cut, for me. Besides, I like aperture rings.

As for other brands, I can see none that give auto-focus in such a small package, along with all the FA Limited rendering qualities we have come to love. I am not willing to carry huge monstrosities, and so I can't care at all about Canon and Nikon's best lenses. If I want big and bulky, I'm smarter carrying a camera with a larger sensor, or my 645N.

Since I personally don't need AF, a few other lens lines become contenders. I will not knock Zeiss on IQ but they are generally huge and expensive and impossible to find for Pentax anyway.

If we widen the field beyond what works with Pentax cameras, then there are quite a few options, including nice Olympus lenses and of course Leica. But I don't believe all the hype; in my experience the older Leica designs (that is, the ones I can afford) are good but not exciting. If I had eight grand I could get the 50mm and 90mm ASPH lenses and be content. Except that I would cringe each time I took them out of the box.

So, no, there are no equivalents to the FA Limiteds. Pentax would have been smart to continue this line, plus make them available in other mounts. But Pentax haven't always been smart.
04-18-2012, 05:13 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by Todd Adamson Quote
Is this true? I'm not saying it isn't and I'm not very educated about this. I recall Nikon had some fancy new "nanocoat" a couple of years ago, but I don't know if it was a real advance or not. Have Pentax (or other manufacturers) really made significant advances in coatings over the last decade?
Other than SP used on some lenses to repel dust and resist smudges and the Aero Bright Coating used on the DA* 55/1.4, DA* 60-250mm/4, and D645 24/4 there hasn't been anything from Pentax. The Ltd lenses all got the Ghostless Coatings on the rear element. The DA 35/2.4 AL also has Ghostless Coating.

Not much can be found out about the Aero Bright Coating. It is considered to be nanotechnology by Pentax.

QuoteQuote:
Adding the PENTAX Aero Bright coating on internal lens elements offers ultra high refraction index for improved light transmission with minimal ghosting and flaring
04-18-2012, 11:19 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
I think that you should have used the past tense, as that article by Mike Johnston was written nearly 10 years ago. Nevertheless, it is undoubtedly true that the FA Limiteds are amongst the very best autofocus lenses that money can buy, even today.

Rob
04-19-2012, 05:57 AM   #43
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thankz for all the responses and when taking into account the FA ltd i heard the new ones made in Vietnam does not have the pixie dust. i do have a FA 43 and its from Vietnam but don't know whether it has pixie dust or not because i haven't taken pics with a made in japan one .

here is one taken with the FA 43 in very low light. jpg with no PP

04-19-2012, 08:22 AM   #44
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Just a reminder, "pixie dust" is an effect that is seen on some occasions, not something built into the lens. Although it is definitely an effect caused by the lens element configuration.
04-19-2012, 09:08 AM   #45
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True pixie dust is only seen in Disney movies.
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