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04-17-2012, 05:59 PM   #1
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Choices, choices....43mm ltd or 77mm ltd

I am heading off to Key West next month and with my tax return in the bank I got some extra cash to spend on a new lens to take with me.

I have been looking at threads, pictures, and still going back and forth on the limiteds. My setup so far is Sigma 24-60 2.8, kit lens, 70-300, and flash. Would love to jump on the limited train just can't get myself to pick one. Now after my trip I would definitely want this lens to keep me busy so I will give what my usual shooting I do. I love taking pictures of my family and friends, we are a crazy bunch and party often indoor and outdoor (weather permitting). Sports, I am a volunteer coach for cross country and currently track so for both those sports you can get pretty close (about 3 feet average). Landscape, not as often as the other two but get the urge once in awhile to go out (mainly just to get some new pictures on the wall besides portraits).

So any advice to which limited might be more suited for my style? I actually would be open to other possibilities but every time I see pictures that people take with their limiteds I just stare with how gorgeous so many of them turn out.

04-17-2012, 06:08 PM   #2
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Definitely the 43, IMO. The FA77 is my favorite Pentax lens, but I am a portrait shooter. For vacation pics, indor pics, and close-vantage sports like you describe, the FA43 will be awesome.
04-17-2012, 06:34 PM   #3
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I have neither the FA3m nor FA77mm , but the FA31mm and a few more primes. First let me say that I fully endorse your decision to go for a FA Ltd. They are great lenses IMHO and the FA31mm Ltd is brilliant.

If you want to shoot sports and portraits, I would recommend the FA77mm Ltd. I think that it complement your own lenses and the focal length may be more useful.

I shoot sports (VB, swimming) including being able to get close (next to sidelines). I have used a range of primes incl.a 58mm, a 85mm, a 90 mm and a 125mm. I would say that 58mm is to wide and 85mm is usually the best choice for me. This leads me to my suggestion for the FA77mm.

I hope that the comment may help.
04-17-2012, 06:38 PM   #4
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Some qood examples using the wording to describe the types of pics you take. The stats first...

The Pentax FA 43mm f1.9; I believe it retails now for about 550 or so; but can also now be difficult to find a new one. You might hae to almost wait in line for one - perhaps a few weeks. Even the used ones are frequently scooped up quickly - one of the forum members can attest to that - that the product went within minutes. So if you do decide on this option, best to place your name in line at a place such as B&H.

The Pentax FA 77mm f1.8; believe it retails for about 750 or so. Als oa bit easier to come by.

A few combined facts... The 43 that you mentioned is close to a basic lens. Outside of the FA's aperature range - have you also considered the DA versions?? Also noting that the 43 "limited" technically is ever so slightly better optically, but most people would in fact not notice it - even very up close on about any 11x14 that is printed (and even cropped) very well.

The 77 is a by far the better choice optically.

And here is where it gets interesting... Based on your existing photo preferences - there is unfortunately no easy answer.

Mentioning the taking pics of family and friends... It would depend on if you take pics of them individually or perhaps as a group. Is it mostly indoors our outdoors. Because for most people in general - if it's more than one person and indoors - most people can't quite back up far enough to be using the 77; so the 43 would be a better choice here.

As for sports, normally a person would not be able to get that close, but based upon distance the 43 would also work better here.

For most landscapes that I shoot I would also prefer the 43.

You mentioned pics on the wall thing. Was just curious as to how big the pics on the wall would be??

Just a few ideas to run with...

04-17-2012, 06:41 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Medium FormatPro Quote
Even the used ones are frequently scooped up quickly - one of the forum members can attest to that - that the product went within minutes
That was my 43 that sold for $550 in 2 minutes!

Back to the OP's question, both are fantastic lenses, but if your more of a portrait shooter you will enjoy the FA 77 more
04-17-2012, 07:00 PM   #6
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Yep, can't go wrong with any of the FA limiteds. Just choose your focal length that suits (31 for full body portraits, narrow landscapes, general photography; 43 for half-body portraits, genearal walkaround photography; 77 for head & shoulders portraiture and exquisite DoF control) and run with it.
04-17-2012, 07:01 PM   #7
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I thank you all in advance for the great and in depth responses so far, definitely great to hear some opinions about which lenses is better suited for each situation.

The DAs are not out of the question, again I would be at a lost to which one to choose.

Definitely notice the fast pickings of the limiteds lately so BH is probably my best choice if nothing pops up here.

My printing is usually 11x14 to 18x24, also have done some stitching with breaking up one picture into various sizing.

I should specify that when I take pictures of my family it is usually 1-5 people in the picture and I usually keep it above the waist (though when they do a larger group of 6+ more I usually have to go out).
04-17-2012, 07:55 PM   #8
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Before you choose buying one - I suggest you create a dream list of the Ltds you would love to own while traveling. As I will always take my 21mm and 35mm macro with me evrywhere it automatically leaves a few of the wide angle Ltds. I think it makes good sense to decide on your total dream list first. probably the 77mm would have least double up, just the 70mm Ltd. I have so far dodged the 77mm Ltd as I have a great 70mm sigma macro and as well have to choose between my 50-135 or 60-250 pentax when I pack my kit.

So while I lust for the lens there is no way I can justify buying it. Well having said that I bet I own a 77mm by the end of the year.

04-18-2012, 12:32 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by autumnsbliss Quote
I should specify that when I take pictures of my family it is usually 1-5 people in the picture and I usually keep it above the waist (though when they do a larger group of 6+ more I usually have to go out).
Check the focal length of those photos; 43mm might still be too long for that.

I would suggest that you do an analysis of the various photos that you took (family, cross country, ...) with regards to the focal length. And decide based on that.
04-18-2012, 06:40 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
Check the focal length of those photos; 43mm might still be too long for that.

I would suggest that you do an analysis of the various photos that you took (family, cross country, ...) with regards to the focal length. And decide based on that.
sterretje, I didn't even think of doing that so I have an experiment to do this weekend! Thank you! And going back and looking at some DA limited shots I definitely would consider those as well. So many choices!
04-18-2012, 07:13 PM   #11
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The issue with 77mm limited and sports is that it focuses very very slow. It would not be able to keep up with any fast action.
04-19-2012, 05:12 AM   #12
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Watching this thread with interest because I am in the same boat. I recently acquired the Tamron 70-200 which I really like but was wanting to replace the 18-55 kit lens with a better walk around. The 43 and 77 FA limiteds have been calling my name.
04-19-2012, 05:36 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sage97 Quote
Watching this thread with interest ... The 43 and 77 FA limiteds have been calling my name.
Go to Amazon, B&H, Adorama, and/or... Get the best price on the Pentax 10-17, 21 and 43 (or 40), then buy them, now. Paired to your K-5, plus your Tammy zoom, you are set for life. Prices are NOT going down, or if they do, not by much. It's time, or money. You and your loved ones only have so much time and you can always make more money. Quit fussing around. Grab-um now and run... Don't look back!

... my 2 cents... Cheers...
04-19-2012, 07:02 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Yep, can't go wrong with any of the FA limiteds. Just choose your focal length that suits (31 for full body portraits, narrow landscapes, general photography; 43 for half-body portraits, genearal walkaround photography; 77 for head & shoulders portraiture and exquisite DoF control) and run with it.
This is an excellent analysis. I consider the FA43 as a replacement to the OP's zoom to use as a walkaround (with the zoom as your wide option) while the FA77 would be more of a specialty lens to use for outstanding portraits and a little as a telephoto. I think I would like to be a little longer for sports though.

The FA43 is at the top of my list and I might have ordered it already if it was in stock at adorama/BH to replace my DA40. The DA40 has a few weaknesses (starburst and aperture) that would be solved by the FA43. I actually prefer using my A50f1.7 as a general walkaround currently.
04-19-2012, 07:08 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Todd Adamson Quote
Definitely the 43, IMO. The FA77 is my favorite Pentax lens, but I am a portrait shooter. For vacation pics, indor pics, and close-vantage sports like you describe, the FA43 will be awesome.
+1 on this

NaCl(both are good but the 43 is more flexible)H2O
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