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05-01-2012, 03:04 AM   #1
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FA 43 more dusty and FA 31 the better lens? Is that right?

Having had all three limited for a few weeks, it appears to me that FA43 and FA77 are the two lens with pixie dust. It was obvious to me after having had all three that the 43 and 77 render differently from 31. I am getting more 3d look with the 43 and 77 than 31. However test chart shows 31 and 77 are better than 43. In particular 31 is sharp from corner to corner even at f2.0 whereas 43 does not gain the same sharpness across the frame until f2.8 (center is sharp at 2.0, however). Stopped down, 31 is also sharper than 43, and 31 is also superior to 43 in term of boken.

My question is why do I slightly prefer the picture from the 43 over 31 when 31 is clearly the better lens? Is there something I can do to improve the pixie dust performance from 31? 77 is probably the best of the three with great performance like 31 and pixie dust like 43 (too bad I don't use it quite as often due to the slightly longer fl).

05-01-2012, 03:14 AM   #2
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When using the FA31 just get closer, I think it's that simple. I think you are just seeing the ability for longer lenses to create more subject isolation, however the FA31 allows for more intimate photos being a wider focal length.
05-01-2012, 05:47 AM   #3
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Well lenses have different "character" and things like better test results or higher cost might not mean you will enjoy it more. Why do you personally prefer some lenses over others? That's what psychology, semiotics, and communication theory are trying to find out/explain
05-01-2012, 09:25 AM   #4
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I have just sold my FA43 after trying the FA77 for a week through borrowlenses.com That little lens is so much better, with regards to character, sharpness, and detail, than my FA43 ever was. The bokeh on both the FA43 and the FA77 are fantastic, but if you like longer FLs, then the FA77 is the way to go. I am going to work on acquiring the FA77 in the future, due to having such a great experience with it in a short amount of time. The 3d effect is definitely very pronounced with the FA77, as I haven't tried the FA31, so I can't make a comment.

05-01-2012, 09:35 AM   #5
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I love my 43mm. To get razor sharpness it does need to be stopped down slightly but the look of the pictures is great. The 77mm is also fantastic but gets less use due to the focal length (like yours).

Is it not possible that you just prefer the focal length/ subject choices from the 43? The images are more likely to be closer cropped and the subject isolated from the background because of the focal length. Just a thought.
05-01-2012, 09:49 AM   #6
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Bench tests of lenses do not tell the whole story. It is my understanding that the designer of the FA31 was not the same as the designer of the other two. I own all three of the FA Limiteds, and I do not see a great difference in the rendering qualities. My personal favorite is the FA43, but they are all so splendid that one should choose on the basis of focal length rather than IQ. If you can afford to get all three, consider yourself very fortunate.

Rob
05-01-2012, 10:02 AM   #7
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Personally I have not seen difference between my FA35 & FA31, even though later is like a cult. FA77 is a different story though.
05-01-2012, 10:17 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by robgo2 Quote
Bench tests of lenses do not tell the whole story. It is my understanding that the designer of the FA31 was not the same as the designer of the other two. I own all three of the FA Limiteds, and I do not see a great difference in the rendering qualities. My personal favorite is the FA43, but they are all so splendid that one should choose on the basis of focal length rather than IQ. If you can afford to get all three, consider yourself very fortunate.

Rob
I believe Jun had made a 31 design but to keep to his goal of compact he had gone for a slower design. Management didn't agree and reassigned the 31 to a team of 2 designers.
I will add though I have seen a good number of "pixie dust" shots from the 31 on the forum, but you do need to get in closer to get the effect.

05-01-2012, 01:53 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by yusuf Quote
Personally I have not seen difference between my FA35 & FA31, even though later is like a cult. FA77 is a different story though.
If you had to sell either the FA35 or FA31, which would it be, discounting price?

Rob
05-01-2012, 03:08 PM   #10
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I have all three FA Ltds. Most of the time, the FA43 is on my camera. The one with the most pixie dust, for me, is the FA77. The FA31 is my least favorite. Probably, it's my preference for the focal length and the order I purchased them in.
05-01-2012, 05:19 PM   #11
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I have all three and have come to using the 43 and 77 along with the 15. Very nice trio. I find very little use for my 21 and 31. YMMV.
05-01-2012, 05:25 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by chesebert Quote
Having had all three limited for a few weeks, it appears to me that FA43 and FA77 are the two lens with pixie dust. It was obvious to me after having had all three that the 43 and 77 render differently from 31. I am getting more 3d look with the 43 and 77 than 31. However test chart shows 31 and 77 are better than 43. In particular 31 is sharp from corner to corner even at f2.0 whereas 43 does not gain the same sharpness across the frame until f2.8 (center is sharp at 2.0, however). Stopped down, 31 is also sharper than 43, and 31 is also superior to 43 in term of boken.

My question is why do I slightly prefer the picture from the 43 over 31 when 31 is clearly the better lens? Is there something I can do to improve the pixie dust performance from 31? 77 is probably the best of the three with great performance like 31 and pixie dust like 43 (too bad I don't use it quite as often due to the slightly longer fl).

I think that you just proved to yourself that you can't just look at charts and sharpness tests of a single sample lens. Also you have to get away from the mindset that the 31 is a better lens than x lens. It is a great lens for many people. The fact that you prefer the 43 to the 31 ( I do too) means that you are not one of them. Buy the lens that meets your needs and gives you the images that you desire. I couldn't quite love the 31 mm. I have the 35 mm limited and liked it as much for IQ and better for versatility. That doesn't take away from the 31 being a great lens. It just wasn't great for me regardless of Pixie dust.
05-01-2012, 08:16 PM   #13
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this is why there is not a single lens for everyone. just go with the one(s) you like best.

personally, i find the 77 and 31 to be the stars of the team, with my 43 being great but slightly less impressive. i also wonder why they didn't give it more blades as on the others. regardless, in that focal range, i will grab the 43 and be very happy with it. none of these overlap.

who cares about test charts? i dont.
05-01-2012, 08:33 PM   #14
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I dont know about the 31, but Ive found the FA77 to be much better than the FA43.
And the DA*55 is equal to or better than the FA77.
05-01-2012, 09:08 PM   #15
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I have had periods of favouritism for each lens.
First was the 77, which was pure bliss for my portraits - said I didn't need the other two Ltds since I had other lenses that covered that focal range. A clear favourite.
Then I caved in with the 31, which showed me there can be magic to be had in a wider angle lens. My DA* 16-50 could not compare to it, particularly at f/2.8-5.6 - it shared its place as favourite with the 77 for a while.
Then I caved in for the 43 when I gave it a try to replace my fast fifty. I'd never been as mesmerised by my results as I have been with that little gem. It became my favourite for a long time.

Now I use all three quite regularly, and I go through phases of liking one over the other.
The real practical truth is that they are all brilliant, special lenses - simply unrivalled and each producing spectacular results every time they are used.
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