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05-18-2012, 02:03 PM   #1
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FA Limiteds on LX, P30T, or other MF Bodies - Do they work OK?

Obviously they work just fine, but I am speaking primarily of focus throw. Since they are AF lenses, focus throw is much shorter than a MF lens of similar focal length. They are also much more expensive, by a factor of 10.

Are they worth it? Obviously they will look great on a camera like an LX, but how usable are they since they have shorter focus throw? And when shooting film (Primarily B&W), will the extra resolution be realized versus a lens like the SMC-M 50mm f/1.4?

05-18-2012, 02:17 PM   #2

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See Pentax FA 24 to 90mm f3.5 to 4.5 AL [IF] Zoom And FA 31mm f1.8 AL Limited Lens | Shutterbug for a review of the FA 31 on film.

As for focusing, if you have the right screen, it should be at least as easy to focus on the LX as it is on your K5.
05-18-2012, 02:59 PM   #3
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I've got the standard screen with the split-image rangefinder. It's very easy to focus with and I am very familiar with how to operate them. Thanks for the Shutterbug link, lytr.

I just wonder about accuracy; with such a short focus throw (and DOF so limited at 77mm f/1.9) will they be usable, or am I better off getting some M lenses instead? I am mostly concerned with MF success and image quality; I realize the Limiteds are a couture items and thus are more expensive. But as a photographer, I find it hard to justify the high prices when they'll be mostly used on MF bodies.
05-18-2012, 03:03 PM   #4
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Focus throw on the FA Limited lenses is not as short as on most autofocus lenses and is adequate for manual focusing in my experience (FA 31 and FA 77 on LX). K, M and A lenses have more throw, though. It would be best if you could try before you buy! The main argument in actual use for the more expensive limited lenses would be bokeh, not sharpness.

05-18-2012, 03:25 PM   #5
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Thanks for your input, Ole. I think for now at least I'll stick to K, M, or A glass.
05-18-2012, 05:41 PM   #6
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I haven't used any of the FA limiteds, but when I used my F 50/1.7 in manual focus, the biggest difference is there's no damping of the focus ring (i.e. it spins with much less resistance). This can have the effect of overshooting the desired focus point requiring a correction (which may again overshoot etc.). One solution for me is to apply pressure on the focus ring with a finger from the right hand to provide additional resistance.

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