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05-20-2012, 04:35 AM   #16
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Hmm... they do state that they are surprised by the hugely different results and hint that sample variation could have a part in it. For such a high priced lens you would expect sample variation to be low though. I would be interested to see them re-test on another example.

For my part the results do seem to reflect the characteristics of my copy of the lens, but an extreme case. Yes, wide open it has some softness at the edges and wide open the bokeh has a halo in certain circumstances. However, I can't say I've noticed results as poor as they seem to be getting. It could be that I'm not taking many photos wide open that require sharpness across the frame. The 43mm is a short portrait lens for me so it would be usual to have the edges of the frame blured.

05-20-2012, 05:49 AM - 1 Like   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by jackassp Quote
But then, there is more to photography than just lab tests...
Now this is just crazy talk.
05-20-2012, 08:59 AM   #18
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Don't listen to that nincompoop...

QuoteOriginally posted by selar Quote
I'm thankful I had the good sense not to believe the hype about the FA43. Pretty poor performance.
No, the guy is COMPLETELY missing the point of that lens....

QuoteOriginally posted by MichaelBilson Quote
I just purchased the 43mm. This review is like a slap in my face. But then again, the FA 43mm is small and light, feels very nice to use and is compatible with my imaginary FF Pentax camera.

I do not regret my purchase.
You have a LEGENDARY lens...see how it performs stopped down...the rendering is bordering on magical...this guy is a measurebator...by that standard, a Maybach is a bad car because a Mustang will out accelerate it....

QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
Too bad my poorly performing lens takes so many nice photos!
No kidding..the thing is unbelievable...

QuoteOriginally posted by bossa Quote
I knew there were reasons I just couldn't bring myself to buy that lens.
You're missing out on one of the world's great and most unique optics then...

QuoteOriginally posted by Kennod Quote
I have just re-reviewed Photozone and decided their conclusions have little relevance to real world photography. I don't care what they measured, the 43 can produce sublime images that people look at.

So I've revised my overall rating of Photozone from "Interesting" down to "Almost meaningless"

Exactly...the guys a nut...COMPLETELY misses the point...

QuoteOriginally posted by bossa Quote
Agreed... you don't value art by determining how technically perfect the paint brushes were.
A superb quote when applied to this lens. This was the FIRST Limited lens, covers full frame, and stopped down a little bit, the 3D rendering and bokeh are phenomenal. I remember seeing some Velvia Slide film shot with that lens when it first came out...absolutely phenomenal performance.

Listening to this idiot would be kind of like taking a Ken Rockwell review seriously...



Cheers,
Cameron
05-20-2012, 09:04 AM   #19
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looking forward to the retest of 16-50 and 50-135

05-20-2012, 09:31 AM   #20
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my take on on this test: first of all I'm not Limited fan boy - I didn't like FA77 - i liked DA70, but couldn't use that focal lenght. I did try FA31 and FA43 (2 copies). I did some landscape shots with both : FA31 and FA43....and I'm pretty sure that stopped down above f4 - my copy of FA43 was clearly superior to my copy of FA31 in the borders - no matter what Photozone or Lenstip measured. But maybe the FA31 i had was a lemon....if that's the case I would really love to try a good copy of FA31.
05-20-2012, 10:40 AM   #21
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AA filter?? (43ltd)

.

FWIW, I posted a question to Klaus on photozone:

QuoteOriginally posted by me:
Klaus, how do you account for the MTF numbers being *lower* on the edge on the 16MP sensor than they were on the 10MP sensor? (Sample variation?) On a related note, where was the copy you tested manufactured?

Thanks!

And his speculation:

QuoteOriginally posted by Klaus:
I do not know for sure. The 16mp sensor of the K5 is not much different than the 10mp sensor of the K10D.
The AA filter characteristic is very different though. The K10D AA filter has no vertical filtering at all so the border performance figures can be different if the sagittally or tangentially is emphasized.
The center resolution characteristic may be different due to the different RAW profile of the cameras although I am surprised about the difference.

Ogl popped in:

QuoteOriginally posted by photozone_ogl:
AA filter characteristic which may explain at least part of the results.
AA filter could affect only at sharpness and WHOLE resolution of system, which 2750 LW/PH for K-5. AA filter has no any affect at the drop of resolution of lens at 16 MP vs 10 MP. Klaus, it's strange to hear such explanation from you.

I have K200D with weak AA filter (more than 4 year) and K-5 (1 year). I don't see than K-5 has much thicker AA filter.
Thicker, but just a bit. I use C1 Pro.

As for strange corner result of FA43 at K-5 - it seems to me - it's lens variation - you got strange sample with good center and bad corners. Pay attention - FA43 is soft at center at f1.9 at K10D, but MUCH better at K-5 - I see the same at my cameras.
As for corners - I'm puzzled. FA43 is one of the sharpest lens at my K200D and the same at K-5.

To which Klaus replied:

QuoteOriginally posted by klaus:
Maybe I have a better insight then ?

We measure the MTFs at quadrant transitions - at the borders / corners the edges of the quadrants are slightly aligned to the sagittally and tangentially resolution respectively (not on purpose). If a lens suffers from astigmatism these resolution types will differ.
On a symmetrical AA filter the measured results are just averaged whereas an asymmetrical one favors one resolution type at the quadrants - not much, of course, but there is a certain tendency.

Last edited by jsherman999; 05-20-2012 at 10:57 AM.
05-20-2012, 10:44 AM - 1 Like   #22
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I have the 43mm and am well pleased using it on my K5. I find it to be a rather nice piece of glass with unique qualities. If you are only looking for ultimate sharpness wide open then this probably isn't the lens for you, but if you appreciate the look and color, the emotional appeal, this is a very nice lens. Once you get away from measurable sharpness/contrast, there are other qualities that attract one to a lens. There were many older view camera lenses, such as Protars and Dagors that are still in demand today not always because of ultimate sharpness performance, but because of a particular, perhaps undefinable quality that made them legendary. The 43mm is an expensive lens and may not be for everyone, but it's important to consider your goals and needs when consulting tests, there may be an emotional aspect that transcends its written parameters.
05-20-2012, 10:53 AM   #23
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Can it simply be that the very lens in review was a poor sample?

05-20-2012, 11:16 AM   #24
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This test and the previous one are irrelevant. The FA43/1.9 is a 15 year old lens design optimized for the FF Pentax film cameras of the late 1990ís.

How it or any Pentax lens released during the film area fare on a DSLR has no bearing on how Pentax designed or built the FA43/1.9. An original review from 1997 would be more accurate.

Phil.
05-20-2012, 01:22 PM - 1 Like   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cambo Quote
No, the guy is COMPLETELY missing the point of that lens....

You have a LEGENDARY lens...see how it performs stopped down...the rendering is bordering on magical...this guy is a measurebator...by that standard, a Maybach is a bad car because a Mustang will out accelerate it....

No kidding..the thing is unbelievable...

You're missing out on one of the world's great and most unique optics then...

Exactly...the guys a nut...COMPLETELY misses the point...

A superb quote when applied to this lens. This was the FIRST Limited lens, covers full frame, and stopped down a little bit, the 3D rendering and bokeh are phenomenal. I remember seeing some Velvia Slide film shot with that lens when it first came out...absolutely phenomenal performance.

Listening to this idiot would be kind of like taking a Ken Rockwell review seriously...



Cheers,
Cameron
Wow, overreaction much? Calling him an idiot for doing his job? Klaus' task is to use image analysis tools to objectively obtain quantifiable results. He took the test photos, pushed it through the same analysis software as every other lens, and these are the numbers that the lens and camera provided. Any "magical rendering" is the subjective opinion of the viewer, and cannot be presented as a benchmark. What do you want him to do, throw out all tests and just fill the page with handwavy opinions?

If you would kindly explain and provide an objective, repeatable benchmark to quantify "magic" I'm sure he would be happy to do so. If not, I suggest you stop throwing around personal insults.

Last edited by Cannikin; 05-20-2012 at 03:52 PM.
05-20-2012, 01:42 PM   #26
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its simple thing with this lens, you have to focus manually exactly at that point you need to be sharp (use ee-s screen or liveview), do not recompose
05-20-2012, 01:55 PM - 1 Like   #27
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Photozone does provide objective reviews. But their bottom lines become subjective. Compare the reviews for, say, the Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm f2 to the review of the FA 43mm Ltd. Throughout, the 43mm is very competitive and is marginally better in some aspects. The Z(F) 35 has a solid 4, the 43mm a less than stellar 2.5. Am I missing something here?

Last edited by jac; 05-20-2012 at 01:58 PM. Reason: Error in mount.
05-20-2012, 02:41 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by jac Quote
Photozone does provide objective reviews. But their bottom lines become subjective. Compare the reviews for, say, the Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm f2 to the review of the FA 43mm Ltd. Throughout, the 43mm is very competitive and is marginally better in some aspects. The Z(F) 35 has a solid 4, the 43mm a less than stellar 2.5. Am I missing something here?
There are no parallel reviews of these two lenses on the same platform.
FWIW, the Z*35/2 got 3.5 stars on the EOS 5D,
while the FA 43 got exactly the same on the K10D.
05-20-2012, 02:47 PM - 2 Likes   #29
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Anyway, I own all 3 FA limiteds. From a purely technical standpoint, I would have to say that the 43's corners are indeed not as good as the 31 or 77 at any aperture on my K-5 (though not as bad as one might imply from these charts IMO). Maybe my copy is "bad" (I doubt it as this is my second copy and it performs identically to the first), and the difference is not huge, but if you're looking for it, it is there. I suspect this is not due to low resolution per se, but relatively strong coma/astigmatism. This is judged not from test charts or whatnot, but from real life shots, including infinity focus, highly detailed landscapes.

Bokeh for the 43 is usually great, though it doesn't handle high contrast transitions in the background nearly as well as the 31 and 77. I haven't been able to produce what I would consider "bad" bokeh in any circumstance with the other two, but I have seen some iffy results with the 43 on backgrounds with lots of high contrast highlights.

Subjectively, I like them all for their rendering. The 31 would probably be the last lens I ever give up no matter Lenstip's opinion, and I even returned a 70 in favor of the 77 because I liked the rendering/bokeh more, even though the 70 is a "technically" better performer. The 43 is my least used not because of the technical performance, but because the focal length is just weird on APS-C, either too long or too short for most applications. If a FF were released, I suspect I would use it a lot more.

I don't judge reviewers for presenting numbers. They are what they are. I just look at the numbers, take what I need from them and see if what they say is relevant for my shooting. I love the 77 and I absolutely adore the 15 LTD, both of which have been panned for border performance at wider apertures. I do somewhat see what the numbers are talking about if I'm looking for them (again not as bad as the charts/conclusions imply IMO), but I very rarely ever find a shot where they were a limiting factor. I would never shoot a landscape at f/1.8 on my 77 (at f/5.6 it's pretty much flawless), and my 15 is pretty much always at f/8. 95% of the time, if I need/want a wider aperture, the borders are out of focus anyway, or otherwise irrelevant.

"Conclusions" and "stars/ratings" are ultimately subjective opinions, and while it's interesting to see their take on it, they ultimately mean little to me. Everyone has different priorities, and a Leica fanboy's ramblings about "magic", or the ravings of a pixel peeper with a microscope are as meaningless as the "Overall Score" on DXOMark, or the difference between a "Gold" and "Silver" award on DPReview to me. Give me the individual numbers, give me both test and real-world photos, and I'll make my own conclusions.

Last edited by Cannikin; 05-20-2012 at 03:30 PM.
05-20-2012, 03:08 PM   #30
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Looking at this "updated" version of the FA 43 review, the DA 40 kills it in border sharpness at all apertures. I just don't know that I believe that the lens could act that much different on two different camera bodies. I mean, how could the FA 43's mtf score drop between the K10 and the K5? At the very worst, you should get the same number (within the range of measurement).

Based on this review (which I don't really buy), the DA 40 is the better lens between the two.

Pentax SMC DA 40mm f/2.8 Limited - Review / Lab Test - Analysis
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