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05-19-2012, 09:50 PM   #1
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Photozone re-reviews FA 43 Limited

So the 31 came through basically unscathed when retested on the K-5 verses the older K10D. The 43 however has a surprising test, really really strong center as expected from f/1.9 but showing as soft on the borders / extreme from f/1.9 to f/4.0

Pentax SMC FA 43mm f/1.9 Limited - Lab Test / Review

Personally I think a typical 43 is stronger than shown across the frame than the numbers seem to suggest.

05-19-2012, 10:42 PM   #2
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The results are consistent with the Lenstip review and what I see in my copy.
05-19-2012, 11:28 PM   #3
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I'm thankful I had the good sense not to believe the hype about the FA43. Pretty poor performance.
05-19-2012, 11:41 PM   #4
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I'd like to see them re-test the FA77 lens too, I think it would make some people rethink this lens too.

But then, there is more to photography than just lab tests...


Last edited by jackassp; 05-19-2012 at 11:43 PM. Reason: typo
05-20-2012, 12:02 AM   #5
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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.
05-20-2012, 12:04 AM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by selar Quote
I'm thankful I had the good sense not to believe the hype about the FA43. Pretty poor performance.
Too bad my poorly performing lens takes so many nice photos!
05-20-2012, 12:22 AM   #7
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There are no bad lenses, just bad photographers?
05-20-2012, 12:47 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jackassp Quote
There are no bad lenses, just bad photographers?
I'm afraid there are both!

If you like the colors you get from the DA15, I think you'd like the FA43 too. I sold my F50/1.4 shortly after I got the FA43, because the FA43 easily had better IQ and sharpness. If I need great bokeh I use my K50/1.2 instead.

I guess I need to start making the edges of my frame the focal point of my shots, so I can better appreciate the shortcomings of my FA43!

05-20-2012, 01:10 AM   #9
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I knew there were reasons I just couldn't bring myself to buy that lens.
05-20-2012, 01:41 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by bossa Quote
I knew there were reasons I just couldn't bring myself to buy that lens.
Are you sure it's not because you have the DA*55?

The combination of the FA43 and the K50/1.2 is the only reason I didn't buy it!


EDIT: Silly me - I should have read the review first! I'm familiar enough with the lens that I just didn't bother before commenting. There's nothing to get worked up about in the review. It just describes the lens as it is.

Anyone who owns one quickly discovers that you don't shoot with it wide-open. You only do that with a few lenses, like an FA31 or FA77. You also might do it with a 50/1.2 or DA*55 (which is why the DA*55 is actually worth what it costs). I never shoot the FA43 wider that f/2.2 because there's too much loss of IQ otherwise, and often go for f/2.5, 2.8, or narrower. But since it's still better than any of the 50s (besides the 50/1.2s) at those apertures that doesn't bother me. The article is saying what we already know - that it's usable from f/2.2 to f/2.8 and isn't truly optimal until it reaches at least f/4. I've seen this fact discussed many times before by owners - that it begins to really come into its own somewhere between f/2.8 and f/4.

It's OK that the FA43 shouldn't be shot wide open, because the few lenses that can cost even more than the FA43, and it has other outstanding characteristics. For example, nothing but perhaps the DA15 can touch it in color rendering. (Exception: the inexpensive DA35/2.4 is really a crippled FA35/2 which now starts at just the right aperture and can be shot wide open).


Big deal - the two best AF "50s" are still the FA43 and the DA*55. You just pick the one that better suits you (unless you get both).

Last edited by DSims; 05-20-2012 at 02:33 AM.
05-20-2012, 02:00 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jackassp Quote
I'd like to see them re-test the FA77 lens too, I think it would make some people rethink this lens too.
My thoughts exactly, I fear a similar result.
05-20-2012, 02:08 AM   #12
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Meanwhile, the retest of a FA31 came out as glowing as the first time round. Does it matter though? To those who own these lenses it doesn't.
05-20-2012, 02:08 AM - 2 Likes   #13
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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"

05-20-2012, 02:12 AM - 1 Like   #14
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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"

Agreed... you don't value art by determining how technically perfect the paint brushes were.
05-20-2012, 02:23 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by selar Quote
That, is called "sticking your head in the sand".
Nope... it' called forming your own opinion based on real results with your own copy of the FA 43 rather than blindly accepting that someone else's measurement of a different copy applies to all. There is enough photographic evidence that the FA43 is much better than "poor".

https://www.pentaxforums.com/lensreviews/SMC-Pentax-FA-43mm-F1.9-Limited-Lens.html
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