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06-14-2012, 03:56 PM   #1
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FA31 vs FA43 for portraiture [on K5]

I've been able to see many shots of both and am always impressed with the results. I only own the DA35 and FA77 but the DA35 doesn't hold a candle to the FA77 rendering wise. There's just that pixie dust quality with the FA77. I wonder what fellow Pentaxians who have used both have to say?

A 31mm on a APS-C sensor feels like it'd be an ideal length for when my FA77 is too long and appears to have the same IQ and rendering qualities. I wonder why the FA43 is slightly cheaper though? Slower AF or something?

I like my VL58/1.4 a lot but for high fashion shoots where things move too quickly I need AF. FA31 would probably make full body shots a lot easier, but am still undecided. 43mm seems to be such a weird FL to me...


Last edited by FrancisK7; 06-14-2012 at 04:34 PM.
06-14-2012, 04:49 PM   #2
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i was under the impression that the 31 was more expensive because it is more glass. it looks like quite a hefty thing, were as the 43 is more pancakey. id go for 43, but thats just because i like my 40 focal length.

other than that I'm completely clueless
06-14-2012, 04:50 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by FrancisK7 Quote
I've been able to see many shots of both and am always impressed with the results. I only own the DA35 and FA77 but the DA35 doesn't hold a candle to the FA77 rendering wise. There's just that pixie dust quality with the FA77. I wonder what fellow Pentaxians who have used both have to say?

A 31mm on a APS-C sensor feels like it'd be an ideal length for when my FA77 is too long and appears to have the same IQ and rendering qualities. I wonder why the FA43 is slightly cheaper though? Slower AF or something?

I like my VL58/1.4 a lot but for high fashion shoots where things move too quickly I need AF. FA31 would probably make full body shots a lot easier, but am still undecided. 43mm seems to be such a weird FL to me...

Salut Francis:

Although I am not a portrait photographer, by a long shot, I do have both the FA43 and 31Ltd's.
I have done some family-fun stuff with the kids and the FA31Ltd is one heck of a performer, but one thing I've found: you tend to get too close and faces can become a bit "distorted".
The 43Ltd, personally speaking, is a bit longer (focal) and allows some room between you and the subject ... maybe that is what you are looking for?

Here are a few discussions I have found regarding this very subject:


https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/163116-people-portrait-p...-practice.html

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/89049-fa-31mm-...ait-shots.html

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/180848-fa-31mm...ield-view.html

I am sure some people, more advanced portrait photog's than me of course, will jump in and offer sample shots and decent advice.
I will be looking forward to this discussion, thanks for the thread.

Cheers.

JP
06-14-2012, 04:55 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by jpzk Quote
Salut Francis
Salut Jacques! C'est bon de rencontrer d'autres Québécois ici!

The FA31 would be ideal for those full body shots, but I don't need to get so close to get details if all I want is a headshot since the FA77 is ideal for this. I was thinking of the FA31 for portrait with more than one person or those full body shots.

I've never used anything in the 36-49mm range, so am not sure how I would like that FL.

06-14-2012, 05:04 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by FrancisK7 Quote
Salut Jacques! C'est bon de rencontrer d'autres Québécois ici!

The FA31 would be ideal for those full body shots, but I don't need to get so close to get details if all I want is a headshot since the FA77 is ideal for this. I was thinking of the FA31 for portrait with more than one person or those full body shots.

I've never used anything in the 36-49mm range, so am not sure how I would like that FL.
Ouain ! Quite a few of "us" here!

Well, in that case, I sure can recommend the FA31mm Ltd !
I took some - according to my standards - great XMas shots at the yearly office party and the pics turned out quite nice!
I was pleased with the sharp details, the colour rendering and the OOF background when I used the lens wide opened.

One thing: it is so sharp that it will show minute details in someone's skin tone ... something not so flattering for the ladies at times !

I will look for some of those shots but first I have to ask the people at work if they agree to have their faces on the Web!
If they are OK with that, I'll post some here.

JP
06-14-2012, 05:13 PM   #6
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That'd be great!

I've done enough fashion shoots now to be totally comfortable with skin PP so this is a non issue for me.

Bookeh is another thing that is of vital importance in my picking lenses. I still can't get over the bookeh my VL58/1.4 delivers. It's heavenly. The FA77 on that front delivers without issue. Took this shot this afternoon. Would be great to reproduce this kind of rendering and IQ for multi-people portraits. My DA35 just doesn't cut it and the 12-24 distorts faces too much.

06-14-2012, 06:42 PM   #7
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I own both FA31 Ltd and FA77 Ltd but i don't have FA43. I have Sigma 50f1.4 instead.
I can't justify to get DA55 or FA43 as i have a Leica 50 Lux. I only use it for shooting my kids and family.
After 10K shots with FA31, I can tell you it can easily reproduce the shot you have posted here, possibly with sharper result. It is good with whole or half body shot and general purposes. I have gone as far as head and shoulder shots for the effects and distortion...
Now i have FA77 for the head and shoulder shots.
It will be a wonderful complement to your FA77....
06-14-2012, 06:51 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bestzoom Quote
I own both FA31 Ltd and FA77 Ltd but i don't have FA43. I have Sigma 50f1.4 instead.
I can't justify to get DA55 or FA43 as i have a Leica 50 Lux. I only use it for shooting my kids and family.
After 10K shots with FA31, I can tell you it can easily reproduce the shot you have posted here, possibly with sharper result. It is good with whole or half body shot and general purposes. I have gone as far as head and shoulder shots for the effects and distortion...
Now i have FA77 for the head and shoulder shots.
It will be a wonderful complement to your FA77....
That's what I was hoping to hear!

As an alternative, I've long wanted to get the DA*16-50, thinking it'd cover both the FA31and FA43 FL, and was actually considering it seriously. It surely is great glass, but for my current needs, I'd rather go with the FA31. Plus, I really want all three one day

The DA*16-50 would make a wonderful walkaround lens for when I'm out with friends or family though. I'm not going to say I regret buying the DA*50-135 but I feel I made the wrong choice with it. It's too big for a simple "take-it-along-just-in-case" solution. The K5+grip+DA*50-135 is massive and heavy. Plus 50mm is sometimes a bit too long for those special shots.

I just love the bookeh on the FA77... another one taken today FA77 f/2.8 ISO400 1/1250s:


I'm a sucker for creamy greens for some reason...


Last edited by FrancisK7; 06-14-2012 at 07:18 PM.
06-14-2012, 08:03 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by FrancisK7 Quote
I've long wanted to get the DA*16-50, thinking it'd cover both the FA31and FA43 FL
There are Pentax users who have gone for the FA primes and later find new interests in the DA16-50 zoom.
Check the work of Jim with DA16-50 here Boxed Light - Photography by Jim Radcliffe

I have been looking for the best zoom, but end up with prime because of better IQ.
I may get the zoom one day for the WR...
The price of DA16-50 is still reasonable in Canada and may not be a bad option if you seriously consider it. It is a much bigger lens than FA31 Ltd...
06-14-2012, 08:07 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bestzoom Quote
It is a much bigger lens than FA31 Ltd...
Yesterday I shot a dance show with a K5+grip+DA*50-135 and a K10D+grip+DA12-24 on my person for the whole 2h30. Size isn't an issue for me. I prioritize IQ, rendering, speed and bookeh. Size or esthetics is the last thing I look for in glass.

Thanks for the link, I'll definitely check it out!

This shot form Jim with the DA*16-50 is marvelous... has a HDR feel to it: http://www.boxedlight.com/k5/lanterns.htm

Last edited by FrancisK7; 06-14-2012 at 08:16 PM.
06-14-2012, 08:16 PM   #11
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You have some great shots here, and I particularly like the one taken with the 77mm lens!

I gotta get me one of these!

So, here are a couple of shots from 2010 and 2011 during Christmas season.
They are all from the combo: K7 + FA 31mm Ltd.

NOTE: this is not meant to be judged as a temptative "pro" shot ... I ain't no pro!

I do have some taken with the K5 but they are not portrait shots.

Here we go:












JP
06-14-2012, 08:24 PM   #12
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Well the rendering is definitely good, the texture of the hair in the first shot are so well sculpted it feels palpable.

Do you remember the aperture on these?
06-14-2012, 08:31 PM   #13
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There you go:

The two ladies: F2, 1/80s, ISO100, Av, Flash used
The little guy: F2, 1/80s, ISO250, Av, Flash used
The big guy: F1.8, 1/80s, ISO 100, Av, Flash used

JP
06-14-2012, 08:51 PM   #14
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There are legitimate quibbles to be had with the FA31, but there is no need to worry whether it has good rendering, it is the benchmark against which others are measured.
06-14-2012, 09:26 PM   #15
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I have the 31 ltd and I think it's an outstanding lens. I don't have the fa43 but if I were shooting portraiture I'd prefer closer to that focal length because the 31mm is technically a wide angle lens. I use the 31mm for street shots, panoramas, group shots, etc. If I want to shoot full body I currently use my 50-135 or 55* but I have used my 31mm and was happy with the results.

Also, I hate the 16-50. I think its quality compared to these other lenses isn't even remotely close. But maybe I have a bad copy. I void mine like the plague and only use it if I need WR or if I have to be quick and won't have time to switch lenses.
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