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07-09-2012, 03:28 AM   #1
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FA 31 vs SMC-A 28mm F2

I currently have a Pentax-A SMC 28mm f2. Should I keep this or sell it to buy the FA 31? Any comments? Have anyone compared the two? And are there other options? I don't mind the manual focus, but it would be nice to have auto-focus also.

07-09-2012, 06:39 AM   #2
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I don't have either but the FA 31mm ltd is said to be a superb lens, even to a point it could be one of Pentax's best. It is costly however.

Other options include the Sigma 30mm 1.4 and the Samyang 35mm 1.4, both of which have their strengths. The Samyang is a great lens also, I have one of my own and like it very much.

Does that help or just make it more confusing? lol
07-09-2012, 07:13 AM   #3
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I really think it depends on what you are looking for. The FA 31 has a little smoother rendering of out of focus areas, a nicer build and auto focus. It is also really expensive. If you want auto focus, but a cheaper price, the Sigma 30 or FA 35 f2 would both be options.
07-09-2012, 07:15 AM   #4
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Hi Baard,
Both lenses seem to be good. I have FA31, I don't have nor care for A28/2 (any MF lens) due to my eyes.
As for FA31 - it's a great lens. I think you won't regret getting it.
Good luck with whatever you decide.

07-09-2012, 07:26 AM   #5
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I have had both of these lenses for nearly 2 years. I had the A 28 first, and got a lot of good shots out of it. Eventually I found a decent deal on a used FA 31 and hopped on it.

The FA 31 is a much better lens in almost every regard:
1. Autofocus
2. Slightly better detail rendering
3. Smoother bokeh
4. Slightly faster at F1.8
5. Less color fringing, particularly at wide apertures (easier to use wide open)

However, I still have (and like) the A 28. What it has going for it:
1. A little smoother manual focus (although the FA31 is still very good for manual focus)
2. Smaller size/lighter weight (about half the FA31)
3. Looks a little more like an old school lens, if you care about that sort of thing.
4. Great optically from F2.8 and on (usable at F2 but expect some purple fringing on high contrast borders and strong out of focus highlight halos)

I did a simple test a while back with several different 28-ish lenses (A28/2, K28/3.5, 31/1.8, DA*16-50, SMC-Tak 28/3.5) can check out the results. It should say which lens and exposure settings in the description for each photo.

Jim Ashcraft Photography | 28mm Tests
07-09-2012, 12:14 PM   #6
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Thanks all. It isnt easy. I see that the price for the A 28 is high, both here in Norway and on the reviews here at the forum. I think I should sell the A 28 and save up for a FA31. :-)
07-09-2012, 04:22 PM   #7
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Hello ,
I have the K 28 f/3,5 since many years and was my most used lens with both MF and AF cameras, and even when started with K 10D in 2008, enjoyed a lot using it. Then, three years ago got the K 28 f/2 and the FA 31 ltd. Of course,in my oppinion the best and most used nowadays is the FA 31, which is also very nice to be used as a manual lens, but some days I feel still need to carry the K 28 f/2 and experiment its close focus properties . One thing is sure for me : I will never sell none of my manual K 28 . Concerning lenses I think K 28 and FA 31 are the best of both worlds.

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