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08-13-2012, 08:20 AM   #1
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what lens would you get?

i'm ready to be hit with a 100 different options but i had my mind set to buy the 31 limited and then a friend suggested another lens and now i am back to being confused .. i have gotten to the point i really like primes but i do have some zooms...i have a 15 limited 4, f 28 2.8, f50 1.7, fa77 1.9 limited, da 60-250 4, d fa100 2.8 and access to a da 50-135 2.8 so i pretty much have the range covered...the 28 is a great lens but i want FASTER...so should i stick with the 31, get a 43 or do a zoom...you will ask me what kind of pictures i will be using it for but i takes all kinds (both indoors and outdoors, sports, birds, animals, landscape, etc etc etc) so what yah think...thanks

08-13-2012, 08:27 AM   #2
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if speed is all you want, you'll be better off (and a bit richer) with the sigma 30mm. However, I say you should simply just go for the 31 and never look back if anything, your 15 and 77 along with the 31 would make an awesome and compact 3 lens kit that should cover 90% of regular shooting situations
08-13-2012, 08:53 AM   #3
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You could also try the FA35. Not quite as fast as the above but not really a slouch either. (I haven't actually shot with it--I own the DA35 Macro and like the focal length. I like it as an all around lens but I can't recommend it for sports, etc. )

If you have your mind set though and the cash, seems hard to go wrong with the FA31; expensive, but hopefully built to last.

As far as zooms, I tried a Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 the other day and I liked it. Pretty snappy and sharp images.

Last edited by sb in ak; 08-13-2012 at 09:03 AM.
08-13-2012, 09:11 AM   #4
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You have a very nice line up of lenses. Your zooms cover most of the range, the only gap I see is on the wide end, so maybe a DA*16-50 or the third party 17-50 f/2.8

On the prime side you have 15, 28, 50, & 77 so your gap is at the 20mm point, so if you want to fill in the DA 21mm would be the logical choice.

The 31mm is highly respected, but is it enough better than the F 28mm to add it to your kit? I don't think there is any question it is a better lens, but is it enough better?

But if you want the 31mm just because it is the 31mm then just go for it, you won't be sorry.

08-13-2012, 11:21 PM   #5
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My thinking: a zoom won't get you faster, the 43 is rather close to your 50. I would go 31 or Sigma 30 1.4.

Or a 21, 30/31, and 43 of course
08-13-2012, 11:49 PM   #6
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FA31 all the way.
Then you'll want to sell the F28, making room for the DA21
08-14-2012, 02:23 AM   #7
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You want the FA31Ltd. So get it, you will not regret it.
08-14-2012, 04:41 AM   #8
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I have a 28 and the 35 macro and I just purchased the 31. I am very much in love with my 35 macro, so at first I felt a little buyer's remorse for the 31, but it is faster and I am really starting to appreciate what it can do. I also like my 28, but the 31 is a big improvement over it, so I don't feel like you would really feel like the 31 is too close to your 28. Given your lineup, I think you would love the 31.

In the very odd event that you don't love it you can always sell it. The group of people positioning for ff are hot on the fa limiteds right now, so there is demand. I also think that the prices of the fa limiteds will go up if a ff announcement is made. So if you have the cash, that is a little extra incentive to pull the trigger now

08-14-2012, 11:23 AM   #9
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Do you have any macro ability?

That's the missing link I see in your line-up...

FA100-2.8 or DA35.2.8macro-ltd???
08-14-2012, 12:14 PM   #10
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Just ordered the 31mm and I tried the 30mm Sigma first. The possible Pentax Full Frame is one factor in the decision. My main concern is the consistency and quality. I'm told that there were some QC issues when production moved from Japan to Vietnam. I have an acquaintance who has a black MIJ 31LTD and a new silver AIV 31LTD, and the silver AIV is tighter, smother MF and very sharp wide open than his older MIJ version. I hope this will be the case with mine when it arrives tomorrow. Crossing fingers that Pentax has improved QC.
08-14-2012, 12:57 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
Just ordered the 31mm and I tried the 30mm Sigma first. The possible Pentax Full Frame is one factor in the decision. My main concern is the consistency and quality. I'm told that there were some QC issues when production moved from Japan to Vietnam. I have an acquaintance who has a black MIJ 31LTD and a new silver AIV 31LTD, and the silver AIV is tighter, smother MF and very sharp wide open than his older MIJ version. I hope this will be the case with mine when it arrives tomorrow. Crossing fingers that Pentax has improved QC.
Winder, please let us know how your new 31 performs when it arrives! (I assume you're ordering an AIV through B&H, Adorama, etc.?) I'm ready to buy a 31 but had been thinking to find a MIJ sample. I'd be especially interested in knowing how yours compares to the AIV model that your acquaintance has. Your assessment could affect my purchasing decision.

I once had the FA 35/2, and the F 50/1.7, and sold them both for a 43 Ltd. So far I've had no regrets, and the 43 has turned out to be one of my favorite lenses, as well as producing some of my best shots lately. However, when I travel light, my kit usually contains the DA*50-135, and the 43 is pretty close in focal length. So now I'm back to thinking I need another 35 (or so), to where the travel kit might be: DA 15 Ltd, DA 35 Ltd, DA*50-135. But, although the 35 Ltd is well-regarded, it just doesn't sound that tantalizing. I'm thinking the 31 Ltd would fill that gap rather nicely, and would hope that it impresses me just as much as the 43 has.
08-14-2012, 01:15 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by NeverSatisfied Quote
Winder, please let us know how your new 31 performs when it arrives! (I assume you're ordering an AIV through B&H, Adorama, etc.?) I'm ready to buy a 31 but had been thinking to find a MIJ sample. I'd be especially interested in knowing how yours compares to the AIV model that your acquaintance has. Your assessment could affect my purchasing decision.

I once had the FA 35/2, and the F 50/1.7, and sold them both for a 43 Ltd. So far I've had no regrets, and the 43 has turned out to be one of my favorite lenses, as well as producing some of my best shots lately. However, when I travel light, my kit usually contains the DA*50-135, and the 43 is pretty close in focal length. So now I'm back to thinking I need another 35 (or so), to where the travel kit might be: DA 15 Ltd, DA 35 Ltd, DA*50-135. But, although the 35 Ltd is well-regarded, it just doesn't sound that tantalizing. I'm thinking the 31 Ltd would fill that gap rather nicely, and would hope that it impresses me just as much as the 43 has.
I ordered it for a trip to Cozumel next week and I plan on putting it through some pretty heavy testing that week. I went through a zoom phase back in the 90's, but I am back to all primes currently.

The QC is my primary concern, and if it was not for they quality of the silver AIV I mentioned I probably would not have gone with the 31mm LTD for this trip. His MIJ 31mm has the wobble on the front element that people talk about, but the silver AIV is very tight, with no rattles or wiggles. I don't have time to return the lens before the trip, so if it turns out to be shoddy QC I'm going to be kinda pissed. Crossing fingers. He might be selling his MIJ black 31mm soon. It is not a bad lens by any means, its just not as well made or as sharp as his newer silver. I told him I would list it on this forum for him if he decides to part with it.
08-14-2012, 04:50 PM   #13
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ok...didn't take much arm turning but i pulled the trigger tonight...will let you know what i think after i have played with it but am sure i will love it as much as my 77
08-14-2012, 05:25 PM   #14
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Congrats!
08-15-2012, 02:39 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by NeverSatisfied Quote
Winder, please let us know how your new 31 performs when it arrives! (I assume you're ordering an AIV through B&H, Adorama, etc.?) I'm ready to buy a 31 but had been thinking to find a MIJ sample. I'd be especially interested in knowing how yours compares to the AIV model that your acquaintance has. Your assessment could affect my purchasing decision.

I once had the FA 35/2, and the F 50/1.7, and sold them both for a 43 Ltd. So far I've had no regrets, and the 43 has turned out to be one of my favorite lenses, as well as producing some of my best shots lately. However, when I travel light, my kit usually contains the DA*50-135, and the 43 is pretty close in focal length. So now I'm back to thinking I need another 35 (or so), to where the travel kit might be: DA 15 Ltd, DA 35 Ltd, DA*50-135. But, although the 35 Ltd is well-regarded, it just doesn't sound that tantalizing. I'm thinking the 31 Ltd would fill that gap rather nicely, and would hope that it impresses me just as much as the 43 has.
Received it today and took it for a walk around an old civil war plantation here in Nashville.

First off. Build quality of the AIV is excellent. No wiggle or wobble with the front element, and not rattle inside of the lens. MF moves very smooth. No gear noise to speak of. I Know some people have complained that it sounded like grit in the gears. AF is very fast and quiet for a screw drive. If the 77mm LTD that I tried had been built like this I probably would not have bought the more expensive Sigma 85mm.

F/1.8 is sharp enough that I could stand 4-5 feet from a flag and take a picture that when zoomed to 1:1 I can count threads in the flag (DNG file - no sharpening). That is more than sharp enough from my expectations of F/1.8. Cropped, exported to a small JPEG, and uploaded. No other processing (no sharpening).
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