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08-30-2012, 09:29 AM   #16
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Along with primes I shoot f/2.8 zooms so the weight of the FA31 isn't really noticeable to me. I guess everything is relative. I haven't shot other primes in that focal length so can't make comparisons based on personal experience but from all the side-by-sides I've seen done online, I always prefer the FA31's rendering when it comes to the out of focus areas. I often like to shoot wide open, or close to, and the majority of my shooting ranges from wide to medium telephoto. On APS-C the FA31 comfortably falls right around a normal FL so it's super useful and multipurpose for my style of shooting. The FA31 has been on my camera more than any other lens ever since I got it. In truth, I only have a couple of quibbles about the lens. While I like the appearance and general functionality of the built-in hood, it complicates using a filter that's larger than the 58mm diameter. Sometimes I wish it had quickshift like my DA lenses have. Lastly, I'll agree that the size is a touch on the big side, but other than how this can be slightly impractical at times I actually like the substantial feel and appearance it gives the lens. The design of the FA31 and the FA77 pair so well with the K-5 I find them to be the sexiest of any DSLR and lens combo out there.

My FA77 gets a lot less use (Edit: meant to say does NOT get a lot of use), due to the longer focal length. I hope to change that though and adapt to using it more. I've found that the FA77 can have more purple fringing, which I'm not crazy about. Also, as it turns out, my FA77 is the only lens I own that requires any focus adjustment.

I would follow Chaos-Realm's advice of carefully evaluating the pros and cons. If you consider the alternatives, depending on what's most important to you, you might discover that the FA31 is the best lens for you, or you might not. I think the DA35 f/2.8 Ltd macro would be too slow for me, both in terms of aperture and focusing. But its quality build and quickshift would make it a joy to use. The DA 35 f/2.4 would be too plastic fantastic for my tastes and I don't think I'd be satisfied with the bokeh, though the focusing is nice and fast. The FA35 f/2, I don't know, maybe that would be a good option and it'd let you stay FF compatible. Though from what I understand, the DA35 f/2.4 is also FF compatible. Maybe Sigma has some lenses you could consider, but I don't think they're going to save you much in terms of size or weight.

Best of luck!


Last edited by TomTextura; 08-30-2012 at 12:07 PM.
08-30-2012, 09:58 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by sunny16 Quote
Look, I own all three of the FA limited's and I really enjoy using all of them and I don't see myself selling them (I also still use them often with their intended medium of 35mm film.)
This is an interesting point. I've been trying to understand the pros and cons of using a lens on an APS-C or FF that was designed to be used for shooting 35mm film. What are the advantages and disadvantages and will they be the same on a FF digital body?
08-30-2012, 10:02 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by TomTextura Quote
Along with primes I shoot f/2.8 zooms so the weight of the FA31 isn't really noticeable to me. I guess everything is relative. I haven't shot other primes in that focal length so can't make comparisons based on personal experience but from all the side-by-sides I've seen done online, I always prefer the FA31's rendering when it comes to the out of focus areas. I often like to shoot wide open, or close to, and the majority of my shooting ranges from wide to medium telephoto. On APS-C the FA31 comfortably falls right around a normal FL so it's super useful and multipurpose for my style of shooting. The FA31 has been on my camera more than any other lens ever since I got it. In truth, I only have a couple of quibbles about the lens. While I like the appearance and general functionality of the built-in hood, it complicates using a filter that's larger than the 58mm diameter. Sometimes I wish it had quickshift like my DA lenses have. Lastly, I'll agree that the size is a touch on the big side, but other than how this can be slightly impractical at times I actually like the substantial feel and appearance it gives the lens. The design of the FA31 and the FA77 pair so well with the K-5 I find them to be the sexiest of any DSLR and lens combo out there.

My FA77 gets a lot less use, due to the longer focal length. I hope to change that though and adapt to using it more. I've found that the FA77 can have more purple fringing, which I'm not crazy about. Also, as it turns out, my FA77 is the only lens I own that requires any focus adjustment.

I would follow Chaos-Realm's advice of carefully evaluating the pros and cons. If you consider the alternatives, depending on what's most important to you, you might discover that the FA31 is the best lens for you, or you might not. I think the DA35 f/2.8 Ltd macro would be too slow for me, both in terms of aperture and focusing. But its quality build and quickshift would make it a joy to use. The DA 35 f/2.4 would be too plastic fantastic for my tastes and I don't think I'd be satisfied with the bokeh, though the focusing is nice and fast. The FA35 f/2, I don't know, maybe that would be a good option and it'd let you stay FF compatible. Though from what I understand, the DA35 f/2.4 is also FF compatible. Maybe Sigma has some lenses you could consider, but I don't think they're going to save you much in terms of size or weight.

Best of luck!
Thanks for your consistently good advice! I think it would be wise not to be too hasty in selling my FA31. There is always time to sell. Plus I have an MX on the way and I think this will be a great lens for experimenting with film. I agree, I need to carefully weigh the pros and cons and the fact that I will lose money on the sale at this time.
08-30-2012, 10:49 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by CMG Quote
Thanks for your consistently good advice!
You're welcome.

QuoteOriginally posted by CMG Quote
Plus I have an MX on the way and I think this will be a great lens for experimenting with film.
It will be a great lens on film. I hope to get a film body in not too long for using with my FA Limiteds.

08-30-2012, 11:40 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by CMG Quote
This is an interesting point. I've been trying to understand the pros and cons of using a lens on an APS-C or FF that was designed to be used for shooting 35mm film. What are the advantages and disadvantages and will they be the same on a FF digital body?
They work beautifully on film (in my opinion.) How that would translate to a (possible) future full frame DSLR is unclear though. I think digital is still a different beast and as sensors approach / pass most consumer 35mm films in resolution, it's hard to say how these older designs would hold up (specifically in C.A.'s and fringing.) It's possible they could be re-released (a D FA Limited version?) with new coatings (or otherwise slightly modified) if Pentax does release a digital "full frame."
08-30-2012, 11:44 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by sunny16 Quote
They work beautifully on film (in my opinion.) How that would translate to a (possible) future full frame DSLR is unclear though. I think digital is still a different beast and as sensors approach / pass most consumer 35mm films in resolution, it's hard to say how these older designs would hold up (specifically in C.A.'s and fringing.) It's possible they could be re-released (a D FA Limited version?) with new coatings (or otherwise slightly modified) if Pentax does release a digital "full frame."
Interesting point. I think you are probably correct that if Pentax does introduce a FF it will re-release these lenses and D-FA or something like that. Do you know, from an optics perspective, how the construction of film lenses differs from the construction of digital lenses and how that impacts backward/forward compatibility in terms of the exposure?
08-30-2012, 11:45 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by TomTextura Quote
You're welcome.


It will be a great lens on film. I hope to get a film body in not too long for using with my FA Limiteds.
I'm excited to work with film, but frankly I have not idea how I can make it cost effective.....particularly in terms of getting negatives scanned so I can tweak them if necessary and print at home.
08-30-2012, 11:59 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by CMG Quote
I'm excited to work with film, but frankly I have not idea how I can make it cost effective.....particularly in terms of getting negatives scanned so I can tweak them if necessary and print at home.
I'm in the same boat and that's what's keeping me from being in too much of a hurry to get a film body. Lucky for both of us, there are lots of members on the forum who have a great deal of knowledge that they're willing to share.

08-30-2012, 12:48 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by TomTextura Quote
I'm in the same boat and that's what's keeping me from being in too much of a hurry to get a film body. Lucky for both of us, there are lots of members on the forum who have a great deal of knowledge that they're willing to share.
Luckily! I picked up the MX just because prices are already crazy and probably getting crazier. Much to my surprise when I checked the mail today, the MX arrived. If you told me it was brand new, I'd probably believe it. Well see what Eric says when I send it to him, but it's super clean and snappy all around. Anyhow, I popped on my FA31 just to have a look and I must say that what I see when the FA31 is mounted on the MX is quite amazing. It looks like a super sharp wide angle lens...wait...that's what it is...except on my K-5. Without even shooting a roll of film, which I don't have, I can now begin to see what all the fuss is and, IMHO, you cannot really see this unless you mount it on a 35mm camera. So, where does that leave me? It leaves me using my DA Ltds. most of the time, trying to figure out how to work with film in a reasonably economical way in order to get the best out of my FA Ltds, and waiting to see if Pentax ever puts out a FF that is not astronomically expensive. Regarding an FF camera and FA Ltds, the question remains, at least for me, how do the optics of a film lens differ from the optics of a digital lens and how do these differences affect your exposures and renderings. I have no idea, but hopefully someone can address this question.
08-30-2012, 01:42 PM   #25
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If you're happy with APS-C lenses, you could consider swapping the FA31 with a DA35/2.4 or DA40 Ltd if you want something a little sturdier. Both will clearly be slower than the FA31 but that is the compromise you make with knocking off weight from your lenses. Don't bother too much about the rendering differences between FA and DA lenses. They're both very good in the Ltd series.
08-30-2012, 01:52 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
If you're happy with APS-C lenses, you could consider swapping the FA31 with a DA35/2.4 or DA40 Ltd if you want something a little sturdier. Both will clearly be slower than the FA31 but that is the compromise you make with knocking off weight from your lenses. Don't bother too much about the rendering differences between FA and DA lenses. They're both very good in the Ltd series.
Theres also a ~22~38 Limited zoom coming. That sounds like a very compact and interesting lens.
08-30-2012, 03:31 PM   #27
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I think you have a couple options here...

If you keep the 31 Limited for film and/or future FF, you could pick up a cheapie DA 35/2.4 to use on your K-5. Even though it's all plastic, I don't really find it chintzy-feeling. It's reallllllly light weight. Even my FA 50/1.4 feels slightly heavy in comparison.

Or, if you sell the 31, get an FA 35/2. Optically there's not much difference between it and the DA 35/2.4 (in fact many folks on here say they have similar if not identical optical designs) but you're much closer to the max aperture of the 31. While the DA 35/2.4 image circle may cover the full 35mm frame, it doesn't have an aperture ring which would crimp your style trying to use it on your MX.
08-31-2012, 08:32 AM   #28
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I think the special part of the FA31 is the big aperture. If you are willing to give that up for a smaller lens then go for it.
08-31-2012, 08:51 AM   #29
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@CMG,

Here's what's unpleasant. After sleeping on my left wrist three times in a row, I've either torn or stretched ligaments/tendons that's painful unless I take Celebrex for the Osteo and Rheumatoid Arthritis in both knees. I'm telling you, holding the Tamron 70-200 2.8 sucks.

Last edited by tabl10s; 08-31-2012 at 09:04 AM.
08-31-2012, 05:24 PM   #30
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If you want I'll do you a straight swap... My FA35-f2 for your FA31-Ltd... I'll even pay for your postage...
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