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08-29-2012, 04:34 PM   #1
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FA Limiteds

I have an FA31 and FA77 for my K-5. I'm contemplating giving them up, well really contemplating giving up the FA31. Am I crazy (don't answer that)? The FA31 is really heavy to the point that it becomes unpleasant to use for long periods of time. The FA77 is much more manageable but of course at 115mm on my K-5 it is not exactly a multipurpose lens, but of the two I think the image quality is better from the FA77. I guess the thing I'm grappling with right now is how much of the FA Limited is really about "phenomenal" images compared to other excellent lenses of more traditional focal lengths and zooms and how much is about a metal body and great marketing? My DA15 on the other had is fantastic, light, and image quality is excellent. Any thoughts on this (without to much of the emotional baggage that tends to accompany discussions of FA Ltd. lenses). Thanks!

08-29-2012, 05:03 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by CMG Quote
Any thoughts on this (without to much of the emotional baggage that tends to accompany discussions of FA Ltd. lenses). Thanks!
Hahaha good luck!
08-29-2012, 05:13 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by CMG Quote
I have an FA31 and FA77 for my K-5. I'm contemplating giving them up, well really contemplating giving up the FA31. Am I crazy (don't answer that)? The FA31 is really heavy to the point that it becomes unpleasant to use for long periods of time.
That is funny. The 31mm is compact for an FF lens. Be glad you don't have a 24-70/2.8!
08-29-2012, 05:15 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
That is funny. The 31mm is compact for an FF lens. Be glad you don't have a 24-70/2.8!
I'm shooting APS-C K-5

08-29-2012, 05:33 PM   #5
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It seems size and weight are a concern for you, so I suggest going all DA Limiteds. Almost as fast, excellent build quality and depending on who you ask, equal or close to FA image quality.

As far as objective tests go regarding the FA Limiteds, they seem to be all over the board. Some sites really knock the FAs, especially the DA 43 and FA 31 while others seem to praise them a lot. From what I've read the most consistent lens in the group is the 77.

I've had the FA 43 for a few months now and I'm kind of meh about it. It just doesn't seem to blow me away. I have more success with my other lenses and I actually miss the DA 40mm I sold to finance it. But to be fair, I don't think I've given it a fair shot yet. i'm going to keep it for another year and see how it goes. In the meantime I'm going to be purchasing the Sigma 50 and 85. Those should give me an idea of how good the FA really is.
08-29-2012, 05:41 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sol Invictus Quote
It seems size and weight are a concern for you, so I suggest going all DA Limiteds. Almost as fast, excellent build quality and depending on who you ask, equal or close to FA image quality.

As far as objective tests go regarding the FA Limiteds, they seem to be all over the board. Some sites really knock the FAs, especially the DA 43 and FA 31 while others seem to praise them a lot. From what I've read the most consistent lens in the group is the 77.

I've had the FA 43 for a few months now and I'm kind of meh about it. It just doesn't seem to blow me away. I have more success with my other lenses and I actually miss the DA 40mm I sold to finance it. But to be fair, I don't think I've given it a fair shot yet. i'm going to keep it for another year and see how it goes. In the meantime I'm going to be purchasing the Sigma 50 and 85. Those should give me an idea of how good the FA really is.
I wouldn't mind the weight as much if I was so truly impressed with the FA31. I had an FA43 & I was also "meh" about it and I got rid of it. I'll may keep the FA77 which is almost universally praised as opposed to the FA31 which is sometimes praised and sometimes panned. I mean the 18-55 kit is a pretty good lens too and I think it gets more consistently good reviews than the FA31.
08-29-2012, 06:32 PM   #7
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Sure you can save 100 grams or so by swapping to a FA35 or similar, but it sounds to me like you should be investigating a mirrorless like the Olympus OMD and primes which really is a lot smaller but still high IQ. Whatever small lens u put on a K5 is still relatively bulky and heavy compared to m4/3s or even NEX.
08-29-2012, 07:03 PM   #8
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At the end of the day, the best lens(es) will be the ones you bring with you and use. Things like weight and construction will always factor along with image IQ.

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.) However when it comes to photos, I've seen really great images from the F 28mm f2.8 and the FA 35mm f2, both of which are smaller and lighter (and less expensive) than the 31mm. If you don't need the stop or two faster f-stop, than there are other great options out there. And as you mentioned, even the kit lens can hold its own in the right hands.

Sample variation aside, I still think the FA limited's deserve the accolades as they are good lenses. That said, to own any lens just because others say that it is legendary is probably a poor use of funds for most. If a lens like the 31mm doesn't work for you, sell it and get something that does (and never look back!)

Best of luck!

08-29-2012, 07:56 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by CMG Quote
I have an FA31 and FA77 for my K-5. I'm contemplating giving them up, well really contemplating giving up the FA31. Am I crazy (don't answer that)? The FA31 is really heavy to the point that it becomes unpleasant to use for long periods of time. The FA77 is much more manageable but of course at 115mm on my K-5 it is not exactly a multipurpose lens, but of the two I think the image quality is better from the FA77. I guess the thing I'm grappling with right now is how much of the FA Limited is really about "phenomenal" images compared to other excellent lenses of more traditional focal lengths and zooms and how much is about a metal body and great marketing? My DA15 on the other had is fantastic, light, and image quality is excellent. Any thoughts on this (without to much of the emotional baggage that tends to accompany discussions of FA Ltd. lenses). Thanks!
I have both of these (31 & 77) and I am still on the look out for the right 43. To be completely honest I purchased them because of the hype, I already have a K28mm F3.5 and that lens is a fine piece of craftsmanship. I would say it feels better than the 31 in use, its smaller, lighter, only 10% of the cost, draws less attention, has better manual focus, has nice colours and is sharp ta-boot. Admittedly though the 31 edges out with the max aperture, bokeh, and slightly better colour tones, but in terms of value the 31 isn't in the same league.

The 77 on the other hand, I have used nothing that even compares. Although I have eye'd a samyang 85 1.4 which by many accounts is very good.

From a size standpoint, if you want to keep the FA 31, you might wish to look for ways to make it (and all your other lenses for that matter) more livable first. I suggest you look at getting a decent camera strap, like a neoprene type material that has a bit of give and is a fair bit wider to spread the weight on your neck more evenly.

If you do choose to sell it I suggest you write a list of pro's and con's first. It will help you deal with sellers remorse.
08-29-2012, 08:57 PM   #10
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I find the FA31mm unwieldy too but what else out there compares? The nikon has the 35mm f1.8 but not in Pentax land. If you can live with a f2.4 go ahead and get the DA35mm as a replacement. I do think that FA limiteds are forever though, considering their build quality and ever reliable (but noisy) screw drive.

If Pentax were to announce the mythical FF at photokina though, I would hold on to the 31mm. I love the FOV.
08-29-2012, 09:47 PM   #11
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I own the 3 FA Limiteds, along with several DA* lenses, etc. of the Fa's I use the 43(mij) most, the 77 least. The 31 is the sharpest wide open. The 77 Ltd is nice but I usually shoot tele with my 50-135 of 60-250. For me the 77 may get sold. I used to shoot Canon full frame and the nicest prime I had was the 135 f2...just amazing, but rarely used. Consider carefully as you will lose money when you sell, and pay taxes on a new lens. How many reviews have been written on this forum saying they "had" a lens and sold it, regretfully. In a couple years Pentax may have a full frame camera and a DA lens won't be much good to you.
08-30-2012, 08:41 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by sunny16 Quote
At the end of the day, the best lens(es) will be the ones you bring with you and use. Things like weight and construction will always factor along with image IQ.

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.) However when it comes to photos, I've seen really great images from the F 28mm f2.8 and the FA 35mm f2, both of which are smaller and lighter (and less expensive) than the 31mm. If you don't need the stop or two faster f-stop, than there are other great options out there. And as you mentioned, even the kit lens can hold its own in the right hands.

Sample variation aside, I still think the FA limited's deserve the accolades as they are good lenses. That said, to own any lens just because others say that it is legendary is probably a poor use of funds for most. If a lens like the 31mm doesn't work for you, sell it and get something that does (and never look back!)

Best of luck!
Thanks for that excellent advice!
08-30-2012, 08:48 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Chaos_Realm Quote
I have both of these (31 & 77) and I am still on the look out for the right 43. To be completely honest I purchased them because of the hype, I already have a K28mm F3.5 and that lens is a fine piece of craftsmanship. I would say it feels better than the 31 in use, its smaller, lighter, only 10% of the cost, draws less attention, has better manual focus, has nice colours and is sharp ta-boot. Admittedly though the 31 edges out with the max aperture, bokeh, and slightly better colour tones, but in terms of value the 31 isn't in the same league.

The 77 on the other hand, I have used nothing that even compares. Although I have eye'd a samyang 85 1.4 which by many accounts is very good.

From a size standpoint, if you want to keep the FA 31, you might wish to look for ways to make it (and all your other lenses for that matter) more livable first. I suggest you look at getting a decent camera strap, like a neoprene type material that has a bit of give and is a fair bit wider to spread the weight on your neck more evenly.

If you do choose to sell it I suggest you write a list of pro's and con's first. It will help you deal with sellers remorse.
I purchased it because of the hype too. Now that the mystique surrounding the lens has worn off, I just don't really enjoy shooting with it as much as I schedule do the DA Ltds and even the FA77. I think the build quality of the DA Ltds is at least as good as the FAs and the images are excellent.
08-30-2012, 08:51 AM   #14
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I have been very pleased with the FA limiteds I own (31 and 77). They do have a very special way of rendering, particularly out of focus areas that I love. That said, if you feel like they are too big and unwieldy, then going with DA limiteds (and maybe the DA 35 f2.4) would be the way to go. Just remember that in general you will give up a stop in light collecting ability.
08-30-2012, 08:52 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Franky2step Quote
I own the 3 FA Limiteds, along with several DA* lenses, etc. of the Fa's I use the 43(mij) most, the 77 least. The 31 is the sharpest wide open. The 77 Ltd is nice but I usually shoot tele with my 50-135 of 60-250. For me the 77 may get sold. I used to shoot Canon full frame and the nicest prime I had was the 135 f2...just amazing, but rarely used. Consider carefully as you will lose money when you sell, and pay taxes on a new lens. How many reviews have been written on this forum saying they "had" a lens and sold it, regretfully. In a couple years Pentax may have a full frame camera and a DA lens won't be much good to you.
Pentax might have an FF in a few years...or not. I might purchase it....or not particularly since it will like be a $5K+ body. I think if Pentax does produce a FF they will also release a series of FF lenses to go with it.
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