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09-23-2012, 07:12 PM   #1
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DA* 55mm/f1.4 vs FA 43mm/1.9 Ltd?

Hi guys,

I am new around here, but wondering if anyone has experience with the DA* 55mm/f1.4? I was considering purchasing the FA 43mm/1.9 Ltd, which becomes effectively a 62mm on my K-5, so very similar to the 55mm. I know that the 43mm has a legendary following but haven't read too much on the 55mm. I really need something which will work well with the elements though as I shoot kids and weddings, and am pretty rough on my gear.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

Tanya.
Photographer Tanya Love – 2012 Australia Professional Creative Photographer of the Year Runner Up and 2012 Qld Professional Family Photographer Of The Year Runner Up

09-23-2012, 07:35 PM   #2
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Hi Tanya,

Welcome aboard! I'd like to ask that you put your web site link in your signature, rather than in main posts. You can edit your signature here:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/profile.php?do=editsignature

If you need an outdoor lens, then the 55mm is for you. I would say that its AF is lower than that of the 43mm, but both have stellar IQ. We will be posting a review of the DA* 55mm on out homepage during the first week of October.

BTW, have you also considered the 55-130mm zoom?

Adam
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09-23-2012, 07:43 PM   #3
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Have a look in the DA* lens club thread. There are many examples of output from the DA*55. Look especially at TOUGEFC's contributions.
09-23-2012, 07:54 PM   #4
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Oh cool, thanks guys.

Adam - I didn't realise there was such a lens? do you mean the 50-135mm/f2.8? I already have a Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 that I use for the long end, but I'm not overly keen on zooms really. I considered the DA* 16-50mm 2.8 too but there seems to be a lot of mixed reviews so I am sticking with my primes for now. Just means I have to use my legs and carry more gear. Will definitely keep an eye out for that review and also go over to the DA* lens club thread as Sandy suggested. Thanks so much.

09-23-2012, 08:01 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by lovebytes Quote
Oh cool, thanks guys.

Adam - I didn't realise there was such a lens? do you mean the 50-135mm/f2.8? I already have a Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 that I use for the long end, but I'm not overly keen on zooms really. I considered the DA* 16-50mm 2.8 too but there seems to be a lot of mixed reviews so I am sticking with my primes for now. Just means I have to use my legs and carry more gear. Will definitely keep an eye out for that review and also go over to the DA* lens club thread as Sandy suggested. Thanks so much.
I think he did mean the DA*50-135/2.8, in which case I can recommend this as a lens that lives up to its reputation as being at least close to a box of prime lenses (in common with a few other Pentax zooms, like the FA*s). I recently purchased one from a PF member here, because I needed something faster than my DA18-135, and I have to say that I'd agree with that description. A number of people here have used them for portraiture, so if you have a hunt around, you'll find their testimonies. I don't have the DA*55, so I can't comment on that one, but I do have the FA43 Ltd, and it also deserves its reputation, in my view.
09-23-2012, 08:18 PM   #6
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The DA* 55 is one of my favorite lenses to date. Taking photos of people or animals? It captures their tones so nicely. Use the hood, and use a tripod.

I haven't used the FA 43 Ltd., but samples I've seen from it show it as a quite nice lens. I don't think you'd go wrong with either - it's like asking if you would prefer a Ribeye steak or a Porterhouse - both are excellent.
09-24-2012, 12:45 AM   #7
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DA* = WR, Ltd isn't!
09-24-2012, 04:26 AM   #8
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I have both. Get to know them and they are both outstanding.

Both can produce some busy bokeh if you miss their sweet spots.
Both are extremely sharp.
Both are fast, although one is faster.
One is fabulously compact, the other is weather sealed.

You won't lose either way.

09-24-2012, 05:25 AM   #9
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I have both the 55 and the 43. The 43 is sharper wide open, much smaller, and all-around a better lens. The 55 is built like a tank (43 has a solid build, but not made for the elements). If you need to shoot in the rain, choose the 55 otherwise take the 43. The 55 is a bit long for quite a bit of shooting.
09-25-2012, 01:46 PM   #10
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I couldn't say for both lens (cuz I actually don't own them), but I used both of them somehow.
I think there is a difference on the philosophy.
FA43=======the "STANDARD" standard prime lens on Pentax Film FF. 43mm is actually the length of the sensor's diagonal,
DA*55=======the successor for the famous FA*85 on DLSR, which intended to be used on a APS-C sensor one. by 1.5 mig it is actually the *85mm. ==perfect portrait lens.
And on APS-C, the 43 has a very weird angle (65mm), and btw it is not modified to DSLR cameras, so when full-open the purple fringe is one of the big problems you shall concern.
And *55 should be better.
IMO if you are not a 1)Film photographer, 2)FA lens fan, then go for the DA*. the *55, with a WR, Digital modified, and F1.4, should be a good choice.
Best.
Bing

Last edited by hongzhibin1987; 09-25-2012 at 05:56 PM.
09-25-2012, 03:46 PM   #11
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The DA*55 is a better portrait lens - fast with better perspective and high central resolution. WR is useful in the field.
09-26-2012, 12:34 AM   #12
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Thanks everyone! Well, my new DA* 55mm arrived today. I went with the 55 for all of the reasons mentioned above - and most particularly as I was shooting a wedding last weekend in the rain, and whilst my body (K5) is good to go, none of my lenses but the 18-55 kit lens that came on my K7 body is up to the task. I still have my trusty FA 50mm/1.7 which equates to 75mm on my current body, so a little less than the 55mm, and combined with the rest of my kit, gives me a pretty awesome coverage for most of my requirements as a people photographer.

In saying that, I am still going to get the 43mm - I am seriously holding out home for FF one of these days, so would like it in my kit for the precise reasons that Bing mentioned above.

I also picked up the DA 12-24mm/f4 today, so I am going to have a great play at this coming weekend's wedding! Can't wait.

tan.
09-26-2012, 11:39 PM   #13
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Since you have the fast 55/1.4, you might consider the DA40/2.8, which is tiny and sharper at mid-apertures than the FA43.
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