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02-13-2008, 05:07 PM   #16
SouthShoreRob
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Though I've only had it for four weeks, or so, I love everything about the FA* 200mm prime I have. One day, I'd like to add some more FA*s to the collection, but between now and then I'll have to win the lottery or get a second job.

02-13-2008, 09:51 PM   #17
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There is a used FA24/2 in 8+ condition at Henry's, a reputable Canadian chain, as of this morning. The price is reasonable too. It's not going to last long. www dot henrys dot com.
02-14-2008, 12:46 AM   #18
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If you are after fast glass, the FA* are certainly the best lenses you can get.
If the extra stop is not so important, the DA Limiteds are equally good or even better because they much smaller and lighter.
02-14-2008, 04:54 PM   #19
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I think I'll pass on the FA* 24/2 and the FA* 85/1.4. I just can't justify $2000+ on these two lenses when newer, similar lenses are available or will be available soon.

02-14-2008, 05:26 PM   #20
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Of all the lenses I have, FA*24/2 is the weakest performer on digital. Like the photozone results indicate, it is good at centre but the edge/corners simple not good at all. I have owned 2 copies of this lens and both are the same. For subjects where edge/corners performance isn't important, or when you need it for lowlight, it is fine. For anything else, the DA16-45/4 simple blows it away.
02-14-2008, 07:55 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by wlachan Quote
Of all the lenses I have, FA*24/2 is the weakest performer on digital. Like the photozone results indicate, it is good at centre but the edge/corners simple not good at all. I have owned 2 copies of this lens and both are the same. For subjects where edge/corners performance isn't important, or when you need it for lowlight, it is fine. For anything else, the DA16-45/4 simple blows it away.
Hello Alan!

Well, I respect both your and Klaus (of Photozone)'s opinions; however I don't share the criticism in regards to corner sharpness as you both. I didn't expect much from the lens when I got it, but was absolutely blown away by the sharpness - especially so at f/2!
I'm sorry I don't have any full-size pics to post, but a couple I have posted are incredibly sharp at full size. Like:


...and at f/2...

(Yeah, I know I turned the shadows way down - but the entirety of the rock star are in sharp focus for f/2!)

Maybe the different opinions are because I'm not shooting landscapes with it?

But I agree it isn't worth $800 like I've seen recently...

--Sean
02-15-2008, 12:24 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Andrew Faires Quote
I've never used the 21mm ltd, but I did own the FA*24mm and there's a couple of things that I liked about it:

1) the build was amazing. It was pure metal & glass.
2) It was an absolute joy to use on any camera. It was about perfect for wrapping your hand around it comfortably.
3) In spite of the lack of sealing, it could take some elemental abuse.

With that said, my 16-50mm @ 24mm out-performs it (no scientific tests done....just an observation from using the 16-50 as I sold the 24mm to fund the 16-50).

If you want the 24mm and you want a lens with good heft, the FA* will deliver. But if I was in your shoes, I'd stick with the 21mm unless you could get the 24mm at a really good price.
Apparently you Got a Good 16-50. I've dug out my FA* 24 and have started running
some comparisons, and I've got a bunch more work to do before I draw a line in the sand on the issue, but I'm not dumping my FA*24 just yet. There has been a lot of negative buzz on the 16-50, and I sorta decided dthat lining it up with a couple of primes that I have
--the SMC-A 15mm and the the FA*24 would give me some insite as to whether I squandered the family fortune on a lemon or not.
02-15-2008, 01:23 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by wlachan Quote
Of all the lenses I have, FA*24/2 is the weakest performer on digital. Like the photozone results indicate, it is good at centre but the edge/corners simple not good at all. I have owned 2 copies of this lens and both are the same.
I recently did a careful check of my lenses in this range and found the FA24 to perform quite good. It shows the same corner performance as the DA21 (at f2.8/3.2). It is only very slightly worse than the K30, which was the best of all lenses I tested.
With respect to the large aperture the FA24 shows also remarkable contrast even wide open.

Here is a comparison of the corners:
(I have selected the best shot out of 20 each)

Corners, 200% view


I can recommend the FA24 for the K10D without reservation.

02-15-2008, 08:14 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by rvannatta Quote
Apparently you Got a Good 16-50. I've dug out my FA* 24 and have started running
some comparisons, and I've got a bunch more work to do before I draw a line in the sand on the issue, but I'm not dumping my FA*24 just yet. There has been a lot of negative buzz on the 16-50, and I sorta decided dthat lining it up with a couple of primes that I have
--the SMC-A 15mm and the the FA*24 would give me some insite as to whether I squandered the family fortune on a lemon or not.
When I got the 16-50, I tried it out before I bought it to make sure - as I was nervous about quality control. I did test it at the wide end with the DA 14mm to be certain of the quality and once I saw the results of that comparison, I was quite happy! Unfortunately, I did have to part with the 24mm to help fund the 16-50. Otherwise I'd have kept it as I truely did love the feel of that lens.

The 15mm ltd. is very tempting though. If it's small enough (diameter of front element) to use my singh-ray polarizers without vignetting and compares well in colour/contrast to the 14mm, I'll drop the 14mm and get that. And while I'd miss that extra mm, what I'd gain by being able to use those filters on an ultra-wide again would more than make up for it. Unfortunately, my polarizers even vignette with the 16-50 at the wide end.....so I can't wait to see the 15mm first hand!
02-15-2008, 08:33 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Andrew Faires Quote
When I got the 16-50, I tried it out before I bought it to make sure - as I was nervous about quality control. I did test it at the wide end with the DA 14mm to be certain of the quality and once I saw the results of that comparison, I was quite happy! Unfortunately, I did have to part with the 24mm to help fund the 16-50. Otherwise I'd have kept it as I truely did love the feel of that lens.

The 15mm ltd. is very tempting though. If it's small enough (diameter of front element) to use my singh-ray polarizers without vignetting and compares well in colour/contrast to the 14mm, I'll drop the 14mm and get that. And while I'd miss that extra mm, what I'd gain by being able to use those filters on an ultra-wide again would more than make up for it. Unfortunately, my polarizers even vignette with the 16-50 at the wide end.....so I can't wait to see the 15mm first hand!
well one doesn't havae to wait to see ethe 15mm I have since it is one of the old 'bubble fronts' of the manual focus era. They get a kings ransom on Ebay, but I have no clue as to
the optical quality compared to these others. My first pass at the FA*24 f/2 was pretty good but I want to try a few more things
02-15-2008, 02:55 PM   #26
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Before I purchase Fa* 24mm, I had been warned its soft corners and its relatively inferior overall image rendering comparing to other limited. f2 is quoted non-usable at all.

However, I found the bokeh pleasing. Corners were not unsharp stoping down to f2.8. The images tend to be a little warm. Otherwise, it is a stellar performer (I just wish it to be f1.4!!)

Guilty of not using it as much as I would have liked. But this prime deserves more raves than its poorly earned reputation.
02-16-2008, 08:41 PM   #27
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It seems like the DA* 55/1.4 is the replacement for the FA* 85/1.4. Does anyone have any comments on this? I checked the photo of it over at dpreview.

Alos, how's the FA 77/1.8 Limited for portraiture and same for the DA* 50-135/2.8? I've heard both recommended for portraiture.
02-16-2008, 09:29 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by tux08902 Quote
How much of a difference in perspective is 21mm vs. 24mm?
Insignificant. In fact, use your zoom and try 21mm and 24mm setting. The difference is only 1.14X and not of any practical importance.

My rule of thumb: space wide angle primes at about 1.5-1.75X, telephoto primes at about 2-3X (over 35mm on APS-C).

For example, if you get DA21 you should be looking at something about 1.5X longer. FA31, FA35/2 or new DA35 Macro would fit the bill. Then with those focal lengths you are hitting normal range on APS-C, so next step is 2X and options are DA70, FA77 or even FA*85.

So go with something like DA21 <-1.67X-> FA35 <-2X-> DA70.

And consider FA20/2.8 as well (if you can find it).
02-16-2008, 09:34 PM   #29
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Would the A 20/2.8 do just as well?
02-16-2008, 11:15 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by blende8 Quote
I recently did a careful check of my lenses in this range and found the FA24 to perform quite good. It shows the same corner performance as the DA21 (at f2.8/3.2). It is only very slightly worse than the K30, which was the best of all lenses I tested.
With respect to the large aperture the FA24 shows also remarkable contrast even wide open.

Here is a comparison of the corners:
(I have selected the best shot out of 20 each)

Corners, 200% view


I can recommend the FA24 for the K10D without reservation.

Interesting test, I've owned two FA*24/2 both very different serial number and both with very similar rendering. After testing I sold both (though I still have occasional access to one), my old A24/2.8 wide open out resolves the FA* in the corners up until about f5, a deal breaker for me. It's by far the worst performing WA lens I've owned.
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