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View Poll Results: Best Limited Lens in terms of Price-For-Performance?
SMC Pentax-FA 31mm F1.8 AL Limited 2818.92%
SMC Pentax-FA 43mm F1.9 Limited 3120.95%
SMC Pentax-FA 77mm F1.8 Limited 4429.73%
SMC Pentax-DA 21mm F3.2 Limited 138.78%
SMC Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited 5235.14%
SMC Pentax-DA 70mm F2.4 Limited 4429.73%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 148. You may not vote on this poll

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03-19-2008, 12:18 AM   #46
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Wow, the FA77 just overtook the exceptionally cheap DA40 in a price-vs-performance poll

So I assume that considering I can get this lens (FA77) for <$600... I should jump on the chance and buy it already?

QuoteOriginally posted by a a i b Quote
I've got the 21, 31, 43, and 77.

My vote for price/performance went to the 43 and 70 (my guess is that the 70 is really close to the 77).

My favorite lens is the 77, but the 31 never really leaves the camera.
I'd love to own the 31mm... but gawd, it's so expensive...

03-19-2008, 12:40 AM   #47
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I have a feeling a lot of voters are voting for what the think is the best/most desierable and not best price-performance. The 31 is very good, but ho is going to argue that it has great price performance? surely its an example of diminishing returns, its fantastic but not 2-3x the price fantastic, which no expensive lens is.
03-19-2008, 08:50 AM   #48
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esp considering when the FA31 and FA77 have close and cheaper alternatives in the FA35 and DA70, it's hard to classify them as value
03-19-2008, 10:29 AM   #49
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I don't think the build quality and design aesthetic of the DA70 = FA77 ltd. The DA ltds are good, but not sublime.

Just depends what is important to you...

03-19-2008, 10:50 AM   #50
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If it's just pure price/performance then the DA limited would win hand down. But I guess the OP is asking more along the value of the lens to the owner. Then from the list, I would say the 31LTD (cause I have only 2 LTDs anyway). Due to its "normal" FOV, it would fit any many applications (at least to me): portrait, landscape, casual street, etc. Would I get the same satisfaction from the 35/2? Possibly, but it would definitely not be as satisfactory as the beautiful 31LTD. When you go pick an equiptment, it's also based on personal feel/bond with the piece to make the final decision.
03-19-2008, 11:24 AM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eaglerapids Quote
I didn't buy my 31 Limited on any kind of basis concerning value compared to performance are anything like that. Many say the FA 35/2 is 95% of the 31. I wanted that other 5% too.
If we are looking at price/performance, and the 35 is 95% of the 31, then the 35 is 176% better than the 31!

But seriously, according to the photozone reviews, the 35 beats the 31 in vignetting and also resolution across the entire field of view, at every aperture! Is there something else about the 31 that makes it so great (not counting build quality) ? I am not arguing the 35 is better, I am just curious since I have not had the privledge of trying a 31. I have heard multiple times about that "something special" regarding the 31, but I have never really read an explanation or speculation of what that something special might be. For some, might it be a rationalization of the $870 price?

If this looks like a hijack, maybe I should move the question to a new thread?

Last edited by PentaxPoke; 03-19-2008 at 11:47 AM.
03-19-2008, 12:55 PM   #52
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words often can't describe or explain "special." This is why all these reviews with numbers and measurements and pictures of newspapers and coins tell you part of the story...but not the whole story, at least for some users.

"Value" is a word that means different things to different people. I harken back to my car experience. There are plenty of newer econo-box cars that would blow my old 911 out of the water wrt performance, especially if you just looked at the numbers. But the feel of using the tool (and on the track, a car is a tool that gets you a final result) is different. In the car analogy, you use your tool to start a lap, and your goal is to post a lap time or to beat the car next to finish with a result that has both objective (who is faster) and subjective (am I happy with the time) components. But the end result doesn't necessarily speak to the process...and the process is a big part of it imho.

So you can say that the 35 has "less vignetting" than the 31. But if I end up with better pictures with the 31, that data point means zilch. And equally as important, if the 31 makes me want to pick up the camera and make art while the 35 is "just a great lens", well then the value of the 31 *to me* is pretty immense.

But I don't know yet because the damn UPS person hasn't delivered my 31 yet today...I can say that the 77 does make me want to pick up the camera, even just sitting around the house. Last night I spent a half hour just shooting things in relative darkness using manual focus. Just because. And some of it provided interesting results. Art can be made anywhere but the muse is fickle. If the lens helps call the muse, then I'm there.
03-19-2008, 01:11 PM   #53
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Picked the 31 and 77. Both have incredible optical quality. They also have aperture rings which allow use on the LX. Why give that up? They have higher speed than the other lenses too. They are the full package. Especially if Pentax ever goes full frame. 40 is nice but not as well made as 31 & 77 and doesn't have the same look. Takes the 43 for that.

03-19-2008, 01:17 PM   #54
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From a financial point of view the clear winner is the DA 40 LTD.

From a practical point of view (different for different users of course ) I have to say that the loss of my 31 LTD would be catastrophic. The lens is truly one of the most versatile lenses made and the quality of the output and construction is beyond being surpassed by perhaps any other lens on the market. The contrast is superb and the color balance and resistance to flare is remarkable.

The 77mm is nice and shares a fair number of qualities with the 31. But I find that I do not use it much.

The 43mm is perhaps the sharpest of all the limiteds...PERIOD. While I use it consistantly, I make myself use it because it produces a maticulously rendered image. It has it all... color balance, contrast, sharpness... though at times it can be a challenge to produce the buttery bokeh of the above two lenses. The focal length is a little odd, but if you force yourself to use it you will eventually realize that it is a superior optic.

03-19-2008, 09:02 PM   #55
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Honestly, all this talk of "it depends on what you need" really confuses me... at least taking my own photography into context. I understand that there are a lot of people who have found their niches already when it comes to talking pictures; so in that aspect, they know what lenses they need. Me on the other hand, I'm still in the "I love shooting anything" phase.

I've owned a DSLR for only half a year now (I used a P&S for a year or two before that); and I skipped the kit lens to use the DA40 instead as my first lens. I find that I'm more in the habit of letting the lens choose what and how I shoot rather than the other way around. I suppose letting the lens dictate your shots doesn't sound quite right, but it works for me for now... I'm happy with my shots... and I love my DA40.

I guess that's why I'm hung up on the "price-for-performance" aspect of these limiteds. I found the DA40 to pack a mean value for its price, which is why I definitely want my next lens to be a prime and I definitely want it to be a limited. However, at this financial state in my life; and considering the fact that "the lens dictates me", I want that lens to be one that packs a mean value for its price.

So far, I'm leaning towards the FA77. I heard that it can be had somewhere in HK for the equivalent of around $580? That's cheap for the FA77 right?

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