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05-26-2013, 02:30 PM   #31
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Only fair I post some of my own. I have hundreds of great shots made with the FA43. A good number of the portraits are not available for me to share. But more than once I have been told I have taken the best photo of the subject they have ever seen. These end up hanging in their homes. Wow, that makes me feel good!

Such portraits are always with the FA43 or FA77. I've used these lenses a lot and have learned how to get the best from them. It does take extensive practice and paying attention to all the photographic variables that are in play at a given moment. Perhaps I don't really need them, but I know them now and am not likely to find better. (I don't shoot Pentax any more but continue to use these lenses on Olympus MFT. But I will show only examples from Pentax bodies here.)

None of these shots are unprocessed because what's the point? What hits the sensor of the camera is not what my eyes saw. As a photographer I want to share what I experienced.



This one shows off some nice bokeh and takes me back to that precise spot with that exact light and shade, five years ago this month.



I didn't nail the focus but that likely helps the mood through this store window. I like the confusion of reflections from the different media. The FA43 captures a dimensionality of objects that is not limited to rendering faces.



In fact, it can do the same thing with architecture.

I think this is the best lens Pentax has made to date. Someone apparently agreed, because it's the only lens they made for the Leica system.

05-26-2013, 03:41 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
Such portraits are always with the FA43 or FA77. I've used these lenses a lot and have learned how to get the best from them.
Wow, I really like the first photo. The colors and bokeh are fantastic. Did you process that first photo only utilizing two colors? Your comments on the FA 43 make me feel like I made the right choice when I purchased this lens. I had been contemplating saving up the cash to eventually purchase the FA 31, but the FA 43 called to me .
Do you have any experience with the FA 31 and if so what are your thoughts in comparing it to the FA 43?
05-26-2013, 09:34 PM   #33
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Well, I am not delusional to think there is something wrong with FA43, hence the focus on "how". I do have better shots, but those are of family members. I just couldn't grasp the "art" of producing great images with FA43 on a consistent basis.

But to be honest, none of your images pop for me.

QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
I have to call it like it is... it's the photographer. The lens is capable of the very best you can wring from it, but the rest is down to you. Learning that art can take a long time or... forever.

Looking briefly at the three shots you posted, the first is not quite in focus, or perhaps has subject blur -- I am not sure which. So no way will it "pop", no matter how cute the subject is! (She's a darling.) The background is quite distracting, especially the bit of the bike that peaks out to the left of her coat. In real life with candid shots, that's what we have to work with. But then again you shouldn't be expecting grab shots to stun anyone.

The second shot is over-exposed, is too contrasty, is not in focus, and has no real subject.

The third shot is very busy. Our eyes go to the couple who are out of focus. The part that is in focus includes the blossoms at the right edge of the frame. Again, decide what you do want to shoot and work the shot so that is where the eye goes. You could have focused on the couple and framed them with part of the tree. This would have meant moving your position. Or you could have got a good shot of the blossoms in the tree. I'm not saying it's impossible to do both, but obviously more difficult.

Your post-processing also seems harsh. There are lots of deep blacks with no detail. It appears you are pushing the colours too much as well. Both these things could be fine for other subjects, but not here.

Subject, light, composition, and development make a photo. The lens plays its part, but comes in at number five in the list.
05-27-2013, 05:19 PM - 1 Like   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by alamo5000 Quote
Well bad light in, poor image out. What are you feeding your lens is the question I would ask.
Awesome.

05-27-2013, 05:23 PM - 1 Like   #35
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Did this with the 43 yesterday...

I won't bullshit you it was largely luck...
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05-27-2013, 06:34 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by chesebert Quote
Well, I am not delusional to think there is something wrong with FA43, hence the focus on "how". I do have better shots, but those are of family members. I just couldn't grasp the "art" of producing great images with FA43 on a consistent basis.
I spent some time giving you constructive criticism. Sorry you are not open to it. If you want to blame the lens, go ahead. But such a path won't help you in anyway.

QuoteOriginally posted by chesebert Quote
But to be honest, none of your images pop for me.
I guess I'll have to somehow live with that critique.

Last edited by rparmar; 05-27-2013 at 06:41 PM.
05-27-2013, 06:40 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Driline Quote
Wow, I really like the first photo. The colors and bokeh are fantastic. Did you process that first photo only utilizing two colors?
I don't think I understand the question. I didn't add any tinting, but pushed the contrast quite a bit. The light was gorgeous but the RAW image came out flat. As we know, there's a lot of detail to be found in a RAW file, so I was able to get back to how the scene looked as I walked under the leaves.

QuoteOriginally posted by Driline Quote
Your comments on the FA 43 make me feel like I made the right choice when I purchased this lens. I had been contemplating saving up the cash to eventually purchase the FA 31, but the FA 43 called to me . Do you have any experience with the FA 31 and if so what are your thoughts in comparing it to the FA 43?
I like a small kit, which is why I have switched to Micro Four Thirds. The FA43 and FA77 are definitely in the "small kit" zone but the FA31 is too big for what it does. But that is only IMO, based on the fact I am not thrilled with that focal length. I never much took to 50mm on 135 either. My preference is for 24mm or 28mm on APS-C to get a relaxed wide look. I have a good number of such lenses. If there had ever been an FA 28 Limited I would have jumped all over it.

If focal length and size is not an issue the FA31 is an outstanding lens. No doubt about it.

Anyway, I'll be leaving this thread so further correspondence should happen elsewhere.
07-10-2013, 06:44 AM   #38
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It appears my curiosity got the better of me. So today, I traded my MIV FA43 for a MIJ copy with serial in the 3000s. My reaction for the past 5 hours has been - holy cow, this is how FA43 is supposed to be!

Wide open, the MIJ copy is very sharp in the center and acceptably sharp on the edge (whereas the MIV copy was very fuzzy on the edge).
F2.8, the lens is very sharp across the board and is sharp on the edge.
f4.0, razor sharp across the frame.

I can't believe the difference, and I am really just overcome with joy.

07-10-2013, 06:53 AM   #39
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Ugh...
07-10-2013, 05:42 PM   #40
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Double Ugh.... Mine was made in Vietnam and is in fact fuzzy on the edge wide open. So where can I find some sucker...err...person to swap for the MIJ model?
07-10-2013, 06:06 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by Driline Quote
Double Ugh.... Mine was made in Vietnam and is in fact fuzzy on the edge wide open. So where can I find some sucker...err...person to swap for the MIJ model?
I paid cash for the difference in value. Fair trade, if you ask me.
07-10-2013, 06:26 PM   #42
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Only a lunatic would pay MSRP for FA Limiteds made in Vietnam. Pentax, you're greedy bastards!
07-10-2013, 06:41 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by Driline Quote
Double Ugh.... Mine was made in Vietnam and is in fact fuzzy on the edge wide open. So where can I find some sucker...err...person to swap for the MIJ model?
I'm not convinced yet that the anecdotes people relate aren't just falling within the realm of sample variation, which people are perhaps just falsely associating with a country of production. More info on sample variation:

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2011/10/notes-on-lens-and-camera-variation
07-10-2013, 10:03 PM   #44
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I don't buy that there is any difference in rendering between AIV and MIJ copies of this lens. If anyone near me has an AIV version and wants to conduct a non scientific comparison to my MIJ, I'd be happy to participate to debunk the so called mystique theories.
07-10-2013, 10:33 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by nater Quote
I'm not convinced yet that the anecdotes people relate aren't just falling within the realm of sample variation, which people are perhaps just falsely associating with a country of production. More info on sample variation:

LensRentals.com - Notes on Lens and Camera Variation
Believe what you will, I have gone through 3 copies of MIV FA43 before I settled on my prevoius MIV copy. All 3 copies were soft and fuzzy in the corners at wide open (to various degrees) and only improved to be just decent quality at f4/5.6. The MIJ copy is significantly better in all respects compared to the MIV copies and the corner is sharp by f2.8. I can match my experience with the performance of the MIJ copy with the first copy tested by Photozone (although I think my copy has better corner at wide open). Of course, all this could simply be attributed to sample variation, but I query whether the optical formula was changed as the difference (particuarly corner performance) is beyond what I would normally attribute to sample variation.

I am also seeing the 3D pop in one or two test photos.

I am happy to get together with any member living in Shanghai for a shoot-out.
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