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07-10-2013, 11:08 PM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
I don't buy that there is any difference in rendering between AIV and MIJ copies of this lens.
+1

FWIW (not much), Ned Bunnell found no differences between MIJ and AIV version of the FA 31/1.8.

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"So, in trying to summarize the reason for my post, I would not be overly concerned with the country of origin for any high-quality lens that you consider buying today. "
He's right in that there are MIJ copies of the FA 31/1.8 that are just as wobbly as some AIV copies and hence do not reach their optical potential. In other words, the MIJ QC was no better than the AIV QC.

I think very highly of the FA Ltds but I think it is a shame that despite their premium prices one has to fear to get a subpar copy. In particular the FA 31/1.8 is a problem as its design requires very low manufacturing tolerances.

P.S.: Anyone keen on buying a "Made in Japan" lens: Sigma still manufactures in Japan. And joking aside, some of their lenses are truly excellent.

07-10-2013, 11:22 PM   #47
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My FA43 is MIJ, perhaps that explains it.
On the other hand, my FA31 is AIV and it is absolutely stellar....
07-11-2013, 12:12 AM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
My FA43 is MIJ, perhaps that explains it.
On the other hand, my FA31 is AIV and it is absolutely stellar....
I presume your FA31 is very sharp across the frame at wide open (including corners) and razor sharp across the frame at f2.8.
07-11-2013, 12:16 AM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
+1

FWIW (not much), Ned Bunnell found no differences between MIJ and AIV version of the FA 31/1.8.

Quote
"So, in trying to summarize the reason for my post, I would not be overly concerned with the country of origin for any high-quality lens that you consider buying today. "
He's right in that there are MIJ copies of the FA 31/1.8 that are just as wobbly as some AIV copies and hence do not reach their optical potential. In other words, the MIJ QC was no better than the AIV QC.

I think very highly of the FA Ltds but I think it is a shame that despite their premium prices one has to fear to get a subpar copy. In particular the FA 31/1.8 is a problem as its design requires very low manufacturing tolerances.

P.S.: Anyone keen on buying a "Made in Japan" lens: Sigma still manufactures in Japan. And joking aside, some of their lenses are truly excellent.
FA43 is not a complex/difficult lens to make, and my previous AIV copy was very well made and mechanically excellent. I cannot believe the difference in performance can simply be attributed to sample variation. I can probably post some test charts tonight.

07-11-2013, 01:04 AM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by chesebert Quote
I presume your FA31 is very sharp across the frame at wide open (including corners) and razor sharp across the frame at f2.8.
I'm not in the habit of taking pictures of brick walls, so I can't say for sure. I'm also not sure why you'd want a lens to be sharp from corner to corner wide open anyway - that would reduce the character of shooting wide open.
I really like the images I have produced with it though:

f/2.5, taken from inside the pool. Pretty sharp all over to my eyes.



f/4.5, low light.



f/2.2, bottom left hand corner looks OK to me.



f/1.8, no light


Last edited by Sandy Hancock; 07-11-2013 at 01:10 AM.
07-11-2013, 01:25 AM   #51
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One of the first shots taken with the fa43 (MIJ). Its a very pleasant lens to use.

07-11-2013, 01:26 AM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by chesebert Quote
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.
The power of suggestion... And stubborness...
Youīve been given great advice and examples by people who seem very experienced with this lens (I havenīt got the luxury of trying any legendary lens) but you choose to disregard it in favour of what you want to believe.
Iīd love to see some samples where you achieved "3D pop" thanks to the new MIJ copy and improvements thanks to "edge to edge sharpness". I donīt buy it.
07-11-2013, 01:44 AM - 1 Like   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by carrrlangas Quote
The power of suggestion... And stubborness...
Youīve been given great advice and examples by people who seem very experienced with this lens (I havenīt got the luxury of trying any legendary lens) but you choose to disregard it in favour of what you want to believe.
Iīd love to see some samples where you achieved "3D pop" thanks to the new MIJ copy and improvements thanks to "edge to edge sharpness". I donīt buy it.
I have had 4 copies of this lens (at various times including the latest copy) and I am writing from experience not believe. I will shoot some test shots hopefully over the coming weekend. "3D pop" is more of personal opinion (the photo is 2D afterall), but "edge to edge sharpness" can be tested and proven.

I do however appreciate the advice given in this thread about how to best use FA43 (e.g., get closer, watch out for harsh lights, tendency to compress highlights, etc).


Last edited by chesebert; 07-11-2013 at 01:49 AM.
07-11-2013, 06:36 AM   #54
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My 43mm is MIV and I have no complaints.
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07-11-2013, 08:52 AM   #55
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There shouldn't be a difference with MIV samples. My issue lies with Pentax raising FA limited lens pricing while moving production from Japan to Vietnam.

Moving production should have yielded enough profits to leave pricing where it was. They are a very arrogant company. No one can dispute this.
07-11-2013, 10:48 AM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
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.
See these PF threads. The very first FA43's had different coatings and leaded glass.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/195386-fa-43-q...ch-better.html

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/31678-about-fa-43mm-ltd-14.html

Phil.
07-11-2013, 12:18 PM   #57
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I couldn't really keep my hands off the FA43, so here are some test shots (in a hurry and all I had was a creased testing chart and I couldn't keep it very level except for the bottom of the page). This should give some indication of quality. Now, show me a AIV copy that can perform at this level (none of my previous AIV copies was even close)

f1.9



f2.8



f4.0



f1.9



f4.0



NOW, compare the above to the test by Lenstip (granted, I understand they got a suboptimal copy, but the general trend of fuzziness at the edges is observed and conforms with my own observations of AIV copies).


Last edited by chesebert; 07-11-2013 at 07:20 PM.
07-11-2013, 02:15 PM   #58
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these threads do not convince me any further, I'm afraid. Where is the evidence?
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