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09-09-2013, 03:57 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by subidoc Quote
What do you mean by "tricky"? As for the lenses you mentioned - all phenomenal BTW - here are my thoughts:
The FA31 has the smoothest transition from in-focus to OOF of any lens I've used, and is one of the best in this regard that anyone's ever made (especially for a wide (on FF at least) lens). This means that, to the viewer, it's not always as clear what you're focusing on, and there's not a clear separation between e.g. the foreground and background - especially when there's not much distance between them. This can work wonderfully at times, but it can also leave your photos looking indecisive or just plain bland. But it and the FA77 are the only two lenses I've used which actually perform near-optimally completely wide open (it's difficult to see any difference in IQ between f/2.2 and f/1.8 - a rarity).

However, I will say that photos from the FA31 tend to look much better when you get them on the computer screen than they do on the back of the camera, so during a shooting session there's a tendency to give up on this lens too soon, when it's actually doing a good job.


The FA77 has similar characteristics to the FA31, but its longer focal length makes these issues go away. Plus, the transitions - while very good - aren't nearly as smooth as the FA31, if you look closely. Only a few lenses - like the Minolta/Sony 135 STF, and perhaps the Voigtländer 125 macro - produce transitions and backgrounds as smooth as the FA31 - and still they're different. But the FA77 has excellent IQ, which seems miraculous for its size. And while its focal length is poor in close quarters (which is why I recommend something like the DA35/2.4 as well) it's ideal for a surprising number of situations. Part of the secret is that whatever fits in the frame looks great, regardless of how you "think" you might have cropped it with a zoom.

I still say the DA*50-135 is a great choice, but in my experience the characteristics of the FA77 (or now the FA*85 that I have instead) make it my most versatile lens (or at least equal to the 50-135), despite the lack of zoom.


Last edited by DSims; 09-09-2013 at 04:02 PM.
09-09-2013, 05:11 PM   #17
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I would recommend the FA Limiteds for your needs. They are very good and would be great for shooting kids. If you're concerned about the FA 31, get the 43 instead. The 43 and 77 are great together, both for MF on my older film cameras and AF on newer. I will own the 31 one day, but I'm looking for a couple other lenses first.

If you can still resist the 31 after using the 43 and 77, and you want something wide, get the FA* 24. Any of these fine lenses would complement your existing MF collection.
09-09-2013, 05:38 PM   #18
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I would also lean toward the FA43. It is fast, compact, quick focussing, beautiful, and sits nicely between your 35 and 58. I am a huge fan of the FA77, but its AF is a little slower and it can hunt a bit in low light. The FA31 is the best all-rounder, but is a bit close to your 35.

I wouldn't discount the Sigma 18-35/1.8, but it is big and heavy so might not suit your wife.
09-23-2013, 02:52 AM   #19
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In closing, after much reviewing of our collection of past images of family, friends and places previously captured with the 28-75, we have decided on getting the Tamron 28-75 - again. As Sandy suggested, we also reviewed images of FA 43, liked it, but need to formally test it. Most of our shooting is in the range fo 35-55 mm, and then some at 75mm.

Thank you all. For me, the discussion is closed.

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