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04-01-2008, 07:37 PM   #1
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Less expensive quality alternatives to 31?

I've been doing some thinking about where I want my lens roadmap to go (it seems as if I've been doing a lot of wandering around lately) and while there's a part of me that would eventually love to have the 31, another part of me can't quite stomach spending $850 for a new one. Whichever one I would get would need to have a aperture ring so I can use it with my K1000. Some ideas I have come up with include the following:


Besides IQ, weight is important to me--I don't want it to be too heavy, otherwise I'd put the Sigmas on the list. While not an absolute requirement, I'd prefer that it have AF capability, as well.

I think my next major lens purchase is going to be the 77, so there's no rush, but I'd just like to get an idea of where I'm going. Eventually, I want to have a bag full of quality keepers, so I can put my money towards other things like new bodies and cool accessories.


04-01-2008, 07:40 PM   #2
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The FA 24 and 20 would put you too close to the price of a FA 31 anyway. I guess FA 28 would be your best choice.
04-01-2008, 08:03 PM   #3
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How about the Sigma 30mm f1.4? It's a very nice piece of glass and you get an extra stop advantage.
04-01-2008, 08:29 PM   #4
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How about the A 28mm f/2.8, I paid $119 Canadian for mine. 1 image so far as I just got it yesterday.

04-01-2008, 08:55 PM   #5
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why haven't you included the FA35 on the list?
aperture ring, probably one of the sharpest wide lenses ever made by Pentax, fast, relatively affordable
04-01-2008, 09:05 PM   #6
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She probably feels that the 35 would be too close to the 43. But I don't want to put words in other's mouth. Either way, I have to agree that the FA35 would be an excellent contender. Any of the those 3 FAs would be much harder to find than the 35 one.
04-01-2008, 10:19 PM   #7
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My vote is for the FA 35f/2 as well.
04-01-2008, 11:26 PM   #8
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Sigma 24/1.8 EX. Good lens, sharp, fast, useful close focus feature. And cheaper than the 31 Limited!



04-02-2008, 04:19 AM   #9
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My vote is for the FA 28/2.8. An excellent normal on Digital, and a wonderful wideangle on Film.
04-02-2008, 04:26 AM   #10
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I'd go for the Sigma 28mm f/1.8 or the FA35mm f/2.0.
04-02-2008, 05:18 AM   #11
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FA 35mm f/2.0!
04-02-2008, 09:33 AM   #12
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Original Poster
What I'm thinking...

Thanks for the good suggestions! Weight-wise, the FA28 wins hands-down at 6.5oz., but I would need to see some more pics taken with it before deciding on it. I checked's database and there aren't that many pics and they vary greatly in IQ--some are very good while others look so fuzzy that they look like they were taken with a cheap film P&S.
Pentax smc P-FA 28mm f/2.8 AL Lens Sample Photos and Specifications

While it's a good bit heavier, the Sigma 30/1.4 looks interesting, as well and the IQ from the pics I've seen is pretty decent. The only other downfall to this one besides the weight is that it's for APS-C sensor cameras only. Of course, I could hang on to my M28/2.8 for the K1000.

The Sigma 28 is also a contender, but again, there's the weight issue. Price-wise, it's not too much more expensive brand new than a FA28, which is a plus and I can use it on the K1000, too.

To answer the question why the FA35 isn't in contention--it's too close to the 43.

This is one of those cases where I wish there was a B&H in Florida that I could go to and actually touch and play with the lenses.

Like I said, this is a ways off, so I'm still open to other suggestions.
04-02-2008, 04:30 PM   #13
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I've got a Sigma 28/1.8, and loving it. The weight and size are an issue, but it's well balanced and still smaller than most zooms... just a bit bigger than you'd expect for a prime. Super sharp, 1:2.3 macro, and great IQ except for a bit of flare (a better hood would do the trick).

Samples, the last one showing bokeh:

04-04-2008, 12:02 PM   #14
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FA 28mm

I picked this lens up recently from another forum member. I'm very pleased with it so far, have found the FA 35 FOV a little too constricting, the 28mm is more relaxed & versatile. I made a few hundred exposures with this lens on a recent trip, I'll post a link to them when I get around to PP'ing.

If you already have the 43mm then you have one fast super-bokeh lens. I can't imagine needing more than one of these!
04-04-2008, 03:08 PM   #15
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i vote sigma 30mm 1.4! their 28mm is a tad too big and bulky for my tastes.

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