Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
12-20-2013, 04:20 PM   #1
Pentaxian
Driline's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: IOWA Where the Tall Corn Grows
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,973
FA 35 or wait for FA 31

I'm currently looking to purchase an FA 31 probably summer of next year. However I've been eyeing the FA 35 lens at ~$300. Will the FA 35 satisfy my appetite for high IQ and sharpness or should I just wait for the Holy Grail of all Pentax lenses

The 31 (or 35) will be used for low light indoors of family and landscape photo's.

My current arsenal of lenses are as follows:

DA 21

FA 43

DA*50-135

12-20-2013, 04:58 PM   #2
Pentaxian
Wired's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Edmonton, AB
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,525
The 35 is a great lens. I find I personally use it more than than the FA 31 when I owned it. The 31 for me is a shelf queen as I don't like how it distorts for everyday use, that and I'm more of a tele guy anyways. the 35 has the additional benefit of macro, and it's incredibly sharp. At $350 i would find it hard to pass up. The 31 is a fantastic lens, but I may be one of the only people on the planet less than impressed by it.
12-20-2013, 05:11 PM   #3
Loyal Site Supporter
monochrome's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Kirkwood (St. Louis) MO
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 20,454
I wasn't aware the FA35/2 had a macro function - I don't think mine does, anyway. It has been described as the Poor Man's FA31. Can't say what you should do, but I moved the 31 way down my personal roadmap.
12-20-2013, 05:12 PM   #4
Pentaxian
seventysixersfan's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Alexandria, VA
Posts: 1,710
sounds like Wired is referring to the DA 35mm f/2.8 macro, not the FA 35 f/2

12-20-2013, 05:19 PM   #5
Veteran Member
crewl1's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 9,797
The construction of the FA35 is no where near your other lenses.
If you just need something to hold you over at that focal length get the DA L35 2.4

OTOH I have an FA35 and don't have a desire to get the FA31.
12-20-2013, 05:25 PM   #6
Loyal Site Supporter
monochrome's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Kirkwood (St. Louis) MO
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 20,454
QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
The construction of the FA35 is no where near your other lenses.
If you just need something to hold you over at that focal length get the DA L35 2.4

OTOH I have an FA35 and don't have a desire to get the FA31.
I agree - but as FA's go the quality of assembly is on the high end. The focus ring is actually useable in manual focus, the plastic body has a solid, substantial feel, it comes with a good petal shade and the screwdrive helicoid is robust.

None of which even begins to discuss the IQ, which is close to a Limited lens by my reckoning. I want the three Queens the same as everyone else - but if I never get there the 35/2 will do for me.
12-20-2013, 05:25 PM   #7
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: New York
Posts: 455
I have the 35 mm F2 and I tried the FA 31. The 31 renders pictures in a way that is very similar if not the same as the FA35. The major difference was the bokeh. For more than 4 times the present cost of the FA35, I sent the FA 31 limited back because IMHO the bokeh difference was not worth that much.
12-20-2013, 05:49 PM   #8
Site Supporter
mattt's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Niagara
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,808
I have the FA35 and use it as a reason not to get the AF31 - though the comments on build quality are valid.. hmmmm...

12-20-2013, 05:51 PM   #9
Pentaxian
Wired's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Edmonton, AB
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,525
oops yes, I was thinking DA 35 f2.8. sorry my bad.
12-20-2013, 06:01 PM   #10
Pentaxian




Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: 5th floor
Posts: 1,328
This is one of those things where you really have to try both to find your sweet spot. For me DA 35/2.8 ltd worked better 35/2 or 31 ltd, and I dont know why.
12-20-2013, 06:05 PM   #11
Pentaxian
Driline's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: IOWA Where the Tall Corn Grows
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,973
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by V'cuz Quote
The major difference was the bokeh.
I care more about the sharpness in the center of the lens and especially in the corners. If I want Bokeh I can use my 43 even though I know the 31 is much better.
12-20-2013, 09:42 PM - 1 Like   #12
Veteran Member
gbeaton's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Montreal
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 344
I just got the FA35 and love it.

Here is the review on Photozone - Pentax SMC-FA 35mm f/2 AL - Review / Test Report - Sample Images & Verdict
and the review for the FA31 - Pentax SMC FA 31mm f/1.8 AL Limited - Lab Test / Review - Analysis

both are "highly recommended" with the same optical quality rating.

I wouldn't waste the extra money on the FA31.
12-22-2013, 02:20 PM   #13
Pentaxian
ryan s's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Madison, WI
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,370
I will go contrary to most of the posts here and say get the DA (L) 35/2.4 for the moment then get the 31 when you can. Every decision comes down to money and if you've already got it set in your mind that the cost of the 31 is attainable, then why not? There can be only one.

If you love the feel of using the 43, the plasticy FA isn't as good. There is something to be said for aesthetics and feel in the hand, isn't that worth something?

For the people who recommend the FA 35 instead, why didn't you just get the optically identical and much cheaper DA 35/2.4? Hmm?
12-23-2013, 07:42 AM   #14
Pentaxian
Driline's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: IOWA Where the Tall Corn Grows
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,973
Original Poster
Well, my brother turned me on to the Pentax F 35-70 macro. Looking at the user reviews here on the Pentax forum it's almost as good as the FA 35 albeit 3.5 instead of 2.0 at the lowest F stop. But for $39 on Ebay compared to $325 how could I say no? Plus it's a macro. And the guy I bought it from is throwing in a FREE Pentax SFN-1 camera. I'm not sure what I'll do with it but what the heck.

So I will continue my purchase quest for the FA 31 sometime Mid next year or wait of course until Black Friday and get it new for under $900 hopefully.

Pentax User Review
Sharpness FA 35 =9.5
Sharpness F35-70=9.1

Overal score on the FA 35 = 9.1 while the F 35-70 gets an 8.73
12-23-2013, 09:28 AM   #15
Pentaxian
seventysixersfan's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Alexandria, VA
Posts: 1,710
I have both lenses and while I definitely like my F 35-70, especially for the excellent price/performance ratio, I will reach for my FA 35mm in low light situations because it's sharp even wide open at f/2.0
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
fa, k-mount, lenses, pentax lens, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
For Sale - Sold: FA 31, FA 43, FA 77 all MIJ, 16-45, Lens Turbo farfisa Sold Items 8 08-01-2013 11:14 AM
For Sale - Sold: Pentax fa*85, a*85, fa*43, fa*31, fa*200, fa*28-70 chirocanonpan Sold Items 35 03-15-2013 11:25 PM
FA 35, DA 40 and FA 50 for FA 31? GSk Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 2 11-23-2009 02:17 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:12 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top