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01-19-2014, 08:11 AM   #1
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Buying advise - FA43 vs DA 40 HD Ltd

I am sure this topic has been raised numerous times, but i am getting ready to buy my first higher-end lens for my K-5II and want to get others feedback directly on the comparison between these two. The 40 HD ltd is about $550, while the FA43 in silver is $599. I have read all the reviews, but still can't get a sense of which I would prefer. My interests photographically are pretty varied, ranging from landscapes, to street shooting, to family photos to general travel photos, to macro. If anyone (and I am sure there are many) have both of these, which do you prefer, and what are some strengths and weaknesses of each in relation to one another. And of course, while it is a bit more than i wanted to spend, I could also say to hell with it and go for the DA15 HD. (and like many here, i am still at least keeping in mind that there may some day be a Pentax FF). Thank you for your advice and input in advance.

01-19-2014, 08:22 AM   #2
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I don't have the 43mm but I do have the 40mm...

I would say buy a 40mm used and try it. You will save money.

The 43mm is obviously a much faster lens. If I buy one the speed more than likely will be the reason.

That said the 40mm is no slouch. Mine is super sharp even wide open.

There is no 'catch all' where we can pick a lens for anyone else, particularly without knowing their style of shooting and so forth, and really what they intend to do, or like to do.
01-19-2014, 08:26 AM   #3
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Having never owned the DA 40... I love my FA 43, probably my favourite lens. I bought it for the speed. My only gripe is at 1.9, it is not sharp across the whole frame. But at 2.8, it gets a lot better. Whereas the DA is always sharp, no matter what.... But not as fast.
01-19-2014, 08:43 AM   #4
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I'd probably go for the DA, but that's because 40mm is closer to 35mm. It's cheaper as well. But then, a Pentax fullframe is not really a consideration for me.

01-19-2014, 09:18 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by starbase218 Quote
I'd probably go for the DA, but that's because 40mm is closer to 35mm. It's cheaper as well. But then, a Pentax fullframe is not really a consideration for me.
The DA 40mm is FF-capable.
01-19-2014, 10:11 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by causey Quote
The DA 40mm is FF-capable.
I guess that also depends on whether the supposed fullframe camera will incorporate SR.
01-19-2014, 11:01 AM   #7
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I've owned the DA40 and sold it (and recently purchased another one) and currently own the FA43. The FA43 is the superior lens IMO, mostly due to speed. Yes, wide open the DA40 will be sharper across the frame and have slightly less aberrations but thats only because wide open its at 2.8. When both lenses are at 2.8 I think they are both very comparable in image quality. If I had to choose between the two I would go with the FA 43 because for just $50 more you get an entire stop more of light. The DA HD40 is rather overpriced IMO, although thats not to say the FA43 isn't.
01-19-2014, 11:43 AM   #8
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Between those two, at those prices, get the FA43.

But what I did for that focal length was get a used DA40 XS for $150. Same optics as the smc DA Limited, plus SP coating and circular diaphragm. No quick shift, focus scale, hood, or standard filter threads though. Maybe consider a used smc DA Limited for $300 or so.

01-19-2014, 12:26 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by starbase218 Quote
I guess that also depends on whether the supposed fullframe camera will incorporate SR.

I'm not sure what you mean---the DA 40mm works on FF cameras:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/8-pentax-film-slr-discussion/55165-da-40mm-full-frame.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/31629-da-le...ts-thread.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/12-post-your-photos/231245-nature-horses-...ak-sensor.html
01-19-2014, 01:34 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by starbase218 Quote
I'd probably go for the DA, but that's because 40mm is closer to 35mm.
I am guessing you mean a 35mm lens on a FF body...

If that is the case a 24mm lens will most fully replicate that same angle of view when used on the current set of Pentax sensors.
01-19-2014, 01:51 PM   #11
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I cannot comment on how optically magical the DA 40 HD would be, but I do wonder whether this would make a difference to a potential buyer comparing the current FA Ltd to the DA Ltd HDs. I would think Pentax are revising the FA Ltds to make them significantly more expensive again than the DA Ltd HDs. And I wouldn't know how much better the FA Ltds can get with their revisions, but the current FA Ltds are simply excellent in real life photography. I couldn't care less about their apparent ordinary scores on lens tests. They are special little lenses that are investments of a lifetime. Much the same as the DA Ltds. At those prices, I'd either get the FA Ltd or a second hand DA 40. The DA Ltd that may suit your FoV request for 35mm equivalent on FF is the DA 21.
01-19-2014, 04:15 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by filoxophy Quote
Between those two, at those prices, get the FA43.



But what I did for that focal length was get a used DA40 XS for $150. Same optics as the smc DA Limited, plus SP coating and circular diaphragm. No quick shift, focus scale, hood, or standard filter threads though. Maybe consider a used smc DA Limited for $300 or so.

The XS and DA don't have identical optics. Somewhere online there is an element diagram which shows the differences. Regardless, the XS is a great value.
01-19-2014, 04:18 PM   #13
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The XS and DA are exceptional general purpose lenses for casual shooting. Sharp wide open and weigh close to nothing.
01-19-2014, 04:26 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by krebsy75 Quote
The XS and DA don't have identical optics. Somewhere online there is an element diagram which shows the differences. Regardless, the XS is a great value.
Nonsense ! Both lenses have the same optical construction. When hold side by side every glass part is identical.
01-19-2014, 04:46 PM   #15
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Read page 28 and weep, genius. They are not identical lenses: http://c2b6d376b97bcc466063-5420c200a1f030d1394a9548df6eadbd.r5.cf2.rackcdn...._121912_LR.pdf

QuoteOriginally posted by aurele Quote
Nonsense ! Both lenses have the same optical construction. When hold side by side every glass part is identical.
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