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02-07-2014, 08:18 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Apapukas Quote
Having a website costs less than an evening in the bar.
It doesn't mean anything
Oh no. I'm sure you're mistaken. Anything I read on the internet is true especially if you can afford your own website.

"Gotcha"

02-07-2014, 08:34 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
Ken Rockwell???????????????????
QuoteOriginally posted by Driline Quote
He's got his own website. He must be legit.
My point is that when such a Nikon die-hard fanboy says a Pentax lens is the best ever made, it's got to be a fine lens indeed.
02-07-2014, 08:50 AM - 2 Likes   #18
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I have read folks at Luminous Landscape and other sites who have rated the 31 ltd as one of the best lenses ever made, I believe the guys at Luminous Landscape said top 3 for sure. This lens has lots of folks who know lenses who consider it to be one of the best. The fact that the measurebators can't seem to quantify why is irrelevant. As long as those who are concerned with the images it takes as opposed to test scores like it, I don't care what some person with a test chart says. Any idiot can buy and use testing software. It doesn't mean they know what a good lens is. Only what the software they use can test it says.

A perfect example as a thread here a few months ago, someone compared the 31 ltd to the old Pentax 28. There were many who claimed the 28 was a good replacement for the 31, but looking at the same pictures, especially the out of focus background areas, but also the sharpness, to me the 31 was clearly in it's own league.

But here's the thing... if you don't appreciate what the 31 has that others don't,
1. The test sites won't help you
2. It's a lot of money to pay for something you don't understand.
3. If you can't tell the difference, don't assume, no one else can.
4. If you don't understand what the 31 gives you that others don't, maybe it's you.

And I also feel much the same way about my 21 ltd. Reading how bad it is on the test charts in no way reduces my enthusiasm for the lens. It has a qualities so far, no test set-up I've seen has been able to quantify, and unmatched by any other lens I have, not razor sharp perhaps, but a unique rendition. From the images I've seen, the 31 is like that only better.

It's a little hard to comprehend, that with the number of truly gifted people who love this lens on this site an elsewhere who love this lens, someone would come on and trash it, and expect to have any credibility. Maybe folks should start comparing images taken with this lens and other lenses to see if they can figure out what this lens has that others don't. Make it a learning experience, but, don't be disappointed if you don't find it's mystique. You can't assume you have the same abilities and sensibilities of the hundreds of top photographers who love this lens.

Maybe you have a different sensibility, and there's nothing wrong with that either. But, if you want a 31... get a 31 and a rain sleeve or whatever. There is no other lens like a 31 ltd. If people had the ability to make lenses like that just because they want to, every company would have one.

Last edited by normhead; 02-07-2014 at 09:02 AM.
02-07-2014, 11:29 AM - 1 Like   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
But here's the thing... if you don't appreciate what the 31 has that others don't,
1. The test sites won't help you
The OP wants quality comparable to the FA 31 in a WR lens.
The DA 20-40 offers that, to the extent that any zoom can compete with a prime,
but the OP is using test sites to exclude that option.
To me, that is as unreasonable as using test site reviews
to exclude the FA 31 as a viable option.

02-07-2014, 11:35 AM - 1 Like   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
The OP wants quality comparable to the FA 31 in a WR lens.
The DA 20-40 offers that, to the extent that any zoom can compete with a prime,
but the OP is using test sites to exclude that option.
To me, that is as unreasonable as using test site reviews
to exclude the FA 31 as a viable option.

THIS.

It is what I have been saying. I do not know of a WR lens that is going to come close to the 31. If you want the performance of the 31 then buy it. otherwise the 20-40 is what you want because it has WR.
02-07-2014, 11:47 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by j2photos Quote
THIS.

It is what I have been saying. I do not know of a WR lens that is going to come close to the 31. If you want the performance of the 31 then buy it. otherwise the 20-40 is what you want because it has WR.
That's good advice... , although at a max. aperture of 2.8 its quite a bit slower than the 31. There's also the 18-135 , even slower, it depends on how slow you're willing to go. I's there a thread of sample images for this lens, the 20-40? I have a Tammy 17-50, DA 18-135, DA 21 , DA 35 , 40 XS and FA 50 1.7 so it's unlikely I'd ever buy another lens in that range, unless it was the 31... but I still like to see images.
02-07-2014, 08:38 PM - 1 Like   #23
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Unfortunately, if you want a lens like a WR 31mm, you are not going to find it. The DA*55mm is a fine lens, but it is a telephoto lens, which is much different than the 31mm which is a normal lens. There are zooms in this range, but of course they aren't as fast as the 31mm.
It is unfathomable to me why Pentax, which prides itself on weather resistance and primes, doesnt have a WR prime in the 28-35mm focal range, which is obviously very useful for APS-C cameras.

02-08-2014, 12:45 AM   #24
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I am disappointed that there is not a single prime lens on the roadmap.
02-08-2014, 02:32 AM   #25
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I'm really grateful for this fine discussion and the many advices you all have contributed with here. It has also made me reflect on my needs etc. - but I've still not decided how to act. At the moment I'm considering to buy both the Pentax 31 mm and 55 mm - hoping that something like a Pentax 28-35 mm WR (replacing both or one of them) will be introduced before April as my purchase of lens(es) is due in late April.

---------- Post added 02-08-14 at 10:53 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
The DA*55mm is a fine lens, but it is a telephoto lens, which is much different than the 31mm which is a normal lens.
I'm not quite sure I understand what you mean by "telephoto lens", as the 55 mm doesn't have zoom (or does it? I can't see that).

Last edited by Ztrejfer; 02-08-2014 at 02:49 AM.
02-08-2014, 03:40 AM - 1 Like   #26
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Oh, you have just misunderstood some lens nomenclature.

Zoom - Variable focal length
Prime - Fixed focal length

APS-c focal length nomenclature (
Extreme wide ~ <15mm
Wide ~ 16-25mm
Normal ~ 26-40mm
Short tele ~ 41-85
Tele ~ 86-300
Extreme tele ~ 301<

Note that these values can vary alot from source to source and person to person.
02-08-2014, 03:47 AM   #27
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OK, I see. Thanks!
02-08-2014, 12:00 PM - 1 Like   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ztrejfer Quote
hoping that something like a Pentax 28-35 mm WR (replacing both or one of them) will be introduced before April as my purchase of lens(es) is due in late April.
If the lineup of lenses is going to change in the next 6 months, you will probably find out next week because it would be announced at the CP+ tradeshow.
02-08-2014, 12:06 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikemike Quote
If the lineup of lenses is going to change in the next 6 months, you will probably find out next week because it would be announced at the CP+ tradeshow.
Very helpful, thank you!
02-08-2014, 07:05 PM - 1 Like   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ztrejfer Quote
I'm a rookie in this lens business and looking for a lens with a similar good quality to the Pentax FA 31mm F1.8 Limited - but with Weather Resistance (WR) "ability". Does not have to be Pentax, but must be as good or better in picture quality.

Review of the Pentax FA 31mm F1.8 Limited can be seen here.

Thank you kindly.
No other lens comes close to the 31 for rendering quality, build, tactile feel or even its relatively small size. Pick up a DA(l)35 f/2.4 and play with that for 6 months or so until the HD 31 (perhaps WR) arrives. DA*55 is a different animal altogether. It is slower to focus, soft and dreamy @f/1.4, extra contrast kicking in @f/1.6, contrast and sharpness perfect for portraiture @f/2.0, all measurements sky rocketing @f/2.8.

DA*16-50 vs DA20-40 limited... hmm
DA* sdm issues, it won't happen on a new example. If you go used and it is optically sound, budget in 100 it will cost to get fixed. I'm not convinced just yet on the Limited zoom. Flare resistance looks to be near DA15 levels, it seems to have contrast and sharpness at reasonable levels with exception on extreme corners. Being faster wider is Pentax messing with our heads. I can understand it being a 3 prime replacement (21, 35 macro, 40) but I have not seen anything at 35mm from the zoom that the little macro would not surpass. Others can vouch for the 21 and 40

Onto the Sigma's, 35 Art f/1.4 and 18-35 f1.8. Both built exceptionally well, both relatively cheap, both fast to focus, both massive, both heavy and both have displayed issues with back or front focussing issues across all marques.

So like I advised earlier, pick up the cheap DA(l)35 for 100 to 120, if it gets wet it won't be the end of the world and you get 90% of the performance of all the other lenses mentioned for 1/6th the price
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