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02-08-2014, 07:44 PM   #31
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That's very interesting, thank you. I think I will get the FA 31 mm as the photos I see with it are just up my street. I guess some very digital oriented photographers will say it's not "100% straight" - but I personally like the very subtle artistic touch or revelations this lens seems to offer IMHO.

The same thing goes for the DA*55 - absolutely splendid photos delivered there, it seems.

Should I put some words on my experience from what I've seen posted here and there on the web, both the Pentax FA 31 mm & DA*55 mm have an ability to beautifully model or should I say sculpturize humans and landscapes. Maybe that's what others has called pixie dust ;-)


Last edited by Ztrejfer; 02-08-2014 at 07:55 PM.
02-08-2014, 08:07 PM - 1 Like   #32
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Both the 31 and 55 are the photographic equivalent of listening to your music on a vinyl deck instead of other lenses wav format. They return certain nuances that the more correct digital version will disgard but will also not score the best in measurements
02-09-2014, 10:30 PM - 1 Like   #33
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IMHO, if you are looking for image quality on par (but not quite up to) the 31ltd, you should invest in a couple camera condoms as was mentioned, and then seek out a used FA 35mm 2.0... or if you really want to go on the cheap-but-awesome, Ebay a SMC-M 35mm 2.0 (that was one of my gateway lenses)... both are fantastic. The SMC-M is truly the poor man's 31mm LTD.

Edit: Wow... I'm glad I weighed in here. I just went back through a number of old shots and discovered that one of my all-time favorites of mine happens to have been snapped with the SMC-M 35mm... I really had no idea - thought it was taken with a 50 for as long as I can recall. Well then... I say again, m 35mm!

Check out this set: http://www.flickr.com/photos/chickentender/sets/72157640788580735/

Last edited by chickentender; 02-10-2014 at 12:15 PM. Reason: additional thought
02-10-2014, 10:38 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
When Ken Rockwell says a non-Nikon lens is the best ever made (he was refering to the Pentax 31) then I consider the case closed. Whatever lenstip says.

I like Ken Rockwell. I'd rather read his reviews than any of the "specialized" websites that just shoot charts. Of course his website is more like an opinion blog, and he even says that's what it is.

Having said that, Ken never reviewed the FA 31. He doesn't have a lot of Pentax reviews, and the ones he does have, are mostly medium and large format stuff. He's usually more excited about Leica lenses than any other 35mm lens.

02-10-2014, 01:27 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
I like Ken Rockwell. I'd rather read his reviews than any of the "specialized" websites that just shoot charts. Of course his website is more like an opinion blog, and he even says that's what it is.
I don't like him much, because his opinions are not based on enough experience with things not Nikon.

QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
Having said that, Ken never reviewed the FA 31.
My mistake then, it must have been luminous landscapes?
02-10-2014, 01:38 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
I don't like him much, because his opinions are not based on enough experience with things not Nikon.
Well, people that use a system as their main system, will have that as a basis for what they like. I'm not here to defend the guy, but you gotta know his site for what it is - a personal website.

Still, you might not have read his site in a while, because while he still uses Nikon sometimes for his film and APS-C needs, he is very enthusiastic about Canon and Fujifilm these days. He thinks Canon is the only true pro-oriented full frame camera maker, and the Fujifilm X100 is the best personal camera today. Hardly Nikon-centric...

So yeah he completely ignores Pentax these days, and is pretty harsh towards Sony, but I still check out his website every week or so.

QuoteQuote:
My mistake then, it must have been luminous landscapes?
I have no idea...
02-11-2014, 12:15 PM - 1 Like   #37
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It was Mike Johnston, writing for luminous landscape, who used an article from PopPhoto, as an entry discussion for an opinion based article that Zeiss and Pentax still made the best lenses. Link to article This was one of the defining articles that sent me the Pentax route around 5 years ago. As I tell people here in Ireland, you have to want to buy a Pentax because you won't be sold one :-)
02-11-2014, 01:13 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by chickentender Quote
IMHO, if you are looking for image quality on par (but not quite up to) the 31ltd, you should invest in a couple camera condoms as was mentioned, and then seek out a used FA 35mm 2.0... or if you really want to go on the cheap-but-awesome, Ebay a SMC-M 35mm 2.0 (that was one of my gateway lenses)... both are fantastic. The SMC-M is truly the poor man's 31mm LTD.

Edit: Wow... I'm glad I weighed in here. I just went back through a number of old shots and discovered that one of my all-time favorites of mine happens to have been snapped with the SMC-M 35mm... I really had no idea - thought it was taken with a 50 for as long as I can recall. Well then... I say again, m 35mm!

Check out this set: M SMC 35mm f/2.0 - a set on Flickr
Very nice indeed. And my compliment to your bold fantasy - that's really funky, like your way of telling a small story with the photos on the link above.

On the SMC-M 35mm (not the same as a FA 35mm 2.0?) - I like it's universe, but it seems to take a LOT of color (light?) in. It is as if it enriches all the colors. Is that true or was these photos processed somehow?

02-11-2014, 02:52 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by robbiec Quote
It was Mike Johnston, writing for luminous landscape, who used an article from PopPhoto, as an entry discussion for an opinion based article that Zeiss and Pentax still made the best lenses. Link to article This was one of the defining articles that sent me the Pentax route around 5 years ago. As I tell people here in Ireland, you have to want to buy a Pentax because you won't be sold one :-)
Wow! I remember that article - It too steered me toward Pentax back in January 2005 when I was finally moving to digital, and after my entire Nikon film kit had been stolen 2 years prior. Was perfect opportunity for a clean slate... and I still love where it's led.

---------- Post added 02-11-2014 at 03:59 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Ztrejfer Quote
Very nice indeed. And my compliment to your bold fantasy - that's really funky, like your way of telling a small story with the photos on the link above.

On the SMC-M 35mm (not the same as a FA 35mm 2.0?) - I like it's universe, but it seems to take a LOT of color (light?) in. It is as if it enriches all the colors. Is that true or was these photos processed somehow?
Muchas gracias, though truth be told, it's merely a random collection of all shots I found on my Flickr with an SMC M 35mm tag. Yes, I've tested the FA version but have never owned one. The set of photos at that link is only the older M SMC f/2.0 version. (And, yes, I process nearly all of my shot, to different degrees certainly. Most common is a tweak to the curve, a bump in the saturation, a slight vignette a a touch of unsharp mask. But really it's all over the map.)
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