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02-13-2014, 07:05 AM   #1
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DA limited lense question

Hi guys,

i am trying to get some good quality lense just to try out.. I read about pentax quality lense are limited version.

There are 3 FA limited which designed for film SLR before, so there are DA limited lense now which designed for DSLR.

I have a question why all the DA limited aperture is not as wide as FA limited? what is the reason? is it not necessary for DSLR?

I read some comments FA limited doesnt perform the best on DSLR as some purple edge issue. Do you guys think DA limited will be better suited to DSLR? as i notice FA limited was expensive as it is like a collected items.

02-13-2014, 07:24 AM   #2
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The ASP-C is called a "crop sensor" and it's not as big as the Full Frame 35mm sensor. If you want to use an FA on an ASPC camera, no problem. Using a DA on a FF is probably going to be a problem.

Some of the inexpensive FA series zoom lenses are not as good as the modern lenses but pretty much all the primes are top-notch. Have a look on the lens database for any lens you're considering.

The DA lenses are less expensive because most don't have the manual aperture ring controls, this saves complexity. The FA and DA limited lenses are considered top of the line.

The aperture being not as wide is for two reasons - one is cost because a wider aperture requires a bigger lens. At some point this is almost ludicrous, and the Limited series are meant to be compact. (My Sigma 28mm f1.8 has a 77mm filter ring, for example - it's BIG) The modern DSLR sensors are so much better at light collection, we really rarely need to open all the way up just to get a good exposure. That said, a lot of people would like an extra stop or two on some of these lenses.
02-13-2014, 07:55 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by mtkang Quote
Hi guys,

i am trying to get some good quality lense just to try out.. I read about pentax quality lense are limited version.

There are 3 FA limited which designed for film SLR before, so there are DA limited lense now which designed for DSLR.

I have a question why all the DA limited aperture is not as wide as FA limited? what is the reason? is it not necessary for DSLR?

I read some comments FA limited doesnt perform the best on DSLR as some purple edge issue. Do you guys think DA limited will be better suited to DSLR? as i notice FA limited was expensive as it is like a collected items.
To your aperture question: With a digital sensor you can increase the sensitivity way above what was usual for film, so wide apertures are not as important as they used to be and reducing the aperture decreases size and (possibly) prize of the lens.

Personally I like faster lenses, combining high ISO and wide apertures to take shots in really bad light is nice and of course higher ISO settings increase noise, but I also don't mind a light kit and the DA 15 will probably never leave my bag!

The older lenses often have problems with purple fringing, modern coatings should reduce this problem significantly, but with some care and post-processing this is not much of a problem for me. There are rumors that the FA limited will soon be updated with modern coatings so if you want to avoid this particular problem, you might just wait for a while before purchasing your next lenses.

To the general difference between DA and FA limiteds I'd say it's a question of personal preference and money. The FAs are quite expensive (I got mine used when the list price was still quite a bit below the current level) and the while both series produce excellent IQ their pictures have a rather different character. I prefer the FA rendering, you might look at the samples on the forum to find out your preferences.

Also, in case you're not sure about what type of lenses you really need you might look into older lenses, if manual operation is not a problem for you. There are some good and very good lenses available for a moderate prize you can often sell with small or no losses if you find you don't like it after all.
02-13-2014, 09:09 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by mtkang Quote
I have a question why all the DA limited aperture is not as wide as FA limited? what is the reason? is it not necessary for DSLR?
To augment @mano's answer,
Pentax are also using smaller apertures on the DA Limited lenses
to keep the overall size of the lens down.

02-13-2014, 11:13 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by mtkang Quote
I have a question why all the DA limited aperture is not as wide as FA limited? what is the reason? is it not necessary for DSLR?
Smaller aperture means size of lens can be smaller (and lighter), and cost of lens can also be smaller. Another thing is, digital cameras can use ISO to compensate for darker aperture. On film cameras, the ISO depended on the film, and it was fixed for the whole film roll. With digital, you can change ISO from 100-12800 from photo to photo
DA lenses are optimized for digital. They generally have faster AF, lens coatings made for digital (less purple fringing), and are more compact/lighter.
The FA limited lenses were intended for film, but they can be used on digital, too. Oh, and btw, an FA 50mm will give you the same field of view as DA 50mm. Just so you know, DA 70mm and FA 77mm give you a very similar field of view.
02-14-2014, 12:56 AM   #6
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so the DA limited aperture is not as wide as FA limited because pentax wanted to make it more compact.

one thing i like wide aperture is the render of the image or bokeh, i wonder is DA limited to a good job as FA limited?

i saw some of the FA limited is in used market as expensive.. maybe due to hard to find,.I want some lense to use instead of keep as collection so want to know how DA limited compare to FA limited..

To have more choice, i think recently there is new DA limited HD too?
02-14-2014, 01:33 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by mtkang Quote
so the DA limited aperture is not as wide as FA limited because pentax wanted to make it more compact. one thing i like wide aperture is the render of the image or bokeh, i wonder is DA limited to a good job as FA limited? i saw some of the FA limited is in used market as expensive.. maybe due to hard to find,.I want some lense to use instead of keep as collection so want to know how DA limited compare to FA limited.. To have more choice, i think recently there is new DA limited HD too?
If they make the DA limited lenses faster, it will be a bigger lens plus the price will be a lot higher, this is the reason the FA limited are more expensive.
Yes the DA limited had been updated to HD coating, so you have two choices.
02-14-2014, 01:43 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by mtkang Quote
so the DA limited aperture is not as wide as FA limited because pentax wanted to make it more compact.

one thing i like wide aperture is the render of the image or bokeh, i wonder is DA limited to a good job as FA limited?
The rendering and bokeh are not directly a result of the aperture size, but of the lens as a unit. I think the DAs do a good job at both points, but rendering and bokeh are rather subjective qualities. As written above I personally prefer the FAs, I really think you should look at the samples here in the forum, good places to start are the lense sample archive, the reviews and the lens clubs. Just watch and decide what you like.

Another (obvious) point I forgot to mention, if you want to go wider than 31mm you have to go DA, there are no FA lenses that wide.

QuoteOriginally posted by mtkang Quote
i saw some of the FA limited is in used market as expensive.. maybe due to hard to find,.I want some lense to use instead of keep as collection so want to know how DA limited compare to FA limited..

To have more choice, i think recently there is new DA limited HD too?
Well, the FAs are expensive when new, so they fetch a higher price used. I think they are rarer than the DA (again because they are more expensive) but they are not collectible items. They are still in production. Buying a lens like that to put in on a shelf would be a waste of money, I agree

The DAs are currently available as smc or HD, but the older smc variants are no longer produced, I don't know how long they will be available or what direction the prize on the smcs will go. There is a really good article about the two versions here.

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