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02-28-2014, 04:42 PM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by fretlessdavis Quote
Pick the lens that works for you best, not just on its sharpness, and go out and shoot. =)
Wise words. And that, I hope, is exactly what I did. I'll post some pics and comments when I've started to get used to my new friend.


Last edited by kentishrev; 02-28-2014 at 04:48 PM.
02-28-2014, 04:48 PM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by kentishrev Quote
Wise words. And that, I hope, is exactly what I did.
Excellent! Let's see what you can do with it! Keep us all updated on your shots.

I tire of the infinite lens pixel-peeing/measure-bating. Lenses help, but don't make, good photos. One of my best large prints, regarded by most people that actually look through my nice prints in person, is one I did with what most consider the worst MF zoom Nikon has made. People like it much better than most of my MF and LF work even. The flaws are definitely noticeable when looked at closely, and it's not as smooth and 'creamy-looking' as bigger formats, especially since it's above what most would consider enlarging 35mm (printed barely cropped on 11x14). I wouldn't have wished for a different lens at the time, because that lens, at that moment, is what allowed me to capture that excellent photo, and that's all that really matters.
02-28-2014, 04:50 PM   #48
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Good reply. I agree. Don't worry, just shoot pictures!
02-28-2014, 06:07 PM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
Indeed, but as I commented in my earlier post,
the Optyczne/Lenstip test chart shows
that the DA 20-40 resolves to 40 lp/mm,
or above 90% of the FA 31's performance,
at the two lenses' respective f/8 apertures.
Take a look at this:
20-40mm
Pentax HD DA 20-40 mm f/2.8-4.0 ED Limited DC WR review - Image resolution - Lenstip.com
and the 31mm:
Pentax smc FA 31 mm f/1.8 AL review - Image resolution - Lenstip.com
Luckily, I think they are using the K-5 for both of them, hence the results should be directly compable.

Yes maybe at around 30mm it is pretty sharp in the center at 5.6, however the extremes (20mm and 40mm) even the center isnt that great. and even through the aperture range (at high F values) the corners are abysmal (except at 30 where they are just 'good'). Honestly, there are all kind of arguments that can be made about IQ with zooms, but I have seen many zooms perform a lot better than this. FYI: Looking at the resultion results of the 31mm, in my opinion in terms of overall sharpness/corners the 20-40mm doesnt even touch the 31mm.

Also not sure why you want to compare them at F8 and beyond. This is about the time when diffraction starts to kick in and it often equalizes most lenses. They should be compared at their sweet spot and wide open as well.

02-28-2014, 11:22 PM - 1 Like   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
I am afraid that I do not follow this line of thinking. I take the lenses I like the best with me from the ones I own. If I were in prime mode, and I had a $2,000 Zeiss, that would be the 50 I took with me. Hiking, boating, whatever. Why leave them home? I've been shooting in strange and stranger places since 1961, and have yet to break a lens.
I agree with you - once you've got the lens (and perhaps had it for more than a month or two, so you've digested the high price) you just take what you need. That's what you bought it for - to do the job.


I do, however, weigh the risks of the situation, and the benefits of having the lens. So if I'm going to just throw the camera around my neck for a mountain bike ride, and I'm looking mostly for family pictures, I'd rather mount my FA28 than my FA31. I also might do the same if there's an obviously high theft risk in an area. But most of the time if the FA31's better for the job, that's the one I take. Otherwise there's not much use in owning the lens! The greater risk would be in not using it!

---------- Post added 02-28-14 at 11:05 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Dice Quote
It seems there are a lot of haters of this lens but curiously it seems to be the ones who have never used this lens. If you look at the Pentax User Reviews you will find more love than hate.
Often this is the case - it's people who've never used the lens or product they're critical of. And it's rather irritating for owners who've made the investment and are seeing the benefit - and rightfully so. Reminds me of the Q - the first time you see one and hold it in your hands, you "get it." The way kentishrev described his buying experience, it sounds like this lens may be a similar case. But because of the higher price, I'm afraid it may remain this way for a while (that most of the critics don't actually have experience with it).



Nevertheless, since this is a ~$1000 DSLR lens, people expect high IQ out of it. I think that's the problem many of us have with it - when Pentax sell us a lens for $1000 or more, we expect to see the IQ of something like a DA*300, DA*50-135, or FA77. In this case, we don't think it even matches any of the better primes in its range - possibly not even the DA35/2.4.


If we start to see better photos from this lens (or Ricoh suddenly drops the price drastically - as if that's about to happen!) I think the criticism will quiet down. In the mean time, those who own it seem to "get it." I really don't think it's the type of lens many of us expected or wanted (especially for the price), and I think we're kind of mad at Ricoh for creating it this way. Even if we never planned on buying one, we're upset inside because we only want to see the highest IQ (and therefore high value), since we already know Ricoh is going to continue to charge us unprecedentedly high prices for new lenses regardless of the quality they actually deliver. So the level of anxiety is rather high (even if sometimes unconscious).


Not to worry, I'm sure kentishrev will get nice photos to show us from his lens, and it'll be a worthwhile investment for him!

Last edited by DSims; 03-01-2014 at 12:06 AM.
03-01-2014, 03:35 AM - 1 Like   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
Often this is the case - it's people who've never used the lens or product they're critical of. And it's rather irritating for owners who've made the investment and are seeing the benefit - and rightfully so. Reminds me of the Q - the first time you see one and hold it in your hands, you "get it." The way kentishrev described his buying experience, it sounds like this lens may be a similar case. But because of the higher price, I'm afraid it may remain this way for a while (that most of the critics don't actually have experience with it).


Not to worry, I'm sure kentishrev will get nice photos to show us from his lens, and it'll be a worthwhile investment for him!
It's a bit like buying the perfect car. There isn't one. If there was, we'd all have one. What you lose on fuel consumption you gain in comfort, or servicing costs. Or colour. Or it just 'feels' better. I'm happy with my choice. As I said, it was down to two. And put yourself on the other end of the DA* 16-50.....do you feel comfortable with than monster front-end in your face?

As I said before, I'm grateful for all the advice and support. Let's keep our conversations positive and welcoming. I'm really pleased I found you guys.
03-01-2014, 06:41 AM   #52
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Those are indeed the results we have been discussing all along,
since @starbase218 initially broached the topic.

QuoteOriginally posted by oxidized Quote
Looking at the resultion results of the 31mm, in my opinion in terms of overall sharpness/corners the 20-40mm doesnt even touch the 31mm.
Also not sure why you want to compare them at F8.
Because f/8 is where both lenses give their best edge performance, according to those tests.
The FA 31, a prime, reaches 43 lp/mm,
while the DA 20-40, a zoom, reaches 40 lp/mm at every focal length in its range.

We have been discussing a potential concern with sharpness raised by an earlier poster.
For the kind of photography where that concern would be relevant (say landscape, or technical photography),
f/8 would be the appropriate aperture to use.
03-01-2014, 07:09 AM - 1 Like   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by kentishrev Quote
And put yourself on the other end of the DA* 16-50.....do you feel comfortable with than monster front-end in your face?
No, it's not comfortable. And I usually prefer to be subtle, which it's not.


But it has also worked to my advantage. Between it and the Battery Grip I now constantly keep attached (because at some events I'll shoot over 1000 shots in portrait orientation) it's taken seriously by others, even when I feel like I'm just using my basic zoom lens (with very good but not absolutely outstanding IQ). No need to pull out the DA*50-135 - people instantly think it's for real. This type of thing can help, for example, when I meet an event organizer for the first time.

03-01-2014, 09:25 AM - 1 Like   #54
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Originally posted by kentishrev
And put yourself on the other end of the DA* 16-50.....do you feel comfortable with that monster front-end in your face?

I have found, using the K10D (big compared with current offerings) with battery grip (bigger still) and the DA* 16-50 with hood on the front (huge) that by far the most reaction is very positive. It looks like a "real" camera. It is definitely not the Rebel with kit lens Aunt Jane bought at Future Shop. A smile before I aim that bazooka at someone takes the edge off.
03-01-2014, 09:26 AM - 2 Likes   #55
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I think you made a fine choice and look forward to the photos that you take with the 20-40. The reality is that there is no perfect lens. Even the FA limiteds have weaknesses. I do like the DA *16-50 and use it as a work horse lens when I am walking around with my wife and kids, but it is big, no question about it, and kind of soft at the extremes and wide open.

As such, when there are compromises involved, you choose what fits your shooting style and budget best and don't worry about what would work best for someone else.
03-01-2014, 09:42 AM - 1 Like   #56
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Well said, Rondec.
03-01-2014, 09:49 AM - 1 Like   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by kentishrev Quote
However, I recognize that the k-30 is not top of the range. Am I wasting money with the 20-40mm? Will I get the best out of it? Or should I stick to something cheaper?
Buying good glass is never wasted money in the long run. Sure...it's possible to buy a much better lens than a person needs for their given purposes, but it's not a wasted investment because good glass holds its value well. It's like buying a Ferrari to drive around town. A Prius may have served our purposes better, but a Ferrari will always be a Ferrari. If you decide that's more car than you need, you can always sell your Ferrari and turn that cash into a Prius. But it's much harder to turn a Prius into a Ferrari.
03-01-2014, 03:33 PM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Even the FA limiteds have weaknesses. I do like the DA *16-50 and use it as a work horse lens when I am walking around with my wife and kids, but it is big, no question about it, and kind of soft at the extremes and wide open.

Absolutely. The DA*16-50 is a big compromise, but I don't know of any better alternatives. Which means it's pretty good. I work within its limitations and it works well for me.
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