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06-05-2014, 02:26 AM   #1
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FA31 VS Sigma 30 1.4 Art

Does anyone having experience with both lenses and would be so kind to share their experiences. Im looking into getting my first primes for low light . Any light on the subject would be greatly appreciated!


Last edited by Alex Nostalgix; 06-05-2014 at 02:32 AM.
06-05-2014, 03:00 AM   #2
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The 31 is amazing. Truly. I didnt believe it would be worth the cash, but it is. Its almost the only lens I use, and it always delivers..rendering, bokeh, sharpness, size, build, etc

I used to own the original Sigma 30 1.4 DC, had it for a week or two before I got the 31, it was my first fast lens. I didnt like it: too big and bulky (even without a hood), didnt really like the colours or rendering, terrible in the corners and the bokeh was only good closeup.

I hear the new Sigma 30 ART is much better, nicer bokeh, sharper etc. Something tells me it still wouldnt replace the 31 for me as I dont believe even the Sigma 35 ART can beat the 31s rendering, bokeh (or size!!) and test chart sharpness is overrated IMHO. But half the price is quite tempting if your budget isnt large.

Depends on what you want and whether what the 31 offers is attractive or not. Frankly if you are considering the 31 you should also consider the sigma 35 ART which everyone thinks is the bees knees these days. For me, I would still take the 31
06-05-2014, 03:11 AM   #3
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The new Sigma 30 is better than the old one. It's still not in the same class as the FA31.

I have the FA31. I had the FA35/2. I'd pick either the FA31 or DA35/2.4 (either one shoots great wide-open - don't try this with the Sigma(even the newer one)). Do be forewarned that the FA31 is atypical in its rendering and character, so it might not be a good first choice. But it's still a better first choice than the Sigma, I think.


The alternatives to consider are the FA*24/2, DA*55/1.4, or FA77/1.8 if those focal lengths work for you. I use 24 and 77 (or now the replacement FA*85/1.4) the most of all my primes (alongside the long F*300). I tried the wonderful DA*55 but didn't buy because I use the other FLs more (and I have an FA43 already anyway - but it can't compare to the DA*55 between f/1.4 and f/2.5).

Last edited by DSims; 06-05-2014 at 03:21 AM.
06-05-2014, 03:32 AM   #4
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Yeah i want the 35mm art lens bad but I'm trying to hold of a bit longer into the summer, which is another reason why I want the FA31 since its equal if not better than sigma plus it be nice to have at least one pentax lens . Only thing thats got me skeptical about *55 is how slow the autofocus is apparently is, though i don't usually whip out anything smaller than 70mm while shooting motor sports but its fun to have the option if they can relatively keep up. I'll look into FA 77 & 24, thanks for the input guys. Sucks these price tags are so ridiculous.

06-05-2014, 08:27 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Deimos Quote
The 31 is amazing. Truly. I didnt believe it would be worth the cash, but it is. Its almost the only lens I use, and it always delivers..rendering, bokeh, sharpness, size, build, etc
+1. Well said.

The FA31mm further outperforms the Sigma 30mm in terms of bulk and weight IMO: the FA31mm is smaller and lighter, an worthwhile quality which only adds to the outstanding IQ.

My 5 cents....

Last edited by hcc; 06-05-2014 at 05:40 PM.
06-05-2014, 09:11 AM   #6
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If you want to stay wide, you might want to consider the Sigma 18-35mm F/1.8 too. Huge lens though - so not for me - but also seems to be very highly rated and might rival primes. Of course, that's if it ever comes out (as promised) in K-Mount. That being said, I do wish Pentax made a reasonably inexpensive, light, DA 24mm F/2.4...
06-05-2014, 09:14 AM   #7
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+1 for the 31 limited, my absolute favorite lens. One thing to note is if you use filters you'll need to buy 58mm filters as you can't use step-down rings with the built-in hood. A relatively minor issue but worth noting.
06-05-2014, 02:21 PM   #8
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For my particular style of shooting, corner performance is very rarely important to me, so I chose the Sigma. In the center, I think the Sigma is sharper and has nicer rendering. 2/3 of the way to the corner, the Sigma falls apart. If I want corner to corner sharpness, I'm probably at f2.8 or higher anyway, so in those cases, I pull out my DA40. A DA 40 is at least as sharp as the 31 corner to corner, and has a nice flat rendering for those times when that's important. For my money, I'd rather have both the Sigma and the DA40 instead of the 31, with enough spare change for the DA15 too.

07-21-2014, 07:47 PM   #9
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nice points there, thinking about the same thing too. If only the 31 wasn't so pricey... even the new Sigma 30 Art is 1/3 the price of the Pentax
07-21-2014, 08:09 PM - 1 Like   #10
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The new Sigma 30mm f/1.4 ART lens is a second rate lens that has only one thing going for it: remarkable sharpness in the center of the frame. But, no matter how much you stop it down the corners will never be as sharp as what the FA31 can deliver. Let me put it this way, the FA31 limited is sharper in the corners at f/1.8 than the sigma 30mm f/1.4 is at f/11.


Pentax K10D - Pentax FA31mm f/1.8 @ f/5.6



Pentax K7 - FA31mm f/1.8 ASPH Limited @ f/1.8
07-21-2014, 08:21 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
... Let me put it this way, the FA31 limited is sharper in the corners at f/1.8 than the sigma 30mm f/1.4 is at f/11.
well put and no thanks
07-22-2014, 05:59 AM - 1 Like   #12
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I've looked long and hard for a Limited 31mm f1.8 but they don't ever go below $800 on the used market. I also own the Sigma EX DC 30mm f1.4 and as previously stated for close up centered portraits shot at f2-3.5 delivers good results in terms of sharpness and bokeh (although i'm not crazy about the color rendition) I recently bought a Sigma Art 18-35mm f1.8 DC and although i'm still putting it through the paces, the first impressions are extremely positive. Some reviewers claim that the 18-35mm outperforms the Art 30mm f1.4 in sharpness and CA. Personally i'm really happy with the Sigma Art 18-35mm, I always wanted a wide angle zoom with great color rendition and bokeh and the sigma delivers in that regard. Although i never owned one it seems the Limited 31mm is a special kind of glass. I personally opted for the functionality of the zoom.

following attachment taken the first day of receiving the lens: Pentax K-5iis with Sigma Art 18-35mm f1.8, with light level adjustment, WB untouched.
Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-5 II s  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-5 II s  Photo 

Last edited by Mirton; 07-29-2014 at 03:23 PM.
07-22-2014, 08:06 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mirton Quote
Some reviewers claim that the 18-35mm outperforms the Art 30mm f1.4 in sharpness and CA
Yes I have seen this as well. Though the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 Art is still subject to variations in Sigma Quality control - my copy of it was de-centered. To be honest I think the FA31 beats the zoom, by being a much simpler lens design it doesn't flare as badly also the FA31 is significantly smaller than the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8.
07-22-2014, 03:04 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
The new Sigma 30mm f/1.4 ART lens is a second rate lens that has only one thing going for it: remarkable sharpness in the center of the frame.
Stop beating around the bush and tell us how you really feel I for one am certainly glad I purchased the FA 31. It's a funny thing. Over the past year and a half I've been on these forums I've seen so many posts and a few threads where people are asking what other lens is equal to the FA 31 for less money. The FA 35 2.0 ? The DA 35 2.4? The new Sigma Art lens 35, or the 30, or ??? It comes down to this. None. If you want the best IQ in that range then buy the FA 31. End of story. Recently on Fleabay I was able to purchase my "Made in Japan" copy for $750. And to my surprise another FA 31 just sold for an astonishing $681.

A big thank you goes out to all those purchasers of the new Sigma 18-35. As a consequence the FA 31 has become more affordable to the average Joe now Whether or not this is a true statement is irrelevant. I got an FA 31 for $550 under list price and I'm a happy camper.
07-22-2014, 05:12 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mirton Quote
Maybe someone with a keener eye can help ascertain any issues on my copy
It looks fine from what I can see.
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