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05-12-2008, 10:44 PM   #1
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FA 43 or the FA 31?

I am looking to buy one of those two lovely lenses, but i have a VERY hard time choosing. The focal length is not of concern, both is usable for my needs. I think atm i am aiming for a 43, but to be honest i have no clue. I want a sharp, "3d looking" lens, which both is, from what i know?

The money is not a problem, i don't aim to use allot of cash, but i am definitely not on a budget as i still live at home lol (therefore i use all my money now, BEFORE i move out and will use all my money on an apartment)

So the question is, which would you rather have? The FA 43 or the FA 31? You may post images if you like

05-12-2008, 11:14 PM   #2
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you should choose based on focal length first
if you check out photozone.de, the FA31 is technically the better lens
but opinions are divided on which actually renders better, some people say the FA43 has some "magic"
05-13-2008, 06:20 AM   #3
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Cost was a factor for me - rather than the 31 I went for the 43 and the 70. Size was an influence also, the 31 is no doubt a beautiful lens in all senses of the word, but it is large.

I find the 43 works especially well with film, there's a sort of automatic lock-in. It's good with digital as well. The 31 might be a bit more useful focal length on digital however.
05-13-2008, 06:29 AM   #4
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Hard to argue a case against either lens. If money is not really an object, then buy them both and try them for a week or 2. See what focal length you like the most and which renders the way you want for your shooting. You'll be able to sell the one you don't want to keep for about the same as you paid for it. Just consider it a testing "rental". If you can afford it, you might keep both.


Last edited by Peter Zack; 05-13-2008 at 06:41 AM.
05-13-2008, 06:30 AM   #5
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FA 43 or the FA 31?

QuoteQuote:
So the question is, which would you rather have? The FA 43 or the FA 31? You may post images if you like
I have both and find myself using the FA 31 a lot more than the FA 43 with the K20D, whereas with the MZ-S it's about even. They are both fantastic, though.
05-13-2008, 06:38 AM   #6
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Both are fine lenses.

Personally, I love to take Fa 31 ltd as a walk around lens.

Funnily, my better shots are taken by Fa 43 ltd.

If you are the sort of person that loves to do pixel peeping, enjoying the idea of MTF. Fa 31 ltd would be a better bet. Fa 43 will get you upset and feeling betrayed etc.

If you are a photographer, you might find Fa 43 quite a capable lens where it adds certain magic to your shots.

Fa 43 ltd images

Fa 31 ltd images
05-13-2008, 08:33 AM   #7
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I have the 31mm Limited and the 40mm Limited (pancake lens) that are used with my K10D. The reviews I read put the 40mm and the 43mm very close in quality with the 43mm have a little something extra (which seemed to be very subjective). Mainly I went with the 40 for cost and the want of a very low profile lens. Between that and the 31mm I find the later gets the most use. It's just a little bit wider and complements my tastes in shots. For image quality you really can't go wrong with either lens. They are both excellent.
05-13-2008, 10:29 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by roentarre Quote
Both are fine lenses.

Personally, I love to take Fa 31 ltd as a walk around lens.

Funnily, my better shots are taken by Fa 43 ltd.

If you are the sort of person that loves to do pixel peeping, enjoying the idea of MTF. Fa 31 ltd would be a better bet. Fa 43 will get you upset and feeling betrayed etc.

If you are a photographer, you might find Fa 43 quite a capable lens where it adds certain magic to your shots.

Fa 43 ltd images

Fa 31 ltd images
James,

Maybe you should get the most out of both lenses by taking them apart and reassembling them as a Pentax 37mm Limited. That way ALL your shots will be perfect because you won't have to choose one lens over the other.

Stephen

05-13-2008, 11:32 AM   #9
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I don't have the 31mm so I can't really comment on it, other than what I've seen posted by others who have it, and it's stunning.

As for the 43mm ltd....if I was to ever switch brands, I'd keep a pentax body just for that lens. It's the only lens that comes with me no matter what I'm shooting and in a number of outings, it's the only lens I've taken. Needless to say, I'm a bit biased

The only hesitation I've ever had about the 31mm ltd is the fixed hood. I use a cokin 'p' series holder for my filters which won't work with the hood unless you stack filter rings past the hood. In spite of that, I still catch myself checking the 31mm out on some of the sites I buy from. I suspect it's only a matter of time before I give in to temptation.
05-13-2008, 12:13 PM   #10
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I actually find the 31mm a more "all-round" lens on aps-c than the 43mm. I have been using the 43mm on DSLR, but I find that I like 50mm and 30/31mm better on digital than I do 43mm.

That said, I find the 43mm a interesting perspective at times, but it really does best for me on 35mm film, not on cropped digital format.

If Pentax released a FF DSLR, I would use it alot more I think.
05-13-2008, 12:50 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by roentarre Quote
Personally, I love to take Fa 31 ltd as a walk around lens.

Funnily, my better shots are taken by Fa 43 ltd.
This isn't too surprising the 31mm is basically a slightly-wide normal, an the 43mm a long normal. For me, this translates to the longer lens automatically forcing you to crop more selectively, which is one of the easiest ways to add immediate impact to your composition.
05-13-2008, 05:19 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
This isn't too surprising the 31mm is basically a slightly-wide normal, an the 43mm a long normal. For me, this translates to the longer lens automatically forcing you to crop more selectively, which is one of the easiest ways to add immediate impact to your composition.
Maybe this is why I'm liking the FA77 even more. And the Cosina 100mm macro even more than that.

But back to the original question. I'd take the 31mm (which I have never had the pleasure of using) over the 43mm based on focal length. I like the area around 28mm on the digital bodies... it's the perfect normal length.

However the 43mm was significantly cheaper.
05-13-2008, 05:35 PM   #13
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I've been asking myself this same question re these two lenses (and most recently throwing the pancakes in the mix). Unfortunately the responses only provide more great info/perspective, leading to analysis paralysis. (I'm going to keep following this thread though...)
05-13-2008, 08:32 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by SCGushue Quote
James,

Maybe you should get the most out of both lenses by taking them apart and reassembling them as a Pentax 37mm Limited. That way ALL your shots will be perfect because you won't have to choose one lens over the other.

Stephen
Stephen, you always think outside the box! I think that would be very cool in deed!

James
05-13-2008, 08:40 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
This isn't too surprising the 31mm is basically a slightly-wide normal, an the 43mm a long normal. For me, this translates to the longer lens automatically forcing you to crop more selectively, which is one of the easiest ways to add immediate impact to your composition.
My feelings towards 31mm is its limiting factor of f1.8. Its ability to render bokeh is compromised to an extent by inability to blurr the surrounding of the subject further.

I use 24mm and 50mm on FF and these focal lengths can be very useful in photography and taking up 90% of my photos in that system.

So I think Fa 31mm performs in all modality of lens analysis. Its application is somewhat limited to its inability to isolate subjects easily (but still a great lens).

As a walk around, 31 mm will probably include too many distracting elements within a frame so a wider aperture is more desired blurring out the rest of frame.
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