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View Poll Results: The Sharpest of the sharp
FA 31 LTD 3338.37%
FA 43 LTD 1922.09%
FA 77 LTD 2630.23%
DA 14MM 11.16%
DA 12-24MM 55.81%
DA 35 LTD 1213.95%
DA* 16-50 44.65%
DA* 50-135 1112.79%
OTHER 3rd PARTY 1213.95%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 86. You may not vote on this poll

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06-19-2008, 09:10 PM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ron Boggs Quote
Original Post specifies for landscape use, so we can presume on a tripod and stopped down. In fact, for much traditional landscape use, we might presume the need for extreme depth of field which rules out bokeh and brings in the problems of diffraction at miniscule apertures--f16 and f22 and heaven forbid f32. Recall, Ansel Adams' "f64 and be there" group (note that on a view camera as Adams used f64 is not a big diffraction problem as it would be on our "mini format" cameras).

In it's sweet spot, the FA*200 Macro is scary sharp and one of the best lenses ever produced, but diffraction kills it above f16. Not so sure I'd label it a "landscape lens" either. And by the way, I'm not Elvis but maybe 35mmfilmuser is? I heard the queen of England has two copies of this lens...and didn't the Hubble space telescope copy the optical formula for their 'scope from this lens?

Though I try to ignore them, the FA limiteds--31,43 and 77 keep forcing themselves onto my tripod and bumping the 67 film body back into its case--100 Macro included. Lately, the 31 has continued to conduct radial caritotomy scalpel cuts on my corneas. I flat love that lens and it's phenomenal even at f16 and f22. Some days it just clearly defines the term "razor sharp." Color rendition is also off the charts good. It's not my favorite focal length, but it's so good that it forces me to move the tripod rather than grab a different lens.
Hi Ron!

Well, I've often used 135mm+ for isolating sections of a lake or river shore on the opposite side, and 200mm+ is nice for getting a decent sized sun in your sunrise/sunset photo...

Seriously, my most used lenses for landscape work, in this order: DA 12-24, DA 50-200. Both are excellent workhorses for the job.

The best I've got regarding the Queen of England: my FA* 80-200/2.8 has been used to take photos of her, Richard Branson, etc. The original owner is a staff photographer for Virgin. The Queen was present for the inaugural ceremony for Virgin Trains, when Branson took over the failing infrastructure of the train system at that time. Much press was made of it, and whether or not it would be successful. Obviously history has that answer.... and he sent me the scanned photos to prove it...

Hmmm... another 31mm Limited endorsement... aaarrrrgh...


Last edited by Marc Langille; 06-19-2008 at 09:16 PM.
06-19-2008, 09:54 PM   #47
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Considering how many lenses fall into the "Other Pentax" and "Other Lenses" catagories, I'm thinking it's statistically unlikely that a specific lens should beat out either of these two "large" catagories. Any lens that comes close, must be darn impressive...
06-19-2008, 10:56 PM   #48
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OT a bit, talking about royalty, had the chance to take this nice fellow awhile back before I started using a Pentax. Taken with the Canon EOS 1D Mark II N with a L lens.

06-20-2008, 04:57 PM   #49
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I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned the Tamron 28-75. For a zoom, that lens is sharp!
I would agree. For the $$'s one lens I would never give up! Even the Macro is shape. JIMBO

06-20-2008, 05:46 PM   #50
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Are there any known quality issues with the 31 or 43 ltd's..??

These have been around a long time so one would assume any manufacturing defects were engineered out a long time ago.

I am also guessing that the silver & black difference is just that, silver & black..?

06-21-2008, 02:50 AM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mallee Boy Quote
Are there any known quality issues with the 31 or 43 ltd's..??
Read the Photozone reviews for the whole poop. I find them very trustworthy and quite scrupulous. For the FA31 all they could find is "it vignettes quite a bit at f/1.8", which is hardly a condemnation. For the FA43 "CAs could be a little lower for a fix-focal."

I have the FA43 and FA77 and they are amazing. I don't use that focal range as often as others might, since I do not do many people shots. But it's great to know that when I do portraits I have a pair of lenses that cannot be surpassed -- equaled maybe, but not surpassed.

And the colour difference is just to match different bodies. Personally I think the silver looks great on its own but rather dumb on a black body.
06-21-2008, 10:04 AM   #52
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Not the greatest FL on 1.5x, but the A* 85/1.4 ought to be mentioned. I'd say that and the FA50/2.8 Macro, if sharpness was the only factor.
07-17-2008, 04:00 AM   #53
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Sharpest lens

Hi all,

I don't have the 31 (yet) or many of the others listed above so I fall into the "other Pentax" camp. For my money the M 50mm f/4 and A 100mm f/2.8 macro lenses are the sharpest I have ever used. For landscapes the K 24/2.8 merits some consideration as well.


Tom G

Last edited by 8540tomg; 07-18-2008 at 11:26 AM.
07-17-2008, 07:36 AM   #54
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I have to come in on Ole's defense on the DA40 Ltd. This is a superb lens. It has excellent edge to edge sharpness with well controlled CA's. Great color and contrast. What more could you ask for in a Landscape lens.

For landscapes finding a K or A 24 f2.8 the OP would not be disappointed either.
07-17-2008, 09:49 AM   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by beaumont Quote
Considering how many lenses fall into the "Other Pentax" and "Other Lenses" catagories, I'm thinking it's statistically unlikely that a specific lens should beat out either of these two "large" catagories. Any lens that comes close, must be darn impressive...
Well, from a statistical stand point, this poll is invalid anyway because I doubt more than 10 people that voted has tried all of the lens on the list in addition to ones not on the list.
07-17-2008, 10:27 AM   #56
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Agreed, statistically not bullet proof, but still impressive that any single mentioned lenses can compete with a group of lenses falling into the "other" category none the less.
07-26-2008, 06:39 PM   #57

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I've got a Pentax 35-105 A series Macro Zoom, I bought back in '84. Very sharp, both in 35 mm and digital.

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