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05-13-2008, 10:20 AM   #136
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QuoteOriginally posted by benjikan Quote
I ended up paying 45,55 for Customs plus the cost of Lens and UPS delivery of 277.50. The total was 323.05.

Still almost 200 less than the best price I can get in France which is about 515.00.

Ben
Thanks for telling us... that is great!!

Enjoy your new lens... I can not decide about mine... DA* 50-135mm could be... but customs will be high for that one.

05-20-2008, 09:43 AM   #137
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FA 43 Ltd. Opinions Wanted

Hi all!

For those of you who own and use the FA 43 Ltd. I am asking how you use it the most.

I find it has beautiful color (at almost any F stop), and excellent contrast and sharpness once you get to F/8.

I shoot mostly outdoors in good light so F/8 is usually fine.
However, it does not seem to be so great for landscapes, nor when you need to get close (not macro) but where you want to limit DOF, which requires you to get more wide open.

Just thinking about whether this great lens suits my needs.

Thanks.

Bob
05-20-2008, 09:58 AM   #138
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What do you find lacking in landscapes? Is it just the FOV or is there something else?

I find even at f/2.8 the lens reaches its strength, and I like it wide open as well... The color is wonderful, and even more importantly the micro contrasts are really well rendered. I have a passel of f/1.4 and f/1.8 lenses, Takumars, Zuikos etc, and wide open, I can't say any of them is tack sharp or file contrasty. Plus, the specifics of focus with such shallow DOF can make or break a photo. But these are all old manual focus lenses... as much magic as a Takumar has, I can't really say mine are 'better' than the 43. Flare resistance with the 43 is miles above the Takumars...

I do agree about the close focus, I wish it focused closer AND I wish Pentax would bring out an AF extension tube.
05-20-2008, 10:20 AM   #139
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It's my "go-to" lens for every subject I shoot. This includes landscapes, city-scapes, portraits, close-ups (works well with extension tubes) and anything else I throw at it.

I agree with Nesster completely about f/2.8. For portraits, it's the right mix of sharp & OOF renderings.

Here's a few shots I've used it for:

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2315/1807221680_658d5c41ec.jpg
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/135/331526236_62cf18f1f3.jpg
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1126/1299969000_b126ed5336.jpg
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1367/1299704351_4a7c696f1d.jpg
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/102/313308573_a07fb08dfb.jpg
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2284/2290568016_97c0651055.jpg
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/115/316729056_cabe831fd0.jpg
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3117/2323542556_5567819ed6.jpg
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1371/1399149963_f357e42d12.jpg

I should also mention that no matter where I go or what I "intend" to shoot, this lens is either on the camera or in the bag. It's always with me when I'm out....sometimes as the only lens (something I don't do with any other lens I own).

05-20-2008, 10:23 AM   #140
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It could very well be me on landscapes, but I just don't get the detail I expected. I may need to practice on selecting my focus point on landscapes as I tend to shoot (or aim) at the most distant point which is wrong of course.

I agree the color is wonderful and an AF extension tube would likely be purchased by most 43 ltd. owners!

I actually like the FOV.

Bob
05-20-2008, 10:30 AM   #141
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Very nice photos Andrew!

I actually have taken some very nice photos (for me anyway!) with it. I guess I was disappointed with it this past weekend when I shot with it at an Orchid show. I was not trying to do macro with it, but I was disappointed with sharpness and color. I was not shooting it at its sweet spot range of F/5.6 and higher because I was trying to limit DOF, so I was closer to wide open most of the shots.

Bob
05-20-2008, 10:53 AM   #142
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Omg Andrew I love that second picture!!!!!!

Which extensin tubes do you guys usually get with it?
05-20-2008, 11:00 AM   #143
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Bob, I scoured my flickr to find some landscapes and flowers...

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2199/2311232967_67e3cd0fb4_b.jpg
6 sec at f.5,6

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2160/2046944978_8fd63d05fb_o.jpg
f/3.5

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2209/2000463518_968c9ba4b2_o.jpg
f/2.8

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2010/2348103711_ac9596de66_o.jpg
f/10

I have made an observation that the 43 really locks in with film and is a bit fiddlier with digital (while the 70 is the opposite). I wonder if your keeping the lens closed down results in shutter speeds just long enough to start introducing (detail robbing) shake?

I've also noted that the 43 does NOT play a game some other Pentax lenses do - it doesn't push the macro contrast to hide deficiencies in micro contrast / resolution like the 16-45 does, for example.

Here's a quick grab-shot with the 43 on a film camera:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2237/2151789626_deb50b4bff_b.jpg

05-20-2008, 11:04 AM   #144
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Thanks Bob & Okami!

That second pic was some fun I had last winter with the squirrels at the feeder. This was the only guy (out of the 4 who visited) who grew accustomed to the flash going off at near-point-blank range ....to the point where he'd pose.

I believe any extension tubes will do as there's no glass to factor in. I use the auto-K extension tubes with my lenses and use the green button for stop-down metering.

Here's one more with the 43mm (IIRC) on extension tubes. Focus is tricky at best - and in this case I still had to crop over 60% of the original image to get this:

(spider alert!!!)
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/54/185814365_7dbe0a2372.jpg
He/she was about the same size - perhaps a wee bit bigger than a pin-head.
05-20-2008, 11:23 AM   #145
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Andrew, I think I've seen that spider before and it always astounds me! THAT is with a 43 on an extension tube! WOW. (I'm looking through your excellent flicr stream now so as to go and properly fave it there)
05-20-2008, 11:29 AM   #146
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lolol I loved the squirrel pic too but I meant the first pic!!! stunning
05-20-2008, 11:55 AM   #147
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Thanks Nesstor & Okami.
05-20-2008, 01:57 PM   #148
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I use my 43 Ltd mostly for medium portraits at events in a big room with low light condition where I want speed and creative result.
For landscape, I use my other lenses: FA 17-28 fisheye or FA*24mm.
But 43Ltd never let me down. I really love the rendering and 3D look of it.
The best part I love is the sharpness. Maybe not at 1.9 (which is still much better than most other lenses).
Starting at 2 or 2.8 it's unbelievably sharp.

I also use it as a macro lens using Vivitar 2xMFTC. I think the results of these combination is better than V2xMFTC + FA50mm/1.4 (I tried this combo too).
If you haven't tried it, then try it. I'm sure you will be stunned with the result.

One thing is lacking with this len is the close focus distance. Sometimes I wish it can be closer.
05-20-2008, 02:03 PM   #149
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Herman-thanks for the comments. Interesting that you use a 2x TC for macro with the 43 LTD! Are they readily available?

Do you find your FA 24mm to be a really good lens for landscapes?

Bob
05-21-2008, 01:20 AM   #150
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rmpjr7 Quote
Herman-thanks for the comments. Interesting that you use a 2x TC for macro with the 43 LTD! Are they readily available?

Do you find your FA 24mm to be a really good lens for landscapes?

Bob
Hi Bob,
Well, Vivitar2XMFTC is not in production anymore but once a while you can find it for sale in the forum's marketplace (I think I saw one last week) or ebay.
I got mine with electronic contact. So it will allow me to use A setting but no more autofocus.

The good thing about this combo are:
1) You get a magnificent macro lens with one of the best optic lens. Assuming you also get a good V2xMTFC.
2) Convert 43 Ltd to 86mm. Good for portrait lens (but it is similar to 2x stopped down. It won't be f/1.9 anymore. Instead it will be closer to f/4) As long as there is enough light, the quality doesn't drop that much in my opinion.

I haven't used my FA* 24mm too much yet compared to my other lens. But I can tell you from recent shot that this lens is very good. Not so sharp at f/2 but once stopped down it's very sharp. I agree with some review that the sharpness of this lens is not from the resolution only but also from the contrast.
I think my FA 50mm Macro is a little bit sharper at 2.8 but losing a bit in contrast compared to FA*24/2.
If I have a chance, I'll try to post a sample of picture.
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