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11-21-2008, 04:02 PM   #271
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Well, it's pretty certain that the 31 outperforms the 16-50 in measured tests. The real question is whether or not that difference is enough to justify your buying it.

For example, in a fit of LBA frenzy last fall, I bought the 50-135 and the 77 Ltd. Both are fine lenses and the 77 Ltd will out perform it (as well as being faster). However, I found for my photography, I was just as happy to leave the 50-135 on there rather than swap out the 77 Ltd. Sure, there were times I went out specifically to shoot with the 77 Ltd, but overall, I used the 50-135 much more. And, for my purposes, I was so happy with the 50-135 that I wound up selling the 77 Ltd to free up funds for another purchase (maybe it was the DA*200).

So, in the end you'll have to decide if it's worth it to you.

11-21-2008, 04:04 PM   #272
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Hey Hinman, when you start to name lenses as well as love 'em, you need to get out more...................................................without a camera.
11-21-2008, 07:04 PM   #273
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yes

especially in low-light, the fa31 can do what the 16-50 cant. but a couple weeks ago someone asked me what the difference would be if they were shooting outdoors, travel or vacation or in-general style, and not wide open. I went out and did these quick and dirty 16-50 vs 31 examples in that vein


16-50


fa31 when at 100% slight (slight) more detail in the bird of plenty



16-50


fa31 (hard on this one to distinguish between the two)



once inside the museums the 16-50 came off and the fa31 went on.

1/13th f3.5 iso1600




Sorry for the crappy images, but in good lighting and stopped down, both are very similar, and this is into the range of the sweet spot on the 16-50.

Closer up and the fa31 wins (no comparisons of this to post) and in low light and more open apertures (say more open than 5.6) the fa31 wins. I wouldn't want to post, say a comparison between the 16-50 and fa31 at 2.8, because that wouldn't be fair, or with the 16-50 at under 24mm because the differences, especially in the corners would be really evident. The fa31 is solid all the way around in just about every situation (except the 16-50 can handle bright spots and over-exposure better). The 16-50 can make very good and competing images, if you don't shoot wide open at the long or short end and if you stop down a bit and if also if you are very careful when shooting at 16mm.
11-22-2008, 03:41 AM   #274
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Thanks for the comparison augustmoon.. and thanks for the similar description of the 35 macro vs the 16-50 in the other thread.. both have helped (and equally confused) me on the next lens purchase. I was thinking of getting a few primes to use for scenes/shots when I want the best quality, but with the 16-50 working so well it throws a spanner in the works. I'll still go that route, but might go 50-135 first, then the primes.

11-22-2008, 05:26 AM   #275
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QuoteOriginally posted by hinman Quote
I call the Pentax FA 31mm f/1.8 limited my "Lady Queen".
Now you're starting to scare me, Hin.

I know I have seen these images before, but numbers 4 and 5 are just great! Really my type of shot. (I only wish there was a bit more space to the right of the light fixture.)

Always great to see your photos. If you can hang on to your lenses the market will come back for them. Until then just stop buying. But I am the wrong one to say that, as I bid on yet another Vivitar 28mm!
11-22-2008, 05:31 AM   #276
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QuoteOriginally posted by augustmoon Quote
Sorry for the crappy images, but in good lighting and stopped down, both are very similar, and this is into the range of the sweet spot on the 16-50.
The 16-50 shots are underexposed compared with the FA31. This would also account for what you are seeing. Just goes to show how impossible setting up such a comparison really is. I have seen amazing shots with both lenses but know which I would get if I was in the market. I am a prime shooter and value low weight and compactness.
11-22-2008, 09:12 AM   #277
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You guys really need to quit talking about the 31mm being one of the best lenses ever. I've not bought a new lens in about a month and a half and thought my LBA was cured, or at least in remission. Now I'm thinking of ways to raise the money for the 31. I think I can hold off for now, although microsoft cashback would make it more reasonable a purchase.
11-22-2008, 11:33 AM   #278
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
The 16-50 shots are underexposed compared with the FA31. This would also account for what you are seeing. Just goes to show how impossible setting up such a comparison really is. I have seen amazing shots with both lenses but know which I would get if I was in the market. I am a prime shooter and value low weight and compactness.
I am a prime shooter as well and prefer the primes over the zooms in every situation. In attempting to compare the primes with the DA*Zooms. I realized that I would never sell the primes in favor of the zooms, especially the FA ltds, and DA35. I also learned under what conditions I could get the best out of the zooms. Sometimes when I go somewhere with my wife or at work, I'm not able to take a bunch of primes or swap lenses, so I'll just take the 16-50, if the situation or conditions are favorable for it, knowing that I'd rather have more time and swap primes, but knowing that at least it's not all ruined if I am forced to head out with only the zoom. Sometimes I will only take 1 lens and it will be a prime and it will be the FA31, even if I need to crop in a bit.

"don't do the primes if ya can't do the time"

11-22-2008, 12:26 PM   #279
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QuoteOriginally posted by Votesh Quote
...Now I'm thinking of ways to raise the money for the 31. I think I can hold off for now, although microsoft cashback would make it more reasonable a purchase.
Haven't you heard? The prices of the FA Ltd's are going to go UP. So, ...

QuoteOriginally posted by augustmoon Quote
I am a prime shooter as well and prefer the primes over the zooms in every situation. ...
...I'm not able to take a bunch of primes or swap lenses, so I'll just take the 16-50, if the situation or conditions are favorable for it, knowing that I'd rather have more time and swap primes, but knowing that at least it's not all ruined if I am forced to head out with only the zoom...
Now, this is exactly my reasoning as well.
11-22-2008, 03:38 PM   #280
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If you are after some decent FA31 shots .... Sinan on this forum (aka SFT ... from memory) ... had a great series of an evening market in Turkey (somewhere) ... I am trying to hunt through Zenfolio at the moment for that series.

It shows how amazing the FA31LTD really can be.

http://sinantarlan.zenfolio.com/
unfortunately though I am unable to find the series I was after .... he may have remoevd it ... as it was some time ago. Just searching on FA31 while in his gallieries and you will still see some aazing shots from this lens.

Last edited by Mechan1k; 11-22-2008 at 03:44 PM.
11-22-2008, 04:14 PM   #281
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QuoteOriginally posted by roentarre Quote
sigma 17-70 outperforms most primes being cost effective.
Interesting. Do you know the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8?
How would you rate it?
Which (not only of the two) do you consider the best zoom?
11-22-2008, 04:29 PM   #282
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Don't you know that without the FA31 you cannot take shots like the following:

Spike
(showing texture detail and clarity in low light)


this radiant world
(HDR making the most of luminous intensity)


Wing: Above Manchester
(nice tonal range in B&W)


Dead Plants I
(luminous fantasy world glow with snazzy bokeh)
11-22-2008, 04:31 PM   #283
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Oh sorry, my mistake.

Those were taken with the Vivitar 24mm f/2 (Komine build).



Learn your lenses. Work with what you have. The grass is not always greener.
11-22-2008, 11:11 PM   #284
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Interesting. Do you know the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8?
How would you rate it?
Which (not only of the two) do you consider the best zoom?
I am a very biased person and I am similar to some members of the forum here that I do not believe in test charts or photozone.de too much. Like some of the forum members, I rely on gut feeling or my eyes with glasses on of course.

I owned tamron 17-50mm f2.8 on canon mount which really performs well, much better than 16-35 f2.8 L in terms of overall image quality. The barrel distorsion at f2.8 is a little overstatement by most canon or nikon users. I only use f2.8 when I do protraits and it is quite a good performer. Corner sharpness is just another joke people like to dismiss lenses on. Unless it is a german glass like leica or voigltander. Most japanese company lenses are just simply soft in the corner in general which is a signature optical characteristic to them all comparing to german glass maker.


Given my experience so far,

I would love Da* 16-50 for waterfall shots - it works well with polariser or neutral density filter well on k20d. Its high contrast and rich colour above f4 is very good. However, diffraction kicks in early around f11 onwards.


Tamron is probably as good as it can be given its price. I think it probably lacks the lustre of fa limited optical rendering. The subtlety some of us are crazy about that are "popping feel", "micro contrast", "glossy look" etc are probably not that prominent with tamron glass. However, this is the lens I use repeated without a concern to cosmetic damage etc.

sigma 17-70 is really a great lens. I bought it for 300 AUS dollars and sold it for 450 AUS dollars. Second time in my life that I could sell Sigma with a profit margin! If the price is about 1000 AUS dollars or so, I would start to criticise this lens brutally. It takes up flare very well, bokeh are slightly noisy and harsh though. Its build and weight are all not too bad.

Sigma 12-24 is given a good bashing but once in a while, someone will have a good copy. I had a good copy for canon 5D and its soft corners are macroscopicly evident on LCD screen. However, I use this lens for the perspective and I am less fussy about the cost.

I never own pentax 12-24 but some of the test shots I have tried out with local pentax group outing is that it is very prone to purple CA as most of pentax lenses. In Australian sun, this lens re-defines the word - purple. It is a nightmare to rid off these purple bands along edges...

Getting back to Da* 16-50, it is not a bad lens. For the purposes I intend to use this zoom for, this zoom does landscape very well. This zoom is not really a good choice for protrait as some of the autofocus issue and edge sharpness can be a tricky thing. Otherwise, I do not see the big fuss over this zoom besides the quality control thing. I am waiting to sell it though. Da 15mm ltd will serve my need a lot better if it is a limited quality with small size body.
11-22-2008, 11:56 PM   #285
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Hi Roentarre,

thanks a lot for sharing your experience with us.

QuoteOriginally posted by roentarre Quote
Like some of the forum members, I rely on gut feeling or my eyes with glasses on of course.
Well, the subjective impression is what counts after all.

QuoteOriginally posted by roentarre Quote
I owned tamron 17-50mm f2.8 on canon mount which really performs well, much better than 16-35 f2.8 L in terms of overall image quality. The barrel distorsion at f2.8 is a little overstatement by most canon or nikon users.
It is better than that of the Sigma 17-70.

QuoteOriginally posted by roentarre Quote
Tamron is probably as good as it can be given its price. I think it probably lacks the lustre of fa limited optical rendering.
Do you think Sigma is better in this compartment?

From your description it seems you'd prefer the Sigma 17-70 over the Tamron 17-50. The Tamron seems to have the better sharpness overall (sorry, test chart figures, I don't own either of these lenses), has constant 2.8 aperture ratio, and the Sigma seems to go a little soft at 70mm.

I could still accept and understand that you would prefer the Sigma, as the subjective evaluation counts above all.

FYI, I'm interested in IQ independently of price. I understand good primes often beat zoom, but sometimes there is no replacement for a zoom and I'm interested in top choices (that are still somewhat affordable).

QuoteOriginally posted by roentarre Quote
Getting back to Da* 16-50, it is not a bad lens.
From what I've read the DA 16-45 is better, is it?
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