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02-16-2007, 05:35 AM   #1
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Can people who own Fa*24mm f2 post shots wide open?

I read a couple of sites talking about Fa 24mm f2 soft wide open.

Like what photodo has rated only 3.7 using the dodgy canon evaluation system MTF.

Pentax SMC FA 24mm f/2.0 AL (IF) MTF data

I wonder this is an isolated case of heresay or this is a common sense regarding this lens.

I know a lot of people use it for landscape and would use aperture about f8 - f11 on DSLR.

I want to own this for wide open shots as subject isolation. Anyone has any examples to share?

Thanks

02-16-2007, 07:55 AM   #2
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I've been hearing quite a lot about this, but I've actually never noticed any softness around F2 (the small DOF in nothing new).

Sample close-up: http://themotec.com/Ole/WEB_Gallery107/images/IMGP0558.jpg

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02-16-2007, 07:45 PM   #3
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This is not the best composition, but it gives you an idea of the center and edge sharpness wide open:

24mm wide open

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02-16-2007, 09:04 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mo Quote
I've been hearing quite a lot about this, but I've actually never noticed any softness around F2 (the small DOF in nothing new).

Sample close-up: http://themotec.com/Ole/WEB_Gallery107/images/IMGP0558.jpg
I still remembered your images, Adam. Thanks for answering my post though . The shot was taken in bright sun and I see no problems in the image. I had canon 24 f1.4 which has variable centre sharpness wide open depending on the lighting condition. I wonder whether people criticise pentax fa 24 f2 for its inconsistency of sharpness wide open similar to other similar fast primes under various lighting conditions?

I have been bidding on ebays lately for this lens but always reluctant to take up the bidding further due to these "soft wide open" comments circulating around on the net. Especially the original price was often quoted 300 US dollars and people commented this price as "Expensive". So bidding up to 600 US might be an over kill.

Certainly I won't use this lens for protraiture as Fa 31 might do a better job for it. I would love to use Fa 24 f2 for landmark shots like a post or statue with some backdrop turning into bokeh.


QuoteOriginally posted by pentaxuser Quote
This is not the best composition, but it gives you an idea of the center and edge sharpness wide open:

24mm wide open

-----
Zenfolio | W. Au

Are these shots Chinese new year or Lantern festival? Amazing series of shots. To be honest, the shots were quite sharp wide open even the bokeh is not that blurred!

Sure these settings would have to be so dark and the colour showed up very well. The red make-up or the skin tone turns out high contrast from some of your images in these girls singing (singing competitions?) are probably due to the typical high contrast rendering by this lens (this is a bonus for me)

thanks for the images and I might get this to shoot in nightmarkets in asia soon

02-16-2007, 11:02 PM   #5
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Just to clarify a couple of things.

This lens never sold for US$300 new. The lowest price it ever sold for was US$400 in the United States. In other countries, such as Canada, it retailed for way, way more (like $800). So, within this context, the 24 selling for $600+ greenbacks is high, but not out of line for what FA* lenses are going for these days.

There have been comments about purple fringing when using this lens on digital (it wasn't a problem with film). This happens only under high contrast situations. The solution is actually simple... lower the contrast with grad filters, fix it with software/RAW, and/or use a lens hood. Frankly, I can create a tortured lighting condition that can make any lens fail to perform no matter how good it is. What I never understood is why people hoist this criticism up at all... any picture taken under very high contrast situations (without PP) is probably going to look bad anyway and, frankly, any purple fringing/CA will be the least of your problems.

It must be just me, but I find the lens hood to be a pain to use. I even have trouble puting it on the lens in reversed position. Strange.

Softness wide open is not something I've noticed. Don't forget your DOF is limited at F2... I wonder how much of the problem is incorrect focussing? I honestly don't know.

A great thing about the F2 aperture is how bright the viewfinder is. For example, when I mount a f2.8 lens right after I use the 24, I see a noticeably dimmer viewfinder.

Where this lens shines is producing rich colors, delicate rendering, crisp images. If you nail a good landscape photo, it becomes a great landscape photo, the image literally jumps out at you. Someone at Pentax decided to make a wide angle landscape lens that was also a * lens. That's what the FA24 was intended for and it does this job very very well.

Last edited by tranq78; 02-16-2007 at 11:05 PM. Reason: typo
02-16-2007, 11:12 PM   #6
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I should add that I've also used this lens for portraits. I've positioned people as part of the close foreground and then stopped down. This way everything from the foreground to background is sharp. I especially like doing this when I have a nice landscape as my backdrop.
02-16-2007, 11:46 PM   #7
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Thank you

QuoteOriginally posted by tranq78 Quote
I should add that I've also used this lens for portraits. I've positioned people as part of the close foreground and then stopped down. This way everything from the foreground to background is sharp. I especially like doing this when I have a nice landscape as my backdrop.
This is of great help. I always find gutsy opinions as a great attribute (like a lot of my bosses). This certainly helps and I would love to own this lens.

Sounds like I have to bid up ...

Thank you Tranq78

p.s. why did you sell your copy in the end?

James
02-17-2007, 09:30 AM   #8
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I second Tranq78's assessment of this lens. The sharpness (on APS-C format) and bokeh have been very pleasing, and PF very rare in the instances where I've used it.


Last edited by pentaxuser; 02-27-2007 at 12:16 AM.
02-17-2007, 07:57 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by roentarre Quote
p.s. why did you sell your copy in the end?

I haven't sold the lens (nor do I intend to). Apologies if I left the wrong impression.
02-17-2007, 08:16 PM   #10
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I could not even thank you enough ...

QuoteOriginally posted by tranq78 Quote
I haven't sold the lens (nor do I intend to). Apologies if I left the wrong impression.
I hope you are not being upset in me posting this thread.

A common saying goes like this

"when lies are told frequent enough, lies become the truth"

I think this forum is really gathering a lot of momentum these days and a question like this would get a few discussions to clear my doubt of chasing this lens.
02-18-2007, 01:50 AM   #11
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You know that a DA 24/2 is planned for 2008?
02-18-2007, 04:44 AM   #12
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Oops...

QuoteOriginally posted by blende8 Quote
You know that a DA 24/2 is planned for 2008?
Really? That is not on the roadmap at all.

If that is the case, I might hold off my biddings.

Is this being discussed on the german vbulletin site?
02-18-2007, 06:03 AM   #13
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Richard Day said, that Pentax UK told him so.
02-19-2007, 10:14 PM   #14
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"DA 24mm f2.0"? I smell pentax cutting back on some glass. :P
02-20-2007, 11:51 AM   #15
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Hi, have you considered buying the DA14mm lens? I haven't used it but everyone who owns one raves about how good it is.

On the 1.5x crop the DA14 gives you the equivalent of 21mm AOV. With the FA24, the AOV is 36mm... a bit too narrow for a wide angle landscape lens.

Just a thought. I'm usually good at advising other people how to spend their money, ha ha!
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