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05-21-2017, 01:07 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
I couldn't watch the whole video. I really appreciate you are doing reviews of Pentax stuff. But please try to add some inflection to your narration, maybe toss in some soft background music, try a facial expression or two. I'm not saying this as a hater. People stay on the channel for personality and character. Now that I type this.. this is the same reason why they choose the FA limited lenses. Not because of technical perfection, but character. Spice. Pixie dust. So I guess I understand your personal choice.
Good luck, English Photographer!
Thanks for taking the time to share this feedback. I agree, still learning to get used to feel animated talking about lenses by myself, was more fun in older videos when my ex used to film them! Maybe I should start sniffing them or insulting other photographers...

---------- Post added 05-21-17 at 01:09 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by pinholecam Quote
What is a Pentax FA31Ltd?

It is a smallish lens that gives 31mm FOV (not 35mm) and its associated ease/difficulty in designing one.
On my travels, I'm out at 4am-5am and back in the hotel room at 10pm, often on foot for long stretches, over a whole week.



That lower encumbrance certainly helps. (esp when there will be another 3 lenses in the bag)

The 31mm FOV is unique certainly, an "in between" of a classical 28mm and a 35mm.
It allows this reportage style of coverage of the human condition.




and yet, at a switch, that wideness is pretty good for landscape as well







At more open apertures, there is a good consistency to the bokeh (in most cases) and often, the good separation between subject and bkgnd.







Sharp, sharp and more sharp is the emphasis nowadays.
Often, I don't even bother with sharp edges when shooting at larger apertures (the subjects are often not even placed there)
If its stopped down, most lenses are good at f8, f11.
Thank you for sharing your beautiful photographs. Yes, for travel it's an excellent lens.

---------- Post added 05-21-17 at 01:09 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by pinholecam Quote
What is a Pentax FA31Ltd?

It is a smallish lens that gives 31mm FOV (not 35mm) and its associated ease/difficulty in designing one.
On my travels, I'm out at 4am-5am and back in the hotel room at 10pm, often on foot for long stretches, over a whole week.



That lower encumbrance certainly helps. (esp when there will be another 3 lenses in the bag)

The 31mm FOV is unique certainly, an "in between" of a classical 28mm and a 35mm.
It allows this reportage style of coverage of the human condition.




and yet, at a switch, that wideness is pretty good for landscape as well







At more open apertures, there is a good consistency to the bokeh (in most cases) and often, the good separation between subject and bkgnd.







Sharp, sharp and more sharp is the emphasis nowadays.
Often, I don't even bother with sharp edges when shooting at larger apertures (the subjects are often not even placed there)
If its stopped down, most lenses are good at f8, f11.
Thank you for sharing your beautiful photographs. Yes, for travel it's an excellent lens.

---------- Post added 05-21-17 at 01:13 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Kozlok Quote
The review seemed to me a bunch of him mucking about with the lens physically, then presto, he liked the Sigma better? There were only a couple of scenes with actual results? I noticed that the 31 seemed to flare much less in the sun video. I guess if I was trying to make up my own mind, the video didn't give me much useful information. I fast forwarded through most of the middle, though, so maybe I missed something.
Yes, probably worth actually watching the video before sharing your opinion. I presume you missed the DNG comparison photos too.

---------- Post added 05-21-17 at 01:41 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by MadMathMind Quote
It's always risky to say something negative about an FA Limited lens around here...

Thanks for making the video! I was hoping to hear more of your thoughts on details of the image quality between the two, or at least the FA31. I've had a couple Sigma lenses and no longer trust them since they always seem to have something wonky with them (the weirdest being the 17-70C and its shake reduction mishaps...) so I won't consider the Art; what you said about focus being a problem really seals me away from it.

I'm on my 3rd copy of the FA31 for the K-1 and it's likely this one is going back forever. First one I had for years on my crop body and beat the heck out of it; it needed repairs and afterwards, I had trouble relying on it so I sold it (full disclosure on issues to the buyer!) for a song and bought a fresh copy. That one, I felt, had focus issues so I sent it back for a new one. This one...doesn't look or act any better than the first two so I'm thinking there was nothing wrong with my first one--that's just how it is on the K-1.

I find the FA31's image quality on the K-1 to be very middle of the road. There's a lot of really weak points in the images it makes on a full frame camera that are not there for crop bodies; its reputation was cemented on APS-C bodies and I think people are not re-examining the lens on the new sensor and kinda remembering the good old times. It's certainly not worth the $1000 price it commands. If it were $500 or 600, I think I could accept it, but it's far too much money for a lens whose best selling point is that its small. I feel like you have some deeper thoughts on the image quality but didn't want to discuss in the video because the only real positive talking point you made for the lens is its friendly size...
Yes, I'm hesitant to talk about the conclusions I made about the technical qualities of the lens because I don't have professional measuring equipment so I'm sure someone else could do this better. That's why I included the DNG files. I agree with you that the price of the lens is a big factor. Sure, it's cheap relative to some Leica and Zeiss lenses but the Sigma has amazing optics for a significantly cheaper price. I prefer the feel and build quality of the Pentax 31mm but I use a lens for its image quality first. All this talk about rendering and pixie dust seems like unconscious justification for the higher price. Id love to see some actual comparisons by others who've
I used both lenses side by side and haven't just bought in to the mystique.

https ww.khanacademy.org/partner-content/wi-phi/wiphi-critical-thinking/wiphi-cognitive-biases/v/pricing-biases

07-11-2017, 05:08 AM - 2 Likes   #17
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Thanks for sharing the video. Was never in the same situation where I had to choose between the 2 lenses, but I am a proud owner of the Sigma 35mm f1.4 Art, and it just blows my mind every time its on my k-3II. I have always been a fan of sigma lenses, due to their fast and silent AF system and was looking for a fast 35mm at the time and ended up buying the sigma. sharp wide open, love the rendering but not the size and weight sometimes but I can live with that. However, I have never owned the FA31 so I cant really judge which is better. Here are some recent photos with the sigma.First is wide open, second at f2 and the 3rd at f8. it never disappoints





07-11-2017, 06:12 PM   #18
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Have been looking at a 30-35mm for a while trying to decide what to get to use on my K3-ll. After reading/watching many reviews on the Pentax and Sigma options around that 30-35mm range. I've also decided to go with the Sigma 35mmF1.4 A.
07-11-2017, 08:55 PM - 8 Likes   #19
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I think your video will prove useful to many Pentax shooters as you bring up many good points of comparison.

Not sure how valid my opinion is on this subject as I only own the 31 and have not personally tried the Sigma 35. I do know 2 local photographers who have the Sigma 35. One shoots with the Nikon D810 and the other with the Canon 6D. The Nikon shooter said it was a sharp lens when it nailed focus which was not terribly often on his D810. He prefers his Nikon lenses for the character and the bokeh which he found to be too clinical and in his own words less magical. He plans on selling the Sigma in the near future. The Canon shooter loves his 35 and shoots almost exclusively with that lens although he had to switch it out 3 times to get a good copy. He shoots mostly portraits but I am not personally a fan of his work or his style especially when using that lens.

Despite all the praise they get I have little interest in the Sigma Art lenses as I am not a fan of their size, bokeh, or reliability. I am glad to have more available lenses for the K-mount though. More options for Pentax shooters is a good thing IMO. I'm sure from a purely objective and technical point of view the Sigma has better "image quality" but for me image quality is much more subjective and harder to put into words. I am not an overly technical shooter nor am I a pixel peeper. I just prefer the colors and the classic rendering of the FA 31 based off images I have seen produced with the Sigma 35. I happen to like the look that film era lenses have even on modern digital bodies. For me the FA Limiteds (especially the 31) are the perfect balance of fairly modern design without sacrificing too much of that distinct character/rendering/pixie-dust etc. Something that tends to be missing from many of the newer overly corrected lenses coming out these days.

I guess this is the part where I share some of my FA 31 shots which were mostly taken on the K-01 and the K-3.
































Last edited by LeRolls; 07-12-2017 at 04:02 PM.
07-11-2017, 09:41 PM - 1 Like   #20
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I shoot K1's. I've owned the Sigma 35 Art and the FA31 (two copies). The Sigma is sharper. The limited is better in just about every other lens characteristic.
07-12-2017, 05:29 AM - 1 Like   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fenwoodian Quote
.

I shoot K1's. I've owned the Sigma 35 Art and the FA31 (two copies). The Sigma is sharper. The limited is better in just about every other lens characteristic.
From what I've seen I would agree with that assessment.

A few more sample shots from the 31.





07-12-2017, 07:15 AM - 2 Likes   #22
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I bought the Sigma 70 macro instead of the Pentax 100 macro, for the whole better lens for the price thing. 5 years later I'm still thinking of buying the Pentax and relagating the Sigma to work around the yard, if I keep it at all. The tamron 90 is our faviroite (Tess and myself) and it';s not WR. The extra size and weight just make it impractical. So as for his decision, I went the same way, but in the end. Buying the Sigma didn't make me stop wanting the Pentax.

Because of my experience the Sigma purchase is now viewed as a mistake, I got sucked in by the cheap price. So while I appreciate his point of view, I'd say, follow it at your peril. A lens that is actually with you when it's not the primary lens for a shoot, is in the end a lot more useful than one that isn't and Sigma doesn't make lenses you just casually throw in the bag (because you might get an opportunity to use it) and take out for a hike.

For the amount of images I take with the lens wide open, Ben's conclusions are way too weighted towards the extra half stop of the Sigma. I'm one of those guys lamenting the lack of good quality portable ƒ4 lenses.

After reading DxO for years and now this video I'm starting to wonder, am I the only one who thinks being too heavy to carry as part of a 5 lens hiking set, (for the K-1 28-105, and 60-250, macro and a couple of primes for landscape), is a design flaw?

With the K-3 I use the 21 ltd and 40 XS., nice a small, and fit into a pocket sizes waterproof case. The 31 is bit bigger, than the 21, but the Sigma dwarfs it.

But I'm glad he found something he liked. As statement of personal preference it's an OK video. As information for me, I look at the video and I want the 31, not the 35. They are close enough in IQ that the difference in the lenses isn't going to noticeably affect the final image. And in his conclusion he states price is a factor.

Been there, done that. His experience isn't my experience. I made that mistake once thinking almost exactly like he thinks, and in the end, it's cost my a lot of great images because I left the comparatively huge Sigma lens home. But I'm looking at it from 5 years later, not a time of purchase.

As so often happens in consumer choices, same data, different conclusions, the personal style of the shooter is more relevant to the choice than any other factor. To me, both lenses are excellent, I'm going smaller if possible. Adding more weight for minimal gain in some selected areas favoured by the reviewer makes absolutely no sense to me personally.

I wonder if 5 years from now, Ben isn't going to feel the same way.

Last edited by normhead; 07-12-2017 at 08:23 AM.
07-12-2017, 12:55 PM   #23
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Ben also once did a post that once stopped down, the Sigma 35, FA31 and even the old FA30-35 were essentially indistinguishable.



07-12-2017, 03:57 PM - 1 Like   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fenwoodian Quote
.

I shoot K1's. I've owned the Sigma 35 Art and the FA31 (two copies). The Sigma is sharper. The limited is better in just about every other lens characteristic.
I haven't owned either, but have often looked at photos taken with each. This would be my thought based on the aesthetics, and reinforced by the photos posted by LeRolls. Not sure I have seen anything from Sigma to indicate an ability to achieve that look, but that might be somewhat due to the processing abilities and desire to achieve that look.
07-19-2017, 12:28 PM   #25
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Yes it's worth bearing in mind that I have the Pentax 28-105mm f3.5-5.6 and it's so good that at f8 it gives near enough the same quality as the 31mm or the 35mm. It spends a lot of time on the K1. So the f1.4 was a bigger factor for me because I already have the focal length covered with the zoom. I do miss the size of the 31mm though.
07-22-2017, 07:51 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by englishphotographer Quote
Maybe I should include wall sized prints for everyone next time. But you're welcome to make prints of the photos for personal use.
Your choice is perfectly fine and honestly as long as you are happy about this is what really count.

Now I'll be honest, for me the most noticable difference between the 2 are the focal length, max apperture and size/weight. Both are great lenses and would manage print just fine. I mean the kit lens does it, I would not understand why any of theses print would fail there then.

In the end this is not important. So maybe taking the one you feel the best with is the right choice. For me that would be the 31: better focal length for my liking, significantly smaller/lighter and lovely FA rendering.

For you that was the sigma. Fine. Honestly for anybody looking at our picture, they would not care even 0.1second of the gear used. They judge the picture for what it is and would not care of the gear. Likely for most shots the DA35 f/2.4 that is 5 time cheaper would do as great. It would only fail for the max apperture in specific situations.
07-22-2017, 08:15 AM - 1 Like   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by englishphotographer Quote
TI prefer the feel and build quality of the Pentax 31mm but I use a lens for its image quality first. All this talk about rendering and pixie dust seems like unconscious justification for the higher price. Id love to see some actual comparisons by others who've
I used both lenses side by side and haven't just bought in to the mystique.

https ww.khanacademy.org/partner-content/wi-phi/wiphi-critical-thinking/wiphi-cognitive-biases/v/pricing-biases
The problem is defining image quality. Is it really slightly better sharpness on corner wide open or is it lower price? Neither aspects look like something that will affect one bit the final image honestly. If I am viewing it on my 4K oled TV, print it or wha ever neither price or a bit more sharpness on corner while seen at 100% if that part of the scene is actually in focus is going to make any difference for the perceived picture quality.


What truely is picture quality? Is it really sharpness where the main subject of the image isn't there at a level of details my eyes can't see it ? Really? That make no sense to me.

The best lens for me is the one that in practice will give me the most enjoyment while shooting and while looking at the pictures. Smaller lighter help a lot the enjoyment while taking pictures and the FA rendering is also helping a lot there to me.

But I also understand that this is purely personal. For many people it is important for the lens to have the best MTF figures and they love to look at their pictures at 100% size in the corners. I don't understand why, but that a valid choice. Some will find reassurance that if they need f/1.4, it is there. That their tool can handle more situations. That another view at it. If the f/1.4 matter to you.

I still think that most viewer of your work will not care one bit one way or another. For them the most important aspect will be the subject, framing,the light, the right moment... And they do not care of the gear at all. Who remember the specific brush Da vinci used to paint Mona Lisa? Surely some painters out there think that if only they managed to find the same brushes, they be as great as Da Vinci... Except that quite likely the tooling was not as great back in time...
07-27-2017, 07:53 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by LeRolls Quote
I think your video will prove useful to many Pentax shooters as you bring up many good points of comparison.

Not sure how valid my opinion is on this subject as I only own the 31 and have not personally tried the Sigma 35. I do know 2 local photographers who have the Sigma 35. One shoots with the Nikon D810 and the other with the Canon 6D. The Nikon shooter said it was a sharp lens when it nailed focus which was not terribly often on his D810. He prefers his Nikon lenses for the character and the bokeh which he found to be too clinical and in his own words less magical. He plans on selling the Sigma in the near future. The Canon shooter loves his 35 and shoots almost exclusively with that lens although he had to switch it out 3 times to get a good copy. He shoots mostly portraits but I am not personally a fan of his work or his style especially when using that lens.

Despite all the praise they get I have little interest in the Sigma Art lenses as I am not a fan of their size, bokeh, or reliability. I am glad to have more available lenses for the K-mount though. More options for Pentax shooters is a good thing IMO. I'm sure from a purely objective and technical point of view the Sigma has better "image quality" but for me image quality is much more subjective and harder to put into words. I am not an overly technical shooter nor am I a pixel peeper. I just prefer the colors and the classic rendering of the FA 31 based off images I have seen produced with the Sigma 35. I happen to like the look that film era lenses have even on modern digital bodies. For me the FA Limiteds (especially the 31) are the perfect balance of fairly modern design without sacrificing too much of that distinct character/rendering/pixie-dust etc. Something that tends to be missing from many of the newer overly corrected lenses coming out these days.

I guess this is the part where I share some of my FA 31 shots which were mostly taken on the K-01 and the K-3.





























Quite nice pictures in your post, thanks fot sharing
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