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06-21-2017, 02:29 PM   #1
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top FA series lenses.

So what according to you are the top 10 FA series lenses? Not the FA* just the FA series lenses that are just as good as the FA* in terms of build quality, picture quality and AF.

06-21-2017, 02:58 PM - 1 Like   #2
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FA31is a very solid performer all around.
06-21-2017, 03:05 PM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by SunnyG. Quote
So what according to you are the top 10 FA series lenses? Not the FA* just the FA series lenses that are just as good as the FA* in terms of build quality, picture quality and AF.
Here's my "Quick List" but I also threw in 3 F Series lenses that are truly wonderful. Keep in mind, the Three Amigos (31, 43, 77mm) are truly special and built really well.
Don't limit yourself to just the FA series. F and A series lenses also have some wonderful keepers you may want to consider. With the exception of the SMC Pentax-F 135mm F2.8,
I've owned and/or used these lenses happily.



SMC Pentax-FA 31mm F1.8 AL Limited
SMC Pentax-FA 43mm F1.9 Limited
SMC Pentax-FA 77mm F1.8 Limited
SMC Pentax-FA 20mm F2.8
SMC Pentax-FA 20-35mm F4 AL
SMC Pentax-FA 24-90mm F3.5-4.5


SMC Pentax-F 28mm F2.8
SMC Pentax-F 50mm F1.7
SMC Pentax-F 135mm F2.8
06-21-2017, 03:20 PM - 1 Like   #4
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I'd include the 50 2.8 macro. I wouldn't use it for portraits, but for its intended purpose, it's breathtaking.

06-21-2017, 03:26 PM - 1 Like   #5
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The FA 35mm F2 is also pretty good, and still available new.

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06-21-2017, 03:52 PM - 2 Likes   #6
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Well, ask 3 engineers and you'll get 5 opinions...

There are plenty of disputes on the internet, wheter K-series or M-series is better. In my opinion Pentax peaked sometime around the "A"-series, although I do prefer AF lenses. Anyway, the 90ies and there FA lenses I regard as the dark age of plastic in the Pentax lineup. Having said that, I would back up and extend the previously posted list:

SMC Pentax-FA 31mm F1.8 AL Limited
SMC Pentax-FA 43mm F1.9 Limited
SMC Pentax-FA 77mm F1.8 Limited
SMC Pentax-FA 20mm F2.8
SMC Pentax-FA 20-35mm F4 AL
SMC Pentax-FA 24-90mm F3.5-4.5

I would definitely add the 2 macros
SMC Pentax FA 50mm 2.8
SMC Pentax FA 100mm 2.8

and probably the
SMC Pentax FA 35mm F2

My 10th (actually my personal 1st) would undoubtedly be
SMC Pentax FA 50 F1.4

However, if it really comes to my personal opinion, the FA*s had to be included and then my list would be (in descending order of importance):
FA* 80-200 F2.8
FA* 28-70 F 2.8
FA* 24 2.0
FA 50 F1.4
FA* 85 F1.4
FA 100 2.8
FA 80-320 F4.5-5.6
06-21-2017, 03:57 PM - 2 Likes   #7
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I would vote for the FA43 8 times and then the 77 twice. But I'm on APSc and 77 is too long for me most of the time.
06-21-2017, 04:09 PM - 3 Likes   #8
Des
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Why exclude the star lenses from this contest, but admit the Limiteds?

06-21-2017, 04:23 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
The FA 35mm F2 is also pretty good, and still available new.
+1
I think it deserves a place on the list based off its performance to cost ratio alone. Its such a great lens on the K-1 (like it much better than when I had it on the K-5).
06-21-2017, 05:56 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by kiwi_jono Quote
+1
I think it deserves a place on the list based off its performance to cost ratio alone. Its such a great lens on the K-1 (like it much better than when I had it on the K-5).
Yes, Jono, light, sharp and fast, it becomes a great street lens on the K-1.
06-21-2017, 07:30 PM - 2 Likes   #11
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I can only attest to the ones that I own and have shot.

FA 31
FA 77
FA 50 f2.8 Macro
FA 43
FA 50 f1.4

I would also add to that list ,the F 28 f2.8, which some would argue is at least as good as, if not better than, the FA version. And as others before have stated, I could not not mention the FA*'s.
06-21-2017, 09:38 PM - 2 Likes   #12
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Several people have mentioned the FA 50 f2.8 macro. I got one for about $US100, which I think was a great bargain. For sharpness it rivals the DFA 100.

But, to mention one of the elephants in the room: it's ugliest lens I have ever seen.

And compared to the DFA 100, the MF ring is not great to use.

That's not to mention the usual limitations of the FA series: no WR, no QS, noisy AF, lacks the latest coatings. Those things can be overlooked in the star or Ltd lenses (because they are so special - I just love my 43 and 77 and FA*300 f4.5), but speaking for myself, an ordinary FA lens would need to bring something unique (an aperture, focal length, rendering etc), or be quite cheap, to make it attractive for use on an APS-C body compared to its DA or DFA counterpart. (I say nothing about use on a film camera or the K-1.)
06-22-2017, 01:18 AM - 2 Likes   #13
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I've had the following on the MZ-5N/MZ-S or the K-01/K-3II.

FA*24 f2 - Great on crop as a fast ~35mm, excellent sharpness in the center wide open, only 'good' stopped down all over. Poor lens hood design and easily scratched.

FA20-35 f4 - Excellent wide zoom, very compact and light. Sharp pretty much at all apertures and zoom range although quite a lot of aberrations wide open @20mm.

FA43 f1.9 - Excellent, my favorite lens.

FA50 f1.7 - Great small and fast prime, only sold as I used the FA43 f1.9 Limited more.

FA135 f2.8 - Very compact for a fast short telephoto prime, somewhat nervous bokeh in some situation but very sharp from wide open. Again some aberrations wide open but easy to fix in PP.

All 4 had quite fast AF, the FA20-35 and FA50 especially but all a little noisy as you would expect from screw-drive.
06-22-2017, 03:07 AM - 1 Like   #14
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All FA primes are good performers most FA zooms are mediocre performers but a few are passable.
The F 35-70 is a nice performer for a low price But 52,5 to 105 equivalent on aps-c so really nice for portraiture but it also does landscape well, just not in a really wide view. In general you are better of with the kit lens and the DA 50-200 or 55-300 than a FA zoom.
06-22-2017, 03:33 AM - 2 Likes   #15
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I have (or have had) the 20, (20-35), 31, 43, (50/1.4), 77
I also have the *24 and *85

They are/were all brilliant once you get to know them. You really can't go wrong.
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