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06-26-2017, 08:13 PM - 3 Likes   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Transit Quote
Budget is restrained, arthritis limits weight ...
seriously.....

...nice to stay on topic for the OP.

The 31 Ltd is 2x the weight, more than 4x the price
The laughable suggestion to compare the Sigma 35/1.4 to the 21 Ltd ... there is more to life than bokeh.

Having owned the 21 ltd, F 28, FA 35 and handled the 31, the shooting experience with the F 28 is more similar to the 21 Ltd than any of the others.

06-26-2017, 08:49 PM - 1 Like   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by StefanMikes Quote
but that is not an FF lens
The DA 35/2.4 does just fine on FF. No issues.
06-26-2017, 09:23 PM   #18
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I got a F 28/2.8 on ebay for $150 recently. The FAs are easier to find, and usually seem to sell for about $200, but when I went looking, the F was there, so I got that. (I like the F look better too--tapered with the big red 28.) So far I really like it. Cheap, tiny, very nice picture. While it may not compare to the 31, it is about 1/5 the price of a used 31. One caveat is I've only used it on my K-3II, so I don't know if it will be worse on a full frame camera.
06-26-2017, 09:55 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by gabriel_bc Quote
The DA 35/2.4 does just fine on FF. No issues.
Yep, once I shot the K-1 all day with just it and the DA 50 f1.8.

If someone is struggling to pay for the K-1 upgrade, that's a two prime setup, they can just use these fine plastic fantastics until the credit card shows signs of life again.

06-26-2017, 11:53 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by gabriel_bc Quote
The DA 35/2.4 does just fine on FF. No issues.
Does it. An APS-C lens? In the FF or Crop mode?
06-27-2017, 01:27 AM   #21
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Given the budget, one of the 28's is the best choice F or FA. The F has the same lens design as the A 28 2.8 (7 elements 7groups). The FA has a different 5 element design with one aspherical element. Which is really strange because that is less elements than even the old super-takumar which also had seven. Usually newer lenses have more elements. presumably the FA has improved over the F because of the newer design. The FA 31mm 1.8 limited isn't all that heavy and is the better lens but you have to find a fund for it. The coatings of the 21mm ltd are probably more modern than any of the film legacy alternatives so maybe your best bet could end up to be the D FA 28-105 F3.5-5.6. My advise would by try the FA 28 first. If it somehow lacks look at the 31 or the zoom or consider going back to aps-c.
06-27-2017, 03:07 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by StefanMikes Quote
Does it. An APS-C lens? In the FF or Crop mode?
FF mode.

If you've been following the forum, this has been known for a long time.

Pretty much all the DA primes from 35mm up to 300mm work well with FF. Part of the reason is that many actually have heritage in Pentax's older film designs.

Zooms and wider primes are less successful, although you can pick your focal lengths. The DA12-24 I find is great from about 17mm on, for example. Others find that if you remove an internal baffle, the DA*60-250 is very handy, too.

Of course, you can shoot a great DA zoom or wide prime in crop mode too ... I've done that with the DA*50-135 for its fantastic rendering.
06-27-2017, 03:11 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by D1N0 Quote
Given the budget, one of the 28's is the best choice F or FA. The F has the same lens design as the A 28 2.8 (7 elements 7groups). The FA has a different 5 element design with one aspherical element. Which is really strange because that is less elements than even the old super-takumar which also had seven. Usually newer lenses have more elements..
Well, the aspherical element will make it sharp, so perhaps less aberration correcting elements are needed.

And an advantage of less elements is less surfaces, better for cutting down flare.

06-27-2017, 03:42 AM - 8 Likes   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by StefanMikes Quote
Does it. An APS-C lens? In the FF or Crop mode?
Yes, it does. In FF mode, in case you've been living under a rock.

And suggesting the Sigma 35/1.4 as a full frame substitute for the DA21 on crop is ludicrous. The former is HUGE!

Like many here have already said, I reckon the F28/2.8 is as close as you'll get. It is small, flat and light. It has five aperture blades, which gives nice ten point starbursts. The DA21 beats it for flare resistance though.

I do have the FA31 though, and love its rendering, bokeh, and 3D pop. Strangely, I even manage to get some useable shots with it in the challenging environment of live music.


Mumford & Sons 4


The Bamboos 4

With all that said, there is a reason I still have a crop camera for travel, and the DA21 is one of my keepers for that system. Some recent shots from Italy (returned yesterday):


Como after dark


A room with a view


Monterosso al Mare


St Peter's Wide


Piazza Navona
06-27-2017, 04:27 AM   #25
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You must have some old manual focus 28mms floating around Pete? Focusing 28mm is a breeze. Can't believe the av price on the reviews for the F28 is 2.5x the A28!. Same glass only difference is AF. I would pay more for the decent focus ring!
06-27-2017, 04:46 AM - 1 Like   #26
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If you don't mind shooting manual, the 30mm f2.8 is an outstanding lens.

SMC Pentax 30mm F2.8 Reviews - K Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
06-27-2017, 04:55 AM - 2 Likes   #27
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I have also looked for a FF substitute for the DA21 (SMC version). The short answer is that there is none.

No lens has the size of the 21 while delivering on contrast, colours, flare resistance and most importantly starbursts.

The closest options, for different reasons, are the FA24 and FA31. The former is huge and not as sharp in the corners, while the latter is superb but does not deliver starbursts in the same way.

My solution is simply to use the 21 in crop mode and be done with it. I haven't lost anything when compared with an APS-C sensor, really.
06-27-2017, 05:20 AM - 1 Like   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
My solution is simply to use the 21 in crop mode and be done with it. I haven't lost anything when compared with an APS-C sensor, really.
This. Or keep a crop body.

Mind you, the FA31 does nice clean starbursts, but I agree its 18 point star is a bit busy - the 14 pointers from the DA21 and DA15 do have more appeal.


That time of year
06-27-2017, 05:30 AM   #29
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OP sure got a lot of answers Seems lots of people have been wondering about this question.
I wanted to add one more suggestion, though I have no experience with those lenses. Voigtlander made some nice compact Kmount lenses with good rendering. They are difficult to find, but people seem to love them, even though they are Manual focus.
Still, I think getting a used SMC DA 40mm limited and maybe later a wider prime to complement it would be the way to go

Good luck OP
06-27-2017, 09:43 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
FF mode.

If you've been following the forum, this has been known for a long time.

Pretty much all the DA primes from 35mm up to 300mm work well with FF. Part of the reason is that many actually have heritage in Pentax's older film designs.

Zooms and wider primes are less successful, although you can pick your focal lengths. The DA12-24 I find is great from about 17mm on, for example. Others find that if you remove an internal baffle, the DA*60-250 is very handy, too.

Of course, you can shoot a great DA zoom or wide prime in crop mode too ... I've done that with the DA*50-135 for its fantastic rendering.
I tried the DA 14/2.8 on a film body and only centre of the frame was covered... So I thought it would be the same for other lenses. Thank you for the hint.
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