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07-07-2019, 09:14 PM   #1
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Is the 43mm really that bad? (APS-C)

I have a K-5 and 77mm, but the focal length is turning out incredibly useless for me lately. I really love the bokeh of it and the FA lenses, but the other option I'm seeing other than the 43mm is the 31mm, which is too wide and also too expensive. I see lots of reviews of the 43mm but they all say the bokeh sucks. I haven't been able to find a lot of samples either, so I'm just wondering...does it have that creamy smooth bokeh like the 77mm or is it like any other f/1.8 lens when it comes to that? Feel free to post samples!

07-07-2019, 09:26 PM   #2
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Pentax FA 43mm f/1.9 Limited samples - PentaxForums.com

The FA Limited Club - PentaxForums.com
07-07-2019, 09:30 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by jct us101 Quote
I have a K-5 and 77mm, but the focal length is turning out incredibly useless for me lately. I really love the bokeh of it and the FA lenses, but the other option I'm seeing other than the 43mm is the 31mm, which is too wide and also too expensive. I see lots of reviews of the 43mm but they all say the bokeh sucks. I haven't been able to find a lot of samples either, so I'm just wondering...does it have that creamy smooth bokeh like the 77mm or is it like any other f/1.8 lens when it comes to that? Feel free to post samples!
Quite a few samples here - and most seem to like the bokeh: SMC Pentax-FA 43mm F1.9 Limited Reviews - FA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
07-07-2019, 09:56 PM   #4
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I adore the 43. Buy a used one. Sell it along if you don’t love it. It is less predictable than other lenses, but it really is wonderful more than most.

But no, it’s not creamy like the 77. Only the 77 is that good. If it’s too long, get a K-1 and it will be wider effectively.

07-07-2019, 11:20 PM - 1 Like   #5
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On a K-5 get the DA-40. At f/2.8 it’s better than the 43 at that aperture and it’s so much fun to use. The colors are wonderful.
07-07-2019, 11:54 PM   #6
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I don't think the focal length (43) is so great on APS-C -- but you said the 31 is too wide, and I think the 31 is great on APS-C. The 31 is about the same on APS-C as the 43 is on 35mm, a slightly wider "normal" lens, which I like. The bokeh can be a bit nervous, but it also depends on what your shot is and how far away the blurred background is.
07-08-2019, 12:50 AM - 1 Like   #7
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40 limited and 55* are another 2 to consider.
07-08-2019, 02:49 AM   #8
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I didn't think that the FA 43 sucked, but I kicked off some nastiness in the FA Limited thread when I said that I preferred the DA40 Ltd over the FA43 Ltd...

but, for the way I shoot, the DA 40 Limited works better for me....

I shoot APS-C only, and not interested in moving to FF - and the DA40 has better MFD, has quickshift, and is better at controlling CA...

07-08-2019, 03:04 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by BWG Quote
On a K-5 get the DA-40. At f/2.8 it’s better than the 43 at that aperture and it’s so much fun to use. The colors are wonderful.
don't forget the option presented by the " best lens in its class "

the SMC Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 XS:

" The SMC Pentax DA 40mm XS is based on the optical design of the SMC Pentax DA 40mm Limited, but its exterior is designed by Marc Newson so as to match the design of the K-01 mirrorless camera. The lens will work with Pentax DSLRs as well as with the K-01.

It is smaller being only 9.2 mm thick. The aperture blades are rounded which produces a smooth bokeh. The front element has SP coating which repels dust, water and grease and which makes it easier to wipe the front element clean. "

Unofficial Full-Frame Compatibility Tests by Pentax Forums
★★☆ Full coverage at some F-stop and focal length combinations

Read more at: https://www.pentaxforums.com/lensreviews/smc-pentax-da-40mm-f2.8-xs.html#ixzz5t4yJhcwg

be sure to check out this " In Depth Review ":

Pentax DA 35mm F2.4 vs 40mm XS vs 40mm Limited

Read more at: Pentax DA 35mm F2.4 vs 40mm XS vs 40mm Limited Review - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews

Last edited by aslyfox; 07-08-2019 at 04:57 AM.
07-08-2019, 04:40 AM   #10
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Here's what I think about it:

SMC Pentax-FA 43mm F1.9 Limited Review - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews

TL;DR : I really like it. It's one of my most-used lenses, certainly my most-used prime.
07-08-2019, 05:51 AM - 2 Likes   #11
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If bokeh is your primary concern the DA 55 or 50 1.2 are probably your best bet.

It seems to me that the discussions of the DA 40 vs the FA 43 often seems to come down to the individual copies of those two lenses. I found the DA 40 bland and characterless, in fact I much preferred the DA 35 2.4. The FA 43 was my favourite of the three FA limiteds on APS-C. I suspect I have a good copy.
07-08-2019, 06:47 AM - 1 Like   #12
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It's hard to find a lens everyone loves. If you just buy lenses around which there's never been any negativity, you aren't going to buy any lenses.

The best suggestion is buy second hand and sell if you don't like it.

Sooner or later it has to be about what you think, not what everyone else thinks. For bokeh, the DA* 55.1.4 is very nice. The 12mm longer focal length helps (it's easier to get nice bokeh on longer focal lengths) , and the fact that it's a heavier more corrected lens helps as well. And it's 1.4 instead fo 1.8. Three big advantages.

Yet not as over the top heavy as the DFA*50 1.4, but you're probably from the sound of it looking for the new 35 1.4 currently under development. But we don't know. You have no sample photos showing what you are trying to achieve or get away from. So, it's all speculation.
07-08-2019, 02:12 PM - 1 Like   #13
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No it doesn't suck, but for APS-C it is somewhat over shadowed by the excellent DA40 which has tiny size, and uniformly sharp (but the FA43 has the better bokeh to my eyes and is obviously about a stop faster). Build on both are excellent.

I got a second hand FA43 a couple of months back for my K-1 and I'm loving it. Finding my copy performs pretty well and use it quite a bit around f2. Maybe I got a good copy but I'm happy with the sharpness of mine. The focal length on FF is just perfect for me (much more versatile than 50mm for my uses - being a compromise between wide and normal).

Also fairly recently I finally got good second hand deals on a FA 31 & FA 77. Wonderful lenses, with useful focal lengths and important for me: nice small sizes. The 77 has lovely bokeh but does purple fringe sometimes. I particularly like the performance of the FA 31.
07-08-2019, 03:30 PM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by pepperberry farm Quote
I didn't think that the FA 43 sucked, but I kicked off some nastiness in the FA Limited thread when I said that I preferred the DA40 Ltd over the FA43 Ltd...

but, for the way I shoot, the DA 40 Limited works better for me....

I shoot APS-C only, and not interested in moving to FF - and the DA40 has better MFD, has quickshift, and is better at controlling CA...
I am comfortably locked into APSC and I have the smc DA40 Limited, so I am not interested to get the 43mm, and Pepperberry's comments reinforce my thoughts. I also have the DA70mm Limited so not yet tempted by the 77mm for similar reasons. The only FF Limited that I am likely to fall for is the 31mm, but even second-hand it is quite expensive.
07-08-2019, 04:00 PM   #15
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On APSc i prefer the DA40/2.8 Limited, but it isn’t a pure bokeh lens. It’s more of a sharp lens with great colors. The FA43/1.9 is a challenging lens to get right and IMO is better on FF (and film) than on APSc. It is best for compositions with the subject near the center and no concern for edge sharpness. Soft edges are an intentional design feature of the FA43, so don’t expect edge to edge sharpness.
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