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09-11-2019, 10:03 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Pentax FA*24/2 or A 20/2.8 ?

Hi everyone, this is my second post after my initial introduction

I'm a big fan of FA* lens as I consider them the best compromise considering price on the second hand market and IQ which these lens delivers. I have two of them: FA* 28-70 and FA* 80-200. Both awesome lens for my point of view. I also own the F* 300.

Now I'm searching a prime wide angle. I have the opportunity to take the FA*24/2 or A 20/2.8. Price is the same: 350 euros. Both in excellent condition. My thoughts are:

FA*24/2
Since my widest focal is 28mm given by FA*28-70 I don't know if it make sense buy a wide lens like 24. Difference in terms of field of view maybe is minimal. But this lens seems to be great for close portrait thanks to its exceptional bokeh. I saw some awesome shots made with this lens. Colors are also superb. On the other hand this lens seems to be soft in the corners (even stopped down?), it gives best IQ in the center. it is also big and heavy. I cannot plan to let it in my bag as I already own FA* mentioned above which are very big and heavy

A 20/2.8
This is more wide. Maybe it is perfect for my landscape and street. Seems to be more sharpen than the FA* 24, also from corner to center (?). It is not intended for portrait shots (obviously) as its bokeh is bad. It's small and light, I can let it in the bag. It is no AF, but for its purpose should not be a problem. Colors maybe are not like the FA* 24

Can you give your suggestion?

09-11-2019, 10:53 AM   #2
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which camera body?
09-11-2019, 11:01 AM   #3
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I would start by asking myself what I want to do more of. If close portraits then get the 24 if landscapes then the 20. I would also ask myself if I am frequently hitting the 28mm mark on the 28-70 and still wanting wider, if not then the 24 would probably be the better match, but if you are then the 20 would probably be better.
09-11-2019, 11:33 AM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by billcarson_82 Quote
But this lens (FA* 24mm f2) seems to be great for close portrait thanks to its exceptional bokeh. I saw some awesome shots made with this lens. Colors are also superb. On the other hand this lens seems to be soft in the corners (even stopped down?), it gives best IQ in the center. it is also big and heavy.
I would very rarely use this lens for portrait on FF cameras. Too wide. It does have lovely bokeh though and colour rendition is great , although these days that is pretty unimportant. Soft in the corners...all wide lenses are, and if you want it for a wide portrait it wont matter. It is not big or heavy.

For the price it is good value. If you dont like it you will have no problem selling it.

a couple of examples.............





09-11-2019, 12:29 PM   #5
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It is very important to know which camera body you are using. If it is an APS-C model, 24mm will provide a wide angle FOV, but would provide a much wider angle on the larger, full-frame (FF) K-1. In-depth suggestions cannot be made without this information.
09-11-2019, 12:47 PM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by pepperberry farm Quote
which camera body?
Sorry I forgot to mention this in my original post. It is for K1.

QuoteOriginally posted by MossyRocks Quote
I would also ask myself if I am frequently hitting the 28mm mark on the 28-70 and still wanting wider, if not then the 24 would probably be the better match, but if you are then the 20 would probably be better.
Thanks, this consideration is very useful in order to understand what I need. Most of the time I shoot between 30 and 70mm (when I have the 28-70 mounted on my body).

QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
I would very rarely use this lens for portrait on FF cameras. Too wide. It does have lovely bokeh though and colour rendition is great , although these days that is pretty unimportant. Soft in the corners...all wide lenses are, and if you want it for a wide portrait it wont matter. It is not big or heavy.

For the price it is good value. If you dont like it you will have no problem selling it.

a couple of examples.............


Thanks, your shoots are awesome. About portrait with this wide lens I have been inspired by some shoots which I found on Flickr: Flickr: The Pentax FA? 24mm f2.0 Pool
By checking some shots I relized that this lens is very good for landscape and portrait. I assume this can be a plus because it can be more flexible than a 20mm. With one lens I can do two things. Maybe I'm close to a final decision
09-11-2019, 01:58 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by billcarson_82 Quote
But this lens [FA* 24/2] seems to be great for close portrait thanks to its exceptional bokeh.
How close is 'close' to you? Usually you would not want to use a wide angle lens for a close-up portrait of people's faces. The perspective distortion of WA lenses up close makes their nose look un-naturally large and un-flattering. The more you back off from the subject the less noticeable it is. 'Portraits' of objects can use this characteristic of WA lenses to creative advantage though.
09-11-2019, 05:08 PM - 2 Likes   #8
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I have the FA* 24mm f2 and the FA 20mm , it really is like choosing between your favourite children. I love the close focusing on the 20mm, and the angle of view of the 24mm. It really depends on your style of shootinh.
Here are the photos I took from each lens using them for the single in challenge
Single in Sept 2019 SMC PENTAX-FA 1:2.8 20mm | Flickr
Single October 2018 FA*24mm | Flickr

09-11-2019, 05:38 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by billcarson_82 Quote
But this lens seems to be great for close portrait thanks to its exceptional bokeh.
Welcome to the Pentax Forums!

I think that there are larger concerns in regards to close portrait using a 24mm or 20mm lens on a 24x36mm FF camera than bokeh. Quite simply, close is ummm...close and combined with the extra FOV one gets an exaggeration of that which is closest. The classic example would be enlarged noses. There is also the problems of working distance as it relates to the comfort of the model and lighting without casting shadows from the photographer or camera. 6 inches (15 cm) for a face shot with a 24mm is close enough for breath mints.

As for comparing 24mm and 28mm, you are correct; the FOV is not that different.

BTW...consider the camera when looking at the portraits on the FA 24/2.0 group on Flicker. Most (all?) of the "close" shots were taken with APS-C cameras at a more moderate distance.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 09-11-2019 at 05:48 PM.
09-11-2019, 05:39 PM - 6 Likes   #10
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If you're used to 28mm as your widest full frame lens, I reckon you'll find 24mm is *much* wider, and 20mm is *super* wide.

Like Gary, I have both the FA*24 and FA20, and love them both. There is something about the rendering of the FA* I prefer though - it's a really nice environmental portrait lens.





It's great on crop too:







09-11-2019, 06:18 PM - 2 Likes   #11
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The FA* produces way better colors.

K-1 and FA* 24


K10D and FA* 24




09-11-2019, 06:29 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
I have both the FA*24 and FA20, and love them both. There is something about the rendering of the FA* I prefer though - it's a really nice environmental portrait lens.
These are great samples of what this lens can do, Sandy.
09-11-2019, 09:02 PM - 4 Likes   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by builttospill Quote
These are great samples of what this lens can do, Sandy.
Thanks for that.

Mind you, the FA20 is no slouch - and optically identical to the A20 the OP is considering....











09-12-2019, 07:49 AM - 1 Like   #14
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Wonderfull pictures Sandy and Derek!

The question is, what will be your subject. As above has been pointed out, a superwide is not the lens usually used for portrait. It is used where the wide angle is helpfull or wanted. Street, landscape, events, architecture are to mention. I confirm with what has been said, which focal length of the two is better for these subjects is a completely personal decision. You can try it out by using an inexpensive manual lens like the Tokina RMC 2.8 / 24 mm. But keep in mind:


QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
If you're used to 28mm as your widest full frame lens, I reckon you'll find 24mm is *much* wider, and 20mm is *super* wide.

So, as has been suggested base your decision mainly on your personal stile (for me 24 mm is wide enough) but keep in mind, that in terms of sharpness the A or FA 20 has the better perfomance on the whole frame. While the 24 mm has a excellent center sharpness you need to stop it down the usual two stops to get it decent sharp at the edges and down to f 8.0 to get it good over the whole frame.


The dancers from Sandy will be a wonderfull subject with the 24/2.0 while it might struggle with the landscapes.
09-12-2019, 08:00 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Papa_Joe Quote
The dancers from Sandy will be a wonderfull subject with the 24/2.0 while it might struggle with the landscapes.
You can do a multi photo panorama when needed
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