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03-08-2022, 12:15 PM   #1
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Debate and decide- FA 31 Limited or DA 20-40 Limited?

Ultimately I'll be the decider, but I welcome your opinions. I own both these lenses, and I'm starting to test them more thoroughly. But being in hock for my new K-3 lll, I'm strongly considering selling the 31 help pay it off. The 31 Limited is certainly special, even to this "magic lens" skeptic. But the 20-30 seems quite usable in the 25-35mm range on my K-1. It seems to have the same great bokeh, with much less CA and better coatings than the older 31 Limited, plus WR. The 31 is a little smaller, but a little heavier. It won't be much use on my K-3lll, because I have the F series and Takumar 50mm macros near that cropped focal length.

Has anybody else come to this fork in the road? Did you take it?

03-08-2022, 12:57 PM - 4 Likes   #2
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Seriously, I have kept every lens I ever bought except the DA 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 II kit lens that was badly decentered and a Sigma 600 mm f/8 Catadioptric that performed extremely poorly. I must have amassed over 70 lenses during my 55 years of photography (Minolta MDs first then various Pentax K, 645 and P67 models). Each lens is a marvel of technology in and of itself.

Regards

Last edited by RICHARD L.; 03-17-2022 at 08:48 AM.
03-08-2022, 12:57 PM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatridger Quote
Ultimately I'll be the decider, but I welcome your opinions. I own both these lenses, and I'm starting to test them more thoroughly. But being in hock for my new K-3 lll, I'm strongly considering selling the 31 help pay it off. The 31 Limited is certainly special, even to this "magic lens" skeptic. But the 20-30 seems quite usable in the 25-35mm range on my K-1. It seems to have the same great bokeh, with much less CA and better coatings than the older 31 Limited, plus WR. The 31 is a little smaller, but a little heavier. It won't be much use on my K-3lll, because I have the F series and Takumar 50mm macros near that cropped focal length.
The 20-40 will be wider than the 50 particular on the k3iii. I use mine on crop far more than the 31. The 31 is a magical lens but the 20-40 is also. I do not know how you will make this choice. Solomon level wisdom is required…
03-08-2022, 06:47 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by RICHARD L. Quote
Seriously, I have kept every lens I ever bought except the DA 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 II kit lens that was badly decentered. I must have amassed over 70 lenses during my 55 years of photography (Minolta MDs first then various Pentax K, 645 and P67 models). Each lens is a marvel of technology in and of itself.

Regards
Thanks, Richard, but I don't want to become a collector. I can't justify owning fine things that I never use.

03-08-2022, 07:27 PM - 1 Like   #5
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I'd keep the 31, because I have a K-1, it would compliment my DFA 28-105 with a low light smooth bokeh option.
For APS-c I'd go with the DA 20-40 ltd. My strategy has always been cover everything with zooms, have primes for the things zooms aren't good at , (like sub ƒ2.8.)

Macros are great edge to edge, but the out of focus areas are often not as smooth as the same focal length in a conventional lens.

So from my perspective the ball is in your court. If you aren't using the unique properties of the 31, ƒ1.8 and smooth out of focus areas, then there's no reason to keep it.

If you have no other zooms, then the 20-40 is a no brainer. 20 mm in range compared to 1 focal length makes life in general a lot easier. For me it would be a no brainer, but obviously you have to decide what's important to you. My DA*55 ƒ1.4 is my low light lens, so I have no need for ƒ1.8. The 31 would be nice to have, not have to have. And the 55 on my K-1 is not so different from the 31 on APS-c.
03-08-2022, 08:11 PM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatridger Quote
Ultimately I'll be the decider, but I welcome your opinions. I own both these lenses, and I'm starting to test them more thoroughly. But being in hock for my new K-3 lll, I'm strongly considering selling the 31 help pay it off. The 31 Limited is certainly special, even to this "magic lens" skeptic. But the 20-30 seems quite usable in the 25-35mm range on my K-1. It seems to have the same great bokeh, with much less CA and better coatings than the older 31 Limited, plus WR. The 31 is a little smaller, but a little heavier. It won't be much use on my K-3lll, because I have the F series and Takumar 50mm macros near that cropped focal length.

Has anybody else come to this fork in the road? Did you take it?
A zoom lens will always be more versatile in usability compared to a prime lens within the same range. The DA 20-40mm Ltd is certainly a quality lens, and features WR construction as well. I love it on my KP. That said, it becomes a matter of how often do you need the capabilities offered by the FA 31mm Ltd not shared by the 20-40mm Ltd such as the faster f/1.8 aperture? Everyone's needs are different.

As for myself, I found I'm not as interested in the angle of view from 31mm on an APS-C body, though it serves well enough as a normal lens, compared to having it on a 35mm body or a FF DSLR as a wide angle lens. If needing a fast wide angle on APS-C, the pickings are very slim to say the least, compared to a FF outfit. Only upon finally adding my K-1 II did I once again find more interest in the FA 31mm Ltd, FA 35mm f/2, and FA 43mm f/1.9 Ltd as a wide-normal. You'd need a 28mm f/1.9 to equal that one on APS-C, and if there was one it most surely would not be a pancake. This was one of my reasons for passing on the K-3 III (I'm happy with my KP), and going for adding the K-1 II.

Last edited by mikesbike; 03-08-2022 at 08:16 PM.
03-08-2022, 10:57 PM   #7
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31 on apsc is missing the point in my opinion. Wide angle design for a normal angle result on apsc. The drawing is nice, but a dedicated 20-40 is more useful.
With K1 in mind keep the 31, here 20-40 is missing the point.
Overall keep the 31, may add a DA21 for apsc.

03-09-2022, 12:43 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatridger Quote
Thanks, Richard, but I don't want to become a collector. I can't justify owning fine things that I never use.
Funny as I never considered myself being a "collector". Let's just say I'm some kind of a "hoarder" instead ... lol! Every item I have gets to see some use now and then. I love the results I get with each of them. OTOH, you should privilege Full-Frame lenses over APSc optics as they can be used with both formats.


Regards
03-09-2022, 01:22 AM - 2 Likes   #9
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My suggestion would be to dedicate one months to each of them in a single-in challenge - it's fun, not taken too serious by anybody but helped me answer that question on a number of lenses, the 31mm having been the first of them. Afterwards, you'll potentially have discovered what you have missed about a particular lens and can make a much more informed decision. Before the SiCs, I wasn't much of a prime-wide-open user when there was enough light, but with the challenge to come up with something presentable every day, I learned to see such compositions more often and the 31mm gets a lot more use since. I'm still in the @RICHARD L.; camp of hording stuff, but have passed on a few 'redundant' and less used lenses to my son and daughter.
03-09-2022, 02:37 AM - 2 Likes   #10
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I'm not the DA20-40's biggest fan, but I'd go with it purely for versatility on your K-3III (kind of Norm's idea - cover everything with zooms first). Although it's a relatively short focal length range, there's an awful lot you can do with 20 - 40mm, and the close-focusing capabilities are pretty nice too... plus there's the weather resistance, silent AF, etc. It's just a good, versatile lens to cover a multitude of uses and situations...

Last edited by BigMackCam; 03-09-2022 at 03:06 AM.
03-09-2022, 12:19 PM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
I'm not the DA20-40's biggest fan, but I'd go with it purely for versatility on your K-3III (kind of Norm's idea - cover everything with zooms first). Although it's a relatively short focal length range, there's an awful lot you can do with 20 - 40mm, and the close-focusing capabilities are pretty nice too... plus there's the weather resistance, silent AF, etc. It's just a good, versatile lens to cover a multitude of uses and situations...

I'd give you a like but it would mess up all your 1s in a row...11111
03-09-2022, 12:56 PM - 2 Likes   #12
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All lenses seem to perform better on a K3 III anyway. I mounted the "lowly" DA 18-135 mm on it and results were stupefying ...




03-09-2022, 01:19 PM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by RICHARD L. Quote
All lenses seem to perform better on a K3 III anyway. I mounted the "lowly" DA 18-135 mm on it and results were stupefying ...




Thanks for the warning, I don't want to get stupefied.
03-09-2022, 01:34 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
I'd give you a like but it would mess up all your 1s in a row...11111
LOL I hadn't noticed that. Cool... but it looks like I've some catching up to do, mate
03-09-2022, 02:39 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Thanks for the warning, I don't want to get stupefied.
Is it Dr. Watson in "Sherlock Holmes" who exclaimed : "SHOCKING !" lol !

Regards, Norm
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