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12-30-2008, 06:32 PM   #1
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my unscientific lazy man's ltd lens test

My fit of LBA led to recently acquiring 31 and 43 ltd lenses to go along with my 35 and 77 ltds. The 77 I'll never sell, and the 35, while not perfect (nor am I), is quite versatile. I've gone back and forth with the 31 and 43 over the past few days, and decided to try and just do some relatively similar snaps and see what I got. This is about as close to a "test" as I get, and it purposely is "lazy" as I often shoot that way. So the gear needs to work with me.

At any rate, results are here: http://nostatic.com/photos/lensTest2/

Again, not particularly artistic shots but this is all right outside my apartment so I know what it looks like and how I see it. I have gotten some "keeper" shots over the past few days with both the 31 and 43 in my more typical "street/urban" arenas. But I also don't like having a bunch of lenses sitting around not getting used, and with them clustered around the same focal length unless I'm getting a particular look or really bond with the FOV I don't see the point. Perhaps a perhaps a few minutes of amusement...but I found the results interesting.


Last edited by nostatic; 12-30-2008 at 06:47 PM.
12-30-2008, 06:51 PM   #2
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Hey, thanks for sharing. The shots are sort of all over the place, but I found it interesting. The images of the 31 and 43 looks close, but then I thought the images of the parked cars with the 31 to be better than the 43, but then I saw that the 31 is taken at f4 and the 43 at f2.8 where it is still weak for such a shot, so to me they look to be performing similar.

I just received my Pentax DA 21 ltd, and have been testing and sort of comapred it to the 43. I know the focal lengths are different, and I am testing within my house where the 21 is at a disadvantge. Sorry!, no pictures but the 43 in in a league of it's own. The DA21 cannot possibly come even remotely close to the rendering of the 43. I like the DA21 over the 18-250.

But, what I liked most about the DA21 samples on the web is how it handles light in landscapes. I am going to concentarte on capturing light, and the 21 should shine there.
12-30-2008, 06:59 PM   #3
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yeah, the shots aren't very controlled...but that's the way I roll

Also the light was going away and you can see that in the shots. I'm interested in the 21 for street shooting so I'd be interested in seeing indoor shots with it as I'm often in low light.

With the shots that I took actually the 43 came out the "winner" especially in the palm tree and the sidewalk perspective crops. The 35ltd seems better in close focus, but in really low light it struggles compared to both the 31 and 43 as you'd expect.

I'm leaning towards keeping the 43 as a walkaround, low light indoor and small portrait. 77 is longer tele and "magic" portrait. 35 as walkaround and macro, and then either 21 or 15 as alternative walkaround. If I didn't have the 35 already I'd keep the 31. But given that I already have the 35, the 31 just isn't comparatively wide enough to justify it for my use. Plus I love how compact and light both the 43 and 35 are. The 31 is significantly heavier. But there is no free lunch...wide+fast=heavier.

Next on tap will be a 21...have to check out the sample.
12-30-2008, 07:20 PM   #4
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I wanted a spread in focal lengths as well, and thus the reason to purchase the DA21. The 31, 35 etc. IMO is too close to 43, and bulkier than the DA21.

I just went back and checked some images, obviously the DA21 is a whole lot better than the 18-250, but the FA43 is magical.

So far I love the DA21. It's a nice size, nice focal length that will compliment the 43. Have to do a lot more real shooting before I would know for sure.

12-30-2008, 07:35 PM   #5
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yeah, I had LBA at bay for awhile, and was pretty happy with 35ltd, 77ltd, and 50-135* and 16-45 for zooms. But in the past few months I never put the zooms on the body. When the 15ltd was announced I figured I had a plan of having primes roughly every 20mm:

15ltd
35ltd
CV 58/1.4
77ltd

But for some reason I ended up pulling out my CC. I remember the driver though...I was doing a typical walkaround shoot with my 35 and noticed that the image in the viewfinder was a tad smaller than looking direct. I got it in my head that I wanted a direct translation between naked eye and viewfinder. Those damn voices in my head...anyway, the 43ltd is about perfect for that. Then of course if you have the 43 and 77 you have to get the 31, and I found that the 35 does struggle in low light, especially wrt focus hunt.

As a comparison I did the same interior shot with the 16-45 at f4 both at 16mm and 31mm. Of course it looked pretty rough compared to the 31 but it did show how much wider I would like to have as an option. Then I shot my DLux4 at 24mm effective (f2 - the lens rocks) and that is quite nice as well. Good to have choices...
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