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View Poll Results: Which lens should Fishy buy?
D FA 100 Macro 2.8 2528.41%
FA 31 Ltd f 1.8 6371.59%
Voters: 88. You may not vote on this poll

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02-05-2009, 01:05 AM   #1
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Poll; Which lens should Fishy buy: DFA 100 2.8 or FA 31 1.8 ltd?

I know, there's no real comparing the two, but I am crumbling under the pressure to buy a new lens.. and I can afford only one!

I like doing macro, for which I still have to use the Sigma 70-300.. Cumbersome and hard to get the focus right.. Plus portraits, again in favor of the 100 2.8


I've also fallen in love with my 50 1.4. Walking around with a prime helps me actively think (and re-think) composition, and I REALLY love the sharpness, contrast, well, everything about this lens. But sometimes it is just too long... and what I've seen of the 31 ltd is pure magic.

So, should I go for the (nearly out-of-budget, and maybe out of the stores soon) 31 ltd, and save a bit longer for the macro, or should I go for the cheaper and also nice option of the macro, leaving me to use the 16-50 as walkaround lens just a bit longer..


02-05-2009, 02:45 AM   #2
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I have the 31mm Ltd and it is a classic lens. You wont regret buying it. Don't know for how long Pentax will continue to make it so I would go for that first.

I dont know the DFA100 mm macro, so cannot comment.
02-05-2009, 08:14 AM   #3
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My recommendation would be to get the 31mm now, as it's a simply amazing lens, and for your macro get something like the Tamron Adaptall-2 90mm Macro lens which can be had for around $150. It's a legendary lens and you don't really need AF for macro, or for that matter portraiture either.
02-05-2009, 09:44 AM   #4
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I would prefer the D-FA 100. This lens is incredibly sharp and the close focusing is of course very useful. It's also reasonably priced.

The 31 is certainly great but... IMHO it's too expensive for what it does. Of course this is subjective and for some people the extra IQ may make it a must-have.

Another alternative is the DA 35 macro. You get about the same FL and macro capabilities. Plus it doesn't break the bank.

02-05-2009, 09:52 AM   #5
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Both are good

I have the FA 100 Macro, the older non-D version, and I can say it was worth all the trouble I went in finding it.

Having said that, the FA 31 Ltd is probably my absolute favorite lens, so much so that I am thinking of getting another one just to have a spare should something befall the one I have.
02-05-2009, 09:56 AM   #6
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I would also go with the 31. I think Pentax would be nuts to discontinue this lens but if they ever do used lenses will sell for more than they cost new now. I doubt anyone will want to part with theirs. On cropped sensors it's also a good portrait lens. (The 100 might still be a better choice though).

For macro you could get a reversing ring and use your 50mm reversed. It's not the best option due to close distance to subject but works well - See how I've done it:
02-05-2009, 10:10 AM   #7
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I voted for the 31, but as ManuH says that 35 macro might be a cool compromise... I got a dedicated macro lens (Tamron 90mm), and I have to say that while I've gotten a few keepers out of it, the macro bug (hah!) hasn't really bitten me like I thought it would, and I seldom even bring this lens on a walk anymore - it is a killer portrait lens but I've got a *50-135 for that. Since you've already got some capacity for macro shooting, I'd say the 31 limited might be a good investment - though as I've never even seen one in real life, I'm only saying that based on reputation. Honestly, the *16-50's good enough for me as a walk around lens .

Now the part where I recommend lenses you didn't mention (a tradition on these sorts of threads...) - how about the FA35/2, which by all accounts is a great lens and a Tamron 90mm (or similar - maybe Vivitar Series 1) for portraits and macro.
02-05-2009, 10:19 AM   #8
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I say the 100mm. You have 31mm covered with a DA*. You have fast covered in 50/1.4. You have 100mm and macro covered with the 70-300, but I don't think it's covered neary as nicely.

02-05-2009, 10:30 AM   #9
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I voted for the D-FA 100 macro for some of the reasons stated above. Unless you feel strongly about getting the FA31 for its value, I think the 100 mm would be a better choice. It's cheaper, it's high quality, and it's not as redundant with the lenses you already own.

But if you really want a limited, why not go for the FA77? While not quite as heralded as the FA31, it provides a bigger difference from the FA50 as far as being a longer, fast telephoto, it would compliment your lens selection well, and it may also go out of production soon.
02-05-2009, 10:52 AM   #10
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Get the FA31 if you can afford it. If for some reason, you don't take to it, you can always sell it for almost what you paid. The FA31 is the only lens that I can take below f2 and still get sharp results. If you love the FA50 for sharpness and contrast, you will have to clean your shorts after using the FA31.
My only words of caution would be that once you shoot the FA31, you will want the FA77 and FA43 and may never get around to buying that macro!
02-05-2009, 10:57 AM   #11
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I also favor the 31mm since I have one and find it also to be a good walk-around lens even though it is a bit more expensive. I don't have the DFA 100mm f2.8 macro but I have the Tamron SP90mm f2.8 macro which I only use it as a special purpose lens (either macro or portrait). My 2 cents... and hope it helps,
02-05-2009, 11:10 AM   #12
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if just want to buy lenses

go on ebay

type in Takumar

go nuts
02-05-2009, 05:27 PM   #13
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No doubt FA-31 ... Pentax will raise the prices of its FA and DA Limited lenses by the end of this month (and i am too short to get an FA-77 right now :-((( ...).

Best regards
02-05-2009, 05:59 PM   #14
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FA 31mm ltd...the focal length has a close to normal FOV on Pentax's DSLRs, it's super fast and works better than a fast fifty for low light work indoors as it's a more useful focal length and there is less blur because its a wider angle lens. Not to mention it has superb image rendering and a all metal great may become your most used lens.
02-05-2009, 07:05 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by felix68 Quote
My only words of caution would be that once you shoot the FA31, you will want the FA77 and FA43 and may never get around to buying that macro!
This happened to me (except I already had a macro).
The biggest problem I've found with this trio is they leave you no excuses. If you manage to take a crappy shot with any of them, it's YOUR fault:-).

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