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03-21-2009, 06:27 PM   #1
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FA31 vs FA35

i have them both now (thanks jay!) some samples for your examination, at K100D, +100 focus adjustment, no tripod, F2.0 only, PPL conversion, unscientific framing. really shitty WB, sorry should have WhiBal'd it first.
edit: redid the photos, after posting them up, i realized how crap the samples were. i set the WB and used more flash to make sure the illumination was better, you can judge the colour now. deleted the carpet test, very difficult to get a super flat depth of field.

i can barely tell the difference in terms of sharpness, but there is a slight difference in bokeh and the FA31 is 8 bladed versus the FA35's 6.
in terms of usability, FA35 wins for its smaller size, but the FA31 build quality is unrivaled. FA35 focuses very fast.
if you have the FA35 and thinking about upgrading to the FA31, don't bother unless you love the build quality or if the slight difference in bokeh is that important for you.
which one do i plan to use more? FA35, 49mm filter threads and smaller size are important to me. the FA31 isn't super big, but compared to every other Limited lens, it is a big and tall fatty.

really it's not worth doing any more tests beyond this except maybe some more thorough bokeh studies, but there's not much in it at F2 (and i'm assuming the same follows for the smaller apertures).














Last edited by k100d; 03-21-2009 at 08:54 PM.
03-21-2009, 06:47 PM   #2
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Simon, just from my personal experience, testing lenses indoors isn't really the best way to compare since as you said, the lighting is sh*tty. My Auto image 28mm lens measures really well against the 28mm tak indoors, but it's nowhere near the tak outdoors. COngrats on the purchae though, I'm envious
03-21-2009, 06:58 PM   #3
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why do you think it's easier to test outdoors rather than indoors? the light is controlled much better indoors, i took the photos with one lens first and the other, i'm surprised at the consistency to be honest.

no need to be envious, you have a nice set of lenses
03-21-2009, 07:23 PM   #4
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No, I'm not saying it's easier. It's just that I find the character of lenses varies alot depending on the type of lighting. I don't know if this is true or just my gut... for example my SMC tak 50 seems to render quite well whatever lighting it is, except under tungsten where its colors is unbearably flat. The FA 50 is actually better in this regard, but outdoors at f 1.4 up to f4 there's no contest that the Tak is better. But as you said, it's hard to test scientifically so we have to go with gut feeling and what "looks good" while "testing outdoors"


Last edited by Andi Lo; 03-21-2009 at 07:31 PM.
03-21-2009, 08:09 PM   #5
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Simon, is the first set from 35mm? Thanks for sharing the test.

I had a FA35 earlier. Sold it and got a brand new FA31. Couldn't get myself to pick it up because it was so much money. Sold it at a loss and got another FA35. No more fear to use it.
03-21-2009, 08:25 PM   #6
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Nice carpet!



The first carpet image looks a bit soft in the top right corner, the second carpet image looks soft in all the corners. Is it just my old eyes?
Which is which?

Ray
03-21-2009, 08:56 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stratario Quote
Simon, is the first set from 35mm? Thanks for sharing the test.

I had a FA35 earlier. Sold it and got a brand new FA31. Couldn't get myself to pick it up because it was so much money. Sold it at a loss and got another FA35. No more fear to use it.
QuoteOriginally posted by Raybo Quote
The first carpet image looks a bit soft in the top right corner, the second carpet image looks soft in all the corners. Is it just my old eyes?
Which is which?
the carpet test is really hard to do so i've removed it. to do it correctly, i should be on a tripod, with bubble level and not under a light source. i was getting different results each time.

the exif's are there, you can check on your own ... decide which one you like better
03-21-2009, 09:03 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by k100d Quote
the exif's are there, you can check on your own ... decide which one you like better
I liked #1 better and I was really hoping that it was the 35... alas, fate has betrayed me again oh well, it's not like I have enough money for either

03-21-2009, 09:04 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by k100d Quote
the carpet test is really hard to do so i've removed it. to do it correctly, i should be on a tripod, with bubble level and not under a light source. i was getting different results each time.

the exif's are there, you can check on your own ... decide which one you like better
I'm no kind of expert k100d, I will gladly take the lessor of the two lenses!
03-21-2009, 09:28 PM   #10
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I've only looked quickly, but the 35 shots look better in all but the keyboard to me.
03-21-2009, 10:26 PM   #11
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I guessed, just by looking at the bokeh quality, that the first set is from the 31 Lim. I was right, but I see you shot @ F2, which means that the bokeh would be more extreme & silky @ F1.8.


I only have the 31 lim, and I'm happy of my choice
03-21-2009, 11:13 PM   #12
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Check closely the white bokeh inside the red and the green figures (3rd & 4th glasses). Fans of the 31 pay more $$ for its metal build and for those subtle differences.

In cases the bokeh forms a larger part of the image it does make a big difference.




Last edited by Kguru; 03-21-2009 at 11:18 PM.
03-21-2009, 11:32 PM   #13
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Nice to see such a straightforward comparison.

I have to say, the bokeh difference is pretty apparent to me, but I'm trying to think of any situations where it would be absolutely necessary.

I guess the 31mm would be better for the real money shots when you need every last bit of quality, but for the majority of situations the 35 looks to be every bit as sharp. I imagine the portraits in particular are just a little bit more special with the 31.

This places the 31 squarely in my "want" list, but since I have the 35 already it can wait until I round out the other focal lengths in my bag a bit better.
03-22-2009, 04:09 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eigengrau Quote
Nice to see such a straightforward comparison.

I have to say, the bokeh difference is pretty apparent to me, but I'm trying to think of any situations where it would be absolutely necessary.
from what I have seen, wide open the 31mm limited is sharper in the corners than the 35mm f/2. besides the 31mm limited is four millimetres wider

look at the comparison images...the texture of the table in the bottom of the image has more "bite" to it...and it also looks warmer what was the WB set to?
03-22-2009, 07:17 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Raybo Quote
I'm no kind of expert k100d, I will gladly take the lessor of the two lenses!
On a K100D (yes, I have one and love it), you are probably right. It makes very little to no difference.

On a K20D.... well, I suspect that's another story!

Cheers...
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