Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
04-18-2007, 09:47 AM   #16
Inactive Account




Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Gresham, Oregon USA
Posts: 1,218
I imagine the standard fast primes have disappeared because they're no longer the standard. Pretty much every dslr ships with a slow-ish zoom like the 18-55mm. What was once standard is now specialty, hence the wild prices.

I can't imagine not enjoying the 31mm Limited... It balances so nicely on the K10D. It's a lens that I feel is only limited by my skill (and, therefore I'm very limited!!). You can see my first couple of days with this lens in a thread down below: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/5893-lba-my-first-limited.html

04-18-2007, 03:16 PM   #17
Veteran Member




Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Göteborg, Sweden
Posts: 810
QuoteOriginally posted by toobacat Quote
Jonas, What didn't you like about the FA31? Thanks.... Charles
I have got the same question three times the last week. Now I don't really know why anyone would care what i think about a lens. I can only guess but understand that some need to depress their envy while other may need to know what they are getting for USD 900 or more.

I have read the recent thread started by hamidlmt and understand that some may disagree. So, let's say it from the start: What you read here is my personal opinion, it's not gospel. My opinion is based on psychology and physics and a stubborn mind. It is alwso based on experience; I have owned two of these jewels. The first time I sold it pretty quick. A second longer period of ownership ended this winter.

So, it wasn't love at first sight. And in the end is became a matter of love and hate in equal parts. As I always cheated on the FA31 i decided it needed a better home. Waving goodbye wasn't hard. Here we go:

* The lens construction is odd. It's an AF lens with a lot of metal and heavy lens elements. So, the AF is a bit slow. To help with that the Pentax engineers gave it a short "throw" - you don't have to turn the focusing ring many degrees from infinity and down to the near limit. Some like that but to me manual focusing is easier with a somewhat longer throw. When you want to switch from Af to MF you have to use the switch on the camera. There is no QuickShift. The QS is, when it is as it's best, not as good as the Canon full time override and when there is none at all it gets tedious. This may or may not be a problem. For shooting in the streets it's an annoyance. In the studio and on a tripod it is of less importance.

The focusing ring is a bit narrow and there is no good feel holding it either. No inner focusing and the focusing ring rotates when using AF... The bottom line is that it is not very good for AF and it is not good for MF. The focusing ring is a bit narrow and there is no good feel holding it either. No inner focusing and the focusing ring rotates when using AF...

* Construction again. Most of the glass is in the front part of the barrel. Or so it feels. The barrel construction is a bit weak and many of the FA31 lenses wobble just a little. It really doesn't matter much but when one of the main points in buying this lens is the glorified "all metal construction" it can be a dissapointment. If you hear anyone saying "it is built like a tank" you know he/she doesn't know what that expression means.

* The "all metal build" means all aluminium and the limiteds doesn't come close to the feeling of the older brass lenses. If you have used old Leica M lenses (for example) you know what i mean. After having read about this wonder I was a bit dissapointed with the build quality. And for nitpicking: The numbers are painted, not engraved, and so on.

* The hood is the worst hood I have ever seen. It's more like extreme wide angle lips than hood. Also thinking of the lens as made for FF cameras the hood is pretty conservatively designed. In short, it doesn't help at all to protect the front element. With the FA31 and a dSLR camera it becoms stupid.
You can't remove the hood. It's fixated. I have checked construction schematics and I have consulted a local camera shop that repairs lenses. There is no reasonable way to remove it.

* To get a working hood you have to use filter rings. Buy three or four cheapo 58mm filters, knock the glass out and screw them on. Now the filter rings builds a short hood. Once you have two or three rings there you can mount a standard round metal hood for normal lenses. Now this works fine but it doesn't exactly look stylish if that matters to you. This construction also adds weight to the allready heavy front. Not by much but I didn't really like the feeling. (Or the look of it. The jewel bacame ugly.)

* Optics. Basically it is wonderful. It delivers just that half notch better rendering and bokeh than the FA35 (which in turn is a half notch better than the slower DA40 as you know... ) and overall one can be very pleased with the pictures. Very useable wide open, it vignettes a bit, IIRC between f/1.8 and f/2.8 (also with the cropped sensors). It has some weak points though:

- As all, or nearly all, Pentax lenses you get some CA. Annoying. Up and close it is very pronounced in high contrast areas. Sometimes it is very visible also at more normal pictures.

- Flare. The lens is not as good as the FA35 with regards to flare. You are adviced to remove any filter if there are neon signs, headlights, street lamps and such in the picture. Also without filter it flares a bit more than the FA35. (But the FA35 flares very little, and I think it is the same with the DA40, so it depends on what you compare too)

* Weight. You can often read about the FA31 as a heavy lens. I don't mind the weight. Another personal thing.

* Price. Compared to the FA35 (again) you get quite little bang for the bucks. Compared to similar lenses buy Canon, Leica, Sony/Minolta, Zeiss it is a bargain.

* Hype. Some Pentax users love to refer to an old article in LL where the the FA43, FA77 and the FA31 are mentioned as "the best AF lenses in the world". Suddenly people stop to think, take a text to their heart and then quote it at every possible situation. Well, the FA31 is probably "the best" one in this hyped trio. But trust me, it is not the best AF lens in the world.

Still, there is something about the rendering that is very pleasing to the eyes. I like that. But in this case it isn't enough. I used the FA35 all the time.

hth,
04-18-2007, 03:29 PM   #18
Pentaxian




Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: West Chester, PA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,420
Or, to sum it up for you Jonas:
"She was beautiful and wealthy, but what a terrible personality!"


Since I don't talk to her anyway, it doesn't bother me so much.

I always felt like if I bought the FA35 I'd be settling for the uglier, not-quite-as-wealthy little sister with the great personality.
04-18-2007, 05:04 PM   #19
Veteran Member




Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Göteborg, Sweden
Posts: 810
QuoteOriginally posted by carpents Quote
Or, to sum it up for you Jonas:
"She was beautiful and wealthy, but what a terrible personality!"
Since I don't talk to her anyway, it doesn't bother me so much.
I always felt like if I bought the FA35 I'd be settling for the uglier, not-quite-as-wealthy little sister with the great personality.
He! Yes, that's another way to put it.

regards,

04-18-2007, 11:08 PM   #20
Veteran Member




Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Posts: 371
QuoteOriginally posted by Jonas B Quote
And for nitpicking: The numbers are painted, not engraved, and so on.
Hi Jonas, you're most certainly wrong about that point, all else I agree with, yet I love the lens because the optics are the *only* thing that matter to me.

As for the engraving... I can actually prove it by taking macro shots of my 31mm.

Cheers,
-Asad
04-18-2007, 11:57 PM   #21
Veteran Member




Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Göteborg, Sweden
Posts: 810
Asad, damn it. I should have looked closer! No need to prove anything - I take your word for it - and then I guess the mob will come for me...

Really, I'm sorry. See what psychology can make of a man who normally keeps to the truth.

yours, but flushing,
04-19-2007, 12:11 AM   #22
Inactive Account




Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Gresham, Oregon USA
Posts: 1,218
QuoteOriginally posted by Jonas B Quote
and then I guess the mob will come for me...
The 31 is a highly regarded lens, and I'm enjoying the heck out of mine... but, it's not for everyone. All us shooters have different needs. I'm really excited to see that upcoming DA 35mm f/? SDM... with SDM, I'm sure focus will be very quick... now we just need to see if the glass is fast enough. This may be the lens you're looking for! Alas, it's all speculation at the moment though... hope you find your prime!
04-19-2007, 12:32 AM   #23
Veteran Member




Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Posts: 371
QuoteOriginally posted by Jonas B Quote
and then I guess the mob will come for me...
Better hide behind that Canon.

04-19-2007, 06:58 PM   #24
Veteran Member




Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Göteborg, Sweden
Posts: 810
QuoteOriginally posted by Asad_Masede Quote
Better hide behind that Canon.
I have updated my profile. There is no Canon to hide behind... It is now with a friendly chap in Australia.
OTOH I have seen no mob coming after me either. The forum has proven to be friendly. Or lethargic. Or not interested in the same things as I am.

Asad, ftm I'm in transition, again. All I got is the kit lens, the Zenitar and an old Takumar together with the Jupiter-9. The kit lens is the kit lens and, well... the rest of the bunch are a bit tedious to work with as the K10D (compatible with all Pentax lenses...) can't meter the light very good with them.

I have to do something about the lens situation. I'm waiting for a Sigma 30/1.4 which seem not to be manufactured yet, and the DA*55/1.4 which is yet to get released. I'm also waiting for all user reports about the soon to arrive star zooms. - regards,
04-19-2007, 07:00 PM   #25
Veteran Member




Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Göteborg, Sweden
Posts: 810
QuoteOriginally posted by hamidlmt Quote
The 31 is a highly regarded lens, and I'm enjoying the heck out of mine... but, it's not for everyone. All us shooters have different needs. I'm really excited to see that upcoming DA 35mm f/? SDM... with SDM, I'm sure focus will be very quick... now we just need to see if the glass is fast enough. This may be the lens you're looking for! Alas, it's all speculation at the moment though... hope you find your prime!
Hi hamidlmt,

Highly regarded it is, and not without reason. But as you say, it is not for everyone.

The DA35/x... yes, it wil be interesting to see what it is. The FA35/2 in new cloths, that's what I guess.

and thank you,
04-22-2007, 06:20 AM   #26
Veteran Member
roentarre's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 11,794
QuoteOriginally posted by Jonas B Quote

* The hood is the worst hood I have ever seen. It's more like extreme wide angle lips than hood. Also thinking of the lens as made for FF cameras the hood is pretty conservatively designed. In short, it doesn't help at all to protect the front element. With the FA31 and a dSLR camera it becoms stupid.
You can't remove the hood. It's fixated. I have checked construction schematics and I have consulted a local camera shop that repairs lenses. There is no reasonable way to remove it.
You are definitely right there, Jonas. Lance's creative idea of having cheap filters with the glasses knocked out seemed to protect the front element of the lens from paint loss. However, the lens does look ugly with these filter rings stacked up at the front.
04-22-2007, 03:49 PM   #27
Veteran Member




Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Göteborg, Sweden
Posts: 810
QuoteOriginally posted by roentarre Quote
You are definitely right there, Jonas. Lance's creative idea of having cheap filters with the glasses knocked out seemed to protect the front element of the lens from paint loss. However, the lens does look ugly with these filter rings stacked up at the front.
Thank you roentarre. With such a long post I just knew something got to be right. I also notice that Charles appreciated the reply...

all the best,
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
50mm, collection, dslr, fa, k-mount, k100d, kit, lens, pentax lens, primes, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Possible Solution for Fast, Cheap(er), Normal Prime? Biro Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 3 01-10-2010 03:40 PM
Fast, Normal Primes on a Semi-Budget Biro Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 16 10-31-2009 08:26 AM
Looking for a f/2 or better normal-wide (24-28mm) prime Egg Salad Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 17 09-08-2009 10:44 AM
First fast Normal-Zoom shiestmiester Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 17 02-11-2009 08:06 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:53 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top