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08-26-2009, 10:47 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by NaClH2O Quote
I have certain zooms that pretty much equal some of my primes. And it is certainly more convenient to carry around a 28-75mm lens instead of 28, 35, 43, 55, and 77 primes. On the other hand I have 4 primes, the FA 20, FA 43 and 77 ltd's and the Tamrom 90mm macro, that outperform every lens in my collection at their respective focal lengths. And it is not just sharpness, my FA 35 is very sharp, but I'm less than enthusiastic about it's bokeh. The others are simply excellent in all areas. I've other primes, that are good lenses, just not on par with the 4 mentioned above. I would ammend the OP's statement to "The BEST primes = best IQ". I would put my Tamron 28-75 as equal to several of my "better" primes, but not my "fantastic four".

NaCl(the BEST primes are just that, the best IQ wise)H2O
I'm just wondering what you think is the problem with the FA 35's bokeh? or what areas are it's problem.

if it were the FA 50 1.7, I would had said that the bokeh isn't great although it's damn sharp. but the FA 35 does definitely have a beautiful bokeh. I dunno why a few people complain about it as if it's ugly as hell. if I were to say, it's the only FA lens that has an optic that is equal to that of a LTD lens or better. it's funny that it's not really enhanced or really meant for optimal digital use but somehow found a way to make a statement. it's a unique lens that could do some major spanking to the DA/FA LTDs and the other competitions best lenses for a 1/4 of the cost.

08-26-2009, 11:27 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
I'm just wondering what you think is the problem with the FA 35's bokeh? or what areas are it's problem.

if it were the FA 50 1.7, I would had said that the bokeh isn't great although it's damn sharp. but the FA 35 does definitely have a beautiful bokeh. I dunno why a few people complain about it as if it's ugly as hell. if I were to say, it's the only FA lens that has an optic that is equal to that of a LTD lens or better. it's funny that it's not really enhanced or really meant for optimal digital use but somehow found a way to make a statement. it's a unique lens that could do some major spanking to the DA/FA LTDs and the other competitions best lenses for a 1/4 of the cost.
I find the FA 35 bokeh so far smooth and nice but it has no... character? I still need to shoot more with this lens though so don't take my comment too seriously
08-26-2009, 11:51 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Andi Lo Quote
I find the FA 35 bokeh so far smooth and nice but it has no... character? I still need to shoot more with this lens though so don't take my comment too seriously
now that's personal. I'm going to break your legs just for saying that. no character? how dare you? gggrrrrrr !!! j/k

hi Andi, seems like you just got yourself one recently. maybe because it has a more subtle or cooler color rendition and detail. some may say it's just too sharp.

it could be that it is also a specialized lens or a lens made for a particular purpose where it really shines the most. but isn't that considered to be an asset or defines it's character?

anyway, what I liked about this lens is it's contrasty characteristic which IMO is unique from the LTD's contrast quality.

08-27-2009, 03:48 AM   #19
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I agree Gr8erimage...

I think you summed it up perfectly.

I'd also like to add that for me shooting with primes simplifies photography. You have your focal length(be it 21mm, 35mm, 50,whatever...), now go be creative with it, use interesting angles, wide apertures etc...

QuoteOriginally posted by Gr8erimage Quote
My opinion is the Limited primes deserve their following because of their optical performance. The proof is in the pudding, its no myth. Their build quality is just icing on the cake. I shoot with a DA 40 and DA 70 because I haven't seen a zoom that can match their performance at those focal lengths. The DA* 50-135 may get close to the 70mm, but its much bigger, heavier, and much more expensive. The limiteds also get attention and respect from shooters from other camps, not because of their build, but because of the images they produce.


What about the FA35 F2? That lense is constantly recomended over the DA40 and DA35 Macro. Its even been compared to the FA31! Its wrapped in plastic, but a lot of Pentaxians know good glass when they see it, reguardless of outward appearances.


08-27-2009, 04:16 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by 8540tomg Quote
Pentax should be congratulated differentiating themselves from the rest of the pack by producing so many primes.
Yeah, Canon only has these primes:
14/2.8
15/2.8 fisheye
17/4 tilt-shift
20/2.8
24/1.4
24/2.8
24/3.5 tilt-shift
28/1.8
28/2.8
35/1.4
35/2
45/2.8 tilt-shift
50/1.2
50/1.4
50/1.8
50/2.5 macro
60/2.8 macro
65/2.8 1-5x macro
85/1.2
85/1.8
90/2.8 tilt-shift
100/2
100/2.8 macro
135/2
135/2.8
180/3.5 macro
200/2
200/2.8
300/2.8
300/4
400/2.8
400/4
400/5.6
500/4
600/4
800/5.6

It's hard being so limited in your choices as a Canon shooter.

(I do agree that the cheaper zooms leave a lot to be desired in build quality -- my 16-45 felt far better built than most of the lower priced Canon gear. But the nicer zooms (e.g. 24-70, 24-105) are rock solid and many are weather sealed. Not cheap though!)

Last edited by pingflood; 08-27-2009 at 04:24 AM.
08-27-2009, 05:02 AM   #21
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Are all of these Canon lenses still in production Pingflood? If so wow! I was led to believe by sales guy that currently Canon and Nikon were focused primarily on zooms as this was where most of the sales come from. Possibly he was referring to sales in his store. I could be wrong, not all that unusual, but I thought Pentax had carved a bit of a niche for itself in the prime lens area save the longer telephotos.

Tom G
08-27-2009, 05:12 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by 8540tomg Quote
Are all of these Canon lenses still in production Pingflood? If so wow! I was led to believe by sales guy that currently Canon and Nikon were focused primarily on zooms as this was where most of the sales come from. Possibly he was referring to sales in his store. I could be wrong, not all that unusual, but I thought Pentax had carved a bit of a niche for itself in the prime lens area save the longer telephotos.

Tom G
Yep, that is the current production lineup at Canon. I suspect the vast majority of lenses sold are consumer zooms, but there is no lack of availability of prime lenses for Canon shooters. The nice part is that they often offer more than one option for a given focal length; e.g. you can get the 35/2 ($260 or so at my local store) or the 35/1.4L (over $1k).

I would suspect that there are a higher percentage of prime lens shooters in Pentax land than in Canon land though, since Canon (and Nikon) get a lot of sales from their lower end models that rarely see anything but the kit zoom. But when you get into the more serious amateurs and pros, lots of prime users there, and even with the massive amount of primes in the Canon lineup many play with third party manual focus gear as well for fun.

The Pentax prime niche would be the Limited DA lenses which are very very compact and well built, sacrificing some speed for size and optical performance. Nothing quite like them in the other lineups.
08-27-2009, 08:58 AM   #23
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This leads to something I have always wondered

QuoteOriginally posted by goubejp Quote
Also because primes needs less optical elements than zoom. This means less flare, better contrast due to less reflective surfaces. Usually 7 to 9 elements for a prime, vs 14 to 20 for a zoom
Since this is typically the case, and, presumably a prime lines is simpler to construct in other ways as well, without the need for a zooming mechanism, why do they typically cost twice as much as a zoom lens, instead of only half as much?

08-27-2009, 09:07 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by MrTea Quote
Since this is typically the case, and, presumably a prime lines is simpler to construct in other ways as well, without the need for a zooming mechanism, why do they typically cost twice as much as a zoom lens, instead of only half as much?
I'm guessing you're comparing SLOW zooms with FAST primes. The glass needed for an 85mm f/1.2 prime costs WAY more than the "zooming mechanism" for a 70-300mm f/4-5.6
08-27-2009, 09:38 AM   #25
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Different strokes

QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
I'm just wondering what you think is the problem with the FA 35's bokeh? or what areas are it's problem.

if it were the FA 50 1.7, I would had said that the bokeh isn't great although it's damn sharp. but the FA 35 does definitely have a beautiful bokeh. I dunno why a few people complain about it as if it's ugly as hell. if I were to say, it's the only FA lens that has an optic that is equal to that of a LTD lens or better. it's funny that it's not really enhanced or really meant for optimal digital use but somehow found a way to make a statement. it's a unique lens that could do some major spanking to the DA/FA LTDs and the other competitions best lenses for a 1/4 of the cost.
I never said the FA 35 F2 had ugly bokeh, just that I am "less than enthusiastic" about it. I'm at work right now and don't have access to examples, but, to my mind the bokeh is...busy... I guess would be the best explanation. I'll grant you the lens has excellent contrast and very good color rendition, but I prefer the bokeh of the 31 ltd. Unfortunately I can't afford the 31, so I get by with the FA 35 F2. It's a good lens, but not on par with the other primes I listed in my post.
The problem is that color rendition, sharpness, contrast etc can be measured, but bokeh is entirely a subjective judgement. Some people will love a particular bokeh that others will go "meh" at. You love the FA 35's bokeh, I don't. It's a judgement call. Neither opinion is "wrong". The fact that other people share my opinion just means that they have the same kind of taste in bokeh. That doesn't mean that your opinion isn't just as valid.

NaCl(personal opinion is just that...personal)H2O
08-27-2009, 10:15 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
The FA 50 is a decent lens, but certainly not on the level of the limiteds. All of the limiteds I have used have been sharp from wide open (while the FA 50 is most certainly not).
I object to that misleading statement. Maybe the FA 50 is not sharp at F1.4, but I've gotten some pretty interesting photos shooting wide open, so it is clearly useful. Which Limited goes to F1.4 again?

How is the FA 50 not on the level of the Limiteds? Check some objective performance figures and get back to me on what you find. The 40mm Ltd for example has more distortion, more vignetting, and is less sharp at every aperture (especially F1.4 and F2 of course). The FA compares with anything in the Pentax lineup, except if you're talking about prestige and caché.

Last edited by audiobomber; 08-27-2009 at 11:24 AM.
08-27-2009, 11:07 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by NaClH2O Quote
I never said the FA 35 F2 had ugly bokeh, just that I am "less than enthusiastic" about it. I'm at work right now and don't have access to examples, but, to my mind the bokeh is...busy... I guess would be the best explanation. I'll grant you the lens has excellent contrast and very good color rendition, but I prefer the bokeh of the 31 ltd. Unfortunately I can't afford the 31, so I get by with the FA 35 F2. It's a good lens, but not on par with the other primes I listed in my post.
The problem is that color rendition, sharpness, contrast etc can be measured, but bokeh is entirely a subjective judgement. Some people will love a particular bokeh that others will go "meh" at. You love the FA 35's bokeh, I don't. It's a judgement call. Neither opinion is "wrong". The fact that other people share my opinion just means that they have the same kind of taste in bokeh. That doesn't mean that your opinion isn't just as valid.

NaCl(personal opinion is just that...personal)H2O

. it's true. lenses have different bokeh results and also subjective. but anyway, going back to the original topic, I believe you and I would agree that there's no zoom lens (yet) that could match a great prime.
08-27-2009, 02:48 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
it could be that it is also a specialized lens or a lens made for a particular purpose where it really shines the most. but isn't that considered to be an asset or defines it's character?[/IMG]
Well I just went out with this lens today specifically to determine why I couldn't come to like it rightaway.... I think I concluded with the fact that I've been treating it like a mini 28-75, with has a close focus capability, while it's really a 35mm prime with a lower magnification ratio. Probably because they cover a similar range before I zoom the 28-75 in, so I keep making that association. After realizing that I tried to use it as it is (a 35mm) today and I liked it more. Bokeh as I said before is very smooth. I guess if you think of that as it's character, then it's all good. Maybe I'm just too used with lenses that have somewhat of a quirky bokeh, that looking at a "perfect" bokeh doesn't excite me too much, again of course bokeh is subjective

I think I can grow to like it though
08-27-2009, 05:30 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Andi Lo Quote
Bokeh as I said before is very smooth. I guess if you think of that as it's character, then it's all good. Maybe I'm just too used with lenses that have somewhat of a quirky bokeh, that looking at a "perfect" bokeh doesn't excite me too much, again of course bokeh is subjective
It surprised me when you criticized the FA 35 bokeh, because when I was researching it, that was generally regarded as a strength, especially compared to the DA 35mm Ltd. Yes, I'd rather have a 31mm, but I'd rather pay for the FA 35.
08-27-2009, 05:42 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
I object to that misleading statement. Maybe the FA 50 is not sharp at F1.4, but I've gotten some pretty interesting photos shooting wide open, so it is clearly useful. Which Limited goes to F1.4 again?

How is the FA 50 not on the level of the Limiteds? Check some objective performance figures and get back to me on what you find. The 40mm Ltd for example has more distortion, more vignetting, and is less sharp at every aperture (especially F1.4 and F2 of course). The FA compares with anything in the Pentax lineup, except if you're talking about prestige and caché.
The DA 40 as described by Photozone has "marginal distortions" and absent chromatic aberrations. It does describe it has having some vignetting at f2.8. On the other hand, Klaus seems more impressed by the FA 50's low price (which is no longer so low) and says about the lens: "At medium apertures the lens is capable to produce stellar resolution figures." Not so hot at f1.4 and 2.0, where he says that it is "soft, but useable."

I wouldn't argue that it is useable and have used it, it just isn't my favorite lens. Certainly, no one would argue with the ability of a good photographer to capture great images with it, but neither would they argue with the ability of the same photographer capturing great images with the DA 40. The weak link in my photos is not the camera, lens or subject, it is almost always me.
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