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11-01-2009, 02:28 PM   #1
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Those who own the FA 43 LTD and/or FA 31 LTD

Those who own the FA 43 Limited or/and FA 31 Limited, what are the advantages of the FA 43 Limited and FA 31 Limited based on what YOU are trying to shoot? and what are the disadvantages of what you are trying to shoot? What do you use the FA 31 Limited mainly for? What do you use the FA 43 Limited mainly for? I Know these lenses are different, the 31 is sharper, and the cost is significantly different. I just want to know YOUR opinions. Thanks!

11-01-2009, 03:32 PM   #2
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I have the 31mm. I use it mainly in lower light, when a fast 50 is too long or the 24mm is too wide, aka a standard lens. It is not quite a tack sharp wide open as my FA 35/2, but nevertheless the results look more pleasing to me. It is about colour rendition and a somewhat more 3D effect, probably caused by the infamous "bokeh" or out-of-focus rendering.

11-01-2009, 03:54 PM   #3
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As above for the 31 ltd.
Standard FOV for more full-body portraits, narrow landscapes, and miscellaneous other applications which seem to fit well with this FL.
11-01-2009, 04:44 PM   #4
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I have both and use both. I'm always trying to back off from my "subjects" as much as possible, so my first choice for a "full body" shot will be the 43. If I can't go back enough, I'll use the 31, but there is not much to differentiate between those two lenses. To my eye, the bokeh seems a wee bit harsher with the 43. And the 43 is a lot more compact than the 31, almost a pancake (but not quite).

11-01-2009, 04:57 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by flyer Quote
......... 43 is a lot more compact than the 31, almost a pancake (but not quite).
(I have both)
For me this is where FA 43 tops FA 31
11-01-2009, 05:05 PM - 1 Like   #6
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i had bought the 43 first, along with a plathora of other 50ish mm pieces (fa50, super takumar 50, and super takumar 55, a chinon 50, a cosina 55f1.2... and a vivita 50f1.7...)

under the general theme of "50 is the one to get", unfortunetly i found that 50mm on an APSC sensor is too telephoto for most things

ever since i aquired the FA31 it pretty much is on my camera most of the time.

the field of view of a 28-35mm lens on an APS-C camera is the field of view that gets the most use out of my every day photos, be it out with friends at bars or parties, or some work at a wedding.

the 43 hasnt been on my camera for a very very long time, the only reason i keep it is to use it on my FILM camera for the equivalent field of view.

as a telephoto lens for the APSC i would go to the 77-85 range, these lenses get used by me more often. (to double the magnification you double the focal length, as such, a jump to 77 from 31 is much more utilitarian than 43 which offers little in "change in field of view"

as far as sharpness and all that stuff goes, these lenses are superb regardless.
11-01-2009, 05:25 PM   #7
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I use the 31 for probably 50% of all the photos I take. I love it for everything (although using it at f/8 on a bright sunny day feels like a waste of its talents). Especially low-light portraits. I used to have the 43, but sold it because I just never seemed to use it much. Too long for a "normal", too short for a tele -- 50 is a better fit for how I see.
11-01-2009, 08:32 PM   #8
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The 43mm is sharper BTW.

They render images differently. Each has its own unique personality, so I typically use both to get two different responses.

11-01-2009, 08:52 PM - 1 Like   #9
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I have both as well. I'd say that my subject matter is a little different from most people's because it's primarily me - I've done a self-portrait project for a couple of years now where I take a photo of myself every day. In this case, the 31 is a godsend. I can hold out my left arm and snap, whereas with the 43, it's a little difficult to do that and include both the chin and the forehead.

Before I had the 31, the 43mm was my only standard lens and I used it often. I wasn't convinced I needed the 31mm - I saved a good bit and my parents gave me the rest of the funds for Christmas, and I think I still waited 4 months before actually buying it. Since I got the 31, I pick that lens about 90% of the time when I need a standard. I still love the 43 and I love the shots I take with it, but the 31, by being that bit brighter and that bit wider and still with the same high quality, usually wins out. Strangely enough, I probably love a higher percentage of photos taken with the 43....I will never get rid of the it (it was my first and only lens for a long time), but I find that usually the 31's focal length is more to my liking.

Handheld, arm's length self-portrait with the 43:

#77 of 365: Treading Water, Out of Sight of All Land on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Handheld, arm's length self-portrait with the 31:

#231 of 365: Another Day of Work on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
11-02-2009, 03:42 PM   #10
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I own FA31ltd. It's great walkaround lens, landscape lens, standard lens, portrait lens... I could go on and on.... the applications are almost countless. It's fabulously sharp. Has great contrast, bokeh etc. Built to last as well. I don't think it limits me in any way. Even my wife who used to be avid zoom shooter appreciates qualities of this lens and seldom uses anything else when we go for day trip.
Point is, as long as you are happy with FOV this lens offers on you camera, it will not let you down in just about anything you'll want it to do...

11-02-2009, 09:46 PM   #11
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I'm the weird one...own both and the 77 also to complete the 3 amigos. Bought each as it was released, couldn't wait for the prices to moderate in year 2 and geez, they never did come down to earthly prices.

I use the 43 the least by far. Not because of quality, just a perspective thing I guess...

I'm the weird one because I virtually never use these lenses opened up more than maybe f8. Wish someone would do a really detailed test of lenses stopped down to landscape and still life apertures for deep depth of field. One test post about a year ago did show how much better the apparent depth of field is with the 31 over some other lens I can't remember. Point being that these highly corrected optics have greater apparent sharpness outside the actual focal point than do lesser lenses. This is particularly noticeable in the foreground area. So just as these lenses have noticeably impressive bokeh when opened up... They also have better apparent sharpness in stop-down depth of field than do "ordinary" lenses.

For the technical types, my personal guess is that the circles of confusion are much smaller than what is considered acceptable for depth of field in other lenses. So the already aperture-aided appearance of sharpness is better in the Limiteds than in other optics.

Either that or I'm so jaded I just can't see anything but positive in the images these lenses facilitate!
11-02-2009, 10:31 PM   #12
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I have both the 43 and the 31.
The 31 is great as a walkaround lens, with the crop factor it behaves like a 46mm on a FF camera, and f/1.8 is great for low-light shots (use it mostly at concerts) ... This lens has replaced my SMC Takumar 35/2 on my camera, now ...

The 43 is fine for spotting planes (my work office is at about 50m - 150ft - from the Toulouse airport runways, and the FA-43 is the longest focal length that allow for a full A380 picture) ...

What i like in my Limiteds wrt my other lenses (whether Pentax or other brands) is the rendering of colors, especially the reds, and the easyness of MF, even with the FA-31 ...

11-03-2009, 05:37 AM   #13
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The 31ltd is my main walkaround lens.. I used to use the cheaper 35/2 but after returning to Pentax I decided to get the 31 instead.. For two reasons the 35/2 is getting harder to get and gone up a lot in price, the 31ltd although similar in general sharpness has better bokeh and general rendering than the 35/2..
11-03-2009, 05:43 AM   #14
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I now use more the FA 43 when I travel maybe due to "pancake" size.... I don't use much FA 31 but when I do the lens is perfect.
Seems I must use it more
11-03-2009, 05:15 PM   #15
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I own the 31mm and use if for 75% of my shots. It is an exceptional lens with great color, micro contrast, sharpness and build. Downsides are slower AF, size (a tad large), and the fact that it's resolves to about normal on APS-C. If you're looking for something wider and equally fast, you'll have to settle for a Sigma. So it really depends on the focal length that you prefer. If you like normal, you'll love it. If you want wider, you'll be disappointed.

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