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12-30-2009, 06:51 PM   #1
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DA 40 or FA 43?

Sorry guys... I'm sure this subject has come up before but when I run a search I don't come up with anything. So...

I'm one of the many who complain about the lack of a fast, affordable prime in the 28-35mm range. As I mentioned in my post about UWA lenses, I'm working on my own personal lens purchase roadmap. So I'm trying to work around the fact that I can't afford the FA 31mm f/1.8 Limited and don't know if I'll be all that pleased with the Sigma 30mm f/1.4.

The DA 40mm f/2.8 and the FA 43mm f/1.9 are the least expensive lenses in their respective Limited lines. Both are a bit longer than I'd like but perhaps I can work around it. Both lenses have their fans and both rate quite highly in the lens review section of this site.

It's obvious the FA 43mm is faster than the DA 40mm. But in the real world, which would you pick if it was the only prime you'll have for a while (maybe a year or so)? Take a look at the lenses I already own below. A faster normal lens for low light use is very attractive to me. But is there a reason the DA 40 might be the better choice? other suggestions are welcome. I've already thought about a used manual focus lens... but I don't trust my eyes that much anymore.

12-30-2009, 06:55 PM   #2
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You should also consider the DA35/f2.8 Macro, and the FA35/f2. Both seem to be a closer match to what you want than the 40 or 43.
12-30-2009, 09:14 PM   #3
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The FA 43 is one fantastic lens... some complain about it being soft wide open, this to me has not been a problem, maybe it is what I have shot so far as the lens is fairly new to me.... when looking for real low light shooting the FA31 comes out


Since owning it though I have prefered to use it over the FA31 for group shots and general street photography as it gives a kind of 3D image result.

Take a look at the frog image in the FA limited club thread to see what I mean about the image quality this lens is capable of.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/59538-fa-limited-club.html

Cheers

Neil
12-31-2009, 05:53 AM   #4
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I think the advantages of the DA 40 are quick shift, small size, and faster auto focus. The colors and bokeh are different between the two lenses -- not bad with the DA, but in particular, the bokeh is better with the FA 43. The FA is a little better than one stop faster than the DA 40 if that is important and looking at your lens collection, looks like you have plenty of zooms at f2.8, so the FA may work better for you.

I have the DA 40 and love it. Sharp edge to edge -- it's my favorite walk around prime. It also made me buy the DA 70 which I also love. Just saying, limiteds are like candy...

12-31-2009, 10:00 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I have the DA 40 and love it. Sharp edge to edge -- it's my favorite walk around prime. It also made me buy the DA 70 which I also love. Just saying, limiteds are like candy...
Yes, I realize that... which is why I'm trying to be careful about which Limited I select. I know I'll want the others in the set (FA or DA).

I would also consider the FA 35 f/2 if I could get a good deal on one in excellent/like new condition. But buying a leftover example of this lens from Pentax will cost almost as much as the FA 43, so that's why I left it off the list. The Sigma 30mm f/1.4 is very attractive on paper but the reviews are very uneven.
12-31-2009, 10:11 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Biro Quote
But in the real world, which would you pick if it was the only prime you'll have for a while (maybe a year or so)?
Easy, the FA 43. I have and use both, but I find the 43 still comes out of the bag more than the DA 40.

Here's a good thread for you to take a look at.
12-31-2009, 10:12 AM   #7
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I'm also curious as to why you have both the DA* 16-50 and the 16-45. Do you use the 16-45?
12-31-2009, 11:07 AM   #8
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Given you already have the 16-50 and are understandable concerned 43 is too long, I think the 35/2 makes most sense for you.

12-31-2009, 12:28 PM   #9
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Between the two ? ... FA 43
12-31-2009, 02:21 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by builttospill Quote
I'm also curious as to why you have both the DA* 16-50 and the 16-45. Do you use the 16-45?
I have the 16-45 because I got a good deal on a brand-new example with warranty (under $300 as Willoughby's was closing them out). And I only went for that deal because of concern about possible SDM failure on my 16-50. It's quite possible that I was being silly but if either my 16-50 or 50-135 ever act up, my 16-45 and 55-300 will have me covered until I either can arrange repair or decide I want to do something else.

It's possible I'll never experience SDM failure but I have to admit I've been influenced a bit by reports on this Web site. That being said, I do use the 16-45 occasionally. While it's not a tiny lens, it's still smaller and lighter than the 16-50. It's also a lens I am more likely to use in a situation where damage is possible. And it's still a great lens on its own - particularly at the wide end. Good color and contrast plus it's sharper than the kit lens.
12-31-2009, 07:52 PM   #11
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Biro, it really depends where you want to use it.


basing from your lens arsenal, the FA43 would make a lot more sense since you need something faster than f2.8. you can use it just as much for everything or general purpose/walk-around lens. you can go a bit more wider by getting the fast ultra-sharp FA35/2, but this lens is quite a bit specialized for use with strong background definition (landscape, architecture, indoors, candid, etc...) which does not make it the ideal choice for portraiture (though workable) or subject isolation. then you can go much more wider and faster by getting the Sigma 30/1.4 which has an excellent OOF rendition and subject isolation and very nice for portraiture use. the 30mm fl is ideal for such use since the lens is designed for an APS-C dslr which would have an equiv. fl of close to a standard 50mm.

but then again, this is rather another specialized lens, but in the portraiture field. the 30/1.4 can't do much aside from that.

the FA43 would the the perfect complement between those 2 lenses and affordable as well. the FA31 however, is out of reach due to it's price.
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