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01-04-2010, 09:41 PM   #1
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Call me crazy but I caught the FA ltd Bug

Call me crazy but I caught the FA ltd Bug. My previous goal was to have in my bag the Sigma 10-20, the FA50/1.4, the DA*16-50, and the DA*50-135. The 50-135 was the best lens I've had in term of image quality and the 16-50 has been indispensable to photography service. I sold the 50-135 to buy the Tamron 90 macro and that lens has also been a gem to use. One thing I have to admit though is that I'm not the macro guy I thought I was. The bugs tend to get on my nerve when they don't want to sit still.

So I'm selling all my lenses to get just the FA 31, the FA 77, and the Sigma 10-20. I have been thinking hard about making such a drastic decision. The major con is the fact that I'm losing a lot in term of focal lengths. I did a search of my pictures based on focal lengths and found out that almost half of my pictures were taken with 50mm. For most of those, I always felt like the 50mm was too long. I also have a good number of pictures that fall around the 25mm to 35mm focal lengths.I think the FA31ltd can cover me there.

As for the 77ltd, it will basically replace my tamron 90 for portraiture. The DA*50-135 was amazing but it's too bulky for the direction I want to take. My biggest goal now is to focus on becoming a fine art photographer instead of trying to be commercial and do what people want. I want my camera to be an essential part of me where it will be on me everytime.

I know the 31 and the 77ltd are mighty expensive but I'm already 80% convinced about buying them. I'm looking for my work to be at the optimal quality where only my skill and vision can restrain me. From what I see and read from those two lenses, I think they will fit my purpose. However, I need to be 100% before I pull the trigger. YOu guys can increase or decrease my fever meter by helping me below:

1) Can someone who has an FA50mm, FA43ltd, and FA31ltd do a comparison for me by shooting and posting a full portraiture of a person standing with all three lenses at the same distance at aperture 1.9?

2) Does anyone have experience with using the FA limited with an extension tube for macro? Is there any degradation as far as IQ?

3) Do the FA77 and FA31 exhibit purple fringing similar to the FA50?

4) I heard story about someone dropping the FA31 with a camera in a river where the lens survive but the camera died. I know the FA ltds are not weather sealed but does anyone have any bad weather experience with them that test their durability?

5) I want to keep offer service (mainly portraiture) to people.Does anyone of you use similar set up for professional and commercial work? I know one famous photog who used an 85mm lens throughout his lifetime. I just cant remember his name.

6) Am I insane?

Thank you for reading my blah blah blah.
Edson

01-04-2010, 09:43 PM   #2
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DA 14 f/2.8 may not be a limited lens, but it's difficult to find something faster with that angle of view on a cropped sensor. It's solidly built, too.

Why don't you keep the Tamron? Since it has a focus limiter, it's not limited to just macro work.
01-04-2010, 09:56 PM   #3
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Wow Ed. You're more wild-crazy than crazy-crazy.
Can't go wrong with FA ltds IMO. All fine works of engineering.
I don't have the 43 so can't advise on that, but the 31 and 77 are both brilliant - very little need for drastic PP to bring out the best in the portraits taken with them.
I personally wouldn't risk taking them out in the rain, strong wind or duststorm...
I also haven't tested them out compared against the FA 50, but the 77 in particular is known for its strong PF in those typical high contrast areas.
01-04-2010, 10:41 PM   #4
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I got weak last month and got the FA 77mm because I figure they are either going to go up in price or cease production. Plus, as a collector, I wanted a Japanese made one.

01-05-2010, 06:20 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by asdf Quote
DA 14 f/2.8 may not be a limited lens, but it's difficult to find something faster with that angle of view on a cropped sensor. It's solidly built, too.

Why don't you keep the Tamron? Since it has a focus limiter, it's not limited to just macro work.
I'm not looking for optimal quality when it comes to the UWA side. I'm sure the DA14 cost an arm and a leg too. For what the Sigma 10-20 offer at the price, I think it will be enough for me. As far as the Tamron, I've actually used it more for portrait work than macro. My only problems with it is that it's too long and too big to serve my purpose. Beside the 77ltd is more superior in term of IQ.

QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Wow Ed. You're more wild-crazy than crazy-crazy.
Can't go wrong with FA ltds IMO. All fine works of engineering.
I don't have the 43 so can't advise on that, but the 31 and 77 are both brilliant - very little need for drastic PP to bring out the best in the portraits taken with them.
I personally wouldn't risk taking them out in the rain, strong wind or duststorm...
I also haven't tested them out compared against the FA 50, but the 77 in particular is known for its strong PF in those typical high contrast areas.
Well Thank you Ash for confirming my craziness. You know what? we are all a bunch of crazy bastard. If we were not, we would be following the trend and use canikon instead. Yeah I see what all three lenses can do and that's why I'm going for them... I'll avoid bad weather with them I guess. I'm sure the PF for the 77 is controllable in photoshop. Can you provide me with a sample shot where it exhibits it please?

QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
I got weak last month and got the FA 77mm because I figure they are either going to go up in price or cease production. Plus, as a collector, I wanted a Japanese made one.
Nice! I guess I'm not the only one who caught the bug. This lens make me see pictures in a different way.
01-05-2010, 12:52 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by afroed Quote
I'm sure the PF for the 77 is controllable in photoshop. Can you provide me with a sample shot where it exhibits it please?
As yet, I have not used the 77 in high enough contrast scenes to push the limits of the lens and see the PF. So I don't have an example for you. PF is harder to manage in PS than regular CA though.
01-05-2010, 01:06 PM   #7
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For test of lenses, there is also this site :

Welcome to Photozone!
01-05-2010, 01:23 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonson PL Quote
For test of lenses, there is also this site :

Welcome to Photozone!
The only problem is that they "forced" the FA 77mm to get PF which is ok. However, they didn't push the DA 70mm the same way. Both lenses have the Pentax "ghostless" coating on their rear element. The FA 77mm lens optical layout is very similar to the A* 85mm f1.4 that have reports of PF as well.

Edit: Personally, I don't think the optical layout is the main contributing factor of PF in these lenses. I think its the aperture size. The DA 70mm aperture at wide open 2.4 is where many 85mm lenses start to show PF.


Last edited by Blue; 01-05-2010 at 01:29 PM.
01-05-2010, 01:41 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
As yet, I have not used the 77 in high enough contrast scenes to push the limits of the lens and see the PF. So I don't have an example for you. PF is harder to manage in PS than regular CA though.
Yeah PF is a pain in the butt. When I didn't know much about photography, I use to live my K100D in portrait mode with the FA50 and it kept shooting wide open. Man I had to deal with some nasty PF.

QuoteOriginally posted by Jonson PL Quote
For test of lenses, there is also this site :

Welcome to Photozone!
I read those the reviews on this site already. I thought they could have done a better job at them. I almost ran away when I saw the PF but it's reassuring that they mention that they have to push the lens specifically to bring that out

QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
The only problem is that they "forced" the FA 77mm to get PF which is ok. However, they didn't push the DA 70mm the same way. Both lenses have the Pentax "ghostless" coating on their rear element. The FA 77mm lens optical layout is very similar to the A* 85mm f1.4 that have reports of PF as well.

Edit: Personally, I don't think the optical layout is the main contributing factor of PF in these lenses. I think its the aperture size. The DA 70mm aperture at wide open 2.4 is where many 85mm lenses start to show PF.
Maybe it's me but I think they could have done a better job with the review for both the 77ltd and the 31ltd on the site.
01-06-2010, 03:18 PM   #10
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Your are not crazy, it's a good idea. I have had it for a while too. I purchased 31ltd in January 09 and now year later I bought used 43 just last sunday. Both silver and with colored leather bags Geee, can't wait until January 2011
I havent spent too much with 43 yet, so can't/won't comment much on it except that from f2.8 it seems ultrasharp. It even brings out details you sometimes don't want to see (think skin etc).
As far as PF goes on 31, in sub f4 you can get it if you try, but normaly it's not a big deal. In most situations it's actually well controled. What I find bit more annoying though is green(ish) CAs around just OOF strong highlights at wide open or very close. If you don't nail the focus pefectly you'll know it because of this, and sometimes it's ugly, IMO. Other than that, 31 is one SUPERB lens.

BR
Peter
01-06-2010, 03:23 PM   #11
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PS: I know it's not what you asked for but here isone portrait shot from 31ltd @ f1.8:
01-06-2010, 04:41 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
Your are not crazy, it's a good idea. I have had it for a while too. I purchased 31ltd in January 09 and now year later I bought used 43 just last sunday. Both silver and with colored leather bags Geee, can't wait until January 2011
I havent spent too much with 43 yet, so can't/won't comment much on it except that from f2.8 it seems ultrasharp. It even brings out details you sometimes don't want to see (think skin etc).
As far as PF goes on 31, in sub f4 you can get it if you try, but normaly it's not a big deal. In most situations it's actually well controled. What I find bit more annoying though is green(ish) CAs around just OOF strong highlights at wide open or very close. If you don't nail the focus pefectly you'll know it because of this, and sometimes it's ugly, IMO. Other than that, 31 is one SUPERB lens.

BR
Peter
Thanks for the reassurance Peter. I know what the FA limited are capable off. Eventually I might end up with all three of them but the 31 and 77 should suffice. I know they won't make me a better photographer but they will definitely renew my love for photography. One thing I can attest is that the DA* zooms have turned me into a lazy dude with a camera. They give me too much options where most of the time I just throw away my conceptual vision. With a set of prime lens, I can limit my option and focus on exploring the few possibilities that I have to a greater extent.
01-06-2010, 05:22 PM   #13
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I have the FA 77 and have not found PF to be a particular problem for my style of photography. It does exhibit PF under extreme contrast situations, but no worse than average in my opinion.

That being said, other users have had a different experience with their style of shooting. Your mileage may vary.

Steve

(Suspects that the PF is a side-effect of excess pixie dust...)
01-06-2010, 06:32 PM   #14
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Hi there!

Just my 2 cents:

3) Yes.
5) Never used any of them professionally but FA77 *is* the ultimate portrait lens on a cropped camera IMHO
6) Yes
01-06-2010, 07:39 PM   #15
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Yes, you're insane but don't let that stop you--they're crazy good lenses.
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