Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
02-05-2010, 11:46 AM   #1
Inactive Account




Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Georgia, USA
Posts: 32
Keep the FA 31 or not?

Okay, this may be a dumb question,but it won't be my first. I just received my new K7 with FA 77 and FA 31 Limited lenses. Pulling them out of the box last night to get the feel of the system, I felt a little put off by the size of the FA31. The FA77was perfect. Now, I haven't had a chance to shoot with them, and I know through my extensive research that the 31 is an outstanding lens. Also I like the idea of the FA's since there is the possibility of a FF Pentax in the future, maybe. I got to thinking , however, I might like the DA35 Macro Limited and a DA15 Limited (which I had considered getting later) better , especially if the 35 is smaller. They both can be had for just a bit more than the 31 alone, and now would be the time to do this if I am going to. I enjoy shooting macro, but had planned on getting a 100 Macro in the future for that purpose. Am I being crazy? As always, aound advice is appreciated.

02-05-2010, 11:53 AM   #2
Inactive Account




Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Michigan, USA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 7,484
QuoteOriginally posted by zenspector Quote
Okay, this may be a dumb question,but it won't be my first. I just received my new K7 with FA 77 and FA 31 Limited lenses. Pulling them out of the box last night to get the feel of the system, I felt a little put off by the size of the FA31. The FA77was perfect. Now, I haven't had a chance to shoot with them, and I know through my extensive research that the 31 is an outstanding lens. Also I like the idea of the FA's since there is the possibility of a FF Pentax in the future, maybe. I got to thinking , however, I might like the DA35 Macro Limited and a DA15 Limited (which I had considered getting later) better , especially if the 35 is smaller. They both can be had for just a bit more than the 31 alone, and now would be the time to do this if I am going to. I enjoy shooting macro, but had planned on getting a 100 Macro in the future for that purpose. Am I being crazy? As always, aound advice is appreciated.
In the end, only you can decide. My DA35 is my most used lens while my FA31 is a bag queen most times. In my case, it isn't costing me anything to keep all of them so I do. I would suggest however test driving the FA31 before making your decision. It'll either change your mind about moving it along, or won't.

02-05-2010, 12:03 PM   #3
Senior Member
AirSupply's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 153
I think, for macro photo purpose only, the DFA 100mm macro WR is the best choice for ya. The DA 35mm is pretty much a walk-around lens (but not the fastest one for that purpose), sharpness and IQ are awesome. However, I picked the 31mm over the 35mm because of the f1.8 and wide angle.

As Jeff stated above, I used the 31mm most of the time for indoor and lowlight pictures. There is no perfect lens for everyone, just a lens fits your style and taste.

Good luck with your choice
02-05-2010, 01:54 PM   #4
Veteran Member
jsherman999's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 8,228
You have to put it on that camera and really try it out - it may seem large, but it might balance nicely on the K-7, too.

Shoot a lot of high-aperture, then stop it down to f/2.8 and shoot, and see if you can live with f/2.8. That might help you decide.

Personally... I owned the 31ltd for a while, but sold it to buy another lens. The 31 was terrific, but I just didn't think it was worth that - to me, at least.

I would be much more excited getting two Limiteds for (about) the same price - especially the 15 and 35, which are very special lenses also, with their own unique strengths.

Just imagine that delivery truck on it's way to you with two lenses in it with your name on them... LBA! LBA!

02-05-2010, 01:58 PM   #5
Veteran Member




Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Iowa
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,368
QuoteOriginally posted by zenspector Quote
Okay, this may be a dumb question,but it won't be my first. I just received my new K7 with FA 77 and FA 31 Limited lenses. Pulling them out of the box last night to get the feel of the system, I felt a little put off by the size of the FA31. The FA77was perfect. Now, I haven't had a chance to shoot with them, and I know through my extensive research that the 31 is an outstanding lens. Also I like the idea of the FA's since there is the possibility of a FF Pentax in the future, maybe. I got to thinking , however, I might like the DA35 Macro Limited and a DA15 Limited (which I had considered getting later) better , especially if the 35 is smaller. They both can be had for just a bit more than the 31 alone, and now would be the time to do this if I am going to. I enjoy shooting macro, but had planned on getting a 100 Macro in the future for that purpose. Am I being crazy? As always, aound advice is appreciated.
Well my first piece of advice would be to try out both lenses you've got first to see if you like them enough to keep them. It might save you the hassle of searching for the perfect match.

I agree with you that the FA31 does feel a little bulky on the K-7 compared to the FA77, which fits like a glove. When I tried renting the DA35 for a week** it was larger (imagine a somewhat longer and heavier FA77) and slower focusing than I imagined it would be before I tried it out. Although I enjoyed the macro option of the DA35, I tended to wish I was using the FA31 instead in most situations. Just my opinion.

**In fairness, I noted the fact that I tried it for only a week because I think it takes more than a week of trying a lens to really fall in love with it most times.

If I may suggest an alternative lens lineup for you to consider based on the lenses you've mentioned and the money you'd have to spend if you sent lenses back:

DA15 (small and wide. Like, old school wide.)

FA43 (full frame, and a lot of what you get with the FA31 in a much smaller package. Negatives: Not as wide as you might like, a little farsighted compared to the DA35)

D-FA100 WR macro (full frame, weather sealed, good medium telephoto option, with better macro and bokeh than the DA35. Negative: Bulky compared to FA77)

Last edited by Urkeldaedalus; 02-05-2010 at 02:06 PM.
02-05-2010, 02:12 PM   #6
axl
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Nove Zamky, Slovakia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 7,181
Interesting question, and not dumb at all IMO.
To tell you the truth, I stopped few times, and thought whether not to sell it but...
a) Since I got it I don't really look at 28s 30s 35s etc, it's nice peace of mind
b) It terrific lens (for the FOV that tis) and at f1.8 there simply isn't any other Pentax branded lens it that category to match it (speed + feel + IQ)
c) If you want macro, 35 is short IMO. I'd keep 31 and buy the suggested 100WR (I'm tempted on that one too but it's out of price range for now...)

Now it may not be my most used lens, and it has it's drawbacks, but I think in it's cagegory (APSC normal fast/FF wide fast) it's unmatched lens!

As far as the debate on f1.8 vs f2.8 goes. I thought 2.8 OK, but I was wondering if faster wouldn't be better. Since I swapped DA40 for FA43 I don't guess. I know. The faster the better. To be able to use ISO 400 where I had to use 800 or keep 800 but double the shutterspeed is invaluable feature IMO. Mind you I have K10D so I try to keep the ISO as low as I can

BR

Peter
02-05-2010, 02:20 PM   #7
Pentaxian
aleonx3's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Brampton, Ontario
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,888
In my humble opinion, the 31mm is the ideal focal length for occasions and events. Also, if you use flash often, the larger aperture is often preferred than bumping up the ISO. I have all three limited lenses and I would not trade/sell them especially because I got them before the price hike. I also have the DA* lens (max aperture of f2.8) but those can not replace the limited lenses for the larger aperture.
02-05-2010, 02:35 PM   #8
Veteran Member
dugrant153's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Vancouver, BC
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,059
haha you could just sell it to me and call it a day! j/k j/k

Definitely not a dumb question as I've thought the same about my DA*55, but for that it is in terms of focus speed. I would definitely recommend trying it out and taking it for a few test runs (practical test runs, not just shooting the cup of coffee in your room... which I do all too often) and then decide.

On paper and according to my "shoot things in the room" test, the DA*55 was not adequate. However, I used it in the studio, in inclement weather and in some events and suddenly it started to make sense.

So before you sell it to me (haha just kidding), definitely take it for a good test spin. I tend to judge things based on 'data' all too often, but have found there is nothing better than actually taking it out on a good long practical photo test (photowalk, event, etc.) before one can really decide to sell it or not.

I also agree about the weight. When I put it on, it felt rather chunky! But chunky, to me, means quality.

02-05-2010, 03:19 PM   #9
Veteran Member
Ben_Edict's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: SouthWest "Regio"
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,303
QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
Interesting question, and not dumb at all IMO.
To tell you the truth, I stopped few times, and thought whether not to sell it but...
a) Since I got it I don't really look at 28s 30s 35s etc, it's nice peace of mind
b) It terrific lens (for the FOV that tis) and at f1.8 there simply isn't any other Pentax branded lens it that category to match it (speed + feel + IQ)
c) If you want macro, 35 is short IMO. I'd keep 31 and buy the suggested 100WR (I'm tempted on that one too but it's out of price range for now...)

Now it may not be my most used lens, and it has it's drawbacks, but I think in it's cagegory (APSC normal fast/FF wide fast) it's unmatched lens!
I would completely support Peter's point of view and also the others here: The DA35 Macro is simply a very different lens from the FA 31. It is slow - too slow for my taste. And then a 35mm Macro would not give me enough distance for macro work. I even use my 50mm macro rarely, because I prefer the longer working distance of the 90mm Tammy or my 180mm Voigtländer. So, the DA 35 is really about the only Limited lens, I find wholly obsolete.

On the other hand the FA 31 is fast, has a fantastic build quality and simply makes beautiful images. It is not as sharp as my old FA 35/2.0 (which I keep), but it has simply a very beautiful rendering - hard to describe in words, though.

The DA 15 would be on my list for the future, despite having the old K 15mm - that is a lens, I really would describe as being large and therfor want to compliment with something smaller - not the 31mm!

Ben
02-05-2010, 03:43 PM   #10
Veteran Member
nulla's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Melbourne Australia
Posts: 1,560
QuoteOriginally posted by aleonx3 Quote
In my humble opinion, the 31mm is the ideal focal length for occasions and events. Also, if you use flash often, the larger aperture is often preferred than bumping up the ISO. I have all three limited lenses and I would not trade/sell them especially because I got them before the price hike. I also have the DA* lens (max aperture of f2.8) but those can not replace the limited lenses for the larger aperture.

I am in exactly the same boat and have DA*'s. and would never even think of selling the FA LTD's

But to be honest I am also thinking of getting the DA15 and DA35 for I think that both are very special and would suit my style of shooting.


Cheers

Neil
02-05-2010, 03:47 PM   #11
New Member




Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 13
QuoteOriginally posted by dugrant153 Quote
haha you could just sell it to me...
Ha, or you could sell it to me.(If it is a silver FA 31mm)

But honestly if I were you, I absolutely will keep the 31mm. Because it is one of the best lens of Pentax in my opinion. I just don't have so much spare cash to buy a new one.

And I will choose the DFA 100mm WR as my macro lens too, if I want a macro lens.

Sincerely suggest you, keep it and try to find out its fascinating value.
02-05-2010, 03:50 PM   #12
Loyal Site Supporter
dadipentak's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 10,402
It's questions like this that keep the strait-jacket manufacturers in business.
02-05-2010, 04:33 PM   #13
Site Supporter




Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Middle of Everywhere
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,169
Beg to differ...

QuoteOriginally posted by Urkeldaedalus Quote
When I tried renting the DA35 for a week, it was larger (imagine a somewhat longer and heavier FA77)
Not my experience... the DA 35 weighs 7.6 oz vs. FA 77 at 9.5 oz. BTW: I think the DA 70 (4.6 oz) is every bit as good as the 77.

If I were you, I'd return the FA 31. "Pentax FF" is vaporware; besides, if one is introduced, I bet they will figure out a way for DA series lenses to be used with no loss of quality.

Anyway, get the DA 15 (for wide shots and urban walk-around) and DA 35 (or DA 40). All are better than excellent as walk-around lenses. When you include your retained FA 77, you will have an awesome basic kit that will serve you beyond your years. (15+35 (or 40)+77... equals WOW!). Now, if you decide to get into bugs/butterflies, plus want a short telephoto, get the D-FA 100 Macro. Except for the 31, I have all of these lenses (15-35/40-70/77-100) paired to a K-7 and use them, if not daily, at least once a week...

...my 2 cents...

Cheers and enjoy the season...

Last edited by Michaelina2; 02-05-2010 at 05:15 PM.
02-05-2010, 04:54 PM   #14
Inactive Account




Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Georgia, USA
Posts: 32
Original Poster
Thank you all for your comments. I intend to give the K7 and both lenses a good test run this weekend. Lousy weather here today and tomorrow, but nice Sunday, so I will have good varying available light conditions to work with.
There is no doubt that speed matters. It has made all the difference in my getting the right image so many times in the past.
This is my first DSLR after forty five years with film, so I have a lot to learn with my new tools. I guess I have been spoiled by my years with my Leica M6 and primes as to small size and light weight.
These and any further opinions are greatly appreciated. I will follow up after my weekend foray.
Cheers
02-05-2010, 06:57 PM   #15
Pentaxian
cardinal43's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Virginia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,371
QuoteOriginally posted by zenspector Quote
Lousy weather here today and tomorrow, but nice Sunday, so I will have good varying available light conditions to work with.
I am in northern VA and can relate to the lousy weather. Potential 16"-24" of snow. So, if you want to know how the FA31 does in snow, then I volunteer to test it. You might want to send the FA77 also, just so the 31 doesn't get too lonely during travel.
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!
fa, future, k-mount, macro, pentax lens, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:59 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.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