Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
09-30-2012, 02:26 PM   #1
New Member
Scootskipper's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Richmond VA, USA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 22
Prime lens question

I am a bit of a novice, but I'm learning. I have a K5 and I am getting on pretty well with it. I love shooting with prime lenses when it is convenient. To date I have acquired a 70mm 2.4, a 15mm 1.4 and the 35mm 2.8 macro. I am curious about the 31mm 1.8 FA lens. It is a bit pricey, but if it's as good as I read, then I can swing it. I have two questions: Would it be redundant since I already have the 35mm 2.8, or would it be a nice addition? If it worked more like a 50mm since it will be on my crop sensor camera then I would like that. Also, will it respond to the thumb wheel on my K5 or will I have to use the aperture ring on the lens. Will the camera be able to read what the setting is and include that information in my metadata? A third question that comes to mind is would it work on my old K1000? Thanks in advance.

09-30-2012, 03:00 PM - 1 Like   #2
Site Supporter
jatrax's Avatar

Join Date: May 2010
Location: Oregon
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 10,287
QuoteOriginally posted by Scootskipper Quote
If it worked more like a 50mm since it will be on my crop sensor camera then I would like that.
Focal length is focal length, crop sensor has nothing to do with that. So, your 35mm will have very close to the same look as the 31mm as far as angle of view is concerned.

QuoteOriginally posted by Scootskipper Quote
Also, will it respond to the thumb wheel on my K5 or will I have to use the aperture ring on the lens. Will the camera be able to read what the setting is and include that information in my metadata?
Yes, all F, FA, DFA and DA lenses operate with modern cameras in the same manner.

QuoteOriginally posted by Scootskipper Quote
A third question that comes to mind is would it work on my old K1000?
Yes, within the limits of the camera. So auto-focus will not work. And the thumb-wheel will not either (cause there isn't one) You would have to use it in all manual.

As to whether you should have both the 35mm and the 31mm, only you can answer that. They are different lenses, with different abilities but whether you can afford the duplication in either dollars or space in your bag is up to you. If it were me, and I have neither at this point, I would try for something else first as you have that focal length already covered. Take a look at the 100mm macro or maybe a 135mm, those will fill out your focal lengths better than the 31mm. Just my humble opinion
09-30-2012, 03:09 PM - 1 Like   #3
Veteran Member
kaiserz's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: NoVa The "burg"
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 899
Hi, I personally haven't had a chance to play with the legendary FA31 before, but I did own the FA43 for quite some time and let me tell you that gem of a lens almost never came-off my camera until the day I sold it. With that said I can tell you that if the aperture ring is set on "A" it will respond to the thumb-wheel on your K5 and it will also be able to read what the settings are and include it on your metadata. And yes it will work on older film cameras. I've used mine on my ME and program plus. Regarding if the 31 1.8 being redundant is going to be up to you, if you want it, why not? you can always sell the 35mm 2.8 if you think you don't need it or the other way around. Good luck (:
09-30-2012, 03:37 PM - 1 Like   #4
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Tumbleweed, Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,000
Essentially what both jatrax and kaiserz have written. I am just an echo here.

Where, I would like to add some additional insight is in terms of duplicating focal lengths. I am fortunate enough to have the 31Ltd. Long story, but I bought the 21Ltd used only to have the 31Ltd delivered (serial number advertised). I would have never purchased it myself due to the expense. It is a fine and wonderful lens, and everything said and written is true.

I also had the opportunity to acquire an old Contax Carl Zeiss 28mm f2.4 Distagon. Very close to the 31 in focal length. I physically changed the lens mount and it is a fully manual lens (like a K or M lens). I keep them both since they both render differently and each has their own some what unique character. I call the CZ 28 the poor man's 31ltd. I would think that the 31 and the 35 would each have similar rendering and color, both being from Pentax. I do landscapes/cityscapes, and they both work for me in different ways. Also, a fully auto lens is not necessary for landscapes - especially at night. I stop each down to f5.6 in order to maximize the sharpness and a reasonable depth of field, so I really do not need their fast apertures.

I will say that the 31 is the default lens for everything. Do I need AF and auto aperture - the 31, can I only take a single lens - the 31, I want the best lens I have - the 31, plus it has all the bells and whistles - can't go wrong.

I can't compare the 31 and 35, others are going to have to supply that analysis. However, you are the only one that is able to decide what is right for you. My personal uneducated opinion is that if you have the 35 and it works for you, I would look at other focal lengths that interest me where I may have a need. Just my 2 cents worth....




Last edited by interested_observer; 09-30-2012 at 06:34 PM.
09-30-2012, 03:47 PM - 1 Like   #5
Site Supporter
rbefly's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Denver, Colorado
Photos: Albums
Posts: 2,030
Another Option?

Hello Scootskipper, Welcome to the Forum!
My take on your situation is that the 31mm, as fine a lens as it may be, is too close in focal length to what you already have.
The lens that comes to mind as filling an obvious gap is the DA 21. That would provide you with a 15mm, 21mm, 35mm and 70mm. Pretty nice set-up!
Later, a fast (manual?) fifty and a macro 100mm would give you a near-perfect prime kit.
JMO,
Ron
09-30-2012, 04:40 PM - 1 Like   #6
Pentaxian




Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Southern California
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,181
I don't think the character of the FA31's images are anything like those of the DA35 macro. In fact, it's not like any other lens I've owned. The closest would be the K50/1.2 and the FA77 - to be specific, it's difficult to get a harsh OOF background with any of these lenses.

While I haven't owned the DA35 macro, the images I've seen from it are certainly different enough. With the FA31 it's almost impossible to tell where an image transitions from in-focus to out-of-focus. I think it's easy to get rather boring photos from the FA31 if you're not careful, but with the right composition it's unmatched. You'll need to try one to see. But don't think for a minute that it's redundant with the DA35. Whether or not you love it, you won't think it's the same.

Oh, and one more point. You can actually use the lens completely wide-open and get near-optimum image quality. The only other lens I've used that will do this is the FA77.

Last edited by DSims; 09-30-2012 at 04:58 PM.
09-30-2012, 05:26 PM   #7
New Member
Scootskipper's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Richmond VA, USA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 22
Original Poster
Thanx to all for the great responses. I suspect that I will go ahead soon and get one. I'm listing my X100 on eBay tonight. That will be a few coins towards the new glass. I'm also hoping (but not holding my breath) that Pentax will bring out a nice full framed DSLR one of these days and I'll have a good lens to start with. So far I'm very pleased with the K-5. I have had a couple of Nikons and while they are certainly good cameras this one seems to be a better fit for me.
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!
bit, camera, dslr, k-5, k-5 ii, k-5 iis, k5, lens, pentax k-5, question
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
prime lens question mde1970 Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 23 03-28-2012 09:10 AM
Noob question regarding filters for my prime lens jinforthewin Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 13 08-12-2011 12:48 AM
Question for the 50mm prime experts - K50 vs M50 tranq78 Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10 12-28-2010 09:01 AM
Question for Prime lens users ChrisN Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 15 01-28-2009 11:56 AM
prime lens question gokenin Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 30 06-01-2008 08:14 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:53 PM. | See also: NikonForums.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