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11-18-2013, 10:36 AM   #1
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FA 43/1.9 Limited on the K-5IIs -experience?

Hello all. I've been planning on upgrading to the K-5IIs and also to the FA 43... I've seen in some reviews however that the 43 has reduced sharpness in the edges and corners on the previous K-5, possibly due to the implementation of the AA filter. Has anyone had similar issues with the filterless K-5IIs? If not they seem to me like a perfect combo for everyday photography...

11-18-2013, 10:39 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by DonovanDwyer Quote
Hello all. I've been planning on upgrading to the K-5IIs and also to the FA 43... I've seen in some reviews however that the 43 has reduced sharpness in the edges and corners on the previous K-5, possibly due to the implementation of the AA filter. Has anyone had similar issues with the filterless K-5IIs? If not they seem to me like a perfect combo for everyday photography...
The AA filter isn't going to ruin corner sharpness or anything like that. As the 43mm is a sharp prime to begin with, you can expect it to be worthwhile on the K-5 IIs.

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11-18-2013, 10:44 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
The AA filter isn't going to ruin corner sharpness or anything like that. As the 43mm is a sharp prime to begin with, you can expect it to be worthwhile on the K-5 IIs.
I wouldn't have thought so either... but here is one test that refers to it:

Pentax SMC FA 43mm f/1.9 Limited - Lab Test / Review - Analysis

Maybe they just had a bad copy?
11-18-2013, 10:49 AM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by DonovanDwyer Quote
I wouldn't have thought so either... but here is one test that refers to it:

Pentax SMC FA 43mm f/1.9 Limited - Lab Test / Review - Analysis

Maybe they just had a bad copy?
Probably not: no fast prime is perfect in the corners wide-open, though on APS-C that's rarely a concern. The lens will still be slightly sharper on the K-5 IIs overall.


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11-18-2013, 11:34 AM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by DonovanDwyer Quote
I wouldn't have thought so either... but here is one test that refers to it:

Pentax SMC FA 43mm f/1.9 Limited - Lab Test / Review - Analysis

Maybe they just had a bad copy?
Here is another test with a similar conclusion:

Pentax smc FA 43 mm f/1.9 Limited review - Image resolution - Lenstip.com

"The performance on the edge of the frame is a big disappointment, though, especially as it is the edge of the APS-C/DX sensor and the lens, after all, was designed for full frame. The area near the maximum relative aperture is completely useless and only after stopping down to f/4.0-f/5.6 the image quality becomes decent. For a lens from this price segment such a result is especially weak."

The designer of this lens, Jun Hirakawa,
is noted for optimizing towards a certain rendering,
rather than maximizing MTF performance.

It's a personal decision for each photographer
as to whether that design priority
matches their own requirements.
11-18-2013, 11:58 AM - 3 Likes   #6
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Look at the sample photo gallery. Is that good enough for you? Why do you need sharpness, anyway? And in the corner, of all places
Simply put:
a) sharpness is not as important as some people like to think it is. Rarely does a photo's quality depend on the lens' "sharpness" - things like framing, colors, where you put the focus, shutter speed, etc. are more important. Besides, you probably won't be using a tripod, remote, and flashes all the time. This means that for sharpness, the weakest link will be your hands, not the lens.
b) FA 43mm ltd is still sharp as heck, but sharpness was not its #1 priority. This is a good thing, because there are some very sharp lenses out there, that make bland photos. But again, it is significantly sharper than many other lenses.
c) If you want typical more modern rendering/performance, get one of the DA lenses, like the DA 40mm limited. It will be very sharp, fast AF, etc. or a dedicated macro lens - these usually have a flat field of sharpness and are sharp in the corners, too. But they might not be good at far distances and might have slower AF

Last edited by Na Horuk; 11-18-2013 at 12:03 PM.
11-18-2013, 04:52 PM - 2 Likes   #7
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Last month in the "Single In" group, Rense Haveman did a whole month with the Holga 60mm f8. That lens is not even as sharp as a sponge, and vignettes something fierce. The absolute antithesis of what a "good" lens is. Yet almost every day, he managed to make a truly special image. You can see his work here. (I hope Rense doesn't mind me linking to his Holga photo collection!)

Monet painted in a style that favored color over "sharpness" if you will, yet his pieces are master-works.

Sharpness is only one aspect of a lens' performance. It is up to the photographer to choose tools that express the right overall look for the image at hand. If you are reproducing flat artwork, then corner sharpness is absolutely paramount. Taking pictures of a single three dimensional subject whose most important feature is not in the corner of the frame, then corner sharpness at f1.9 doesn't much matter.

My Sigma 30 is amazing in the center, awful in the corners. There are times it is the absolute best lens, times where it's a poor choice. That's why the lenses can be changed.
11-19-2013, 01:07 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Look at the sample photo gallery. Is that good enough for you? Why do you need sharpness, anyway? And in the corner, of all places
Simply put:
a) sharpness is not as important as some people like to think it is. Rarely does a photo's quality depend on the lens' "sharpness" - things like framing, colors, where you put the focus, shutter speed, etc. are more important. Besides, you probably won't be using a tripod, remote, and flashes all the time. This means that for sharpness, the weakest link will be your hands, not the lens.
b) FA 43mm ltd is still sharp as heck, but sharpness was not its #1 priority. This is a good thing, because there are some very sharp lenses out there, that make bland photos. But again, it is significantly sharper than many other lenses.
c) If you want typical more modern rendering/performance, get one of the DA lenses, like the DA 40mm limited. It will be very sharp, fast AF, etc. or a dedicated macro lens - these usually have a flat field of sharpness and are sharp in the corners, too. But they might not be good at far distances and might have slower AF
That all sounds like someone that is interested in taking photos? What kind of person would be interested in that when you can spend all your time enlarging to 400% and viewing pixels for perfect sharpness?

BTW- I have a 43Ltd and it is one of my most loved lenses. I mostly use it for portraits, and don't worry about the edges. Fast to focus, accurate on my K5, great color and sharpness and a pure delight to use!

Regards!

11-19-2013, 01:45 PM   #9
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Thanks to all that have responded... appreciate your insights. Just for the record I am not a pixel-peeper usually, but there are times that I want everything fairly sharp- for landscapes, architecture etc- and times when OOF rendering is more important to me. I love my Super-Tak 55/1.8 for it's wide-open bokeh goodness, just wish precise focusing was easier for portraits (might get a focusing screen to assist...)
Coming from micro 4/3 my favorite lens that was the best of both worlds was the PanaLeica 25/1.4, which rarely left my camera except for the Oly 45/1.8 or one of my homebrew tilt-lens creations. Guess I just want the characteristics of those lenses in the Pentax universe, haha. FA 31 and 77 look even better, but a little out of my budget for now.
I just found a very inexpensive 40 Ltd, so I might be able to swing the 43 as well to compare, maybe keep both
11-19-2013, 01:55 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kozlok Quote
Last month in the "Single In" group, Rense Haveman did a whole month with the Holga 60mm f8. That lens is not even as sharp as a sponge, and vignettes something fierce. The absolute antithesis of what a "good" lens is. Yet almost every day, he managed to make a truly special image. You can see his work here. (I hope Rense doesn't mind me linking to his Holga photo collection!)

Monet painted in a style that favored color over "sharpness" if you will, yet his pieces are master-works.

Sharpness is only one aspect of a lens' performance. It is up to the photographer to choose tools that express the right overall look for the image at hand. If you are reproducing flat artwork, then corner sharpness is absolutely paramount. Taking pictures of a single three dimensional subject whose most important feature is not in the corner of the frame, then corner sharpness at f1.9 doesn't much matter.

My Sigma 30 is amazing in the center, awful in the corners. There are times it is the absolute best lens, times where it's a poor choice. That's why the lenses can be changed.
Those Holga shots are impressive. I've had a fair amount of "toy" lenses in my day, adapted Cooke triplets, stuff like that for the strange atmosphere they create... especially for portrait work
11-22-2013, 10:11 PM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by DonovanDwyer Quote
Thanks to all that have responded... appreciate your insights. Just for the record I am not a pixel-peeper usually, but there are times that I want everything fairly sharp- for landscapes, architecture etc- and times when OOF rendering is more important to me. I love my Super-Tak 55/1.8 for it's wide-open bokeh goodness, just wish precise focusing was easier for portraits (might get a focusing screen to assist...)
Coming from micro 4/3 my favorite lens that was the best of both worlds was the PanaLeica 25/1.4, which rarely left my camera except for the Oly 45/1.8 or one of my homebrew tilt-lens creations. Guess I just want the characteristics of those lenses in the Pentax universe, haha. FA 31 and 77 look even better, but a little out of my budget for now.
I just found a very inexpensive 40 Ltd, so I might be able to swing the 43 as well to compare, maybe keep both
The 40 is amazing everywhere. Across the frame sharpness from go. Not a very fast lens, though.
11-22-2013, 11:19 PM - 1 Like   #12
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If you want a well-behaved, predictable tradesman of a lens then by all means get the DA40. If you want a slightly temperamental artist then get the FA43.
I sold my DA40 once I got used to my FA43. Now I have found an even better copy and all I can say is WOW!

Specific to the original post, here are some recent examples of my (lesser) FA43 on the K-5 IIs:









11-23-2013, 12:06 AM   #13
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Wow, very nice images (and sweet silver K-3!)
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