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01-07-2014, 05:41 AM   #1081
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The FA31 can rest easy...

01-07-2014, 06:46 AM   #1082
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Good news, by-the-way the non HD version
01-07-2014, 07:18 AM   #1083
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QuoteOriginally posted by Andi Lo Quote
Sharpness is overrated if it's considered the be all and all, but I think adequate sharpness prerequisite to call a lens "good", unless the lens has a special purpose like Jupiter 9 or FA soft.

A lens of this price range should be at least as sharp as its rivals, but the reviews really disappoint tbh.

I was one of the proponents of this lens but after reading the reviews, I will consider this lens not a good buy, until I see what this lens can do in the right hands.
i agree with your first statement but would offer a different view of the second. Life is about tradeoffs. There is no unicorn of lens. The lens it gets most compared with is the Sigma. Current testing results suggest that the Sigma is sharper but go ahead and carry that monster around in the rain. I put it on a Nikon and no way I'd carry that thing around. As an owner of the lens, the DA20-40 balances perfectly on the K-5 and is for me an all purpose carry anywhere lens. It provides the kit that I was hoping for with my DA 15, DA 50-135 and DA 300 I can say as a owner of this lens it is more than sharp enough across the focal range wide open. I sold the DA 21 and DA40 and have not looked back. If it wasn't for the macro on the DA35 it would be gone too.

I've been here long enough on the forum to see the DA16-50, DA 21, DA15, DA40 ...... all get trashy reviews but the strange part it rarely gets in the way of being able to produce great images.

Last edited by Dice; 01-07-2014 at 08:29 AM. Reason: typo
01-07-2014, 07:49 AM   #1084
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I wonder how it will render on my Q7

01-07-2014, 09:20 AM   #1085
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Sharpness is not the only factor for any lens..but
This is an 850 lens, with a short zoom range. Folks might be ok with the 300 ish 18-135mm having compromises (which it does) but it's at least got some range there for you (not keen on that lens it's not up to par IMO but that's a side issue)


When you pay out this much cash for a lens, it has to deliver optically.
It's kinda scary a 300 odd Tamron 17-50mm slap this down hard, and then some..bigger range, more speed top end and it delivers at a good price too.


This doesn't cut it I'm afraid it's a lens few really demanded, and now we've seen the review it's unlikely many will want to try it.
Maybe some other reviews will come out, but there's little point in a zoom lens with a poor performance at the tele end, even stopped down it's really not cutting the mustard at all
01-07-2014, 09:23 AM   #1086
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The 31mm doesn't deliver very well on paper. It has CA, sharpness is OK but not spectacular. Yet it renders pictures wonderfully and the bokeh is fantastic for a 31mm.
01-07-2014, 09:29 AM   #1087
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QuoteOriginally posted by ElJamoquio Quote
The 31mm doesn't deliver very well on paper. It has CA, sharpness is OK but not spectacular. Yet it renders pictures wonderfully and the bokeh is fantastic for a 31mm.
everyone loves the fa31, but if reviewed now in the same way as the 20-40 ltd, it would fail miserable and be bloody expensive!
01-07-2014, 09:49 AM   #1088
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QuoteOriginally posted by Franc Quote
everyone loves the fa31, but if reviewed now in the same way as the 20-40 ltd, it would fail miserable and be bloody expensive!

That's exactly what LensTip says about it. But I don't care: I love my 31 Limited (if it was a woman, I'd marry it), and it looks plenty sharp to me.

01-07-2014, 10:26 AM   #1089
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cynog Ap Brychan Quote
But I don't care: I love my 31 Limited (if it was a woman, I'd marry it), and it looks plenty sharp to me.
I'll add my 2 cents. I don't own the 31 Limited, but I have a very favourable impression of it based on the many superlative comments I've read here. I recall having read only a few comments concerning the (high) price of the 31 Ltd, so, despite its 'technical' flaws, it certainly is a highly prized lens. I guess the same could be said of the DA 15mm Ltd. I'm willing to bet that the DA 20-40 will develop a similar reputation with time, once users have spent more time with it in the field.

As for marrying the lens, maybe we have a new criterion for reviewers to use in their summaries:

Optical performance ****
Build *****
Value **
Marriage potential *****

Now that's one clear indicator of desirability!

- Craig
01-07-2014, 01:24 PM   #1090
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cynog Ap Brychan Quote
That's exactly what LensTip says about it. But I don't care: I love my 31 Limited (if it was a woman, I'd marry it), and it looks plenty sharp to me.
I agree with you, and wonder : couldn't "sharpness addiction" prevail over artistic ability to evaluate a photo ?...
01-07-2014, 06:23 PM   #1091
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I think the FA 31 isn't really a good comparison for the "rendering over sharpness" argument as it seems to be one of the sharpest lenses to begin with. Its sharpness is way beyond "adequate". Perhaps lenstip has a bad sample?
Pentax SMC-FA 31mm f/1.8 AL Limited - Review / Test Report - Sample Images & Verdict
Pentax SMC FA 31mm f/1.8 AL Limited - Lab Test / Review - Analysis

QuoteQuote:
Life is about tradeoffs. There is no unicorn of lens. The lens it gets most compared with is the Sigma. Current testing results suggest that the Sigma is sharper but go ahead and carry that monster around in the rain. I put it on a Nikon and no way I'd carry that thing around. As an owner of the lens, the DA20-40 balances perfectly on the K-5 and is for me an all purpose carry anywhere lens. It provides the kit that I was hoping for with my DA 15, DA 50-135 and DA 300 I can say as a owner of this lens it is more than sharp enough across the focal range wide open. I sold the DA 21 and DA40 and have not looked back. If it wasn't for the macro on the DA35 it would be gone too.
You're right that there is no perfect lens, the problem is that from the reviews, I get the impression that it is not even as sharp as the humble Tamron 17-50 at the same apertures, which in most reviews is considered "acceptably sharp wide open" > "very sharp stopped down", contrary to DA 20-40's "soft wide open" > "acceptably sharp stopped down".

Maybe my impression is totally wrong, and it really is sharp enough like you said. I surely hope so as I'd love to have this lens in my stable someday for the same reasons that you stated. WR, small, and a takumar style build.

I expected this lens to be sharp wide open like DA 40 / DA 70 due to its variable aperture and price tag, so I felt disappointed. I guess I'll have to try it myself someday to see if it's sharp enough for me!

Last edited by Andi Lo; 01-07-2014 at 06:28 PM.
01-07-2014, 06:36 PM   #1092
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QuoteOriginally posted by Andi Lo Quote
I think the FA 31 isn't really a good comparison for the "rendering over sharpness" argument a
The best lenses actually go slightly over 'max' possible in sharpness, about 10% better than the FA from photozone.

Don't get me wrong the FA 31 is not inferior, but it's not the sharpest lens out there, either, and I wouldn't trade it for lens with the 'max' possible sharpness.
01-08-2014, 12:01 AM   #1093
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mr Spocko Quote
Sharpness is not the only factor for any lens..but
This is an 850 lens, with a short zoom range. Folks might be ok with the 300 ish 18-135mm having compromises (which it does) but it's at least got some range there for you (not keen on that lens it's not up to par IMO but that's a side issue)


When you pay out this much cash for a lens, it has to deliver optically.
It's kinda scary a 300 odd Tamron 17-50mm slap this down hard, and then some..bigger range, more speed top end and it delivers at a good price too.


This doesn't cut it I'm afraid it's a lens few really demanded, and now we've seen the review it's unlikely many will want to try it.
Maybe some other reviews will come out, but there's little point in a zoom lens with a poor performance at the tele end, even stopped down it's really not cutting the mustard at all

I tested my Pentax 20-40 against my Tamron 17-50 as soon as the Pentax arrived. The 20-40 won easily for sharpness, especially in the corners and at the edges of the frame. The Tamron had noticeably less distortion at 20mm though. The Pentax is also lighter, smaller, quieter, and sealed. Now we can argue over whether I got a great copy of the Pentax, or a bad copy of the Tamron. ;-)
01-08-2014, 01:35 AM   #1094
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QuoteOriginally posted by wildboar Quote
I tested my Pentax 20-40 against my Tamron 17-50 as soon as the Pentax arrived. The 20-40 won easily for sharpness, especially in the corners and at the edges of the frame. The Tamron had noticeably less distortion at 20mm though. The Pentax is also lighter, smaller, quieter, and sealed. Now we can argue over whether I got a great copy of the Pentax, or a bad copy of the Tamron. ;-)
Could you please show 100% comparison crops 40mm @ f/4 from 17-50 and 20-40. I wanted to buy 20-40, but PF review confused me
01-08-2014, 03:43 AM - 2 Likes   #1095
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QuoteOriginally posted by ElJamoquio Quote
The 31mm doesn't deliver very well on paper. It has CA, sharpness is OK but not spectacular. Yet it renders pictures wonderfully and the bokeh is fantastic for a 31mm.
Excuse me, have you even worked on a continuous basis with the FA31? Tests can reveal many things about a lens. Lens tests are like a bikini on an attractive woman - what they show is interesting, what they hide is vital... tests always completely miss the point of the experience of working with a lens and getting to know a lens. In my opinion as a leicaphile, and an owner of multiple camera systems and some of the best lenses ever made - the FA31 is a truly remarkable lens, I have never made an image with the FA31 where its optical characteristics fell short of what I (or my clients) required . I have seen literally hundreds of shots where a lens from another maker has ruined a shot because of some egregious mechanical/ergonomic/optical blooper.

Sometimes when people criticize a lens I happen to own, I get the feeling they are referring to a completely different lens.

Last edited by Digitalis; 01-08-2014 at 03:50 AM.
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