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04-22-2016, 12:40 PM - 1 Like   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by 2351HD Quote
Hi all,

I am just trying to decide between the FA 31mm or the Sigma Art 35mm for the K-1.

This is for walk around use, so the lighter the better, however I just can't help wondering if the Sigma will be quite a lot better than the FA31.

Has anybody used both, let say with a Sony A7r or similar and can comment on the performance of each?

Thanks, Scott
For walkaround use you can't go wrong with the compactness of the FA 31mm. That said, I'm definitely picking up the Sigma, as the bokeh is to die for, and it's super sharp. Heavier lenses feel better on the K-1 than lighter bodies, too, so that's something to keep in mind.


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04-22-2016, 01:08 PM   #17
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FA 31 or Sigma Art 35mm

I bought the Sigma Art 35mm for my pre-ordered K-1. I've tried the Sigma on my K5iis and my K50 and am pleased with the sharpness and contrast of this lens. I also have the Sigma 18-35mm and have used this extensively for portraits and wedding photography. Although, in testing I have seen some focus inconsistencies others have noted here with the 18-35 I can't remember the last time I rejected a photo for focus issues when actually using the lense for portraits or events. I own the Pentax silver Limited FA 77mm and it is a great lens for head shots. I bought the Sigma 35mm instead of the 31mm because, in lots of situations (in Church or other sensitive venues I want to make the least noise. The Sigmas focus with almost no noise at all. I prefer being discreet with my clients. Just my two cents.
Cheers!

Here is a formal photo of a bride & Groom in the church: Pentax K5iis, Sigma 18-35mm @ 18mm, F2.8, 1/180 sec with bounce flash. See it on my website here:
David F Parker Photography

---------- Post added 04-22-16 at 01:17 PM ----------

Just one other observation. Because the K-1 allows you to use the monitor screen (in live view) at 90 degrees , you can place the camera at your belly button and look down at it to take full length photos of people with wide angle lenses (Like a Twin Lens Reflex) .This is also much less intimidating for people that are photo-shy. With the K5iis, I have to squat down to belly level to get the best angle/least distortion with these shots.
04-22-2016, 01:45 PM   #18
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It's a tough call because in Australia, nobody stocks Pentax and there is no return policy. If you order a lens and try to return it the dealer looks at you funny and says "if it's not faulty then we can't give you a refund".

I would ultimately like to get both and test them for myself.
04-22-2016, 02:07 PM - 1 Like   #19
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I found the Sigma 35mm rather idiosyncratic. It requires some special handling, unlike any of my Pentax lenses. In particular, it substantially overexposes outdoors on the K3 and K5 (1 - 1.7 ev), so I have to remember to set an exposure compensation as soon as I mount it. I have also seen some irregular focus issues, most notably focussing near infinity in flat light. However, it is certainly sharp and renders well.

I haven't tried the FA31, though have seen lots of excellent images from it. I suspect it is less trouble, and certainly less weight. If you have a preference for silent focus, or really need the f/1.4, or are on a budget, the Sigma may be for you. Otherwise, the FA31 may be the better choice. They both render rather beautifully, with slight differences in the bokeh that might sway you one way or the other if you like to really zoom in.

A few shots with the Sigma 35mm f/1.4, displaying both smoothness and sharpness:

f/2, 0 ev


f/10, -1 ev


f/4, -1 ev



Last edited by Paul the Sunman; 04-22-2016 at 02:46 PM.
04-22-2016, 02:59 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by 2351HD Quote
It's a tough call because in Australia, nobody stocks Pentax and there is no return policy. If you order a lens and try to return it the dealer looks at you funny and says "if it's not faulty then we can't give you a refund".
I would ultimately like to get both and test them for myself.
Two suggestions:
-order it from Adorama or B&H, using their return policy;

-consider to check regulalry at dcxpert, the ebay shop of CRK (Pentax importer in Australia).

I bought my FA31mm from Adorama during a sale just before Xmas.

My 5 cents.
04-22-2016, 04:07 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by 2351HD Quote
Hi all,

I am just trying to decide between the FA 31mm or the Sigma Art 35mm for the K-1.

This is for walk around use, so the lighter the better, however I just can't help wondering if the Sigma will be quite a lot better than the FA31.

Has anybody used both, let say with a Sony A7r or similar and can comment on the performance of each?

Thanks, Scott
The Sigma is sharper, but the Bokeh is not nearly as good as the 31mm IMO. I'm sticking with my 31mm until Pentax releases a D-FA* 35mm F/1.4.
04-22-2016, 05:03 PM   #22
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I've been back and forth on this for weeks since I ordered the K1. Every time I think I made a decision I see something that gets me looking at the two again, but every time I decide the 31 is the one I'll order, maybe.
04-22-2016, 05:07 PM   #23
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The Sigma is suer sharp - agreed. But the FA31 offers other benefits the Sigma doesn't. I like the Sigma, but, the images do seem 'flat'. So much so I can considered adding a 25mm spacer and use the lens as a macro.

04-22-2016, 06:58 PM   #24
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Zeiss distagon t* 35mm f2. Manual only, but if you can live with that, it will not disappoint. It's micro contrast, colour tone, sharpness and build quality make it a very special lens indeed. IMHO it produces better images than all my limiteds, let alone all my other lenses. There aren't too many left on the market though, if but a few new ones and they are no longer made, so get in quick if you want to! They won't last too long no doubt.

Last edited by lightsource; 04-22-2016 at 07:05 PM.
04-23-2016, 01:01 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by lightsource Quote
Zeiss distagon t* 35mm f2. Manual only, but if you can live with that, it will not disappoint. It's micro contrast, colour tone, sharpness and build quality make it a very special lens indeed. IMHO it produces better images than all my limiteds, let alone all my other lenses. There aren't too many left on the market though, if but a few new ones and they are no longer made, so get in quick if you want to! They won't last too long no doubt.
Just how easy is manual focus going to be on a K-1 though?
04-23-2016, 03:43 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by 2351HD Quote
If you order a lens and try to return it the dealer looks at you funny and says "if it's not faulty then we can't give you a refund."
This is as it should be. Our American cousins are spoiled and overindulged.
04-23-2016, 03:55 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by 2351HD Quote
Just how easy is manual focus going to be on a K-1 though?
Not too bad i imaginge. Its not like its a 85mm +. There is also focus confirmation, zoomed live view, focus peaking etc. Numerous ways to get focus. Being wider angle, easier to get focus also. I've no problems with my k-3
04-24-2016, 04:26 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
Pentax engineers have shown themselves ready to sacrifice f-stops in order to prevent explosive growth of size and weight (e.g. DA Limited lenses), and to sacrifice ultimate wall-to-wall sharpness and allow odd focal lengths to emerge* in search of a particular image quality, so it's really just a matter of design philosophy and where you're prepared to compromise.


* I'm fairly convinced that the FA31, FA43 and FA77 are a result of a design philosophy that said "We want a wide, a normal and a portrait-length lens with the following optical characteristics", and the specific focal lengths weren't even known or cared about until they were computed at the end of the design process.
The design philosophy with the FA Limiteds, at wide apertures, was strong centre sharpness, with softer corners. I believe it was done this way intentionally. But once stopped down, they are about as crazy sharp wall-to-wall as anyone could want.

It is true that the FA Ltd's were designed with a specific aesthetic in mind - a certain desired rendering. In particular, they have a discernible 3D-effect. These three lenses prioritise heavily on rendering solid objects in a life-like manner. Not everyone today understands nor appreciates this. The main concern today is sharpness corner to corner. But as mentioned above, the FA Ltds do give a splendid performance in this latter regard, when stopped down. Whereas wide open, ie. for shallow depth-of-field applications (eg. portraiture, with blurred backgrounds), their strong centre sharpness in tandem with softer corners harmonise perfectly. All said, aside from their compactness and excellent build, it is surely for their signature rendering character that the FA Limiteds are celebrated.

As regards focal length, 43mm is the length of the diagonal of a rectangle measuring 36mm x 24mm, ie. the dimensions of a full frame sensor rectangle, or of a frame of film. This makes the FA43 a "true-normal" lens, rather than 50mm, which is mistakenly thought of as "normal".

Last edited by KDAFA; 04-24-2016 at 05:55 AM.
04-24-2016, 05:48 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
"Lenses designed for the way people take images, not for the test charts.".. Pentax's words not mine. I don't see that as a commitment to compromise. It's more an uncompromising commitment to maximum utility.
Could have hardly stated it better myself.
05-04-2016, 12:15 AM   #30
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Does anyone have samples with sigma and K1 yet?
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