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04-22-2016, 05:09 AM   #1
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K-1 with FA31mm or Sigma A 35mm

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

04-22-2016, 05:17 AM   #2
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no brainer FA 31mm and yes I have tried both on the Sony A7r
04-22-2016, 05:26 AM   #3
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FWIW, all I can say about my Art 35 is that (a) it's rather big (esp with hood on) and a little weighty at 700g; (b) the AF is, unfortunately, very inconsistent, but if you do get focus, it is (c) very sharp and renders things nicely.
04-22-2016, 05:28 AM   #4
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Agree with rawr entirely save for one point. the FA31 is better at giving a 3D feel, the sigma art is a little flat.

04-22-2016, 05:54 AM   #5
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Unfortunately, the newer sigma lenses seem to give focusing problems to Pentax users. I think the legendary FA 31 will generate pleasing images and work much better on your K-1.
04-22-2016, 06:44 AM   #6
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Thanks.

I can't imagine using either of them more wide open than f/2.8 for my intended use.

Sounds like the FA31 is the go.
04-22-2016, 06:46 AM   #7
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Get the FA 31

You can rest assured that Ricoh have tested the K1 with the FA 31/1.8 to make sure the camera and lens work well together.

Here's an APSC comparison of the two lenses done by Cannikin
Quick bokeh and sharpness comparison between Sigma 35 f/1.4 "Art" and FA 31 Limited
04-22-2016, 07:04 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gray Quote
You can rest assured that Ricoh have tested the K1 with the FA 31/1.8 to make sure the camera and lens work well together.

Here's an APSC comparison of the two lenses done by Cannikin
Quick bokeh and sharpness comparison between Sigma 35 f/1.4 "Art" and FA 31 Limited
I Knew that was here somewhere, I just couldn't find it, thanks for being the sleuth of the day.

Given the weight difference between the two lenses, the 31 is pretty much a no brainer, at least from my perspective. Sigma engineers are famous for adding weight to achieve quality. Understanding how to achieve quality while keeping weight down is not even in their mind set, at least according to the interviews I've read.

04-22-2016, 08:02 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Sigma engineers are famous for adding weight to achieve quality. Understanding how to achieve quality while keeping weight down is not even in their mind set
It's not so much adding weight as not taking active steps to keep weight (and size) down.

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.
04-22-2016, 09:41 AM - 3 Likes   #10
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I believe HIrakawa Jun stated he designed the 77 ltd. because 77 is a lucky number. I'm also not so sure about the sacrifices to wall to wall sharpness. They tend to be edge soft at portrait apertures, but wall to wall sharp 5.6 and above, landscape apertures. "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.

Last edited by normhead; 04-22-2016 at 09:47 AM.
04-22-2016, 09:54 AM - 1 Like   #11
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I fell for the INSANE sharpness trap (B&W street photography is my jam), and went with the 35 Art when I was trying to make the same decision. I wasn't sure about the purchase once I felt the weight of it on my K3, but once I started taking pictures, everything was right in the world.


AF is snappy, and my copy hasn't missed or hunted on anything yet (but I mainly use center point soo). Also it's silent silent, which has turned out to be a big deal for me. For the type of pictures I like shooting, I'm more than pleased I chose it. Looking forward to what I can get out of it on the K1.
04-22-2016, 09:57 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by ShiftR Quote
I fell for the INSANE sharpness trap (B&W street photography is my jam), and went with the 35 Art when I was trying to make the same decision. I wasn't sure about the purchase once I felt the weight of it on my K3, but once I started taking pictures, everything was right in the world.


AF is snappy, and my copy hasn't missed or hunted on anything yet (but I mainly use center point soo). Also it's silent silent, which has turned out to be a big deal for me. For the type of pictures I like shooting, I'm more than pleased I chose it. Looking forward to what I can get out of it on the K1.
QuoteOriginally posted by 2351HD Quote
Has anybody used both, let say with a Sony A7r or similar and can comment on the performance of each?
But did you try a 31 ltd. ?
04-22-2016, 10:05 AM   #13
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Seen many CaNikon users love the Sigma 35mm in some facebook photography group. Both should be good lens.

For myself, I seldom use the 31mm, for it looks too precious and I have to worry about it taking it places...
04-22-2016, 10:27 AM   #14
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My 31 is a workhorse for portrait, landscape, and Astro shooting. It is simply one of the best Pentax lenses available. I have no interest in the sigma, but will say you cannot go wrong with the 31. Good luck.
04-22-2016, 10:31 AM   #15
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I had 31mm and I was happy with it (sadly it got stolen).

So I got the Sigma 35mm after, cuz the reviews were super good and the price was way better then the 31mm.

Yes, it is big, but it has to be cuz it is f/1.4. Build quality is really nice. Nice features (HSM, QS). Good price.

If I had to chose again, I would choose the Sigma again.
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