Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
05-21-2016, 05:30 PM - 1 Like   #1
Pentaxian
MadMathMind's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Houston, TX
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,641
FA Limiteds on the K-1

How has everyone's experience been? Here's mine:

FA31
- Not used it tremendously since I mostly shoot models. When I have it's been to get high DoF because I'm shooting a couple girls at once in staggered planes or just want a wide perspective. The few times I've used it...well, there's a reason why I call it 'legendary' and why it's my favorite lens.

FA77 - Like....this is ridiculous. The resolving power of this lens is far beyond anything I thought possible. It is utterly absurd. Just gorgeous, sharp, crisp. I was in the FA31 camp but this is probably most deserving of its recent crowing as best Pentax lens ever.

FA43 - So far my weak link and I really need it not to be since I will use it most. I'm having trouble with the focus. Even when I do get it to focus perfectly, it's pretty obvious the FA43's resolution is not up to the level of it's two sisters...or amigos. Partly I've been shooting below f/4. I am also not satisfied with my focus calibration but not been able to get it where I need to.

Images with the FA43 look great at screen size (2MP) and up to...say, 40% zoom? But after that they're mushy. Pixel peeping is a bit of an exercise in foolishness, but I think this lens can do better.

Anyone got tips on calibrating the FA43? I remember in one thread someone said calibrating it at portrait distance (~6-7 feet) seems to work best with a certain kind of chart. But I can't remember which thread this appeared in.

05-21-2016, 05:41 PM   #2
Pentaxian
Digitalis's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Adelaide.
Posts: 8,796
QuoteOriginally posted by MadMathMind Quote
Partly I've been shooting below f/4
On the Leica monochrom the FA43 needs to be stopped down to f/5.6 or higher to really shine, IMO the corners are its weakest area. My test bench reveals that the FA43 is slightly better at closer focus distances than distant ones, so there is evidence in favor of calibrating to closer distances*. Though field curvature becomes pronounced at MFD. The FA43 produces central resolution that goes through the roof when stopped down to f/4**, however by contrast the corners look worse. Harmonious resolution between center/corners is best seen at f/7.1~f/9 - beyond which diffraction takes its toll. The SMCP-A/K 50mm f/1.2 is a better normal lens, but it has issues with transverse chromatic aberration. But it is quite sharp at f/2.8 and up. The SMCP 50mm f/1.2 is better at distant focus, and worse at closer focus.


*Using the tried-and-tested USAF1951 laser cut test target.
** 7 samples tested, however two of them had centering faults that affected contrast and resolution.

Last edited by Digitalis; 05-21-2016 at 05:47 PM.
05-21-2016, 07:00 PM   #3
Forum Member




Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Monterey County, California
Photos: Albums
Posts: 87
QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
On the Leica monochrom the FA43 needs to be stopped down to f/5.6 or higher to really shine, IMO the corners are its weakest area. My test bench reveals that the FA43 is slightly better at closer focus distances than distant ones, so there is evidence in favor of calibrating to closer distances*. Though field curvature becomes pronounced at MFD. The FA43 produces central resolution that goes through the roof when stopped down to f/4**, however by contrast the corners look worse. Harmonious resolution between center/corners is best seen at f/7.1~f/9 - beyond which diffraction takes its toll. The SMCP-A/K 50mm f/1.2 is a better normal lens, but it has issues with transverse chromatic aberration. But it is quite sharp at f/2.8 and up. The SMCP 50mm f/1.2 is better at distant focus, and worse at closer focus.


*Using the tried-and-tested USAF1951 laser cut test target.
** 7 samples tested, however two of them had centering faults that affected contrast and resolution.
The DA 50mm 1.8 lens seems to work fine on the K-1 from f2.8 and higher, Very sharp, crisp, contrasty images.
05-21-2016, 07:02 PM - 1 Like   #4
Pentaxian
Digitalis's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Adelaide.
Posts: 8,796
QuoteOriginally posted by dfp771 Quote
The DA 50mm 1.8 lens seems to work fine on the K-1
Though the build quality is frankly...rather disappointing. the DA*55mm f/1.4 is considered to be usable on the K-1, however that lens has inherently high contrast which affects the quality of its bokeh... not in a good way.

05-21-2016, 07:20 PM - 1 Like   #5
Veteran Member
robjmitchell's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Melbourne Aus
Posts: 1,148
Just use the 43ltd as nature intended it.
f1.9 smooth and low contrast rendering
f2.8-f5.6 Subject isolation with 3d pop
f8 landscapes.

Flat field pixel peeping at fast apertures is only going to disappoint! Don't even think about astro!

As for AF calibration, I just focus on a nail stuck in a fence 2m away and fiddle till its in focus. not very scientific but it seems to work.
05-21-2016, 08:17 PM   #6
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: South Coast, NSW
Posts: 265
QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
On the Leica monochrom the FA43 needs to be stopped down to f/5.6 or higher to really shine, IMO the corners are its weakest area. My test bench reveals that the FA43 is slightly better at closer focus distances than distant ones, so there is evidence in favor of calibrating to closer distances*. Though field curvature becomes pronounced at MFD. The FA43 produces central resolution that goes through the roof when stopped down to f/4**, however by contrast the corners look worse. Harmonious resolution between center/corners is best seen at f/7.1~f/9 - beyond which diffraction takes its toll. The SMCP-A/K 50mm f/1.2 is a better normal lens, but it has issues with transverse chromatic aberration. But it is quite sharp at f/2.8 and up. The SMCP 50mm f/1.2 is better at distant focus, and worse at closer focus.


*Using the tried-and-tested USAF1951 laser cut test target.
** 7 samples tested, however two of them had centering faults that affected contrast and resolution.
Since putting my 43 on the K-1, I suspect it has a problem....didn't really show up on the K-3 and laptop monitor combo I have, but with the RAW K-1 file (and same laptop monitor), it is noticeably softer on the LHS. ....will check it out with a chart pr something later - it is out of warranty.
05-21-2016, 08:36 PM   #7
Site Supporter
Sandy Hancock's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,722
QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
The DA*55mm f/1.4 is considered to be usable on the K-1, however that lens has inherently high contrast which affects the quality of its bokeh... not in a good way.
It is more than usable. I have been using the DA*55 every day this month on the K-1 and the results are excellent. Every now and then a minuscule bit of vignetting occurs (whether the hood is on or off), which can be either ignored or dealt with by minor PP or cropping.

My album so far (with a few with A50/1.2 before the K-1 arrived) is HERE

I agree about the bokeh though. Like the FA43 it is a little temperamental, but in a different way.
05-21-2016, 08:59 PM   #8
Pentaxian
MadMathMind's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Houston, TX
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,641
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by robjmitchell Quote
Just use the 43ltd as nature intended it.
f1.9 smooth and low contrast rendering
f2.8-f5.6 Subject isolation with 3d pop
f8 landscapes.

Flat field pixel peeping at fast apertures is only going to disappoint!
I'm sorry but for the kind of shooting I do, this isn't going to cut it. I need sharpness and resolution from f/2.8 to f/4. Ok, "need" is too strong. If I can't get it, I want to find another solution.

I may regret selling my FA50 f/1.7 but I think if I can get the FA43's focus pinpointed, it may get it there for me. It's shown some promise.

---------- Post added 05-21-16 at 10:05 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
On the Leica monochrom the FA43 needs to be stopped down to f/5.6 or higher to really shine, IMO the corners are its weakest area. My test bench reveals that the FA43 is slightly better at closer focus distances than distant ones, so there is evidence in favor of calibrating to closer distances*. Though field curvature becomes pronounced at MFD. The FA43 produces central resolution that goes through the roof when stopped down to f/4**, however by contrast the corners look worse. Harmonious resolution between center/corners is best seen at f/7.1~f/9 - beyond which diffraction takes its toll. The SMCP-A/K 50mm f/1.2 is a better normal lens, but it has issues with transverse chromatic aberration. But it is quite sharp at f/2.8 and up. The SMCP 50mm f/1.2 is better at distant focus, and worse at closer focus.


*Using the tried-and-tested USAF1951 laser cut test target.
** 7 samples tested, however two of them had centering faults that affected contrast and resolution.
I have noticed that it looks great in close. Weak corners I can deal with since I'm doing portraits (or something resembling it). f/4 isn't bad for me since I usually use flash but I'd like to be able to do f/2.8 or f/3.2 to get some better blur. Hmmm.


Last edited by MadMathMind; 05-21-2016 at 09:06 PM.
05-21-2016, 09:07 PM   #9
Senior Member




Join Date: Jun 2010
Photos: Albums
Posts: 134
Anyone tried a F50 1.7 on his K1?
I have one .,,,but not the K1 ( yet )
05-21-2016, 09:54 PM   #10
Pentaxian
Digitalis's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Adelaide.
Posts: 8,796
QuoteOriginally posted by MadMathMind Quote
I may regret selling my FA50 f/1.7
Well that is perhaps one of the only suitable AF alternatives to the FA43 that exist, though the Pentax 50mm f/1.7 lenses are closer to 53mm in FL.

you can hope Sigma releases their 50mm f/1.4 ART in Pentax K mount.

---------- Post added 2016-05-22 at 03:30 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
It is more than usable. I have been using the DA*55 every day this month on the K-1 and the results are excellent. Every now and then a minuscule bit of vignetting occurs
The vignetting is mostly likely to appear at close focus distances at wide aperture settings - that always puts a strain on lenses.
05-21-2016, 11:32 PM   #11
Senior Member
Davidparis's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Paris, France
Posts: 279
QuoteOriginally posted by MadMathMind Quote
How has everyone's experience been? Here's mine:

FA31
- Not used it tremendously since I mostly shoot models. When I have it's been to get high DoF because I'm shooting a couple girls at once in staggered planes or just want a wide perspective. The few times I've used it...well, there's a reason why I call it 'legendary' and why it's my favorite lens.

FA77 - Like....this is ridiculous. The resolving power of this lens is far beyond anything I thought possible. It is utterly absurd. Just gorgeous, sharp, crisp. I was in the FA31 camp but this is probably most deserving of its recent crowing as best Pentax lens ever.

FA43 - So far my weak link and I really need it not to be since I will use it most. I'm having trouble with the focus. Even when I do get it to focus perfectly, it's pretty obvious the FA43's resolution is not up to the level of it's two sisters...or amigos. Partly I've been shooting below f/4. I am also not satisfied with my focus calibration but not been able to get it where I need to.

Images with the FA43 look great at screen size (2MP) and up to...say, 40% zoom? But after that they're mushy. Pixel peeping is a bit of an exercise in foolishness, but I think this lens can do better.

Anyone got tips on calibrating the FA43? I remember in one thread someone said calibrating it at portrait distance (~6-7 feet) seems to work best with a certain kind of chart. But I can't remember which thread this appeared in.
QuoteOriginally posted by MadMathMind Quote
Pixel peeping is a bit of an exercise in foolishness
That is pure photographic wisdom...We all love sharp lenses, but creating art and telling a story is what it's all about for me.
05-22-2016, 12:00 AM   #12
Site Supporter
Sandy Hancock's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,722
QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
The vignetting is mostly likely to appear at close focus distances at wide aperture settings - that always puts a strain on lenses.
Taken yesterday. f/2.0 at MFD. Hood on. No crop or attempt to fix vignetting. Apologies for the subject.



Wide open a little further back. The vignetting is not too bad. A more appealing subject.

05-22-2016, 01:21 AM   #13
Veteran Member
robjmitchell's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Melbourne Aus
Posts: 1,148
My copy has excellent sharpness on the K3 at f2.8. For portraiture I wouldn't expect a problem if you can get the AF to work properly(assuming your copy is ok) You certainly get mush if the focus is off. There Is also the DFA 50/2.8 macro although I'm not so sure how flattering it would be for the models.
Here is a heavily cropped shot from yesterday at 2.8, pretty close to 1:1 when view on flickr. Obviously the K1 is a slightly different beast due to its larger image circle. I haven't noticed a lack corner sharpness either on my copy (when the focus point was in the corner to account for field curvature)

05-22-2016, 07:41 AM   #14
Pentaxian
MadMathMind's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Houston, TX
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,641
Original Poster
Somehow I got derailed in this thread looking for a new lens. Let's go back to my original question for the FA43: what is the best way to calibrate this thing?

Some shots from yesterday with it. I shot without flash for once as part of an experiment to see how the camera would do; I love my fill flash but the third girl in the group became suddenly ill this morning so we had to cook up a new idea on the spot since we couldn't continue without her. Anyway, here's one shot, taken at maybe 5 feet away:



Looks great! And here's a 100% of her face:



Marvelous detail! This even rivals the FA77. Seems to verify the lens itself is not defective, decentered, or otherwise busted.

Here's another:



It's hard to tell from this but it looks to have backfocused (focus point is eyes or face or the closest focus point to that), even though the lens is calibrated to correct for that. Here's a 100%:


It's mushy. Focus is clearly off. I was probably about 7 feet away here? Something like that.

I have Lens Align but I can't use it to calibrate the FA43 from 6-7 feet away--target is too small! Any suggestions on what I might use?
05-22-2016, 07:53 AM   #15
Pentaxian




Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 878
QuoteOriginally posted by MadMathMind Quote
How has everyone's experience been? Here's mine:

FA31
- Not used it tremendously since I mostly shoot models. When I have it's been to get high DoF because I'm shooting a couple girls at once in staggered planes or just want a wide perspective. The few times I've used it...well, there's a reason why I call it 'legendary' and why it's my favorite lens.

FA77 - Like....this is ridiculous. The resolving power of this lens is far beyond anything I thought possible. It is utterly absurd. Just gorgeous, sharp, crisp. I was in the FA31 camp but this is probably most deserving of its recent crowing as best Pentax lens ever.

FA43 - So far my weak link and I really need it not to be since I will use it most. I'm having trouble with the focus. Even when I do get it to focus perfectly, it's pretty obvious the FA43's resolution is not up to the level of it's two sisters...or amigos. Partly I've been shooting below f/4. I am also not satisfied with my focus calibration but not been able to get it where I need to.

Images with the FA43 look great at screen size (2MP) and up to...say, 40% zoom? But after that they're mushy. Pixel peeping is a bit of an exercise in foolishness, but I think this lens can do better.

Anyone got tips on calibrating the FA43? I remember in one thread someone said calibrating it at portrait distance (~6-7 feet) seems to work best with a certain kind of chart. But I can't remember which thread this appeared in.
There must be sample variations on the FA43. At least on my K3 it is just as good as the 31 and 77. In fact the 31 was the worst of the bunch on the K3. I shot lots of studio product work on the 43. Initially, I thought 77 would be the lens but given its field of coverage, I used the 43 almost exclusively.

Granted most of the studio work was shot at f9 or so, until I had to do some shallow depth of field images to isolate the products. I ended up shooting a series of images at f2.8. The results were excellent. The parts of the frame that were supposed to be in focus were tack sharp and the rest had a beautiful out of focus rendering.

Fast forward to the K1. I only got to shoot a bunch of images on my 31 before my loaner had to go back. On K1 the FA31 has been flawless. Fast and accurate focus with sharpness across the frame and aperture range. I will have to wait for my own K1 to arrive before trying the 43 and the 77.

Just my two cents.
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!
50mm, contrast, corners, dslr, f/1.2, f/1.7, f/2.8, fa limiteds, fa43, focus, full frame, full-frame, k-1, k1, lens, lenses, pentax, pentax k-1, test, thread
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Question on silver FA Limiteds jatrax Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 16 02-29-2016 08:48 PM
Will the FA Limiteds be updated for the new Full Frame? kindion Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 30 10-02-2015 07:31 PM
FA Limiteds vs. the new D-FA 24-70 zoom 6BQ5 Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 31 09-27-2015 11:38 AM
FA 50 1.4 on ASPC is pretty similar to the FA 77 1.8 on film paperbag846 Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 33 05-27-2011 10:57 PM
FA*28-70mm/f2.8 takes on the FA limiteds(Multiple BORING Test samples-Dial-upWARNING) pcarfan Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 30 05-15-2010 05:45 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:29 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.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