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10-02-2019, 05:34 AM - 3 Likes   #1
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Pentax K-1 and 43mm Limited - The Perfect Documentary Combo

Hey all,

My photography needs have shifted quite a bit the last few years after starting a family. I still do the occasional landscape and nightscape trips, but the majority of what I do is document out day-to-day family life and trips. I struggled for a long time to find the right set up for this. At first, I brought several lenses to cover just about everything I would need. But with that and carrying a diaper bag and chasing a child, it was too heavy and cumbersome. Then, I tried carrying just one prime with the focal length I most used, but it was much to large and heavy with the K-1, and I would bump into things and couldn't whip it out in tight spaces. I almost sold the K-1 and went back to a K-3 for that size differences. But then I revisited the idea of the 43mm limited, which I had ignored for quite some time given that many users preferred the 31mm over the two, and I would normally like that focal length more, but the size difference appealed to me. So, I tracked some deals for a while and snagged one for well under used normal prices and have been using it for a month.

Wow.

The first outing we took my wife asked me, "Is that a new camera?" (Which, to be fair, isn't all that unusual, I have a problem buying older Pentax bodies and playing with them.) "Nope, it's my nice one (K-1) just with a new lens." "Wow, it's so much smaller!"

And that it was. It makes the K-1 a much more travelable camera with a kid. The focal length is just about perfect for day-to-day snaps. The bokeh looks nice, never over dramatic or too shallow when close up (can't focus that close anyway, unfortunately.) The images really do have a special quality to them, and the only edits I find myself doing are a slight bit in exposure (for indoor shots) and a +2-3 saturation boost, just a smidge. I have toyed with just shooting JPEG with this setup, because of how predictably good these shots are and for ease of use and sharing.

Sure, the focusing seems a little slow, and I like the 1.4 of my FA 50mm (but not the longer focal length or even slightly longer design). But overall it's been the perfect package.

Anyway, that's my tale. Anyone else like this lens for similar reasons?

Here's just a few samples over this month:

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10-02-2019, 06:05 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Nice choice, the rendering does suit your style
10-02-2019, 06:29 AM - 2 Likes   #3
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The Pixie Dust was spilled all over this lens. The 3D pop is real. It's one of my long-term gear goals after I finish assembling the do-everything hiking kit, and posts like this keep me very close to saying "screw it" (the filter :wink: ) and splurge.

Lovely, lovely pictures.
10-02-2019, 06:52 AM   #4
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There was a period where my FA 43/1.9 Ltd didn't leave my K-1. Such a great combo!

The FA 43/1.9 is not a perfect lens by any stretch of the imagination but it is fun to use its quirks to one's advantage and when it is stopped down a bit, it can be extremely sharp.

10-02-2019, 07:00 AM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
There was a period where my FA 43/1.9 Ltd didn't leave my K-1. Such a great combo!

The FA 43/1.9 is not a perfect lens by any stretch of the imagination but it is fun to use its quirks to one's advantage and when it is stopped down a bit, it can be extremely sharp.
That sums it up pretty well. I have found when outdoors when I can spare the light that even f2.8 brings really good sharpness even out to the corners. I've seen tests that show it's even better further stopped down, but I like the depth of field for these kinds of portrait shots anyway. If I was shooting something like a landscape or other scene I would stop down even more.

And for 1.9/2, as long as I keep the subject in the center of the frame it's got a good look and the sharpness is really rather good. (All of these example shots were 1.9/2).
10-02-2019, 08:02 AM   #6
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If I should ever go full frame, this would be the first prime I'd get (hell, perhaps I'd get the 31 and 77 as well If the funds should allow for a K-1/II, why not get the right lenses with it at once?). The focal length is just right for indoor use and any faster the depth of field would become too shallow to be useable anyway.
10-02-2019, 08:18 AM - 1 Like   #7
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The size difference between the 31 (if I'm looking at the right one) and the 43 is astounding. Even if the performance weren't this good, the convenience is a significant advantage.
10-02-2019, 08:51 AM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by redmenace Quote
The size difference between the 31 (if I'm looking at the right one) and the 43 is astounding. Even if the performance weren't this good, the convenience is a significant advantage.
You're right, the 31mm is 2.2x the weight and 2.5x longer than the 43mm. It's still pretty small for what it is, though.

I think I would still prefer it for the focal length and closer focusing distance, but the practicality for my use-case with the 43mm wins over.

Plus, the 43mm is a lot cheaper, so that helps when you're like me and think the 43mm is crazy expensive already

10-02-2019, 08:58 AM   #9
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what is wrong with the last picture? It just drops out of the story line.
10-02-2019, 09:35 AM - 1 Like   #10
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What a cute kid!! Priceless memories. Great that you have the right tools to capture them.
10-02-2019, 09:58 AM - 2 Likes   #11
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Its a great event lens, for capturing portraits with some environmental context. Plus its so unobtrusive. f/2.8 and be there
10-04-2019, 06:21 AM   #12
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Thanks for the photos. You may have persuaded me on this lens.
10-04-2019, 09:14 AM   #13
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Does the 43 produce a different look than the 40XS that came with my K-01? Anyone feel it is a good idea to own both?
Thanks,
barondla
10-06-2019, 03:30 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by barondla Quote
Does the 43 produce a different look than the 40XS that came with my K-01?
Yes, the look is very different near wide open. You may even find a comparison thread on this forum.

QuoteOriginally posted by barondla Quote
Anyone feel it is a good idea to own both?
Could make sense to own both because the lenses differ in physical size and optical rendering.

If the FA 43/1.9 is small and light enough for you and you are happy with how it renders then I don't see a need for keeping the 40XS. The 40XS is not weather-sealed either, FWIW.
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