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05-26-2011, 10:53 AM   #1
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645 35mm FA vs A ?

Hi. I'm considering adding one of these lenses. Auto focus would be nice, but not essential for a wide lens for me.

However, sharpness is key. Anyone have experience with both? How would you compare them ?

Thx !

05-26-2011, 12:26 PM   #2

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Hi, welcome! The answer varies (search this forum!). By camera: the 645D is demanding, and it seems the A version fares better. By lens: FA versions have varying IQ. A version s probably too, but I have not read about them.
On the 645 and 645N, generally, both are outstanding but the FA version is deemed a tad sharper. I cannot confirm either, having no FA and no 645D. What I can say is that I'm over the moon with my 645 A 35mm on a 645N, on a par with the 120mm. It is sharp, really sharp.
05-26-2011, 12:46 PM   #3
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Thx. Yea, I saw harklee I think mention that the A fares slightly better than the FA on the 645D. But I've seen other reports elsewhere that the FA fares significantly better (I believe these other reports I've seen were not on digitial). Was a bit confused by this. Perhaps it implies the A version has better center performance, but significantly poorer extreme edge performance (which wouldn't appear on the 645D, I guess, due to it's crop factor). Does this make sense ?
05-26-2011, 03:23 PM   #4
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A Japanese review site, Ganref, came to the conclusion as Harklee. It said the A had more CA, but the resolving power was a little better at the corners. The CA can be corrected easily. They had no real complaint about the FA. Unfortunately, I have not seen a toe to toe comparison.

BTW, I ended up getting the A version for my 645D. I like it. There is another member here that uses the A on a 645D as well.

05-26-2011, 04:19 PM   #5
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Hello, I am considering to buy this lens for my 645nII. I have the opportunity to take an FA one in good condition for 900 Euro and I am seriously thinking about it, even if the A is valued half this price.

Is it true that there are some bad 35 FA around? I heard you have to be very careful when you pick up one...there shouldn't be such a problem for A version...

Best regards
05-27-2011, 03:59 AM   #6
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The FA 35mm is regarded as the best wide angle made for MF. Many have converted it for the EOS system as beats any Canon wide angle
I have not used it myself so this is just hearsay
01-02-2012, 05:37 PM   #7
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I have a Pentax 645 film kit on its way with a 75mm and 35mm Pentax-A lenses.

I will probably turn them to help pay for a Fuji G617. KEH's lowest price on the 35mm f3.5 is currently $959 (for one with filter ring damage) to $1129. 645D owners are mostly responsible for the price rise.
People seem to prefer the quality of the Pentax-A over the FA (and autofocus is a waste on a lens that you will be using at infinity 95% of the time).

01-03-2012, 04:59 AM   #8
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I only have the A-version of this lens and use it on a 645D. It is my most used lens and I generally use it at the infinity setting 99% of the time. So autofocus doesn't play a big role here. Sharpness is outstanding for a wide angle lens and it beats my previous Canon (24mm L 1.4 II and 35mm L 1.4) and Zeiss (35mm 2.0) counterparts which I used with the 5d Mark 2 by far (especially considering the corner sharpess).
I would be also interested in a direct comparision with the FA-version, but couldn't justify the cost difference so far, as I am pretty happy with both manual focus and performance of this lens. I think the FA-version wouldn't make much of a difference for me.
The best performance of this lens you will get between f/8 and f/11 with f/8 still being a little bit better in sharpness, but f/11 often more suited for landscape work.
01-04-2012, 12:59 AM   #9
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I have an FA and an A which i use on 645D. My A is a bit wider than my FA , which makes a difference for interior shots. Also the FA is more prone to catch and enhance flares while the A suppresses them more. And I already have lots of filters in 77mm (A size) and not so many in 82mm (FA size).

I would offer to test but Harklee already did that perfectly last year and posted his amazing work.

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