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05-15-2013, 12:30 PM   #1
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35 A vs FA lens

I have heard wonderful things about this lense, The reviews here and elsewhere are excellent. Other than auto focus is there a difference in lens quality? THanks Norm

05-15-2013, 12:51 PM   #2
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FA would have slightly different coatings, and the A would have the more solid build quality.
05-15-2013, 01:08 PM   #3
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Assuming you are talking about the A 35/2 vs. the FA 35/2, the two have different optical formulas (7/7 vs. 6/5). The A 35/2 comes at a premium price. You might also want to consider the M 35/2 as a more reasonably priced alternative. It has better build than the A version with the same optics. As for the build on the FA 35/2...I own the lens and it is far from fragile.


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05-15-2013, 01:50 PM   #4
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Hi Steve,

I assume the question refers to the 645 lenses. Your answer, I think, makes a different assumption...?

All the best,

Ed

05-15-2013, 01:53 PM   #5
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I should have been clearer, I meant to refer to the 35mm F3.5 A vs the FA model and had wondered if there was a quality difference between the two. This would be for the 645nii. Norm
05-15-2013, 05:40 PM   #6
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I only have the A version, which on my 645N is wonderfully sharp and free of distortion. What I've read about the differences between the two versions is:
1. The different FA formula was created because of the need to autofocus, which required a new lens formula
2. On film, the FA version is supposedly sharper
3. On the 645D, because of curvature, the A version is supposedly better than the FA version.
All of this is regardless of sample variation.
05-19-2013, 03:02 AM   #7
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I just got the A a couple months ago and love it on the 645n. But to be honest, all of my lenses are of the A series so I can't comment on the FA series. For me manual focus is a significant part of the fun.
05-21-2013, 01:30 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ed Hurst Quote
Hi Steve,

I assume the question refers to the 645 lenses. Your answer, I think, makes a different assumption...?

All the best,

Ed
Ooops! I browsed here from the home page and did not notice it was on the medium format forum!!!




Steve

05-31-2013, 07:25 AM   #9
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I have tested many sample of the FA version but only a few of the manual focus ones since my posting of comprehensive lens tests of 645 lenses. There is substatial variation in optical performance with the FA lens but if I take the best one I found and compare it to the A* version this is generally what I observed.

1. As noted, field curvature becomes quite great as the camera to subject distance increases with the FA lens. On landscape shots shot at distance, this gives the appearance that the edges/corners aren't as sharp as the central portion of the frame. The edges/corners are but unfortunately (or fortunately depending on subject matter) are focuses in a somewhat differst and closer plane.

2. The FA lens seems to flair less when shooting towards or into bright light...maybe due to better coatings or optical design?

3. Less CA is also evident with the FA lens but it's rarely a issue with the A* lens.

4. I found the Fa lens just a smigen sharper in the central part of the frame but I'd like to revisit this by testing another sample of the A* lens when I can find a sample to test.

Of course the FA has the convience of AF if and when it might be needed. There are some other differences and perculiarities I noted about the FA version in my posted findings.

Both lenses are excellent performers, just having different strengths and weaknesses.

Dave (DandA)
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