Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home

Show Printable Version Search this Thread
05-15-2013, 12:30 PM   #1
New Member

Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 21
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
Veteran Member

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Fredericton, New Brunswick
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 631
FA would have slightly different coatings, and the A would have the more solid build quality.
05-15-2013, 01:08 PM   #3
Site Supporter
stevebrot's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vancouver (USA)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 27,502
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.

05-15-2013, 01:50 PM   #4

Join Date: May 2010
Location: Sydney
Posts: 503
Hi Steve,

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

All the best,


05-15-2013, 01:53 PM   #5
New Member

Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 21
Original Poster
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
Veteran Member

Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Fowlmere, UK
Photos: Albums
Posts: 704
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
Veteran Member
revdocjim's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Mt. Akagi, Gunma Prefecture
Posts: 374
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
Site Supporter
stevebrot's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vancouver (USA)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 27,502
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,

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


05-31-2013, 07:25 AM   #9
Senior Member

Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 128
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)

  • 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!
camera, lens, medium format, vs fa
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Help with Lens Choice FA 43 vs. DA 35 2.8 vs. DA 40 LukeSkywalker Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 10 10-19-2012 06:29 PM
Pentax FA 35 2.0 vs Nikkor 35 1.8DX many samples simbon4o Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 6 08-01-2012 04:11 PM
FA 20-35 vs Kit Lens ironlionzion Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 15 05-19-2011 05:22 PM
Ned tests FA 31 vs. DA 35 Macro vs. DA 35 AL DAKS Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 30 01-07-2011 11:05 AM
FA 20-35 vs FA J 18-35 alex.r Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 14 06-15-2009 04:25 AM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:23 PM. | See also:, 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?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]