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07-20-2014, 01:46 PM   #1
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45-85MM FA v A

Hi

long time lurker, assembling a kit for a 645Z I have on order. Does anyone know if there are any differences from an optical perspective on the FA and A version of this lens? My principal use of the camera will be for landscape photography.

Thanks

Guy

07-20-2014, 02:39 PM - 1 Like   #2
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I always though they were identical, check the lens reviews on this forum; if so it dpeneds on whether you need autofocus and whether you have the hood for the A version (the plastic, bayonet FA hoods are more practical than the rubber, folding A ones).
A lenses do not give you the info that FA ones do (on film or digitally). But you may get a bargain…
I had the 45-85 FA version and it is very, very good.
07-20-2014, 05:12 PM - 1 Like   #3
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I can't comment on the 45-85 (I use A lenses on my 645 [film], but haven't used an fa or 45-85 on the 645 yet), but one thing I've noticed between the a and fa series on k-mount though, is that the fa's seem to have a better coating than the A series (that, or time has not been kind to the older ones I've tried). This has pretty much been the case with all direct comparisons I've made on 20, 28, 35 and 50 focal lengths. Without fail, the a series seem to struggle more with CA, contrast, and flare.

Personally, if I was heading in the wide angle direction, I'd opt for an fa (based on comparisons I've made on k-mount between say the 20A and 20FA - the old A-wide angles flare like a b'stard compared to the fa's!). If it was for normal/portrait FL's, I'd be happy with either series.

I will say though, in general the older A lenses I've bought for the 645 (I only shoot film on it, so this does not include digital!) have always impressed me (the build quality is better than the k mount 'a' series)

As I said before though, I still have a hunch that the 'z' would prefer the fa's over the a's (specifically when shooting wide angle, when flare is more likely to be an issue). That is however a hunch, so I'm now expecting to be shot down by people who have compared the a and fa series on the 645...
07-20-2014, 05:56 PM - 1 Like   #4
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I have the FA version in my 645Z kit. Seems like a good all rounder of a lens. I think optically they are very similar, I went with FA as I need AF sometimes.

07-20-2014, 11:22 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Smolk Quote
I always though they were identical, check the lens reviews on this forum; if so it dpeneds on whether you need autofocus and whether you have the hood for the A version (the plastic, bayonet FA hoods are more practical than the rubber, folding A ones).
A lenses do not give you the info that FA ones do (on film or digitally). But you may get a bargainÖ
I had the 45-85 FA version and it is very, very good.
Thank you. I believe I just purchased your 120mm

There isn't a review for the A version in the standard review section unless I missed something?
07-20-2014, 11:26 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by robthebloke Quote
I can't comment on the 45-85 (I use A lenses on my 645 [film], but haven't used an fa or 45-85 on the 645 yet), but one thing I've noticed between the a and fa series on k-mount though, is that the fa's seem to have a better coating than the A series (that, or time has not been kind to the older ones I've tried).

Personally, if I was heading in the wide angle direction, I'd opt for an fa (based on comparisons I've made on k-mount between say the 20A and 20FA - the old A-wide angles flare like a b'stard compared to the fa's!). If it was for normal/portrait FL's, I'd be happy with either series.

I will say though, in general the older A lenses I've bought for the 645 (I only shoot film on it, so this does not include digital!) have always impressed me (the build quality is better than the k mount 'a' series)

As I said before though, I still have a hunch that the 'z' would prefer the fa's over the a's (specifically when shooting wide angle, when flare is more likely to be an issue). That is however a hunch, so I'm now expecting to be shot down by people who have compared the a and fa series on the 645...
Thanks for that. I did have a sneaky suspicion on the older lenses. However from what I have read the 35 A is better suited than the FA due to some strange curvature reported in the users of the latter on the 645D.
07-21-2014, 06:34 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by gha128 Quote
Thanks for that. I did have a sneaky suspicion on the older lenses. However from what I have read the 35 A is better suited than the FA due to some strange curvature reported in the users of the latter on the 645D.

I've never shot the 35 FA, but the 35 A does have quite a bit of distortion, however, I find it quite easy to correct in post and it isn't any sort of an issue for landscape photography...my flat horizons are just a little bit 'bubbled' until I fix it in post.
07-24-2014, 10:35 AM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by gha128 Quote
Thank you. I believe I just purchased your 120mm

There isn't a review for the A version in the standard review section unless I missed something?
Ah, let me know how you get on with it! And there should be a review for the A 120mm, as I seem to remember I contributed one Ö.
You were just in time. I was considering to withdraw it, basically because Iím still hesitating whether Iíll plumb for the 645D or not.
For now, I decided to limit myself to the A 35, FA 75 and 150mm lenses. The 120mm was just too close to the 150mm , although sharper, but I have a Makro Planar 120mm for my Rolleiflex 6008.

07-24-2014, 09:07 PM - 1 Like   #9
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I have the FA version and I've been using it on the Z. I haven't had it for very long but I have been very impressed with it so far. Sharp enough to hold up to 51MP, very little distortion, and almost zero aberrations.
07-24-2014, 09:11 PM - 1 Like   #10
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I have both the A and FA versions of the 45-68. Optically they are the same. Coatings may differ slightly but wouldn't be much. While one might think the A version would be better for manual focussing it isn't all that much better.

I use the A when I am in really dusty and sandy environments. Reason being that it is a whole lot cheaper if it gets ruined... Otherwise I use the FA. The hood is better, AF is reasonably well, feels to be a better build (front element/focus ring has a bit of wobble on the A when you push on it). Honestly I wouldn't consider an A version; if you are justifying the cost of a 645Z then don't skimp. Besides you will likely go through a couple copies before you get a good one where the elements are centred properly and you can get focus calibration.

Someday maybe Pentax will bring us the wide zoom they promised and the replacement 45-85. They were promised like 3yrs ago and I would have thought for sure they would release them with the 645Z; but well it is what we come to expect from Pentax.
07-25-2014, 05:06 AM   #11
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Thank you all for your comments

I went with the FA version

My lens kit is complete. Now waiting for the backorder...
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