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11-11-2015, 05:10 PM   #1
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New Pentax-D FA645 35mm F3.5 prime

Ricoh introduces designed-for-digital HD Pentax-D FA645 35mm F3.5 prime: Digital Photography Review

December! Whoop!

11-11-2015, 07:07 PM   #2
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My favorite lens. Bought new at B&H.
11-11-2015, 07:21 PM   #3
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Looking at the old and new model, the specs are very similar. Differences include:
-10g heavier;
-one more diaphragm blade;
-a few changes to the external design of the lens (looks more like the 55mm); and
-different coatings on the glass.

Overall not much difference.

Tests will tell if it is better optically. Without testing it is very minimal upgrade.

Last edited by TheDocAUS; 11-11-2015 at 11:58 PM.
11-11-2015, 10:43 PM   #4
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Some questions that occur to me are:
1. How does it compare optically with the 35mm FA and A lenses?;
2. Specifically has the field curvature generally found with the FA been remedied?;
3. How does it compare optically with the 28-45 at apertures from f4.5 (and smaller) (because this might mean anyone owning the zoom might not want this lens, unless it be because it's smaller)?;
4. What's it like from f3.5 - f4.5 (because this would represent an area where it can do something the zoom cannot)?

11-12-2015, 12:27 AM   #5
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The 1549 euro price tag is about 1650 usd right now. Speculating only on the financial angle I don't expect to be wowed by this lens. The killer DFA glass costs 5000 dollars per lens. This one is closer in price to the DFA 55mm which is not stellar at all until stopped down a few stops.........
11-12-2015, 01:56 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by TheDocAUS Quote
Looking at the old and new model, the specs are very similar. Differences include:
-10g heavier;
-one more diaphragm blade;
-a few changes to the external design of the lens (looks more like the 55mm); and
-different coatings on the glass.

Overall not much difference.

Tests will tell if it is better optically. Without testing it is very minimal upgrade.
QuoteOriginally posted by Ed Hurst Quote
Some questions that occur to me are:
1. How does it compare optically with the 35mm FA and A lenses?;
2. Specifically has the field curvature generally found with the FA been remedied?;
3. How does it compare optically with the 28-45 at apertures from f4.5 (and smaller) (because this might mean anyone owning the zoom might not want this lens, unless it be because it's smaller)?;
4. What's it like from f3.5 - f4.5 (because this would represent an area where it can do something the zoom cannot)?
The optical formula is said to be the same, the difference is in aspherical glass used, low dispersion glass used and a new coating. This could take care of image aberrations, possibly of field curvature, definitely flare as well as improve contrast. However, until we see one it's difficult to tell exactly.

As far as the 28-45mm, I can't see how the new lens will replace it, for the work I do at least, and at least until Pentax will give us a true WA to go with it. For my landscape work, I use the 28-45mm 90% of the time, and a longer lens for the remaining 10%; plus, I don't particularly need a fast lens for what I do. I wouldn't be able to replace the 28-45mm with the 35 + 55mm, which is the alternative today (the 45mm is not a great performer, sadly). However, if Pentax will give me a 20-something lens, I might consider using only primes: that, the 35mm and the 55mm would make for a nice, light kit. Of course, YMMV according to your focal length preferences, the subjects you shoot and the look you are after...

Best,

Vieri
11-12-2015, 02:08 AM   #7
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Genuinely don't understand the logic behind this introduction. Of all the lenses they could introduce....
11-12-2015, 02:10 AM - 2 Likes   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by gha128 Quote
Genuinely don't understand the logic behind this introduction. Of all the lenses they could introduce....
its a simple update of a lens probably sold out

11-12-2015, 02:52 AM   #9
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I was reading up on this as info came out. I wasn't happy the AF system remained the same, but no weather sealing?

One of the reasons I didn't use my Z much at weddings was the noise of the AF motors. One of the reasons I stopped using my Z much for landscapes is because of dust getting into the lens (a nice beach in Iceland finished off my tripod and didn't get on with the 35 FA at all well).

We've a body we can virtually drown and freeze yet it's not applied to a new 35? Is this to preserve sales of the much heavier and for many, impractical 28-45?
11-12-2015, 05:36 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by gha128 Quote
Genuinely don't understand the logic behind this introduction. Of all the lenses they could introduce....
QuoteOriginally posted by Franc Quote
its a simple update of a lens probably sold out
Most likely that's what this is
11-12-2015, 09:59 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Chris Giles Quote
I was reading up on this as info came out. I wasn't happy the AF system remained the same, but no weather sealing?

One of the reasons I didn't use my Z much at weddings was the noise of the AF motors. One of the reasons I stopped using my Z much for landscapes is because of dust getting into the lens (a nice beach in Iceland finished off my tripod and didn't get on with the 35 FA at all well).

We've a body we can virtually drown and freeze yet it's not applied to a new 35? Is this to preserve sales of the much heavier and for many, impractical 28-45?
For the price, that's what it is. I think it is just an opportunistic, incremental upgrade at minimal R&D cost. This is a "budget" wide. Buy this with the 645D, 55, and 120 or 150 and you've got a pretty nice 3-lens kit MF system for ~$8,000 all in!

Edit: Of course, what do I know--my 3-lens MF kit is a 6x7 MLU with 45/105/150 lenses for probably a tenth of the above cost! I would love a digital 645, but that ain't happening for me any time soon...
11-12-2015, 04:01 PM   #12
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I'm getting it

Love my old 35 but it does have a bit of colour fringing
11-13-2015, 01:33 AM   #13
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It doesnt look like a basic upgrade if the MTF charts on PhotoRumors.com are anything to go by. No sign of field curvature in those charts.

I think the old model had a ring of sharpness dropoff between the centre and edges, possibly due to field curvature. The new one may not have this. If not then its a good job by Pentax and I will get one to compliment my 28-45mm zoom.

Looks smart too, had the new finish on the barrel like the 90mm.
11-13-2015, 08:15 AM   #14
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Plus one on the need for a WA prime in the twenty somethings, the 28-45 just strikes me as a bit too much of a beast unless you want to drive to your landscape shoots.
11-13-2015, 03:45 PM   #15
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It is now listed on the Pentax US website for US $1099. WOW thats a great price. The sample images look sharp across the frame too.

HD PENTAX-D FA645 35mm Lens | Ricoh Imaging
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