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03-05-2012, 11:37 PM   #16
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I can't argue that I really want the FA31 but i've thought about it alot today and it's not really something I can afford right now or anywhere in the near future really so I have to put it out of my mind, basically I am now looking at the DA 35 2.4 and Sigma 30 1.4 (I have just inquired about buying one from a guy selling on these forums and the great thing about it - he lives in New Zealand also so if I do buy it, it could save me shipping and import tax's) anyone really think I shouldn't go with the sigma or have more suggestions?

And dammit, stop posting beautiful pictures you have taken with the FA31 ltd, they make me drool and want it more every time. Haha.

Thanks guys.

03-06-2012, 02:29 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damon Quote
anyone really think I shouldn't go with the sigma or have more suggestions?
The sigma 30mm f/1.4 is a capable lens, but its optical characteristics can be limiting on the kind of subjects you can photograph* - I prefer the FA31 because of its homogeneous distribution of sharpness and inherently high level of micro-contrast across the whole APS-C (and 35mm) frame - The sigma 30mm f/1.4 is extremely sharp in the centre, but that sharpness falls off towards the edges of the frame (even at f/11 the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 cannot match the sharpness of the FA31 at f/4 in the corners) and the sigma is a APS-C format specific prime lens with no aperture ring. I do a lot of studio work and when I'm working with flash having the aperture ring under your fingers is a real boon. The FA31 is also a brilliant lens to use on pentax full frame film cameras too**.

* I know there are those who are going to challenge my opinion, you know who you are. By now you should also know that I stand by my statements.

**And if Pentax ever comes out with a full frame digital camera I'm sure the FA31 will be spectacular on it as well.

Last edited by Digitalis; 03-06-2012 at 02:40 AM.
03-06-2012, 05:43 PM   #18
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I really can't afford the FA 31, atleast not now or in the near future unless I win lotto or something of the sort. So what are
everyones suggestions? DA 35? DA 40? Sigma 30 1.4? (previous sale didn't go through) any help I would be incredibly grateful for.
Thanks guys.
03-06-2012, 05:46 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damon Quote
I really can't afford the FA 31, atleast not now or in the near future unless I win lotto or something of the sort. So what are
everyones suggestions? DA 35? DA 40? Sigma 30 1.4? (previous sale didn't go through) any help I would be incredibly grateful for.
Thanks guys.
Sigma 30/1.4 or a FA35/2.0. Other options are too slow IMHO and you might as well buy a f/2.8 zoom.

03-06-2012, 07:04 PM   #20
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I completely forgot about the FA 35 for some reason. Out of the sigma and the pentax what would you consider the better performer and specifically in the area of photography like street photography?
Thanks again everyone.
03-06-2012, 07:25 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damon Quote
I completely forgot about the FA 35 for some reason
What about the DA 35mm macro Limited . . . somebody is selling one here for about $450, you might be able to bargain with him. It is one sharp lens.
03-06-2012, 07:44 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by les3547 Quote
What about the DA 35mm macro Limited . . . somebody is selling one here for about $450, you might be able to bargain with him. It is one sharp lens.
It's not too bad on price, I would have to see if they were willing to ship to new zealand and what the shipping charges would be also. Thanks for the suggestion though, I will look into it when I get home.
03-06-2012, 08:12 PM   #23
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Good Evening Damon,

Having been a poor student, and probably going to be a poor retiree in the future, I can relate. I would ask some questions here going forward...
  • What do I specifically want the fast prime for - low light, bokeh, or .... ?
  • Manual or Auto focus?
  • You have indicated a focal length range, but within that range what end do you prefer?
  • Would you consider a K, M or A lens?
I posted part of this on another thread, but here is some information across the FA31Ltd....

QuoteQuote:
Carl Zeiss back in the mid 70's started the Contax line of professional SLRs. There is a entire story behind this (they helped Pentax develop the K mount and the K28/f2 lens which is a duplicate of the famous Carl Zeiss 28mm f2 Distagon T* lens). They also have a f2.8 version which is also wonderful. These lenses (Contax CZ 28mm f2.8 Distagon T*) are still available used in good condition for between about $275 and $350 (evilbay and craigslist). Leitax.com has a K mount replacement available for about $100 that you can swap yourself. Anyway, here is a review of the lens.Another poster - les3547 here on the Forums (who just posted on this thread), did a shootout between this lens and the FA 31 Limited, and here is the link...It may not be fast enough for your needs, but I find its ambient low light capabilities, especially up on a tripod with longer shutter times to produce some wonderful images.

Also, you should take a look at the Pentax lens reviews here on the Forum. The K, M, A, FA lenses as well as the third party reviews. There is quite a bit of information there...I think you can spend as much or as little as you desire, and get very good quality for the funds. There are lots of options from which to choose.
My intent in posting the above is that with a little research and looking, you can run across some really unexpected finds.

Also, I would go back and look at a lot of RioRico's posts. He is a master at finding wonderful inexpensive lenses of suburb image quality for a song. I would tend to go this route. Sure there are limitations (manual focusing, etc.), however it certainly opens up a wider range of lens options for you.



03-06-2012, 08:57 PM   #24
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Hello Interested Observer to answer your questions, I want a lens with good auto focus, preferably good bokeh, low light is not the most important thing for me. With the focal length I really like 50 on a full frame so I just went ahead and said 35 mm, I do own quite a few nice manual lenses but this time I most definitely want auto focus.
Thanks.
03-07-2012, 07:14 PM   #25
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I was walking around with my 50mm today and realised I do quite like that mini telephoto aspect which makes me consider the DA40 and FA43 again. I'm quite odd with the focal lengths I like. I like that mini telephoto aspect but I find it really limiting in basically any building and in a confined space I don't really even like a wide angle, I like ultra wide like 15mm or even less than that... So now I feel like instead of a single prime I would feel better with two separate primes to cover the main things I like to do in photography. The FA 43 is really close to what I have but it would offer alot of great features over an old manual lens and I feel like a slightly longer lens may make me feel slightly easier on the street, I wouldn't have to get so close... I am still new to this, sometimes it's scary haha. What do you think about these thoughts? Is the FA 43 a better competitor to the FA 31 with a slightly longer focal length? Thanks guys, just some thoughts I was thinking could help.
03-08-2012, 03:42 AM   #26
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An FA limited is an FA limited. There are arguments as to which one is best.....depending on FL, going from 77 to 31 is apples to oranges so they really aren't competitors. As recommended earlier, go over to the lens clubs and flip through 100 pages of examples.
03-08-2012, 05:57 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damon Quote
Hello Interested Observer to answer your questions, I want a lens with good auto focus, preferably good bokeh, low light is not the most important thing for me.
And what is a good bokeh, it all comes down to taste so you need to look for it yourself.
03-08-2012, 06:26 AM   #28
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to me good bokeh is smooth or circular. bad bokeh is most certainly hexagonal. for most people its not opinion, but certainly salt to taste.
03-08-2012, 07:42 AM   #29
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The best bokeh is on bad lenses, so just get an old Russian lens with a wide aperture or a HorrusBennu.
If you want a lens with good IQ, no CA and fringing, no distortion, get the DA 35mm f2.4. Its bokeh is a little nervous at times, but the bokeh fetish is a rather new advent in photography and people tend to overstate its value. While a background can ruin a shot, bokeh very rarely improves a shot.
Also, tele lenses tend to be blurrier/softer than wide angle lenses (I think its called different spatial distortion?), so for smoother bokeh you would want a winder lens (that is why portrait lenses tend to be 85mm and on full-frame 135mm)
03-08-2012, 11:00 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Deiberson Quote
to me good bokeh is smooth or circular. bad bokeh is most certainly hexagonal. for most people its not opinion, but certainly salt to taste.
Bokeh can't be hexagonal, Bokeh is about the light distribution within the "blur disks" so the blur disk can be hexagonal though but i wouldn't worry so much about that though you will only really see that with highlighted blur disks.
Bokeh
So don't go crazy looking at 12 bladed apertures or curved ones since they don't really define the OOF blur it's the optics that really make it.

I've the Sigma 30mm and that one has a smooth/soft bokeh and therefore very suited for portraits in my opinion.
Here some photos Full-size sample photos from Sigma 30mm F/1.4

This the Pentax 35 f/2 but it share the same optics as the DA35 f/2.4 so same bokeh.
It's a bit busier but not really that bad though.
Full-size sample photos from Pentax 35mm F/2
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