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03-27-2016, 03:41 PM   #1
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FA limiteds for non-'portraits'

I see the vast majority of work from these three lenses being portraits/figures, human, animals, botanicals with a central subject.

Thinking about use on the new k-1 for landscapes ...not necessarily traditional wide, sharp across the frame shots, but instead landscape shots where apertures can be wider and compositions picked out from a wider vista etc.

I wonder why there are so, relatively, fewer examples. Is it some characteristic of these lenses that don't work so well in the above manner ? Maybe flare ... ? Maybe aberrations at the extremes ? * Thinking k-1 use * only, please.

(As an aside in the the UK there are some brief good discounts on these lenses. Is this because a refresh rate is really imminent ? New coatings, perhaps ?)

Thanks

03-27-2016, 03:48 PM   #2
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Well, since the K-1 is the first full-frame body, folks haven't really had the chance to take full advantage of the wide-angle capabilities of the FA limiteds on digital. With that said, landscape shots still seem to be well-represented in our sample photo archive:
Smc PENTAX-FA 31mm F1.8 AL Limited | Sample Photos for Pentax Cameras & Lenses - PentaxForums.com

QuoteOriginally posted by BarryE Quote
(As an aside in the the UK there are some brief good discounts on these lenses. Is this because a refresh rate is really imminent ? New coatings, perhaps ?)
Pure speculation at the moment, but it's possible that the FA limiteds will be updated or re-released with updated coatings and silent AF. I don't think this has anything to do with the current pricing, though.

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03-27-2016, 03:54 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Pure speculation at the moment, but it's possible that the FA limiteds will be updated or re-released with updated coatings and silent AF
So we will end up with four 'types' of FA limited

1. <10,000 serial version (MIJ + leaded glass)
2. >10,000 serial MIJ
3. >10,000 serial AIV
4. HD coated version (MIJ or AIV?)

I am drawn to 'type 1' as the leaded glass seems to give that extra something that version 4 probably can't. But we have no idea what this speculated version 4 might be - it could use a special glass superior to the type 1???
03-27-2016, 04:27 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wild Mark Quote
So we will end up with four 'types' of FA limited

1. <10,000 serial version (MIJ + leaded glass)
2. >10,000 serial MIJ
3. >10,000 serial AIV
4. HD coated version (MIJ or AIV?)

I am drawn to 'type 1' as the leaded glass seems to give that extra something that version 4 probably can't. But we have no idea what this speculated version 4 might be - it could use a special glass superior to the type 1???
Unfortunately your theory only applies to FA 43 limited. And the series number is <2000 for 1).

03-27-2016, 04:59 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by BarryE Quote
I wonder why there are so, relatively, fewer examples. Is it some characteristic of these lenses that don't work so well in the above manner ? Maybe flare ... ? Maybe aberrations at the extremes ?
With my K-7 and K-3 (APS-C), I have used very successfully my FA77mm f1.8 Lt (MiJ) for landscape as short tele. Similarly with mr FA31mm f1.8 Ltd (MiV). I love my FA77mm for portrait - do not get me wrong. But I have been very impressed by my FA77mm f1,8 for landscape shots, incl in difficult lighting situations such as sunrise, sunset, foggy mornings....

There are many good reasons that the FA77mm f1.8 Ltd was PF members favourite lens last year. It is outstanding for portrait as well as any other things.

My 5 cents...
03-27-2016, 05:38 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by starjedi Quote
Unfortunately your theory only applies to FA 43 limited. And the series number is <2000 for 1).
Stand corrected

my quest for the FA43 just got harder
03-27-2016, 06:08 PM - 2 Likes   #7
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I use my (low serial number) 43 for not-portraits with great frequency. Some recent ones:








And recently acquired a (very) low serial number 77 to equal effect:





03-27-2016, 06:32 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by BarryE Quote
Thinking about use on the new k-1 for landscapes
I think you will find that the FA 31/1.8 was designed for landscape photography on FF. Some seem to think that you need 24mm or wider, but such is not the case with the larger format. I have been shooting landscape on 35mm film since the late 1960s and have seldom needed wider than 28mm to cover most subjects. If I were shopping for a premium landscape lens for the K-1, the FA 31 would be near the top of my list. As for shooting wider apertures for landscape...adequate DOF is one of the major challenges for many landscape subjects. Of course your style may allow for for different technique.


Steve

03-27-2016, 06:38 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wild Mark Quote
So we will end up with four 'types' of FA limited 1. <10,000 serial version (MIJ + leaded glass) 2. >10,000 serial MIJ 3. >10,000 serial AIV 4. HD coated version (MIJ or AIV?) I am drawn to 'type 1' as the leaded glass seems to give that extra something that version 4 probably can't

Pure conjecture. Sounds to me like the kind of unfounded concept people peddle to make even further distinctions between the MIJ and AIV FA limited lenses, in the same fashion as leicaphiles who thumb their noses at Canadian made Leica lenses- they are the same blasted lens design! The change from leaded to unleaded glass would require a lens re-design as the refractive index of the glass would change*. As far as i'm aware different glass makers changed to un-leaded glass at different times before the RoHS directives were made mandatory, and some manufacturers still make leaded optical glass**


* Lead content has profound effect on the machine processes used to shape glass. To shape an unleaded glass blank the same way you would shape a leaded glass blank might increase the defect rate, or require more steps to complete the shaping process which would increase production cost. And even then a small difference in refractive index can drastically alter the properties of the lens.
** these glass types have lead concentrations that are only fractionally below the maximum levels allowed by RoHS, and are still being made.

Last edited by Digitalis; 03-29-2016 at 09:52 PM.
03-27-2016, 06:43 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by BarryE Quote
portraits/figures, human, animals, botanicals with a central subject
QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
I have used very successfully my FA77mm f1.8 Lt (MiJ) for landscape as short tele
BTW...I shoot close-quarters sports with my FA 77/1.8...


Steve
03-27-2016, 06:49 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
** these glass types have lead concentrations that are only fractionally below the maximum levels allowed by RoHS, and are still being made.
Thanks for adding this bit to the discussion. There is the assumption that RoHS required a thorough redesign of all lenses due to heavy metal content. Of course that assumption is based on a deeper assumption that most (all) lenses were out of compliance or that lead is a common component of traditional optical glass.


Steve
03-27-2016, 07:04 PM - 1 Like   #12
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They're terrible for landscapes... (31mm Limited, Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada)


Just awful... (31mm Limited, Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, VA)


No redeeming value whatsoever... (77mm Limited, Mule Ears, Big Bend National Park, TX)


Just utter drek... (77mm Limited, Artist's Drive, Death Valley National Park)


I'm not sure where your "not good for landscapes/not often used for landscapes" is coming from. My 31mm Limited sees very heavy use as a landscape lens, and I think it's fantastic. I literally have nothing bad to say about it. The 77mm is also an excellent landscape lens, but it's rarer to find subjects that fit that field of view. What's not to like? They're relatively small and easy to carry around so they always come hiking with me, I never have to worry about the build quality, their sharpness is excellent from f/4.0 onwards, and I can't ever remember having problems with flare, vignetting, or aberrations. Most of my photography is landscapes and I can't imagine what life would be like without the 31mm Limited.
03-27-2016, 07:09 PM   #13
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I think based on the intent and criteria that you describe in the OP second paragraph, you could find the FA limited lenses to be very capable. These lenses typically deliver very well with about any subject matter. Naturally there should be other lenses with nice capability as well. The DA* 55mm seems to consistently deliver similar performance in subject isolation, with a slightly different but distinguished look and is WR. As with any lens, camera to subject vs subject to background distance also plays a significant role.

And just look at those terrible scenic examples from Outis! Valley of Fire… Mules Ears… WOW!
03-27-2016, 08:57 PM   #14
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huh? I definitely use my FA limiteds stopped down for landscapes:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikeoria/sets/72157629063825729

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikeoria/sets/72157629063780615
03-27-2016, 09:43 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by BarryE Quote
Thinking about use on the new k-1 for landscapes ...not necessarily traditional wide, sharp across the frame shots, but instead landscape shots where apertures can be wider and compositions picked out from a wider vista etc.
I tend to doubt that you'll get the "compositions picked out from a wider vista" you would like if by that you mean using shallow DOF to separate one element of a landscape from others unless that element is pretty close to you. I've never owned a tilt shift lens, but I've seen examples leading me to believe that the tilt capabilities of such a lens might allow you to manipulate DOF to more readily give that effect.
Daryl
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