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10-09-2013, 03:10 PM   #1
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Best 40mm?

Trying to sell my DA 15mm and DA 40mm to fund one nice 40mm for my MX (just shipped it off to Eric).

Voigtlander 40mm f/2 Ultron:
- well built
- sharp
- a little expensive
- said to have busy out of focus areas

Pentax-M 40mm f/2.8:
- most compact
- cheapest
- decent image quality
- people say the focus ring is too small

Pentax-FA Limted 43mm 1.9
- 3-D rendering
- well built
- smoother OOF areas
- most expensive

Any other suggestions?

10-09-2013, 03:16 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Skullsroad Quote
Trying to sell my DA 15mm and DA 40mm to fund one nice 40mm for my MX (just shipped it off to Eric).

Voigtlander 40mm f/2 Ultron:
- well built
- sharp
- a little expensive
- said to have busy out of focus areas

Pentax-M 40mm f/2.8:
- most compact
- cheapest
- decent image quality
- people say the focus ring is too small

Pentax-FA Limted 43mm 1.9
- 3-D rendering
- well built
- smoother OOF areas
- most expensive

Any other suggestions?
Film cameras aren't that picky, so I would say bokeh is the most important thing you should be looking at. Therefore I'd recommend the 43mm. The original M 40mm isn't very good with its 5 blades.

Adam
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10-09-2013, 03:35 PM   #3
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+1 on the FA43.

Phil.
10-09-2013, 04:24 PM   #4
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Did you try the DA40 on your MX? It's not top-notch in the corners but apparently it can do a decent job; I have not shot any film but I can see the darkening in the corners when wide open.

10-09-2013, 04:49 PM   #5
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You forgot to include the Pentax 40mm F 2.8 Limited. I have one. Super sharp.
10-09-2013, 04:55 PM   #6
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I own a M 40 F2.8 and I will say - get the FA 43 Ltd. The M40 is a nice lens, but if you want the best 40mm, it will not qualify. It is sharp in the center, but the edges are really quite weak. And since 40mm on 35mm film is semi-wide, you would want sharp corners for some landscape work.
10-09-2013, 05:12 PM   #7
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Need to say the you should go with the Limted 43mm 1.9. Ive had the 40mm Limited 2.8 and though an excellent lens, it's characteristics do not match the the 43mm. You've mentioned a few of them, but the colors and IQ are much better imo.
10-09-2013, 05:19 PM - 1 Like   #8
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With no aperture ring the DA40 would be "limited" indeed on the MX.

10-09-2013, 05:35 PM   #9
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43mm is a no brainer. BTW, the silver one is $160 cheaper than the black one.
10-09-2013, 06:43 PM   #10
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The SMC Pentax 1:2.8 40mm
https://app.box.com/s/209edf19081385021670
https://app.box.com/s/ec1756e7f656e3c15e71

The first one was taken a at f/2.8 , hand held (using an akvavit instead of a tripod).
Actually this lens is great for travel, and it did so a lot, despite its thin rings.
I think it is nice in low light in range f/2.8 to f/5.6.
10-09-2013, 07:02 PM   #11
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Are you dead set on a 40mm lens? If you are open to adding 35mm to the mix the options open up quite a bit.

Of the lenses you have listed I would agree with the others and go with the 43mm. The only reason I would hesitate is due to focus feel. The FA limiteds feel very good for an AF lens, but don't hold a candle to a traditional MF lens as far as smoothness is concered IMHO. For some this might not make much difference, but I find that using a traditional MF lens makes the entire process much more enjoyable. That being said the ring on the M 40mm is small enough to be a PITA (never used the voigtlander so I can't comment).

10-09-2013, 07:34 PM   #12
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The M 40mm is a bit of a pain on a dslr and the fat K-01, but it was designed for Pentax MX etc .
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10-09-2013, 07:45 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by baro-nite Quote
With no aperture ring the DA40 would be "limited" indeed on the MX.
oopz got me there

I owned the M-40 for quite a while and loved its images. My 1999 Sierra Nevada hike was shot only with that lens (and a Program Plus, I think) to keep me spry as it was a lot of off-trail work. Oh I had a video cam too, forgot that extra weight - I sure won't miss that on future trips!

The scans on my site are pathetic and need to be re-done... some day.
10-09-2013, 09:23 PM   #14
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Original Poster
@jimr-pdx - Yeah, the lack of aperture control on the DA Limited is a no go. Although I did test it on a ZX-5n and liked the results.

@DAP - Yeah, I've tried to like 35mm. I can use it but something always feels...off. 35s tend to be quite a bit larger as well. Also, the lack of focus dampening does concern me with the 43. I have a FA 50 1.4 and I really don't like how it turns with no resistance.

The Voigtlander seems to be uncommon and I hope someone chimes in with experience.

I'm planning on locking away all my other cameras (close to 20 now) and using the MX with a nice 40 for as long as possible...maybe a year...hopefully...maybe. The only other camera that I'd choose over the MX is my OM2n.
10-10-2013, 04:55 PM   #15
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For me, for an MX it's a no-brainer, the M40 would be the best choice. Not only was it designed for the MX, but (thanks partly to the thin focus ring), you can see not only the aperture in the Judas window, but also part of the focus ring markings too (the orange distance marker is most evident - 3m?). The focus ring may be thin, but the biggest difference is getting used to it being much closer to the camera than other lenses (the 'knurls' on it are more than adequate).
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