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Latest Review Posted SMC Pentax-FA 31mm F1.8 AL Limited
I was very excited to have an opportunity to borrow a AIV 31mm from a colleague at work for several weeks. I own a FA 35 f2, the FA Limited 77, and the DA HD 20-40 Limited (APS-C) as well.


This review is a comparison of the 31, 35, and 20-40 lenses on the K1.


Image quality
The 31mm is very very good in low-to-soft light, and the bokeh is in a completely different class from the FA 35mm than I would have imagined. Exposure metering is better on the 31mm too. Low light, shallow DOF appear to be the strengths of this lens, and it makes for a good portrait lens.


Sharpness of the 31mm and 35mm were equal. I could not detect a difference.


In harsh light, the 31mm showed massive purple fringing in high contrast areas; as bad as the FA 35. Given the reputation of this lens, I am really disappointed.


Another surprise: the DA limited 20-40 on the K1 was nearly as sharp as the FA 31mm at 3.5! The FA 31 has much less vignetting of course; but what surprised me was how usable images with 20-40 are on full-frame.


Handling
The 31mm is solid and enjoyable to use; and on a APS-C body nicely balanced. The K1 however is already heavier than I would like, and I prefer the lighter plastic weight of the FA 35. T he 31mm made it impossible for me to shoot the K1 a single-hand.


Value
The 31mm is a great lens, but is it worth the significant cost over the FA 35? For me, it would have to be significantly better than the FA 35 and even the DA 20-40 (which I am now using w...



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