Pentax Limited lenses experiences

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by brofkand, Apr 10, 2013.

  1. brofkand

    brofkand Member

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    Hi,

    I've been a Pentax 35mm user for a while now, currently shooting with an MZ-S and usually the FA 50 1.4. After selling some of my lesser used equipment, I've got enough money for an FA Limited 43mm. I see it as a replacement for the FA 50mm I use now; similar enough in focal length.

    What have been your experiences with the FA Limiteds? They receive mixed reviews on the web (tested on APS-C DSLRs, not the 35mm frame as they were designed). Most Pentaxians think they are made with unicorn tears, while most lens reviewers say they are pretty but not especially wonderful lenses. (witness the Photozone.de review of the FA 43mm in particular). That's quite a disagreement there, but is not rare. Pentaxians highly regard the DA* 16-50 but it's a fairly average to poor optical lens in my experience. The corners of the APS-C frame are more blurry than a Holga with the 16-50.

    I don't necessarily need the lens to resolve a human hair from a mile away, but I don't want to feel like I was taken a fool for my money when it arrives. It's an expensive lens for a normal...just shy of $600.

    So, to the people of APUG who have used these lenses on 35mm film: what is your experience with them? I'll be using the 43mm on an MZ-S, with Acros, Delta 400, and Portra 160.

    I plan to start with the FA 43, and in a few months to a year when I can afford it comfortably I'll pick up the FA 31. I doubt I'll get the FA 77 unless I get a good deal on it; I have a 100mm and I tend to like that FL better for controlled-lighting portraits.
     
  2. Pioneer

    Pioneer Subscriber

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    I don't own the 43 but I do have the 31 and the 77. I would not part with either one.

    I use them most of the time with my PZ1p, but I also like the 31 with my digital because it is close to the same perspective as a 50 on film.

    They certainly aren't perfect, but they are extremely well built, and the image quality of both the 31 and the 77 are very hard to fault. I think that this little article by Mike Johnston at Luminous Landscape puts things in perspective quite well.

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/columns/sm-02-05-02.shtml
     
  3. Andrew K

    Andrew K Subscriber

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    I owned the 43 for a while when I used Pentax (MZ5/MZ5n/ZX1P)......I found it to be on par with the Canon L series lenses I had used in FD (and I owned most of them between 14 and 300mm)!

    Would I buy one again if I went back to Pentax film bodies?

    Y E S !
     
  4. brofkand

    brofkand Member

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    Thank you for your replies. I am happy to hear from people that have used these lenses on film. So many reviews on Pentax Forums list as a con, "awkward focal length." Perhaps it could be on APS-C, but on 35mm film it's exactly what I'm looking for. I await the UPS truck with bated breath!

    The article Pioneer linked to was very good. Thank you! It appears this lens will perfectly mate with my MZ-S. I can't wait to run some Acros or Portra 160 through it with the FA 43mm Limited.