LBA: Pentax FA43mm f1.9 Limited [4 imgs]

Started May 8, 2008 | Discussions thread
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A Modest Mouse Veteran Member • Posts: 3,235
LBA: Pentax FA43mm f1.9 Limited [4 imgs]

So I added my Pentax Limited prime out of my intended three (I've now got the FA43 and DA70, and intend to add the 21 shortly - and likely the 15 thereafter). I was really excited to get the 43 and see how it compared to my now departed FA35/2.0, which was sacrificed to get the 43.

Frankly, the thing is built like a tank - people had said that before on here, but I didn't realize how a small lens could feel so robust. It is both heavier and very slightly physically longer than the DA70/2.4, with a girthier feel though every bit as 'compact'. If the 70 is a finely crafted miniature jewel, the 43 is a utilitarian piece of genius engineering. The weight feels good on my K100D Super and gives the whole package a sense of girth yet compactness - with the black 43 looking made for such a camera.

The AF is slightly faster then my FA35, and quite accurate (less so obviously when working with the quite-thin DOF @ f1.9). The lens is also slightly quieter when focusing, though nowhere near so as the 70. The manual focus feels more purposeful than its DA counterpart and is really kind of fun with this lens.

IQ is everything expected; 1.9 is for pure speed, but past 2.4 I don't see that the FA35 had a sharpness advantage. The focal length is quite useful - it is hard to say how it will suit or change my shooting as compared to a 54mm equiv. 'normal' (the 43mm is a 65mm equiv). I think it will probably cease most of my indoor use of the DA70 (or at least super low-light indoor), as it has enough reach and speed to do portrait and tight work in that kind of environment yet remains wide enough for walkaround.

The bokeh/rendering/subjective? Well - it seems darn nice to me, though I'm always a skeptic of subjectivity. The general feel/look of the rendering and coating influence seems to be filmish, well contrasted, and quite moody if exposure is hit properly. I'm finding reports of magical influence at f2.8-f4.5 to be pretty accurate; the lens hits amazing sharpness and isolates subjects wonderfully.

Enough rambling - some of my very early stuff with this lens below; just enough to wet your appetite and leave me searching for more mastery of this lens.


1/30s, f2.2, ISO 800

1/40s, f2.8, ISO 800

1/15s, f5.0, ISO 800

1/15s, f4.0, ISO 1600

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Hardly education
All them books I didn't read
They just sat there on my shelf
Looking much smarter than me

My Pentax K100D Super + FA35mm Gallery

My Pentax K100D Super + DA70mm Limited Gallery

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