In praise of primes - which next?

Started Nov 11, 2012 | Discussions thread
miles green
miles green Veteran Member • Posts: 6,309
Re: In praise of primes - which next?

DrewE wrote:

Lawnmower Shooter wrote:

andy amos wrote:

DA40, small, full metal jacket, focuses fast, has quick shift and image quality is as good as it gets for the price. A true gem, shame its not as cheap as it was a few years ago when it was a real bargain!

HMMM the 40 is supposed to be good but for like $70 more the 43 LTD has better sharpness across the entire aperture and is FF with A ring. If you needed that last chunk of cash or needed something super small the 40 is good, but I would find it hard passing on the 43 for it. Theres also the extra stop of light if absolutely needed.

They're both certainly good lenses, there's no doubt about that. There are advantages and disadvantages to each, though, besides the price and aperture range.

The center sharpness of the FA43 is slightly better than the center sharpness of the DA40; however, the edges/borders of the DA40 are much better (particularly at wide apertures). Depending on what you're shooting, that may or may not matter much. The differences in central sharpness are pretty much unnoticeable in actual everyday use.

The FA43 is also a little low in contrast wide open, while the DA40 has great contrast throughout its aperture range. (Of course, wide open for the FA43 is beyond the aperture range of the DA40, so it's perhaps unfair to complain that it's not superior at that setting.)

The 43's performance wide open looks quite bad on paper. However, its character makes it great for portraiture, especially woman's. In the center, it has plenty of detail, with low contrast, and smooth flattering transitions from in focus to out of focus. The borders are not quite there resolution wise, but this has never bothered me when i shoot a portrait wide open. Stop it down to f/4 and it behaves like every other prime again.

The DA40 is noticeably faster in AF operations. The FA43 is noticeably nicer to use for manual focus.

The quick-shift focus clutch on the DA limiteds is nice!

If one uses a film camera from time to time, the FA43 is obviously more appropriate; but holding out for a full-frame digital camera from Pentax anytime in the somewhat near term seems to me to be foolish. They've made no announcements suggesting that they have one on the way,

Sure they have:

and no recent lens introductions have suggested anything other than APS-C and 645 in the future. (At the very least, they'd presumably need to introduce a kit lens of some sort, a FF normalish zoom. There's absolutely nothing like that in the lineup or in any lens roadmap I've seen.)

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Miles Green
Pentaxian with chronic LBA
Corfu, Greece

 miles green's gear list:miles green's gear list
Pentax K-1 Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG Macro HSM II Pentax smc DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited Pentax smc FA 31mm F1.8 AL Limited Pentax smc FA 43mm F1.9 Limited +8 more
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