My next lens the DA 43 ltd ?

Started Apr 28, 2013 | Discussions thread
OP Brentliris Veteran Member • Posts: 3,558
Just ordered a made in Japan 43

Thanks for all the inputs on the FA 43 ltd, both for and against. I mostly agree with all points presented.

I just ordered a used made in Japan FA 43 limited  from Japan with the import duties danish, vat and shipping it will cost somewhat less than the new made in Vietnam lens sold through SRS microsystems. But more than the cost of a made in Vietnam lens bought directly from B+H. The comment about the preferance for the made in Japan model sort of made me jump for this E+ example.

My reason for getting it is mostly to have a solid auto aperture AF performer with proven qualities for portrait photography in a small package that size and build qualitywise matches my other limiteds the DA 15,21,70. These have been rock solid and all with high quality IQ and color rending and bitingly sharp. What I missed though was a lens that offered smooth and buttery bokeh in a mild telephoto FOV. I'll use it for street, portrait, and "Found Art" object photography.

I noticed that the OOf highlights in the examples I checked on flickr were round and not hexagonal, and this was also and important feature I was looking for.

The comment about the bokeh being nervous doesn't really worry me as I will be using this for closer in head and shoulder shots and candids where there won't be a huge amount of background space in the frame to be marred by this posited bokeh problem. Further  This nervous bokeh seems to me after inspecting examples on Flickr, to be a problem in situations where the background is several meters behind the subject filled with smaller details..  An easy enough situation to work around.

In landscape and other situations where I might need this FOV I'll stop down the lens to 5.6 or 8 this will surely afford enough sharpness for this application.

The point about the speed advantage of this lens is also important, as I have no other AF lens that is this fast, all the DA limited are 2.4 or slower, the DA 21 being a 3.2.

The FOV is actually pretty attractive to me as I've used the 50mm and 55mm and have experienced that they are a little to tight, so the extra breathing room from the 43mm will be appreciated.

I'll be able to use the lens on my Film bodies, and perhaps an eventual FF pentax.

An aperture ring makes this lens useful on mirroless cameras with and adapter..

The 43 mm fills out the gap in my setup up quite nicely DA 15, 21, 43, 70 looks just about right.

That's about it looking at portraits taken with this lens on Flickr also charmed me, though a lot of the images in the FA 43mm pool seemed more like hey I got this lens! And not much serious work posted which showed the strengths and weakness of the the lens..

The size advantage of the 43mm as opposed to the DA* 55 made me finally settle for the 43mm as well, though I'm interested in a Weather sealed setup, I think I'd rather just get the 18-135, or perhaps the 17-70 ? weather sealed * lens on the lens roadmap.

Thanks again to all for the useful inputs..



The DA 35 macro is a stellar performer which I will eventually get repaired,  but note I do have the DFA 100 mm macro WR for serious macro work, and I found the working distance at macro magnification on this lens irritatingly close, so I relatively quickly upgraded my system to the 100 mm. For street the DA 35 macros AF focus hunting problem would crop up more than just occasionally, this because of the sorely missed distance limiter that  will be a thing of the past with the FA 43..

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Reflections, understandings, discoveries and intimations..

 Brentliris's gear list:Brentliris's gear list
Ricoh GR Ricoh GXR S10 24-72mm F2.5-4.4 VC Ricoh GXR Mount A12 Pentax K-3 II Pentax smc DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited +10 more
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