My next lens the DA 43 ltd ?

Started Apr 28, 2013 | Discussions
Brentliris Veteran Member • Posts: 3,405
My next lens the DA 43 ltd ?

I have LBA for the DFA 43. Talk me out of it or into it!

I already own DA15 ltd DA 21 ltd DA 35 macro ltd (needs repair) estimated repair cost $250 usd,  M 28 3.5, KA 50 1.4, the K 55 1.8, DA 70  ltd DFA 100 WR.

The crux of  the matter is that because the DA 35 macro just seized up I can choose to  spend money on getting it repaired right now or get the 43mm limited either used or bought directly at the B+H store in NYC in a coming visit to the city.. I really like and want a AF lens in the 35mm 43mm range and because of all the accounts about 43mm being soo useful for portraits has got me interested.. Ii know there is the DA*55 1.4 or the new 50 1.8, but in a way I'm more attracted to the FOV of 43mm or less. I already have the 70mm for close in shots.. The strengths of the 43mm are well known, on the otherhand if it was the choice between getting the DA 35 macro fixed or the DA 40 ltd I'd just get the macro fixed because somehow the DA 40 ltd it doesn't have the same glowing reputation of the 43mm ltd, I like the idea of the FA 43 especielly for candid street work. I think for landscape stopped down it matches anything available. And for  "found art" object photography the gentle transistions from sharp to OOF areas could be very effective.. I think the 43mm ltd would be very useful as the great working distance is a great help in many situations. For working closer in I can always use the DA 21mm..

Anyone else considering the FA 43mm ltd or who has it and still uses it and like's it ? You can help me get over this passing LBA delirium. Actually Ii haven't regretted any of my Pentax gear purchases since I started on my present setup back in 2008...

Regards Brent

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Rod McD Veteran Member • Posts: 5,247
Re: My next lens the DA 43 ltd ?

Hi,

The 35Ltd and 43mm Ltd are very different lenses.  You seem like you've written off the idea of getting your 35mm fixed but it may be repairable for a very much cheaper price than any new lens.  If you enjoyed it, why not at east get a quote ?

I passed on the 43mm Ltd.  Some love it, some don't.  The 43mm Ltd has outstanding centre sharpness but is certainly not as sharp in the corners as the 40mm Ltd at any aperture according to the Photozone test report.  That may not be critical to you for street usage, but it was to me for landscape photography.  I bought the 40mm but have in fact wound up not using the FL all that much.  I've got the 31mm Ltd, the FA 50/1.4 & FA 50/2.8 and a 70mm Ltd and the 40mm just sort of doesn't get used in between.  I'm probably going to sell it.

Enjoy whatever you buy.

Cheers, Rod

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sfa1966
sfa1966 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,381
Re: My next lens the DA 43 ltd ?

I have all three of the 35 macro, the 40 and the 43. The 43 gets used the least. Yes, it has lovely smooth bokeh, but it lacks contrast wide open (it could use more modern coatings, I suppose), and is not as sharp across the frame as the 40 (although it is excellent in the centre). I also prefer the colours I get from the 40 (again, that might be a coating factor).

I suppose I am a 'digital lens for digital bodies' shooter. I have never caught sight - in my own photos or those of anyone else - of the magic 'pixie dust' which people proclaim is the province of the FA Limiteds.

But everything I have just said above is of course entirely subjective. YMMV.

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Cheers,
sfa

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Jim Radcliffe
Jim Radcliffe Forum Pro • Posts: 11,599
43 Ltd is a keeper for me...

I am not an edge to edge sharpness fanatic.  The 43 Ltd produces great images and the bokeh is very, very pleasing.  I own the 31, 77 and 43 Ltd lenses as well as the 35mm macro.  I feel they all have a place in my bag.. and that said even though I have the DA* 16-50 and the DA *50-135.

Primes are very useful even though the zooms can cover their ranges.. the zooms are not as fast and while very good there is a time and place for primes such as the 43 Ltd.

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Jim Radcliffe
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The ability to 'see' the shot is more important than the gear used to capture it.

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Pentax_Prime
Pentax_Prime Senior Member • Posts: 2,505
The only people who don't like the FA Limited lenses ...
2

... don't own the FA Limited series.  Certain folks are ... should we say upset (jealous/envious/angry/uber-haters) when the FA Limited lenses are mentioned.  They'll do anything to try to convince you they aren't worth buying.  The reality is the FA43 is one of the best prime lenses made for any system - fast, small, and extremely high IQ.

www.photobucket.com/PentaxFA43

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jimrpdx
jimrpdx Veteran Member • Posts: 3,427
Re: 40 Ltd is a keeper for me...

The only thing I know about the FA43 is that I cannot afford one but the DA40 can be had for under $250 for patient buyers.  And it's plenty good enough for me; the 40/70 combo is exquisite.

DA40, granite and larch (f/3.2)

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Jim Radcliffe
Jim Radcliffe Forum Pro • Posts: 11,599
Plus....
1

Pentax_Prime wrote:

... don't own the FA Limited series.  Certain folks are ... should we say upset (jealous/envious/angry/uber-haters) when the FA Limited lenses are mentioned.  They'll do anything to try to convince you they aren't worth buying.  The reality is the FA43 is one of the best prime lenses made for any system - fast, small, and extremely high IQ.

www.photobucket.com/PentaxFA43

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One day, when the full frame Pentax arrives, those who have the FA lenses will be ahead of the game... and the bokeh will be even better.

  1. FA 31mm f1.8 Limited
  2. FA 35mm f2.0
  3. FA 43mm f1.9 Limited
  4. DFA 50mm f2.8 macro
  5. FA 50mm f1.4
  6. DA 50mm f1.8 (caveat: described as FF by retailers and seems to perform as FF lens. Unknown if Pentax told retailers it was FF.)
  7. FA 77mm f1.8 Limited
  8. DFA 100mm f/2.8 macro
  9. DA* 300mm f4
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Jim Radcliffe
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The ability to 'see' the shot is more important than the gear used to capture it.

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jimrpdx
jimrpdx Veteran Member • Posts: 3,427
Re: Plus....

Jim Radcliffe wrote:

Pentax_Prime wrote:

Certain folks are ... should we say upset (jealous/envious/angry/uber-haters) when the FA Limited lenses are mentioned.  They'll do anything to try to convince you they aren't worth buying.  The reality is the FA43 is one of the best prime lenses made for any system - fast, small, and extremely high IQ.

One day, when the full frame Pentax arrives, those who have the FA lenses will be ahead of the game... and the bokeh will be even better.

  1. FA 31mm f1.8 Limited
  2. FA 35mm f2.0
  3. FA 43mm f1.9 Limited
  4. DFA 50mm f2.8 macro
  5. FA 50mm f1.4
  6. DA 50mm f1.8 (caveat: described as FF by retailers and seems to perform as FF lens. Unknown if Pentax told retailers it was FF.)
  7. FA 77mm f1.8 Limited
  8. DFA 100mm f/2.8 macro
  9. DA* 300mm f4

My ff-friendly kit may never fit on a full-frame body for me, but I don't doubt that others might covet my Sigma 15 fisheye or Tamron 17-35.  And rumor has it that my DA40 and 70 could manage on a 24×36 sensor also, though they suffer when used wide open.

I certainly won't speak ill of the FAs, only that my budget cannot reach that far right now.  The sub-$200 Tamron has saved me a lot of LBA and budget headaches!

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Wheatfield
Wheatfield Veteran Member • Posts: 6,297
Re: My next lens the DA 43 ltd ?

Brentliris wrote:

I have LBA for the DFA 43. Talk me out of it or into it!

It's my favourite lens on the APS-C format.

YMMV.

Hope this helps

Robgo2 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,786
Re: My next lens the DA 43 ltd ?

It seems as though you are doing a pretty good job of talking yourself into the FA43.  FWIW, it's my favorite of the three FA Limiteds, but they are all excellent.

Rob

citrontokyo Contributing Member • Posts: 812
Re: My next lens the DA 43 ltd ?

For handling and convenience, the 43 is my favorite lens: small, fast and has quick AF. Great as a walk-around lens. Mostly though, I think it's an excellent lens for shots of people, great for cramped indoor portraits.

You'll miss close focusing of the 35mm limited, and the slightly wider FOV, though. There's no reason why you can't fix up the 35 limited when you get some extra cash, and buy the 43 now if you can afford it.

I have a 28mm, 35mm and 43 mm for various "normalish" uses and love each of them. I have no plan to sell any of them.

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Ian J G Contributing Member • Posts: 664
Re: My next lens the DA 43 ltd ?

I love my 43mm. I likwe the FL, for my shooting the 50mm is a bit narrow at times. The pic quality is very nice, and it's a joy to handle.

Now that's for MY shooting usages (maybe it's not the best for landscapes, I don't know as I've never used it like that); I just don't know how it syncs with how and what YOU shoot.

Good luck

Ian

essH Contributing Member • Posts: 839
Re: My next lens the DA 43 ltd ?

citrontokyo wrote:

For handling and convenience, the 43 is my favorite lens: small, fast and has quick AF. Great as a walk-around lens. Mostly though, I think it's an excellent lens for shots of people, great for cramped indoor portraits.

Seconded!

I have no experience of the 35 or the 40, but I do use the 21 for wider shots. The 43 has something special about it.

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Simon

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brecklundin Senior Member • Posts: 1,995
I own both the 35ltd & 43ltd

While they are seriously different lenses, neither really substitutes for the other. In my case you will have to pry them out of my dead cold fingers to get them away from me. Been showing both for almost a decade now and never fail to be impressed by either lens.

You'll likely see the rests from the 35ltd, like most other DA Limiteds tends toward a more pedantic or clinical result. Thus is not bad at all as they offer superbly crisp images, well save for that puzzling 14mm...then the FA generally are more challenging to use as they can sometimes be a bit less forgiving, in exchange they consistently produce more sublime images than you'd think possible. It's the pixie dust in those FA Limited that gives them their magic...plus you can get them in cool silver...

My favorite creative lens happens to be the 43ltd followed by my 77ltd. But my money maker is the 35ltd as I do product shooting to pay a few bills over the year. While the 43ltd is no macro it's MFD (minimum focusing distance) is reasonably close and with its resolving power there's ample room to crop if needed. The bike of the 43ltd can be odd and never compares to the 77ltd and it's not even close. The 35td has amazing bokeh AT MACRO DISTANCE, after that is also can look bit nervous now and then. None of these should considered show stoppers. I call my 35ltd The Fourth Amigo to complement the three amigos (31ltd, 43ltd & 77ltd) so I'm spoiled.

We're I you I would surely get that 35ltd repaired but might buy the 43ltd first as your 35ltd could be in the shop for more then a while. But by no means would I not get it fixed ASAP.

Enjoy your dilemma as it's one of the delightful issues that comes with shooting Pentax...this is a case where the only bad choice is to not repair the 35ltd.

Oh, do try and find a Main Japan copy of the 43ltd. I read of more, though still somewhat rare, issues or frustrations from MIV copies of the FA Limiteds...mind this a totally subjective opinion. In fact it could easily just be user frustrations but why not grab an original if you can.

I'm sure you know there are oodles of samples from both over on Flickr...

brecklundin Senior Member • Posts: 1,995
of that there is zero doubt...
1

... don't own the FA Limited series.  Certain folks are ... should we say upset (jealous/envious/angry/uber-haters) when the FA Limited lenses are mentioned.  They'll do anything to try to convince you they aren't worth buying.  The reality is the FA43 is one of the best prime lenses made for any system - fast, small, and extremely high IQ.

www.photobucket.com/PentaxFA43

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It's much like Voightlander glass, buy it when you can and you'll never regret it...my only regret is not buying all the Voights when I bought back into Pentax after being Canon dslr guy for a few years. I grabbed my amigos though. But back then the Voights save for that great 125/2.5 macro monster were dead inexpensive.

leekil Regular Member • Posts: 143
Re: My next lens the DA 43 ltd ?

I have the FA 43, but mostly only use it when I want to carry a particularly small lens and have a need for the 1.9 aperture.  I find the focal length a little tight for what someone referred to as "cramped indoor portraits" (though there may be disagreement on what that means) and the bokeh seems somewhat nervous to me.  For digital, I prefer something more like a 31 or 35mm, though I have used the 43mm extensively on a film Pentax due to the small size and the field of view the focal length affords for the full frame.

Lee

OP Brentliris Veteran Member • Posts: 3,405
Just ordered a made in Japan 43
1

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..

Regards

Brent

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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Pentax_Prime
Pentax_Prime Senior Member • Posts: 2,505
Don't Forget ...
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Petroglyph
Petroglyph Veteran Member • Posts: 5,749
Re: My next lens the DA 43 ltd ?

My copy of the 43 ltd. was an excellent lens despite the odd 65mm equivalent.  Its place on my K5 has been taken by my 2 year old DA* 50-135mm.  The reason I mention its age is that is about how long it took for me to "connect" with that lens and now it is dominating my APS/C work.  My opinion is that the 43mm will prove very useful to you.  I think mine only required about a -1 AF micro correct.

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brecklundin Senior Member • Posts: 1,995
OK, I'll confess there is an important weakness in the 43ltd...

Well, we're all gushing over the beloved 43ltd but none of us have been willing to fess up the it's dirty secret....the silly screw-on lens hood.  Not only is it fiddly & inconvenient but the thing is silly expensive if you loose or otherwise say, stop on top of it with your pickup. It;s then you realize what a huge flaw it is for an otherwise perfect sliver of glass.

After buying a replacement, I can't abide not having all the OEM bits for my gear, I went and bought a nice few inexpensive collapsable rubber lens hoods to share between my lenses.

ButI just thought someone should confess about this "horrible" flaw which pretty much renders this jewel unusable to any "real" Pentxite.  

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