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The unique PENTAX smc P-FA 31mm f/1.8 Limited lens offers exceptionally high image and a wide-angle perspective. It incorporates a glass-molded aspherical lens element into its 9-element, 7-group optics, and offers sharp, crisp image reproduction, even at the maximum aperture of f/1.8. It features a beautiful aluminum body with metallic silver finish comes equipped with a flower-shaped lens hood.
I met a Leica factory employee who told me this lens was the sharpest ever tested in their labs, every bit the equivalent of Leica glass.........and now I believe him. This lens is sharp throughout the range and the color rendition is superb It is simply the best of all the Pentax primes, all of which are excellent.
Incredibly rich colors, detail and depth. There's an extra degree of subject separation combined with exceptional bokeh which brings your images to life. Very fine build quality, feels great in the hands and is a joy to focus manually. Some CA is possible wide-open, but has never been an issue for me. All three FA Limiteds are aristocrats in the Pentax lineup.
AF is very accurate & very fast, not as loud as some other screw-drive lenses I have used. Manual focus is very smooth. Slight feel and sound of gears, but very well built. Excellent center sharpness from F/1.8 and up. Noticeable vignetting at F/1.8, but Lightroom does a great job with the lens profile and some people like the look. I am surprised at how much light fall off there is on an APS-C, and I wonder how well this lens will perform if Pentax ever produces a 24mm x 36mm body. That is one of the deciding factors in buying this lens. It is considered a full-frame lens. Quality of the lens is excellent. Optically this lens is excellent.
Love this lens, solid build, very nice bokeh. worthy owning.
It is the same super quality as 77 lim. Extremely sharp in the center with wide open aperture. FA 35/2 is much cheaper. But FA 31/1.8 lim has some magic!
When you see a guy with a Pentax, you know its a photographer, not just another green button snapshot yuppie. The 31mm is the youngest one among the Three Princess, the 43mm, the 77mm, and the 31mm. They are all wonderful. Although the 31mm is not as sharp as the other 2. It is the most used one in daily life.
I use this lens as a walk-around normal, where it provides about a 47mm field of view on a K-5. Everything I'd read about the optical performance is true - it's sharp wide open, even into the corners, and the bokeh is smooth. Three small improvements and it would be perfect: The inner lens barrel wobbles a bit, the focus ring can feel "grindy" (this is normal) and at this price it should be weather sealed.
I've got this lens just for a week, so I haven't too much of experience yet. I'd have liked to have it for a long time and I'm happy to have got it from Adorama more cheaper than it is in Europe. I use this lens for general purpose, it's a great "basic lens" with its 47.5mm equivalent focal length on K10D. It's sharp, has beautiful contrast, real 3D feeling, and some smooth "airy" impression that cannot be compared with anything else. I cannot tell any cons, it's a gorgeous lens, really!
Use it mostly to photograph fast-moving kids, and it's pretty good for that. Not quite as sharp as the DA* lenses despite attempts at calibration, but the images are fantastic nonetheless.
I have never had a lens that is so sharp. I have a K20D, and the pictures are so sharp that they exceed the resolution of the 14.6 megapixel image! No problem using this lens on a K90D camera with 77MP someday! This lens is a bit pricey, but once you get it - you will never let it go. And if you do, you will lose sleep until you replace it! It is one of the best lenses that you will ever see through. The build quality is very impressive. There is nothing like a metal and glass lens built to high quality standards like this one is. When you get this lens, take several photos and then pixel-pick the images. I bet that you will have a difficult time taking it off and using other lenses. I know because I still have mine on after a week of continual amazement! Buy it! You won't regret it. You will fall in love with it too!