Thursday, June 28, 2007

Carl Weese on the FA Pentax 31mm Limited Lens

A photo from the Winsted Laurel Festival, taken with the K10D and FA 31mm Limited, (c) Carl Weese, 2007.

This last weekend, Carl Weese blogged another hit down centerfield with his take on using the Pentax 31mm f/1.8 Limited lens with his K10D. As Carl's esotaric journey around the bases of K10D usage continues, I can't help admire that he gladly pays as much attention to the art and craft of both the equipment as well as his photography. Which is why his write-up on the 31mm is such a treat. He goes into historical detail about the concerns Pentax saw making a wide angle lens that would stand the test of time for both film and APS-C digital cameras.

Carl writes: "When SLR cameras were introduced, “retrofocus” wide angle lens designs had to be invented. This is a lens that is physically farther from the film than its effective focal length, necessary to get the lens out of the way of the SLR mirror. A similar manuever is needed to make normal and wide lenses for dSLRs deliver their light rays nearly perpendicular to the sensor (...) The second legacy lens problem (there are more than two but these are the ones we can actually see and deal with as consumers) has to do with the highly reflective glass that covers the digital sensor. It bounces a lot of light back to the rear element of the lens, far more than film. This means that a lens meant for digital capture needs just about as much attention to anti-reflective protection for light coming back from inside the camera as it does for the imaging light coming in from the scene being photographed."

Carl's final verdict validates the outstanding lens' ability to avoid all pitfalls and play well with his K10D, judging its resolution to be on par with the newer DA "pancake" Limited lenses. It's too bad that these original FA Limited lenses are a bit difficult to find without going to a major retailer like B&H Photo, but Pentax is still sending them out there into the world, in "pro" black or silver finish, and they are definitely a treat should you get a chance to use one.

Photozone also has a detailed review of the lens characteristics, which makes for an interesting follow-up. Above photo (c) Photozone.

Links: Online Photographer Post, Carl's Blog (repleat with pictures with the 31mm Limited), Pentax 31mm f/1.8 Limited lens, Photozone Review of the 31mm Limited

1 comment:

Carl said...

I'm pleased by your choice of illustration. I love that picture, but I didn't think anyone else would get it. Glad you did.

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