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Arley Hall and a Diagonal of 43mm

johnriley1uk

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Arley Hall and a Diagonal of 43mm

6 Apr 2021 3:46PM   Views : 603 Unique : 409

We did a quick journey to Arley Hall this morning, bathed in sun and with that crisp winter feeling in the air. It did seem quite warm at one point, but it's all relative and that was probably only around 7C. Positively balmy. The destination was Arley Hall and Gardens and we sailed there under blue skies and with a fine tail wind, so to speak. The purpose was to stretch our shutter release finger and to try the first of my one lens projects. One lens and camera all day for a trip of some sort. Today was the turn of the SMC Pentax-FA 43mm f/1.9 Limited lens, a real beauty engineered in Aluminium and with high grade finish and engraving. It is a conventional Pentax AF lens with screw drive AF driven by the camera, with an aperture ring if needed and costing 729. There is a newer HD version, just released, that has upgraded coatings and circular diaphragm blades. The HD version is priced lower at 649. I have no idea why.

So why 43mm? The "standard" lens for any format is conventionally considered to be around the diagonal of the format, so that makes 43mm for "35mm format" full frame cameras such as the Pentax K-1. Of course most standard lenses are 50mm or so, but it took Pentax to break the mould and make a true "standard" lens. So having chosen to use a high grade 43mm lens, what's the point when zooms also cover 43mm and are far more convenient. The answer lies in compactness and the quality advantage of a prime lens. But zooms are very good anyway? Yes, and quality in this repect also means the character of a lens and whether or not it offers superior bokeh, or, like the 43mm, that magical "pixie dust" ingredient that goes beyond just measuring sharpness.

Time to scatter the pixie dust and see for ourselves:

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Comments

andart Avatar
andart 21 539 United Kingdom
8 Apr 2021 11:36AM
I just had a look at some of the old 35mm film cameras in my collection and the Ilford Sportsman, Agfa Silette Rapid and the Paxette all have a 45mm fixed lens - I'd not noticed that before!
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