Another reason why I didn’t immediately bought this lens (beside its sporadic availability) is the numerous reviews, from respectable and trustworthy photographers, stating that the FA 43mm Limited is “soft” wide open, that the FA 50mm f/1.4 is a way better performer and that one needs to stop the lens down to f/5.6 or even f/8 to reach the sweet spot.
Well, I finally decided to bite the bullet and bought it (for the futile reason stated above). As soon as I reviewed the very first image I took with this lens, I had the feeling that this might be THE lens! The image was just so rich and sharp and the colors so thick and smooth. And the build, the size, the lens hood, the weight… everything is so perfect.
I decided to run some controlled tests against the FA 50mm f/1.4 and the DA 40mm f/2.8 and found that the FA 43mm is indeed sharper at f/1.9 than the excellent DA 40mm at f/2.8 and as sharp as the FA 50mm f/1.4 at f/2.0 (corner sharpness is better with FA 50mm, though).
Obviously, I didn’t have enough time to make a final judgment but I think that this might be the most amazing of the 3 FA limited.