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08-03-2010, 10:10 AM   #1
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FA 35mm f/2.0

I'm interested in buying the FA 35mm f/2.0 brand-new, and I thought it was discontinued, but I just saw it on the PentaxWebstore (says "in stock") for $474.95.
See:
PentaxWebstore smcP FA 35mm f/2.0 AL

Is this really available? Should I order one? I want a "normal" lens for my K-X to shoot indoor group shots, and the DA 35mm macro scares me a bit because of the slow focus issue. I was about to get a DA 40mm but it's out of stock right now and I'm afraid it might be a little too long indoors and not that great in low-light. (I already have a FA 50mm f/1.4 that I love, but it can be a bit too long to use for anything other than head shots).

Thanks for any thoughts on this.

08-03-2010, 10:21 AM - 1 Like   #2
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It might still be available, as it was only recently discontinued and Pentax might have some extra stock.

There's one currently available on the marketplace as well, for $390: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/photographic-equipment-sale/109428-sale-t...3-5-4-5-a.html

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08-03-2010, 10:25 AM   #3
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Looks like there's a copy available on the marketplace here. Seller is asking $390 and there has been at least one inquiry about it. Doing a quick search of eBay, it seems that the price on the Pentax website is actually somewhat decent.

I have one of these lenses and it has become my favorite. Granted, I only have this one and the FA 50/1.4, so my collection is not exactly large. I got my copy on the marketplace for $415, I believe. They seem to pop up about once or twice a month. I have not regretted this purchase one bit. My copy puts out acceptably sharp images wide open, and as is the custom, becomes much sharper when stopped down a bit.

I would say don't get any closer to 50mm than 35mm. I quickly ruled out the DA 40mm because it's too close to 50 for my tastes.

I went with the FA 35/2 mainly because of the factors of price and max aperture. I wanted a wide lens but couldn't afford an FA 31 limited. If I had a lot more money, I would've gotten the FA 31 because it's slightly wider and slightly faster. I also strongly considered the DA 21/3.2, but the 3.2 aperture seemed a bit slow for my shooting, which is mainly indoors.

Also be on the lookout for the Samsung Xenogon 35mm f/2. It's the same lens, just sold under the Samsung brand. And probably for cheaper, too.

Feel free to ask me more about the lens.
08-03-2010, 10:36 AM   #4
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Thanks for the info about the marketplace sales and the feedback on the FA35. I was considering the DA 40mm because of how compact and sharp it is, but I might not really need my camera to be that small. Plus, low-light, indoor shots are my priority. And I was worried that the DA 40mm and FA 50mm might overlap a bit. So I'm leaning towards getting an FA35. I also considered a DA21 but it might be a bit too wide for a normal lens. Anyway, I was just surprised to find it available on the official Pentax store because of how scare the supply is.

08-03-2010, 10:55 AM   #5
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What body do you have? Depending on the body you have, you might have a little bit of breathing room as far as max aperture goes. DA 21 on a K-x will do much better in low light than a DA 21 on, say, a K200D. Not saying that the K200D is that deficient in low light, but compared to the K-x...what can ya say..?

Go for it if you are leaning towards the FA 35. I do not think you will be disappointed, unless you get a bad copy. Ask for sample images. That $390 (which includes shipping) is a pretty good price for that lens these days. Oh that I were in the market for this thing when it was like $250 or so....

I don't know what you read about the DA 35 macro, but I wanted to add that you shouldn't be expecting super-stellarly extraordinary AF performance from this lens. In my use, I have had plenty of AF hunting in low light. I would say that the AF speed is right on par with the FA 50. I have missed a couple of shots that I wanted due to AF hunting. But only a couple, and I have had many more keepers to make up for those couple.

Last edited by ChooseAName; 08-03-2010 at 10:59 AM. Reason: AF verbage
08-03-2010, 11:02 AM   #6
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I have a K-x, along with the DAL 18-55mm, DAL 50-200mm, and FA 50mm f/1.4. OK, thanks for the strong recommendation for the FA35. It seems to be calling to me. This LBA is intense. I want a DA15mm after I get the FA35, and then a DA70mm, etc. etc. But my wife won't be too happy about it... hah!
08-03-2010, 12:05 PM   #7
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If it is in the Pentax Web store and the price is agreeable to you, best to buy it. The status of the FA35/2 has been in limbo for some time and consensus is that it is no longer generally available in North America. For a long time, the Pentax Web store was the only source and then it disappeared from there as well. While not available here, the lens is reported to be readily available in Japan and is listed as an active product on the Pentax Japan Web site, both as a standard lens for APS-C and as a FF lens for 35mm SLR.


Steve

P.S. Active product at Pentax Asia and Pentax Europe as well.

Last edited by stevebrot; 08-03-2010 at 12:13 PM.
08-03-2010, 01:32 PM   #8
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as much as I vouche for the FA35, I'm afraid for indoor group shots, it might prove challenging, especially in tight spaces. although it can work with a bit of a distance with a small group shot (full body), head and shoulder, headshots, and that doesn't require much of the background.

for bigger groups and background, a 24mm would be the best focal length for such purpose. I would recommend the Sigma 24/1.8 for such purpose.

08-03-2010, 02:17 PM   #9
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Thanks for the advice about the 24mm focal length, Pentaxor. That Sigma 24/1.8 looks a little too big for my taste--I want a more compact lens. But I'll go home tonight and try my kit lens at the 24mm and 35mm range, and see what kind of group shots I can get-- especially compared to the 50mm to see if 35mm would be enough of a difference, or if 24mm (or even the DA21mm) is better. I originally thought that my lens roadmap would be DA15 / DA40 / DA70, with the FA50 for low-light. But now I'm thinking more about DA15 / FA35 / FA50 / DA70. Seems a little better "spacing" for the focal lengths because there's less of a gap between DA15 and a DA40. But I guess I could find a lens in the 20's that might work too.
08-03-2010, 03:14 PM   #10
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24, 35, 70 is a nice line-up.

Kind regards
.lars
08-03-2010, 04:04 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Recercare Quote
24, 35, 70 is a nice line-up.
Sure. But I prefer 21, 35, 77
08-03-2010, 04:15 PM   #12
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If you want a "normal" lens for "normal" types of shots, I wouldn't rule out the DA40 - it's close enough to "normal" to be useful, and I actually like the slightly narrower FOV better. Yet it's quite a bit shorter than 50mm, which I agree is really long to be useful as a "normal" lens. And it's pretty rare to encounter real life shooting situations where light is so low that f/2.8 at ISO 1600 or 3200 max won't get you the shot.

But as others have mentioned, for indoor group shots, you don't want a "normal" at all but something wide angle. The DA21 would be a good choice, but also consider the various manual 24mm and 28mm lenses available for $100 or so.
08-03-2010, 05:57 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
as much as I vouche for the FA35, I'm afraid for indoor group shots, it might prove challenging, especially in tight spaces. although it can work with a bit of a distance with a small group shot (full body), head and shoulder, headshots, and that doesn't require much of the background.

for bigger groups and background, a 24mm would be the best focal length for such purpose.
I agree. 24mm is equivalent FOV to 35mm on film, which was very popular indeed.

QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
If you want a "normal" lens for "normal" types of shots, I wouldn't rule out the DA40 - it's close enough to "normal" to be useful, and I actually like the slightly narrower FOV better.
But on APS-C normal is 28mm. I don't find 35mm or 40mm or 43mm anywhere close to normal. I would agree with the OP that these focals are often "a little too long indoors".

QuoteOriginally posted by RBellavance Quote
But I prefer 21, 35, 77
Or even 24, 43, 77. Which sort of splits the difference.
08-03-2010, 08:22 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by seventysixersfan Quote
Thanks for the advice about the 24mm focal length, Pentaxor. That Sigma 24/1.8 looks a little too big for my taste--I want a more compact lens. But I'll go home tonight and try my kit lens at the 24mm and 35mm range, and see what kind of group shots I can get-- especially compared to the 50mm to see if 35mm would be enough of a difference, or if 24mm (or even the DA21mm) is better. I originally thought that my lens roadmap would be DA15 / DA40 / DA70, with the FA50 for low-light. But now I'm thinking more about DA15 / FA35 / FA50 / DA70. Seems a little better "spacing" for the focal lengths because there's less of a gap between DA15 and a DA40. But I guess I could find a lens in the 20's that might work too.
personally, the 24mm would be the sweet spot for group shots. it is wide enough to cover all individuals and closer enough to get to see them. and the shooting distance is within the acceptable range.
08-03-2010, 08:31 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
I agree. 24mm is equivalent FOV to 35mm on film, which was very popular indeed.



But on APS-C normal is 28mm. I don't find 35mm or 40mm or 43mm anywhere close to normal. I would agree with the OP that these focals are often "a little too long indoors".



Or even 24, 43, 77. Which sort of splits the difference.
But where can I get a 24 ltd?
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