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10-09-2010, 08:56 AM   #1
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I need Decision help?

I recently purchased a 43Ltd here on the Marketplace, a beautiful little Jewel from a superb Seller that was honest and Fast!
Anyhow, it is my plans for the near future to own the 31 Ltd and 77Ltd....before the K5 arrives......I have been sidetracked somewhat by the 35Ltd Macro..I think it might be more useful for me than the 31...and of course, it is mush less expensive.

I would like some thoughts on this from some here more knowledgeable than me.

Appreciation in advance!
Rupert

10-09-2010, 09:41 AM   #2
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I've used the 35, and I liked it a lot. The problem is, at least for me, 50mm (effective) isn't very useful as a macro range. Essentially, I wanted a replacement for the 35 1.8 I had on my Nikon D40; the 35ltd wasn't it.

I sold it soon after getting it and bought the 55 1.4. I know 55 isn't really normal, but it's my walk-around lens now.

I am looking forward to the 35 2.4. Looks like that lens may be the true replacement for the Nikkor 35 1.8.
10-09-2010, 09:59 AM   #3
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by brofkand Quote
I've used the 35, and I liked it a lot. The problem is, at least for me, 50mm (effective) isn't very useful as a macro range. Essentially, I wanted a replacement for the 35 1.8 I had on my Nikon D40; the 35ltd wasn't it.

I sold it soon after getting it and bought the 55 1.4. I know 55 isn't really normal, but it's my walk-around lens now.

I am looking forward to the 35 2.4. Looks like that lens may be the true replacement for the Nikkor 35 1.8.
So what is your thought on the 31 Ltd?
Regards
10-09-2010, 10:05 AM   #4
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Glad you're enjoying the 43

The 31 vs 35 is a tough one. I have both, although on several occasions have thought about getting rid of one as they are very close in focal lengths. I guess I'm probably not the best person to help you decide between the two as I haven't been able to thin it down to one either. Both are great lenses with different strengths. Obviously the 31 gives you over a stop of extra light while the 35 gives you closer focusing capabilities. The 35 is smaller and has a nice built in hood while the 31 is a bit larger and has a fixed hood which isn't particularity useful. And then of course, as you mentioned, the 35 is about half the price of the 31.

Regarding the 35 not being a great length for macro, that's certainly true in the sense that you have to be right on top of your subject to get to 1:1. And even if you get that close, lighting can become more difficult. On the other hand it's easier to handhold a 35mm macro than a 100mm macro as you get close to 1:1. The 35 is also very good at pseudo macro shots that aren't quite 1:1, but still closer than the 31 can focus to.

I guess the bottom line is you can't go wrong with either, but they are slightly different and it's mostly a matter of what your priority is for the lens.

10-09-2010, 10:27 AM   #5
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35 is much more versitle than the 31. Both give great images, but the 31 has the edge on detail, especially at infinity.
I've found ways to work around the distance and lighting on the 35 macro. I also have the DFA 100mm macro, but I use the 35 for almost all macro.
10-09-2010, 10:32 AM   #6
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Owning both, I can state that these are two completely different lenses.

The DA35 is about half the size and weight (by physical compare, not spec compare) of the FA31. The DA35 offers 1:1 macro that in spite of what some may tell you IS useful if you're into that sort of thing. And of course, the price for the DA35 is about half (or less) that of the FA31 (even used). Here is a closeup, from the DA35, no crop, full image.



The FA31Ltd on the other hand is more than a stop faster than the DA35. It's rendering (I think anyway) is better than that of the DA35. Not that the DA35 is Bad, far from it, but I do prefer the FA31. If you ever fancy using one of these on a film camera, the FA31 Is a film camera lens. The K7 focuses faster with the FA31 than the DA35 though the difference is minimal in my experience. Both are plenty fast for me. As to closeup capability, there is plenty of crop room with this lens.



All that aside, the bottom line is this.. Both will give you great results. Both took a little getting use to for me. As a general walk around lens though you probably wouldn't notice a Lot of difference in the results.

Pentax FA 31mm Limited - a set on Flickr

Pentax DA35mm Limited - a set on Flickr

The 35 set covers the K20d and the K7. The 31 set covers the K10d, the K20d, and the K7. Check your private messages.

10-09-2010, 12:21 PM   #7
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The FA 31mm Ltd has the edge in speed and image quality but the DA 35mm Macro Ltd is by far the more versatile lens. I would say buy the FA 77mm Ltd first and save some money and get the cheaper DA 35mm Macro Ltd. Only problem is the gap in focal length is better with the FA 31mm/FA 43mm combo than DA 35mm/FA 43mm. But I use the DA 35mm a lot because it is just so versatile, one lens for everything. Just no way the FA 31mm can get this uncropped close-up.

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