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11-18-2010, 07:04 PM   #1
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Primes: DA 35mm or FA 50mm

Going to put a couple lenses on my Christmas list so when I'm able to order my body ( leaning towards K7) after Christmas I'll have a nice set waiting.

If you had to do 1 prime which would it be? The 50mm 1.7 is quite impessive BUT I'm not sure how good it would be for stuff at home as I just dont have the room to get good distance. I think it would be excellent for street stuff.

What I've seen of the DA (L?) 35 has great potential, especially in my smallish home but is it going to be fast enough in a dimly lit dinner party or the like? Also, is it going to offer enough range for street work?

My thought process is... I can use a smaller zoom ( kit or 16-45) for home setting, use the prime for portrait work and both the prime and shorter zoom for street work. I'll have the 55-300 for long range work. I do a fair bit of all three of those groups.

11-18-2010, 07:12 PM   #2
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This question has come up several times in the past week or two. I think in a small home 35mm is more usable for candids and family shots. That said, if you already have a 16-45mm zoom you have a nice range. I have a 50/f1.4 and a 55/f1.8 and find both useful in my home for candids of the children but at times like the 18-55 DAL as it allows me to put their images into the broader context of the surroundings. At those times, in reviewing the info on the files, I'm shooting between ~22 and 28. That said the DA35 f2.4 has me intrigued because of both the solid reviews it has gotten and its very attractive price.
11-18-2010, 08:04 PM   #3
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A 35 is very useful, the 50mm is more special purpose, but will give you portrait opportunities that the 35 won't really deliver. Considering you have a zoom in that range, you might get more overall flexibility with the fast 50.
11-18-2010, 08:08 PM   #4
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Think about it - do you need faster than f2.4? If yes then the 50.
If no, then what focal length would you use more, if inside family stuff, then the 35 I think, 50 is a bit long on a small sensor.

11-18-2010, 08:22 PM   #5
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buy the 35mm Macro, the images quality is so nice!
11-18-2010, 08:31 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eagle_Friends Quote
buy the 35mm Macro, the images quality is so nice!
Quite a price difference between the FA50, DA35/f2.4 and the suggested DA35/f2.8 Limited Macro. The Macro is like 3 times the cost of the 2.4.

Don't get me wrong, the 35 Macro SMC Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Limited Macro Lens Reviews - Pentax Lens Review Database gets outstanding reviews and if you need Macro that's great, but is it 3x as good as the 2.4 for the purposes that they OP stated he would use the lens?
11-18-2010, 09:15 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Quite a price difference between the FA50, DA35/f2.4 and the suggested DA35/f2.8 Limited Macro. The Macro is like 3 times the cost of the 2.4.

Don't get me wrong, the 35 Macro SMC Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Limited Macro Lens Reviews - Pentax Lens Review Database gets outstanding reviews and if you need Macro that's great, but is it 3x as good as the 2.4 for the purposes that they OP stated he would use the lens?
35mm f2.4 = $210
35mm f2.8 Macro = $450 used

believe me, macro open up another dimension in photography. and the built quality is incredible.

Last edited by Eagle_Friends; 11-18-2010 at 09:22 PM.
11-18-2010, 09:32 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eagle_Friends Quote
believe me, macro open up another dimension in photography. and the built quality is incredible.
I'm not sure the OP would want to blow his budget on this.

A better suggestion might be the DA 35 2.4, and the A 50 1.7 used. The A 50 1.7 can be had for about 50 bucks if you shop hard, and it's a steal at that price. All you need to do is manual focus.

Not everyone loves macro photography. If you had the money lying around, I think the DA 35 would be a good buy even if one never went macro, but if you are trying to build a budget conscious set there are better alternatives.

11-18-2010, 10:28 PM   #9
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I think we can let chadci decide what s/he wants to spend.

As for the question at hand, 50mm is too narrow for most small rooms unless you are looking for more closeup type photos. That's the reason I sold my original FA50, because it never got used for it's intended purpose. I have and use the DA35 f2.8 Limited and yes, it's on the pricey side. However, it's a nice match for your stated type of shooting and it Does give 1:1 macro as a bonus should you decide to use it. If however, you are absolutely certain you won't want to go there, another worth considering is the FA35 f2.0. They can be had in $350 range (used of course as it's out of production), is sharp wide open, and is probably fast enough to accomplish what you want to do.

If you want a fast 50, go manual with an A or M type 50 f1:1.4 or f1:1.7. 1/3 the cost (at the most) of the FA50 and a better lens investment in my opinion.

11-18-2010, 10:30 PM   #10
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here is another suggestion. 28/3.5 and 55/1.8 and a $100 flash with tilt/swivel. you should be fine by that setup.

the 28mm is good enough for close-up group shots with people crowded together by column (half-body or full at a few feet away, crowd ranging from 2-8 cramped together). if you are shooting about 20 or more people at full body with a defined background view, you will need something wider than that like a 20mm or less. are you going to shoot your furniture or parts of the house that is essential for the scene? if yes, then the 16-45 is a good choice. add the 55/1.8 and flash , as well as the 55-300.
11-19-2010, 12:00 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
another worth considering is the FA35 f2.0. They can be had in $350 range (used of course as it's out of production),
Definitely a great choice but I think the days are numbered to find one of these for less than $400, sale prices seem to be rising steadily.
11-19-2010, 12:26 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by NeverSatisfied Quote
Definitely a great choice but I think the days are numbered to find one of these for less than $400, sale prices seem to be rising steadily.
I'm curious to see whether the DAL 35 will drive those prices down.

I'm wondering if the flash suggestion was the best idea here. With a flash, the 16-45 would become much more user-friendly indoors. I do think that the FA 50mm 1.4 would offer the OP more in combination with the flash/16-45 than the 35mm 2.4, which is essentially 1.5 stops faster. The 50, on the other hand, would take pictures that the zoom simply could not emulate.

However, 35mm is more user-friendly for indoor snapshots.
11-19-2010, 01:02 AM   #13
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a good flash is always indispensable under most circumstances, especially with the OP's dilemma. whether indoors or outdoors, it makes a lot of difference.

right now, I'm pretty much handicapped without a flash. my Metz went MIA and I'm quite short on the budget to get a new one. especially when the holidays is fast approaching, the urgency increases by the day. I hope I get one by the first week of December.
11-19-2010, 05:37 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
I'm curious to see whether the DAL 35 will drive those prices down.

I'm wondering if the flash suggestion was the best idea here. With a flash, the 16-45 would become much more user-friendly indoors. I do think that the FA 50mm 1.4 would offer the OP more in combination with the flash/16-45 than the 35mm 2.4, which is essentially 1.5 stops faster. The 50, on the other hand, would take pictures that the zoom simply could not emulate.

However, 35mm is more user-friendly for indoor snapshots.
I would say that FA 35 prices will definitely come back to earth soon. It is not like it has any particular benefits over the DA-L other than an f2 aperture. It isn't like the FA 35 even sold for that much new for most of its life. As I recall, it always ran in the 275 to 300 dollar range new.

Flash is definitely the answer for indoor shooting. Get a flash with a swivel (Metz 48?) and set your aperture to f4. You'll get much better results in general, than shooting at f2.8 or wider.
11-19-2010, 05:39 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eagle_Friends Quote
35mm f2.4 = $210
35mm f2.8 Macro = $450 used

believe me, macro open up another dimension in photography. and the built quality is incredible.
I'm well aware of the new experiences through Macro. Problem is not everyone isc into it and you're comparing New (2.4) and Used (2.8 macro) prices - sort of unfair comparison. Also, I keep hearing that the Macro is great for Macro shots but soft for normal photographs.
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