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12-10-2010, 05:22 PM   #31
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i will go to DA 31 mm ltd,because for the landscape its nice, and one thing that you cannot avoid, if you take a portrait you are going to need AF, especially street photography........ dont worry about the bokeh.... a screw takumar its enough in my opinion
it will do like this ....



12-12-2010, 07:03 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by DogLover Quote
This would be of very little consequence. Build quality is one of, if not the number one strength of the ZK line. There are no AF mechanisms or electronics to break, and when you pick one up they feel as though you could use them as a weapon and incur no damage to the lens. Couple this with an increased level of QC before they leave Cosina's hands. I'm not saying it's impossible for them to ever need repair, but it is highly unlikely.
If I am wrong, which it seems to be the case, I can only say that I am glad to be so.
12-12-2010, 09:47 AM   #33
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The only thing I know about either the FA 31 and the Zeiss 35 is my lust for them.
However, I do have considerable experience with the DA 35mm macro Limited and the DFA 100mm macro.
Despite what many claim, the DA 35 is not good for landscapes, mainly because it's a close focus lens, but mostly because its sweet spot is at f-7.1. It just doesn't do infinity well. It's not good for portraits either, unless the subject likes every tiny wrinkle and bump more visible than to the naked eye. This, however, makes it the best macro and close-focus lens I've used. (I did, by the way, start my photography carrer with Contax and Zeiss lenses, so I do have some experience with Zeiss quality.)
The DFA 100mm macro is in a class by itself. Macro is very good, with a good working distance, but I prefer the 35's macro and only use the 100 when I need that working distance. What I love most about the 100 is how it renders at 100mm. Like the DA 15mm you have, it shoots as if it has a built in polorizer and the detail is exceptional, even at infinity. On a tripod, mirror-up function, I've used it up to f-14 with only a little diffraction.
Purely by circumstance or accident, I also discovered it is a great portrait lens, with wonderful flesh tones and good bokeh.
I, too, use MF most of the time, because I want to control the exact focal point at close and medium distances and the hyperfocal distance when wide. Neither of these lenses are as smooth as Zeiss (very few are), but I find them acceptable.
12-15-2010, 11:41 AM   #34
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As Dunerunner has pointed out, the Zeiss 35mm f2 is currently selling for around $200 less than the 31mm limited. I already own the 31 limited; but at this price I thought I would give the Zeiss a spin. And, although I have shot with the Zeiss for only a limited time, I prefer it to the Pentax.

The Zeiss is easily as sharp as the 31mm limited; and it has slightly warmer colour. To my eye, though, there is a difference in the look these two lenses provide. I would call my 31mm limiited somewhat 'smoother', whereas I would describe the Zeiss as a bit 'punchier'. This is not to say that the 31mm limited is not an *excellent* lens. (It is in every respect.) The Zeiss just gives a look that, in most situations, I prefer.

I would also add that there is a noticeable difference in the spatial perspective of these lenses. I find the Zeiss 35 to provide just a bit more of a 'normal' (as opposed to 'wide angle') look.

You can't go wrong in either case. But if you don't mind manual focus, you might want to consider the Zeiss over the 31 limited.


Last edited by Byrd-2020; 12-15-2010 at 11:57 AM.
12-15-2010, 12:07 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Byrd-2020 Quote
As Dunerunner has pointed out, the Zeiss 35mm f2 is currently selling for around $200 less than the 31mm limited. I already own the 31 limited; but at this price I thought I would give the Zeiss a spin. And, although I have shot with the Zeiss for only a limited time, I prefer it to the Pentax.

The Zeiss is easily as sharp as the 31mm limited; and it has slightly warmer colour. To my eye, though, there is a difference in the look these two lenses provide. I would call my 31mm limiited somewhat 'smoother', whereas I would describe the Zeiss as a bit 'punchier'. This is not to say that the 31mm limited is not an *excellent* lens. (It is in every respect.) The Zeiss just gives a look that, in most situations, I prefer.

I would also add that there is a noticeable difference in the spatial perspective of these lenses. I find the Zeiss 35 to provide just a bit more of a 'normal' (as opposed to 'wide angle') look.

You can't go wrong in either case. But if you don't mind manual focus, you might want to consider the Zeiss over the 31 limited.
Good to hear your perspective. I have the Zeiss, and it is really awesome. Plus I actually like the weight of it on the K-5, seems like a really good balance....of course I'm used to shooting the D3.

My plan is to keep the ZK and use it for a few months to really get the feel of it, then buy the 31. At that point I'll have a good idea of what I can do with the ZK, so I will be able to determine if I like one or the other better, or if I might be served by keeping both.

However, SOMEBODY on here is trying to throw a wrench into my plans by offering me a really good deal on an FA31. I honestly hope I don't end up with it that soon, but we'll see what happens....
12-21-2010, 02:54 PM   #36
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I have both and if I had to make the choice between the 31 or the 35, I would pick the 35. To me it feels like it handles nicer and although the build quality of the 31 is great, the Zeiss is something else. The clip on lens hood of the Zeiss is also more convenient at times, except for circular polarisers....

However in terms of the pentax 77 and the zeiss 85, I have both of these too, I would pick the pentax. Zeiss is way to heavy in my opinion and the minimum focus of 1 metre is a bit limiting and disappointing. Though getting quality 49mm filters is a bit more difficult.
01-20-2011, 01:46 PM   #37
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Thanks to all for the advice and fantastic pictures posted. I ended up choosing the Zeiss 35 from Pop Flash at a great price compared to BH Photo/Adorama (and the 31 Limited).

My new lens arrives tomorrow, I can't wait!
01-20-2011, 04:31 PM   #38
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I have a feeling you're going to be quite satisfied. I'm kind of surprised that Pop Flash still has some ZK 35's. I expect this to be the first one to "run out" as it is the second cheapest ZK (I think), and is pretty universally loved. I would get one myself if I didn't already have the 28. I wouldn't want to give up the 28, but it is a little more challenging to focus than my other 2 ZK's (as well as the 35, reportedly), and also has a noticeable bit of field curvature in the near-field. Not necessarily a bad thing and it can be used quite creatively. Still razor sharp and I really like the FL. Enjoy it but be fore-warned, the ZK's can be addictive.

01-21-2011, 10:29 PM   #39
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It arrived a bit earlier than expected today despite the nasty weather. It was encouraging to see ample padding inside the packaging, and inside the box was a completed QC test certificate filled out in ink by an inspector.

This lens is a big heavy metal beauty! The focus ring was a bit stiff at first but after one full turn it was smooth as silk. It is so much easier to manual focus compared to all my AF lenses.

I made a few hand-held test photos around the house after letting it warm up to room temperature. Even at f/2 the IQ seems to be very good though I really haven't had the chance for much testing.
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01-23-2011, 02:14 PM   #40
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Love the Zeiss 35/2! Also have the Zeiss 100/2 Makro Planar and the Zeiss 21/2.8 Distagon. After I got them I sold all my AF-lenses...

No more back focus, front focus, problems with SDM and so on.. just beautiful beautiful pictures ;-)

These pictures are taken with my old trusty K10D and the Zeiss 35/2. NO PP done.. I only photograph with the camera set for jpg, and
just make sure I expose correctly.
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01-23-2011, 08:41 PM   #41
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Another handheld test shot, this time from a cold day in upstate NY. I am still getting to know this lens but so far I am enjoying the experience. I really like the colors too.
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02-14-2011, 10:59 AM   #42
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One more cat photo, this lens seems very sharp even wide open. I'm finally going to take this lens outdoors for a hike sometime this week, with all the unseasonably warm weather the local waterfalls should be roaring.
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02-14-2011, 08:31 PM   #43
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I saw a craigslist post for a mint Contax Carl Zeiss 28mm/f2.8 Distagon *T lens, for a very good price. I picked it up on the day before Thanksgiving and ordered the C/Y conversion K mount from Leitax.com - located in Spain. I picked it up because I figured that it would be the only Zeiss lens I could ever afford. Well its been 11 weeks (the K mount was stuck in Customs - the Warehouse from Indiana Jones) and it just finally arrived. Getting the lens converted and I will be able to use it - finally.

I also have the FA 31 Ltd and it is one of my favorite 2 lenses. I am excited to see what a side by side comparison looks like. I figure that the converted Zeiss will be about half the price of the 31. Not quite as fast, but its also $1,000 less than a new Zeiss ZK lens at f2.

I am considering the possibility that the Contax 28/f2.8 the poor man's FA 31 Ltd. I can say that the build of the Contax Zeiss is wonderful, simple, metal, build like a tank.

02-14-2011, 09:53 PM   #44
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I once owned the FA31. It is a very good all round lens. Bokeh is great and very sharp stop down a little bit. I do final quite a bit of purple fringing on my sample though, and the wide open sharpness is not very good especially for 20M+ object distance. I did take a lot of my favorite pictures with it though. If you look beyond absolute sharpness, the FA31 is great. (My Pentax-A 50mm F1.7 is sharper at all comparable aperture, but the FA31 is sharper than my DA40 which l like very much) Depending on your camera. It may struggle on low light focus on moving objects. My Kx has problem following my daughter at low light when I shoot wide open. It's focus "stroke" is a balanced between MF and AF, so it does not do lightning fast AF.

If AF is optional for you, I recommend getting both the Zeiss and FA31 and see which one you like better. Lens preference is very subjective. You never know which one you like better until you try them out.
02-14-2011, 10:18 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by linchihang Quote
My Pentax-A 50mm F1.7 is sharper at all comparable aperture
interesting opinion, I have a Pentax A series 50mm f/1.7 and it gets utterly trounced by the SMCP-K 50mm f/1.2 in every area of image quality. The 50mm f/1.2 gives the FA31mm f/1.8 a run for it's money in terms of sharpness, but I consider the FA31 vastly superior to the 50mm f/1.7 in terms of image quality especially when you take the corner sharpness into account.
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