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11-22-2010, 01:15 PM   #1
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Could I be happy with the new Da 35mm/f2.4?

I shot for the past 4 years on a *stDL with the original kit lenses. 18-55/50-200. The first versions I assume available when the DL came out. I now have a K-7 which I got figuring I already have Pentax lenses verses switching to Nikon or Canon. So far I enjoy the K-7 a lot though wondering if I should update the lenses.

So I went back and looked at my old vacation shots. I brought the 18-55 kit and ended up shooting a lot at 18mm. My 50mm f1.7 manual is for sure too tight for everyday shooting but cool dof and low light useage for sure. Dislike the manual focus. When I used the 50-200 I found I shot at 135-200 mostly.

People have been raving so far about the new 35mm lens and it is affordable. But wondering if I would be happy as a primary walkaround? I am looking for a much sharper, more film like lens than my old kit lens for sure and initial shots here look like the 35mm would fit the bill. I assume it would be sharper and a better match for the K-7?

Is it odd that I shot most of my vacation at 18mm? It was indoor hotel room, architecture, mountains etc. So wondering if 35 might be too tight. Could a 28 be a better fit? Which 28 would be affordable, fast, autofocus fast and as sharp as the new 35 or is there even not that much of a difference between the 2 sizes?

I played around shooting stuff very briefly at just 35mm on the kit and it had a nicer view than the 50 for sure but found in some things, I still went to 18 for wide shots when I couldn't back up enough.

Oh and on my old Canon SD750 Elph on a Miami vacation I shot at 5.8mm and confused on what that really means in K-7 terms. If that was 35mm like I think it might be....then that wasn't bad at all.

Is there a certain focal length/f stop on the 2 kit lenses I should be really playing with for ideal sharpness to be sure I am not dumping a good thing?

Bummer that it is now winter because I'd love to try the outdoor people shots with the 50-200 zoom. I was really happy with the people shots on this lens so hopefully that will be a keeper with the K-7. Here are some shots.

Last edited by Corvairfan; 11-22-2010 at 01:25 PM.
11-22-2010, 01:33 PM   #2
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you will be. 35 is pretty much normal.
11-22-2010, 02:02 PM   #3
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I read a lot about people who go on vacations and stick to the wide angles - makes sense, because you are trying to capture the scene you are visiting. One could likely do that with 35mm, but given a choice, your street shots are going to be wide to get it all in. The 35 would be better for shooting your family/friends in an environment.

Unfortunately wide-angles cost you in ASPC land so it is all about compromises. Do you like the 18-55 at 18mm? It's a reasonable performer. The only faster lens is the 14mm 2.8, which is nice. Sharper than the kit, 1 stop faster, but not exactly compact. One alternative would be selling the kit and buying the 16-45, which is a bump in IQ and 2mm wider. It would pair nicely with a 50mm, and possibly the 35mm for speed and compactness.

What is it about the kit at 18mm that you don't like?

Now you mentioned "film-like" quality and that is one of the things I like about my A 28mm 2.8 - it's not a super-saturated lens like many other pentax lenses. It's damn sharp, but tends to render a more film-like image to my eyes. You have to contend with manual focus. I would buy the 35 DAL 2.4 over the older F/FA 28mm 2.8's, because they cost about the same. However, the 28mm 2.8's from the manual focus days will give you the same image, with manual focus, for a fraction of the cost.

All in all I think you would be very happy with the 35mm overall, the convenience of AF is not to be underestimated in those fleeting moments. The 28mm gets a nod from me for it's film-like qualities, and the *SLIGHTLY* wider FOV. However it's nothing at all like 18mm. Overall I think you should consider the 35mm, and not think of the 28mm as a "wide" equivalent. The fov is much like the FA 43 on film, which is considered "normal".
11-22-2010, 04:50 PM   #4
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As someone who had a rather similar use of the kit lens, I would suggest that you consider saving up for the DA 15 or DA 21. These are the lenses that would let you take the kinds of pictures you were 'seeing' with your kit lens, but with better IQ and smaller size. (Sigma makes 20mm and 24mm which compete with these; these are larger-aperture and somewhat cheaper lenses, but are bigger and heavier.)

If you do start working with primes, you will probably want a DA 35 or an FA 28 as a later purchase -- the FA 28 is reasonably-piced used, and gives a 'wide-normal' perspective you might appreciate, at the expense of half an f-stop.

But if your eye is wide, I suggest you start your prime adventure wide.

Last edited by Impartial; 11-23-2010 at 01:45 PM.
11-22-2010, 08:21 PM   #5
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The DA35/2.4 will make you happy as a general walk around lens. It will however NOT replace your kit lens at 18mm; you will be very disappointed from that perspective.

If the latter is the aim, I'll second Impartial's suggestion to go for the DA21 or DA15
11-23-2010, 01:32 PM   #6
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Thanks for the feedback. I did some walking around today with the kit set at 35. Seems even outdoors more usable than 50mm.

For giggles I took a couple of shots at 35 and a couple at 21(thanks for the heads up on the 21) and I realized that 21 is basically my field of view which I found pretty interesting. Perhaps a bit wide because looking across a city street, I still get the street in the shot but pretty interesting to try as well.

I bumped up the sharpness 2 to +3 on the K-7 to see if jpegs come out of the camera sharp enough for my liking. Will shoot more with the kit at the different focal lengths to see where I really want to move to, so far 35 is initially ok which is a positive.

11-23-2010, 03:39 PM   #7
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Keep in mind that the DA 21 is over twice the price, and neither really replaces the other, so the 35 is as good a place to start as any IMHO. Extremely useful focal length.

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