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11-29-2010, 11:11 PM   #1
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FA 43mm 1.9 vs. DA 35mm 2.8 Macro

I'm torn between these options for my first K-r lens. It'll most likely be my primary lens used for travel, street, landscapes, and portraits. It might be mental, but the 43mm may have a more "artistic" edge aka pixydust....


43mm FA sample
35mm DA Macro sample

Please help me fill out this pro/con list....

43mm FA
Pros:
Cons:


35mm DA Macro

Pros:
Cons:


Last edited by john43; 11-29-2010 at 11:43 PM.
11-29-2010, 11:21 PM   #2
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Off of the top of my head...

43: pros - better bokeh for normal photography, sharper, faster
cons - not a macro

35: pros - macro
cons - can't use on film

If you don't need a macro, get the 43 imho.
11-29-2010, 11:26 PM   #3
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QuoteQuote:
43 con:wide-open it is softer than most expect and this only gradually improves at F4
Does anyone have an example of this "softness" at wide open apertures?
11-29-2010, 11:37 PM   #4
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Have you made up your mind on these two lenses? Or are you tossing other options? The Pentax lens line-up is truly amazing.

The FA31mm f1.9 is very well liked by some of its outstanding IQ, although pricy. It got a "Highly Recommended" award by www.photozone.de.

The DA40,, f2.8 is another really innovative design. The pancake lens is really compact and well-suited to crowded environment. With the K-x it is a really nice nifty package. Also with a "Highly Recommended" award by www.photozone.de.

The FA43mm is very well-liked by Pentaxians. The Pentax user review score is oustanding: 9.5/10.

In absence of budget, and of your other lenses, it is hard to provide more direct advice/comments.

Food for thoughts...


Last edited by hcc; 11-30-2010 at 12:45 AM.
11-30-2010, 12:38 AM   #5
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you got the money? say FA43.

on a budget? say DAL35/2.4.

you feel rich? say FA31.
11-30-2010, 01:40 AM   #6
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as the title states, i am choosing between these 2 lenses. any more considerations?
11-30-2010, 01:55 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by john43 Quote
Does anyone have an example of this "softness" at wide open apertures?

I not not convinced of this theory... my 43 is sharp wide open and tests that I have read show that it is at its sharpest at 3.2


why not read the lens review thread on the 43 and see for yourself

SMC Pentax-FA 43mm F1.9 Limited Lens Reviews - Pentax Lens Reviews & Pentax Lens Database

and here is a comment from that review thread to back its wonderful support


QuoteQuote:
For forty years I have tested all my lenses (Hasselblad, Olympus, Pentax, Tamron, Sigma among others) using 100 ISO black and white films and testtargets. This lens is definitely the sharpest lens I have ever tested.
I have all three FA limiteds... the 43 was the last to purchase and I had at first thought I had made an error in getting this lens... now it is my most used and easily most loved lens I have.. If i was forced to have only one lens this would be it
11-30-2010, 02:21 AM   #8
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Yes, that quote was from the 43FA reviews page

Does the 35mm @ infinity seem less sharp than the 43FA @ infinity? (landscapes seem more crisp with one of the lenses)


Last edited by john43; 11-30-2010 at 02:41 AM.
11-30-2010, 04:58 AM   #9
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Neither of these lenses are the best suited for both portraiture as well as landscape photography. But both are absolutely excellent lenses in every way, the only cons with either of them being that they're not zooms!

For something more versatile to suit your applications, you may well consider a DA* 16-50, which can do both genres fine, and is still fast enough to get good background separation, only the bokeh is not as pleasant as with any of the limited series lenses.

You can't go wrong with either of your choices in terms of IQ, but you'll find 43mm too long for landscapes and 35mm just not cutting it for head & shoulders portraits, unless you like the up-close and personal type portraits.
11-30-2010, 05:25 AM   #10
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I personally love the DA 35, but I really enjoy the macro side of things. There are just so many times that I stick it on the camera and go out and can snag shots of different details. It does well at other types of photos too, although as Ash says, neither one of these lenses is a particularly great portrait lens. If you want a portrait lens, I would recommend the DA 70 or FA 77.

I think when people say the FA 43 is soft, they are referring to edge, or border softness. It will be quite sharp in the center, even wide open.

11-30-2010, 05:40 AM   #11
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I own both lenses and use them on a K20D and a K100D.

43mm FA
Pros: very quick AF, beautiful bokeh, beautiful rendering, F1.9, very sharp, lightweight
Cons: -


35mm DA Macro

Pros: very sharp, macro (you got to get very close though), neutral colors
Cons: weight, slow AF on K20D (especially annoying when hunting for focus)

Personally I love both of them. But I would not buy the 35mm for its macro capabilities, as for my taste 35mm is just not working out very well for macros.
11-30-2010, 05:45 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by john43 Quote
Does anyone have an example of this "softness" at wide open apertures?
I have not noticed any softness of the 43 wide open. One of the "pros" I would mention is a "3D" effect where the photo "pops" out at you. This effect is especially noticible wide open.

NaCl(like others, one of my most favorite lenses)H2O
11-30-2010, 08:11 AM   #13
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I think the pros and cons are already well covered.

To me the 43ltd does seem to have a kind of design sweet spot with the focal length, aperture, distance to subject (for head and half body shots) that makes the image stand out. More so than my FA35.
12-02-2010, 09:00 PM   #14
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I find the FA43 to be nicer for taking pictures of people than the DA35. I don't really take many landscape shots, but either will do fine. Because I have other lenses for macro, I would keep the 43 over the 35; if I could only have one it would be close. I would rather have the 43 with say a sigma mini wide 28mm (which does 1:4.5 magnification) or an F35-70 (1:4) than a DA35 paired with another cheap lens.
12-02-2010, 10:18 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nick Siebers Quote
I find the FA43 to be nicer for taking pictures of people than the DA35. I don't really take many landscape shots, but either will do fine. Because I have other lenses for macro, I would keep the 43 over the 35; if I could only have one it would be close. I would rather have the 43 with say a sigma mini wide 28mm (which does 1:4.5 magnification) or an F35-70 (1:4) than a DA35 paired with another cheap lens.
I do tend to agree. I seem to like the FA43 pictures better. if the DA35 were only faster or it's optical formula were something like the FA31 (asph), it would had been nicer.
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