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12-05-2010, 03:55 PM   #1
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new to Pentax..suggestions for prime lens for K-x

I just bought a K-x, looking for a nice prime,

Any feedback yet on the SMC DA 35mm f/2.4 AL? This is what I'm leaning towards, yet its relatively new, but reviews seem favorable, also considering the SMC DA 40mm f2.8 Limited, and looking at the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX Dc, tho I've read of some sluggish focus issues.

New to Pentax (i had a nifty fifty and an 85mm f1.8 as a "Canonian").... my budget is $400.
There is so much glass to consider w/ Pentax...I know I DO want an AF feature and a lens that has sharp IQ/color/contrast, nice bokeh, etc. Nothing longer than 50mm

input truly appreciated
rest of my bag is the kit 18-55, the 50-200, and a Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4.5 macro

(..i just truly like the IQ of primes at certain times)

12-05-2010, 04:10 PM   #2
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I can vouch for the DA 40 being super sharp, with great colour and contrast, right from wide open. However, wide open is only 2.8, so this is not a low light workhorse.

The KX and the 40 would be a ridiculously compact package and with the high-iso quality you will get out of the camera, I can't see the 2.8 being too limiting.

The sigma 30 looks really nice (I have only seen samples, never played with it). I believe you will get 2 stops of light (and a more flexible field of view), but you will lose out on corner sharpness at lower apertures, and there will be a huge size difference.

My inclination would be towards the 40, however the 30 would be much better suited to indoors work.
12-05-2010, 04:16 PM   #3
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thoughts on the 35mm f/2.4 ?
12-05-2010, 04:17 PM   #4
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The basic question is: What do you want to do that you can't do with what you have? A fast 50-55 puts you in portrait range. I'm personally not excited about the 28-35 range, not enough to spend $$$ there -- I just got an old F37-70/3.5-4.5 that is absolutely wizard there, for only US$11. My original K20D lens set were the DA10-17, DA18-250, and FA50/1.4 -- and 170+ lenses later, those are still among my most-used. That FA50 is my only AF prime, all the rest are manual, so I can't recommend anything specific to your desires. I'll just suggest that you check the lens review database here and see how various Pentax AF primes are rated by members.

12-05-2010, 04:24 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by rrwilliams64 Quote
35mm f/2.4
I'm not particularly excited about it, it just looks like a really good deal. If you want to save your money, I would suspect the 35mm has everything else beat in the price performance category.

On the other hand, I would prefer to buy a DA 40 used for 300 over the 35mm new for 200 + tax.

Now the difference between the 35mm and the 30mm is huge... almost 2 full stops. You need to decide how important low light is to you. If it isn't, I would invest my money in a faster lens that is longer, i.e., 50mm or beyond, for portrait work. Thats where the wide apertures are most useful (IMHO).

Thats just how I see things .
12-05-2010, 04:26 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
I can vouch for the DA 40 being super sharp, with great colour and contrast, right from wide open. However, wide open is only 2.8, so this is not a low light workhorse.

The KX and the 40 would be a ridiculously compact package and with the high-iso quality you will get out of the camera, I can't see the 2.8 being too limiting.
You already received some good advice.

RioRico is right. What do you want to do ? what do you want to shoot.

I tend to agree with Papergab846's suggestion: K-x + DA40mm. Paperbag846 is correct that the DA40mm pancake lens is a very nice complement of the K-x. The lens is well regarded (excellent rating in several reviews) and you have a very compact camera+lens package.
12-05-2010, 04:54 PM   #7
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easy, the DA 40mm
12-05-2010, 07:31 PM   #8
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Obviously the 40mm pancake has better IQ than the 35mm but what do people use it for pictures of?

40mm seems a bit long for a general use lens. Ideally, my walkaround lens would be 30mm, but the 35 is somewhat close. As it gets up to 40mm, its a bit long to be my standard lens, no?

Personally, I've been considering the 35mm because I want to shoot primes and already have a 50mm f/1.7; I love the size of the 40mm but think it'd be just SLIGHTLY to close to the 50mm.

12-05-2010, 07:54 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by rrwilliams64 Quote
thoughts on the 35mm f/2.4 ?
Reviewed in database.
SMC Pentax-DA 35mm F2.4 AL Lens Reviews - Pentax Lens Reviews & Pentax Lens Database
12-05-2010, 07:57 PM   #10
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40mm isn't typical if you already know what the usual street range is, but after about a week, it becomes natural and you'll see photo compose in different light. =]
12-05-2010, 08:04 PM   #11
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I think you can flip a coin between DA40 and the new 35mm f2.4. I'd lean toward the 35: cheaper, I like the focal length better, just a tick faster, and the DA40 has always seemed a bit too small even though I like small. The only argument I feel strongly about is the money.

A really great review of the DA-L 35mm f2.4: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/118765-da-35mm...ny-photos.html

Maybe consider your future lens plans as well. Getting the DA40 leaves the door open a bit for the DA35mm f2.8 macro, or a set like DA15, DA21, DA40 and DA70. It sort of rules out the FA43 in the short term.

Pentax really should have made a 28mm instead.
12-05-2010, 10:10 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by jk333 Quote
Obviously the 40mm pancake has better IQ than the 35mm but what do people use it for pictures of?
The difference between 35 and 40 is negligible IMHO. You will simply stand a foot or two back to get the same composition. They can be used for the same photos really. Depends on the rendering you want.

The difference between 30 and 50 on the other hand is noticeable and would be used for very different things.

I find good uses for a 50mm lenses and the DA 40 because they both render so differently. Especially between the 50mm 1.4 and DA 40... the 50 is capable of all sorts of dreamy renderings and low light work (f2.0 and below) that the DA 40 is not as well suited towards.

It comes down to the lens design... the 40 is a "tessar" pancake, which has less lens elements. They tend to be sharper corner to corner and render high contrast.

The 35mm and 50mm's have more lens elements. The 50's are great for portrait work, and also for really shallow depth of field. The 35mm is going to give you nice sharp pictures with a normal FOV, but won't do low DOF work as well as your 50, or even the 40 (due to it only having 6 aperture blades, compared to 9 for the DA 40.

What kind of pictures do you want to take?
12-05-2010, 10:52 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
The 35mm is going to give you nice sharp pictures with a normal FOV, but won't do low DOF work as well as your 50, or even the 40 (due to it only having 6 aperture blades, compared to 9 for the DA 40.
What kind of pictures do you want to take?
I currently have a Sigma 24 - 60mm EX DG lens. I want to get primes to substitute for it. The plan is to get a prime setup, and then I'll have a kit zoom (18-55) and my Tamron Zoom (70-300) if I need to just screw around.

In terms of pictures, I like to photograph landscapes, dogs, and occasionally surfing. I shoot most of my pictures at 24mm right now but if I had a 30-35mm, could adapt. But, a 50mm indoors isn't going to work. I've tried, its good for profile/face shots but not the majority of things I shoot. 40mm could work. Maybe I try to get a 40mm and trade the 50 and cash for a 70? I prefer jack of all trades to specialists. And, I know zooms are that, but I want primes so that 1) I take more pictures and 2) composition, I shoot better photos with primes because I don't just zoom in.

If you feel like taking a look, here are the better pictures I've had from my flickr account - Flickr: pm650x's Photostream

I appreciate any type of help you can provide. Oh, one last thing, isn't the DA 35, just the same as the old FA 35? (6elements in 5 groups), and didn't that have good bokeh?
12-05-2010, 11:11 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by jk333 Quote
I appreciate any type of help you can provide. Oh, one last thing, isn't the DA 35, just the same as the old FA 35? (6elements in 5 groups), and didn't that have good bokeh?
Yes and no. Very similar optical designs, but neither are known for exepctional bokeh. THere are tow reasons for this:

1) The focal length. The longer the focal length, the easier it is to get subject/background separation.
2) 6 aperture blades. Unless you shoot close to wide open, the background would be rendered as a series of hexagons.

You can see this 6 bladed aperture effect with your 50 already, just stop it down to f4.

Don't let me scare you away from the 35 it is a great lens. It is known for it's sharpness and usefulness, not it's bokeh. I don't know many lenses in that focal length range that are (with the exception of the sigma 30 1.4) so if that is the type of photography you want to do, consider it. If you want sharp images in low light, the DA 35 2.4 is a good selection. The DA 40, for me, is worth the cost in money and 1/2 stop because I like the way it render's better, but the DA 35 is no slouch and will really help you out.

I feel like I am repeating myself... I'm not sure where else to go with this. You want to replace a strange zoom range.

Furthermore I'm not sure how useful the 70 would be to you.. you don't seem interested in portraits, which is what I see that lens really excelling at. Your 70-300 has the surfing covered, so if you are looking for an indoor lens that is much wider than the 50, I would strongly consider the 30 1.4, as long as you know you like that wide aperture look.

One word of caution though... I find people who shoot at the extreme end's of their zooms do so because they actually want to go further. Have you considered something wider than 24, and how useful that would be to you? There is always the DA 21 or DA 15, which would bring you into a whole new landscape territory. The DA 21 is not very fast, but a great indoors length.
12-05-2010, 11:28 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
I think you can flip a coin between DA40 and the new 35mm f2.4. I'd lean toward the 35: cheaper, I like the focal length better, just a tick faster, and the DA40 has always seemed a bit too small even though I like small. The only argument I feel strongly about is the money.

A really great review of the DA-L 35mm f2.4: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/118765-da-35mm...ny-photos.html
Just a note that the thread cited above shows evidence of "better" bokeh in the DA 35/2.4 compared to the FA 35/2, as a result of whatever tweaking they did in the adaptation.

To me, it comes down to focal length: the DA 40 is an elegant package and can take beautiful, sharp images. After a year with it as my only autofocus prime, I started exploring and quickly discovered that the FOV of a 35mm on APS-C. was more familiar and more versatile for me than that of a 40mm. Of course that is just one person's experience.
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