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12-10-2010, 01:49 PM   #16
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According to Photozone the 43 Ltd is Pentax's sharpest lense (MTF tests) bar none. Especially once you stop down to around F4. Personally I think it has been sprinkled liberally with Pixie-Dust - I use it a lot and the F1.9 means it's a fantastic low-light lense, very sharp at 2.2 and up.

I can't comment on the DA35 macro as I haven't used it yet.

Last edited by Frogfish; 12-11-2010 at 12:43 AM.
12-10-2010, 06:57 PM   #17
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Just my two cents, having sold the DA 35mm macro for FA 43mm: You can't go wrong with either lens, but a couple of points apply:

The 35mm is a fantastic lens, and is certainly capable of lovely portraits, at least head and shoulders kind of shots wide open. (see attached.)

For me with a k20d it was just at the edge of usable for indoor children portraits - didn't have as many keepers as I'd like due to low shutter speed, with better iso it would probably be much closer. I haven't used the 43mm for this yet, but expect it would do better with the extra stop (though dof than comes into play so might even out).

The autofocus of the 35mm is also noticeably slower than the 43mm - it can be a pain to hunt through the whole macro region when you miss in low light. Quickshift is a bonus on the 35mm, but not that great an advantage as the non-macro region on the focusing ring is really really small. On the other hand, the mf feel of the 43mm is excellent.

I haven't really missed the macro on the 35mm (yet) but if I do I will consider a closeup filter.

What made me decide to change to the 43mm was ultimately the extra stop, and the slightly longer focal length (personal preference, just feels right to me). I think I prefer the colours of the 43mm too.

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12-10-2010, 06:59 PM   #18
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Like a lot of others I faced the same decision. I ended up going with the FA 43mm and have not regretted it once. I've also seen a ton of wonderful photos from the DA 35mm. Lens size is pretty similar (slight edge to the 43mm.) I think the minimum focus distance on the 43mm is about 1.5 feet but with it being a longer focal length, you still get some of the "macro" isolation.

Though the field of view is not too different, do you maybe tend to lean towards wide or tele with your other lenses? I've seen lots of people recommend shooting with a zoom lens (if you have one in this range) at the approximate lengths of the two lenses and see if you like one more than the other.

Though I don't know how much help it is, I can tell you that you will not be disappointed with either lens. Best of luck to you!

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