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12-19-2010, 12:45 PM   #1
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DA35mm/DA40mm/FA35mm Question

Sorry if this is a dumb question, but I have looked and not found exactly what I am looking for...

Am I correct in assuming that the DA35 (and DA40)will have a 35mm (or 40mm) FOV on my K10D, while the FA35 will have a 56mm FOV?

Is the f2.8 max aperature on the DA40 a disadvantage as compared to the f2.4 of the DA35 (practically speaking)? I know the DA35 has a plastic bayonet, but it is also 1/2 the price of the DA40.

Last question is a design question...Given the slim pancake design of the 40 - why aren't all lens's of this configuration (at least for DSLR's with thumb wheel aperature adjustment)? Just curious, and I know NOTHING about lens design.

Thanks

12-19-2010, 12:53 PM   #2
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Not correct

Whether made for digital or film, old or new, all of the lenses available for Pentax DSLRs are subject to the same APS-C "crop factor". So, the FA35 and DA35 will have the same FOV.
12-19-2010, 12:55 PM   #3
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It appears you have been confused by the "crop-factor" jargon. I was too.

Those three lenses will all have very similar FOVs. The 2 35mm lenses will have exactly the same FOV, and the 40mm will be *sightly* more zoomed in.


If you can find the FA 35mm at a reasonable price, it's worth it. Right now, most I have seen are somewhere in the 500 dollar range, which is just plain silly. It's just because the lens has been discontinued. When it was available new, it was so desirable because it was not very expensive (about 250).

Practically speaking, the difference between f2.8 and f2.4 will rarely make a difference, unless you are right on the edge of acceptable exposure. You will very often be shooting your f2.4 lens at f2.8 and above. I rarely use my 50mm f1.7 below f2.8, even in lower light, because your DOF becomes too thin for most purposes.

The price difference is something to consider between the two lenses. When I was going through this process, I opted for the DA 40 because it has nine aperture blades, which results in a smoother stopped-down out of focus areas. I also was attracted to the insanely small size, as I like to travel light, and it's superior flare resistance.

The reason that most lenses are not "pancake" are twofold.

1) Peak sharpness tends to be higher for non-pancake lenses.
2) Most non-pancake lenses are much faster than pancake lenses.

I like pancakes, but they have their detractors as well. You can't go wrong with either lens.
12-19-2010, 01:49 PM   #4
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What confused me was the Pentax Web Site that says that the DA Lens series is matched to the Sensor...I assumed that to mean that it would give the correct FOV with the DSLR.

Thanks for the clarification.

12-19-2010, 02:38 PM   #5
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The wider DA lenses will not cover the full film frame.

Also, DA lenses have redesigned rear elements and coatings to minimize internal reflections. Digital sensors are more reflective than film ones, and therefore some older designs can produce more flares on digital than they do on film.

That said, you won't notice the difference in many shots on digital using a film lens.

Hope this helps!
12-19-2010, 03:41 PM   #6
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Now I just have to decide which lens to get...I can get an FA43 LTD for the same price as an FA35 (now that they are discontinued sellers have raised prices considerably), so now the FA43 can get thrown into the mix or I can get a DA35 F2.4 for about 1/3 of those two. Th DA40 is kind of half way in between.

Last edited by 5shot; 12-19-2010 at 03:51 PM.
12-19-2010, 03:53 PM   #7
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If it is a choice between he FA43 and FA35, go with the FA43. I have both and that would be my response. Understand though that the FOV is considerably different between the two. The 35 is very sharp and is "probably" more versatile being closer to a 50mm equivalent, but the 43 does such wonderful things in a super short telephoto way (65mm equiv.) that it is really worth having.
12-20-2010, 05:55 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by 5shot Quote
Last question is a design question...Given the slim pancake design of the 40 - why aren't all lens's of this configuration (at least for DSLR's with thumb wheel aperature adjustment)? Just curious, and I know NOTHING about lens design.

Thanks
The DA 40 Ltd was my first DA prime lens and still my most used prime. Given its pancake form and stellar performance, there is no reason not to own this lens even if you have others in that range. IMHO, it should be every Pentax DSLR owner's first prime. There are things to love about the DA35 and the FA43 (I want one some day), and there are very good reasons to own them, but having a lens that slips into your pocket effortlessly and performs as well as the DA40 is a unique benefit of Pentax ownership.

I own the FA35, but I use it more on film than on a DSLR these days. The extra stop is nice, but F2 is the only aperture of this lens where performance is not absolutely superb (though it is very good for F2), and at F2.8 on, you would be hard pressed to find a difference with the DA40 that will really matter to you on a DSLR.

12-20-2010, 08:45 AM   #9
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IMO DA 35mm F2.8 Limited Macro should be in the discussion. The added benefit of true macro shooting at a focal length that can be hand-held is invaluable in my curious walk-around shooting, and the price isn't far off the FA 43 or FA 35 prices noted in this thread.
12-20-2010, 09:01 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by grainbelt Quote
IMO DA 35mm F2.8 Limited Macro should be in the discussion. The added benefit of true macro shooting at a focal length that can be hand-held is invaluable in my curious walk-around shooting, and the price isn't far off the FA 43 or FA 35 prices noted in this thread.
I believe it is on his list.
12-20-2010, 09:32 AM   #11
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I have yet to really yearn for a Macro while out shooting. Most of my shooting is of my kids/family or shots of my leather work for my web site.

Right now, the DA40 can be had for $339, and it is calling my name, but for another $200 I can get the FA43.

The FA43 is going to have to wait another month or two if I chose to go that route. The extra stop on the FA43 is definitely attractive, but not sure it is necessary, since I shoot my leather work at F4 or higher, and even if doing portraits of the kids I don't know if I would need it.

My main question was the consideration of the FOV, the rest of the decision will boil down to $$$ and a lot of reading. I am going to set my kit lens to 40-43mm and leave it there over the holidays to get a good feel for how the 40's would fit my shooting style.
12-20-2010, 10:50 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by 5shot Quote
What confused me was the Pentax Web Site that says that the DA Lens series is matched to the Sensor...I assumed that to mean that it would give the correct FOV with the DSLR.
It actually means the DA lens is physically smaller. It produces a narrower image, so the lens needs less glass and can be smaller and lighter and cheaper, and can auto-focus quicker, and is generally better and more efficient. Yay.

However, if you put a DA35 on a full-frame camera, its narrow image will only illuminate the middle part of the wider sensor. Pentax are sort-of warning you to only use the lens with narrow APS-C sensors.

The FA35 produces a wider image than the DA35. It takes more glass to do that, and it delivers no benefit on an APS-C sensor because the extra is wasted (it falls outside of the sensor). You only benefit from a wider field of view if you attach it to a full-frame camera.
12-20-2010, 11:00 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by 5shot Quote
My main question was the consideration of the FOV
For all intents and purposes, these FOV's are very similar. The difference between the 35 and 43 will be noticeable, between the 35 - 40 and 40 - 43 not very noticeable. Functionally, they can all be used for the same thing, with a slight edge going to the 40 & 43 for portrait work... but none of these will top a 50mm-85mm prime for that.

W.r.t., the 43 vs. the 40 if you want a limited:

FA 43 will be sharper stopped down to f5.6, and have more bright and lively bokeh wide open. Of course, your resolution and depth of field will be on the more artistic side wide open, but it has it's uses.

The pros of the DA 40 are less about image quality, but it has one or two advantages. I find it produces less chromatic aberrations (not that the FA 43 produces a lot or anything) and less flares. It's very sharp at 2.8 and gets sharper from there, but never reaches the peak sharpness of the FA 43. Th non-image quality advantages are the ridiculously small size, faster autofocus, and quick-shift, which will be more useful if you are shooting action frequently. The bokeh rendering is also more subtle... very smooth.

In general the 43 jumps out at you more, while the 40 is a quiet, consistent performer. The 35mm 2.4 is worth a good look though if none of what I mentioned above really captivates you. Money saved on this lens can be used for the next...

Last edited by paperbag846; 12-20-2010 at 11:06 AM.
12-20-2010, 11:10 AM   #14
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Paperbag846 - Thanks for the comparison...I didn't have anything negative on my list about either the DA40 or the FA43 (unless you count the $$$ for the FA43).

The nice thing about both of those is that if you don't like one you can sell it for 90% or more of the purchase price.

Brangdon - Thanks for that explanation.
12-20-2010, 11:15 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by 5shot Quote
Paperbag846 - Thanks for the comparison...I didn't have anything negative on my list about either the DA40 or the FA43 (unless you count the $$$ for the FA43).

The nice thing about both of those is that if you don't like one you can sell it for 90% or more of the purchase price.

Brangdon - Thanks for that explanation.
Realistically all of these lenses are going to be good performers and I doubt you can make a poor choice. With primes, it is just as important to have a number of good performers at many focal lengths as it is for each to be of high quality. If you blow your whole budget on a normal, you will miss out of wide angle, and telephoto applications. You can only zoom so much with your feet . Good luck .

I've been doing the buy/sell thing quite a bit myself to configure my set-up optimally. If you buy used for a good price... you don't even need to lose that 10% . Buy and sell exactly what you paid... it's a wonderful system.
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