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01-13-2011, 08:59 AM   #1
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50mm/1.4 vs 35mm/2.4

Hi everyone

I'm looking to get a prime lens for my new K-7 body and I'm having a hard time deciding between these 2. I hoping to get some insight from people who own both.

I'm coming from a Canon system where I had the 35mm f/2 lens and that was wonderful. I really enjoyed the "normal" view and not having the extra 20mm zoom. However, I was always unhappy with the produced bokeh.

Now that I'm moving to Pentax, I want to make the right decision from the start. I really like the 35mm's price and performance, but the aperture difference from the 50mm is making me second guess. I love super fast lenses and that 1.4 50mm is very enticing.

Any thoughts?

01-13-2011, 09:26 AM   #2
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Hello there and welcome to the forum.

get the FA31/1.8 for normal and great Bokeh.

if you want super-fast and super-bokeh, and not mind shooting manual focus lens, get either K or A 50/1.2.
01-13-2011, 09:39 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
Hello there and welcome to the forum.

get the FA31/1.8 for normal and great Bokeh.

if you want super-fast and super-bokeh, and not mind shooting manual focus lens, get either K or A 50/1.2.
wow, that's 1 expensive lens. I'm hoping to buy something under the $350 mark...
01-13-2011, 09:47 AM   #4
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I've had the 35/2.4 for a few weeks and can say I'm very pleased with the bokeh. There are lots of samples in this thread:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/118765-da-35mm...ny-photos.html

I know f/2.4 sounds like a slow lens, but it's sharp wide open and when you have a wider focal length, you get in closer so you still get that effect of the background being blurred out. It's great wide open too--sharp, and smooth bokeh, no harsh circles.

The FA 50/1.4 is also a great lens, but if that's not the focal length you want, check out the 35!

01-13-2011, 09:55 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by farfisa Quote
I've had the 35/2.4 for a few weeks and can say I'm very pleased with the bokeh. There are lots of samples in this thread:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/118765-da-35mm...ny-photos.html
that bokeh of DA35 look really nice and creamy
I also read somewhere on these forums that FA50/1,4`s bokeh could be described as bokeh sex
you can`t go wrong with both imo
01-13-2011, 10:21 AM   #6
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There is also the FA35 f/2 to consider. Probably you could buy the DA35 f/2.4 since it is so cheap and just sell it at a bit of a loss if you don't like it. Or maybe just try to test it in a store and see what you think...
01-13-2011, 10:48 AM   #7
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I can't stand the bokeh of the FA 50mm 1.4 and sold it for that reason, and I was never happy with it wider than f2.8. The bokeh on the 50mm very busy and not very smooth.

I'd say get the 35mm f2.4, it looks like a great lens and at $180 you can't go wrong, or if you can spend more the 35mm Limited or the 40mm Limited.
01-13-2011, 10:58 AM   #8
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If you enjoy the 35mm FOV more than 50mm, you should get it first. I too don't enjoy 50mm on 1.5x crop anywhere as much as 35mm. FA50 is a good lens but I prefer SMC tak version when I dont use autofocus. The bokeh and rendering characteristics i find superior to the FA.

For the 35mm, from cheapest / best value to most expensive / best quality. In this order: DA 35/2.4, DA40/2.8, DA 35/2.8 or FA 35/2, FA 31/1.8

Keep in mind that a lot of people's Pentax prime kit looks something like this: DA 15/DA21 + DA 35 macro/FA43 + DA 70/FA77/DA100. I personally think this is a very good all rounder kit.

My 'prime' kit is currently Sigma 10-20 + DA 40 + Jupiter 85. When I have the extra to get the DA 21 I'm going to alternate the sigma with it.

And don't worry too much about making 'mistakes' since it's very easy to sell the lens and recoup almost the full value. You can't go wrong with any of these lenses anyway. I feel my collection is too crowded with FA 35, DA 40, and FA 50, but I really have a hard time choosing which to let go since they're all excellent in their own ways.

01-13-2011, 12:23 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by echoecho Quote
wow, that's 1 expensive lens. I'm hoping to buy something under the $350 mark...
consider it as an "L" Canon Lens equivalent.

if budget is an issue for you, then the DA35/2.4 would be a better choice. getting something fast means paying extra. if you really want something fast and within your budget, then I suggest buying a DA35/2.4 and a manual focus Super Takumar 50/1.4 or Pentax 55/1.8. both Super Tak and Pentax 55 are cheap.
01-14-2011, 04:25 AM   #10
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First of all, they are two very different lenses and shouldn't be compared to each other. 35/2.4 is digital budget normal prime. Experiences of those who have it suggest it's really nice lens optically albeit with very plasticky feel to it. But when on budget for normal then I doubt you can beat this. If budget wouldn't be the limit then I'd second Pentaxor's suggestion for 31ltd.

50/1.4 is film era fast standard. On crop sensors it's more like short tele/portrait lens and therefore I'd imagine the use would be quite different to 35mm lens...

QuoteQuote:
I also read somewhere on these forums that FA50/1,4`s bokeh could be described as bokeh sex
you can`t go wrong with both imo
the bokeh of Pentax's 50/1.4 is generally revered. I have only tried it once or twice but I know for sure there are two lenses that beat it with no effort: SMC-P 50/1.2 (the K series), and SMC-P A50/1.2. These two are optically the same, but A has 9blades and K has 8 blades, and of course A communicates with the body (to certain extent) and A costs roughly 2x as much as K. So if you are on the budget,

go for 35/2.4 + FA50/1.4
If budget is not big issue you might try to get FA35/2 + K50/1.2
and if you are big spender, go for 31ltd + A50/1.2

my 2p

Last edited by axl; 01-14-2011 at 05:39 AM.
01-14-2011, 05:16 AM   #11
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If I were you, I'd seriously look for a good used or new FA35/2. What a great lens!

Jason
01-14-2011, 07:47 AM   #12
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I think the 35mm f2 is incredibly overpriced right now due to it's rarity and cult status. It was a good deal new when it was actually available new, but I can think of better lenses for 400-500 dollars.

If you are on a tight budget know that 50mm is a really fun focal length, but not the most useful on ASP-C. You might be happy with it for a while but eventually you will want something longer, like the DA70 or FA77. I also find that the AF on the FA 1.4 is really slow (likely due to the fact that the lens is incredibly prone to flares, and low contrast wide open, which is how the lens focuses). The IQ is amazing but I never found the autofocus that useful... consider manual alternatives.

The 35mm f2.4 takes really nice pictures and the price is right. The reason to upgrade to the DA 40 would be for compactness, AF speed, etc., but if these are not an issue go with the new fantastic plastic.

With the left-over money from your budget, you can buy an old manual focus 50mm lens ot play with. I second Pentaxor's suggestion to find an SMC 55mm/1.8 lens. K mount if possible. They will be well under 100 dollars, and it's a great portrait lens (almost 85mm equivalent, smooth bokeh).
01-14-2011, 08:35 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
I think the 35mm f2 is incredibly overpriced right now due to it's rarity and cult status. It was a good deal new when it was actually available new, but I can think of better lenses for 400-500 dollars.

If you are on a tight budget know that 50mm is a really fun focal length, but not the most useful on ASP-C. You might be happy with it for a while but eventually you will want something longer, like the DA70 or FA77. I also find that the AF on the FA 1.4 is really slow (likely due to the fact that the lens is incredibly prone to flares, and low contrast wide open, which is how the lens focuses). The IQ is amazing but I never found the autofocus that useful... consider manual alternatives.

The 35mm f2.4 takes really nice pictures and the price is right. The reason to upgrade to the DA 40 would be for compactness, AF speed, etc., but if these are not an issue go with the new fantastic plastic.

With the left-over money from your budget, you can buy an old manual focus 50mm lens ot play with. I second Pentaxor's suggestion to find an SMC 55mm/1.8 lens. K mount if possible. They will be well under 100 dollars, and it's a great portrait lens (almost 85mm equivalent, smooth bokeh).
The FA35/2 isn't really that overpriced relative to it's performance. Yes, it's at about $100 more used than it was new a couple years ago, but that in and of itself doesn't make it overpriced. You can still get them for under $400 if you keep your eyes open, I know KEH had one last month for 390. Now, is it worth twice as much as the new 35/2.4? I can't say as I've never tried one. The 35/2.4 certainly looks like an excellent lens and an excellent value as well. And I agree that if I were on a budget and wanted something like the 35/2.4 or 35/2, I'd strongly consider the 35/2.4. But the FA35 was one of those lenses that never let me down and that I could keep on my camera the majority of the time and be very happy with. I only sold it (with reservations) when I got my FA31, and even then I wondered if I was doing the right thing.

As for the FA50/1.4, if you stick a hood on it a lot of the wide open contrast/flare issues are mitigated. The FA50/1.7 (or F50/1.7 as they are more common) is an alternative to the FA50/1.4 that many people consider to be sharper wide open. They're also a bit cheaper than the FA50/1.4. I haven't shot with an FA50/1.4 in a while, but I have an FA50/1.7 at the moment and the AF feels pretty quick.
01-14-2011, 09:40 AM   #14
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thanks to everyone for your thoughts. I decided to go with the DA35mm f/2.4 and I'm also going to get a SMC-A 50mm f/1.4 from keh.
01-14-2011, 09:44 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by dgaies Quote
As for the FA50/1.4, if you stick a hood on it a lot of the wide open contrast/flare issues are mitigated.
Hood helps IQ, but did not really help me with the autofocus.

The f1.7 tends to be sharper wide open... which might help the AF system.

QuoteOriginally posted by dgaies Quote
The FA35/2 isn't really that overpriced relative to it's performance.
I have not seen much to convince me that the FA 35 2.0 is worth twice the cost of the DA 35 2.4.

Also look into the A 50mm 1.7... it's easier to manual focus without a split prism since the image is sharper in the viewfinder. Cheaper, too .
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