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02-11-2011, 05:25 PM   #1
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FA 31 vs. DA 35

Besides the extra 1 1/2 stops the FA 31 gives you over the DA 35, are there any other advantages to having that lens rather than the smaller, lighter, much-less-expensive one?

02-11-2011, 05:28 PM   #2
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Which DA 35? The DA 35 f/2.8 Macro Limited or the DA 35 f/2.4 AL?

Last edited by Cannikin; 02-11-2011 at 05:34 PM.
02-11-2011, 05:32 PM   #3
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The DA 35 F2.8 Macro Limited.
02-11-2011, 05:40 PM   #4
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FA31 isn't macro so it can focus faster both with AF and MF since the focus throw is shorter.

02-11-2011, 05:41 PM   #5
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FA31 has a permanent hood so you don't have to take it on and off.
02-11-2011, 05:46 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by sewebster Quote
FA31 has a permanent hood so you don't have to take it on and off.
So does the DA 35 Macro; but you do have to pull it out.
02-11-2011, 05:47 PM   #7
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so it's 1 stop, not 1/2 stop*.

on the FA you have 2 ring with "f" mark, and the distance mark on both ring, like old Pentax K, M, A lenses.

The distance ring have a longer rotation compared to DA (1/4 of circle or moving) so it's easy to do the focusing.

the FA is built in metal were DA has some plastic parts.

DA is exclusively built for digital SLR (lenses treatement anti ghosting, for exemple.), FA is compatible with FF, were DA isn't supposed to.

* the original stop value are : f1; f1.4; f2; f2.8; f4; f5.6; f8; f11; f16; f22; f32...
02-11-2011, 05:53 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by sewebster Quote
FA31 has a permanent hood so you don't have to take it on and off.
That's not an advantage in favor of the FA 31. The 35 ltd has a built in pull-out hood, which is usually extended just by taking off the lens cap, and makes it more compact and easier to use filters.

Longer focus throw is also debatable. Sure it makes AF longer if it decides to go hunting, but most of the turning is in the macro area, and quick shift makes it simple to reset it. For anything 3ft away or further, it is very short. Also, longer focus throw is better for manual focus.

The 35 ltd has the advantage of being a macro obviously, and a bit smaller. The FA 31 has the advantage of being faster (as you noted), aperture ring, a bit sharper at f/2.8-4, this famous "pixie dust" that everyone raves about and FF coverage (if you care about that).


Last edited by Cannikin; 02-11-2011 at 06:25 PM.
02-11-2011, 05:59 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by aurele Quote
the FA is built in metal were DA has some plastic parts.
There is nothing plastic on the DA 35 limited except the aperture lever and the black area immediately surrounding the rear element (not including lens mount). The rest is all metal, including hood and lens cap (except that area around the front element of which admittedly I don't know what it's made of; it doesn't feel plastic, it's almost rubbery).

Last edited by Cannikin; 02-11-2011 at 06:39 PM.
02-11-2011, 06:05 PM   #10
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Or Wait to new DA31 ltd WR. Smile
02-11-2011, 06:20 PM   #11
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I say get the DA 35mm if money is tighter. it is an A lens. The 31mm is an A+ lens for twice the cost in my opinion.
02-11-2011, 06:44 PM   #12
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Compare the FA 31 with the DA 35 ltd, hopefully side by side. The FA is 2x the size and weight and price and pixie dust. Color that no other lens has, but the price of nearly $1K is a bit much.

The 35 Ltd is the most versatile lens in the DA Ltd line, "normal" view, plus macro - you can put a fly nearly on the lens, and get it in focus. The 35 Ltd is very sharp from wide open, physically larger than the other DA Ltd's pancakes. Perfect with the 21 and 70...
02-11-2011, 07:00 PM   #13
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My differences were intended to be somewhat joke-like in character.

They are 1.3 stops apart though, using the formula:
stop# = 2*log10(f#)/log10(2)
02-11-2011, 07:23 PM   #14
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The biggest question is whether or not one is interested in the close focus ability. That to me is the beauty of the DA 35 -- sort of like the 50mm macro on film. If you aren't interested in that and have the money, then the FA 31 is better in every other respect.
02-11-2011, 08:06 PM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by leadfoot Quote
Compare the FA 31 with the DA 35 ltd, hopefully side by side. The FA is 2x the size and weight and price and pixie dust. Color that no other lens has, but the price of nearly $1K is a bit much.
FWIW, the 31 is actually only 50% heavier than the DA35/2.8 (345 vs 215 grams), and most of those 130 grams is the actual pixie dust

In terms of physical size, while the 35 is smaller, the size difference really isn't as great as a lot of people think it is. I took the shot below a while back for a friend who was trying to decide between those two lenses (and the FA35). Which brings up another good point, the FA35 might be another good option for the OP to consider; almost as fast as the 31, a little bit lighter (and cheaper) than the 35 limited.

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