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02-23-2011, 01:28 PM   #1
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35mm f2.4 low light capable?

So how is the 35mm f2.4 for use in low light without a flash? I'm about to purchase my first dslr, although I also own a 35mm slr and have used a 50mm f1.8 on it.

Anyway, I'm thinking of trying the Pentax K-r. My main use for this camera will be kids and lots of indoor shots. I'd really like to use natural lighting. I'm aware that I will need a fast lens and this has been recommended but it's only a f2.4. How does it compare to an f1.8 (as this is the only fast lens that I am familiar with)?

I see that Nikon has the D3100 and I can get the 35mm f1.8G. This seems like a good combo especially since I really have no desire to upgrade to more lenses. But I'm really leaning toward Pentax -call me different.

So, can I get good low light shots with this lens or would that Nikon 35mm 1.8 be best for me? I know this is a Pentax forum so you will be partial but at least you can tell me how well this lens functions in low light.

THANKS!

02-23-2011, 01:46 PM   #2
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This is a under-rated lens. Yes, its not built as solid - but gives good IQ in low light. With the K-r you also get the luxury of pumping up the ISO.
02-23-2011, 01:52 PM   #3
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With the K-r you can use pretty much any lens even slower ones, and use higher ISO. ISO 1600 looks super clean and 3200 is very usable. With the K-r that 35 2.4 would be great. I use a 17-50 2.8 no problems with low light

That said I also have a 1.2 lens and with the K-r can shoot basically in the dark at like ISO 200

The K-r also has a ton of features and capabilities that the D3100 does not, only thing d3100 has that k-r doesn't is badly functioning AF during video.
02-23-2011, 01:58 PM   #4
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I would say that you would want to bump the ISO instead of going much lower than f2.4 anyways.

I rarely use my 50's (1.7 and 1.8) below f2.4 and get anything that looks good.

The 35 is great because it's really sharp wide open.

02-23-2011, 02:14 PM   #5
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I own a DA(L) 35mm F2.4 and it is okay in low light. It is a far cry from my 50mm F1.4 in terms of low light performance. However, it is perfectly capable.If you get the Kr you can bump the ISO to compensate. Whereas my Km can not go above ISO800 without a lot of grain. At F2.4 the lens is still looks good in terms of sharpness.

I recall a review of the lens that said that it acts more like a F2.0 than F2.4. And rumor is that the design is based off of the FA35. So it makes sense that it acts as a F2.0.

I wouldn't hesitate for the package as the Kr will give you lots of room to work with the deficiency if any shall arise.

Person experience is that at mid afternoon/evening without direct sunlight with the cloth blinds closed only natural light. It wasn't fast enough at ISO800 for me in terms of motion if everything is stand still shutter speed still was too slow.
02-23-2011, 02:21 PM   #6
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Find a reommended reading below, it shows that below F2 there is not so much light gained as one would think, but camera manufacturers implement some 'compensation' trickery to hide these effects:
An Open Letter To The Major Camera Manufacturers
02-23-2011, 02:46 PM   #7
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One thing the Pentax 35 has that the Nikon 35 doesn't is stabilisation. The other thing is less barrel distortion.

Don't knock 1.8 though, I've just bought a FA31 and was shocked at how gorgeous the images are at 1.8. 1.8 is very usable with this lens, mind you the entry price is very steep. I believe though the 35 f2.4 is good wide open too.

Flash though done right is really very useful indoors, don't dismiss it. It's not that hard to use; just get a pTTL one like a Metz 48/50, and bounce it off walls. The images turn out very natural looking where you can't tell flash was even used.
02-23-2011, 03:39 PM   #8
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It'll do just fine. My room is fairly low light, and I'm able to use the 35mm f2.4 with my K100D at ISO1600 and get hand holdable shots. It even seems to overexpose a bit, so I could probably bump that ISO down.

02-23-2011, 06:54 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
Don't knock 1.8 though
I'd hate to spend so much money on a lens that vignettes as much as the FA31 does, according to photozone.de.
02-23-2011, 07:01 PM   #10
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On my K20D, at dusk and 30 minutes afterwords, I get acceptable shots at medium ISO (800-1200) with the DA-L 35mm f2.4 at pee-wee football. As per Cinders, it does seem to overexpose by 1 EV. I do use my FA 43mm f1.9 more, but the DA-L is the new kid on the block.
02-23-2011, 07:19 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by selar Quote
I'd hate to spend so much money on a lens that vignettes as much as the FA31 does, according to photozone.de.
OK then, so don't buy one. According to that site the FA31 has the highest optical quality amongst all the Pentax lenses, including all the limited primes. I guess there must be some good things about it too then.
02-23-2011, 07:50 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
According to that site the FA31 has the highest optical quality amongst all the Pentax lenses,
According to photozone.de, at F4, where both FA35 and FA31 reach their peak resolution, the FA35 outperforms the FA31 on the border resolution, while being within a whisker of the FA31's center resolution. The FA31 vignettes more than the FA35 at all comparable apertures. I'd hope the DA35 would be comparable to the FA35 as its rumoured to be based on the same formula (is it?). I do hope it is, and we can thank Pentax for another affordable lens of stellar quality.
02-23-2011, 10:29 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by selar Quote
According to photozone.de, at F4, where both FA35 and FA31 reach their peak resolution, the FA35 outperforms the FA31 on the border resolution, while being within a whisker of the FA31's center resolution.
I suspect your images will looks rather sterile if you make all your photographic decisions based on sharpness.
02-24-2011, 12:09 AM   #14
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Enjoy your 35mm f2, it's a great lens, I've got no interest in criticising it and the FA31 doesn't need any defence as to it's optical or mechanical quality. There's no doubt the 35 offers more bang for buck (in f2 or f2.4 variants) than a FA31; but sometimes people just want to buy the best possible lens, not the best possible value lens.
02-24-2011, 12:38 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by sweetwillow Quote
So how is the 35mm f2.4 for use in low light without a flash? I'm about to purchase my first dslr, although I also own a 35mm slr and have used a 50mm f1.8 on it.

Anyway, I'm thinking of trying the Pentax K-r. My main use for this camera will be kids and lots of indoor shots. I'd really like to use natural lighting. I'm aware that I will need a fast lens and this has been recommended but it's only a f2.4. How does it compare to an f1.8 (as this is the only fast lens that I am familiar with)?

I see that Nikon has the D3100 and I can get the 35mm f1.8G. This seems like a good combo especially since I really have no desire to upgrade to more lenses. But I'm really leaning toward Pentax -call me different.

So, can I get good low light shots with this lens or would that Nikon 35mm 1.8 be best for me? I know this is a Pentax forum so you will be partial but at least you can tell me how well this lens functions in low light.

THANKS!
are you really using your K-r?
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