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03-20-2011, 07:05 PM - 1 Like   #1
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F (FA) 50 1.7 or DA 35 f2.4?

Hi,

In my humble lens collection, my A50 f1.7 shines as my best lens overall in terms of IQ, sharpness etc. I've been thinking to move up to the F or FA version for added convenience. But the DA (L?) 35 f2.4 sounds very interesting. Because of razor thin DOF I never use the A50 1.7 wide open. Most of the time at 2.8 or above, rarely at f2. But the focal lenght can be longish on some instances.
I know the final choice is mine and only mine, and depends on my needs, but if these were the only lens options in the world, which one would you choose and why?
Since I got my K20 I'm using my K100DS as second camera with the 50 1.7 and no flash. The 6MP CCD sensor with this lens is the most lethal combination in my humble arsenal.
What do you think?

Thanks,

03-20-2011, 07:41 PM   #2
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I would use the 50 because I love that focal length. It's great for a lot of things, but it can be a little tight.

Even though you use the 50 at 2.8 or above for the most part, know that the 35 2.4 is going to have even less depth of field than the 50 stopped down. However, I think most people would be best served by a 35mm for most applications, so it would likely be best for you to go with that idea.

Also another thing about the 50mm and DOF being too thin... that has a lot to do with focus accuracy, which I found frustratingly difficult with the A 50 1.7. If you sold that lens and moved on to either an autofocus 50, or a 50 with a nicer focusing ring (I honestly sold my 50 1.7 because the 55 1.8 made it far easier to focus, therefore increasing my keepers by a large margin), you might not have as much trouble with the lower f stops.

In any case, I think 2 focal lengths are better than one, so I think you would be better off with the 35 and a 50, than just one 50.
03-20-2011, 09:28 PM   #3
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35

Paperbag summed it up very nicely, so I'll just add my opinion in favor of the DA 35. I love fast 50s, but for APS-C, I find 35mm to be a more versatile focal length. As you both mentioned, 50mm often seems to be just a bit too long.

Tim
03-20-2011, 09:39 PM   #4
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I also found my 50mm f1.7 to be a little too tight for general use and the 35mm f2.4 is a better focal length for me with very similar performance.

03-20-2011, 09:59 PM   #5
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if you're not too big in shooting under low lighting condition, i would also recommend the DA 40mm f2.8. Extremely solid build quality, incredible images (one of the sharpest primes in the line up), fast AF, very small size, etc.
03-20-2011, 10:12 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eagle_Friends Quote
if you're not too big in shooting under low lighting condition, i would also recommend the DA 40mm f2.8. Extremely solid build quality, incredible images (one of the sharpest primes in the line up), fast AF, very small size, etc.
The DA 40 is better than the DA L 35 in colours and contrast, but the DA L is just as sharp (unless you are talking about corner sharpness). Biggest advantages are going to be in sex appeal, because while the DA 40 is small, the actual camera is quite large. Just a thought. I love the 40, but the DA L 35 would serve the OP better I think.
03-21-2011, 01:01 AM   #7
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Since you already have the A 50 (which is a very nice lens) I would either get the 35mm or sell your A 50 and get the F/FA 50. If you think you will use both focal lengths then get the 35. If you think you do not need the 35 length then sell the A and get the F/FA. In any case you cannot go wrong, they are all good lenses.
03-21-2011, 03:16 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
I would use the 50 because I love that focal length. It's great for a lot of things, but it can be a little tight.

Even though you use the 50 at 2.8 or above for the most part, know that the 35 2.4 is going to have even less depth of field than the 50 stopped down.
I'm confused. Surely the shorter focal length will have a greater DOF at the same aperture setting? Or maybe it's on the basis that one closes up to the subject to get equivalent framing ...

Anyway I have just bought the DA35 (was just a block away from B&H in NY and had a nasty attack of LBA), and it seems generally very good. Less plasticky in feel than I expected. Much more useful walk-around length than the 50s could though they are excellent (I have various, including two Ms and an FA50 1.7). Just depends what effect you're looking for. 28mm would have been even better.

03-21-2011, 05:00 AM   #9
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It's really a question of wide angle vs sheer speed. Only you can answer that.

I can attest that my F50 f1,7 is my fastest focusing, and most accurately focusing, lens. No worries there. I stepped up from an A50 f1,4 and boy was I impressed!
03-21-2011, 05:42 AM   #10
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I have the FA 50mm 1.4 & the DA 35mm F2.4 and wouldn't choose between them as they're both useful. For the low cost the DA35mm is excellent & I'd highly recommend it to anyone who hasn't already got the focal range covered.

Based on your choice I'd keep the 50mm you have and add the 35mm

Simon
03-21-2011, 05:54 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by ismaelg Quote
What do you think?
I think you have your head screwed on right, which is pretty rare in this gear-obsessed environment.

Your A50/1.7 is excellent and if you are fine focusing manually I don't think AF will bring you much in the way of convenience. I use manual focus with my auto lenses most of the time since it is a) quicker to focus on what I want, b) quieter, c) more fun.

If you do want an AF lens then go for the DA 35/2.4 which will be both cheaper than an AF 50mm and will given you a new focal length to work with. Everything I have seen indicates this lens is great value.

However, if you don't mind sticking with MF, I would recommend instead an older Vivitar 24mm or 28mm lens, one with Close Focus designation. the 28mm focal is the perfect normal on our cameras and this will be even more useful for you alongside 50mm.

Last edited by rparmar; 03-21-2011 at 03:36 PM. Reason: "sticking with AF" corrected to "sticking with MF"
03-21-2011, 06:43 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by timo Quote
I'm confused. Surely the shorter focal length will have a greater DOF at the same aperture setting? Or maybe it's on the basis that one closes up to the subject to get equivalent framing ...
Sorry, I meant to say "less DOF *control*.
03-21-2011, 05:27 PM   #13
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I like the rendering of the FA50/1.7. focal length, I prefer the 35mm.
03-21-2011, 06:08 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
The DA 40 is better than the DA L 35 in colours and contrast, but the DA L is just as sharp (unless you are talking about corner sharpness). Biggest advantages are going to be in sex appeal, because while the DA 40 is small, the actual camera is quite large. Just a thought. I love the 40, but the DA L 35 would serve the OP better I think.
I disagree, I've seen samples and actually had a go with both lenses (owned the 40mm before, really regret selling it ... =[)

The 35mm is a sharp little lens, but the 40mm is one of the sharpest DA Limited match only by the 35mm or the 70mm.
03-21-2011, 07:43 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eagle_Friends Quote
I disagree, I've seen samples and actually had a go with both lenses (owned the 40mm before, really regret selling it ... =[)

The 35mm is a sharp little lens, but the 40mm is one of the sharpest DA Limited match only by the 35mm or the 70mm.
The DA 40 is not as sharp as the simple FA 50 1.4.

Most tessar lenses are sharper across the frame, but have a lower peak sharpness than the type of lens design seen in the FA 50 or DA 35.

That sharpness you thought you saw with the DA 40 may well have been contrast. There is no question in my mind that the DA 40 has better contrast than most lenses.

Also when you were playing with the DA L 35, were you using a hood?
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