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04-28-2011, 08:38 AM   #1
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One day to decide- which 30-35mm lens?

Well......this camera stuff sure gets interesting!
The situation.
Lucky us as I have posted earlier are heading to San Francisco next month so I have been sniffing out lens prices as we pass via Singapore.
I was pretty much dead set on a Sigma 30 1.4 as I need a lowlight 'standard' for my K7 as there will be alot of indoor shots with friends in watering holes .
However all the quotes for the Sigma have been above $700 SGD although the Aussie dollar is strong its not THAT strong as said lens can be had here on order for mid $400
So I had a look at B&H and right next to it was good pricing on DA 35 2.4, DA 35 Macro and FA 31- possibly my dream lens for lower than I've see it for a while.
Anyway I popped the question to the finance minister and got 'If you do it will be your Birthday Present!' ..........
Sooooooo I'm a little scared now as I pretty much had my mind made up so...the scenario is one of these 4 lenses.

DA 35 2.4 - the cheapest/smallest lowish light (we have a Kx too which we are bringing so small is gud)

Sigma 30 1.4 - fastest but also biggest, a little wider.

DA 35 Macro - great would have been first buy due to shots I've seen but having used the K7 for a while I would really like a faster lens, macros can be done for now with our Sigma 17-70 which is acceptable at 1:2 and close focus is insane.

FA 31 - What can I say only thing plaguing me was price but thats come down a bit, AUD vs USD couldn't be better and there is talk of ceasing production. The cost is the big one is basically one lens vs two.

So help! What would you do? It seems like an easy pick but you can basically have a DA35 2.4 - K55 1.8 and a DA70 for the cost of a FA31, is it really worth it?
I'm gonna spend just one more day shooting at 30mm to make sure the length suits before I sink a decent amount of money into it till then I wanna hear your thoughts.

Note: Remember I do have a Sigma 17-70 2.8-4.5 which is great and a DAL 55-300
so I do have most ranges covered


Last edited by Tonto; 04-28-2011 at 08:50 AM.
04-28-2011, 08:55 AM   #2
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I won't speak to each lens' qualities, but I will say this: you state your purpose for wanting the new lens as having a "fast standard." This does not indicate that you want to go full-on prime kit (so the 31 ltd vs 35/55/70 combo seems moot). If that's the case, and you really only want one prime to complement your zooms, and you can afford it, why not the FA 31? I owned and LOVED the DA 35 Macro, but it's only 2.8. I'd suggest the FA 31 and then the Sigma 30 as a second choice (based on your stated needs).
04-28-2011, 08:57 AM   #3
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I wish I had a decent comment here. I have no experience with any of these. I do have an FA 35 f2.0 that is a very nice lens, but I don't find this length overly useful to me. I'm interested in seeing the responses here. I will say that the DA 70 is an excellent portrait lens and the period that I owned mine it saw a lot of use.

What'ca doing in San Francisco?
04-28-2011, 09:09 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tonto Quote
Well......this camera stuff sure gets interesting!
The situation.
Lucky us as I have posted earlier are heading to San Francisco next month so I have been sniffing out lens prices as we pass via Singapore.
I was pretty much dead set on a Sigma 30 1.4 as I need a lowlight 'standard' for my K7 as there will be alot of indoor shots with friends in watering holes .
However all the quotes for the Sigma have been above $700 SGD although the Aussie dollar is strong its not THAT strong as said lens can be had here on order for mid $400
So I had a look at B&H and right next to it was good pricing on DA 35 2.4, DA 35 Macro and FA 31- possibly my dream lens for lower than I've see it for a while.
Anyway I popped the question to the finance minister and got 'If you do it will be your Birthday Present!' ..........
Sooooooo I'm a little scared now as I pretty much had my mind made up so...the scenario is one of these 4 lenses.

DA 35 2.4 - the cheapest/smallest lowish light (we have a Kx too which we are bringing so small is gud)

Sigma 30 1.4 - fastest but also biggest, a little wider.

DA 35 Macro - great would have been first buy due to shots I've seen but having used the K7 for a while I would really like a faster lens, macros can be done for now with our Sigma 17-70 which is acceptable at 1:2 and close focus is insane.

FA 31 - What can I say only thing plaguing me was price but thats come down a bit, AUD vs USD couldn't be better and there is talk of ceasing production. The cost is the big one is basically one lens vs two.

So help! What would you do? It seems like an easy pick but you can basically have a DA35 2.4 - K55 1.8 and a DA70 for the cost of a FA31, is it really worth it?
I'm gonna spend just one more day shooting at 30mm to make sure the length suits before I sink a decent amount of money into it till then I wanna hear your thoughts.

Note: Remember I do have a Sigma 17-70 2.8-4.5 which is great and a DAL 55-300
so I do have most ranges covered
Well, you've obviously put a lot of thought into it and I can't really fault any of your logic. None are bad choices so it's really going to come down to how much you're comfortable spending. I have only had the Sigma 30 out of your choices and can vouch for that lens. I regret selling mine sometimes. Why did I sell it? Because it's not a 31 Ltd. I finally just had to realize that I have to own that lens at some point. It should be arriving today. If that's going to nag at you, too, then I would go ahead and bite the bullet. Especially if the exchange rate is working in your favor right now. We have the opposite situation here in the US. If you think you can put it behind you, then save some money and go with something else. I think either of the DA35's would be good choices, too (though I'd definitely prefer the limited), but as I said, I can only personally vouch for the Sigma 30.

04-28-2011, 09:13 AM   #5
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Visiting some friends, having a nice break from work- recharging the batteries, both in theory and practise!

In respose to above, a prime kit although not a major goal would still be handy as my wife and I often shoot in tandam taking turns with lenses so the primes both suit this method and help our photography learning which is one reason for me to go with a standard prime to begin with - to force me to compose better

In reply to FA35 and DA35 Macro both look like excellent lenses, the macro as you know for me just isn't fast enough but would be my go to for a product shot lens. As for the FA35 I didn't really know of it till the DA35 2.4 came out, I still haven't really heard/seen a decent comparision between the two, I also saw a good price on a FA 50 1.4 so I may sway at the last minute yet!

The FA31 I feel just may be the only LTD I will ever have the chance to own so I'm 99% sure I'll be heading that way, stock levels are the only thing holding me back now really.
04-28-2011, 09:16 AM   #6
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Thanks DogLover, I will be shooting dogs too! Your ammunition has been added to my FA31 argument
04-28-2011, 09:23 AM   #7
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After much deliberation on a prime in the 30mm to 40mm range I finally settled on the DA 35mm F2.8 Macro Limited.

Unfortunately, it's still not in hand, arriving Friday via FedEx, so I can't give you any personal feedback on the handling.

I looked at the DA 35mm F2.4, and despite the rave reviews, settled on the slightly slower limited lens. My choice was finally settled on the strength of the reviews and plethora of quality pictures that have been produced with this lens. I too have a K-7, but do not anticipate missing the half stop over the F2.4.

Good luck with your decision!
04-28-2011, 09:47 AM   #8
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Thanks pjtheil by the time you get yours mine shall be on its way!

I have a 2.8 setting on my sigma at 17-20mm which s ALMOST there, my old broken M50 f2 was great so I know an F stop of at least that would suit me, as for the focal length 17mm was far too wide and 50mm too long so 31mm should be just right aswell.

04-28-2011, 10:02 AM - 1 Like   #9
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You've certainly summed up the practical side of the various lenses quite well. But there's an emotional side that can't be quantified at all, and there's no "one answer fits all" to that.

I have the DA 35 Macro and have quite enjoyed it over the year or so I've owned it. At the time I got it, I got a reasonably good deal on it and hoped that it would stop my itch for the FA 31, which was the lens I REALLY wanted. It was all so practical to settle for this lens, and in many ways I'm glad that I did get it, it convinced me that this focal length worked really well for me.

However, it didn't stop my itch for the FA 31, I couldn't stop hearing it call my name. So now I'm anxiously checking B&H's website every half hour, hoping that the tracking number that they posted sometime overnight will show a receipt by UPS and hoping that perhaps it will get into their system in time for a Friday delivery instead of Monday.

For me the answer is follow your heart if you can - you'll end up going there anyway and by not taking side-roads, you'll ultimately save yourself time and money.
04-28-2011, 10:15 AM   #10
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I can vouch for the Sigma 30... It's a capable lens. However, I too sold mine. Now I have the 31mm (just got it yesterday!). Build, bokeh, and sharpness, it wins hands down over the sigma. But then, it should (being over twice the price)! Simply put, the FA 31mm limited is a winner lens. It undeniably rocks the face of photography (IMHO).

Since getting it, I'm now contemplating selling my DA* 16-50... Well, only contemplating.
04-28-2011, 10:26 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tonto Quote
Thanks DogLover, I will be shooting dogs too! Your ammunition has been added
YOU MONSTER!

Oh, wait, you mean with your camera. Never mind.

Just so my post isn't entirely substance-free, I'll add this: the DA 35mm Ltd Macro isn't really a low-light lens, though with a K-x it would probably work pretty well in dim conditions. And add to that its reputation for slow focusing, and you might miss some dimly-lit action. Unless you're looking forward to the macro capabilities, I'd consider crossing that one off your list.

My suggestion would be the 31 if your budget can bear it, or otherwise the DA-L 35/2.4.
04-28-2011, 10:33 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Quicksand Quote
YOU MONSTER!

Oh, wait, you mean with your camera. Never mind.

Just so my post isn't entirely substance-free, I'll add this: the DA 35mm Ltd Macro isn't really a low-light lens, though with a K-x it would probably work pretty well in dim conditions. And add to that its reputation for slow focusing, and you might miss some dimly-lit action. Unless you're looking forward to the macro capabilities, I'd consider crossing that one off your list.

My suggestion would be the 31 if your budget can bear it, or otherwise the DA-L 35/2.4.
HA! I made a similar joke once about the reason that I shoot a lot of kids is because I'm a sick bastard.
04-28-2011, 10:39 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by mtngal Quote
So now I'm anxiously checking B&H's website every half hour, hoping that the tracking number that they posted sometime overnight will show a receipt by UPS and hoping that perhaps it will get into their system in time for a Friday delivery instead of Monday.

That's kind of where I am, except I paid for overnight shipping so I would get it today. I got notification late last night that it shipped, but the tracking link for UPS still says only that a label has been printed. I have no idea if it is actually "out for delivery" or not. Very frustrating. UPS is usually pretty good about this and definitely better than FedEx. Wonder if they're having some technical problems.

Edit: Crap, I finally got some more info, but it ain't good. Due to high winds in Louisville, shipment will be delayed until tomorrow.

Last edited by DogLover; 04-28-2011 at 11:16 AM.
04-28-2011, 11:07 AM   #14
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The problem with not getting the FA31Ltd is that you probably will always wonder "what could have been".
04-28-2011, 11:26 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
The problem with not getting the FA31Ltd is that you probably will always wonder "what could have been".
Now that's one of the best rationals for feeding your LBA I've ever read. Heck just go for it!
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