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11-17-2007, 08:16 PM   #1
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Pentax 31/1.8 vs Minolta 35/1.4

Anyone used both? Carpents? I used to have the minolta and it was my go-to normal lens on APS-C. How does the 31/1.8 ltd compare? The minolta was designed to be used at f2.8 IMHO, where it had a peak in sharpness. It actually got softer at f4, then sharpened up again as you stop down. How does bokeh compare between the two? Price is similar. I can't find any direct comparisons on the 'net..

11-18-2007, 03:35 AM   #2
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I have used both very briefly, borrowed of course. Similar beasts I think. Actually I find Pentax and Minolta glass have similar colour casts in some respects. I have also used the Pentax 35mm f2 and for the money saving aspect I'd grab that one. The Pentax 35 f2 seems like great value for money. After I get my Pentax 50-135mm f2.8 SDM I'll probably get a few primes, the 35 f2 will be one of them. Because I know you have mainly been using M42 gear with Pentax I'm surprised your not getting hold of the Voitlander and Zeiss gear that seems to be popping up in the K Mount. Oh, I shot with my K10D in the rain the other day with no problems seems like it'll be a good camera for me. Good luck finding a 35mm lens.

Tim H
11-18-2007, 05:47 AM   #3
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Never used the Minolta 35.

The 31 is nice, and you won't really complain about sharpness at any aperture. And while some people detest the physical design (especially the hood), the build quality is excellent.

A more interesting lens could be the Sigma 30/1.4. It isn't as sharp across the frame as the Pentax but seems to have a nice character and silky smooth bokeh.
11-18-2007, 06:01 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by carpents Quote
A more interesting lens could be the Sigma 30/1.4. It isn't as sharp across the frame as the Pentax but seems to have a nice character and silky smooth bokeh.
Aren't they thin on the ground?

11-18-2007, 06:12 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by SupremeMoFo Quote
Aren't they thin on the ground?
Not that I know of.
11-18-2007, 09:26 AM   #6
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I don't get it. Is the Minolta K-mount compatible? How is it that we're discussing it as an alternative lens for a Pentax?
11-18-2007, 09:59 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by aerodave Quote
I don't get it. Is the Minolta K-mount compatible? How is it that we're discussing it as an alternative lens for a Pentax?
No, it isn't K-mount compatible. Damien "used to have" the Minolta and is asking if one can use the Minolta 35/1.4 as a benchmark against the Pentax 31 Limited.
11-18-2007, 10:58 AM   #8
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Thanks sean, yes you're right I was using the Minolta as a benchmark, as it is similar in price and size to the pentax.

I'm in the mood for a killer normal lens. I don't know whether my 35/2 SMC Tak (which I don't have access to at the moment to play with) is going to keep me satisfied.

It does have wonderful bokeh at f2.8 and and at a close focus distance though:





Do you think its worth shelling out the dough for a high priced normal over the 35/2 SMC Tak? The zeiss I don't think will match the pentax or Sigma for bokeh...if my understanding of zeiss optics are correct.

Maybe I'll continue my hunt for a travel tele instead of an all-star normal....

11-18-2007, 11:25 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by d.bradley Quote
I'm in the mood for a killer normal lens. I don't know whether my 35/2 SMC Tak (which I don't have access to at the moment to play with) is going to keep me satisfied.
...
Do you think its worth shelling out the dough for a high priced normal over the 35/2 SMC Tak? The zeiss I don't think will match the pentax or Sigma for bokeh...if my understanding of zeiss optics are correct.

Maybe I'll continue my hunt for a travel tele instead of an all-star normal....
If you're only using them as 'new normal' lenses, I would rank them like this:
Sigma 30/1.4
Pentax 31/1.8 Limited
SMC Tak 35/2
Zeiss 35/2

The main advantage from what I've seen for both the Zeiss and to a lesser extent the SMC Tak is that by f/5.6 they become bitingly sharp almost-wide-angle lenses (on film, of course). If you're interested in more of the focus-isolated shots like you posted above, I think the Sigma and Pentax 31/1.8 work better.
11-18-2007, 11:27 AM   #10
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By the way, Damien - do you have recent pictures posted somewhere? I assume you're not updating your photo.net gallery...but maybe I'm missing something.
11-18-2007, 11:32 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by carpents Quote
By the way, Damien - do you have recent pictures posted somewhere? I assume you're not updating your photo.net gallery...but maybe I'm missing something.
Oops! Yah I have a smugmug gallery now:

dbradley.smugmug.com

with all my pentax shots in full res. Much better than Photo.net, as it serves as a backup.

It will even do on-the-fly USM with user defined settings, so I can upload unsharpened originals and let their server do the work after image resize!!!
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