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07-17-2011, 02:21 PM   #1
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DA21mm Ltd vs DA35mm Ltd need your opinion

ok guys,with out taking in to consideration the macro ability of 35ltd can you guys tell me what is the best in terms of

sharpness
IQ
ease of composition
for taking low light (just considering these two)
for taking street pictures and landscapes (considering these two)

i have heard 35ltd is not as sharp as the 21ltd when you are taking street pics and landscape pics since its more of a macro lens

07-17-2011, 02:51 PM   #2
hcc
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The focal length the DA21mm and DA35mm is fairly different (nearly 170%). It would be difficult to make some detailed comparative comments, beyond the basic reviews like photozone.de:
Pentax SMC-DA 21mm f/3.2 AL Limited - Review / Test Report (DA21mm review)
Pentax SMC DA 35mm f/2.8 Limited macro - Review / Test Report (DA35mm review)
or some personal comments/observations from Pentaxians who have both lenses.

Food for thoughts...
07-17-2011, 02:57 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by nirVaan Quote
sharpness
does not matter

QuoteOriginally posted by nirVaan Quote
IQ
35 (imho)

QuoteOriginally posted by nirVaan Quote
ease of composition
35 (imho)

QuoteOriginally posted by nirVaan Quote
for taking low light (just considering these two)
21 (longer shutter speeds)

QuoteOriginally posted by nirVaan Quote
for taking street pictures and landscapes (considering these two)
35 or 21, depends on the subject matter.

I think you should spend some time with the zoom and figure out which focal length you prefer.

I personally would track down either a 24 or 28mm lens for your intended usage, but lots of people would disagree with me. Simply depends on what focal lengths you prefer.
07-17-2011, 04:48 PM   #4
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You actually need both the DA 21 and DA 35mm Macro.
Their angle of views are very different and these two lenses never leave my camera bag. The DA 21 gives a nice wide angle coverage without excessive perspective distortion. The DA 35mm Macro is a great do everything lens.

07-17-2011, 04:50 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by nirVaan Quote
ok guys,with out taking in to consideration the macro ability of 35ltd can you guys tell me what is the best in terms of

sharpness
IQ
ease of composition
for taking low light (just considering these two)
for taking street pictures and landscapes (considering these two)

i have heard 35ltd is not as sharp as the 21ltd when you are taking street pics and landscape pics since its more of a macro lens
The DA 21 is a f/5.6 lens, sharp corners there. Yes you can use it at a wider aperture, but the corner sharpness will become apparent. The lens seems like it has a built in polarizer. The DA 21 is my default lens. Small, lightweight, perfect focal length for street or landscape shooting. Use the hood, very small and protects the front lens element. The supplied lens cap works well over the hood. If you're going to be shooting primarily landscape, this is the lens (or the 15mm..)

I also have the DA 35 macro. It is sharp to it's max aperture, and the macro ability is nice, but it's really hard to use of the last 6" of focusing capability without a tripod, the DOF of focus is so narrow. It also is a great "normal" lens, being 50mm more or less on a crop camera. Some people complained about infinity focus - not with my copy - it's razor sharp from 2.8 on up, at infinity focus. It does not render colors like the DA 21, but is more clinical. Save the screw on lens cap in the box, and get a regular squeeze type 49mm cap. The built in hood is a bonus, works perfectly.
07-17-2011, 05:53 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by nirVaan Quote
ok guys,with out taking in to consideration the macro ability of 35ltd can you guys tell me what is the best in terms of

sharpness
Both are "Sharp Enough"
QuoteQuote:
IQ
A wash
QuoteQuote:
ease of composition
??
QuoteQuote:
for taking low light (just considering these two)
Only 1/3 stop between these
QuoteQuote:
for taking street pictures and landscapes (considering these two)
21mm is a far more suitable focal length for both those purposes
QuoteQuote:
i have heard 35ltd is not as sharp as the 21ltd when you are taking street pics and landscape pics since its more of a macro lens
21 is a better focal length for this, and the focus speed is much faster, but it's not "sharper" than the DA35.
07-17-2011, 07:19 PM   #7
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  • Sharpness: I think the sharpness comparison varies for different situations.
    • The 35mm is definitely sharper wide open and sharper from macro up to about the far reaches of talking distance (yea, that is kind of a weird measurement). It is also sharper corner to corner.
    • From my experience, the 21mm is sharper for landscapes and infinity focus. However, this could be because hyperfocal and infinity focus is more difficult on the 35mm for me and I just haven't been doing it correctly.
    • Winner: 35mm
  • IQ: This is very subjective.
    • Like I said before the 35mm has better overall sharpness from macro to mid range, and therefore it beats the 21mm in capturing fine detail. It also demonstrates some barrel distortion but not as much as the 21mm, and it is easily fixed in PP if necessary. Isolated bokeh such as lights is pleasing at f2.8 and f3.2, but it starts to hex out at f3.5. The bokeh for larger, more angular shapes is a little erratic but not that detrimental to the photo.
    • One of the strong points of the 21mm is its awesome color rendition, and I have found it makes PP much easier in terms of color adjustments. There is obvious barrel distortion, but some find it characteristic of the lens and rather 'pleasing' for a lack of a better word. Personally, the barrel distortion is not much of a problem and LR's profile handles it pretty well. Somewhere around on this forum the official reviewer of the 21mm gave very good reasons for why he gave the 21mm such a rating, and I agreed with a lot of his points.
    • Both handle CA pretty well.
    • Winner: I can't decide. For me, it's kind of a "comparing apples to oranges" kind of thing.
  • Composition:
    • The 35mm gives a normal focal length, which is great for composition. The angle of view is wide enough for including the things you want yet selective enough to make framing focused and interesting. Also, having macro focusing allows you to not worry about being too close to your subject.
    • The 21mm gives ~30mm on a cropped sensor, which makes for great framing on the streets and for landscape. It is not too wide, which would require more specialist framing technique, but it's wide enough to get almost everything you could possibly want within the frame in a normal situation. Its minimum focusing distance is longer than the 35mm, but it's short enough to where you don't have worry about being too close most of the time.
    • Winner: 21mm
  • Low light: I have had the 35mm for a much longer time, and I have put it through more low light situations than the 21mm.
    • The 35mm is the best for low light situations as any f2.8 lens can give you. From my point of view, the sharpness of the lens allows me to boost up the ISO and reduce the noise later without losing a lot of detail.
    • I haven't been able to put the 21mm in many low-light situations, but I think it will do just fine. I know on the 35mm I have used an aperture size of f3.2 or smaller many times during low light situations.
    • Winner: 35mm
  • Streets and landscapes:
    • The 35mm is a pretty good for street photography. The 35mm gives you the normal perspective on a cropped sensor, and it is also inconspicuous enough to not draw attention. Landscape has been kind of tough with this lens although I honestly believe that a lot of it is because of errors on my behalf. I just haven't been able to get infinity focus and hyperfocus down on the 35mm lens.
    • This is where the 21mm has the 35mm beat. Street shooting is so fun with this lens. It's focal range is especially great for really dense cities and its even useful for the occasional architectural/large structure shot. Landscape photography is also quite fun with this lens as hyperfocusing is a lot easier, and so far its infinity sharpness beats the 35mm.
    • Winner: 21mm
07-17-2011, 08:02 PM   #8
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I have both, and I find street shooting a pain with the 35mm due to its relatively slower focus speed.

07-17-2011, 08:16 PM   #9
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ok since i have a 50mm 1.4 and a 90mm macro i think best for my current shooting would be the 21mm
07-17-2011, 08:30 PM   #10
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Of the two, I use my 21mm up to 10 times more often. It often stays on the camera for days. I can't say that for the 35mm macro.
07-17-2011, 08:39 PM   #11
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I use both of these. The DA 21 ltd is my book end. The DA 35mm ltd is my pivotal lens.
07-17-2011, 08:54 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by nirVaan Quote
ok since i have a 50mm 1.4 and a 90mm macro i think best for my current shooting would be the 21mm
It does offer better spacing but I personally prefer the 28 and 35mm focal lengths for general purpose use. So it might make sense to take the 18-55 (if you have one) for a few photo walks. But in the end you should probably get both.
07-17-2011, 11:24 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by nirVaan Quote
ok guys,with out taking in to consideration the macro ability of 35ltd can you guys tell me what is the best in terms of . . . sharpness
I owned the DA 35mm LTD for awhile, and then sold it. I don't think I've ever seen a sharper lens, but I actually thought it was too sharp, in a way, for a "normal" lens. So many people praise and desire sharpness you'd think that's the most important thing. But when edges are razor sharp, to me it feels clinical. Such sharpness works well for macro, but not for a lot of other situations (and even for macro the DA35 LTD is not the best because the lens has to be so close for 1:1 that I often found myself touching (or nearly so) the subject. I know others really love the DA35 LTD though. Can you afford the FA31mm LTD?
07-18-2011, 02:57 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by les3547 Quote
Can you afford the FA31mm LTD?
lol if i sold my K5 i would then i would be left with no camera . but later on definitely eying on buying one
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