Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home

Show Printable Version Search this Thread
08-19-2011, 12:49 AM   #1
Veteran Member
DaveHolmes's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Yorkshire
Posts: 1,501
DA35 2.8 macro Ltd vs DA40 2.8 Ltd

Over the last two weeks I've been offered a bit of 'photo-work'.

A guy I work with in the theatre's (same guy I shot album cover for a while back) missus has a clothes shop and has new stock on the way in so needs photo's for her new website...
And a friends cuz needs post-wedding pictures...British Groom... Auzzie Bride... Vegas wedding... I'm doing a shoot with the UK family when they arrive and they have a friend in Oz doing the same there when they get back...

So... I'm going to have some money after and I'm thinking DA Limiteds...
Eventually I want the set (15,21,35,40,70) but it's the order of purchase I'm struggling on with regard to the DA35 Ltd and the DA40 Ltd as the first in my set...

I've tried to do some pros and cons...

I'm a National Trust member and regulary go to gardens etc and often wish I had Macro for flowers and close-up work...
+1 DA35-2.8macro Ltd

But I also live in the city centre and shoot a fair bit of street... Also my partner has a speedy 8 year old so in terms of lightning fast AF and tiny size...
+2 DA40-2.8 Ltd

I have the FA50-1.4 and although I love it for many uses... I often find it a bit narrow in terms of FOV... So although I eventually plan on having both...
+1 DA35-2.8macro Ltd

For portrait... From what I see in the forums It's my opinion that they are pretty evenly matched and I don't personally dislike the bokeh of the 35, it's just 'different' to that of the 40... They both look amazing...
+1 to each

As general purpose walk about primes I see both (massive) pros and (workable) cons of each... Speed isn't an issue as both are 2.8 and sharp.
Futhermore price is not a major issue as there's currently only 34 difference between the two here in the UK (SRS)

My initial feeling was to go with the 35 as its futher from the 50 but I'm also loving shots from the 40 (although that could be the togs rather than the glass...)

SRS have the best prices in the UK at the moment and nowhere local stocks the 35-2.8macro Ltd (just the DAL35-2.4) it'll be an internet buy with no chance to compare the two...

Oh... What to do?

08-19-2011, 01:02 AM   #2
Veteran Member
vrrattko's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2010
Photos: Albums
Posts: 734
well both seems to do equal in yours pros'n'cons list. so maybe ask yourself what one lens can do that the other can't. I see one answer here - da35 can do macro, you want to shoot macro in gardens - so if you don't have other macro lens that would be probably decisive point for me.
08-19-2011, 01:08 AM   #3
Veteran Member
TOUGEFC's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Brisbane
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 3,561
From what Ive read, it looks like you would be better off with the DA35 LTD.
08-19-2011, 03:28 AM   #4
Veteran Member
RioRico's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Limbo, California
Posts: 11,264
I vote for the 35. It's further from 50, it's wider than 40, it does more of what you want.

08-19-2011, 04:13 AM   #5
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
psychdoc's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Bham
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 944
I have the DA 35. It is versatile. And sharp. And contrasty. Sometimes it is too sharp and contrasty...

But here are two good reviews:

Positive one-
An Optical Paragon -

This other review discusses one sore point of the lens-AF speed in walkabout situations. May or may not be a problems with your 8 year old. Its not as bad as the review implies but its definitely there. I don't have the DA 40 but they say in terms of AF speed that it is really fast.

Pentax SMCP-DA 35mm f/2.8 Macro Limited User Review
08-19-2011, 05:54 AM   #6
Veteran Member
paperbag846's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,396
I would suggest the 40:

1) You don't really need a macro for flowers (IMHO).
2) AF speed of the DA 40 is invaluable for little kids / street (much better than the FA 50, much much much better than the macro).
3) I really think the 40 is better for portraits. It has a smoother rendering wide open.It's also lightning fast, which means you can capture *that* expression, as opposed to *a* expression.
4) 35mm and 40mm are not different enough from one another to really discuss focal lengths.

I guess I would say stick with the DA 40 unless you can convince yourself you really want to be shooting at macro distances (not just a little closer). I could tell you that I would find the DA 35 infuriating with it's slow AF and long manual focus travel.
08-19-2011, 06:11 AM   #7
ducdao's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Montreal/Vermont
Posts: 2,160
Another vote for DA35 for what you need.

The macro capabilities is a tie breaker to me.

Like you said, eventually you'll will end up with the whole set and it might happen much earlier than you ever thought so why bother scraching your head for which one first

Ah - if this helps here is my purchase sequence.

DA40/70 (same time), DA35 one week after, DA15 6 months after the DA35. I guess DA21 is coming pretty soon too.

Last edited by ducdao; 08-19-2011 at 06:14 AM. Reason: added purchase sequence
08-19-2011, 06:34 AM   #8
Veteran Member
causey's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Arlington, VA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,758
DA 35 has slow AF; DA 40 is arguably the fastest Pentax lens to focus.
According to Photozone, they are equally sharp, with DA 40 having better corners:
Pentax SMC DA 35mm f/2.8 Limited macro - Review / Test Report - Analysis
Pentax SMC-DA 40mm f/2.8 Limited - Review / Test Report - Analysis

Last edited by causey; 08-19-2011 at 11:40 AM.
08-19-2011, 07:36 AM   #9
Veteran Member
ManuH's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Montreal
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,209
Eventually you'll end up getting both like me. Those Limited are addictive.

For your usage you may prefer the DA 35mm. I often wished that my DA 40mm would focus closer. AF speed is not that much different unless you're switching from flowers to landscape constantly. Size is of course in favor of the DA 40mm but the 35mm is not that big, especially not for a macro. But eventually... you'll get both.
08-19-2011, 09:40 AM   #10
Senior Member
joakimfors's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Lund, Sweden
Posts: 237
Regarding AF speed; The DA 35 only has slow AF if you miss and it has to hunt through the whole range. Otherwise it is quite quick.
08-19-2011, 10:13 AM   #11
Veteran Member

Join Date: Feb 2010
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 971
I went from the DA 40 to the DA 35 Macro. I think in your case, the 35mm would serve you better due to its versatility. Like joakimfors said, the DA 35 is actually quite fast. In board daylight, it never misses a beat. And when doing Macro, it's better to be in manual anyways. With that said, personally, i wished I kept the DA 40mm too =[. That was probably my most "fun" lens to use. It is just so easy and i always feel compel to bring the camera to take snapshots.

Last edited by Eagle_Friends; 08-19-2011 at 04:28 PM.
08-19-2011, 04:17 PM   #12
Veteran Member
creampuff's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Singapore
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 3,955
Can the DA40 Ltd shoot these?
With the DA 35mm Macro Ltd you can...

It's bitingly sharp too...
08-19-2011, 06:28 PM   #13
johnmflores's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Somerville, NJ
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,215
DA70 F2.4 Limited, since the Tamron already has you covered from 17-50 @ F2.8. And it will beat the other two for portraits.
08-20-2011, 02:10 AM   #14
Veteran Member
Timtast1c's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 330
i vote 35ltd first....then the DA40ltd for fun later!
08-20-2011, 04:28 AM   #15
Site Supporter
Site Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Gladys, Virginia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 16,410
I'd start with the DA 35. The auto focus really isn't that bad. Just take the quick shift and move it to the end of the throw when you aren't shooting macro. The focus throw for normal shooting is really small, so it focuses fast out there. It isn't really a big lens either -- certainly not a pancake like the 40, but not big either.

  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
bit, issue, k-mount, ltd, pentax lens, slr lens, srs, terms, uk
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
For Sale - Sold: Pentax DA16-45/DA21/DA35/DA40, Sigma 10-20/18-50 f2.8/18-50 HSM/70-300 APO/28- mackloon Sold Items 25 07-18-2011 06:37 AM
Choices!! DA35 macro and FA43 Artifarty Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 21 06-24-2011 05:07 AM
Would I be mad to change from the*DA40 to the DA35 f2.4? nandystam Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 12 02-15-2011 05:20 AM
DA35 or DA40? kevinschoenmakers Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 35 12-06-2009 07:13 AM
DA35 vs DA40 vs vs FA43 + DA70 vs FA77 bying advice plunun Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 3 11-23-2008 05:16 AM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:14 PM. | See also:, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]