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12-21-2011, 12:44 PM   #1
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35mm lens..... DAL, FA, DA Macro???

In my first words I'd like to say "hello" to all Pentaxians from this forum.
I'm not a new member, I read this forum on daily basis. But this is my first post.
Let's get to the point.
I'm looking for a 35mm lens to compliment my set.
I've looked at:
DA 35mm f:2,4 AL
DA 35mm f:2,8 Macro LTD
FA 35mm f:2 AL
I need a bright lens to shoot without the flash. It should be sharp and produce a decent bokeh.
I don't need macro as I have DFA 100mm 2,8.
Of course the question of price is quite important.
At present, I can buy new DA 35mm f:2,4 AL for half a price of used FA 35mm f:2 AL. What is more, I could also buy almost new DA 16-45 (mint condition) and still pay less than for those two than for FA 35mm f:2 AL.
DA 35mm f:2,8 Macro (new) is the most expensive option at the moment and I'd have to save some more to get it.

To sum up, is the optical quality of DA 35mm f:2,8 Macro LTD or FA 35mm f:2 AL that much better than DA 35mm f:2,4 AL? What is more, that DA 16-45 could be an interesting addition to my set. What do you think?

12-21-2011, 12:53 PM   #2
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Lots of praise for the 35/2.0 in the review section but there are a number comments that say something to the effect of "The DA 35mm f/2.4 is much cheaper and shares most of its characteristics." Might be a good idea to read the reviews of the 35/2.0. I like my 35/2.4 but haven't had the opportunity to use the 35/2.0.
12-21-2011, 01:01 PM   #3
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Hi,
I Just went through a similar thought process and ended up buying a 16-45mm. Price wasn't as big an issue as carrying the least equipment for the best bang. As far as the 35mm lenses, I've heard that at equivalent apertures they are all very similar, though of course you get better build quality at the higher end, and probably better probability of maintaining the original quality for a longer time. If you need speed the 35mm f2 is probably the best bet, then you will have a lens that will be worth even more when Pentax brings out their full frame camera in Feb 201?.
12-21-2011, 01:11 PM   #4
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DA35/2.4 has the same 6 element/5 group optical formulae, same 6 bladed aperture, same min focussing distance etc as the FA35.

No brainer for me, and 1/2 a stop slower is negligible IMHO - save your cash!

12-21-2011, 02:11 PM   #5
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Have you considered the following 35mm lenses that are some of my favorites (BTW, you may not need macro, but the macro lens is special and will render you special sharpness when used in non-macro. One of the lenses below is just like that without being called macro (the Zeiss)):

1) CARL ZEISS JENA FLEKTOGON 35/2.8 ZEBRA LENS*M42

2) SUPER-TAKUMAR 35MM F2 * M42

If you buy the plasticl wonder (DA 35mm f2.4) make sure it does not come with compatibility problems. I purchased one from B&H more than a month ago, that I had to send to Pentax Technical Customer Support about two weeks ago (I haven't heard from them yet). It works fine with the K5, but did not work well with any of my two Kx. Just be aware.
12-21-2011, 02:41 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pepe Guitarra Quote
Have you considered the following 35mm lenses that are some of my favorites (BTW, you may not need macro, but the macro lens is special and will render you special sharpness when used in non-macro. One of the lenses below is just like that without being called macro (the Zeiss)):

1) CARL ZEISS JENA FLEKTOGON 35/2.8 ZEBRA LENS*M42

2) SUPER-TAKUMAR 35MM F2 * M42

If you buy the plasticl wonder (DA 35mm f2.4) make sure it does not come with compatibility problems. I purchased one from B&H more than a month ago, that I had to send to Pentax Technical Customer Support about two weeks ago (I haven't heard from them yet). It works fine with the K5, but did not work well with any of my two Kx. Just be aware.
The 35/2.4 stays on my K-X at all times. Never have a problem.
12-21-2011, 03:31 PM   #7
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I'm a FA35 owner and I like that lens. But I had a chance to tr` the DA35/2.8 macro and I would not hesitate to exchange my FA for the DA. Unless you plan to use a film camera, the DA is much better choice.
12-21-2011, 04:05 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by elho_cid Quote
I'm a FA35 owner and I like that lens. But I had a chance to tr` the DA35/2.8 macro and I would not hesitate to exchange my FA for the DA. Unless you plan to use a film camera, the DA is much better choice.
Appreciate your sharing your experience with both lenses. Two questions for you: have you tried the 35/2.4 and why do you say that you'd not hesitate to swap the FA for the DA?

12-21-2011, 04:08 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Captmatt Quote
If you need speed the 35mm f2 is probably the best bet, then you will have a lens that will be worth even more when Pentax brings out their full frame camera in Feb 201?.
Assuming FF is coming in Feb (which I doubt) and assuming when FF comes (which it will, but not by Feb) it'll come in K-mount...

Hang on... 201?

:-)
12-21-2011, 07:46 PM   #10
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Having tried all three of the 35mm AF lenses, I would rank them:

DA 35mm f/2.8 Macro Limited
DA 35mm f/2.4
FA 35mm f/2

Although the slowest of the three in terms of maximum aperture, the DA 35mm Macro's close focusing allows more photo opportunities for closeups. Plus the nine aperture blades give nice bokeh. Focus is fast and build quality is the best of the three. Loss of one or half a f-stop is not a big deal when you can get closer to fill the frame.

The DA 35mm f/2.4 is sharp and cheap but the trade off is the plastic build quality. It also comes in different colors so that may appeal to some. It can pretty much do everything the FA 35mm f/2 can do but cheaper. But no hood and like the FA35mm f/2 has no quick shift. FA 35mm f/2 has blocky bokeh imo and color rendition is quite different from the typically warm punchy colors of FA lenses, some even say it is Canon-like. By way of comparison, all three AF lenses beat the manual A 35mm f/2 easily. All the lenses are sharp for general scenic, snapshot kind of images, so either opt for close focusing, price or max aperture as the point of difference.
12-21-2011, 11:35 PM   #11
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Thank you all for your suggestions. I think I'll take DAL and after some time get 70mm LTD.
12-22-2011, 03:09 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
FA 35mm f/2 has blocky bokeh imo and color rendition is quite different from the typically warm punchy colors of FA lenses, some even say it is Canon-like.
FA31 vs FA35, please note that the focus point is different in both the pics but as far as color rendition goes, they are very very close.

FA31 f1.8 320 ISO 100 (cropped slightly to match FA35 pic)


FA35 f2 250 ISO 100
12-22-2011, 03:21 AM   #13
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I hate to be the guy who nitpicks every time, but the 35 2.4 isn't a DA-L lens. It's a full DA, even with the plastic mount. And it's a wonderful piece of glass. One of my favorite lenses ever. The 70 Limited being the other.
12-22-2011, 06:55 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Appreciate your sharing your experience with both lenses. Two questions for you: have you tried the 35/2.4 and why do you say that you'd not hesitate to swap the FA for the DA?
Yes, I tried that DAL f2,4 too, but only for few shots. I found the result quite similar to FA35 as expected.

My point is that with K-5's high ISO (may get even better with future Pentaxes) one would probably only use the f2 aperture to get blurred background. However bokeh of the FA35 is not particulary nice. It has 6-blade aperture where the blades are not rounded and the bokeh may feel busy at times.
On the other hand DA35 macro has 9-blade aperture and even if the result is not so much blurred as with FA35, the nature of the blur looks better. And of course it is all-metal, and focuses a lot closer. Many object that 35mm macro is not usable as you have to be too close and scare the insect, but macro is not all about insect and you can look at my PPG to see that butterfly shot with DA35 is not impossible.
12-22-2011, 07:49 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by elho_cid Quote
On the other hand DA35 macro has 9-blade aperture and even if the result is not so much blurred as with FA35, the nature of the blur looks better.
At F2, blades are completely open and hence blade count or shape is completely irrelevant. So it will not be correct to say that FA35 bokeh @f2 will be any worse than DA35 @f2.8
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