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09-03-2012, 12:44 PM   #1
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Is the F35-70 the most cost effective Pentax Zoom?

The F35-70 Macro was a kit lens back in its day when new. It's one of the few old kit zooms that people still rate highly (there are others but its one of the most common). It has an overall rating of 8.65 in the Lens Review section here as of this post. In contrast the F35-80, another kit zoom, gets rated 5.71 here in the Lens Review section. Today the 35-70 runs $30-50 when you can find a nice copy. Is it the most cost effective short zoom available for the K-mount?

Exact Name SMC PENTAX AF ZOOM F 35~70mm
https://www.pentaxforums.com/lensreviews/SMC-Pentax-F-35-70mm-F3.5-4.5-Macro-Zoom-Lens.html


Last edited by Docrwm; 09-03-2012 at 01:45 PM.
09-03-2012, 12:48 PM   #2
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Sorta - better than the 18-55 by miles, except when you need wide.

I wish the copy I got was good - I had to return it.
09-03-2012, 01:10 PM   #3
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Good for a zoom, and smallest I've ever seen. used it for a while until I got a FA 28-70/4 which I prefer.
09-03-2012, 01:13 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pablom Quote
Good for a zoom, and smallest I've ever seen. used it for a while until I got a FA 28-70/4 which I prefer.
What is it about the FA28-70 that you prefer? Wider? Constant f?

09-03-2012, 01:18 PM   #5
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I was actually tempted to get a 28-70/F4, but the reviews make it sound quite terrible...

Alternatively, a pretty good candidate for cost effective zoom is the 28-105 F4-5.6. About double the price, but also quite a bit more range. Slower, but performs quite well throughout. Bulky though. Definitely better than the 18-55 unless you need ultra wide.
09-03-2012, 01:27 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
What is it about the FA28-70 that you prefer? Wider? Constant f?
Wider, constant f, sharper for my applications, still quite small and discrete even though not as much as 35-70.

F 35-70 has nicer colors straight off the camera.
09-03-2012, 01:33 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
The F35-70 Macro was a kit lens back in its day when new. Is it the most cost effective short zoom available for the K-mount?
My DA L 18-55 actually had a negative cost,
since the K-x kit with lens was cheaper than the body alone.
09-03-2012, 01:36 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Exact Name SMC PENTAX AF ZOOM 1:2.8 35~70mm Optical Formula 7 elements in 7 groups Aperture Range f/2.8 ~ f/22 Number of Aperture Blades 8 Minimum Focusing Distance 1.2 m Filter Diameter 58 mm Maximum Diameter 73 mm Length 77 mm Weight 580 g
I think its the wrong spec for the F 35-70mm. I have this lens.
Here is the Spec.
F 35-70/3.5-4.5

09-03-2012, 01:39 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
Alternatively, a pretty good candidate for cost effective zoom is the 28-105 F4-5.6. About double the price, but also quite a bit more range. Slower, but performs quite well throughout. Bulky though.
I think the FA28-105/3.2-4.5 might even be a slightly better candidate - at least that's the one I chose. I can't compare directly, since I've never had the slower version. But I do like the colors that come out of it, and it's certainly not bulky. I have better lenses, but sometimes I'll pull it out because of these characteristics.

I also have the F35-70/3.5-4.5, but it doesn't get used much. It may even be sharper (I'm thinking of the first couple of stops, where I usually shoot). It's a good lens. But the zoom range is limited, so I may as well use my primes instead. In my kit the FA28-105 and F (or A) 24-50/4 win over it.
09-03-2012, 01:39 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
Alternatively, a pretty good candidate for cost effective zoom is the 28-105 F4-5.6. About double the price, but also quite a bit more range. Slower, but performs quite well throughout. Bulky though. Definitely better than the 18-55 unless you need ultra wide.
I picked one up for less than $60 with a broken Z-1. My latest PPG shot was taken with it.
09-03-2012, 01:44 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by ultraviolet Quote
I think its the wrong spec for the F 35-70mm. I have this lens.
Here is the Spec.
F 35-70/3.5-4.5
I should have double checked it, thanks.
09-03-2012, 01:44 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
I picked one up for less than $60 with a broken Z-1. My latest PPG shot was taken with it.
Can you link the shot? I clicked your gallery but I don't think that's the right location ;x

QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
I think the FA28-105/3.2-4.5 might even be a slightly better candidate - at least that's the one I chose. I can't compare directly, since I've never had the slower version. But I do like the colors that come out of it, and it's certainly not bulky. I have better lenses, but sometimes I'll pull it out because of these characteristics.

I also have the F35-70/3.5-4.5, but it doesn't get used much. It may even be sharper (I'm thinking of the first couple of stops, where I usually shoot). It's a good lens. But the zoom range is limited, so I may as well use my primes instead. In my kit the FA28-105 and F (or A) 24-50/4 win over it.
I never had the 28-105/3.2-4.5, so I wasn't sure of the pricing. The review page lists it for almost twice the price though.

The main reason I liked the 35-70 was because of it's size, and it's sharpness/color. However, the copy I had was a bit weak on the sharpness, and was extremely weak on contrast - I checked inside and saw that one of the elements was fuzzy as heck. Since then, I haven't gotten another one... and I sorta agree, I don't see myself using it as my DA 35 and my Sigma 50 perform better given the range.

So to me, it's cost/performance is great, but I would go a bit more for the 28-105 because of the range.
09-03-2012, 01:44 PM   #13
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Mine's A Keeper!

I think it's it's the most cost-effective short zoom. Somehow it goes with me everywhere, although I have primes and other zooms that duplicate the FL.
Love the bright colors, great rendering and it's sharp enough wide open and very sharp by f/5.6. My favorite feature is the super-quick AF, the fastest of any zoom I've used. The "Macro" (closeup) option is handy and works pretty well, too.
All this in a lens that's hardly larger than a short prime!
Ron
09-03-2012, 01:49 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
Can you link the shot? I clicked your gallery but I don't think that's the right location ;x

I never had the 28-105/3.2-4.5, so I wasn't sure of the pricing. The review page lists it for almost twice the price though.

The main reason I liked the 35-70 was because of it's size, and it's sharpness/color. However, the copy I had was a bit weak on the sharpness, and was extremely weak on contrast - I checked inside and saw that one of the elements was fuzzy as heck. Since then, I haven't gotten another one... and I sorta agree, I don't see myself using it as my DA 35 and my Sigma 50 perform better given the range.

So to me, it's cost/performance is great, but I would go a bit more for the 28-105 because of the range.
I had the Tamron 28-105, which I believe was the basis for the Pentax model. I sold it because the 18-135, which I received as a gift, does a better overall job IMHO. I kept the 35-70 because of three factors: 1) size -it's one of the smallest zooms available, 2) colors are vibrant and hard to find at the same level in other zooms, and 3) it has macro.
09-03-2012, 02:22 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
Can you link the shot? I clicked your gallery but I don't think that's the right location ;x
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