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09-28-2012, 09:37 AM   #1
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Fast, fast focusing 30-35mm prime? For dance photography

Just played with a friends Canon 60D + 35mm f1.4

Very nice lens!

I'm wondering, what's the nearest equivalent for Pentax? It'd be used for shooting dance indoors - so low ambient light

Therefore I need something which is fast focusing as we'll as fast. Am I right in thinking all the options on Pentax are screw drive?

Cheers for your thoughts peeps!

09-28-2012, 09:49 AM   #2
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Da 35 2.4? Love mine. Or the sigma30 1.4.
09-28-2012, 10:14 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by bhairavp Quote
Da 35 2.4? Love mine. Or the sigma30 1.4.
The Sigma 30 F1.4 is a nice lens but the af is a bit flakey in low light, very inconsistent, I normally switch to manual!
09-28-2012, 11:42 AM   #4
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I haven't tried the F28. But all my F-series zooms are really fast focusing.

Seb

09-28-2012, 11:42 AM   #5
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Well, if its the EF USM version from Canon then its a $1300+ lens. So, equivalents from Pentax....FA31/1.8 Limited which goes for just shy of $1k at B&H.
SMC Pentax-FA 31mm F1.8 AL Limited Reviews - FA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
09-28-2012, 12:11 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Well, if its the EF USM version from Canon then its a $1300+ lens. So, equivalents from Pentax....FA31/1.8 Limited which goes for just shy of $1k at B&H.
SMC Pentax-FA 31mm F1.8 AL Limited Reviews - FA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
...or hunt around for the still-quite-capable-but-much-less-money little sister, the FA 35/2. Fast AF, compact, and light weight with great image quality. It pretty much lives on my K10D.


Steve
09-28-2012, 07:42 PM   #7
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....which is almost the same as the da lens I mentioned above.
09-28-2012, 08:51 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by bhairavp Quote
....which is almost the same as the da lens I mentioned above.
Similar optical formula, but otherwise not that similar (i.e. image circle, maximum aperture, minimum focus distance, build, and so on...). All that being said, the DA is a decent lens and a great value. It may well be a good option for the OP.


Steve

09-29-2012, 03:44 AM   #9
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Humm sounds like the DA maybe a good compromise.. I'm presuming this is the relatively cheap one?

You guys are right perhaps I'm trying to compare apples and pears!

Thanks for the feedback on the sigma also - need it to focus well
09-29-2012, 04:06 AM   #10
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Plastic Fantastic

Hello Pheo,
The DA 35mm f/2.4 AL might be the best compromise for your needs. Pretty much any f/2.0 (or faster) 30-35mm lens, whether used or new, is going to be over $400, usually closer to $1000 new.
The DA 35 f/2.4 is 1/2 stop slower and sells for about $200 new. Used, about $160-$180. Well worth it! Super-fast and accurate A/F, razor sharp I.Q. and superb color rendition. That's why it's known as the "Plastic Fantastic".
Here's a great sampling of the capabilities:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/lens-clubs/196639-da35-f2-4-plastic-fantastic-club.html
Good Luck!
Ron
09-29-2012, 07:51 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by rbefly Quote
Hello Pheo,
The DA 35mm f/2.4 AL might be the best compromise for your needs. Pretty much any f/2.0 (or faster) 30-35mm lens, whether used or new, is going to be over $400, usually closer to $1000 new.
The DA 35 f/2.4 is 1/2 stop slower and sells for about $200 new. Used, about $160-$180. Well worth it! Super-fast and accurate A/F, razor sharp I.Q. and superb color rendition. That's why it's known as the "Plastic Fantastic".
Here's a great sampling of the capabilities:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/lens-clubs/196639-da35-f2-4-plastic-fantastic-club.html
Good Luck!
Ron
Cheers Ron - sounds like it might be a great option - especially to see if I get on with the focal length - could always save for the Sigma 1.4 if I then needed the speed
10-01-2012, 06:04 AM   #12
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Anyone got any thoughts on these options vs my Tamron 17-50mm f2.8? I'm finding it quite difficult to focus in low light... Maybe the Tamron needs calibrating?
10-01-2012, 06:37 AM   #13
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last time I shot dance indoors, with a 35mm lens was with my *istD at ISO 3200 and an S-M-C Tak 35/2.

Honestly, unless you have a K5 or K-30 I doubt that you would be able to use anything slower and get any acceptable (from noise perspective) shots, and manual focus might just be the way to go any way.
10-01-2012, 07:40 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
last time I shot dance indoors, with a 35mm lens was with my *istD at ISO 3200 and an S-M-C Tak 35/2.

Honestly, unless you have a K5 or K-30 I doubt that you would be able to use anything slower and get any acceptable (from noise perspective) shots, and manual focus might just be the way to go any way.
I have a K30 - upgrade from a K10D - already helps greatly as ISO800 is easily safe (would have been emergencies only before!)

I now have a decent flash setup also, so I might have to see how things go this weekend, do a lot of flash related chimping, try out my 50mm f1.8 PKA lens (manual), see how it goes in terms of lens speed. I'm really not thinking manual will work though - I need to be able to shoot competitions rapidly, and manual takes too long to focus I think. I'll give it a go this weekend and see.

Also need to find a decent focus test chart and try the Tamron out under different lights, see if it has a back/forward focus issue, or if the camera is having issues focusing at f2.8
10-01-2012, 08:00 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pheo Quote
I have a K30 - upgrade from a K10D - already helps greatly as ISO800 is easily safe (would have been emergencies only before!)

I now have a decent flash setup also, so I might have to see how things go this weekend, do a lot of flash related chimping, try out my 50mm f1.8 PKA lens (manual), see how it goes in terms of lens speed. I'm really not thinking manual will work though - I need to be able to shoot competitions rapidly, and manual takes too long to focus I think. I'll give it a go this weekend and see.

Also need to find a decent focus test chart and try the Tamron out under different lights, see if it has a back/forward focus issue, or if the camera is having issues focusing at f2.8
although your situation may be different, i NEVER use flash when photographing dance. My last shoot was someone doing Silks, i.e hanging by silk from the ceiling, 15 feet above the studio floor. It is an interesting art form, but flash would potentially lead to a fall.

In dance competitions, or recitals, stage lighting is often specific to assist the presentation, and again flash is prohibited.

I have always shot very high ISO in order to get reasonable images, (frozen) as opposed to flash. With the *istD I would push all the way to 3200, and the K10D to 1600 as needed. I have not shot with the K7 or K5 but those bodies would have really let me do something special, especially the K5, as I shoot wild life with TAV mode and ISO maxed to about 5000.

the K30 should let you go at least to 3200 from what I have seen., DOn;t fret about a little grain, the stage lighting makes the shot better than anything a flash would do.

see the attached shot with the K10D as an example of stage lighting and the impacts
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