Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
02-07-2013, 01:09 PM   #1
Pentaxian
troika's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Seattle, WA USA
Posts: 895
DA 35mm f/2.4 v. 18-135 WR @ 35mm

Curious if anyone with experience with both of these lenses can comment on the IQ difference, if any at 35mm. I value the zoom for it's utility and WR. It seems that most agree that it has quite acceptable rendering, but "not as a good as the primes". I'm really coming over from film and don't have a lot of context for the world of dSRL yet (but I'm getting there quickly). Does this DA lens count as "one of the primes" in this statement or is it just "great for the money"?

The 35mm f/2.4 is a bargain that people seem to feel great about "for the price". One of my regular shooting scenarios in indoors, no flash, jazz band in the corner of a dark room and with my film camera or compact digital. I'm usually at f/1.8 or f/2. Lightroom after-the-fact helps and suddenly I've got variable ISO at my disposal, but I suspect that I'll find that the zoom is not fast enough for that purpose, 2.4 is not superfast, but the options in that general focal length and price range are not abundant. I wish I had bought the Sigma 30 when it was on sale, I'm worried about buying it from any place other than a retailer who can help me replace it if I get a bad one or a trusted forum member, should one come up that way. The 31mm limited sounds awesome, but is not possible for me in the foreseeable future and after all, I'm just getting started here.

If you have experience with both, regardless of price/value/for the money, will I benefit from the 35 f/2.4 Pentax lens as a supplement to my zoom either for that indoor stuff or other shooting in that focal range? (IQ, colors, depth of field, low light AF...) I have, by the way, a fast manual prime 55mm, but would like an autofocus lens at this range to use with my inbound K-5 ii. I've read what I've been able to and looked at a lot of images with both lenses, but without seeing the zoom at 35mm under the same circumstances as the DA 35mm, it's hard for me to draw conclusions.

Thanks for being patient with my idiotic questions...there are plenty more where that come from.

02-07-2013, 01:22 PM   #2
Veteran Member
lguckert79's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 588
the sigma 30 is a good lens so is the da35 i have one of the da35 and that is my goto lens for low light situations
I also use my fast 50 in them kinda situations though
02-07-2013, 01:25 PM   #3
Veteran Member
Docrwm's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Somewhere in the Southern US
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 11,275
I have the 18-135 and the DA35/2.4. The 18-135 is a zoom and the 35/2.4 is a genuine prime. The 35/2.4 is good and the low price is a bonus, it's not just "good for the money". Is it a Limited? No, but then it doesn't cost what a limited does either. The 35 is wide enough to be useful inside and fast enough to be useful in room light. It's sharp and has good color rendition IMHO. I am now deciding if I actually can justify owning it and the Sigma 30/1.4 but not because the 35/2.4 is bad, quite the contrary.
02-07-2013, 01:25 PM   #4
Veteran Member
lguckert79's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 588
the new da50 and old Fa50 are great lenses also

02-07-2013, 01:33 PM   #5
Pentaxian
Na Horuk's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Slovenia, probably
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 10,862
Well, the "For the price" part is always part of the consideration. If you buy a lens that costs 10x as much, it will most probably perform better. For example, a Zeiss or the 31mm limited will perform better, but also cost a lot more. The DA 35mm gives good results, great at its price point, but it doesn't beat the 31mm limited. Lenses are like cars, some are good looking, some are fast, some are reliable, some have many good qualities, some cost a premium, etc. And you have to figure out what your budget is, what your needs are and which lenses fit.
For someone starting with digital photography, its a fine choice. Primes also tend to affect how you compose shots. But the 18-135mm is WR (so if you have a WR camera, you can shoot in bad weather) and has a convenient range. I have the 35mm, but I don't have that zoom. I expect the prime lens is faster at that focal length and sharper, probably has fewer overall aberrations. If you don't have any lens at all, you should probably get the zoom and then buy primes next.
Edit: I see you already have a manual 55mm. I would expect the 35mm will perform kind of similarly, whereas the zoom will not be quite as good. But the zoom will be very convenient.

Last edited by Na Horuk; 02-07-2013 at 01:39 PM.
02-07-2013, 01:34 PM   #6
Veteran Member
treebeard's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Windham, NH
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 795
I love the 35/2.4. Since I do alot of group shots (3-5) I normally don't have an issue using the 35. When I get a K-30 to compliment my K-5 I will get another 35/2.4. Of course it's also good for other stuff too!
02-07-2013, 01:41 PM   #7
Pentaxian
troika's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Seattle, WA USA
Posts: 895
Original Poster
Thanks guys. I saw the Sigma go on sale and started looking at the photos you guys have taken with them and fell madly in love. But, by that time they were gone from Adorama and B&H. Lots on ebay and places like Amazon, but few at the prices our friends were blowing them out for. Then I started reading about "needing to make sure to get a good one" and the "Sigma lottery" and...

As for the Pentax DA, it's nice to hear your experiences on it. It seems no one doesn't like that lens, but everyone up until now always tacks "for the price" or as you did, "not a limited, but" on to the end of their praise. Doc, since you have both lenses, can I assume you think this particular prime takes better pictures (sharpness, color, etc) at 35mm than the zoom?

I'm not second guessing the value of having the zoom as a WR, all purpose, walk around lens. I expect it to be on the camera most of the time. I do have a K 55mm f/1.8 and someone locally has offered me a very clean looking M 100 Macro that I'll test when my camera arrives and likely end up with as well. I'm sure I'll learn a lot from comparing those 3 lenses at those focal lengths. I do want a fast auto-focus lens in that "normal" range somewhere, unless I determine that to improve upon my zoom, I need to spend $900 or take a chance on the SIGMA lottery.

I want clean, expressive beautiful photos, but I don't intend to sell them and my skills are emerging, gradually. I think that going digital will speed up my learning curve the time to feedback now is so long waiting to finish the roll and have it developed and all.

Thanks, guys for taking the time to share your experiences with me.
02-07-2013, 01:45 PM - 1 Like   #8
Pentaxian
normhead's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Near Algonquin Park
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 25,821
I own them both, the 18-135 and 35 2.4. When it looks like I want a scene shot from 30 to 35 mm I take the 18-135 off the camera. The 18-135 is a great lens, but it's sweet spot is 24mm at which focal point it's better or equal to any Pentax prime that's close to that focal length. The MTF numbers @ 35 mm in the center for the 35 are out of sight, but the numbers for the 18-135 aren't much behind and might be bit better on the edges.
Pentax SMC DA 35mm f/2.4 AL - Review / Lens Test - Analysis
Pentax SMC-DA 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] WR - Review / Lens Test - Analysis

That being said, that's based on personal experience that includes colour, contrast and other issues. The 35 is marginally shaper than the 18-135's top rating, but you probably couldn't see the difference. The difference in chromatic aberration on the other hand could be noticeable. Up to 1.5 pixels for the 18-135 and around 1 pixel in the mid range. It's really nice to have those less than one. The 35 2.4 is less than .7 throughout it's aperture settings. Those are numbers. I just prefer the 35 image and will change lenses for it. Maybe the numbers explain it, but there's more than numbers to a lens. To decide between lenses this close, you need to have the images. And even then you may not be able to decide.

DA_18-135 Photos by Norm_Head | Photobucket

DA_35 Photos by Norm_Head | Photobucket

While the 31 tested out fantastic on 10 MP cameras, it's not rated as high as either the 18-135 or 35 2.4 on a K-5. It's close enough that other factors may have come into play in making it a great lens, but I don't have one so I can't provide images. I have seen fantastic images taken with it, but, I have to assume that is based on qualities other than sharpness. At least on photozone. Maybe they got a bad copy. In terms of control of Chromatic Aberration it's close to twice as good as the 35 2.4, so maybe when looking at lenses with these kinds of numbers, you should be looking at CA more than the minimal differences in sharpness.


Last edited by normhead; 02-07-2013 at 01:54 PM.
02-07-2013, 01:46 PM   #9
Pentaxian
troika's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Seattle, WA USA
Posts: 895
Original Poster
Thanks Na Horuk and Tree Beard for your responses. I replied to the earlier ones before I saw them. The zoom is not in question and I'm not asking if this bargain lens is just as good as something much more expensive, just if it improves upon my zoom at that focal length in a meaningful way.

Thanks again.
02-07-2013, 01:54 PM   #10
Pentaxian
troika's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Seattle, WA USA
Posts: 895
Original Poster
Norm, looking through your galleries and kind of guessing about focal length and aperture on the zoom shots...yeah, I think the DA 35 has some noticeable loveliness to it. Nice photos all around. I hope to have some to share soon as well.

I have a gallery of film shots I've been taking with a Canon that's been in my family since it was new in the mid-80s, but I haven't shared it here. This forum has been extremely helpful to me and without it, I'm sure I would have bought a Nikon.

Nice dog, by the way! I don't expect to go toe to toe with you on photography for a while, but I'll share some pictures of my dog at some point, she's peerless in the "cute" department.
02-07-2013, 01:58 PM   #11
Pentaxian
normhead's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Near Algonquin Park
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 25,821
QuoteOriginally posted by troika Quote
Norm, looking through your galleries and kind of guessing about focal length and aperture on the zoom shots...yeah, I think the DA 35 has some noticeable loveliness to it. Nice photos all around. I hope to have some to share soon as well.

I have a gallery of film shots I've been taking with a Canon that's been in my family since it was new in the mid-80s, but I haven't shared it here. This forum has been extremely helpful to me and without it, I'm sure I would have bought a Nikon.

Nice dog, by the way! I don't expect to go toe to toe with you on photography for a while, but I'll share some pictures of my dog at some point, she's peerless in the "cute" department.
Be sure and note I added a bit to my last post...., I always think of something else right after I the the return key.
02-07-2013, 02:04 PM   #12
Loyal Site Supporter
THoog's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: North Carolina
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,486
I also have both, and while I haven't used the 18-135 extensively at 35mm, I expect the DA 35 to be sharper, even at comparable apertures. All superzooms are "jack of all trades, master of none" with a lot of compromises (I count the 18-135 as a superzoom, even if it's not as super as some). Of course, the DA 35 is a lot brighter at that focal length (some claim it is closer to f/2.2 than 2.4). I think one reason why the DA 35 usually gets "at the price" or "not a limited" tagged on is the plastic build and mount, which cannot compare to, say, the DA 35 Macro Limited. However, it does make it nice and lightweight. It's one of my favorite lenses for when I want a 50mm equivalent lens and to zoom with my feet.
02-07-2013, 02:14 PM   #13
Veteran Member
Docrwm's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Somewhere in the Southern US
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 11,275
Two factors favor the 35/2.4 at 35 - it is sharper IMHO, although not dramatically, and it's faster. So, when stopped down a stop to 1.5 stops its still faster than the 18-135 at 35mm stopped down an equivalent amount. I also think its colors are more true than the 18-135.
02-07-2013, 03:07 PM   #14
Pentaxian
troika's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Seattle, WA USA
Posts: 895
Original Poster
Thanks again, everyone. Very helpful responses across the board.
02-07-2013, 03:14 PM   #15
Veteran Member
treebeard's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Windham, NH
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 795
QuoteOriginally posted by THoog Quote
I also have both, and while I haven't used the 18-135 extensively at 35mm, I expect the DA 35 to be sharper, even at comparable apertures. All superzooms are "jack of all trades, master of none" with a lot of compromises (I count the 18-135 as a superzoom, even if it's not as super as some). Of course, the DA 35 is a lot brighter at that focal length (some claim it is closer to f/2.2 than 2.4). I think one reason why the DA 35 usually gets "at the price" or "not a limited" tagged on is the plastic build and mount, which cannot compare to, say, the DA 35 Macro Limited. However, it does make it nice and lightweight. It's one of my favorite lenses for when I want a 50mm equivalent lens and to zoom with my feet.
I agree. I can't see the 18-135 lens being as sharp and contrasty at the same focal length as the 35/2.4. I could be wrong though. I would imagine the bokeh to be more pleasing on the 35/2.4 as well too.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • 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!
da, da 35mm f/2.4, experience, f/2.4, k-mount, lens, lenses, lot, pentax lens, range, slr lens, wr
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
For Sale - Sold: FA 50 f/1.4 (infinity focus fixed) Designosophy Sold Items 12 05-04-2013 01:57 PM
For Sale - Sold: Pentax 35mm f/2.4 DA L, Pentax 18-55 WR, Pentax 50-200 WR rrwilliams64 Sold Items 11 01-11-2013 05:28 PM
DA 35mm f/2.4 vs FA-35mm f/2.0 pentaz Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 17 10-29-2012 01:04 PM
For Sale - Sold: DA 35mm f/2.4, DA 18-55 WR, A 50mm f/1.7, F 35-70mm f3.5-4.5 Tycn Sold Items 4 03-29-2012 12:28 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:43 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com 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?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top