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02-19-2013, 06:22 AM   #16
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Having owned a FA35 f2.0 in the past, played with a DA35 f2.4 and currently owning a DA35mm f2.8 Limited Macro I would choose the DA35 f2.8 Limited Macro - it is sharp, produces lovely colours, has a "normal" perspective and is beautifully built. The only thing missing is WR - they can be picked up second hand quite often for very reasonable prices.

02-19-2013, 06:42 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by THoog Quote
The DA 35/2.4 was based on the FA 35/2 design; there isn't a huge difference optically. If you want "sharp", the DA 35 is fine, but "sharp sharp sharp" and "inexpensive" don't go together...
People often claim this, which is also in dispute. It's a fine lens, in and of itself, regardless.

If the OP can swing the extra money, an FA35 will pay dividends.
02-19-2013, 06:53 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by snake Quote
People often claim this, which is also in dispute. It's a fine lens, in and of itself, regardless.

If the OP can swing the extra money, an FA35 will pay dividends.
The first being a full stop in speed with little penalty in size.
02-19-2013, 07:01 AM   #19
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I was always wondering of what quality the plastic mount of the DA 35mm 2.8 is. I heard stories about Nikon (or was it the other brand ending with an -on? Guess it doesn't really matter, as the concern is planted in my brain) plastic lens mounts, which would behave to the camera's metal mount like pepper to a grinder and thus end up being pulverized into your mirror housing. I switch lenses quite often and can't afford the 2.8 Macro (which would be my dream: All metal, quick shift, macro, built in lens hood, distance and aperture scale, you name it), but I can't persuade myself to take the plastic offering when I am constantly reminded of the more advanced lens right next to it..
I want my "tools" to be as rugged and long lasting as possible, which pentax usually offers, but I am not too sure about the cheaper 35 mm..

If you make it all plastic, then why don't you make it WR, at least, which would make the decision so much easier...


Last edited by Arvid; 02-19-2013 at 07:05 AM. Reason: spelling and spacing
02-19-2013, 07:27 AM   #20
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Not all plastic built lenses are equal, the Pentax plastics are usually higher quality. Even if you hold the entry level DSLRs, like a Pentax K-x and Nikon 3100, you will notice the Pentax plastic is tougher. I wouldn't worry about the plastic mount. Sure, it might not last 50 years like old metal lenses would, but nothing does anymore. We have had no reports of broken plastic mounts on these forums btw. And also the mount is probably the easiest to replace.
And plastic is not all bad, because it means the lens is lighter and the plastic isn't as malleable as metal, so if you drop it, it will absorb the shock better than a metal lens might.
02-19-2013, 07:49 AM   #21
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I would not worry about the plastic mounts on a small lens like this, either. The one that concerned me was the mount on the DAL 55-300, but it has performed flawlessly going on and off the camera without any signs of damage or wear.
02-19-2013, 07:51 AM   #22
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These are great points, thanks a lot!
02-19-2013, 08:21 AM   #23
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The DA 35/2.4 has been out since 2010, and thousands of DA L 18-55 kit lenses have been sold since 2008. They are probably two of the most common lenses out there. If they were flimsy, we should have heard a level of complaints comparable to the SDM failure issue.

02-19-2013, 09:35 AM   #24
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For that purpose you want the Limited macro.



(Inserting image here kills sharpness. Follow the link.)
02-19-2013, 10:27 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Driline Quote
I also want an inexpensive Sharp lens I can shoot indoors for my train model photography.
Let me throw you a curve ball.

Have you considered a Q for model photography
(where depth of field needs to be as big as possible,
and where a small camera is good to get down in close to the models)?
02-19-2013, 10:33 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
you would pry the FA 35 from my hands only with, perhaps, an FA 31
I sometimes contemplate changing my entire lens kit to the 3 FA Limiteds. For now the FA35/2 will do.

Every time I actually get ready to implement the Limited prices go up
02-19-2013, 10:35 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
For that purpose you want the Limited macro.



(Inserting image here kills sharpness. Follow the link.)
So what you are saying is that you found out the LE Macro can do macro shots? Just kidding. Nice lens and picture that you've got there, if that's what you want to hear
02-19-2013, 12:21 PM   #28
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Try the Pentax Tak 50mm macro. It can be had for a song, less than $50 if you are lucky.

You will need to focus by hand for close-ups. No autofocus is not a detriment.

This site's lens review pages rate this a perfect 10! That is hIgher than the DA35 or the FA35. It also rates higher on aberrations than either.

Having a larger focal length, it will give you greater working distance at the same magnification ratio as a 35mm lens. That greater distance gives more room for lighting and setup. The camera and lens will block less of the light. As I recall, 1:1 reproduction is at a working distance of as a bit OVER six inches.

Some versions can go to 1:1. The SMC version only goes 2:1 because it contains the special linkages that are used only by the Spotmatic F. It costs a couple of dollars more than the non-SMC version. By a couple of dollars, I mean a couple of dollars Either version can be used on your camera. Reproduction scales are engraved on the metal body.

It is sharper, has less aberrations, and is very inexpensive. If you don't like it not much money is lost if you put it on a shelf. With resale, the "new to used" depreciation has already passed. You can sell it for the price you bought it at, maybe higher. I like it so much I bought two. The SMC for my Spotmatic F and the 1:1 model for all my other cameras. This lens is probably the best bargin of ANY lens made by Pentax.

p.s. I have the FA35 also. I don't use it for close-up photography.
02-19-2013, 12:39 PM   #29
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Here is the first one I found on eBay. My guess is that it will go for less than $100.

Pentax Asahi Super Macro Takumar 1 4 50mm Lens 3127320 Very Nice 894948000402 | eBay
02-19-2013, 01:20 PM   #30
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I think the OP was asking which one of the 35's to get. That Tak might be a spectacular lens and I dig your enthusiasm, but the OP didn't mention any interest in macro, yet. The Tak might have scored a 10 in the sharpness category, but in my eyes this can't really be used to compare an M42 MF lens to a modern AF lens, but rather as an indicator of how much people who reviewed it appreciate it. Which is totally understandable and justified!

I am just saying that both lenses have got their purposes. Talking about sharpness, vs. affordability.. Now that we entered the topic other focal length lenses, anyway, I might add a thought that popped up in my head when I read this and thought of my own personal dilemma (Macro version doesn't fit in my budget, I can't persuade myself to like the DA 2.4 AL). I held this back to not derail this thread, as the OP was asking about the DA and FA 35, but whatever:

If you are going for "cheap plastic" (as in DA 2.4 AL) anyway, why not consider a DA 40 2.8 mm xs instead of the DA 2.4? It is only a few bucks more expensive and offers as little features as the 35 (no aperture ring, no scales on the lens itself, no macro), is alsmost identical in focal length, but on the plus side offers a metal mount (which we learned is neglectible), reportedly good AF, turns every camera into pocket format, and has rounded aperture blades, which give it a nicer bokeh throughout all aperture values. To top that off, it even scores a 9.5 in sharpness in the lens review section (see where I am coming from?). All that at the price of half a stop less aperture and a little more money than the 2.4 AL. Now please convince me that the 2.4 35 AL has got its own magic! I read people coplaining about the 40 to be a bit flat.... Or should we start a new thread?
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