Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
04-23-2013, 08:22 PM   #1
New Member




Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 4
DA 35mm f2.8 vs. D-FA 50mm f2.8

Hello, first post!

I've recently borrowed a DA 35mm f2.8 from a friend of mine, and for the duration it was in my possession, it did not leave the camera. I've started looking around, and stumbled across the D-FA 50mm f2.8. As I understand, all things being equal, the 50mm will give me more light for low-light shooting, more field-of-view, and perhaps a longer minimum focusing distance? Anyway, I realize things aren't always equal, so I want to know if image quality will be the same on the D-FA 50mm as the DA 35mm. The 35mm was just impressive to me, but then, I'm still using the kit 18-55 lens.

Also what's the $200 difference? $450 for the 50mm, and $650 for the 35mm seems like an awfully big difference.

Thanks!

04-23-2013, 08:35 PM   #2
Administrator
Site Webmaster
Adam's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 43,741
The two lenses are both F2.8, so the amount of light is the same. With the 35mm, you have to be closer to your subject to get the same reproduction ratio, as the FOV is wider.

I think the price different is mostly just markup and due to the fact that the 35mm has a "limited style" metal barrel.

The 35mm doubles as a nice walkaround/landscape lens, but for macro work, I think it's a wee bit short. The 50mm is also better for extreme macro work due to its focusing clamp and aperture ring.

You can't go wrong with either lens, so it really depends on your needs and preference

Adam
PentaxForums.com Webmaster (Site Usage Guide | Site Help | My Photography)



PentaxForums.com server and development costs are user-supported. You can help cover these costs by donating. Or, buy your photo gear from our affiliates, Adorama, B&H Photo, or Topaz Labs, and get FREE Marketplace access - click here to see how! Trusted Pentax retailers:

04-23-2013, 08:54 PM   #3
New Member




Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 4
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
The two lenses are both F2.8, so the amount of light is the same. With the 35mm, you have to be closer to your subject to get the same reproduction ratio, as the FOV is wider.

I think the price different is mostly just markup and due to the fact that the 35mm has a "limited style" metal barrel.
Thanks for the info! And I was hoping that was the case with the limited lens. It did feel very solid, though.

QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
The 35mm doubles as a nice walkaround/landscape lens, but for macro work, I think it's a wee bit short. The 50mm is also better for extreme macro work due to its focusing clamp and aperture ring.

You can't go wrong with either lens, so it really depends on your needs and preference
I didn't notice the 35 to be TOO limiting for macro, but then again, I've not done very much macro, and the 35 is all I've used lol. How do you think the 50 would do for a walk around lens? This would be a general use lens, so taking shots of friends/family at home, interesting things in front of me, and the occasional macro shot. Essentially anything that doesn't really require zoom.
04-23-2013, 08:56 PM   #4
Pentaxian




Join Date: Nov 2011
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,764
QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
The 35mm doubles as a nice walkaround/landscape lens, but for macro work, I think it's a wee bit short.
I see it as one of several viable macro options,
the APS-C equivalent of the 5Omm macros on film.

Just recently, I had to use a 9Omm lens for macro,
in a confined space,
as I didn't have my DA 35 Ltd with me,
and I found that I didn't have enough room
to be able to frame the subject properly.

04-23-2013, 09:01 PM   #5
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
jatrax's Avatar

Join Date: May 2010
Location: Oregon
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 10,829
SMC Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Limited Macro Reviews - DA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
SMC Pentax-D FA 50mm F2.8 Macro Reviews - D FA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

QuoteOriginally posted by 1776 Quote
the 50mm will give me more light for low-light shooting
No, it doesn't work that way. f/2.8 is f/2.8. Unless you mean you can hold the lens farther away from the subject and thus let more light hit the subject.
QuoteOriginally posted by 1776 Quote
more field-of-view
Actually, no. The 35mm will have more field of view (if you are talking about the width of the view, or angle) 45 degrees for the 35mm and only 32 degrees for the 50mm on APS-C. If you are talking depth of focus then again no, depending on how you define things. At a distance of 10" and f/8 the 35mm will have DOF of .57" and the 50mm will have a DOF of .26". But if you move the lenses so that the subject is the same size then the DOF will be identical. The 35mm at 7" will yield the same image size as the 50mm at 10" and the same DOF of .26"
QuoteOriginally posted by 1776 Quote
perhaps a longer minimum focusing distance
Yes, the 50mm has a minimum focusing distance of 19.5cm and the 35mm has MFD of 14cm. I'm not sure that is a good thing or a bad thing though.

Both are 1:1 macro so assuming you adjust your focusing distance they are both capable of producing identical "life size" images.

The 35mm is part of the Pentax Limited line which commands a much higher price.

Both are excellent lenses and you won't go wrong with either. Macro lenses in general tend to be good anyway. You should think about what else you will use it for and whether you prefer the 35mm focal length or the 50mm focal length. For general use (on APS-C) the 35mm is a good 'normalish' lens and the 50mm is a short telephoto. The 50mm is a DFA lens which means it works on a FF camera as well as APS-C, the 35mm is APS-C only.
04-23-2013, 09:45 PM   #6
New Member




Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 4
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
SMC Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Limited Macro Reviews - DA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
SMC Pentax-D FA 50mm F2.8 Macro Reviews - D FA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

No, it doesn't work that way. f/2.8 is f/2.8. Unless you mean you can hold the lens farther away from the subject and thus let more light hit the subject.
Actually, no. The 35mm will have more field of view (if you are talking about the width of the view, or angle) 45 degrees for the 35mm and only 32 degrees for the 50mm on APS-C. If you are talking depth of focus then again no, depending on how you define things. At a distance of 10" and f/8 the 35mm will have DOF of .57" and the 50mm will have a DOF of .26". But if you move the lenses so that the subject is the same size then the DOF will be identical. The 35mm at 7" will yield the same image size as the 50mm at 10" and the same DOF of .26"
Yes, the 50mm has a minimum focusing distance of 19.5cm and the 35mm has MFD of 14cm. I'm not sure that is a good thing or a bad thing though.

Both are 1:1 macro so assuming you adjust your focusing distance they are both capable of producing identical "life size" images.

The 35mm is part of the Pentax Limited line which commands a much higher price.

Both are excellent lenses and you won't go wrong with either. Macro lenses in general tend to be good anyway. You should think about what else you will use it for and whether you prefer the 35mm focal length or the 50mm focal length. For general use (on APS-C) the 35mm is a good 'normalish' lens and the 50mm is a short telephoto. The 50mm is a DFA lens which means it works on a FF camera as well as APS-C, the 35mm is APS-C only.
Well thank you for the info! I've only recently begun learning all this. My first few months were spent learning the camera itself, so now comes all of this.

So I guess my biggest question would be, does anything really set the 50mm apart as far as flexibility goes? And you say "short telephoto". What exactly does that mean?
04-23-2013, 09:57 PM   #7
Administrator
Site Webmaster
Adam's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 43,741
QuoteOriginally posted by 1776 Quote
Well thank you for the info! I've only recently begun learning all this. My first few months were spent learning the camera itself, so now comes all of this.

So I guess my biggest question would be, does anything really set the 50mm apart as far as flexibility goes? And you say "short telephoto". What exactly does that mean?
The 35mm sees things at roughly the same magnification as our eyes do, so it's much better for everyday shooting. The 50mm is going to seem longer and it might be harder to frame things with it (though it my opinion, it's actually a great focal length even on Pentax DSLRs).

In case the above isn't already confusing enough, on a film camera a 50mm would correspond to roughly what our eyes see, but because the sensor in Pentax DSLRs has about half the area of a traditional 24x36mm film frame, lenses have smaller fields of view ( by 1.5x to be exact). On film, a 50mm lens is a normal lens, so if you divide that by 1.5, you will find that a 33mm corresponds to a normal lens on digital. Anything significantly longer than that is generally considered a telephoto, while anything shorter is considered a wide-angle.

Adam
PentaxForums.com Webmaster (Site Usage Guide | Site Help | My Photography)



PentaxForums.com server and development costs are user-supported. You can help cover these costs by donating. Or, buy your photo gear from our affiliates, Adorama, B&H Photo, or Topaz Labs, and get FREE Marketplace access - click here to see how! Trusted Pentax retailers:

04-23-2013, 10:44 PM   #8
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
jatrax's Avatar

Join Date: May 2010
Location: Oregon
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 10,829
QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Anything significantly longer than that is generally considered a telephoto, while anything shorter is considered a wide-angle.
What Adam said.

In general on APS-C:
8-16mm = Ultra Wide Angle
16-24mm = Wide Angle
24-40mm = Normal
40-85mm = Short Telephoto
85-300mm = Long Telephoto
300+ = Extreme Telephoto

This is not precisely defined and entire man-years of forum time have been devoted to arguing the finer points but as a general rule you can go with the above. But those numbers are only good for an APS-C sensor, use a bigger sensor and the numbers move up, use a smaller sensor and the numbers move down.

Go here for more information: Cameras vs. The Human Eye

04-23-2013, 11:03 PM   #9
Inactive Account




Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Wellington
Posts: 969
I like to define a short telephoto as a portrait head and shoulder shot at a comfortable speaking distance from the subject.

Something that hasn't been mentioned yet is the subject distance may benefit the 50mm more if you are shooting small animals/insects that are spooked by being too close.
04-24-2013, 06:20 AM   #10
Senior Member
Mr_Canuck's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 293
If you're looking for a lens that is more than just macro and serves as a general purpose lens, I can think of nothing better than the DA35 limited. It's only issue (seems to be a Pentax trend) is that is has no focussing limiter which means sometimes for further away subjects, it has to rack through its entire focus range and then finally focus on the subject, which can be slow. I don't find it bothers me. The 50 will be too long for a lot of indoor subjects. It's actually more of a portrait length on the K5 etc. If you tell me to sell every lens I own but one, I probably keep my 35 macro.
04-24-2013, 09:33 AM   #11
New Member




Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 4
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
The 35mm sees things at roughly the same magnification as our eyes do, so it's much better for everyday shooting. The 50mm is going to seem longer and it might be harder to frame things with it (though it my opinion, it's actually a great focal length even on Pentax DSLRs).

In case the above isn't already confusing enough, on a film camera a 50mm would correspond to roughly what our eyes see, but because the sensor in Pentax DSLRs has about half the area of a traditional 24x36mm film frame, lenses have smaller fields of view ( by 1.5x to be exact). On film, a 50mm lens is a normal lens, so if you divide that by 1.5, you will find that a 33mm corresponds to a normal lens on digital. Anything significantly longer than that is generally considered a telephoto, while anything shorter is considered a wide-angle.
Makes sense.... and yes, it's all confusing enough lol.
QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
What Adam said.

In general on APS-C:
8-16mm = Ultra Wide Angle
16-24mm = Wide Angle
24-40mm = Normal
40-85mm = Short Telephoto
85-300mm = Long Telephoto
300+ = Extreme Telephoto

This is not precisely defined and entire man-years of forum time have been devoted to arguing the finer points but as a general rule you can go with the above. But those numbers are only good for an APS-C sensor, use a bigger sensor and the numbers move up, use a smaller sensor and the numbers move down.

Go here for more information: Cameras vs. The Human Eye
Thank you for the link! Very good read.
QuoteOriginally posted by Tonto Quote
I like to define a short telephoto as a portrait head and shoulder shot at a comfortable speaking distance from the subject.

Something that hasn't been mentioned yet is the subject distance may benefit the 50mm more if you are shooting small animals/insects that are spooked by being too close.
That is a good point. With the 35mm at its minimum focus, it essentially had to be right on the subject.
QuoteOriginally posted by Mr_Canuck Quote
If you're looking for a lens that is more than just macro and serves as a general purpose lens, I can think of nothing better than the DA35 limited. It's only issue (seems to be a Pentax trend) is that is has no focussing limiter which means sometimes for further away subjects, it has to rack through its entire focus range and then finally focus on the subject, which can be slow. I don't find it bothers me. The 50 will be too long for a lot of indoor subjects. It's actually more of a portrait length on the K5 etc. If you tell me to sell every lens I own but one, I probably keep my 35 macro.
I generally use manual focus, and if I use AF, it's after I manually focused it into the ballpark. So I don't really mind if the AF takes a little longer than it should.

Well after some thinking and reading, I think I'm going to go for the 35mm, since I know for a fact that it suits my needs well, and takes excellent shots.

I really appreciate all the help, and I'm sure I'll be back to nag with beginner questions soon enough.
04-24-2013, 10:26 AM   #12
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Aylesbury, Bucks
Photos: Albums
Posts: 492
It's true in a sense that F2.8 @ 50mm admits more light than F2.8 @ 35mm because the hole that the light comes through is bigger. However, because of the 1/rē law of light falloff, this is exactly balanced by the longer light path at the longer focal length. That's why we use F-stop values rather than the absolute size of the aperture - it gives a measure of the fastness of a lens that is independent of its focal length.

For a given magnification (be that 1:1, 1:2, whatever), the depth of field and angle of view is independent of focal length. That is because the normally shallower DOF and narrower AOV of a longer lens is exactly balanced by the closer focusing of the wider lens.

As for relative merits, well...

You've experienced for yourself how satisfying the 35mm is. 14cm MFD is very close indeed. However, 19cm isn't that much of an improvement - the 30cm MFD of the 100mm macro lenses is far more comfortable than either. The 50mm doesn't have a focus limiter, it has a focus clamp which isn't the same thing - it basically locks the focus ring. Unlike my 100mm (which doesn't have one either), the 35mm doesn't really need a limiter - the focus throw at non-macro distances (i.e. 1m to infinity) is very short and the lens doesn't tend to hunt, particularly if you use quick shift to get it close to where it needs to be.

A 35mm lens is rather more generally useful I'd say than a 50mm lens. If you want the 50mm AOV, you can crop in post. However, you can't go the other way. In fact, a 35mm macro can satisfy almost all your imaging needs, from closeup to landscapes to people shots. Coupled with a half-decent telezoom, you've got a very lightweight, all-purpose setup.

Can't speak for the 50, but there is one con for the 35: the bokeh beyond macro distances is just a bit too busy so you need to pay attention to backgrounds.

I'm surprised to see such a price difference between the two. In the UK, the 50mm is more expensive than the 35mm. Well, it's not like Pentax pricing isn't all over the place. Look in the for sale listings here - you'll always find a few 35s up for sale and the price seems to be around the $450 mark.
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!
50mm, d-fa, da, da 35mm f2.8, f2.8, k-mount, pentax lens, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
For Sale - Sold: Pentax DA* 16-50mm f2.8, D-FA 100mm f2.8 WR, A 50mm f1.2 mxlinn Sold Items 12 03-08-2013 06:47 PM
SMC Pentax-D FA 50mm F2.8--VS.--Sigma 70mm F2.8 EX DG, on Macro and Portrait ndhonghai Pentax K-5 6 10-02-2012 01:12 AM
For Sale - Sold: Pentax D-FA 100mm f2.8 Macro WR & DA* 200mm F2.8 ED [IF] SDM jurysi Sold Items 11 09-17-2012 05:27 PM
For Sale - Sold: FA 50mm f1.4 / D FA 100mm f2.8 Macro / FA 77mm 1.8 Ltd / TAMRON 28-75mm f2.8 trustkor Sold Items 7 07-13-2012 10:43 PM
For Sale - Sold: DA 70mm f2.4 Limited / FA 35mm f2.0 AL / DA 14mm f2.8 ED trustkor Sold Items 5 06-25-2012 10:14 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:39 AM. | 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