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08-31-2013, 11:31 AM   #1
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Most useful focal length 35,40 or 50

I am buying my first prime and I would like to keep it under $200.I am choosing between the DA35, 40xs or the DA50. I have done all of the research on IQ and speed. My question to the forum is: for everyday walking around photography which focal length would be your preferred choice if it is the only lens you are carrying? You can factor in lens quality if you really like one over the other, but I feel they are all high quality so the choice now is focal length.

08-31-2013, 11:44 AM   #2
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35mm is close to a "normal" focal length, so I'd recommend starting with that.

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08-31-2013, 11:47 AM   #3
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After roaming PentaxForums for several month now I can say that many prefer a shorter focal length in general (35mm or shorter), but I think it is an entirely personal question. Personally I like a focal length that is a bit longer, so I bought the FA43 and DA40 as standard lenses for my two camera's. A strategy to discover your own preferred lens could be to fit a short zoom lens (18-55) to see what you are using most.
08-31-2013, 12:12 PM   #4
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I have a 35 and 50...9 times out of 10 I use the 35. 50 is just a bit too tight for my everyday usage.

08-31-2013, 01:36 PM   #5
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I also prefer the wider side if I (have to) carry a single prime lens. Although I must admit that I did an excercise where I only took a 50mm and a 120mm on 5 day holiday and after 3 days realized that I had not used the 50mm yet
08-31-2013, 02:13 PM   #6
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21 if I only had one fl... Not helping I know. I find 50 too tight for a walk-around, I don't own a 35 but I really like 40 so I recommend your personal favorite between the two.
08-31-2013, 02:34 PM   #7
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35mm For Me!

Hello Ace, welcome to the Forum!
Although I own both the DA 35mm f/2.4AL and the DA 50mm f/1.8, I use the 35 much more; Perhaps it's from my film-shooting background. The 35mm on APS-C is, as Adam said, close to a 50mm in non-crop (dare I say...full frame?!!) format. That was, for many years, the 'standard' lens, presenting a normal view or close to it. With only the 35mm I've shot landscapes, street shots, informal portraits, architecture, night/timed exposures, concert and low-light events and candids of all types.
But the suggestion of trying a short zoom to see what focal length you prefer, is a great one. The F 35-70mm is an inexpensive way to try this idea out, as is the kit 18-55mm zoom.
Good Luck!
Ron
08-31-2013, 02:36 PM   #8
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Choosing between 35, 40, and 50,
I normally go with 35 if I only have one focal length.

That said, with two lenses, possibly on two bodies,
my favorite combination is 24--25 and 50--58.

The advantage of the DA 40 XS is stealth,
if that's important for the kind of photography you want to do.

08-31-2013, 02:39 PM   #9
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Hello. There are a lot of threads about the choice between exactly those lenses. I would recommend the 40mm XS or a used 40mm ltd (because it has a more useful filter thread size).
But I dont think any of these lenses will disappoint you.
Oh, buy the DA 50mm f1.8 if you need low light capabilities, like in dark indoor places without flash. F1.8 is significantly brighter than the f2.4 and f2.8.
08-31-2013, 03:18 PM   #10
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I use my 35mm all the time. My 50mm only comes out about twice a year. I doubt I would use a 40mm.
08-31-2013, 03:24 PM   #11
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IŽd get a manual 50/1.7 (A version if possible) and then, between 35 and 40:
If size matters, DA40 XS
If ultimate IQ, DA35

If you find you use the 50 a lot, then you can but F, FA or DA version and resell the manual 50 for perhaps the same you paid for it.
08-31-2013, 03:46 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ace Quote
I am buying my first prime and I would like to keep it under $200.I am choosing between the DA35, 40xs or the DA50. I have done all of the research on IQ and speed. My question to the forum is: for everyday walking around photography which focal length would be your preferred choice if it is the only lens you are carrying? You can factor in lens quality if you really like one over the other, but I feel they are all high quality so the choice now is focal length.
Assuming that you have already worked with a kit zoom lens or something similar, the best person to make that decision is yourself based on your experience of what historically has worked best for you in that range of focal lengths. My own answer would be none of the above, as I prefer 24mm on APS-C.
08-31-2013, 03:47 PM   #13
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I love, LOVE my DA 40mm Limited. At times, it is just a hair too tight. But the build quality and IQ are amazing. The 40mm XS is nearly the same optically, perhaps the exact same, as the LTD; only the construction and cosmetics are different, as I understand it. I nearly bought the 40mm XS but found a great deal on the Ltd.

And the 40mm is the middle ground of the three lenses you ask about.
08-31-2013, 04:11 PM   #14
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For some reason, I love 28mm Manual focus lenses. They seem perfect for my "Vision".

I also find good old 50mm and 135mm very useful.
08-31-2013, 04:21 PM   #15
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I use the 40mm more. I prefer a slight bit of compression.
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