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10-05-2013, 09:47 AM   #1
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FA 35mm 20 or DA 35mm 2.4?

I'm a relatively new owner of a K30. I currently have the 18-135 WR that I got as the kit lens and I have the SMC F 50 1.7 that my wife had as the kit lens from her old SF10.

I really like the zoom for an all-around and I'm really smitten with the 50mm. However, I'd like a nice normal length prime, so I'm looking for something in the 35mm range.

I'd love to have the 31mm LTD, but that's way outside my budget. The 35mm LTD macro looks nice too, but it's also a bit more than I'd like to spend.

I've more or less limited it to the FA 35mm 2.0 or the DA 35 mm 2.4. They both seem to be really nice lenses.

I think I would like to get the FA, but I'm not sure the price difference is justifiable especially since the DA is currently less than half the price.

The reasons I am leaning toward the FA:

1. the extra half stop - not huge, but it is a consideration
2. the full frame coverage - even though it won't matter on my current kit, it might matter down the road (it's even possible we might break out my wife's old camera which should work with the FA fine)
3. focus distance ring - this is the big seller for me. If the DA had this there would not be a debate.

I'm getting back into photography after a bit of a hiatus, and I'd like to work towards building a kit that will help me grow technically. That's why I like the idea of the distance ring - I feel the FA will give me more options down the road for manual focus work etc.

Am I blowing the features out of proportion? With the DA currently under $200 and the FA hovering right around $400, there is definitely enough of a difference to give me pause.

Does anyone have experience with both these lenses? What are your thoughts?

Thanks all.

10-05-2013, 10:05 AM   #2
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Sav your money. Buy the DA35/2.4 unless you get a really good deal on the FA35 (like U$D250 or so). I donīt think there will be much difference. Also consider the DA40 XS for arround U$D150 used. Reeeally compact and fast focusing. I canīt take it out of my camera since I bought it.
10-05-2013, 11:24 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by JustinThomason Quote
1. the extra half stop - not huge, but it is a consideration
QuoteOriginally posted by JustinThomason Quote
2. the full frame coverage
Tests with the DA 35mm f2.4 on film cameras showed that it also covers the FF image circle, I think. There is a thread with a list of such lenses, please double check
QuoteOriginally posted by JustinThomason Quote
3. focus distance ring - this is the big seller for me.
I agree.

Honestly, I think you might be the kind of person that would enjoy the special things the FA brings. In terms of pure image quality, I doubt anyone can tell the difference above f3.5 - its the things like lens hood, distance scales, barrel material, aperture ring that make a difference.
That being said, I have the DA 35mm because there were no FA 35mm available for a reasonable price. Budget plays a role, and when the IQ is nearly identical, it can be a big factor, especially since the FA is so expensive in some places.
Also, I prefer the DA 40mm XS over the DA 35mm f2.4 - overall rendering is more to my liking (AF, sharpness, blur), but there is a significant difference in FoV. And the DA 40mm ltd is supposedly really great, too, featuring things like quickshift and a tight lens hood. There are quite a few threads about prime lens recommendations in the 35-40mm focal range, feel free to take a look.
I doubt you would regret getting the FA over the DA, if you can get it for a reasonable price.
10-05-2013, 02:14 PM   #4
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I paid $300 from B&H back when the FA 50/1.4 was less than $200 and most other lenses were cheap compared to today's prices. They have it now for $400, which isn't that bad. If you're going to use it as a normal prime and those features are important to you, they are probably worth it. If it was a less-used lens, maybe you wouldn't be getting your money's worth.

If you just don't have an extra $220, get the DA, some tape and a marker. Measure off some distances, use CDAF to focus on them exactly and mark the tape on the lens. Then get a hood and you're done.

10-05-2013, 10:14 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by carrrlangas Quote
Also consider the DA40 XS
QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Also, I prefer the DA 40mm XS over the DA 35mm f2.4
I really, SERIOUSLY, looked at both the DA 40mm XS and the DA 40mm LTD (and, for that matter, the the FA 43 LTD, but see the 31mm LTD budget concerns above...). I love the slim profile of both the 40mm LTD and XS, and from what I could see online these both seem like fantastic lenses with marvelous IQ. What pushed me toward the 35s was a concern that the 40mm would be a bit too close in FoV to the 50mm I already have. The 35mm seemed different enough to warrant the purchase. However, maybe I should rethink that.

Thanks for the input so far - I really appreciate the feedback.
10-06-2013, 01:08 AM   #6
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I have been using the DA 35 2.4 for the past month, and I am disappointed with its low-light capability. F2.4 is simply not fast enough. I wish I had the FA 35 f2. I may upgrade to that when I get the chance.
10-06-2013, 02:08 AM   #7

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QuoteOriginally posted by JustinThomason Quote
What are your thoughts?
When thinking in the 30mm range, give or take 5mm, you may very well be thinking in terms of what will be your core prime.
If so this is not a time to think cheap. No matter what kind of shooting I think I may be doing that day my FA 35 always goes with me.
Small, light, fast and sharp right out to f/2.

Think about it.

FA 35 at f/2 handheld full frame under xmas tree lights only.

Last edited by wildman; 11-02-2013 at 05:07 AM.
10-06-2013, 07:42 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by wildman Quote
FA 35 at f/2 handheld full frame under xmas tree lights only.
What a great lens. It Looks nice and sharp at 2.0. I agree with wildman, don't settle for something else if this will be your main go to lens. Mine is the FA 43 and I bought it new for $584. I use it all the time. Nice things cost money

10-09-2013, 08:53 AM   #9
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Another vote for the FA although i never owned the DA 35 and therefore can't compare them. In the end I bought it primarily because of it's lower light performance reviews vs. the DA. So far I love it and it's on my camera 75% of the time.
10-09-2013, 11:50 PM   #10
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Thanks to you all for the input. I had pretty much made up my mind on the FA 2.0, so talked it over with my wife. She totally gets the "you get what you pay for" concept of lenses, and she seemed all on board. Then I mentioned the FA 31 1.8 and all the glowing reviews it's received. I also told her that it was quite a bit more expensive and my "when we win the lottery" purchase. She asked how much it is, and when I told her, she responded with "Well, if that is the one you really want, why don't you just save up some money for a little bit and get that one."

So that's now the plan.

I love my wife... :-)

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