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11-27-2013, 08:40 AM   #1
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LIMITEDS - FA43mm vs DA35mm

I would appreciate opinions on which of these lenses to buy. Presently I shoot with a K5 and use, in order of frequency, Pentax 18-135WR, Pentax 12-24mm and Pentax F 50mm 1.7 . Occasionally I use Pentax A 28mm 2.8 or Pentax M 50mm f4 macro. I have been fortunate enough to sell a few shots recently and want to purchase my first Limited lens. Landscape is my main area of interest. I would appreciate any advice from Ltd users.

11-27-2013, 08:58 AM   #2
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Wow, you have so many shorter lenses, why are you choosing between those two? 100 WR macro, or the 35 macro to replace your M50?

Or go crazy, get the gold 60-250!
11-27-2013, 09:12 AM   #3
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A bit of a subjective question as different people prefer different focal lengths for landscapes, from ultra-wide to telephoto. My main interest is also landscapes and I like wide angle perspectives myself. I mainly use the DA 12-24 or the FA 31 limited, which I love. I also have a FA 20mm which is another outstanding option. I don't own either of the two you mentioned (the 31 and 2 50's have me well provisioned) but based on reputation I don't think you would go wrong either way, assuming that's truly the focal length you want.
11-27-2013, 09:18 AM   #4
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Congratulations on making some sales!
Depends on what kind of landscape photos you take, but you probably want a wide lens. Like the DA 15mm. But on the other hand, you can take landscape photos with all sorts of lenses, so even a 100mm macro is a valid suggestion (and it doubles as portrait lens, as macro lens, as product photography lens)
Or! If you don't already have a sturdy tripod, trigger, and maybe some polarizing filters. These things can add to landscape photos and can get as expensive as a lens.

Edit: But yes, you seem to have the wide angle nicely covered, especially with the 12-24mm

11-27-2013, 11:47 AM   #5
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Between the two, I definitely say the FA43, which is what I have. It's certainly a better lens than the F50/1.7 you have (which is still good, but in a class below the FA43 for IQ). I sold my F50/1.7, FA50/1.7, and even F50/1.4 after I got the FA43, because it outshone them all.
11-27-2013, 03:04 PM   #6
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Go through your photos and find out which focal length you use most often. Base your decision on that.
11-27-2013, 04:22 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by stewh Quote
I would appreciate opinions on which of these lenses to buy.
In contrast to what others have proposed in this thread,
namely choosing primarily on the basis of focal length,
I would suggest that the difference in angle of view
between the FA 43 and DA 35 Ltd Macro
is not significant enough to be a major determining factor.

Although the FA 43 is faster,
both lenses would need closing to f/4 for edge-to-edge sharpness,
if that's a criterion for you.
The DA 35 Ltd Macro obviously has the added advantage of the macro range
(which is one of the reasons that I've found it an attractive and useful lens).

Beyond that, I would recommend searching through
the numerous image samples available on-line,
to see which of the two lenses
has the kind of rendering that appeals to you personally.

If you're just itching to try a Limited lens in this range,
you have a bigger problem,
since the DA 40 Ltd and the new DA 20-40 Ltd
will also enter the equation.

Welcome to the sweet agony of LBA!
11-27-2013, 06:43 PM - 1 Like   #8
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For landscapes, with edge-to-edge sharpness, in the middle focal lengths, the DA40 is your best bet by a long way. It is more flare resistant, and has more even sharpness than the other mid focal length lenses. It is also the cheapest by a bunch. In my opinion, the DA40 is the best introduction to the limiteds since it is so tiny and so wonderful. It can be your only lens for awhile. (until the 15 starts to call your name!)

The DA35 is pretty good, too, and it adds the useful macro range. If you have 0 interest in macro, the DA35 is a bad choice. It frequently misses focus, and the lens racks back and forth until it finds itself, sometimes it is very aggravating, because it takes a very very long time to rack back and forth. Sometimes just when you think it's done, it racks back and forth again. And sometimes again. Especially in low light. The DA40 focus almost instantly, and it seems to never ever miss focus. It's one of the big differences between living with the 2. I don't usually mount my 35 unless the focus range gets close, otherwise it is always the 40, or my Sigma 30 (landscapes with the 40, portrait with the 30). Don't get me wrong, the image quality with the 35 is great, optically it's really fantastic, It's just the focusing. To be fair, in good light, with plenty of contrast, it focuses a little slow, but generally fine. It's with lower contrast subjects and/or dimmer lighting. I do that a lot, so for me it's almost a deal breaker. But to keep on the original point, here are a couple of landscapes with the 35. The seagull one actually focused very fast, and first try, which was lucky because he flew away. I had to get pretty close with a 35 to frame that!







The FA43 is a great lens, but it is a more specialized portrait machine or flower lens. It does not like harsh lighting, seems less resistant to flare (but not horrible), and it is very picky about subjects. It works best at large apertures isolating a single subject from a simple background. When it hits its stride, it is an absolutely stunning lens. It is also more than a stop faster than the other two.

One more thing to think of, for the price of the FA43, you could get the FA40, AND a Sigma 30mm (both used). Or the 40 and a nice old manual focus lens. Or the 40, a great dinner and a present for the wife.

I leave you with a final bit of advice: Each of these lenses is special and wonderful in its own way. Just pick, and dive in and never regret it. You will eventually have them all, so it doesn't really matter all that much where you start.

11-27-2013, 07:11 PM   #9
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Used 40 XS gives you a lot left over to buy something else!
11-28-2013, 04:38 PM   #10
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Add the DA 40 Limited

Thank you all very much for the help and advice. I am fairly confident that I am looking at the correct focal length range. Unless I am shooting with my 12-24 that is my most used range. I am not really interested in longer lenses at this time ( I have a DA 55-300 which renders very nicely but is my least used). The 31mm is certainly tempting but not in the budget at present. thanks particularly to Lytrytyr and Kozlok I am going to throw the DA 40mm Limited into the mix. I'll keep my eyes open for used copies of any of these. I mostly want to check out the "Limited" experience. Thank you all again.
12-01-2013, 01:00 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by stewh Quote
Thank you all very much for the help and advice. I am fairly confident that I am looking at the correct focal length range. Unless I am shooting with my 12-24 that is my most used range. I am not really interested in longer lenses at this time ( I have a DA 55-300 which renders very nicely but is my least used). The 31mm is certainly tempting but not in the budget at present. thanks particularly to Lytrytyr and Kozlok I am going to throw the DA 40mm Limited into the mix. I'll keep my eyes open for used copies of any of these. I mostly want to check out the "Limited" experience. Thank you all again.
Hi, if i may, i would like to recommend that you go for the 43/1.9 since you are looking at the 40/2.8.. It is much better than the 40/2.8 and will most likely replace the 50/1.7..
12-01-2013, 01:05 AM   #12
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"...43 1.9 much better than the 40 2.8..."

Not sure I'd go that far. If anything 43mm is a funky focal length on APS-C. The 40 is much smaller as well which may appeal to some people.
12-01-2013, 01:36 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by krebsy75 Quote
"...43 1.9 much better than the 40 2.8..."

Not sure I'd go that far. If anything 43mm is a funky focal length on APS-C. The 40 is much smaller as well which may appeal to some people.
If you remove the hood from the 43, it is about the same size as the 40. I know as I owned the DA40 before bought the FA43.
12-01-2013, 07:16 AM   #14
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Opinions you seek and opinions you shall receive. The DA35 limited macro is the only one of the two from your original post that I own, so I will suggest that it is a great choice. I use it more frequently than most of my other lenses, as it is a very versatile lens. I recently used it to do a portrait angle stitched panoramic, and on APS-C it makes a contrasty sharp light normal that has very close focus due to the true macro capability. Best of luck on whatever you decide to get.
Great Cove Fall Panorama | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Last edited by Schmidlapper; 12-01-2013 at 07:24 AM. Reason: Added link.
12-01-2013, 08:34 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by krebsy75 Quote
"...43 1.9 much better than the 40 2.8..."

Not sure I'd go that far. If anything 43mm is a funky focal length on APS-C. The 40 is much smaller as well which may appeal to some people.
Yea but the 43 is a pixie dust legend. One of the 3 Amigo's. Not in the same league as the DA 40.
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