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04-08-2008, 08:51 AM   #1
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Pentax-A 35-70mm/F3.5-4.5

Gosh, I love this lens! This is easily my favorite lens and the one most likely to be on the camera when I leave the house. It serves as my walkaround lens, my aquarium shooting lens, and has done a very good job with portraits as well. It has the great combination of sharpness, contrast, and wonderful color.

It even has a "macro" setting at 70mm that allows you to get pretty close, but its definitely not a true macro (1:4?). Still, it comes in handy for close up shooting when you want to travel light. This lens is very compact (a little bigger than the A50/1.7), it's light, and very easy to use. Focus is smooth and quick as is the one-touch zoom.

I've read that the constant aperture (F4) version of this lens is better, but you are going to have to pry this thing from my cold, dead fingers! Yeah, it's MF, but that's something I can live with when I'm getting images like these. There's also some zoom creep, but nothing too bad. There are times when I wish it were a little wider or maybe a little longer, but I'd rather focus on the positives than on its shortcomings. There's a reason why I constantly rave about this thing.

A few varied examples:











06-16-2009, 01:39 PM   #2
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Thanks for your comments about this lens, just bought one on ebay UK for 17 pounds, can't wait to use it,
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06-18-2009, 06:30 PM   #3
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I love this lens too. I bought the F version to use with SR as my "walk around" but still use the A on film bodies. Really both great lenses, highly recommended. Nice shots,Maxwell, I especially like the church.
06-18-2009, 09:00 PM   #4
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F4 version

QuoteOriginally posted by maxwell1295 Quote
I've read that the constant aperture (F4) version of this lens is better...

I've got the SMC-A F4 version. It stayed on a P3n body for most of a decade because that combination simply took care of business for outdoor technical needs. It too is a very capable lens; compact and efficient although not elegant lookin'.

For a number of reasons I've never gotten around to using it on a DSLR. Proportions look right but it's a little bit front heavy compared to the DA 18-55 for instance -- as many of the A- lenses are.

H2

06-18-2009, 09:05 PM   #5
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Is this the lens that people say "deserves a star"? Or is that some other A lens?
06-19-2009, 11:53 AM   #6
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Andi, I think that is the A 35-105? But I totally could be wrong. pacerr- get 'er on there!
06-19-2009, 12:09 PM   #7
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Wow! talk about a blast from the past. I clicked this thread and saw my own pictures! I had totally forgotten about it. To this day, I still rave about this lens. I visited that churrch again this year (it's in Germany) and shot it with the 10-17 and 12-24. The wide angles definitely work well in those situations.
06-19-2009, 12:53 PM   #8
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F4

QuoteOriginally posted by Andi Lo Quote
Is this the lens that people say "deserves a star"?
Not in my hands it doesn't. I used one for "work" on a 35mm for a while and couldn't complain but then we weren't in the exhibition business then either.

The reviews on here seem about right. In one word - I'd say: utilitarian. I popped it on a K200 this morning and didn't find anything special on digital review but I wasn't really tryin'.

It did have one interesting thing as I recall. It came out about the same time as a SMC-A 70-210/F4 and there was speculation that it was just a stopped down version of the variable aperture equivalents for marketing purposes - to provide a fixed F-stop in what could have been a "kit" lens for the A3000/Super Program lines. It does have a circular "mask" just forward of the aperture leafs which should help nice bokeh wide open - although I don't recall ever hearing anyone use that word back then. We were just a bunch of uncouth guys usin' cameras.

H2

06-19-2009, 01:20 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by pacerr Quote
...It did have one interesting thing as I recall. It came out about the same time as a SMC-A 70-210/F4 and there was speculation that it was just a stopped down version of the variable aperture equivalents for marketing purposes - to provide a fixed F-stop in what could have been a "kit" lens for the A3000/Super Program lines...
They must not have held both lenses. I've had a couple of the Pentax-A 35-70mm f3.5-4.5s, and one Pentax-A 35-70mm f4. The f4 version feels like a pro lens in comparison, with silky-smooth movement and a lot of metal. The other version feels cheap and plasticky. Maybe the differences weren't obvious when the lenses were new.
06-19-2009, 04:13 PM   #10
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F4 ...

QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
... silky-smooth movement and a lot of metal. The other version feels cheap and plasticky.
I concur with the smooth and solid on the F4 -- but the aperture, zoom and focus rings are molded into, and of, the same plastic as the body on this one. Rugged and durable, but it doesn't feel as nice as the rubber rings.

There was a lot of experimentation with plastics going on then to reduce the manufacturing costs. Didn't directly affect the optical performance as such but it gave the initial impression of lesser overall quality. That period in the industry as a whole generated some of the so called "plastic fantastic" optical bargains available today though, which is a good thing for those that know.

H2
06-19-2009, 05:59 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nick Siebers Quote
Andi, I think that is the A 35-105? But I totally could be wrong. pacerr- get 'er on there!
It might just be... Since my favourite focal length is 28-70 APS-C but would like slightly wider, maybe I should check out that one for my ME super
06-19-2009, 06:07 PM   #12
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I've had one of the F4's sitting on the shelf for a while, and never got around to using it. When I saw this thread I just had to give it a try. Took the *istD, the lens and the dogs out in the back yard and came up with the snapshots below.

These are straight out of the camera. Shot in raw, imported into Lightroom and exported to Flickr (I think I might have cropped one of them though). They are a little under exposed, but my camera seems to do that in general with the older lenses. But it doesn't help that your subject is very bright and the sun is getting low.

I have to say I'm pretty impressed. They're sharp, color is good, and the lens just feels good. It just seemed very easy to focus, but that might also be because I've been using the Viv S1 105mm the last couple of days.










06-19-2009, 07:04 PM   #13
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Not the same

Recently got my hands on an A 35-105mm f3.5.

Except for a bit of barrel wobble, this thing is exceptional from the little bit that I've seen. I've never had anything with a star but I could be very easily convinced this might be the one.
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06-24-2009, 09:27 PM   #14
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Took the F4 version with me today when I was walking the dogs, and came across this little guy sitting on a log. Used the 'macro' feature and they came out pretty decent for a zoom lens (and novice macro photog).







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