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04-11-2008, 11:59 AM   #1
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The ultimate LBA...

I ordered it as soon as it was announced back in January. It was a no brainer for me: a 50mm (135 equiv.) lens with a 1:1 macro ability would be the perfect walk around lens for me...

Since then I had to wait, and wait, and wait (and wait ), until this morning, when I got it at last... I left early from work so now I can share this with you.

Introducing the 35 macro Limited:



First conclusions:
- I wouldn't have believed it if I ddn't see it with my own eyes: on 1:1 macro's it's easier to handhold this lens than it is with my beloved FA 50 macro. With this last one I could only get sharp pics at 1:1 if I held shutterspeed well above 1/15s. With the DA 35 I got sharp pics at 1/8s (and I believe I can do even better.) Not sure why this is. Maybe the throwdistance is so short that my left hand can both hold the lens and the subject? I don't know...
- Aamof, the throw distance is so short it's a challenge to not get the subject in the shadow of the lens, which will make lighting the subject a pain. Moreover: there's no way you can use the lens shade (which is very well made btw.) if you are near 1:1. That said, even a little change in position will change the outcome dramatically, so you can make a different photo, by just turning a little to the left or right. Swell! I don't think this is a good lens for insects, but I'm going to try anyway...
- This is a first class optical performer:
  • This lens is tack sharp. I'm weighing my words, but I think both my 31 ltd and FA 50 macro can't compete with the DA in terms of sharpness...
  • Bokeh is creamy like butter...
  • There is no (repeat: absolutely NO) signs of CA even in backlit situations with strong contrast. That is a first to me...

- in my filmdays I was always using a 50mm. I just like that focal length, which can be used both as a WA or tele lens. The DA is the first lens that reminds me of my 50mm days...
- Construction is super, this is a real Limited, yet still better: I don't know how they did it, but while manual focus is like using a MF lens of the eighties, AF is speedy and accurate (unlike the FA Limiteds) Even when using AF near 1:1 there is little hunting. The manual override is the cherry on the pie!
- Compared to the DA 21 and DA 70 (the other 2 Ltd lenses I have) this is no small lens, but it is small compared to my FA 50 macro. Considering I have a ist D, dimensions are almost ideal, and very nice to use...
- I think the DA 21 + DA 35 + DA 70 is a very nice travel combination (if you like primes, that is), and I could even see myself on my deserted island with only a ist D and DA 35...

I had to wait very long, but here is one happy camper!

This is a shot I made this afternoon (ist D + DA 35, 1/125s, f/4,5 @ ISO 200):



04-11-2008, 12:11 PM   #2
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Nice review. The ability to shoot at much slower shutter speed is due to a shorter focal length, shorter working distance, less vibration effect.

It's also quite bold of you to say this lens is sharper than the 31LTD and the FA 50 macro (the sharpest 50). . But you are definitely pushing me to the edge of getting this one. After getting this one, I will have 5 macros in hand (talking about LBA).
04-11-2008, 12:15 PM   #3
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I've got the 43, so I'm wondering how in the world I could justify getting this one as it's so close to the 43 in length--perhaps the 1:1 macro could do it for me.

I'm looking forward to seeing more pics from this little gem.

Heather
04-11-2008, 12:17 PM   #4
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Nice review. Hope you post more pics taken with the lens. This does not help my LBA at all

04-11-2008, 12:23 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by hwblanks Quote
I've got the 43, so I'm wondering how in the world I could justify getting this one as it's so close to the 43 in length--perhaps the 1:1 macro could do it for me.

I'm looking forward to seeing more pics from this little gem.

Heather
I think that the question might be how could you justify dont swap the FA43 for the 35 macro limited I am kidding

@ PentaxKe that bokeh is creamy but how does it melt the shinny reflections (I am curious). Thanks a lot for your description
04-11-2008, 12:25 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by aegisphan Quote
Nice review. The ability to shoot at much slower shutter speed is due to a shorter focal length, shorter working distance, less vibration effect.
Ok, I didn't know that. Txs for sharing...

QuoteOriginally posted by aegisphan Quote
It's also quite bold of you to say this lens is sharper than the 31LTD and the FA 50 macro (the sharpest 50). . But you are definitely pushing me to the edge of getting this one. After getting this one, I will have 5 macros in hand (talking about LBA).
I know it's quite bold to say, but I sure don't have anything to complain in terms of sharpness...


Txs everyone of comments...

@Heather: sell the 43 ltd and buy the 35 ltd... You will love it!
04-11-2008, 12:27 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gruoso Quote
@ PentaxKe that bokeh is creamy but how does it melt the shinny reflections (I am curious). Thanks a lot for your description
For shiny reflections, you first have to have some sun... That is not particularly the case here in rainy Belgium...
04-11-2008, 12:33 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxke Quote
For shiny reflections, you first have to have some sun... That is not particularly the case here in rainy Belgium...
Dont worry, many times I have ugly bokeh with high contrast background and shinny reflections but most of the time is cos of my lazyness to frame the picture correctly . I just wanted to know if there were a lens that allowed me to keep myself being lazy

04-11-2008, 12:37 PM   #9
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thanks for your review Pentaxke and very nice photos too! but you are not helping with the LBA

i think kelly showed here https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/24542-da35-fa3...n-samples.html at least in those examples that the FA31 is slightly sharper at infinity ...
04-11-2008, 12:43 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gruoso Quote
Dont worry, many times I have ugly bokeh with high contrast background and shinny reflections but most of the time is cos of my lazyness to frame the picture correctly . I just wanted to know if there were a lens that allowed me to keep myself being lazy
There is a few that I know of. But the most recognizable one is the Voigtlander 125 macro .
04-11-2008, 12:51 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by aegisphan Quote
There is a few that I know of. But the most recognizable one is the Voigtlander 125 macro .
How dare you? I had the phone in my hand and the credit card in the other to call Stephen when the lens costed 649ish. If I only had saw the light then....
04-11-2008, 01:06 PM   #12
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oh I cannot wait to get this lens... a work of art. if only it was FF with an aperture ring I would need no other lens....
04-11-2008, 03:20 PM   #13
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I think I just had a moment, Marc, I have had visions of that flower photo in my head ever since I heard of this lens. I have played with it in the store a few days ago and it just felt right. I ordered it today and it will be here next week. That flower shot, man, for me it gets no better. This may be the first prime that I fall in love with, that is what I am hoping for.
04-11-2008, 03:28 PM   #14
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I completely agree about the performance of this lens. I got mine yesterday and I'm still in shock and awe. I'm hoping it'll stop raining long enough here to go out and really have fun with it.
04-11-2008, 03:49 PM   #15
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Yikes, this put a wrench in my works.... Had been thinking I'd get the Sigma 70mm macro so that it could double as a portrait lens, but this looks fantastic
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