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01-23-2014, 11:19 AM   #1
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Pentax Da35mm 2.4 plastic lens vs Da 50mm 1.8 plastic lens

Question: I'm in love with my "bargain " Da 35mm 2.4 but thinking about DA50mm 1.8 "bargain "lens for close up of flowers.
I know that the minimum focus distance of the 50mm is 19". Would I get better close up images with the 50mm, in spite of the distance.
I get the feeling that the 50mm might have better bouquet. Of course I would be happy to focus from the 20" if I would get better quality
over the 35mm. Any input will be greatly appreciated. lP.S. I can't afford the 50mm macro. I also have the Sigma 50mm EX, but I feel the Pentax 50mm would be sharper and more natural. Freddy

01-23-2014, 11:39 AM   #2
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Have you checked the ratings of the lenses on the forum database? That's a good place to start. Fellow Pentaxians rate the lenses they have used. As to the coverage area, that is something you can test with your M 50/1.7, which is in itself and excellent lens. Have you tried your Sigma 50/2.8 macro? No point in spending money if you don't need to.
01-23-2014, 11:41 AM   #3
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For close ups of flowers, I suggest the A50/1.4. It is cheaper, allows less depth of field, and has better manual focus, which I prefer for close up work.
01-23-2014, 11:42 AM   #4
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If you are not after bokeh, the A50/2.8 is super-sharp close up.

01-23-2014, 11:48 AM   #5
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I'm not thrilled with my Sigma lens. Bokeh is very important to me. I can't use my 1.7 because I have never been able to focus it.
Is the A 50mm 1.4 manual and autofocus. I might consider that if you guys feel it was great bokeh and sharpness.
Any more ideas will be appreciated. Thanks guys!! Freddy
01-23-2014, 12:10 PM   #6
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Save The Money?

Hi Freddy,
I own both 'Plastic Fantastics' and am very happy with the performance overall. They are both good value lenses. However, neither one would ever be a suitable substitute for a true Macro lens.
The minimum focusing distance for the DA 35mm f/2.4AL is .98 feet (30cm), about 11-1/2".
The minimum focusing distance of the DA 50mm f/1.8 is 1.48 ft (45cm), about 18".
The minimum focusing distance of the Sigma 50mm f/2.8 Macro is 18.9cm, about 7.4".
In addition, the Sigma is designed for flat-field view at close focusing, features a 1:1 magnification ratio (life-sized on the sensor), has a longer and better manual focusing 'throw' or function than the DA's and will likely be sharper at typical Macro distances.
You don't need another 50mm for Macro, you already have one!
If you're really interested in Macro, I'd suggest you save the $200 and wait until it builds up to $500. Then buy a new Sigma 70mm Macro or Tamron 90mm Macro. Or, either one used for $ 350 or so.
Unless you merely want the DA 50mm, as an additional, affordable A/F lens. But, it's not a Macro.
JMO,
Ron
01-23-2014, 12:22 PM   #7
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If you have trouble focusing your M50/1.7, you'll have even more trouble with the A50/1.4 with it's even thinner DOF. I find AF pretty useless for closeups/macro. You have some nice lenses already - I'd suggest working on your MF skills. Maybe a split-prism viewfinder, a tripod, or practice your CIF (catch-in-focus) technique. Good luck!
01-23-2014, 12:22 PM   #8
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50mm max magnification 0.15x
35mm max magnification 0.17x

so you will even loose a little with the 50mm

Have you tried it with your 16-45? Max magnification 0.26x

01-23-2014, 12:29 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by fevbusch Quote
I'm not thrilled with my Sigma lens. Bokeh is very important to me. I can't use my 1.7 because I have never been able to focus it.
Is the A 50mm 1.4 manual and autofocus. I might consider that if you guys feel it was great bokeh and sharpness.
Any more ideas will be appreciated. Thanks guys!! Freddy
Use Catch-In-Focus with your M lens. Works perfectly. I use it most often with my M 100/4 macro chasing bugs. On any Pentax AF camera, CIF is available. With my old K10D it is as simple as leaving the camera in AF-S and holding down the shutter release, or cable release, until the camera takes the picture. Move or focus slo-o-w-ly, particularly when working close up, so the camera's inevitable delay between spotting focus and snapping doesn't ruin the shot.
01-23-2014, 12:46 PM   #10
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Sterretje and Canada_Rockies got it right. CiF (aka focus trapping) is the way to go with manual lenses. The M 50mm f1.7 will work great with it, just search some threads about it.
And yes, if you are trying to make subjects appear "bigger" you need to look at the minimum focus length relative to the focal length. This is why the 50mm and 35mm have a fairly similar max magnification (measured at closest possible focus) even though they have different minimum focus distances. But! The DA 50mm f1.8 will give you "more bokeh" - because it is not as wide (wider angle has bigger DoF) and it allows wider aperture (wider aperture means narrower DoF and more background blur). This means you can set it to f2.0 and it will give you wonderful subject isolation and bokeh, with relatively sharp in-focus area. Something the 35mm cannot achieve. So a flower, at minimum focus, will not be any bigger with the 50mm lens, but it will be more visually isolated at the same aperture. Plus it allows an even wider aperture.
You can also grab your 50mm f1.7 and simply focus it to nearest possible distance (away from infinity) and simply try to get as close to a flower until it appears to be in focus. The DA 50mm will perform fairly similar in terms of magnification.

That being said, macro lenses allow a crazy small minimum focus distance, which means higher magnification. Macro lenses are also very sharp. But their bokeh usually doesn't have much character. Macro lenses generally are very clean, sharp, good lenses with sharp rendering and good colours, but not very "artistic." They are great for product shots and very vivid, lifelike photos.

Last edited by Na Horuk; 01-23-2014 at 12:51 PM.
01-23-2014, 01:29 PM   #11
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The DA 50 1.8 will not be sharper than your Sigma 50mm 2.8 EX. It won't focus nearly as close, but it will (I think) give you much better bokeh.

I see you have the 16-45 as well, it's supposed to be very good for closeups with good bokeh.

Me, I've recently started using an achromatic macro lens on top of my 135mm 2.8 and it gives me enough magnification for some interesting shots. I'm loving it. The common version is for filters with 52mm diameter (like my 135). The DA 50 1.8 also has a 52mm ring, so it would work there. I have no idea how the autofocus would work, but I don't think there should be a lot of issues if you keep within the operating window of the achromatic lens (which won't focus to distance, only close).

Some flickr images for the Sigma Achromatic macro lens: Flickr Search: sigma achromatic macro lens (of course it will only be as good as the lens you put it on).
01-23-2014, 02:17 PM   #12
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YOu convinced me, guys. I'm going for the Da50mm1.8 "bargain'. My instincts are that, based on the super quality of the DA35 2.4 I'll do fine with
the 50mm "bargain". On my K30 it should be awesome. Also, I always felt the Sigma shot a bit yellow. Might be my imagination, but I often had to take out
a little yellow in Photoshop. Thank you all for your valuable input. P.S. I do have the 16-45 but I would prefer that nifty 50. Freddy
01-23-2014, 03:35 PM   #13
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You've got a K-30, have you tried manual focus with focus peaking in live view using a tripod of course? It works really well and you can even see the depth of field.
01-23-2014, 04:02 PM   #14
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No, Tom. I don't want to use a tripod. I do my shooting in the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, often. Lugging around a tripod is not very
efficient when I'm crawling on the ground in bushy places. The new equipment with high iso , etc., gives me such a high ratio of keepers its
not worth the effort. Freddy
01-23-2014, 05:26 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by fevbusch Quote
better bouquet.
Perhaps for flower shots this is the correct phrase :-)

How about a closeup filter?
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