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02-19-2014, 12:12 PM   #1
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70mm f/2.4 Ltd vs 35mm f/2.8 Ltd Macro

So, having put a few pennies I found down the back of various sofas together, I have enough to get either one of these lenses used from a local camera shop.

I know that it's comparing apples and oranges, but which do we reckon gives the most bang for the buck? I mainly use my 50mm 1.7 when I'm out and about, and whilst I love that lens, I think it's high time something came along to challenge its place in my affections.

Whilst I have no particular need for macro, it's something I would love to give a try. Given that most of my photography at the moment is either street or concert-based though, I feel that the 70mm may be more useful for what I currently do.

What would people recommend in terms of wow factor and happiness with cost?

(FWIW I'm looking at about 290/$485 for either)

02-19-2014, 12:39 PM   #2
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I would say the 35 is the most versatile of them, and the one I'd choose. I don't have the 35, but do have the DA35/2.4 and the 70.

I find the 70 too long for an all-purpose lens, and it's not very close focusing. Plenty sharp, and good for portraits, but I think your Porst will serve you well in that respect.

So, yes, both are excellent, but for me I'd choose 35 over 70 if I could have only one of them. Some prefer longer lenses though. I like wider more for general use.
02-19-2014, 12:40 PM   #3
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I have both, and think you would be happy with either (IQ wise), but they are very different beasts.

You say you mainly use your 50? What else? Where do you see a gap you think you need to fill?

Don't let the macro sway you; you have to get very close to your subject with the 35. I'd say for macro work it's best for inanimate objects like jewellery, coins, etc, maybe flowers, but not insects; you'll scare them off. If you want to get into macro, go for a lens around 100mm.
02-19-2014, 12:43 PM   #4
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Hmmmmm.... Just had a quick gander through your Flickr stream - you've really nice images. I think those choices are just enough in either direction to give you new options without being a complete change of gear. In some ways i'd say (based on my own experience) it might reflect the lens lenghts themselves, e.g. the 70 will narrow your focus and get you to really hone in on the more intimate work I see in your stream. Composition will become even more specialized with that piece of glass.

However if you're looking to expand more generally, I think that the 35 will be the best choice... quite literally it will widen your perspective which can change your eye in a completely different manner. Certainly would be more suited to a more loose and flowing approach to the street scene you seem to enjoy creating, and the fact that it is the macro version will also give you a completely different tangent to travel down.

The 35 would be my bet for you personally but that is a completely from-the-hip conclusion based on just your post, a super brief look at your stream, and whatever small amount of intuition I can muster.

Cheers!

02-19-2014, 12:51 PM   #5
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Thanks for the responses!

QuoteOriginally posted by savoche Quote
I would say the 35 is the most versatile of them, and the one I'd choose. I don't have the 35, but do have the DA35/2.4 and the 70.

I find the 70 too long for an all-purpose lens, and it's not very close focusing. Plenty sharp, and good for portraits, but I think your Porst will serve you well in that respect.

So, yes, both are excellent, but for me I'd choose 35 over 70 if I could have only one of them. Some prefer longer lenses though. I like wider more for general use.
That's been my main reservation about the 70 - it's a bit long, but not enough to be a 'long lens', which makes me worry that it might be something of a hodge-podge on an APS-C sensor. I'm like you in typically preferring something a bit wider, although I guess in the grand scheme of things a 50mm equivalent could hardly be considered wide!

As for the Porst, I'm still not sure whether that's staying in my stable - its rendering is a bit too 'classical' for my liking.

QuoteOriginally posted by JohnX Quote
I have both, and think you would be happy with either (IQ wise), but they are very different beasts.

You say you mainly use your 50? What else? Where do you see a gap you think you need to fill?

Don't let the macro sway you; you have to get very close to your subject with the 35. I'd say for macro work it's best for inanimate objects like jewellery, coins, etc, maybe flowers, but not insects; you'll scare them off. If you want to get into macro, go for a lens around 100mm.
I've got the 50mm, a 28mm f/2.8, and a 55mm f/1.2 (in descending order of use) - I've never been one for very wide or very tele. Although if someone wants to give me a 15mm I'm sure I could be persuaded otherwise...

Yeah, I've heard that the macro isn't perfect, but it'd be more as an every-now-and-again thing, rather than a dedicated macro lens.

---------- Post added 02-19-14 at 07:58 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by chickentender Quote
Hmmmmm.... Just had a quick gander through your Flickr stream - you've really nice images. I think those choices are just enough in either direction to give you new options without being a complete change of gear. In some ways i'd say (based on my own experience) it might reflect the lens lenghts themselves, e.g. the 70 will narrow your focus and get you to really hone in on the more intimate work I see in your stream. Composition will become even more specialized with that piece of glass.

However if you're looking to expand more generally, I think that the 35 will be the best choice... quite literally it will widen your perspective which can change your eye in a completely different manner. Certainly would be more suited to a more loose and flowing approach to the street scene you seem to enjoy creating, and the fact that it is the macro version will also give you a completely different tangent to travel down.

The 35 would be my bet for you personally but that is a completely from-the-hip conclusion based on just your post, a super brief look at your stream, and whatever small amount of intuition I can muster.

Cheers!
It's responses like this that make it clear why this forum is so good! I think you're quite right as to the respective benefits of the lenses - I guess it all comes down to whether I want to, as you say, broaden or tighten up my compositional style.

Thank you for taking the time to answer!
02-19-2014, 01:00 PM - 1 Like   #6
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I recommend you let me clean out our sofas for you so you don't have to ;-)
02-19-2014, 01:12 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Woolcott Quote
...It's responses like this that make it clear why this forum is so good! I think you're quite right as to the respective benefits of the lenses - I guess it all comes down to whether I want to, as you say, broaden or tighten up my compositional style.

Thank you for taking the time to answer!
Why thanks for saying so - I felt like I was blathering on a bit. That said, now that I realize you already have the 28mm 2.8, you may well find the 35 rather similar, perhaps too much so (aside from the macro), which may make the 70 a bit more appealing.
But THAT said, I have a strange hunch based on how you listed your lenses in order of usage that the FA43mm LTD might be exactly what you're looking. It has been just that for a quite a large number of folks. If I were to take just 1 lens with me traveling, that would be it personally, and I've only owned that particular piece of glass for just under a month!

---------- Post added 02-19-14 at 12:12 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by kiwi_jono Quote
I recommend you let me clean out our sofas for you so you don't have to ;-)
Hahaha - no doubt
02-19-2014, 01:26 PM   #8
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Apples and oranges

I had both. Both are excellent primes and plenty sharp with those wonderful Ltd colors. For me and how I shoot, the DA35 Macro Ltd. was most versatile (close focus, standard field of view, etc.). However given your uses you might find the 70 better (faster focus, slightly faster for low light).

02-19-2014, 01:28 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by kiwi_jono Quote
I recommend you let me clean out our sofas for you so you don't have to ;-)
It's like freakin' Narnia back there. I'm about 99% sure that if you looked long enough you'd find Lord Lucan/Jimmy Hoffa.

---------- Post added 02-19-14 at 08:29 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by chickentender Quote
Why thanks for saying so - I felt like I was blathering on a bit. That said, now that I realize you already have the 28mm 2.8, you may well find the 35 rather similar, perhaps too much so (aside from the macro), which may make the 70 a bit more appealing.
But THAT said, I have a strange hunch based on how you listed your lenses in order of usage that the FA43mm LTD might be exactly what you're looking. It has been just that for a quite a large number of folks. If I were to take just 1 lens with me traveling, that would be it personally, and I've only owned that particular piece of glass for just under a month!

---------- Post added 02-19-14 at 12:12 PM ----------



Hahaha - no doubt
Hmmm, the 43mm is definitely an interesting option - why must Pentax fuel my LBA by making so many lovely primes?

---------- Post added 02-19-14 at 08:30 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Dice Quote
I had both. Both are excellent primes and plenty sharp with those wonderful Ltd colors. For me and how I shoot, the DA35 Macro Ltd. was most versatile (close focus, standard field of view, etc.). However given your uses you might find the 70 better (faster focus, slightly faster for low light).
Ahhh, I'd totally forgotten about the AF of the 35mm - I'm guessing that it struggles a bit going from close to infinity?
02-19-2014, 01:33 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Woolcott Quote
It's like freakin' Narnia back there. I'm about 99% sure that if you looked long enough you'd find Lord Lucan/Jimmy Hoffa.

---------- Post added 02-19-14 at 08:29 PM ----------


Hmmm, the 43mm is definitely an interesting option - why must Pentax fuel my LBA by making so many lovely primes?

---------- Post added 02-19-14 at 08:30 PM ----------


Ahhh, I'd totally forgotten about the AF of the 35mm - I'm guessing that it struggles a bit going from close to infinity?
It doesn't necessarily struggle but if it misses focus it will go through the entire range. And in low light/low contrast on my k-5 I would sometimes go to manual focus to speed things up. You can also prefocus prior to pressing the shutter to speed things up.
02-19-2014, 01:36 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Woolcott Quote
Ahhh, I'd totally forgotten about the AF of the 35mm - I'm guessing that it struggles a bit going from close to infinity?
Intelligent use of the Quick-Shift really helps with the focusing.

I have both the 35 Macro and 70 Limiteds.
Although the 70 on APS-C reminds me of my beloved M100/2.8 on film,
I certainly use the 35 Macro much more.
02-19-2014, 02:12 PM   #12
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I have both of those lenses and they have very different uses. Funnily enough, I reviewed all three of my DA limiteds a few days ago on here.

All in all, I'd say the 35 has the 70mm beaten on sheer image quality. I didn't expect to use the 35mm much for macro, but I'm warming to it very nicely. It's the perfect focal length for a general use prime and the image quality is simply stunning. It excels at everything for which it's a suitable focal length. It's a superb portrait lens, despite being on the short side.

I'd say the 35mm would be better for street shots, but the 70mm would certainly be better for concerts. I'd never take my 35mm to a concert, it would be no use at all.

So, it depends what you're going to use it for.
02-19-2014, 03:19 PM   #13
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I agree what was ssaid above...apples and oranges.
If you are looking for a do-it-all general purpose prime, the 35mm is great beacause it's macro and a normal-ish focal length.

If you are looking for a short telephoto, maybe some portraiture, then the 70mm would obviously be better.

Depends on the mission

I'll give you my experience.
I used to have to have both of these lenses. I used the DA 35mm all the time.
The DA 70mm was a cool little lens, it had great IQ, and was just nice to look at. But i sold it because i just did not use it much at all.
Others say it is welded to their camera. It is all preference.
02-19-2014, 03:48 PM   #14
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Looking at your flickr stream, you clearly handle manual focus lenses very well. As modern autofocus lenses, both the 35 and 70 have lots to offer, but I would lean towards the 35....

Its autofocus is actually quite snappy on the K-5II or K-3 if you use the quick shift to pre-set manually to infinity for your general shots. It is exceptionally sharp, the focal length sits nicely between your 28 and 50, and the close focus would open up a whole new world for you.

The DA70 is a brilliant lens though, and that bit of extra reach and fast autofocus would be handy for your concerts, but when I had one it always lived in the shadow of the FA77.
02-19-2014, 04:03 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
Looking at your flickr stream, you clearly handle manual focus lenses very well. As modern autofocus lenses, both the 35 and 70 have lots to offer, but I would lean towards the 35....

Its autofocus is actually quite snappy on the K-5II or K-3 if you use the quick shift to pre-set manually to infinity for your general shots. It is exceptionally sharp, the focal length sits nicely between your 28 and 50, and the close focus would open up a whole new world for you.

The DA70 is a brilliant lens though, and that bit of extra reach and fast autofocus would be handy for your concerts, but when I had one it always lived in the shadow of the FA77.
Why thank you - started as necessity, ended up a bit of a preference, mainly due to the build quality differences!

I think it seems people are more bowled over by the 35mm, so it's that (or the rogue horse of the 43mm, if I can find one for similar money, which isn't easy given that they sell for about 700 new...)

Thanks for the contributions everyone, much appreciated.
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