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03-02-2014, 11:37 AM   #1
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K35 f3.5 vs DA35 Limited?

I've been trying to think through my own "lens roadmap" lately, and while the DA35 Limited seems tailor-made as an all-around "nature" lens to carry along on my hikes here in the Southern Appalachians, I want to make sure that I'm not discounting lenses that predate my entry into Pentaxland. Specifically, I'm wondering if the K35 might not make a better "landscape" lens when focus is at infinity, especially if I'm doing panoramas in manual mode--at least in terms of nailing focus? While the 1:1 "true" macro might be nice, I'm thinking that I could almost get both a K35 and a FA50 2.8 macro for nearly what "full freight" would cost for a DA35 Limited.

Any input greatly appreciated...

03-02-2014, 11:53 AM   #2
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For manual focus, in my experience legacy lenses are much nicer to work with. being, well, manual lenses. I can't remember for the 35ltd but most AF lenses have very short focussing throw (like 90 degrees at most) where some manual you get 270 or even almost 360. Much better for fine tuning (except for some higher end and macro lenses with clutches and gearing and magic and such).

However, for doing landscapes, being focussed at infinity in most cases, I can't see this being an issue, either will work fine. The K will require a bit more work from your part since you won't get in-body aperture control and will limit your camera modes, but that's not a major drawback.

And I don't know why, I always felt like my older lenses resolved images in a different way than my modern lenses, a more pleasing way.

The FA50 f/2.8, is a sweet piece of lens, I miss mine greatly.
03-02-2014, 12:01 PM   #3
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K35/3.5 may be the sharpest 35mm lens ever made by Pentax. I believe the color rendering is superior to any other 35, especiially red, but that is of course subjective. Many users write the FA50/2.8 Macro might be the sharpest lens Pentax ever made. It is heavy, noisy, slow focus and a loooong focus throw and doesn't have QS.

You probably could get the two older lenses and $100 of other stuff for the price of a HD DA35/2.8 Macro Limited.

Last edited by monochrome; 03-02-2014 at 12:39 PM.
03-02-2014, 12:10 PM   #4
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The DA35 is lovely sharp at infinity. But, the focus ring comes to a hard stop *past* infinity, so for manual focus you have to be paying attention. Whereas the SMC35 has a hard stop at infinity so you know you're good when you get there.

Having said that however, if you can only own one of these, get the DA35. Because, sometimes it's really nice to have Auto exposure / auto focus capabilities. You'll have excellent IQ either way. And acquisition costs are more or less the same for either lens.

Best solution, of course, is to get both


edit--OOOPS duh
Just re-read the original post which refers to the 35mm limited. My comments concern the DA35/2.4 plastic fantastic, which is a fine lens in its own right.

03-02-2014, 12:36 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnyates Quote
Best solution, of course, is to get both
Somebody had to say it....

Thanks for the feedback, everyone--I'm still on the steep end of the learning curve and am probably more fixated on "gear" when I should be learning to work what lenses I have; still, all the great photos on the board really give me something to daydream about.
03-02-2014, 01:10 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
K35/3.5 may be the sharpest 35mm lens ever made by Pentax.
Yoshihiko Takinami has it second to the FA 35:

http://www.takinami.com/yoshihiko/photo/lens_test/pentax_35.html

(although his test procedure sometimes seemed to favor contrast over image detail).
03-02-2014, 01:51 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by CreationBear Quote
Somebody had to say it....

Thanks for the feedback, everyone--I'm still on the steep end of the learning curve and am probably more fixated on "gear" when I should be learning to work what lenses I have; still, all the great photos on the board really give me something to daydream about.
Good point. If you're not using the lenses you have, how would you know whether or not you need another? At that point, one would merely be a collector.
So, less talk, more rock! I gotta go take some pictures now, lest I become the collector.
03-02-2014, 02:18 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
Yoshihiko Takinami has it second to the FA 35:

http://www.takinami.com/yoshihiko/photo/lens_test/pentax_35.html

(although his test procedure sometimes seemed to favor contrast over image detail).
Best 35mm:

Yoshihiko Takinami - I have/had K35/2, K35/3.5, M35/2, M35/2.8 and FA35/2AL. Go for K35/2 if you do need the extra speed. Go for K35/3.5 if you do need fine prints. I prefer K35/3.5 to K35/2 in point of center resolution/sharpness and better correction of aberrations.

Yoshihiko Takinami (again) - very little light-fall-off even at wide open, amazingly sharp, good color rendition, great color saturation, scarce distortion, natural bokeh, great resolution


Yoshihiko Takinami (again) - . . . one of the best Pentax lenses. . . Its color rendition and 3-dimensionality are really great. FA35/2AL is superior to K35/3.5 in point of correction, color saturation, and uniformity of image all over the frame. They are the two best 35mm (focal length) lenses Pentax ever made, IMO.

03-02-2014, 02:21 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
Yoshihiko Takinami has it second to the FA 35:

http://www.takinami.com/yoshihiko/photo/lens_test/pentax_35.html

(although his test procedure sometimes seemed to favor contrast over image detail).
I have both - Cold, Dead Fingers lenses.

Best 35mm:

Yoshihiko Takinami - I have/had K35/2, K35/3.5, M35/2, M35/2.8 and FA35/2AL. Go for K35/2 if you do need the extra speed. Go for K35/3.5 if you do need fine prints. I prefer K35/3.5 to K35/2 in point of center resolution/sharpness and better correction of aberrations.

Yoshihiko Takinami (again) - very little light-fall-off even at wide open, amazingly sharp, good color rendition, great color saturation, scarce distortion, natural bokeh, great resolution


Yoshihiko Takinami (again) - . . . one of the best Pentax lenses. . . Its color rendition and 3-dimensionality are really great. FA35/2AL is superior to K35/3.5 in point of correction, color saturation, and uniformity of image all over the frame. They are the two best 35mm (focal length) lenses Pentax ever made, IMO.
03-02-2014, 02:24 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Best 35mm:

Yoshihiko Takinami - I have/had K35/2, K35/3.5, M35/2, M35/2.8 and FA35/2AL. Go for K35/2 if you do need the extra speed. Go for K35/3.5 if you do need fine prints. I prefer K35/3.5 to K35/2 in point of center resolution/sharpness and better correction of aberrations.

Yoshihiko Takinami (again) - very little light-fall-off even at wide open, amazingly sharp, good color rendition, great color saturation, scarce distortion, natural bokeh, great resolution


Yoshihiko Takinami (again) - . . . one of the best Pentax lenses. . . Its color rendition and 3-dimensionality are really great. FA35/2AL is superior to K35/3.5 in point of correction, color saturation, and uniformity of image all over the frame. They are the two best 35mm (focal length) lenses Pentax ever made, IMO.
Unfortunately, YT has nothing to say about the DA35LTD.

There are a few threads here on the forum which postulate that the DA35/2.4 and the FA35/2 are, optically, more or less the same lens.
03-02-2014, 05:31 PM   #11
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I would choose the DA 35 limited for its close focus ability (macro), faster speed, and auto focus. But I just really don't do manual focus. I owned the DA 35 limited, but I sold it and bought the Sigma 30 f1.4 (which didn't really satisfy me) and I sold that and got an FA 31 limited and now I am satisfied...
03-02-2014, 06:20 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
got an FA 31 limited and now I am satisfied...
I should think so! (I've been admiring your landscapes on the FA Limited Club thread.) I'm curious though how you use AF for a landscape--an AF point a "third of the way" to the horizon to take advantage of hyperfocal DOF, or just stick a point on a subject of interest and shoot away?

At any rate, thanks everyone for enabling my (future) LBA...I've really become atuned to how many of you are doing great work with K-series lenses of a lot of different focal lengths.
03-03-2014, 04:03 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by CreationBear Quote
I should think so! (I've been admiring your landscapes on the FA Limited Club thread.) I'm curious though how you use AF for a landscape--an AF point a "third of the way" to the horizon to take advantage of hyperfocal DOF, or just stick a point on a subject of interest and shoot away?

At any rate, thanks everyone for enabling my (future) LBA...I've really become atuned to how many of you are doing great work with K-series lenses of a lot of different focal lengths.
It just really depends. The longer your focal length, the harder it is to shoot hyperfocal. I'm more inclined to frame what I want, focus on it and stop down a little bit. I just find I am not very good at manual focusing, but everyone is different and I know that is sort of heresy in many folk's minds.


03-03-2014, 06:22 AM   #14
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Rondec, thanks...and that's one of the prettiest skies I've seen, especially at the top of the frame.
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