Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
03-10-2014, 12:39 PM   #1
Inactive Account




Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: New Orleans
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 3,053
HD 35 mm ltd AF

My next lens purchase will be in the 30-35 mm range and one thing that I was curious about is whether or not the new HD variety of limited lenses has fixed the SMC 35 mm ltd's most often cited weakness, namely odd autofocus behavior.

03-10-2014, 12:45 PM   #2
Veteran Member
lguckert79's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 588
I have heard a lot of good things about the sigma 30mm f1.4 Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC HSM Lens Reviews - Sigma Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database if I had a choice I would be looking at this as an option.
03-10-2014, 12:54 PM   #3
Site Supporter




Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: WV
Posts: 1,495
I've never heard of any odd focus behavior for this lens, but the 35 ltd is a macro lens, which means a long focus throw, which means a longer time to refocus from near to far. HD lens coating, rounded aperture blades, and a red stripe won't change that.
03-10-2014, 12:58 PM   #4
Site Supporter
jatrax's Avatar

Join Date: May 2010
Location: Oregon
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 10,772
^^^^^
What he said. Outside of typical macro lens behavior I have not heard of any focusing issues with the 35mm limited.

I used to have one until my wife borrowed it now it lives on her k-5IIs.

03-10-2014, 01:01 PM   #5
Inactive Account




Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: New Orleans
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 3,053
Original Poster
QuoteQuote:
If this lens has one weakness it is the autofocus. When I initially purchased this lens, I thought it was defective. The problem occurs when you focus up close and then focus on a more distant subject; the autofocus seems unable to accurately focus. It cycles all the way in and then goes all the way out to focus on the subject. There is no rhyme or reason for this, and it happens at the strangest times. The DA 35mm does not seem to have a problem if the shots are all at the same general distance. In that situation it performs great. In fact, sometimes it is able to focus close and then further away without issue, but it is not consistent. I originally thought it was my camera, but it performed about the same with both the K200 and K7. I have found that one way to work around this issue is to let the lens cycle all the way in and then out. The other option is to use the Quick Shift feature to manually focus the lens and then let the autofocus fine tune the shot. In this situation, a focus limiter would be beneficial.
Read more at: Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Macro Review - Autofocus - PentaxForums.com

QuoteQuote:
Without sufficient light, auto-focus usually misses the object, and even fails occasionally.
Read more at: SMC Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Limited Macro Reviews - DA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

QuoteQuote:
Auto-focus is pretty fast, but only as long as it finds the correct focus at first try. If it misses and has to go trough the focus range it will take a while, since it has a long throw (normal and pretty much required for macro work). A focus limiter would have helped this.
Read more at: SMC Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Limited Macro Reviews - DA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

QuoteQuote:
Autofocus: In low light, the autofocus is quite horrible. Assisted by the grid of light from my flash, this lens still failed to focus accurately, let alone quickly. Compared to the nikon 35/1.8 AF-S, which has a slightly slower autofocus speed in normal operation, the nikon focuses accurately nearly 100% of the time on a D90 while maintaining its normal speed. Even the kit lens with the k-5 had better speed and accuracy in low light, which was very disappointing.
Another issue with the pentax system is the K-5's tendency to check its focus like a point and shoot by moving forward and back after it's reached focus. This is made even worse with the 35/2.8, which seems to begin and end the extra checks slower than the kit lens.
In AF-C mode, this lens is slow to update, behaving similarly to the AF checks by not moving as soon as possible, making it poor for slight adjustments in real time.
Read more at: SMC Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Limited Macro Reviews - DA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
03-10-2014, 01:02 PM   #6
Pentaxian
Clavius's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: De Klundert
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 4,122
The 35 ltd macro has giant focal range, which takes pretty long to go through. It could really do with a focus limiter. That's the only thing I can think of when someone talks about "odd" af behaviour.
03-10-2014, 01:19 PM   #7
Pentaxian




Join Date: Nov 2011
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,736
I don't know the HD 35/2.8, but do have a lot of experience with the SMC version.

The trick is to use the Quick-Shift to prefocus the lens manually
into the range where the AF can quickly finish the job.

And don't try what I did once, inadvertently,
when I pointed the lens at a blank whiteboard and half-pressed the shutter for AF!
03-10-2014, 01:35 PM   #8
Pentaxian
kh1234567890's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Manchester, UK
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,406
QuoteOriginally posted by mikemike Quote
My next lens purchase will be in the 30-35 mm range and one thing that I was curious about is whether or not the new HD variety of limited lenses has fixed the SMC 35 mm ltd's most often cited weakness, namely odd autofocus behavior.
Unlikely. All that is new is the glass coating and the colour of the stripe. It is not as bad as people make out, but annoying at times. And noisy

03-10-2014, 01:40 PM   #9
Site Supporter




Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Gladys, Virginia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 16,253
I owned the DA 35 limited (I own the FA 31 now) and it focuses fine, it just has a long focus throw and if it misses, it takes a long time to cycle through the range. Quickest thing is make sure that you prefocus it and let the auto focus fine tune it.
03-10-2014, 01:47 PM   #10
Site Supporter




Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: WV
Posts: 1,495
QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
The 35 ltd macro has giant focal range, which takes pretty long to go through. It could really do with a focus limiter. That's the only thing I can think of when someone talks about "odd" af behaviour.
Yes, that thought crossed my mind as well, but lack of a focus limiter is a "feature", not a behavioral problem.
03-10-2014, 02:00 PM   #11
Inactive Account




Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: New Orleans
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 3,053
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I owned the DA 35 limited (I own the FA 31 now) and it focuses fine, it just has a long focus throw and if it misses, it takes a long time to cycle through the range. Quickest thing is make sure that you prefocus it and let the auto focus fine tune it.
The lenses I am considering are:

FA 31 ltd
DA 35 ltd
Sigma 30 mm (new version)
Sigma 35 mm (new version)

Currently I am leaning strongly towards the 31 ltd and I know that is the safest bet. How would you rate 31 ltd vs 35 ltd for a general purpose lens?
03-10-2014, 02:12 PM   #12
Site Supporter




Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Gladys, Virginia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 16,253
QuoteOriginally posted by mikemike Quote
The lenses I am considering are:

FA 31 ltd
DA 35 ltd
Sigma 30 mm (new version)
Sigma 35 mm (new version)

Currently I am leaning strongly towards the 31 ltd and I know that is the safest bet. How would you rate 31 ltd vs 35 ltd for a general purpose lens?
I think the DA 35 limited is sharp and benefits from the fact that it is a macro lens with a nice flat field, but the FA 31 is a stop and a piece faster, has nicer rendering of out of focus areas (DA 35 is decent, but nothing special), auto focus is nicer on the FA 31 because it has a shorter focus throw.

I miss quick shift on the FA 31 and the hood is pretty worthless for APS-C. I really like the DA 35 limited when I had it, but I prefer the FA 31 limited. The lens that probably would be the one that would make me think twice is the Sigma 35mm f1.4. It is a lot bigger, but probably a little sharper (depending on the copy) and has fast HSM auto focus.

Good luck on your decision!
03-10-2014, 03:10 PM   #13
Pentaxian
Jonathan Mac's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain
Posts: 4,358
QuoteOriginally posted by MPrince Quote
I've never heard of any odd focus behavior for this lens, but the 35 ltd is a macro lens, which means a long focus throw, which means a longer time to refocus from near to far. HD lens coating, rounded aperture blades, and a red stripe won't change that.
Ditto. The SMC version is superb, I don't doubt the HD one will be too.
03-10-2014, 04:22 PM   #14
Veteran Member
VisualDarkness's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Uppsala, Sweden
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 4,441
QuoteOriginally posted by mikemike Quote
The lenses I am considering are:

FA 31 ltd
DA 35 ltd
Sigma 30 mm (new version)
Sigma 35 mm (new version)

Currently I am leaning strongly towards the 31 ltd and I know that is the safest bet. How would you rate 31 ltd vs 35 ltd for a general purpose lens?
Well, I would group them in three groups depending on what "general purpose" means to you.

You want a to make the occational macro shot and have the smallest possible size:
35/2.8 Limited - Small, always have macro with you, quickshift

You want a fast lens but still keep the weight and size down:
FA 31/1.8 - Best build, top image quality, legendary status, great OOF
Sigma 30/1.4 - Silent focus, slightly brighter, really good res in center,

You want top image quality and specs and don't care about size:
Sigma 35/1.4 - Silent focus, good build, best in test optically
03-10-2014, 06:24 PM   #15
Inactive Account




Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: New Orleans
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 3,053
Original Poster
If the speed and quirk of the 35 mm ltd's AF is a case of functions as designed because a macro is supposed to be that way, it puts it out of the running for me as a general purpose lens. I just thought that the way it was described in some of the reviews it was atypical behavior, even for macro lenses, and might be some kind of design or firmware flaw that may have been improved in the new version.

That is why I said I am leaning towards the FA 31, it is lighter than the Sigma 30 but still full frame, it is also twice the price. The Sigma 35 is about the same price but almost twice the weight. I have a Sigma 50 mm and despite being lighter than the Sigma 35, it is too heavy and too big for my tastes. I have a Pentax 16-45, which is slightly bigger than the FA 31 Ltd, and it is a very comfortable weight and size. FF compatibility isn't super important to me but decent AF speed is.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
hd, hd 35 mm, k-mount, mm, pentax lens, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
For Sale - Sold: K10d (body only), sold:SMC DA 35 ltd 2.8 Macro, AF 360 FGZ drugal Sold Items 12 01-03-2014 05:01 PM
35 mm vs. 50 mm lens, advice needed Shyam Khadka Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 17 04-02-2013 02:44 AM
SMC Pentax-DA 35 mm f2.4 AL vs SMC Pentax-FA 35 mm f2 AL angle of view psur45 Pentax K-r 8 10-17-2012 03:17 PM
DA 40mm Ltd... on 35 mm Fuji Velvia 100 knyghtfall Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 8 04-26-2008 05:47 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:59 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top