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05-11-2014, 05:16 PM   #1
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50mm vs 35mm

Should I get the DA 50mm 1.8 or DA 35mm 2.4

05-11-2014, 05:21 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Airman123 Quote
Should I get the DA 50mm 1.8 or DA 35mm 2.4
Get the 50mm 1.8. Tighter angle of view perhaps, but f/1.8 makes all the difference. Now that they cost the same, it is a no-brainer as far as I am concerned. I mostly shoot with 50 and 58mm and get by just fine.
05-11-2014, 05:22 PM   #3
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Two very different focal lengths. The 35mm is like a real world 1:1 view. The 50 mm is at the lower end of the portrait focal length range.

What is your lens line up?

What do you shot?
05-11-2014, 05:25 PM   #4
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Get the DA 35mm 2.4, which is the plastic fantastic version of the great FA 35mm f2. The 35mm focal length is more versatile: great for streets and everyday photos, ok for portraits. You can buy a cheap Pentax M 50mm 1.7 or any other old fifty in m42 or K mount. Most fifties are excellent.

05-11-2014, 06:00 PM   #5
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Hey, welcome! They are both good lenses, but have different strengths. The DA 50mm has better low light capabilities, the DA 35mm is wider angle.
Here is a good thread on this topic:
05-11-2014, 06:05 PM   #6
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The way I decided on the two is by looking at tons of pictures taken with both. You can do a simple search on google or yahoo images. Decide what you like or dislike about both. It al depends on what you intend to shoot. While you can use both for the same thing, I think both have their strengths and weaknesses. Here's an example. If you want to take a picture say of a homeless guy on the street, the 50 is going to be better for taking a picture of his face and capturing maybe an emotion. Where as the 35 will be better for taking a picture of the man sitting against a wall and getting a feeling of his situation. Both can be emotional and dramatic pics but one is better for one thing than the other. On the same note, I think 35 would be better if you wanted to take pictures of the fam or your spouse in front of a cool landmark while on vacation. With the 50, you'd have to get much farther away to get the same amount of background in and your spouse would be much smaller in the picture.
Hope this helps. Enjoy and have fun.
05-11-2014, 06:24 PM   #7
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If you have the kit 18-55 set in on 35mm and use it for a few days. Then set it on 50mm and do the same. Different focal lengths offer different things for different people.
Another thing to consider, as posted above, is that used 50's are commonplace. You probably actually even have a few with your film camera's and can benefit from those. If you do and don't already have a 35mm, then advantage there unless you dislike that length....
05-11-2014, 06:46 PM   #8

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How should we know? You haven't given us any information, not even in your profile. All I know is you have a K-7.

QuoteOriginally posted by Another dyemention Quote
The way I decided on the two is by looking at tons of pictures taken with both. You can do a simple search on google or yahoo images. Decide what you like or dislike about both. It al depends on what you intend to shoot.
OK, I was a bit harsh above. But I agree with Another dyemention - looking at photos is your best method. You've got a few other good sources for Pentax lenses:

PENTAX : Select a PENTAX interchangeable lens camera or a lens model
Pentax smc P-FA 35mm f/2 AL Lens Sample Photos and Specifications
Full-size sample photos from Pentax 35mm F/2.4

Last edited by DSims; 05-11-2014 at 08:18 PM. Reason: typo
05-11-2014, 07:28 PM   #9
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Outdoors, I don't think there's a huge difference between 35 and 50. Indoors, 35 is almost always more useful.

Get the 35, and an M50/1.7 for $50 and have both!

Here're some shots taken at both 35 and 50

05-11-2014, 07:28 PM   #10
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You really need both, they have different perspectives when you shoot.

In film days an slr came with a 50mm that gave "normal" perspective like you see. Snapshot point and shoot cameras had a 35mm lens because it was easier to take holiday snaps of mountains hotels and groups with the wider perspective.

Digital crop sensors turn 35mm into 50mm with regard to perspective, so the 35mm would be suggested. But everyone wants sharpness in their lens and its easier to make a sharp 50mm than a sharp 35mm.

The 50mm will therefore be the better lens for general photography, it will also make portraits look more pleasing and natural.

Don't forget those two accessories that you came fitted with, they are called legs. If you get the 50 and your too tight on the subject, do what too many seem to have forgotten in these days of zooms, walk further away. With a zoom you zoom with your hands, with a prime you zoom with your legs.

Many great photographers only used one lens, their choice was usually a 50mm or in this case 35mm (50mm equivalent)

Lastly, the 50 will give you tighter depth of field when you want it and the choice of broader depth of field when you don't, it will allow your artistic flair grater freedom.

My own lineup includes 1 30mm, 4 50mm, 1 55mm, 2 58mm, 2 135mm 1 150mm. As you can see I have 7 50mm lenses or close to that focal length.

Why so many? they offer different performance characteristics you get that more in 50mm than other focal lengths and cheaper too. If you get the 50, it will probably offer freedom and artistry beyond the 35 and may not be the last 50 that you buy.

I recommend the 50mm
05-12-2014, 03:05 AM   #11
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I recommend getting the 50mm 1.8 first. If you decide to upgrade your kit zoom to a 17-50 2.8, it will pretty much cover the 35mm 2.4.

I bring my 35mm with the 50mm if i want to travel light, and leave my normal range zoom behind.
05-12-2014, 04:30 AM   #12
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Get the 50

I love 50s, and have more than a dozen of them, all but one of which are manual focus. My most expensive and only auto-forus 50 is the D FA 50 m,m f 2.8 macro, and it is also among the sharpest of the entire range of Petax lenses, old or new. The Pentax-M 50/1.7 is an excellent choice as is the 1.4. For real bargains, you cannot beat the Auto Sears series, some of them produced by top lens makers. My Auto Sears 50 mm f 2.0 is a truly excellent lens, and has given good service as a landscape lens and as a portrait lens--very versatile indeed--and can be had for prices around $5 to $20 on eBay. The Russian Helios 58 mm are also excellent with good clarity and excellent rendering, also inexpensive alternatives at around $50 per copy. The whole range of Chinon 50s: 1.9, 1.7, 1.4, and even 1.2 are among the best 50s ever produced--and sometimes even less expensive when purchased in their Revuenon, Yashinon (Yashica) or other variant brands. Another of my favorites includes the Canon FD and FL 50s and 55s, which cannot be used very well with adapters, but some of which for a bit of money can be remounted for Pentax.

Using all of this legacy treasure requires some learning and refocusing (pun intended), since most lack A rings and auto-focus features. To use them efficiently, you must become friends with terms such as catch-in-focus split-screen focussing prism, etc., but with a few weeks of trial and error, using manual lens becomes sort of second nature, and good exercise too since you must take steps in the right direction rather than playing with your zoom adjustment devices. The other point is that most all these lens will come to you without hoods, and they in fact need hoods even more than modern lenses because their coatings are not as good as modern coatings at preventing abberations such as flare.

Collecting 50s is a nice and inexpensive hobby, and lets you focus your efforts upon a popular field of view.

Having said all this, let me also add that I love my Sigma 30 mm f 1.4--a good normal perspective and great auto-focussing light gatherer.

Good luck in your choices.
05-12-2014, 08:25 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Airman123 Quote
Should I get the DA 50mm 1.8 or DA 35mm 2.4
What do you want them for?

Walkaround/General use? 35.

Portraits and details? 50.
05-12-2014, 08:42 AM   #14
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Thank you all vary much for all this advice I do have a Pentax M 50mm f/2 which I love using, but I feel it is not as sharp as it could be and that might just be my copy. I am looking for a more modern lens so it is easier to meter on my K-7. I was also wondering if Pentax made lens hoods for the DA 50 or 35?
05-12-2014, 12:38 PM   #15

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If you're looking for sharp wide open then get the DA35/2.4. It will be much better at f/2.4 than any 16/17/18-50 f/2.8 lens at f/2.8. That's because it was originally designed as an f/2 lens that never performed that well until stopped down to f/2.4 (I know - I owned 2 copies of the original FA35/2).

Like most lenses, the DA50/1.8 will also need to be stopped down a little for better IQ. But it's still a good lens that you should consider, and it may well outdo your copy of the M50/2.

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