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10-15-2014, 01:25 PM   #16
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I'm late to the party, but I'll add that the FA35/2 has been called the 'poor man's' FA31/1.8. That is, FA35/2 is sharp, renders colors with a character not commonly found in film or digital 35mm FL lenses and can be coaxed to produce a subtle 3D effect similar to the much more expensive limited lenses. FA35/2 is the lens of choice on my K-01 and for many years my low-light (for focusing) 35mm FL lens on film cameras. I also use the 35/3.5 on film cameras for the colors, especially reds, but I am not afraid to choose the FA in its place.

The focusing ring is wider than the usual FA lens and the construction seems more robust and durable even than the FA50/1.4.

I will confess I recently acquired a K35/2 which is with Eric for a repair and an FA31/1.8 which I intend to use with my K-3. I might actually sell the FA lens to partially fund these purcahses since the two new lenses are clearly intended for film cameras also.

I can strongly recommend the OP use the FA35/2 in place of the A35/2 for manual cameras and have the prospective benefit of autofocus should something new in the digital camera body department actually appear in coming months.

10-16-2014, 11:14 PM   #17
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Zoiks Batman!

Thanks for all the replies. I think the FA is the right choice for all the reasons you guys have given. It's clearly a good lens and in this instance it's less expensive than the "A".

EDIT

So, I go back to the site and find there is an SMC-M 35mm f/2.8 for $41.00. Now I have to ask myself, "Is 1 stop and auto focus worth the extra $250.00?"

Last edited by MD Optofonik; 10-16-2014 at 11:26 PM.
10-17-2014, 12:53 AM   #18
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Just to even broaden your choices--one of the finest Pentax lenses ever is the 35mm f/3.5 (M42 super takumar thru the SMC K). It is also very cheap--generally in the $50-100 range. And the super takumar (pre SMC) were often SMC but not announced/noted as such.

At the other end of the spectrum Pentax supposedly made a 35mm f/1.4 (SMC M)--but it is not clear if any examples exist. Thus it would be the rarest of all Pentax lenses if you found one.
10-17-2014, 11:18 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by MD Optofonik Quote
Zoiks Batman!


So, I go back to the site and find there is an SMC-M 35mm f/2.8 for $41.00. Now I have to ask myself, "Is 1 stop and auto focus worth the extra $250.00?"
The M 35/2.8 is very prone to develop a slow aperture. Can be solved, but not without disassembling the lens.

10-18-2014, 07:39 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by dms Quote
At the other end of the spectrum Pentax supposedly made a 35mm f/1.4 (SMC M)--but it is not clear if any examples exist. Thus it would be the rarest of all Pentax lenses if you found one.
Supposedly 5 or 6 were made or sold before Pentax pulled the plug on the M35/1.4. I’ve never seen a photo of one other than on this web site:

Pentax M35/1.4 Info

My guess is that former Asahi Pentax management got any copies and who knows where they are now. So I would treat the M35/1.4 lens as a prototype.

Phil.
10-18-2014, 08:46 AM   #21
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The 35/1.4 made it at least to a dutch catalog, and must have been pulled at a very late stage.

Wanted
10-18-2014, 10:45 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by dms Quote
Just to even broaden your choices--one of the finest Pentax lenses ever is the 35mm f/3.5 (M42 super takumar thru the SMC K). It is also very cheap--generally in the $50-100 range.
That the K35/3.5 today commands a mere $100 is a near-criminal disgrace. As you state, that lens rates as the finest 35mm Pentax lens ever and should be a Milestone lens, among the best lenses of any FL designed and manufactured by Pentax.
10-19-2014, 05:20 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
That the K35/3.5 today commands a mere $100 is a near-criminal disgrace.
On the contrary, it's a fantastic boon for Pentaxians. What would be criminal is if the Canon crowd discovered this lens and started hacking up copies. But 35/3.5 isn't the sort of specification that will catch their interest.

10-19-2014, 05:24 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by baro-nite Quote
On the contrary, it's a fantastic boon for Pentaxians. What would be criminal is if the Canon crowd discovered this lens and started hacking up copies. But 35/3.5 isn't the sort of specification that will catch their interest.
Well, that's the toher side of the coin if you don't have one.

I have an otherwise pristine K35/2 with Eric having a Canon converter removed and being restored to full operation. Cost me a beater K55/1.8 donor though - there's just no other option.
10-19-2014, 07:43 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by baro-nite Quote
On the contrary, it's a fantastic boon for Pentaxians. What would be criminal is if the Canon crowd discovered this lens and started hacking up copies. But 35/3.5 isn't the sort of specification that will catch their interest.
the mirrorless crowd would drive the prices up, but at least they wouldn't need to hack the lens mount

if you look at the Yoshihiko Takinami resolution test results, none of the 35/3.5 lenses match the fa35/2: Measured Resolution Numbers although the k35/3.5 is really close, maybe within the margin of error range.

the s-m-c 35/3.5 is good, but it's not in the fa35/2 league... for one thing, it's a bit weak wide open on ff, while the fa35/2 at f/4 is at it's peak resolution in the center: Pentax SMC-FA 35mm f/2 AL - Review / Test Report - Analysis

you buy fast glass because you want the peak resolution early, but that brings up questions about what the best aperture is for landscape use... things are not always f/8 and be there with fast glass, especially when you need clean sides on ff.

i tested five 35mm lenses on the a7r, and the fa35/2 was the best for manual focus use, using evf magnification/focus peaking... the focus ring is largely undampened, but at landscape distances it simply popped into focus.

here are the pics from that test, i'd post 'em here but they are full-width crops, too big for this forum:

Pentax FA35 f/2 and S-M-C 35 f/3.5 lens test on the Sony a7R

the problem there was that every lens i tested was slightly defective, none were perfect, one side was always better than the other, so you have to compare good sides against good sides.
10-19-2014, 08:02 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by osv Quote
if you look at the Yoshihiko Takinami resolution test results, none of the 35/3.5 lenses match the fa35/2: Measured Resolution Numbers although the k35/3.5 is really close, maybe within the margin of error range.
An argument for having both, especially at current prices.
10-19-2014, 08:30 PM   #27
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i've actually thought about selling my fa35 for something like that k35 :-( i hardly ever need f/2

it looks like b&h still has brand new fa35 lenses? made in vietnam?? how is the quality
10-20-2014, 05:33 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by osv Quote
if you look at the Yoshihiko Takinami resolution test results, none of the 35/3.5 lenses match the fa35/2:
True, although the 35/2 is cited by some as a prime example of where Yoshihiko's testing fails to distinguish between contrast and resolution per se. That is, the 35/2 is exceptionally contrasty and not necessarily exceptionally sharp. I have no experience with the lens so I don't have an opinion on that, but I have always found the 35/3.5 to be notable for its contrast and wonder if that is really the key to its apparent sharpness.

Yoshihiko's more subjective assessment of the two lenses:

10-20-2014, 08:46 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by baro-nite Quote
True, although the 35/2 is cited by some as a prime example of where Yoshihiko's testing fails to distinguish between contrast and resolution per se.
Yoshihiko's testing has been a tremendous contribution to the knowledge base for the lenses that he has evaluated. On the other hand, his tests are what they are and are not authoritative IMHO. I take them with a grain of salt in the same way as Klaus' tests on photozone.de.


Steve

---------- Post added 10-20-14 at 08:57 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by osv Quote
it looks like b&h still has brand new fa35 lenses? made in vietnam?? how is the quality
Yep, brand new. The FA 35/2 was officially discontinued for a year or so, though it continued to be available in some Asian markets. Due to apparent popular demand (and high prices used?), it was resurrected a few years back. I too have wondered about where it is currently being made. I bought mine about five years ago before it was pulled from the market for much less that the current street price of $399 USD. It was made in Japan. I suspect that it is probably made in the same country as current production FA 50/1.4 lenses.


Steve
10-20-2014, 10:31 AM   #30
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there is also the guys at lenstip, they really liked the fa35, but they also noted the emphasis on peak resolution early: Pentax smc FA 35 mm f/2 AL review - Image resolution - Lenstip.com

i just wonder if the k35/3.5 isn't a better landscape lens; as in, better at f/8 and such... if you compare the two at conventional medium apertures, i could see how people would question the fa35.

i also got my fa35 years ago... for $379, you can get a manual focus Bower 35 mm f/1.4 in pentax mount.
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