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06-24-2008, 09:11 AM   #1
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Help me choose: 40mm LTD / 35mm LTD

I'm thinking of joining the Limited club. I've toyed with the idea before, but chickened out. Now, here I go again.

My kit is as follows: K100D, 18-55mm kit, Tamron 28-75mm, FA 50mm 1.4, Tamron 70-300mm.

I've narrowed it down to the 40mm and the 35mm because of focal length and price.

I shoot dogs a lot, but sometimes I find the Tamron to be too heavy for me or too freaky for the more timid dogs. I'd probably still use this lens a lot even if I got the prime, just because I like the ability to zoom.

I'd like another option that can be used to take shots of the dogs indoors. The 50mm, while great, is sometimes too long in tight places, or if the dogs want to be close to me since it can't focus at a close distance... plus it is slow to focus sometimes.

I love the idea of the 40mm because it's looks so light and small. If I'm understanding reviews correctly, it seems like it focuses pretty fast too? Can anyone share their experiences with this lens's focus speed as compared to the 35mm, 50mm or the Tamron above?

Now the 35mm is tempting because it's closer to a normal focal length and a macro lens as well. Plus it looks so pretty. However, it seems like it's slow to focus due to it's macro-ness. How slow is it? Has anyone found it cumbersome while trying to focus in say a situation like a low lit apartment? Also, since the dogs often want to be close to me it would be nice to have such a close focusing lens.

I've seen some great shots with both of these lenses, so I have no doubt that they will both produce nice photos... I just don't know if the focusing speed difference between the two is really going to be a problem.

I seem to be finding different pros to each of these lenses so I'm torn. Opinions?

06-24-2008, 09:58 AM   #2
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I know what you mean about dogs. They either come right up into your face or get scared by the camera. Not sure what it is that gets them... maybe just the fact that your face is masked. I do think you have targeted the right focal range. Last shots I did of dogs were at 40 and 45mm with the DA16-45.

I would favour the DA35 with its close focus. Also I think the DA40 is pushing miniaturisation a bit far. Even the FA43 is small enough for me... would prefer a bit more focus ring space. But I don't have either of the lenses you are comparing so I cannot speak to the focus speed.
06-24-2008, 10:06 AM   #3
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Me neither - I do have the 43 which is a comfortable length for the doggies, but I'd like to focus a bit closer. Had it been available when I got the 43, I'd be very tempted to get the 35 macro instead, not for macros but for the ability to keep on focusing as the doggie sticks his nose into the filter....

Since both your zooms cover the range you're interested in (and I don't know which one focuses closer: use that one for this test), I'd suggest setting it first to 35 and then to 40 and not zooming from there. See which one works better, and how often the close focus is useful.

I'm curious about the *relative* focus speed of the 35, in relation to the zooms. It may be a slow poke compared to a speedy prime, but very comparable to a zoom's quickness?
06-24-2008, 10:21 AM   #4
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If you look at the distance from infinity to 1 meter on the DA35 macro's focusing ring, the focus throw is very short, so I don't think you have to worry very much about focus speed. I think the DA35 has the edge because it is a macro (flat field corrected), focuses much closer and has a wider FOV compared to the DA40.

06-24-2008, 01:33 PM   #5
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i own both the 40mm and the 35mm and they're both lovely. t

i don't use AF enough to comment on focus speed - in the worst case the 35 is probably worse because it has more of a range to hunt through, but on average it might be as fast or faster.

the 40mm does have the issue of not giving you much to hold onto (especially with the thin and close-to-the-body focus ring), but it's delightfully compact, and if you use manual focus on non-super-close subjects it has a longer focus throw in that area. it's generally cheaper, and seems better designed for work as a normal lens, and, subjectively, i find the bokeh a bit more pleasant. the compactness is also not to be underestimated, if you ever want to be inconspicuous (the weight difference is noticeable, but less of a big deal compared to the weight of your camera).

the screw on hood of the 40mm gets some complaints but it does have the convenient benefit of being something you can leave on all the time that is pretty good at shielding the front element from accidental contact, if you're clumsy like me (with the 35mm, especially for close shots, i feel like i need a filter, and judging from what's happened to my filter i think my feelings were right). with the 40 you will want to replace the little screw-on cap with a third party snap on cap as soon as possible, though.

i love the 35's focal length, and i love that it lets me get as close as i want to the target, but if you don't mind going a little longer and don't have a closeup fixation the 40mm strikes me as a better all-around package, although if you already have a 50 you might want to err for something wide.

(note also that the 35 is a perfectly good close-focusing lens, but if you want to do a lot of serious 1:1 shooting you're probably better served by something longer).

really, given your needs, it sounds like the FA35 (or the FA31, if you can scrape together the cash for it) is more what you want - i know the FA35 isn't a limited but it has quite a good reputation (although i admit i have no experience), and in any of case, with their faster max apertures and normal-ish fields of view, these two lenses seem well-suited to indoor work (especially with fast-moving subjects like dogs, where a high shutter speed may be a necessity).
06-24-2008, 01:36 PM   #6
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The DA 40ltd is a fantastic lens, and it does focus faster than the DA 35ltd, however the 35 is sharper at most distances below infinity, and has a better FOV.

But, I see from your sig that you don't yet own a real macro lens - that would be the deciding factor for me, personally, to go with the 35. Although you'll be shooting moving dogs a lot, you won't exclusively be shooting moving dogs, you may occasionally want to be shooting moving insects, or the pollen on a bee's legs. Or something a bit wider than the 40 can give you.

Id vote for the DA 35. Actually, I'd vote for owning both, but I'm in the thrall of limiteds now, so there's no helping me.

06-24-2008, 03:55 PM   #7
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Thanks to everyone who chimed in so far.

I definitely can't get both. The 35mm is pushing it as it is.

I think I might walk around with one of my zooms set to the two focal lengths and see if one suits me better than the other...

jsherman999, is the focusing speed on the 40mm faster by a good amount or is it a negligible difference?

And a question about the 35mm... does it AF at close focusing distance or does one tend to have to go manual at that point?

I'm still torn between the two, but I'll happily read more opinions about these two lenses.

Edited to add:

Anything macro that I would be doing would probably be flowers and other objects... not bugs. They creep me out.

Last edited by boushh; 06-24-2008 at 03:59 PM. Reason: Added info...

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