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07-04-2016, 08:12 AM   #16
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There are also Soviet lenses. Cheap, but still MF... And not that fast

07-04-2016, 09:04 AM   #17
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Agreeing with others about the impossibility of the proposition, but would have to say the best option is the Pentax FA 35 f/2 which is fairly sharp into the corners wide open on APS-c. Even the expensive, fast 30-35mm lenses are not terribly usable wide open. So, comparing them to the FA 35 at f/2 for overall sharpness and depth, most often the FA 35 will be competitive or superior. You probably can find one used in great shape for under $300.
07-04-2016, 09:06 AM   #18
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The FA 35/2 can be had for 225ish used on ebay if you are patient. (I got mine for 215). Not quiet as fast as you wanted and not quiet as cheap as you wanted. But it performs well. AF is very fast and good build quality.

The sigma 30 1.4 can be had in the same 225-250 price range. It gives you the aperature you want. But as mentioned it really is only sharp in the center at any aperature. And again a bit more expensive.

You could get a mitakon 35/2 close to your budget. But its MF and stop down metering. Also the lebs coating sucks and thus it flares heavily compared to something like the FA 35/2.

In short, youll have to spend a bit more to get the oens you want.
07-04-2016, 09:19 AM   #19
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The Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC EX HSM can produce some impressive images and unlike some others here I include landscapes, when stopped down. In fact I've been stunned by it's performance and if I go out with just a single lens and my K5iis it's now probably the Sigma 30/1.4.

07-04-2016, 09:40 AM   #20
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Of course there is another option. The sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 (also not under $200 and Digitalis hates it too )
07-04-2016, 01:29 PM   #21
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Some of you are mentioning really good prices for a FA 35mm f2.0. Such low prices are rather unrealistic in my region, but I guess it depends on your locality. So if you can get it for under $300, its a good option
07-04-2016, 03:54 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Such low prices are rather unrealistic in my region
The OP lives in Croatia. So I assume you could probably double or triple the price what we pay here in America No?
07-04-2016, 04:12 PM - 1 Like   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Driline Quote
The OP lives in Croatia. So I assume you could probably double or triple the price what we pay here in America No?
Most likely. And the wages are 1/3 as high, so its a double-whammy. Honestly, I don't get why there is such a big difference in Pentax prices across the world. It can't be just taxes and duties. I often find it cheaper to order things from Germany. Sometimes I could even order from US, pay the high shipping costs for the long journey and even import duties, and still get a similar total price as the local stores offer. Regarding Pentax, biggest differences were with the FA lenses, like FA limiteds and FA 50mm, FA 35mm. I admit its a bit wonkey, though. US prices have risen, and some lenses have gone way up in price over there, but have remained constant over here.
Eh, I'll stop complaining now..

07-04-2016, 04:22 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Driline Quote
The OP lives in Croatia. So I assume you could probably double or triple the price what we pay here in America No?
Yup. You could add another zero, almost.

Anyway thank you all for the feedback. I knew it was a long shot, but I wanted to check if there were any 30-35mm primes I wasn't aware of. I guess my best bet is to get yet another Sigma lens: The 30mm f1.4
Sharpness is really not a big issue for me when it comes to this particual prime's use; Dark night clubs. All I want from the lens is the most light gathered for the least money and a useful range. My Sigma trinity is here for when sharpness is key. I just find it infuriating that Pentax doesn't have a cheap plastic 30mm f1.8, as Canikon does. Someday perhaps..

Thanks again

Last edited by Rayn; 07-04-2016 at 04:39 PM.
07-04-2016, 04:55 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by D1N0 Quote
The sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 (also not under $200 and Digitalis hates it too)

Optically I consider the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 to thoroughly outclass the Sigma 30mm f/1.4. the biggest issue is the 18-35mm f/1.8 has focusing and QC issues that cannot be remedied by the user alone.

---------- Post added 2016-07-05 at 10:26 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Rayn Quote
Pentax doesn't have a cheap plastic 30mm f1.8, as Canikon does
Neither Canon nor Nikon offer any cheap plastic 30mm f/1.8 lenses, the closest are the 35mm f/2~f/1.8 class lenses both of which command prices well over $200
07-04-2016, 08:32 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kozlok Quote
I know Digitalis hates the Sigma 30/1.4, but I like mine. It's practically useless for landscapes at any aperture, but quite nice for taking pictures of "things", near the center of the frame, and having the background nicely washed out. It's my go-to for indoors family gatherings.
Not good at landscapes?



Seems ok to me. Sure, using it at f8 isnt why you carry such a fast lens, but it still performs reasonably well stopped down.

But I actually largely agree with your post - digitalis has a long running dislike of the 30mm Sigma, and wide open, he has a point - but few very fast lenses are going to offer corner-to-corner sharpness when wide open, and none in the OPs price range. As a lens it is a good performer, and at its regular price it presents some incredibly good value. If you want $1000 lens performance out of a 30mm prime, go buy the FA 31mm. If that is a little too rich for your blood then the Sigma is here for you, and it lives up to the promise of good performance at a great price.

Realistically, based on the OP's requirements (and the fact he already has the DA 35), the Sigma 30mm is the only game in town.
07-05-2016, 12:26 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
And there is a good reason that lens is cheap on the second hand market: optically that lens is only sharp in the center - and soft everywhere else....at all apertures. Not much difference from a lensbaby.
Interesting. I'll have to look at some of my images. I haven't used my copy of this lens for a couple of years. The reviews on here seem to point to sharpness being a feature of the lens.
07-05-2016, 11:23 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by GodsPetMonkey Quote
Not good at landscapes?



Seems ok to me. Sure, using it at f8 isnt why you carry such a fast lens, but it still performs reasonably well stopped down.

But I actually largely agree with your post - digitalis has a long running dislike of the 30mm Sigma, and wide open, he has a point - but few very fast lenses are going to offer corner-to-corner sharpness when wide open, and none in the OPs price range. As a lens it is a good performer, and at its regular price it presents some incredibly good value. If you want $1000 lens performance out of a 30mm prime, go buy the FA 31mm. If that is a little too rich for your blood then the Sigma is here for you, and it lives up to the promise of good performance at a great price.

Realistically, based on the OP's requirements (and the fact he already has the DA 35), the Sigma 30mm is the only game in town.
To some extent, GodsPetMonkey's image shows what many don't like about the lens. If you zoom in, the plants right along the edge are quite a bit softer than those 1/4 of the way in the frame. I'm not a sharpness fiend, I think your image is quite nice, but that's what people complain about.
07-05-2016, 02:55 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kozlok Quote
To some extent, GodsPetMonkey's image shows what many don't like about the lens. If you zoom in, the plants right along the edge are quite a bit softer than those 1/4 of the way in the frame. I'm not a sharpness fiend, I think your image is quite nice, but that's what people complain about.
Sure, the Sigma isn't what I reach for when I want wall-to-wall sharpness (keeping in mind no lens is going to offer perfect sharpness across the frame), but unless you are a fanatical pixel peeper the black and white proposition that the Sigma has soft edges and is therefore unusable just doesn't apply. If I was to be self critical, you can really notice the softness in the extreme bottom right corner - but meh, on a trip to Uluru with crappy weather the sun decided to poke out while I had the Sigma on my body, giving that lovely mottling effect. I got 2 quick shots of it before deciding to swap to a more landscape orientated lens, by which time the effect had almost disappeared. It is a shot I would happily print, and I would feel for anyone who picks on the corner softness as they are missing the real feature of the photo.

But to give everyone a frame of reference, here is a similar shot with a HD 16-85mm:



Clinically better? Sure is. But for a $200 lens known to sacrifice edge IQ for speed the Sigma does remarkably well.

But random landscape opportunities is not why I brought the Sigma along, low light and subject isolation is its forte:



Now, you don't need to pixel peep in this image to see the lens' weakness, check out the coma on the left and right edges, it is quite noticeable to about 1/8 of the frame in. But I think it is a good shot of an interesting scene - I'll worry about that coma next time I am cataloguing brick walls.
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