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07-20-2008, 11:39 AM   #1
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FA 35 or DA 35?

I want to get a general walk around lens for the K100D to go along with my 50 f/1.4, and since I'm not much of a wide angle or landscape shooter, the 35mm range seems a good fit. Now comes the question, DA or FA?

Aside from the closer macro focusing abilities, is the new DA 35 ($540,adorama) objectively that much better than the FA ($300, adorama) for "normal" (non-macro) image quality?
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07-20-2008, 12:50 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by FHPhotographer Quote

Aside from the closer macro focusing abilities, is the new DA 35 ($540,adorama)
prodigital2000 = USD ~$390 - 20% cash back through live.com/ebay/paypal + USD ~$16 shipping (from Canada)... so the price is almost the same as for FA 35/2.0
07-20-2008, 01:57 PM   #3
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deej......
thanks, I'll check it out, but the question remains, is the DA better than the FA in non-macro areas?
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07-20-2008, 02:43 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by FHPhotographer Quote
deej......
thanks, I'll check it out, but the question remains, is the DA better than the FA in non-macro areas?
FHP
in general on average (w/ less efforts, in most cases) you should get a better oof with diaphragms made of 9 blades (DA 35/2.8 Macro) vs 6 blades (FA 35/2.0)

contrast - the wider you open 'em - the better contrast should be in general from DA vs FA...

FA is more or less as sharp as DA @ equal apertures and FA is one usable (still good sharpness @ 2.0) stop wider.

07-20-2008, 02:48 PM   #5
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I do agree with previous poster but another thing to consider are chromatic aberations, there DA beats FA.
So sum it up:
FA is one stop faster, has no macro capability (which means maybe bit faster AF in non macro situations) has fewer blades, is not all metal hard choice, I'd say it really depends what you want it for...
07-20-2008, 04:23 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
I do agree with previous poster but another thing to consider are chromatic aberations, there DA beats FA.
So sum it up:
FA is one stop faster, has no macro capability (which means maybe bit faster AF in non macro situations) has fewer blades, is not all metal hard choice, I'd say it really depends what you want it for...
axl, I want a general walk-around-everything lens, and if it worked for macro as well, I'd be willing to pay for it (in this case about $200 for the DA).

But I'm surprised to find on other sites the general agreement that a macro lens cannot be as good from macro-to-infinity as a non-macro lens. This would mean that unless I have a specific need for macro, or just want to spend more to get an all-aluminum "limited" lens, I'm going to get better image quality for less money with the FA?

I am confused,
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07-20-2008, 04:36 PM   #7
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but if not macro then you can be tempted by DA40/2.8... (_SMALL_, 9 blades, limited, sharp, cheap - not as wide as 35s though)
07-20-2008, 04:40 PM   #8
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The DA35/2.8 is an excellent macro lens, and a very good lens for general shooting too. Mike Johnston from Photo.net hinted that this lens could be the greatest lens he's ever used:

Maturity in the World of Digital Photography - photo.net

You can find more about this from his blog on July 18th:
The Online Photographer: July 2008


Last edited by frank; 07-20-2008 at 04:46 PM.
07-20-2008, 06:28 PM   #9
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I bought the FA 35/2 because of price, because of demonstrated performance, because of the faster maximum aperture, and because it is a full-frame lens with a working aperture ring.

I have been extremely pleased with the FA 35's performance to date. While the body is plastic, the lens has a quality feel to it and all controls work smoothly. Surprisingly, the bokeh is not too bad for a lens with only 6 aperture blades. My only issue has been the lack of Quick-Shift focusing.

My opinion is that the strong points of the DA 35 as related to the FA 35 are:
  • Excellent build
  • Quick-Shift
  • Potentially better bokeh

No, macro did not make the list. The working distance at 35mm focal length is just too short (less than 0.5" at 1:1 magnification) for serious macro work.

My advice would be that if you have plenty of money to spend on lenses and find the points listed above strongly desirable, by all means buy the DA 35/2.8 ltd. It is a great lens with great build. You will not be disappointed.

Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 07-20-2008 at 06:42 PM.
07-20-2008, 06:38 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by FHPhotographer Quote
But I'm surprised to find on other sites the general agreement that a macro lens cannot be as good from macro-to-infinity as a non-macro lens.
Can this be true? I'd like to see references!

I know that many people use 100mm type macros for portraits and more at the long end, and that these are distortion free and sharp at any focal plane. That has been my experience, but I am not an expert, just a photographer.
07-20-2008, 06:49 PM   #11
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My take is, if you don't have a really specific reason to get the FA35, grab the DA35. The close focus ability is not to be underestimated. It makes this lens really fun.

And there's some satisfaction in owning something so nicely built.
07-20-2008, 07:32 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
Can this be true? I'd like to see references!

I know that many people use 100mm type macros for portraits and more at the long end, and that these are distortion free and sharp at any focal plane. That has been my experience, but I am not an expert, just a photographer.
From my personal experience (sigma 70mm f/2.8 EX macro on K10D), this seems to be partially true. IQ is outstanding from 1:1 to around 25-30 feet, but mediocre for landscape work and other situations involving focusing near infinity (quality at long range is similar to the kit lens). Not sure if this is generally true or just a specific problem with my lens/ af sensor.

What is the difference in focusing speed between the FA and DA 35mm? My sigma has a focus limiter which helps greatly in low light, but af is still slower than my other lenses in most instances. I've used it for shooting ski racing and basketball, the ski racing shots were excellent, basketball not so much (due to the slow af)
07-20-2008, 08:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FHPhotographer:
But I'm surprised to find on other sites the general agreement that a macro lens cannot be as good from macro-to-infinity as a non-macro lens.

QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote

Can this be true? I'd like to see references!
In theory, because of the floating internal elements common in many macro lenses, performance may vary relative to focus distance.

But...back to the point of references...

Actually, I would like to see references for many of the assertions on this thread! Can someone point me to a Web site where bench tests were done on the DA 35/2.8? I Goggle'd, but only came up with lens reviews...no objective tests similar to those done by photozone.de.

Steve
07-20-2008, 08:46 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by jt354 Quote
From my personal experience (sigma 70mm f/2.8 EX macro on K10D), this seems to be partially true. IQ is outstanding from 1:1 to around 25-30 feet, but mediocre for landscape work and other situations involving focusing near infinity (quality at long range is similar to the kit lens). Not sure if this is generally true or just a specific problem with my lens/ af sensor.
I have had similar experience with my Sigma 50/2.8 EX DG Macro. Performance past about 30 feet is so-so. Maybe this is just a Sigma thing?

Steve
07-20-2008, 08:53 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by frank Quote
The DA35/2.8 is an excellent macro lens, and a very good lens for general shooting too. Mike Johnston from Photo.net hinted that this lens could be the greatest lens he's ever used:

Maturity in the World of Digital Photography - photo.net

You can find more about this from his blog on July 18th:
The Online Photographer: July 2008


You know, this is quite significant. Mike Johnston has owned or tested hundreds
of top lenses over the years, maybe thousands. In his own modest, self-effacing
way, he's the top of the heap when it comes to.... well, everything to do with
lenses. It can be argued that his opinion of a lens is worth more than any other
one person's on the planet.

So it's almost a bit strange to me that he could say that about the DA 35ltd -
because it's truly a great lens... but not even the best lens I own. In my opinion.

And I think Carl Weese (his partner in crime on The Online Photographer) has had
a take similar to Mike's on the DA 35...

Here's what's been in the back of my head about this ever since I read him
hint at this a few months back - I wonder if he and Carl aren't getting
a bit blown away by that Samsung sensor in that loaned K20D they're using.

Since I upgraded from my K100D, I've just noticed that almost all my lenses
are slightly 'better' - very subtly so, but better. Skin tones and texture, the blend
of colors in the bokeh - all slightly better, to a degree that's hard to notice
consciously, but that just causes the images to 'pop' more in my brain.

It's not all attributable to the simple 6 --> 14MP upgrade - it's something new in
the way the sensor handles color and microcontrast.

So I wonder - is the DA 35ltd really the best lens he's ever owned, or is it more
likely that the DA 35 + K20D combo is one of the best he's ever shot, and
he's attributing it all to the lens?

EDIT: starting this question in a new thread, sorry to hijack. Carry on.

.
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