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03-09-2017, 03:14 AM   #1
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Please give me reasons to buy a 35mm 2.4 (or not to)

Okay, it is LBA, I admit it at the first place to avoid hiding from myself so I recently came back from a trip to Portugal, trying to bring all of my 3 autofocus lenses (DA 18-135, DA 40ltd and Sigma 30 Ex Dc), reviewing my photos taken there, and while I'm quite happy with the results, I stil have some amateur questions that may be some of you could help to enlighten me

- I went to the Santa Justa Tower of Lisbon, trying to take thousands of panoramic photos there with both the DA 18-135 and DA 40ltd, It turned out that most of the keepers are taken by the zoom, not the prime, not because of the focal length but I prefer the sharpness and colour from the 18-135. For example here is the photo taken by the 18-135 PIC_2359 | Duc Hien Bui | Flickr and this is the 40 PIC_2384 | Duc Hien Bui | Flickr both at f8 and ISO 100, straight out from camera. Perharps it was the problem of focus, metering or my hands, or problem with my bad eyes?

- For night shots, I am not fully happy with both the DA 40 and Sigma 30, the DA 40 is a bit too narrow, there are a lot of small streets and corners there, it was difficult to use 40mm focal lenghth. Meanwhile the Sigma 30, while being perfect focal length speaking, was on-off. For every flat images without a main subject, for example a big square, or a panoramic landscape, it was soft and flat (again, I know this lens is not born for shots like that), I ended up shooting mostly at f4 and iso 1600 to keep the images sharp enough, effectively eliminating the advantage of its speed.

So I'm wondering if I should purchase a new lens to compensate for both of them for my next trip? A lens that is at the same time wide enough, fast enough, sharp enough, light enough and cheap enough than the weaknesses of those 2 lenses (it may not even exist I know), for example the DA 35mm 2.4? It is really sanity when I want the DA 35 while having already the 30 and 40? Or is there a more reasonable option? Can a manual lens like the A 28 2.8 or M 28 3.5 work? If not I will forget about that and have fun with my current gear anyway.

Edit: what is your opinion of the DA 21ltd? Is it sharp enough from f3.2 for night shots? I don't want to use a tripod, walking around with the family, I don't have much time to setup a shot, just a quick snap :-)


Thank you and bonne journée à tout


Last edited by Bui; 03-09-2017 at 03:57 AM. Reason: Add one more question
03-09-2017, 03:45 AM - 2 Likes   #2
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Reason to buy:

Small, light, very good optical quality, very cheap.

Reason not to buy:

Quite slot maximum aperture, just about half a stop advantage compared to a f/2.8 zoom (really rather disappointing for a 35 mm prime lens)

I don't see the point in buying the DA 35 if you already have the Sigma 30.
03-09-2017, 03:49 AM - 1 Like   #3
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DA 21 is sharp enough for night shots if you use a tripod...
03-09-2017, 04:03 AM   #4
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The 40 is superior to the 18-135, it shows in the images you uploaded too, it is crisper. I am not sure what you do not like about it, perhaps the shallower depth of field? Since you have the 40 you wont need the 35. Other than that the 35 is a very nice lens.

03-09-2017, 04:28 AM - 7 Likes   #5
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I have never owned the DA 40 nor the 18-135, but I did use the DA 35 f2.4 for quite a while. It was my first improvement over the kit lens and I used it as my go-to lens for almost two years. I have found out that 35mm is a very flexible focal length on APS-C, suitable for portraits, landscapes, street photography and even birding I'm not sure if you need it since you already have the Sigma 30 and the DA 40. If I were you, I would try to make the best with what I have, zooming with my feet and choosing my light carefully. Probably you don't need it, but the price is so low that you cannot really go wrong if you decide to buy it. I have decided to sell mine when I got the Sigma 35mm Art, which is a better lens but also quite a different price tag.

Few samples from my side below, you can click on the photos for technical details.

Landscape:






Cityscape:




Portrait:






Street photography:




Close-ups:






Birding (kind of... I chased this raven for like an hour to get this shot):
03-09-2017, 05:31 AM - 2 Likes   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bui Quote
So I'm wondering if I should purchase a new lens to compensate for both of them for my next trip? A lens that is at the same time wide enough, fast enough, sharp enough, light enough and cheap enough than the weaknesses of those 2 lenses (it may not even exist I know), for example the DA 35mm 2.4? It is really sanity when I want the DA 35 while having already the 30 and 40? Or is there a more reasonable option? Can a manual lens like the A 28 2.8 or M 28 3.5 work? If not I will forget about that and have fun with my current gear anyway.
DA 35mm f2.4 was my first Pentax AF prime. At first, it was only a little better than the DA 18-55mm, but then I learned how to use it properly and now I get consistently good photos from it. I bought it back when it was not so cheap, and I don't regret it. You can find it for such low prices these days, that it is almost criminal if you don' have a 35mm prime
I have DA 40mm XS. To me, DA 35mm and DA 40mm XS are just.. different. 5 degrees in FoV is a difference, but not a bit one. A bigger difference is the overall character of the image. Different colours, contrasts, bokeh. I use the DA 35mm f2.4 a lot more, mostly because it is a little wider.
I also bought an M 28mm f2.8. To me, 28mm on APSC is a great FoV. It is more useable than DA 35mm when you are in tight cities or indoors. If you get a 28mm, I recommend you get one with A setting on aperture ring. The Pentax 28mm lenses are pretty good. Yes, it is not as sharp as the DA 35mm, but it is sharp enough, and if you shoot raw and do some PP, the 28mm can produce really sharp images, too. It is too bad Pentax has no 24mm, 28mm primes in the lineup right now.

QuoteOriginally posted by Bui Quote
Edit: what is your opinion of the DA 21ltd? Is it sharp enough from f3.2 for night shots? I don't want to use a tripod, walking around with the family, I don't have much time to setup a shot, just a quick snap :-)
I recently got the DA 21mm, too. Basically, you are thinking exactly along the lines I did lol DA 21mm is a new favourite of mine. The FoV is great, its colours and contrasts are amazing (a little better than DA 40mm, and a little more better than the DA 35mm). To me, DA 35mm might be a little sharper than the DA 21mm at some apertures (but equally sharp at some others). Usually I shoot at f8 to get max DoF and sharpness, but I notice that the DA 21mm is actually sharper around f4. I'm still learning with the DA 21mm and I like it a lot. It is not brutally super sharp, but it is more than sharp enough, and it has amazing lens character. And it is super compact! The main problem with DA 21mm for me was the price, but with the help of a friendly forum user, I got a nice used copy at a reasonable price.

So... yes, get all of those focal lengths. Make a list of priorities and prices that you are willing to pay, then look at websites like ebay or the marketplace on these forums until you find a lens that fits those priorities and cost, then bid on it. If you are a wide angle shooter, you will eventually get all of them, after some months, years. You have to start somewhere
DA 35mm is a good place to start due to its price and sharpness. DA 21mm is a good place to go due to its great FoV and character. 28mm is good, too, but you will have difficulty finding one with AF (rumour has it Pentax will release a prime between 20mm and 28mm sometime next year)
I don't have experience with the Sigma 30mm, but I have read very mixed reviews. Personally, I think I would sell it to fund a 28mm lens, unless I was really using f1.4 all the time (the main selling point of that Sigma lens is fast aperture). For me, DA 35mm is the most used "wide angle" prime, only recently being rivaled by the DA 21mm.

Last edited by Na Horuk; 03-09-2017 at 05:39 AM.
03-09-2017, 05:46 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by FantasticMrFox Quote
Reason to buy:

Small, light, very good optical quality, very cheap.

Reason not to buy:

Quite slot maximum aperture, just about half a stop advantage compared to a f/2.8 zoom (really rather disappointing for a 35 mm prime lens)

I don't see the point in buying the DA 35 if you already have the Sigma 30.
Yeah, if I buy the DA 35 I probably have to do a shootout between it and the Sigma and sell 1 of them. But then again there is a DA 40 too. Probably you're right

---------- Post added 03-09-17 at 05:49 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by climit Quote
The 40 is superior to the 18-135, it shows in the images you uploaded too, it is crisper. I am not sure what you do not like about it, perhaps the shallower depth of field? Since you have the 40 you wont need the 35. Other than that the 35 is a very nice lens.
I can't explain. I don't do pixel peeper nor do I care too much about things like distortion, CA, etc unless they're too obvious. I always jugde an image base on my feeling of colour and light in that image. If you think that the image of the 40 is better, then everything is ok, I just want to be sure my 40 is not a bad copy

---------- Post added 03-09-17 at 05:51 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Hattifnatt Quote
I have never owned the DA 40 nor the 18-135, but I did use the DA 35 f2.4 for quite a while. It was my first improvement over the kit lens and I used it as my go-to lens for almost two years. I have found out that 35mm is a very flexible focal length on APS-C, suitable for portraits, landscapes, street photography and even birding I'm not sure if you need it since you already have the Sigma 30 and the DA 40. If I were you, I would try to make the best with what I have, zooming with my feet and choosing my light carefully. Probably you don't need it, but the price is so low that you cannot really go wrong if you decide to buy it. I have decided to sell mine when I got the Sigma 35mm Art, which is a better lens but also quite a different price tag.

Few samples from my side below, you can click on the photos for technical details.
Wow, great great photos. I must say, this is mostly due to your photography skill than anything, because I don't think I can make such great photos, even with the 31Ltd. So maybe I should concern less about gear and more about my skill. But then again, how to get rid of LBA?

---------- Post added 03-09-17 at 05:58 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
DA 35mm f2.4 was my first Pentax AF prime. At first, it was only a little better than the DA 18-55mm, but then I learned how to use it properly and now I get consistently good photos from it. I bought it back when it was not so cheap, and I don't regret it. You can find it for such low prices these days, that it is almost criminal if you don' have a 35mm prime
I have DA 40mm XS. To me, DA 35mm and DA 40mm XS are just.. different. 5 degrees in FoV is a difference, but not a bit one. A bigger difference is the overall character of the image. Different colours, contrasts, bokeh. I use the DA 35mm f2.4 a lot more, mostly because it is a little wider.
I also bought an M 28mm f2.8. To me, 28mm on APSC is a great FoV. It is more useable than DA 35mm when you are in tight cities or indoors. If you get a 28mm, I recommend you get one with A setting on aperture ring. The Pentax 28mm lenses are pretty good. Yes, it is not as sharp as the DA 35mm, but it is sharp enough, and if you shoot raw and do some PP, the 28mm can produce really sharp images, too. It is too bad Pentax has no 24mm, 28mm primes in the lineup right now.


I recently got the DA 21mm, too. Basically, you are thinking exactly along the lines I did lol DA 21mm is a new favourite of mine. The FoV is great, its colours and contrasts are amazing (a little better than DA 40mm, and a little more better than the DA 35mm). To me, DA 35mm might be a little sharper than the DA 21mm at some apertures (but equally sharp at some others). Usually I shoot at f8 to get max DoF and sharpness, but I notice that the DA 21mm is actually sharper around f4. I'm still learning with the DA 21mm and I like it a lot. It is not brutally super sharp, but it is more than sharp enough, and it has amazing lens character. And it is super compact! The main problem with DA 21mm for me was the price, but with the help of a friendly forum user, I got a nice used copy at a reasonable price.

So... yes, get all of those focal lengths. Make a list of priorities and prices that you are willing to pay, then look at websites like ebay or the marketplace on these forums until you find a lens that fits those priorities and cost, then bid on it. If you are a wide angle shooter, you will eventually get all of them, after some months, years. You have to start somewhere
DA 35mm is a good place to start due to its price and sharpness. DA 21mm is a good place to go due to its great FoV and character. 28mm is good, too, but you will have difficulty finding one with AF (rumour has it Pentax will release a prime between 20mm and 28mm sometime next year)
I don't have experience with the Sigma 30mm, but I have read very mixed reviews. Personally, I think I would sell it to fund a 28mm lens, unless I was really using f1.4 all the time (the main selling point of that Sigma lens is fast aperture). For me, DA 35mm is the most used "wide angle" prime, only recently being rivaled by the DA 21mm.
Thank you for your very thoughtful comment. I bought the Sigma 30 for catching my daughter indoor, I brought it with my during last trip because the 30mm focal length and its speed are very tempting, but obviously it is not a perfect street and landscape lens. I've already own a Pentax A28 2.8 but I never really use it at night. In months I think I will surely get a DA 21mm, but for now I'm looking mostly for a night lens shooting, do you think it is sharp enough at f3/2 to do it?
03-09-2017, 06:55 AM - 4 Likes   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bui Quote
Wow, great great photos. I must say, this is mostly due to your photography skill than anything, because I don't think I can make such great photos, even with the 31Ltd. So maybe I should concern less about gear and more about my skill. But then again, how to get rid of LBA?
Thank you, you are too kind. I don't think it's really that hard to make relatively good photos, I just pay attention to a few details:

- used a sturdy tripod for all landscape shots coupled with 2 seconds delay function; this automatically activates MLU to reduce mirror vibrations;
- used contrast AF in live view when shooting from a tripod to get rid of back/front focus issues;
- always shoot RAW;
- used the histogram to check my exposure; when I have highlights worth considering, I push the histogram to left and recover shadows in post-processing; otherwise I try to push it to the right;
- disabled shutter half-press to focus and instead used the back AF button and manually select the focus point;
- tried to respect the rule of the thirds as much as possible (actually it's the only composition rule that I know so I try to stick to it);
- avoid the middle of the day for taking pics and instead I try to shoot at sunset or dawn.

I don't think you can ever get rid of LBA On the other hand, when I get a new lens I feel more motivated to go out and take some pictures, so maybe there is a silver lining to it.

03-09-2017, 09:24 AM - 1 Like   #9
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I love my DA 35 2.4 but I don't think it will add anything to your setup, to be honest.

If you are unhappy with your Sigma 30mm pictures that don't have a clear subject defined, to me that can mean two possible things:

1. You don't like that FOV for street, in which case trying a DA 21mm Limited might make sense; or
2. You need to work on your composition skills and/or your post-processing skills. Pictures without a clearly defined subject are hard composition-wise because you depend on creating points of interest, pay attention to geometrical shapes and vanishing points, and get rid of distractions and things that don't completely fit in the frame. You also need to take pictures that engage the viewer by either having the picture tell a story, or by having the elements of the picture compliment one another, or compliment a chosen subject. It can be hard work and most of the stuff I post ends up not being these kinds of pictures, because I'm usually not happy with the stuff I come up with. Unique subjects are just so much easier... and I do this mostly as a relaxing hobby.

Having said all that, I do find the 35mm focal range on APS-C to be easier to compose than 30mm, just because there's naturally less in the frame. 21mm is even harder. And I haven't had a 40mm lens yet...

I could be off the mark here but I thought it was something worth thinking about.
03-09-2017, 10:23 AM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bui Quote
- I went to the Santa Justa Tower of Lisbon, trying to take thousands of panoramic photos there with both the DA 18-135 and DA 40ltd, It turned out that most of the keepers are taken by the zoom, not the prime, not because of the focal length but I prefer the sharpness and colour from the 18-135. For example here is the photo taken by the 18-135 PIC_2359 | Duc Hien Bui | Flickr and this is the 40 PIC_2384 | Duc Hien Bui | Flickr both at f8 and ISO 100, straight out from camera. Perharps it was the problem of focus, metering or my hands, or problem with my bad eyes?
Judging from the examples you posted, the 40ltd shot just seems to be underexposed compared to the zoom lens shot, so the latter pops a little more, because there's a broader color palette. Other than that it's really hard to tell what might let you think the 40ltd would have performed worse. Stopped down to f8 almost all modern lenses should be able to give you a photo that's technically ok. The rest is about how you handle it. I don't want to be too rude, but in the image you posted as a somewhat underwhelming example for the 40ltd, the lens probably wasn't too much of a factor.

Hattifnatt's photos are simply well done, thought through and deliberately post-processed photographs. I guess he/she could have gotten comparable results with the 40ltd, the Sigma or the zoom lens, too, if it offered the aperture needed for a shot.

I'd say keep an eye out for how your camera meters with the 40ltd, or better take control of it yourself, focus on composition, find a jpeg-setting in your camera that you like, alter it until you like it even more or try postprocessing your RAW-images when you think that you're still not quite there.

On the other hand, the 35mm 2.4 is so cheap, you should just buy it (even if it's just to realize that all the above still applies )
03-09-2017, 11:08 AM - 1 Like   #11
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Looking at the series at full zoom here is what I see:
- The DA 40 pics are better than the 18-135. No question. The 40 has better contrast, micro-contrast, slightly better color. Most importantly better edge to edge sharpness. For Pano stitching I would use the 40 over the 18-135 all day long.
- Some differences in exposure may make the 18-135 look better in the out of the camera JPEGs, but post-processed the 40 pics will look better.
- The edge to edge sharpness of the 18-135 shots are not as good as the 40 shots. It may have some field curvature characteristics that may require careful focusing to overcome.
- The left edge of the 18-135 shots look slightly softer than the right edge. Could be a combination of field curvature and the geometry of the cityscape, or slight de-centering.

For the night shots with the Siggy:
- I think the main problem here is slow shutter speeds and high ISO are giving you soft mushy shots.
- The Siggy will be soft at the edges close to wide open. It will be better stopped down of course, but then you need a tripod.
- The Sig 30 EX is really a portrait, wide-portrait lens to shoot wide-open. Stopped down in the daytime it can be used as a walkaround. But it is not suited to night shots like this.
- DA 21 (SMC version) on a tripod (even a compact light duty one) is going to give you best results for these kinds of night shots in my opinion.

Last edited by caliscouser; 03-09-2017 at 11:15 AM.
03-09-2017, 11:37 AM - 2 Likes   #12
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Personally I think if 40 is too narrow, 30 may not be wide enough either.

So why not consider the DA 20-40 Limited Zoom? It's f/2.8 at the 20mm end, and makes really good pictures. It also is the only WR Limited...

It isn't as small as the DA 21, I've seen some people say it doesn't have the same character but no one seems to argue about the sharpness. I like the lens, and while I do not have the DA 21, I do have the FA 35, FA 31, DA 40 and previously owned the DA 35 f/2.4.
03-09-2017, 12:28 PM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bui Quote
Okay, it is LBA, I admit it at the first place to avoid hiding from myself so I recently came back from a trip to Portugal, trying to bring all of my 3 autofocus lenses (DA 18-135, DA 40ltd and Sigma 30 Ex Dc), reviewing my photos taken there, and while I'm quite happy with the results, I stil have some amateur questions that may be some of you could help to enlighten me

- I went to the Santa Justa Tower of Lisbon, trying to take thousands of panoramic photos there with both the DA 18-135 and DA 40ltd, It turned out that most of the keepers are taken by the zoom, not the prime, not because of the focal length but I prefer the sharpness and colour from the 18-135. For example here is the photo taken by the 18-135 PIC_2359 | Duc Hien Bui | Flickr and this is the 40 PIC_2384 | Duc Hien Bui | Flickr both at f8 and ISO 100, straight out from camera. Perharps it was the problem of focus, metering or my hands, or problem with my bad eyes?

- For night shots, I am not fully happy with both the DA 40 and Sigma 30, the DA 40 is a bit too narrow, there are a lot of small streets and corners there, it was difficult to use 40mm focal lenghth. Meanwhile the Sigma 30, while being perfect focal length speaking, was on-off. For every flat images without a main subject, for example a big square, or a panoramic landscape, it was soft and flat (again, I know this lens is not born for shots like that), I ended up shooting mostly at f4 and iso 1600 to keep the images sharp enough, effectively eliminating the advantage of its speed.

So I'm wondering if I should purchase a new lens to compensate for both of them for my next trip? A lens that is at the same time wide enough, fast enough, sharp enough, light enough and cheap enough than the weaknesses of those 2 lenses (it may not even exist I know), for example the DA 35mm 2.4? It is really sanity when I want the DA 35 while having already the 30 and 40? Or is there a more reasonable option? Can a manual lens like the A 28 2.8 or M 28 3.5 work? If not I will forget about that and have fun with my current gear anyway.

Edit: what is your opinion of the DA 21ltd? Is it sharp enough from f3.2 for night shots? I don't want to use a tripod, walking around with the family, I don't have much time to setup a shot, just a quick snap :-)


Thank you and bonne journée à tout
In your example pics, the 18-135 is starting to look a bit blurry on the left corner, while the 40 looks sharp across the board. I'm confused about your sharpness comment. The DA 40 and DA 35 2.4 are both very sharp and contrasty lenses, however the DA 40 is my all time favorite lens and does an incredible job with landscapes. I only pick my DA 35 (with added hood) over the 40 when using an on-camera flash because it gives me something to hold onto. Another note about the 40 - it should be sharp across the frame even wide open. I just sold my M 28 3.5 that you mentioned - not that I wasn't happy with it, just that I finally acquired the K version and made it redundant. It's a great lens, but I don't see a large advantage over the 18-135 except for weight. The DA 40 is also one of the fastest focusing lenses that you can get in K mount... fast focusing, sharp across the frame at 2.8, extremely light... I'd say it's a winner except for you stating it's a bit too long of a focal length. If you want to spend the extra cash, the DA 35 isn't too big of an investment and those 5 less mm might just do the trick for you. It is also a fast focusing lens and has good border sharpness wide open, it just (to me) has more of a clinical look in comparison to the 40.

Finally, you're not crazy for wanting a 35 when you have a 30 and 40... every lens has its own uses and characteristics.
03-09-2017, 01:08 PM - 2 Likes   #14
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I think just buying more lenses instead of carrying out the technique suggestions of Hattifnat and others will probably be a disappointing and costly exercise, Bui.

They've given some great advice.

03-09-2017, 02:18 PM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hattifnatt Quote
Thank you, you are too kind. I don't think it's really that hard to make relatively good photos, I just pay attention to a few details:

- used a sturdy tripod for all landscape shots coupled with 2 seconds delay function; this automatically activates MLU to reduce mirror vibrations;
- used contrast AF in live view when shooting from a tripod to get rid of back/front focus issues;
- always shoot RAW;
- used the histogram to check my exposure; when I have highlights worth considering, I push the histogram to left and recover shadows in post-processing; otherwise I try to push it to the right;
- disabled shutter half-press to focus and instead used the back AF button and manually select the focus point;
- tried to respect the rule of the thirds as much as possible (actually it's the only composition rule that I know so I try to stick to it);
- avoid the middle of the day for taking pics and instead I try to shoot at sunset or dawn.

I don't think you can ever get rid of LBA On the other hand, when I get a new lens I feel more motivated to go out and take some pictures, so maybe there is a silver lining to it.
Thank you, while I already read a lot of times that concentrating on one's own skill is better (and cheaper) than buying gear, it is undeniable that it gives great pleasure everytime a new lens comes to my home but posts such as yours help me "'wake up'' and keep on learning.

---------- Post added 03-09-17 at 02:20 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
I love my DA 35 2.4 but I don't think it will add anything to your setup, to be honest.

If you are unhappy with your Sigma 30mm pictures that don't have a clear subject defined, to me that can mean two possible things:

1. You don't like that FOV for street, in which case trying a DA 21mm Limited might make sense; or
2. You need to work on your composition skills and/or your post-processing skills. Pictures without a clearly defined subject are hard composition-wise because you depend on creating points of interest, pay attention to geometrical shapes and vanishing points, and get rid of distractions and things that don't completely fit in the frame. You also need to take pictures that engage the viewer by either having the picture tell a story, or by having the elements of the picture compliment one another, or compliment a chosen subject. It can be hard work and most of the stuff I post ends up not being these kinds of pictures, because I'm usually not happy with the stuff I come up with. Unique subjects are just so much easier... and I do this mostly as a relaxing hobby.

Having said all that, I do find the 35mm focal range on APS-C to be easier to compose than 30mm, just because there's naturally less in the frame. 21mm is even harder. And I haven't had a 40mm lens yet...

I could be off the mark here but I thought it was something worth thinking about.
Merci beaucoup, in principal I have learnt some of those skills however it's a different story applying them to real photography. I need to practice more and worry less about lenses stuff.

---------- Post added 03-09-17 at 02:25 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Arvid Quote
Judging from the examples you posted, the 40ltd shot just seems to be underexposed compared to the zoom lens shot, so the latter pops a little more, because there's a broader color palette. Other than that it's really hard to tell what might let you think the 40ltd would have performed worse. Stopped down to f8 almost all modern lenses should be able to give you a photo that's technically ok. The rest is about how you handle it. I don't want to be too rude, but in the image you posted as a somewhat underwhelming example for the 40ltd, the lens probably wasn't too much of a factor.

Hattifnatt's photos are simply well done, thought through and deliberately post-processed photographs. I guess he/she could have gotten comparable results with the 40ltd, the Sigma or the zoom lens, too, if it offered the aperture needed for a shot.

I'd say keep an eye out for how your camera meters with the 40ltd, or better take control of it yourself, focus on composition, find a jpeg-setting in your camera that you like, alter it until you like it even more or try postprocessing your RAW-images when you think that you're still not quite there.

On the other hand, the 35mm 2.4 is so cheap, you should just buy it (even if it's just to realize that all the above still applies )
No you are right, I will try to do that. The example photos are terrible, I know, and not my best in the serie, I'm using them because they are more or less the same focal length and scene. But my skill limitation is still the biggest factor For the metering factor that you said, I've found my KS2 is a bit inconsistent with it, even with the same lens. Sometime I try to change the metering settings, sometimes I try to compensate some EV, but sometimes I just leave it like that

---------- Post added 03-09-17 at 02:30 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by caliscouser Quote
Looking at the series at full zoom here is what I see:
- The DA 40 pics are better than the 18-135. No question. The 40 has better contrast, micro-contrast, slightly better color. Most importantly better edge to edge sharpness. For Pano stitching I would use the 40 over the 18-135 all day long.
- Some differences in exposure may make the 18-135 look better in the out of the camera JPEGs, but post-processed the 40 pics will look better.
- The edge to edge sharpness of the 18-135 shots are not as good as the 40 shots. It may have some field curvature characteristics that may require careful focusing to overcome.
- The left edge of the 18-135 shots look slightly softer than the right edge. Could be a combination of field curvature and the geometry of the cityscape, or slight de-centering.

For the night shots with the Siggy:
- I think the main problem here is slow shutter speeds and high ISO are giving you soft mushy shots.
- The Siggy will be soft at the edges close to wide open. It will be better stopped down of course, but then you need a tripod.
- The Sig 30 EX is really a portrait, wide-portrait lens to shoot wide-open. Stopped down in the daytime it can be used as a walkaround. But it is not suited to night shots like this.
- DA 21 (SMC version) on a tripod (even a compact light duty one) is going to give you best results for these kinds of night shots in my opinion.
Great. I learn 1 or 2 things when it come to judging and choosing a photo. And a confirmation that it was not a problem of lenses but my eyes

---------- Post added 03-09-17 at 02:32 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Personally I think if 40 is too narrow, 30 may not be wide enough either.

So why not consider the DA 20-40 Limited Zoom? It's f/2.8 at the 20mm end, and makes really good pictures. It also is the only WR Limited...

It isn't as small as the DA 21, I've seen some people say it doesn't have the same character but no one seems to argue about the sharpness. I like the lens, and while I do not have the DA 21, I do have the FA 35, FA 31, DA 40 and previously owned the DA 35 f/2.4.
It's a bit expensive, and I'm not ready to get full potential from such a lens. Maybe in 6 months or so
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