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06-11-2017, 12:54 AM   #1
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Pentax SMC DA 35mm F2.4 AL as a walk around and trip lens

I have an 18-55mm zoom lens and a SMC DA 50mm F1.8 lens on my K30. Since I bought the 50mm lens, I rarely use the 18-55mm one.
I mostly use my camera for photography on my trips. The 50mm lens is a lovely lens, but it's too narrow for trip photography. I was thinking about buying a Pentax smc DA 35mm F2.4 AL lens to replace my 50mm lens. I wonder if the 35mm lens is a good one for such use cases? Is there a big difference between 50mm and 35mm angle of view? What other affordable lens do you recommend for trip photography?

06-11-2017, 01:06 AM - 1 Like   #2
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The optical quality of the DA 35 f/2.3 is top notch, close to that of the 35 macro LTD which cost 3x as much and that is saying something! Many people believe there is not much difference between in angle of view of 35mm against that of 50mm, but they are wrong. there is. You can do the test with your 18-55: set it to 50 and 35mm and see if the difference is enough for you. 35mm is 50mm on crop (give or take) and that is how many started...
If your budget is limited, then I think there or little alternatives, but even thenI think you can't go wrong with the 35 f/2.4!
06-11-2017, 01:09 AM - 1 Like   #3
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35mm angle of view on APS-C is roughly the same as 50mm on a full frame. This makes the 35mm roughly a "normal" lens on APS-C as far as field of view goes. I don't have the DA 35mm f2.4 AL but all reports say that it is a very good lens. Personally I find the 18-55mm does the job as a travel lens with a bit more flexibility. Your needs may differ.
06-11-2017, 01:16 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by PJ1 Quote
35mm angle of view on APS-C is roughly the same as 50mm on a full frame. This makes the 35mm roughly a "normal" lens on APS-C as far as field of view goes. I don't have the DA 35mm f2.4 AL but all reports say that it is a very good lens. Personally I find the 18-55mm does the job as a travel lens with a bit more flexibility. Your needs may differ.
That's right, 18-55mm does the job, but 50mm is far superior in terms of image quality. I only use the 18-55mm one under rainy conditions since that's my only weather sealed lens. Once I used it right under Niagara falls and shoot some lovely photos.

06-11-2017, 04:11 AM - 2 Likes   #5
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FWIW, a street photographer historically might choose either a 50mm or 35mm lens and shoot with nothing else, Galaxytab.

Now, that was on film, for your K-30 that would be either 35mm or 21mm.

Beyond that, no one can say, because we don't know your preferred subjects or shooting style.
06-11-2017, 04:21 AM - 1 Like   #6
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just for me, but I never really connected with the DA 35 (plastic fantastic) lens - I prefer either the DA 40 or the DA 21 as a 'normal' prime focal length....

but I also would not consider replacing my DA 50 with the 35 either - two completely different views...
06-11-2017, 04:25 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by galaxytab Quote
I wonder if the 35mm lens is a good one for such use cases? Is there a big difference between 50mm and 35mm angle of view? What other affordable lens do you recommend for trip photography?
Yes, I do a lot of my travel photos with the DA 35mm f2.4. Most of them (And i usually travel with 14mm, 35mm, 100mm, and one other random prime).
Yes, there is a noticeable difference between 35mm and 50mm.
Alternatives? DA 35mm f2.8 macro, but it costs a lot more. FA 35mm f2, practically the same optical design as the DA 35mm f2.4, quite popular, but not as affordable. F 28mm is a good lens, older, but its a bit wider and still sharp. DA 21mm is great, too. I got one not that long ago, and am using it quite a lot. Another alternative is the DA 40mm XS (and the Limited versions of this lens). There are lots of threads comparing DA 35mm f2.4 to DA 40mm XS. But if you already have 50mm, then it makes more sense to go for the 35mm.
IF you don't mind manual focus, you can also get Zeiss Flektogon 35mm (surprisingly affordable for Zeiss, even if its East German Zeiss. Decent lens, might need adapter) or Samyang 35mm (popular lens, very sharp, super fast aperture, but big and manual focus only).
You can get a used DA 35mm for low prices. Even a new one is not expensive. And if if you order from Japan, you can get it in special colours - in case your camera is not the usual black.

Here is a thread dedicated to the DA 35mm f2.4, just so you can see what it can be capable of in good hands:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/122-lens-clubs/196639-da35-f2-4-plastic-...c-club-65.html
And user reviews here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/lensreviews/SMC-Pentax-DA-L-35mm-F2.4-AL.html

tl; dr: Get the DA 35mm f2.4. I stopped using my kit lens after I got it. My first Pentax DA prime, don't regret it. Best alternative is DA 35mm f2.8 limited, gives you true macro, high optical correction, but a lot more expensive. FA 35mm f2 is another possibility, but its prices seem to be rather high lately, too high to justify it over the DA f2.4.

Last edited by Na Horuk; 06-11-2017 at 06:09 AM.
06-11-2017, 06:19 AM - 1 Like   #8
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I have the 35/2.4 It is a really nice lens. Since I got my 21 limited it doesn't get used that much .The Da 21 and K55 are the ones that live on my cameras.

06-11-2017, 06:50 AM - 1 Like   #9
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There's no definitive answer to your question. Is the 35 significantly wider than the 50 ? Sure. Is it wide enough for you ? Only you can tell...

You can try to use your 18-55 at 35mm for while and see if the angle fits you. If you feel needing something wider, there are options like the 21, 15... It really depends on what you need.
06-11-2017, 09:00 AM - 1 Like   #10
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Oh yeah, if you wonder how much wider 35mm is from 50mm, you can use the 18-55mm kit lens and simply zoom to just over 50mm (I think DA 50mm is actually slightly above 50mm), look into the viewfinder. Then zoom out to about 35mm. That is the difference. Not super massive, but it can be critical.
DA 21mm is great, but not exactly super affordable, even used. If you want ultra wide you can try Samyang 16mm f2. Sharp lens, fast aperture, really really wide. It will give you a really different FoV, and its fairly affordable. But its manual focus only, though that's not a huge problem because when its so wide, you get a lot of DoF.

Still, DA 35mm has amazing quality-price ratio and every DSLR photographer should have 50mm and 35mm prime in their kit. You can get exotics like 21mm, 16mm later. Also, the prices vary a lot depending where you live. Check the local ebays and similar sites, and the marketplace on this forum
06-11-2017, 09:28 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by patrick9 Quote
I have the 35/2.4 It is a really nice lens. Since I got my 21 limited it doesn't get used that much .The Da 21 and K55 are the ones that live on my cameras.
Maybe I should consider buying the DA 21 (which is more than double the price). I really think that Pentax should have had an affordable 20 something mm lens, Canon already has one.
06-11-2017, 09:30 AM - 1 Like   #12
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It is a nice walk around lens. But you need a bit of space. It is better for close ups and portraits than a wider lens. (20 to 28) which are better for getting scenes from a closer perspective and for large buildings (the 35 is often not wide enough as the 50mm isn't wide enough for that on Film and Full Frame). It really depends on your style what you should choose. A wider lens forces you to move in closer to a scene you want to capture and a narrower lens forces you to look for an angle where you can get what you want in the frame.
06-11-2017, 09:31 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
And if if you order from Japan, you can get it in special colours - in case your camera is not the usual black.
I live in Canada, but I'll have a trip to Japan next month. I have no idea about the local stores there, but I'll give it a try. Good to know that Japanese have their special colour lenses.
06-11-2017, 10:15 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by galaxytab Quote
I live in Canada, but I'll have a trip to Japan next month. I have no idea about the local stores there, but I'll give it a try. Good to know that Japanese have their special colour lenses.
Wow, sounds cool! I think some of these lenses are cheaper in Japan, and yes, some lenses were made in special colours (and some cameras as well) but were only available in Japan. Google some of the big camera stores that hold Pentax stuff before going, and maybe even check their big used camera gear stores. Check prices of the lenses you want before going and compare them to what is available there. You might have to pay import duties when you return though, I'm not sure how that works between Japan-Canada. Think it has a lot to do with how the customs officers feel that day. The main downside is that if you buy it abroad, you can probably only use its warranty in that country

I would have loved to get a special color DA 35mm f2.4, but only the black version was available here. I paid full price for it back then, its much more affordable now. But I don't regret it
06-11-2017, 10:50 AM - 1 Like   #15
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If you go to Tokyo, be sure to check out Ricoh square (former Pentax square.) I got an ex-demo 15 LTD there for a nice price; I didn't even have to pay taxes (was short of 30.000 Yen, which translates to 250.) Customs was easy as a pie for me. Japanese customs didn't even bother to check (theoretically tax free implies you can't use or wear the item in Japan.) And once I was in Belgium, the lens was with my regular gear, so no import duties (as expected.)

Of course, if you go to Pentax square it could be that you come home with more than anticipated...
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