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5 Days Ago - 1 Like   #16
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The 35mm 2.8 macro is IMO the best lens in the DA series. And have to disagree with Na that unlike longer macros, this lens has absolutely tons of character, with loads of "Pixie Dust." When I was still shooting APS-C, it was my go-to lens. Built like a tank, too. I see the macro feature as an added bonus to use in opportunistic situations rather than something I'd depend on daily. The difference between f/2.8 and f/2.4 is utterly inconsequential at this focal length.

The only downside besides price is the long focal throw, which can lead to slow focusing if you have to slew in and out a great distance.

5 Days Ago   #17
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I have had the DA 35mm 2.4 for about a two and a half years and I really like the lens. I do find I end up using my Sigma 24mm f 2.8 more, as it ends up being the equivalent of a 35mm on a full frame camera. I must really like that range as I have a 55mm for my 645.
5 Days Ago   #18
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I love my DA 35 2.4. I don't think it lacks character, but it is a lens, I think, that needs to be learned in a different way from some others. I have taken several thousand pictures with mine and I guess I now know its ins and outs.

More recently I got the Sigma 30 1.4 Art. After a bit of adaptation on my part, I find that30mm isn't that different from 35mm on APSC. And having f1.4 available makes it a more similar experience to having a fast 50 on a film camera. It is supposed to have focusing issues if you use multiple focus points but I just use the center point when I use AF so I have no problems. I prefer to focus manually anyway. I think it is an option worth considering. But I'm not selling my DA 35 2.4
5 Days Ago   #19
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Btw, the DA 35mm f2.4 has its thread here:
DA35 f2.4 - the Plastic Fantastic club - Page 65 - PentaxForums.com

You can find lots of photos in the sample photo gallery as well as in the lens reviews section and user reviews

4 Days Ago   #20
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The 2.4 is a fine lens, excellent value, but after I bought the 2.8 and compared images, the 2.4 is seldom put to use. The 2.0 I know not.
4 Days Ago - 2 Likes   #21
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I recommend the DA35mm 2.8 LTD, a perfect everyday lens for APS-C for me and still on my camera in K-1 in FF mode (despite some shortcomings here) most of the time. This lens will do awesome:
  • head & shoulder portraits (bokeh in macro range is very nice)
  • landscape (outstanding sharpness edge to edge in APS-C)
  • nightscape (first version produces beautiful shaped stars of light sources)
  • macro (flowers!, slow insects, product / food)
  • travel photography (see all points above)
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4 Days Ago   #22
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Just to correct the widespread misconception that the FA35 and DA35 are essentially the same optic, none of the empirical evidence supports this. They may share the same 2D optical schematic, but the optics in an f/2 and a f/2.4 are going to have very different characteristics. The coatings are different (most likely the DA is superior). Tests indicate that the f2.4 sharpness at the edges falls considerably short, and even on crop sensor some light fall-off is apparent. The overall look of images posted are very different with the f/2 showing far more character and depth - especially at the wider apertures, and the f/2.4 showing better contrast (again, probably related to the coatings). And anyone who has handled the FA can tell the build is better than any of the plastic mount lenses. Those who have shot with both lenses consistently indicate that the lenses are not comparable for anything other than FoV.
4 Days Ago   #23
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Just to throw a little manualness in the mix, I really appreciate the rendering of the A35/2.8. Great focus feel if you don't need AF.

4 Days Ago   #24
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Another vote for the f2.8 DA macro. I've only had crop sensors, if that matters.
It's one of my favorite lenses and one I'll never be able to let go of. For me, I really like the rendering and I find it to be so versatile that it's often the choice if I'm going with a single lens setup for a day/trip.

I've had the FA, didn't actually like it. My copy felt slow and I just didn't find the images as pleasing. If forced to choose, I'd rather grab the DA35 2.4 for the $ savings and comparable IQ.
4 Days Ago   #25
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I'll admit to being partial to the DA 35 Macro as well. It's got it all: rendering, sharpness, contrast, and color. A true "optical paragon," as Mike Johnston averred. That said, you can't really go wrong with any of these options. They're all really good.

QuoteOriginally posted by ScooterMaxi Jim Quote
The coatings are different (most likely the DA is superior [to the FA]).
The FA 35 uses the same coating technology as the DA 35/2.4 --- that is, they're both SMC lenses that make use of Pentax's "ghostless" coating, first introduced in 1997 (the FA 35 was introduced in 2000). The HD DA 35 Macro does use (slightly) superior HD coatings.
4 Days Ago - 1 Like   #26
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The DA 35mm f/2.4 lacks a distance scale, which makes:
-- zone focusing inconvenient
-- cannot set focus if too dark to use AF or see well
These are very serious defects in a lens IMO. You never know when they will "bite you."
4 Days Ago   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote
I'll admit to being partial to the DA 35 Macro as well. It's got it all: rendering, sharpness, contrast, and color. A true "optical paragon," as Mike Johnston averred. That said, you can't really go wrong with any of these options. They're all really good.

The FA 35 uses the same coating technology as the DA 35/2.4 --- that is, they're both SMC lenses that make use of Pentax's "ghostless" coating, first introduced in 1997 (the FA 35 was introduced in 2000). The HD DA 35 Macro does use (slightly) superior HD coatings.
Trust me, Greg, the naming of the SMC updates for marketing purposes and the actual coatings applied are not especially closely related. The FA35 was a very early ghostless coating design that resulted in somewhat dull tone in the coatings, with possibly only three colors of coatings. This might have been great for limiting the ghosting effect (sun rays), but the lens does poorly at limiting veiling flare (window light into a darker room, for instance). Most certainly the formula was changed after that. I don't have the DA 35, but it is my understanding that the coatings are similar to the DA 50 which exhibits more and brighter coatings, reflecting an entirely different array of coating characteristics. The DA 40xs is different from either of these, appearing to have fewer coatings and an overall reflective tone somewhere between the DA 50 and FA 35.

The FA 35 is very good in so many ways, but the ghostless coatings clearly hadn't been optimized at that time. It doesn't bother me that this makes the lens somewhat less contrasty compared to later offerings given the post processing options we have these days.
4 Days Ago - 1 Like   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by ScooterMaxi Jim Quote
Just to correct the widespread misconception that the FA35 and DA35 are essentially the same optic, none of the empirical evidence supports this. .
?

I have both, and the pictures they make are hard to tell apart.

The DA35 provides superb value, something Pentax can be proud of.
4 Days Ago   #29
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It looks like you don’t have a macro in your correction? DA35 limited sounds very good to me.

Bang for the buck is the DA35 f2.4

I used to have a FA35 f2. It is a bit soft at f2, but more than usable. It is very sharp from f2.2. at f4 it super sharp. From my small test and seeing by eyes at 100%, it surpass FA31 at f4, hand-down. Bokeh is not as nice but it is very good already. (Of Course, what am I talking about? I am trying to compare it to a lens 3-4 times more expensive!). It produce a very nice color and contrast but note that I like color and contrast from film era lenses. If you want a DA limited style color and contrast from FA35, it can be done in post. The build quality is not as nice as the Limited, but it cheaper, right? I sold it and the new owner said my copy is sharper wide-open than his last copy. It seems like a Quality Control problem.

If I have to select lens in that focal range I would get a FA31! Sorry off topic.
I would go with either FA35 or DA35 limited. The question is, do you want macro or you want a few extra stop of light? If you want both, get both!

Last edited by pakinjapan; 4 Days Ago at 04:52 PM.
4 Days Ago   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by ScooterMaxi Jim Quote
naming of the SMC updates for marketing purposes and the actual coatings applied are not especially closely related. The FA35 was a very early ghostless coating design that resulted in somewhat dull tone in the coatings, with possibly only three colors of coatings
I've never heard that and am rather skeptical that early ghostless coatings are dull or inferior. Sure, the application of coatings between one lens and another will not be absolutely identical in all respects; but that's because the coatings are fine tuned to create similar color rendering among the entire lens series. That's different from using inferior coatings. I own two of the early ghostless coated lenses, the FA 20-35 and the FA 24-90, and both lenses share the excellent contrast and color of other ghostless coating FA lenses, such as the three FA limiteds, the FA 200 Macro, and yes, the FA 35. If the FA 35 suffers veiling flare in some situations, it's either due to (1) not being back coated; and/or (2) the design of the lens. Film lenses generally are not back coating and flaring is not just a consequences of lens coating technology, or lack thereof.
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