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08-25-2008, 02:38 AM   #31
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OGL

can I ask what you are basing your opinions on?

this thread seems to be mainly about your critisism of the da35.

Can you post some photos to show us what made you come to your conclusion,?

I for one am thinking of getting this lens and I will base my lens buying decision on reviews especially by users of this lens

08-25-2008, 03:49 AM   #32
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As this thread continues on its merry way, I begin to wonder whether OGL's passion for putting down the DA35 is because he once owned this lens and sold it in haste. And having read Carl and Mike's glowing review on Photo.net is now seeking to justify his decision.

If it is not something of this sort, then I do not see the point of the 'put-down'.

Everyone to their own of course......
08-25-2008, 05:34 AM   #33
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Mike Johnson offers a follow-up comment in THE ONLINE PHOTOGRAPHER. Check it out.

In a nutshell, he points out that ALL reviews are subjective. Some reviewers and their fans like a pathway littered with charts. Others prefer demonstration and descriptive text. To each his own, but they are both art.

My main issue with photozone.de is that their "scientific test" team seems not to be aware that there's a new sheriff in town called the K20D. There's growing observational evidence that it can take tone deaf glass and make it sing. The so called "review" of the DA 35 Ltd is only one example. It pairs the lens with an obsolete camera body (K10D) and comes up with results that simply defy the well documented common sense observations of the K20D user community. In effect, by design or simple oversight, they hobbled the race horse then claimed the result is fair and gave it a finality it did not deserve. When this was pointed out, the bru-ha-ha ensued.

For pre-K20D folks, like the OP of this thread who uses a K200D, I consider the source. His observations fit within his frame of reference, but not mine.

On the other hand, K20D users (like me) are discovering to their great joy that ALL of their glass (new and old) has suddenly become much much better (all at no additional cost).

So... unless a lens "review" is based on a pairing with a K20D, I will consider the results interesting, but mostly irrelevant.

'nuff said...
08-25-2008, 05:39 AM   #34
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A tale about sharpness

Disclaimer: I have the DA 35 Macro Limited and I find it a trully spectacular lens. So, like many of those who contributed to this thread I am not fully objective .

I want to raise an obiection about sharpness. First of all my copy is surgically sharp in both center and corners @ almost any f stop from wide open till f8 (I don't think I used it above).
According to slrgear's review Pentax Lens: Primes - Pentax 21mm f/3.2 Limited SMC P-DA (Tested) - SLRgear.com! the DA 21 Limited is:

"Sharpness

The 21mm /3.2 AL is a very sharp lens. When set to an aperture of less than /22, the lens didn't register much more than 1.5 blur units on our sharpness chart. I would put the optimal usage at /8, where image sharpness is tack-sharp across the whole frame. At /22, image softness ''degrades,'' probably due to diffraction limiting, to 2 blur units. All in all, excellent performance."

According to photozone's review: Pentax SMC-DA 21mm f/3.2 AL Limited Review / Test Report the same lens performs:

"MTF (resolution)
The DA 21mm f/3.2 Limited produced very good although not superb resolution results in the MTF lab. The center performance is already exceptionally high straight from f/3.2 whereas the border quality isn't quite as high. At f/3.2-f/4 the borders show good results but the real boost towards very good quality occurs at f/5.6-f/8. At f/11 there's a general decrease in quality due to the usual diffraction effects."

From "All in all, excellent performance" to "very good although not superb resolution results in the MTF lab" it's kind of a long way!

It could be just wording or a sign of a too exigent tester, a bad vs better copy or slightly different test methods. All in all my lens will produce the same beautiful images after this review as it did before it.

Final note: after this quote: Forum (I mean A350 has the same IQ as K20D c'mon!!!!!!!!!!) and some other hints from Klaus that he's considering C,N and S the big three and the rest just in another league I start to doubt his fairness a bit.

Radu

08-25-2008, 05:55 AM   #35
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I have spoken out in favour of this lens in this thread and others. I did so in the photo.net thread referred to above. There, as here, I posted photos to show the beauty of what this lens can do.

But then I commented that: "I am still unsure as to this lenses suitability for anything except close-ups. Manual focusing is impossible on objects further than 2 metres. I hate relying on AF especially as there are enough situations that throw it off. The rendering of objects at or near infinity seems less impressive than work like the flower I posted above. I need to work with this lens more."

Mike Johnston responded to me a little energetically, but I do not hold this against him as he was taking exception to a certain Paul Wilkins at the time and maybe confused us.

It is somewhat ironic that he would slam me down when I was supporting his article, but there you have it. Sometimes energies flare online. Some people have emotional investment in their gear. (I am sure I am engaged with Pentax as a system but don't think I have a particular relationship with the DA35 Limited.).

The difference between Mike's observations and mine cannot be entirely dismissed by the fact that he is more experienced and correct while I am a nobody and wrong. I think that the lens might indeed perform better on the body he has. As I hope to obtain a K20D soon, I will soon be able to put this theory to the test.
08-25-2008, 06:02 AM   #36
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possible sample variation, Robin? there seems to be some varying results with infinity focus
08-25-2008, 06:09 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by k100d Quote
possible sample variation, Robin? there seems to be some varying results with infinity focus
I am considering that possibility. It rather sucks since sending the lens back involves for me shipping it to another country. That's expensive and a hassle.
08-25-2008, 06:31 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by ogl Quote
FA31 is one the best lens Pentax ever made...
How can DA35 be better than FA31 for landscapes if DA35 has lower resolution... It's funny....DA40 is better too in terms of resolution. And much smaller.
DA35 has
no better contrast, no better color. Explain, please.
DA35 is digital lens, not FF. Slower. Has lower resolution.
It's strange to hear your opinion...

Well, I tend to disagree that it has no better contrast - It has better contrast than
pretty much any lens I have used, or at least as good. And there are things like
microcontrast and specular highlights that are not measured by Klaus's tests (to
his own admission,) so even if one MTF metric one one copy of the DA 35ltd points
to minimally higher resolution on the FA 31 or DA 40 - well, it doesn't mean the 40
or 31ltd will look any sharper to you - and they don't (trust me) - because
those other factors add to MTF-10 to make up what we see as 'sharpness'.

What this means is that the DA 35 renders landscapes more pleasingly, and they
have a 'sharper' look to them - if you pixel-peep, the effect of microcontrast
and specular highlights go away, and you don't get their benefit, but they're
there in the larger image.

You should re-read what Mike J and Carl W have said in their review - they say
it much more articulately than I. In the comments, Mike was asked how the
31ltd compares to the DA 35, and he said that the 31ltd is a great lens, but
it can't fully compete with the DA 35ltd - the 31ltd is NASCAR, the DA 35ltd is
Formula-1 (I think that was his analogy.)

I'm coming to the conclusion that you didn't really put that lens through it's
paces, ogl - you didn't have it for very long, after all. I was under-impressed the
first week or so I had it, because I didn't use it all that much.

Get another copy! You know you want to!


.

08-25-2008, 06:33 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Michaelina2 Quote
Mike Johnson offers a follow-up comment in THE ONLINE PHOTOGRAPHER. Check it out.

In a nutshell, he points out that ALL reviews are subjective. Some reviewers and their fans like a pathway littered with charts. Others prefer demonstration and descriptive text. To each his own, but they are both art.

My main issue with photozone.de is that their "scientific test" team seems not to be aware that there's a new sheriff in town called the K20D. There's growing observational evidence that it can take tone deaf glass and make it sing. The so called "review" of the DA 35 Ltd is only one example. It pairs the lens with an obsolete camera body (K10D) and comes up with results that simply defy the well documented common sense observations of the K20D user community. In effect, by design or simple oversight, they hobbled the race horse then claimed the result is fair and gave it a finality it did not deserve. When this was pointed out, the bru-ha-ha ensued.

For pre-K20D folks, like the OP of this thread who uses a K200D, I consider the source. His observations fit within his frame of reference, but not mine.

On the other hand, K20D users (like me) are discovering to their great joy that ALL of their glass (new and old) has suddenly become much much better (all at no additional cost).

So... unless a lens "review" is based on a pairing with a K20D, I will consider the results interesting, but mostly irrelevant.

'nuff said...
Absolutely. I have a whole thread started on this observation. Well put.
08-25-2008, 06:54 AM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by RaduA Quote
Disclaimer: I have the DA 35 Macro Limited and I find it a trully spectacular lens. So, like many of those who contributed to this thread I am not fully objective .


Radu
You never used classical FA LIMITED or FA*...or A*....
DA35 is "whiter shade of pale"
08-25-2008, 07:03 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by k100d Quote
possible sample variation, Robin? there seems to be some varying results with infinity focus
What about possible problems with focus in body rather than in lens?

Radu
08-25-2008, 07:12 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by ogl Quote
You never used classical FA LIMITED or FA*...or A*....
DA35 is "whiter shade of pale"
How good those lenses are doesn't demonstrate how bad the DA 35mm LTD macro is.

If you had Al Einstein, Neils Bohr, Enrico Firmi, Thomas Edison, and Samuel Clemens in the room, would you designate one of them as a dumb ass and pick on them?
08-25-2008, 07:30 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by ogl Quote
You never used classical FA LIMITED or FA*...or A*....
DA35 is "whiter shade of pale"
Yes, and you never used my K20D or my DA* or my other Limited, or the DA 35 Macro Limited on a K20D. So, what's the point? I guess you agree with me that what are you talking about it's a TOTALLY MATTER OF PERSONAL TASTE, don't you?
Besides that you're the one that brings sharpness into discution to put down the DA 35. Care to provide some proof that any FA* or A* are sharper than DA 35?

Radu
08-25-2008, 07:33 AM   #44
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Sample Variations & DA35 as Landscape Lens, and street photography

FWIW:

QuoteOriginally posted by k100d Quote
possible sample variation, Robin? there seems to be some varying results with infinity focus
Yep,

I believe earlier or in a different thread that I said that the DA35 wasn't suited for landscapes and focused poorly at infinity. My copy focused perfectly up close and at macro, and was perfect with the focus target chart about 5 feet away, but at infinity, distant detail was slightly garbled and nervous. I waited to post anything and it wasn't until I got my 2nd copy, which performed the exact same way, that I posted what I did.

I really liked the detail up close (less than 5 feet), the color and saturation, and I liked taking it with me, as I was able to shoot very nice close detail, just a pain to have to switch, but just too nice for flowers and up close detail to leave at home, so I was torn...

However, in the meantime, I got my hands on yet a third copy, and now this 3rd copy finally shows some detail at infinity! Went out to a public venue and shot from the hip and came away with some properly focused keepers as well. So now I don't feel compulsive about switching lenses if I see a longer range scene I want to shoot, I'll do so with the DA35, which I wouldn't have before. At normal viewing and print sizes, it's hard to discern the difference now between the FA31 (with this 3rd copy), unless you zoom in and pixel-peep.

Funny and misleading thing, though, all 3 copies focused dead-on up close, and on charts and tests.

At 8x10 print sizes, I also see no drastic difference in regard to detail, except in the most noticeable areas of building features and brick textures etc... that are way out in the distant. What I do notice on prints between the FA31 and DA35, (as I notice between the FA ltds and DA ltds in general, overall) is that the FA31 holds a bit more detail in the shadows, so the shadows and shadow detail prints out a bit cleaner and less murky and overly contrasty, which adds to visual appeal, and overall sharpness.

Anyway, to sum up, I wouldn't go out of my way and yank the DA35 off my camera, because there was a shot I would think that the DA35 would screw up (medium and long-range, for instance). But I wouldn't specifically head out to do landscapes with this lens, because I do have the FA31 and FA43, which I prefer. (note that I carefully used the phrase, "I prefer")

If I was heading out to do candids, or shoot from the hip, I'd start off with the DA40, because it does focus a LOT faster and quieter and seems to be more accurate in those conditions. (After all, the DA35 has the macro range to account for while finding focus, and the additional weight and elements over the DA40, is only bound to tip this favor over to the DA40) Not saying you can't or shouldn't attempt this with a DA35, just saying that if you have multiple lens choices, there might be one better at the task.

The DA35 is a great, sharp performer up close, and I'm using it more and more for table-top type shoots, and decent in other areas. Decent enough to land it in one of those blindingly grey areas where the division of those who decide "definitely not good enough for me" and those who decide that it is "absolutely terrific" isn't so clearly defined.
08-25-2008, 09:03 AM   #45
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Some Pixel Peeping Tests

Well, I poked my head out the door to test infinity focus. It's a grey, grey day, which at least has the advantage that the light is not changing. These were hand-held in Av mode at f/8 1/125s ISO200 EV -1 on the K100D Super.

I took one shot using auto-focus, a second manually focusing and shooting when the focus indicator lit and the third on manual focus set right to infinity.

I lined up all three images near enough, did a basic levels compensation and cropped to 1:1 pixels. No other processing. Despite this there is some visible exposure difference I cannot account for.

DA35 AF at infinity




DA35 MF so focus indicator lights




DA35 MF at infinity



The three images are progressively lighter and progressively less sharp. There is not much difference between the first two, but it is still noticeable that the AF shot is the best.

The fact that manually focusing to infinity is softer indicates that either a) the lens focuses past infinity, or b) the target was not sufficiently distant.

I am interested in what others think of these images. To me they seem sufficiently sharp given the circumstances. Just to see what would happen, I put the first one through my normal post-processing, which includes sharpening, contrast and curve adjustments.

DA35 AF processed



Pumping the contrast lost some of the fine detail in the grillwork. And of course the colours are pretty muted given the rubbish light. But otherwise it is not dismal.
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