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01-14-2018, 02:56 AM   #1
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DA-L 18-55 vs FA 35-80 (and a few others) for large insect photography

I am only coming to terms with my LBA after amassing more than 30 mostly manual lenses.
This weekend I just stepped out into the courtyard and found this beautiful katydid on the window. I managed to photograph it using a few lenses and despite all the favourable reviews 18-55 performed the worst.
The lenses used were:
DA-L 18-55
FA 35-80
Sigma 70-300 DG
Industar 50/2.8

Of course the industar was the best but I was surprised to find FA 35-80 did very well. Because of photos like these it's becoming my go to lens. Cheap and cheerful, much better than DAL 18-55 in my opinion.

01-14-2018, 04:32 AM   #2
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The FA 35-80 is reviewed pretty well in the reviews. The F35-70 F3.5-4.5 I can recommend as well (on APS-c, on full frame it has terrible corners).

Strangely the F35-80 (which also looks like a FA lens) gets much worse reviews while it seems to have exactly the same lens formula:


01-14-2018, 04:53 AM   #3
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The 35-80 and 80-200 mm lenses that were supplied with the MZ cameras are good value. Quick and usually accurate AF and make a great addition to somebody starting out with a Pentax digital camera for very little expenditure if you buy them in good condition.
I find the 18-55mm WR version to be slightly better than the DAL version but that is just my opinion.
Some might rate the old F and FA 35-70mm as better than the F and FA 35-80mm lenses.
I find the DAL 55-300mm is a good lens and better than the budget Tamron and Sigma 70-300mm with pseudo macro but it took me a while to get to paying out for one. Including my manual zoom to 300mm lenses I have 6 versions and should say goodbye to 4 of them. But at the moment I cannot.
LBA can be fun! Enjoy.

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