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06-15-2019, 06:42 AM   #1
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Help Choose a 35-70

Hello,

So today was a bad day for me. I was on a photo walk and I tripped on my self, and broke my SMC-M 35-70/2.8-3.5. The front element suffered slight coating damage, but the filter ring was badly dented. I have had a quick talk with my camera repair guy and his quote for fixing the filter ring and check the alignment of the lens elements costs around 40 bucks equivalent in CNY (I bought the lens for slightly less than 60 bucks from KEH originally). Therefore I figured that it would be better if I send it off to my local used camera dealer along with several other lenses that I don't really use, and use the money I got from that to get a replacement.

I have searched around, and have basically had three options: another M 35-70/2.8-3.5, a A 35-70/4, or a Tamron Adaptall-2 17A, after searching the market for what is available, but I cannot make a decision due to several reasons.

For the M 35-70, I have always had a love-hate relationship: I love the build and performance of the lens, but I hate its bulk, especially after acquiring the similar-sized and only slightly heavier Tamron 65A. The 65A has a range of 35-105mm and a constant f2.8 apterure, making it more versatile than the M 35-70, but the M beats the 65A in optical performance. As a result, I have kept the M but did not use it as much as I usually would. But the M 35-70 is also the least overpriced lens on my list, especially the ones in tip-top condition, which is about the same price as what I would pay in the US. But I still pay more for average copies in China, and I do not need mint copies for a lens that I would use.

The A 35-70/4 is a small and light lens, and I value that. However the price in China is overhyped, matching that of the M 35-70 lens, simply because it's an A lens. And the reviews here seems to be pretty mixed.

I have had the Tamron 17A before, and got rid of it after it became moldy. I like that it is not that heavy and pretty compact, but the price of Tamron is much higher here in China (around 50 bucks to 70 bucks equivalent in CNY), because Tamron Adaptalls are pretty much underpriced in the US (in my opinion).

I would like some suggestion on which one to buy as an replacement, considering the price, features, performance, and overall build and size. I would primarily use these lenses on my LX.

Sincerely

06-15-2019, 06:57 AM   #2
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given the option, I usually would take the 'A' lens over the 'M', mainly for convenience sake...

as another option, if you can find a Tamron 44A Adaptall (28-70mm f3.5-4.5) lens, you may want to consider it - as a manual-focus zoom, I found it a compelling option, especially price-wise...

review:

Tamron Adaptall-2 28-70mm F/3.5-4.5 (44A) Lens Reviews - Tamron Adaptall Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database


my album for the 44A:

Tamron Adaptall-2 44A (28-70mm f3.5-4.5) | Flickr
06-15-2019, 06:58 AM - 2 Likes   #3
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Why not look at an F 35-70 f3.5-4.5, they are light and reasonably priced in most places.
06-15-2019, 07:05 AM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by pepperberry farm Quote
given the option, I usually would take the 'A' lens over the 'M', mainly for convenience sake...

as another option, if you can find a Tamron 44A Adaptall (28-70mm f3.5-4.5) lens, you may want to consider it - as a manual-focus zoom, I found it a compelling option, especially price-wise...

review:

Tamron Adaptall-2 28-70mm F/3.5-4.5 (44A) Lens Reviews - Tamron Adaptall Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database


my album for the 44A:

Tamron Adaptall-2 44A (28-70mm f3.5-4.5) | Flickr
Currently my most-used Pentax camera is the LX, and my experience is that K and M lenses are usually better built and in turn offers a better experience (compared to both A and FA lenses, including my FA43 and FA31).

I had the 44A but passed onto it, mainly because of its size. It’s made mostly of plastic so is pretty light, but it is still pretty big IIRC.

---------- Post added 06-15-19 at 07:08 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Kevin B123 Quote
Why not look at an F 35-70 f3.5-4.5, they are light and reasonably priced in most places.
Mostly because of the MF experience. I had one before but passed onto it because I found myself using my LX more than my AF bodies. And MF with that lens is far from pleasant. Currently the only AF lenses I routinely use on my LX are my FA Limiteds, but even them are still lacking from genuine MF lenses.

---------- Post added 06-15-19 at 07:10 AM ----------

Oh and I actually have a MX screen in my LX, so a lens that is too slow impends the use of the split prism.

---------- Post added 06-15-19 at 07:11 AM ----------

I am also a bit curious about the mixed reviews here on the A 35-70/4. Is that related to some QC problems?

---------- Post added 06-15-19 at 07:16 AM ----------

P.S. adaptor wise,I have Adaptall mounts for Pentax K, KA, and Ricoh R-K mounts, plus M42 and Nikon F.

The ideal 35-70 I was looking for is something similar to the Nikon Series E 36-72/3.5 I own: small and light, and has decent performance, and is fast enough. I personally lean towards the A 35-70 but is a bit wary because of the mixed reviews in the forum review section.

I have tried to hunt down a Ricoh XR 35-70/3.5, but was out of luck here in China.

06-15-2019, 07:41 AM   #5
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I was going to mention the F lens until you mentioned the LX...
It has everything but ergonomics...

I have the M24-35, which pairs nicely with a fast 50 for a walk around kit with my MX.

Have you considered the 40-80?

-Eric
06-15-2019, 08:22 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by TwoUptons Quote
I was going to mention the F lens until you mentioned the LX...
It has everything but ergonomics...

I have the M24-35, which pairs nicely with a fast 50 for a walk around kit with my MX.

Have you considered the 40-80?

-Eric
My only worry is that the 40-80 might not be wide enough and I would always need to carry my FA31 as a backup, which might be impractical sometimes.

I tend to treat 35mm as a “safety net:” I won’t use it often, but I want my zoom to have that handy when I do need it (which happens from more often than I expect, unfortunately).

Besides that the 40-80 does look tempting: a similar design to the 35-70 but lighter and focuses closer (when using macro mode). Haven’t looked into the price though and I doubt that it is widely available in China.

---------- Post added 06-15-19 at 08:25 AM ----------

Unfortunately while the 40-80 is easily available, the price is getting close to a M 35-70 in similar condition here in China, making it less attractive price wise.

---------- Post added 06-15-19 at 08:45 AM ----------

Another problem is that sometimes sellers would keep the listing for items that are actually out of stock here on Taobao (the Chinese fleebay) so I would like to build a list of lenses that I could fall back to if my top choice is not available somehow.
06-15-2019, 08:50 AM   #7
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I can fix you up with a 17A cheap...msg me.
06-15-2019, 08:56 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by marcusBMG Quote
I can fix you up with a 17A cheap...msg me.
Thanks, but I assume that shipping a lens from UK to China would make it not any cheaper than buying directly off Chinese used camera dealers, and it can take quite some time...

But if you happen to be in China now, than I would be more thankful.

06-15-2019, 10:55 AM   #9
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I believe the M35-70 is the sharpest of the 35-70s, it's a different formula from the rest.
06-16-2019, 01:12 AM   #10
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The Tamron Adaptall 01A SP 35-80 is very nice. Haven't followed recent pricing/availability. Will be one I'm trying out if and when I get a K-1 mark ii.
06-16-2019, 01:17 AM   #11
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After reading the reviews here and on other sites carefully, it seems that the Tamron 17A is not too far away from the M 35-70/3.5, but the Tamron is the shortest of the three (and the A 35-70 being the longest), and is also more reasonably priced here in China. I ended up picking a copy from a Chinese dealer.

As for the M 40-80, I still feel that it is not wide enough and also on the heavy side.

Thanks for the input.

---------- Post added 06-16-19 at 01:19 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by beachboy2 Quote
The Tamron Adaptall 01A SP 35-80 is very nice. Haven't followed recent pricing/availability. Will be one I'm trying out if and when I get a K-1 mark ii.
Also tried to hunt down this one, but can't find a good copy from a reputable seller locally.
06-17-2019, 06:33 AM   #12
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I have just been through this exercise, with a number of lenses to compare on a modern body:
Your latest de-acquisition - Page 26 - PentaxForums.com

My conclusion so far has been that the best is the F35-70mm, and it takes 49mm filters like the common and cheap Pentax M-series primes (28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 100mm). It has an aperture ring, and manual focus, so it will work on the LX. The FA 35-80mm is good optically but looks and feels like a toy, so it does not deserve to be on a LX body.
06-17-2019, 08:15 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gary H Perth Quote
I have just been through this exercise, with a number of lenses to compare on a modern body:
Your latest de-acquisition - Page 26 - PentaxForums.com

My conclusion so far has been that the best is the F35-70mm, and it takes 49mm filters like the common and cheap Pentax M-series primes (28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 100mm). It has an aperture ring, and manual focus, so it will work on the LX. The FA 35-80mm is good optically but looks and feels like a toy, so it does not deserve to be on a LX body.
I had this one as the kit lens on my PZ-1 before, but later sold it when I acquired the Tamron SP AF 24-135mm F3.5-5.6 AD Aspherical IF Macro, because I figured out that I don't really use Pentax AF bodies as my primary film camera (rather, I use LX as my primary film and mixes between my K-S2 and Sony a7 when it comes to digital), and the F 35-70 became a bit surplus.

I originally kept the M 35-70 over the F because while the F is solidly built and is very sharp by the standards of its day, the ergonomics is still pretty poor, and it is easier to focus precisely on the LX with the M (not only because the M has a more damped and larger focus ring, but also because the M is faster and makes my viewfinder brighter).

Will consider the F again if I ever decided to give my PZ-1 more love. Do you have a hood recommendation?

I also have the F 24-50 which I bought some time ago for my K-S2 after my HD DA 20-40 was deemed faulty. I like how the lens performs, especially stopped down, but it is very large, especially when compared to the similarly-speced Minolta AF 24-50/4.
06-17-2019, 04:41 PM   #14
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I got a used A 35-70 mm f/4 that gives really good results on my Pentax K5. I tried it with my K1 and found it not very impressive but it's really good on APSC. It cost next to nothing though.


06-17-2019, 04:55 PM   #15
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Agree the M35-70 is a stellar lens, but the A35-70/4 is no slouch, and offers a nice macro/close-focus ability. I have a Cosmicar variant which was quite inexpensive and a good performer. I also love the rendering of the little F35-70 - a nice choice if you can live with its limitations.
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