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11-03-2008, 04:59 AM   #1
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Pentax FA 35mm f2 v DA 25mm f2.8 Ltd Macro

Hi

Can anyone who has tried/compared these 2 lenses give me some advise as to whether or not there is a significant difference (besides macro/aperture) between the 2. I have checked for reviews of the lenses and both seem pretty good.

I have read that the DA 35mm limited lens hasn't got consistantly good bokeh, is this correct ?. How is the f2's ?

Also how does the sharpness compare at f2.8 ?

How about Contrast/ Saturation ?

Thanks

11-03-2008, 05:12 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Murphy2004 Quote
Hi

Can anyone who has tried/compared these 2 lenses give me some advise as to whether or not there is a significant difference (besides macro/aperture) between the 2. I have checked for reviews of the lenses and both seem pretty good.

I have read that the DA 35mm limited lens hasn't got consistantly good bokeh, is this correct ?. How is the f2's ?

Also how does the sharpness compare at f2.8 ?

How about Contrast/ Saturation ?

Thanks
I've had both of these lenses at different times. Didn't get to use either one all that much. The DA 35 gets a lot of very favorable comments. Some people go as far saying it is the best all around Pentax lens.

They both have issues with bokeh. The DA bokeh is sometimes a little too busy. The FA has only 6 elements and that is less than ideal for bokeh.

For sharpness FA wins. It's one of the sharpest Pentax lenses. Some people have complained that DA is not sharp enough. The DA has also been reported to have difficulty focusing at infinity.

For Contrast and saturation the DA wins.

The DA is a very beautiful lens. It's a pleasure to play with it. The FA is plastic and not very nice looking. I think you will find that most people would recommend the DA over FA. It has macro feature and that comes very handy. If you are thinking about getting a full frame body in the future that may be a consideration.

Hope this helps.
11-03-2008, 05:28 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stratario Quote

If you are thinking about getting a full frame body in the future that may be a consideration.

Thanks for the quick response.

Being quite new to Pentax equipment is it the DA that wouldn't suit FF or the FA ?

Thanks
11-03-2008, 05:49 AM   #4
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The following DA lenses are made for reduced sized digital sensors, referred to as APC-S.

DA 12-24mm
DA 21mm Ltd
DA 35mm Ltd
DA 40mm Ltd
DA 70mm Ltd

FA lenses were originally made for film cameras. They still work very well with APC-S digital sensors. But DA lenses have the speical Pentax coating that help with digital flares, colours, etc.

11-07-2008, 05:13 AM   #5
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Anyone else have any comparisons between these 2 lenses ?

Thanks
11-07-2008, 07:03 AM   #6
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I got me self a good copy of the DA 35 and I can say I love it more than anything, got the 50-135 recently, but I find myself wanting to use the 35 all the time instead Poor DA*

All pictures taken with K20D and DA 35 Macro Ltd
Flickr: Henrik Melander's Photostream
11-07-2008, 01:24 PM   #7
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Unfortunately I can't offer any comparisons but I'll bump the thread by saying that the DA 35 is absolutely incredible. Definitely the sharpest lens I've used with my Pentax (of course it's only going against the DA 70 pancake and the FA 50 f/1.4). It exceeded my very high expectations. If you haven't come across this article it may have the same effect on you as it did on me and make you buy the lens: An Optical Paragon - photo.net

Also, one thing that guided my purchase was the consideration that even though it's f/2.8 and thus not particularly fast, it can focus close, so you can still get a very shallow depth of field even at smaller apertures. The main reason I like fast lenses is not for low light performance but for out-of-focus backgrounds and bokeh, so if you're the same way, keep in mind this macro lens can do that job.
11-07-2008, 01:41 PM   #8
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DA 35mm iso 200 f2.8



Ok I played with the colours, and vignetting, but not the bokeh :-)

11-07-2008, 03:06 PM   #9
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I have an FA 35 and a DA 35. I pair them to a K20D. With a similar set-up, you should be able to produce sparkling images from both. They are great lenses.

I got the FA 35 before the DA 35 became available and I am very pleased with the FA's performance.

On the other hand, if I was starting from scratch and had the choice, today, I would pick the DA 35. It's a dazzler. Whatever you pay extra for the DA 35 it's worth it.

Get the DA and don't look back.

Cheers...

Last edited by Michaelina2; 11-07-2008 at 06:26 PM. Reason: typo
11-07-2008, 04:12 PM   #10
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I think Michael has it pegged. The extra snazzy coating, Limited build and fact that you can focus arbitrarily close makes the DA 35 hard to beat... unless you absolutely must have the extra stop... I can't see it in this focal length.

Ibam -- I love the processing on that shot. In fact I'd love everything about it if the license plate was absent.
11-19-2008, 03:45 PM   #11
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I don't have the DA35. I have the FA35. I don't know how they compare, but I can say that for itself, the FA35 is absolutely the s--t. I'm a big fan of a normal FOV and fast apertures, so how could it go wrong. It could go wrong only if it took as much time as the FA50 to sharpen up. I love my FA50, but it doesn't get respectable until f2.8. The FA35 is sharp wide open, borders included. It's sharper than the FA50 at it's peak. It's sharper than my DA70, which is a great lens. And it's sharper than my Tamron 90mm macro, which is also a great lens. The build quality is very good (plastic can be good), with tighter tolerances than my DA70, and the price is very nice. Sometimes I wonder why I have other lenses when this one destroys everything in its path. The only reason I could see getting the DA35 is for the macro capabilities (which I'd rather have in a longer lens) or all the pretty metal. But for low light shooting, and shallower depth of field shooting (both of which are important to me) I need the FA35. I need it.
11-19-2008, 03:51 PM   #12
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I'm saving up for both.

I'm getting the DA35 for my work and the FA35 for my low-light lens.

They're both fantastic. That FA35 is really sharp at f/2!

Sigh. 3 lenses so close to each other (DA35 FA35 DA40).
11-19-2008, 06:30 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by soccerjoe5 Quote
Sigh. 3 lenses so close to each other (DA35 FA35 DA40).
It looks like you'll be needing the new 30mm too.
11-20-2008, 12:43 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
It looks like you'll be needing the new 30mm too.
Nooooo...

Crap.
11-20-2008, 03:45 PM   #15
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The FA 35/2 has great value. It is easily has the best optical performance of anything I own (see signature), though my collection is pretty pedestrian. I could have bought the DA 35 instead, but was unconvinced at the time (and remain unconvinced) that is is worth the extra bucks except perhaps for the macro feature.

Regarding the FA 35/2 bokeh...yes, it can be somewhat "busy" at apertures smaller than f/5.6, though I have never found it to be particularly objectionable. This characteristic is fairly common for wider focal lengths, though I can't give a good reason why.

I would post up a couple of bokeh examples except that I am having sort of a crisis with my main computer (the one with the pictures on it) and can't get to the files.

Steve
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