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03-13-2022, 08:15 AM   #1
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DA 35 2.4 vs. FA 35 2.0 on K-1

Hello everyone,
I occasionally use a DA 35 2.4 on my K-1, but I'm not completely satisfied (some blurriness in the corners, AF sometimes inaccurate, bokeh sometimes a bit unattractive, contrasts don't quite appeal to me). I realize, of course, that this lens doesn't cost much and the performance is very good for this price. However, I am thinking about upgrading to the FA 35 2.0.

Frequently, however, I have read that the FA 35 2.0 is no different optically than the DA 35 2.4, so upgrading to the FA would not benefit me. Can anyone confirm this? (If so, I might have to look in the direction of Sigma Art or FA 31 for a better ~35mm lens)


Thanks in advance

03-13-2022, 08:27 AM   #2
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Home made MTF comparisons 50mm's, 35mm's, 28mm's and 100mm's + bonus 3.5/135 - PentaxForums.com

Scroll down a bit to see home made mtf comparing *my copies* of the two lenses. This doesn't compare absolute corners though.

Se also an earlier thread/post of mine
HD Pentax-FA 35mm F2 vs SMC Pentax-DA 35mm F2.4 AL on FF Pentax (K-1) - Page 2 - PentaxForums.com


In short my DA35 performs extremely well, arguably better in some respects, but it does show some degradation in extreme corners. Both in regards to sharpness and vignetting probably due to the smaller lens elements and the baffles. I have the newer HD FA version but differences should be minimal compared to the smc FA.

The FA35 can have a bit of a busy bokeh in challenging light such as back lit foilage but it often produces very nice bokeh. I haven't done side by side comparisons of more subjective qualities but no longer use the DA35 because the FA is slightly better over all.

Last edited by house; 03-13-2022 at 08:37 AM.
03-13-2022, 09:28 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by house Quote
Home made MTF comparisons 50mm's, 35mm's, 28mm's and 100mm's + bonus 3.5/135 - PentaxForums.com

Scroll down a bit to see home made mtf comparing *my copies* of the two lenses. This doesn't compare absolute corners though.

Se also an earlier thread/post of mine
HD Pentax-FA 35mm F2 vs SMC Pentax-DA 35mm F2.4 AL on FF Pentax (K-1) - Page 2 - PentaxForums.com


In short my DA35 performs extremely well, arguably better in some respects, but it does show some degradation in extreme corners. Both in regards to sharpness and vignetting probably due to the smaller lens elements and the baffles. I have the newer HD FA version but differences should be minimal compared to the smc FA.

The FA35 can have a bit of a busy bokeh in challenging light such as back lit foilage but it often produces very nice bokeh. I haven't done side by side comparisons of more subjective qualities but no longer use the DA35 because the FA is slightly better over all.
I have owned both - but on crop only. Even on crop I preferred the FA 35/2. The reasons could be just the way it felt or simple bias. I do think the corners on FF are better as you indicate. The reality is - they are both really useable - pick one right?
03-13-2022, 01:06 PM   #4
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I found the FA 35 f2 to be great on the K-1 and was my go to until I got a FA 31 Ltd.
The FA 35 bokeh can be busy sometimes but I have plenty of shots where its really good.
When I went to the 31 Ltd, while its a fantastic lens, I found, for walk around, I actually liked 35mm FOV a little better versus the 31mm (even though its not that much different). However now I have a FA 43 limited, and find thats an even better general purpose focal length (and a great all round lens - although it seems there may be some less stellar copies around) - I like the bokeh better than the FA35 and its small too!

03-13-2022, 01:21 PM   #5
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Thank you for your feedback, it helps me to at least get an idea of the differences. Maybe I'll invest in a FA 35 soon, at least it's still considerably cheaper than a Fa 31. 43mm might be a bit long for my purposes.
03-13-2022, 02:12 PM   #6
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Pentax K1 + FA 35 mm f/2, ISO 800, 1/4 sec @ f/8 on tripod : EXCELLENT LENS !

03-13-2022, 03:33 PM   #7
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Get the HD FA 35mm f/2- it is better. I use it exclusively on my K-1 II, and never need it on my KP. The HD coatings also make for improvement in many circumstances.

03-13-2022, 03:54 PM   #8
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I have never tried the DA35 but have had the FA35 for a long time. Optically it is quite decent, at least if you stop down a bit, but even wide open it can deliver nice photos, if a bit soft. The only real weakness in my view is that focusing is somewhat slow (and loud). I would expect the HD version to be slightly better optically but I have the original SMC version.
05-21-2022, 02:54 PM   #9
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I have the FA35 2.0. I love this lens a lot. I have the A 35mm 2.0 version and both give similar results (One manual, one AF). The DA 35 2.4 is crisper but the FA 35 gives me more classic look. In my opinion, FA35 is better but it is my opinion.
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