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01-09-2009, 12:39 PM   #1
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LBA! Agonizing Over FA 35/2

I just came into the right amount of cash for one of these, and was about to pull the trigger on the purchase when I decided I'd really better think about it. (Maybe SLR lens purchases need a "cool down" period just like handguns! )
I already have two other lenses that cover that focal range adequately (DA* 16-50, and Tamron 28-75/2.8). For low light I have the FA 50/1.4, although that one is not wide enough most of the time IMO. So I was looking for something fast around 30-35mm.
However, the FA at f2 is only a stop faster than my zooms. Although it would be a helluva lot more compact, and would be a neat little complement to the 50.
On the other end though, I'm still trying to save for something longer (Tamron or Sigma 70-200/2.8, DA* 300 ?), and buying the 35 now would only delay any subsequent telephoto purchase. But geez, I could have the FA 35 NOW!
Then there is the mythical DA 30 coming out who knows when- will it be fast? Should I wait for that and use the perfectly good equipment that I already have in the meantime? Oh the agony! What do you guys say???

01-09-2009, 01:06 PM   #2
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Well don't make or delays or plans based on the DA30, which if I remember correctly is to be a DA* not DA, consider that as being $$$ not $. Getting back to the point, there isn't even a "marketing date" on the lens roadmap. Plus every lens that presently has a marketing date has been delayed for the [quite jokingly now] umpteenth time.

Get the reasonably priced 35/2 if you want it and will be able to make good use of it over the next year. I thought I wanted the 31/1.8 ltd until I tested one and found it to back-focus on my K10D (well I still do want one). Though I was dead-set against the 35/2 in favor of the 31 prior, in the light of my try with the 31, I'm now thinking of the 35/2 myself (given that I've learned the Pentax-A 28/2 isn't going to come cheap).

p.s. love your "cool down" thoughts!!!
01-09-2009, 01:06 PM   #3
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I think you should go for it.

You have the focal range covered, but with (somewhat) large zooms. I would expect the DA*30 to be faster, but who knows when that's coming, and it'll probably be around $800.

(I was going to just say "Get it" but that wasn't enough letters to qualify as a post.)
01-09-2009, 05:50 PM   #4
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Probably could use it

I can think of several instances indoors where it would have been better than either the FA 50 I had used (not wide enough), or the DA 21 Ltd (tooo slow!). Those are the times when taking a camera on, for example, my son's class field trip, where there is a need to travel light and be unobtrusive. Like Goldilocks said, it may be the lens that's "just right". Not to mention the thought of an impending price increase is adding a little pressure. What the heck, it may boil down to the flip of a coin! It does seem that there have been very few used 35/2's for sale- most people that get them apparently keep them, maybe that's a hint.

01-09-2009, 05:53 PM   #5
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I just got the FA 35 to accompany my FA 50. The two of them make a great little walk around kit for a small camera bag. I'm very pleased with mine.
01-09-2009, 05:58 PM   #6
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A very, very sharp lens let down by bokeh and that indefinable combination of colour and contrast...I have both the *16-50 and the Tammy 28-75 and I find them both better than the 35/2 at 35mm. However the prime is obviously faster and is razor sharp and there are many who will swear by it - but I don't. I found it disappointing and far inferior, for example, to old takumar lenses.
01-09-2009, 07:15 PM   #7
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Looking at your sig you already have the wider ranges covered very well with some nice zooms. Personally I've taken a different tack to my kit and have concentrated on getting primes but that's just me. If I were you I'd save the money toward the long end, where you need something. Your zooms are very high quality and I think you need something better than the Sigma 70-300 APO f/xx-xx (don't remember exactly the aperture range, I haven't used it since I got the DA*300/4).
I mean, this would be my thought process, then after I had the long end covered, I would go back and consider filling in with primes where I felt I needed them. Heck, if I was in your position, and really wanted a prime to hold me over I'd grab the next M 28/3.5 or 2.8 to come down the pike. I've never shot the 2.8 but the 3.5 holds it's own very very well even if it's a bit slow. Great quality lenses that won't eat into your telephoto budget much.
01-09-2009, 07:51 PM   #8
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Permit me to expand my thoughts.
I thought for sure the release of the DA* 300/4 would drop the prices on the F* and FA* 300/4.5's but it didn't fast enough for me and I bought the DA*. I couldn't fathom why anyone would pay $1000 for the either the F* or FA* when the DA* dropped to $1145 (what I paid for mine) and if I'm not mistaken I've seen them around the $1000 mark nowadays.
But I believe the current economic situation may bring this about. If you can save up $750 and wait, I think you will see F* and/or FA* 300/4.5 sell somewhere in this range.
But I wouldn't pay more. Any more than $750 I'd jump on the DA* 300/4, it's a beautiful lens, weather sealed, SDM, etc etc.
It seems to me a lot of people with the big time highly regarded lenses still want a fortune for them and maybe they haven't realized, yet, that we have entered a buyer's market. Jeez, I've bought a FA 43Limited for $353 (actually, I paid $335, the shipping was $18) and a FA 77Limited for a little over $400 in the last couple of months....new! With Mack 7 year warranties. 8 or 9 months ago I paid $770 for my FA 31Limited....used, and I've seen them around $600 now. I just wish I could buy 3 or 4 more of these Limited lenses and just sit on them for a couple of years, NIB.

01-09-2009, 08:24 PM   #9
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Don't agonize, just buy it. I too bought mine to accompany my FA50/1.4 and am ending up liking it much better as an overall lens. I love my 50, but find the 35 to be just as sharp and for me, is a better overall focal length for my type of everyday shooting. This lens is sharp, very sharp and the colours superb. I was going to save up for the 31/1.8, but am glad I bought the FA35/2 instead. What a great lens, at any price.

Jason
01-09-2009, 08:39 PM   #10
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Sigh... shots.

.


I've been told it's my duty to do this, so....








Now get out that plastic.


01-09-2009, 08:45 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by NeverSatisfied Quote
I already have two other lenses that cover that focal range adequately (DA* 16-50, and Tamron 28-75/2.8). For low light I have the FA 50/1.4, although that one is not wide enough most of the time IMO. So I was looking for something fast around 30-35mm.
There's your justification right there; the 50mm isn't wide enough most of the time, and thats also why I got my 35/2 to supplement my 50/1.7.

Go for it!
01-09-2009, 08:58 PM   #12
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Speaking of used

Thanks for the responses so far, I like to hear from those more experienced than I. Yes, EagleRapids you mentioned good but affordable used lenses- I'm having great fun with a Pentax A 70-210/4 that I picked up for only $30 ( had a bit of fungus but I've cleaned it up and the image quality is actually quite good.) However a little slow and no AF. For the long end I was considering one of the older Pentax SMC 300/4 primes as an economical way to deal with that need. Definitely, used lenses are not to be excluded. (Which would still leave $$ for the current "dilemma" )
Too funny J ! Oooo I'm severely afflicted, good thing I'm not at home right now to hit the button. But I feel it may be inevitable... Although just having it will not necessarily help me produce anything of your caliber. Thanks to all.
Paul
01-10-2009, 05:05 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by NeverSatisfied Quote
Thanks for the responses so far, I like to hear from those more experienced than I. Yes, EagleRapids you mentioned good but affordable used lenses- I'm having great fun with a Pentax A 70-210/4 that I picked up for only $30 ( had a bit of fungus but I've cleaned it up and the image quality is actually quite good.) However a little slow and no AF. For the long end I was considering one of the older Pentax SMC 300/4 primes as an economical way to deal with that need. Definitely, used lenses are not to be excluded. (Which would still leave $$ for the current "dilemma" )
Too funny J ! Oooo I'm severely afflicted, good thing I'm not at home right now to hit the button. But I feel it may be inevitable... Although just having it will not necessarily help me produce anything of your caliber. Thanks to all.
Paul
Paul, the FA 35/2 is a fine lens. Rendering of out-of-focus background blurr is largely a matter of personal taste and I never found it to by annoying in the least. I also have an old M35/2 and it is vastly inferior in terms of sharpness and contrast. Add to that the well-known fact (and I had the problem with two or three of these M 35mm lenses), that sooner or later you will have a sticky aperture, which needs cleaning, I would never buy that again... Well, at the time I bought it, it was the best choice - but now the FA35/2 is much better.

Your A 70-210/4 is a very good lens. I bought one myself a couple of years ago for travelling (much smaller and lighter than the 70-200(2.8) and felt never let down. So, there are some gems on the secondhand market. But that does not equate to the simple conclusion, that old lenses are preferable...

Ben
01-10-2009, 05:31 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jasvox Quote
Don't agonize, just buy it. I too bought mine to accompany my FA50/1.4 and am ending up liking it much better as an overall lens. I love my 50, but find the 35 to be just as sharp and for me, is a better overall focal length for my type of everyday shooting. This lens is sharp, very sharp and the colours superb. I was going to save up for the 31/1.8, but am glad I bought the FA35/2 instead. What a great lens, at any price.

Jason
+1, on all counts, though I do still have pangs for that FA 31mm...
01-10-2009, 07:44 AM   #15
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The purchase of this lens will not disappoint.

If you can grab it used that would be better. It seems to come available in waves in the marketplace. A few months ago everyone was selling one.

c[_]
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