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01-15-2009, 03:23 PM   #1
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Which of the two lenses?

Hello everyone!

I'm interested in if I were to buy one of the two lenses I'm about to mention, which one you would prefer?
Note that so far I only have the DA 18-55 II lens. Also, I live in Slovenia, and there's no chance to try out any Pentax gear. The only camera that is being sold in shops is the K200D, and the lens that comes with it the Tamron 18-200. NOTHING else is available here (or I'm severely missing something?)

1st the DA 35mm f/2.8 Macro Limited
From the examples I've seen it has excellent sharpness and colour rendition, and also features macro(!). I found these things very appealing.
Also, as far as I've seen, my most often used zoom ranges are 18mm, 35mm and 40mm.

2nd the DA 40mm f/2.8 Limited
Like the 35's I liked this one's colour rendition, but not sure as how sharpness compares with the 35? Secondly, it's supposed to be Pentax's fastest AF lens, which is great. It's also tiny and light, and just looks amazing.

(I've thought of the FA 50 too, but removed it, as I think I'll be better off with any of these two, they just seem to appeal to me more characteristically. =) I'd also like to mention that I find myself rarely zooming and really preferring moving with my feet... odd.)

My current standing is the 35. I don't really need the tiny size of the 40, and I'd really like macro capability. But I'm concerned about the focusing speed of the 35, as a macro, is it a -lot- slower compared to the 40? How does the sharpness compare?

The prices for which I could get these two are the following: DA35291, DA40270.

I'm just so eager to get my hands on any of these... even though it won't be too soon ... I need to buy myself a flash first. Thinking of the Metz 48 or 58. But! Do you think my money's better spent concentrating on a lens first?

Decisions, decisions...! Please help me out! =)

01-15-2009, 09:41 PM   #2
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I do not have the DA 35mm. I bought the DA 40mm before the former was being sold. I love the little thing and it is very sharp, even wide open, focuses fast and is light. Still if I had to do it again now I would probably buy the DA35mm, for the close focus. I have a few 50mm lenses, and they are a little too long for just carrying around, unfortunately. Either the 35 or the 40 will be noticably clearer/sharper than your generally nice 18-55mm zoom.

I will put in a plug for the F 35-70 zoom, that is a nice little lens that has better IQ than the 18-55, can do close focus 1:4, and goes a little longer. Usually under $100, if you can find one your way.

A flash will help a lot with certain shots, but a good lens will help with every shot.

my thoughts, for what they are worth.
01-15-2009, 10:48 PM   #3
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if you google and search for a bit you'll find a lot of people who tried to decide between the two
01-15-2009, 10:52 PM   #4
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For my style of shooting, I'd go for the 35mm Macro.. The DA 40mm maybe small but the macro is not large either.. I actually find it small too..

I think I can get more out of the Macro over the DA 40mm Ltd.

01-16-2009, 12:23 AM   #5
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The DA35 has gotten amazing reviews. I have the DA40, am very happy with it, and have not tried the DA35, but based on what I've read and the pictures I've seen, I would rather have the 35, for the amazing optics and the macro capability. If you don't need the pancake compactness, and don't care that the 35 is more expensive, go with the 35.

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01-16-2009, 01:28 AM   #6
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my vote goes to DA40, it doesn't have macro capability but reportedly it's faster in focusing. I have it myself, and it's by far my most used lens. Opticaly it's superb! sharp from 2.8, tack sharp corner to corner at f4 f5.6... And despite what's being said: the size MATTERS just in this case the small size makes the camera so much portable!
BR
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01-16-2009, 07:00 AM   #7
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Thanks for the answers so far! =)

I guess if I'm buying the lens it would be the 35... but back to my thoughts about a flash - even with a 2.8 aperture lens, indoor shots will be difficult, and the on-board flash is more or less useless, with it's aggressive direct lighting. Not to mention to get a few more objects in focus, 2.8 is way too small of a DOF.

Also, I already have the kit lens and it can do 35mm, so I'd be buying it for IQ and macro, but indoor use would still be very limited, AND 35mm is a bit long for indoor anyway. Not to mention the creative purposes an external flash unit can be used for.

What do you think?
01-16-2009, 07:07 AM   #8
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If indoor is an issue you probably need to reconsider the FA50/1.4. Then again, that's even longer and indeed, probably too long for a lot of inside stuff. I use my DA40 inside all the time at ISO 800 or 1600. It's very easy to handhold with shake reduction, but your mileage may vary

01-16-2009, 08:10 AM   #9
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What about people moving? Even small movements and it's impossible to shoot it with f/2.8 flashless, isn't it? And as I mentioned, it's nice to have more than the eyes of one person in focus... so f/2.8 isn't an option, much less f/1.4.
01-16-2009, 08:26 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nanthiel Quote
Hello everyone!

1st the DA 35mm f/2.8 Macro Limited
From the examples I've seen it has excellent sharpness and colour rendition, and also features macro(!). I found these things very appealing.
Also, as far as I've seen, my most often used zoom ranges are 18mm, 35mm and 40mm.

2nd the DA 40mm f/2.8 Limited
Like the 35's I liked this one's colour rendition, but not sure as how sharpness compares with the 35? Secondly, it's supposed to be Pentax's fastest AF lens, which is great. It's also tiny and light, and just looks amazing.


My current standing is the 35. I don't really need the tiny size of the 40, and I'd really like macro capability. But I'm concerned about the focusing speed of the 35, as a macro, is it a -lot- slower compared to the 40? How does the sharpness compare?


Decisions, decisions...! Please help me out! =)
I had both and sold the 40 and kept the 35... the 40 does focus faster, the 40 is very fast focusing compared even to other fast focusing lenses from Pentax. The 35 does focus slower than the 40 but not still not bad at all. I do not find the AF speed to be a show-stopper when using it in the streets and for candids and shooting from the hip.

Looks like what you are leaning toward is the 35. If the AF speed was your only consideration, then I don't think it will be enough of a problem for you to not consider the 35. If you have a chance to try on at the store and focus on something close then far then close, that'll give you an idea.

The 35 is a very sharp lens, I'd say sharper than the 40, especially at closer distances where the 35 macro excels, but perhaps at infinity, maybe the nod to the 40.

good luck
01-16-2009, 08:43 AM   #11
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I just purchased the DA35mm within the past few weeks and am extremely pleased with the results so far. It may be a little bigger than the 40mm but I feel it balances better on my K20. Also love the macro capability.
Just my .02
01-16-2009, 10:54 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nanthiel Quote
What about people moving? Even small movements and it's impossible to shoot it with f/2.8 flashless, isn't it? And as I mentioned, it's nice to have more than the eyes of one person in focus... so f/2.8 isn't an option, much less f/1.4.
I think you are greatly overestimating the effect of both issues. At ISO 1600 and f/2.8 you can get shutter speeds of 1/30" or more in "most" indoor environments. And actually, that's being pretty conservative - often, you don't need ISO 1600 to get 1/30", or you can get shutter speeds of 1/60" or better if you do go to ISO 1600. Sure, those kinds of shutter speeds won't stop someone who is actually running or engaged in other very fast motion - flash is needed for that - but nor is 1/30" so slow that it requires people to be perfectly still. It just requires a little patience and good timing and your part. Similarly, while DOF is indeed on the shallow side at f/2.8, it isn't so shallow that you can't get a whole face or two decently in focus.

In fact, I think that f/2.8 is a pretty much ideal compromise between DOF and shutter speed, and I use it a lot even when shooting with my A50/1.7. Although to be sure, the main reason I ever use the 50/1.7 is when the light is so low that I'm concerned f/2.8 won't be "fast" enough. But that's actually extremely rare. The only times when f/2.8 isn't fast enough are situations where the light is so poor, you are likely to get a very flat and uninteresting photo anyhow. Still, it's nice to have the *option* of going faster than f/2.8, which is why a lot of people like the FA35/2. But the size and focus speed of the DA40 is pretty impressive, and I for one think it's the single most useful length for candids on APS-C.

I have three primes I can use in these settings - M28/2.8, DA40/2.8 and A50/1.7. The 40 gets *by far* the most use of these for candids, and the three together cost less than the FA35/2, which would be the other choice I'd be considering if I were you (as opposed to DA35/2.8).

Here are some shots that demonstrate both why I like the FOV that 40mm gives but also that f/2.8 can provide both fast enough shutter speeds and great enough DOF - a practically ideal compromise:





01-16-2009, 12:01 PM   #13
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That's pretty awesome Marc Sabatella, thanks for posting the examples. I think I'd still be going for the 35 though for the macro. But to make this clear, do you think I'm much better off with a fastish lens (i.e. f/2.8) than, say, a Metz 48 / 58?
Also which of the two lenses is sharper full open?
01-16-2009, 02:17 PM   #14
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Hi!
I have just one thing to tell you, which is two things:
1. go to Austria (maybe Croatia) and see for yourself how lens behave. There is a small and friendly bunch of Pentax users near you at hrphotocontest forum, and among them they do have both lens. I believe they get together every once in a while and then you can ask them to try the lens you are interested in.

2. I got Metz58, and it improved my indoor pics enormously

3. getting a Metz does not mean you cannot get DA35 or DA40 and vice versa

Branimir
01-16-2009, 02:55 PM   #15
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That's very true Branimir, but the problem is my funds are extremely limited, and I can afford only one of these things in some time now...
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