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02-18-2009, 10:06 AM   #1
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DA 35mm f/2.8: worth giving up K-30mm f/2.8 and M-50mm f/1.7?

Ok, so I have a couple of fantastic manual focus lenses that I didn't pay that much for- a K series 30mm f/2.8 (more rare) and an M series 50mm f/1.7 (not rare at all).

I do love these lenses- I tend to shoot indoors with them, and practice MF all the time so that I'm comfortable using them. What I'm considering is selling these both off- I know it isn't the best time right now- to finance a DA 35mm f/2.8.

As far as focal lengths go, I think the DA 35mm will fit the bill nicely for indoor shooting. Honestly, I find I use the 50mm a bit less since it's quite tight indoors. However, I find that I tend to stop down to ~f/4 more often than not and shoot higher ISO to compensate, since the DOF is so bloody razor thin wide open. With the K-30mm, I am comfortable with it wide open, and I do like the focal length- gives me a bit more room when indoors. Tend to shoot with it at ISO 800 also.

Question is- do the esteemed members of the forum who have experience with the DA 35mm find it a good versatile indoor lens? I hope that when this lens is shot wide open, it has pleasing bokeh- I imagine with the macro focus capabilities of the lens, that would be the case. I do love that about the M-50mm.

Any opinions are appreciated!

02-18-2009, 10:16 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by virgilr Quote
Ok, so I have a couple of fantastic manual focus lenses that I didn't pay that much for- a K series 30mm f/2.8 (more rare) and an M series 50mm f/1.7 (not rare at all).

I do love these lenses- I tend to shoot indoors with them, and practice MF all the time so that I'm comfortable using them. What I'm considering is selling these both off- I know it isn't the best time right now- to finance a DA 35mm f/2.8.

As far as focal lengths go, I think the DA 35mm will fit the bill nicely for indoor shooting. Honestly, I find I use the 50mm a bit less since it's quite tight indoors. However, I find that I tend to stop down to ~f/4 more often than not and shoot higher ISO to compensate, since the DOF is so bloody razor thin wide open. With the K-30mm, I am comfortable with it wide open, and I do like the focal length- gives me a bit more room when indoors. Tend to shoot with it at ISO 800 also.

Question is- do the esteemed members of the forum who have experience with the DA 35mm find it a good versatile indoor lens? I hope that when this lens is shot wide open, it has pleasing bokeh- I imagine with the macro focus capabilities of the lens, that would be the case. I do love that about the M-50mm.

Any opinions are appreciated!
I actually think the FA 35 f/2 is the better indoor lens - at f/2, it is pretty sharp. I shoot it all the time indoors wide-open.

I'd keep your M 50 1.7 - it would only fetch between 40-50$, and it's just always nice to have a fast 50. Especially one that good.

But yes, I'd sell that 30 2.8 to help fund the 35 2.8 limited macro - the DA 35 is simply exceptional.


.
02-18-2009, 11:52 AM   #3
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Ahh, yes, the FA does give that extra ~1 stop of light: however, harder to find, and I think more expensive? I can pick up a DA 35mm f/2.8 here in the MTL area for 400.00 CAD.

I'm just not sure if I could get my hands on the FA for a price I could afford- or am I completely off base with that, jsherman?

Still wondering if any DA 35mm users have any opinions!
02-18-2009, 12:21 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by virgilr Quote
Ahh, yes, the FA does give that extra ~1 stop of light: however, harder to find, and I think more expensive? I can pick up a DA 35mm f/2.8 here in the MTL area for 400.00 CAD.

I'm just not sure if I could get my hands on the FA for a price I could afford- or am I completely off base with that, jsherman?

Still wondering if any DA 35mm users have any opinions!
The FA35/2 used to be readily available for $300 US. I bought mine about a year ago for that. About a month or two later, there was some concern about the lens not being available any more, but they became available again over the summer. The same supply issues are happening again. I think a lot of people have a feeling that this lens won't be available in the future, but no one knows exactly when it will disappear.

I have never used the 30mm f2.8, but it would have to be really great for me to keep it. There are so many other good 28-35 choices.

02-18-2009, 01:52 PM   #5
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Thanks for the price info, Dave- I'm not seeing them readily available on Fleabay or retailers in the area (The FA 35/2).

I guess I feel a little "hamstrung" by the K30mm- I think that optically it's a wonderful lens, but I've read some reviews of the DA 35/2.8 that tend to rave about its sharpness, color rendition and performance. I don't absolutely need autofocus, but it would sure be nice when walking about to hand the camera to my wife and she can take a great shot, too! The other thing that's very attractive about the DA 35/2.8 is the close focusing capability- I know it isn't the ultimate macro lens at that focal length, but it would sure be nice for intense DOF stuff.

Anyways, I guess I'm trolling at this point for justification of getting a new lens- I'll probably not shoot any more than I do now, huh? Hehe.
02-18-2009, 07:34 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by virgilr Quote
Still wondering if any DA 35mm users have any opinions!
I have one and I'm pasting in the opinion I just posted in another thread:


I own the DA35 LTD and you absolutely can SEE and FEEL the difference.

What you see is:
Beautiful out of focus areas
Spooky great contrast
Sharpness that can't be beat.

The crazy thing about my DA35 LTD is I shoot a photo, load it into LR2 and apply my standard sharpening and guess what, nothing changes. The lens is so sharp that sometimes I can't notice a change using sharpening settings that make the image from a lessor lens get all full of artifacts.

What you feel is:
Quality I haven't felt since my first Pentax in the late 70s.
02-18-2009, 09:59 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by virgilr Quote
Thanks for the price info, Dave- I'm not seeing them readily available on Fleabay or retailers in the area (The FA 35/2)...
Adorama has stock in the FA 35/2 at $299.95 with free shipping.

Steve
02-18-2009, 10:07 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Adorama has stock in the FA 35/2 at $299.95 with free shipping.

Steve
Anyone on the wall about this lens needn't be - it lives up to it's rep in every way.

02-19-2009, 06:44 AM   #9
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That's interesting on the FA 35/2, at 300.00. With exchange, that brings it to 360.00 CAD. Of course I have to pay the two taxes, but no duty on photographic equipment at least!

I'm just not sure if I'll really feel a difference when shooting with the FA 35/2 vs my K 30mm. I know I'll get 1 more stop of light- that's nice for indoor. But image quality? Hmm, hard to say.

Whereas with the DA* 35/2.8, maybe I'll feel a difference? Not sure- I can't "try" either one, I have to commit with money, and that's not easily attainable right now...

Anyways, thanks for the feedback everybody- it's very helpful! I wish there was somebody out there that had both the K 30mm and one of either the FA 35/2 or the DA* 35/2.8, get their impressions.

Anybody? I know the chances are slim!
02-19-2009, 06:53 AM   #10
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I don't know, I suppose it is a matter of "taste"...

I used to own FA35/2 (twice). And I am not selling my DA35/2.8 one...







02-19-2009, 07:47 AM   #11
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Christos-

Your shots definately prove a point! I think I'd really dig macro shooting- I don't have any real macro tools at this point. Anyways, I find the bokeh so beautiful- although, as per a review I read, the mid OOF areas have quite busy bokeh: as in your first shot, where the trees are behind the subject. But WOW- you were shooting RIGHT INTO the sun- and no lens flare at all! That is quite the testament to the lens, that first shot!

Thanks for posting these- makes my life so much more difficult now!
02-19-2009, 07:01 PM   #12
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Hi Virgilr,

I live in Mago, near Montreal. If you want to buy a da35ltd, you should consider buying from prodigital2000 on Ebay. They are located in Ontario, so when you buy from them, you pay canadian and save TVQ (7,5 %) since you only have to pay TPS (5%). I bought my 35 from them and I am verry satisfied.

Best regards,
02-20-2009, 03:54 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by virgilr Quote
Christos-

Your shots definately prove a point! I think I'd really dig macro shooting- I don't have any real macro tools at this point. Anyways, I find the bokeh so beautiful- although, as per a review I read, the mid OOF areas have quite busy bokeh: as in your first shot, where the trees are behind the subject. But WOW- you were shooting RIGHT INTO the sun- and no lens flare at all! That is quite the testament to the lens, that first shot!

Thanks for posting these- makes my life so much more difficult now!
One thing that impresses me a lot with that lens is the almost complete absence of Chromatic Aberration...

the busy mid OOF areas bokeh is the greatest I've ever seen with that lens as it is with the FA Ltd lenses... In fact I think the bokeh of DA35/2.8 is even better than the one of 31/1.8 ltf. You actually see that circles because in that particular photo I used f/5. If I had used f/2.8 it would had produced a completely different result with smooth and creamy mid OOF areas bokeh!!!

The lens tense to flare and I have to admit that FA35/2 has quite better flare control. Also DA35/2.8 produces images with a bit precipitate transition from focused areas to blurred ones while fa35/2 produces images with smoother transition... After all FA35/2 is a non macro FF lens

BUT 35/2.8 is sharper (sometimes inconveniently sharp), has better (almost perfect) Chromatic Aberration control, has better build quality, has macro capability, is smaller and has better ergonomics etc. etc. After all DA35/2.8 is Ltd
02-20-2009, 07:05 AM   #14
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Thanks for the info sylber RE prodigital- I'll check them out.

Christos- that's invaluable information in regards to the characteristics of the lens. At this point I guess what becomes issue is will the extra stop of light be more important on the FA 35/2 (specifically indoor shooting), or is the macro capabilities of the of the DA* 35/2.8 something I'll utilize more.

I'm shooting on a K100D super, so I don't have the advantages of a K10D in terms of being able to shoot at say ISO 1000 or 1250 (please forgive me if a misquote these numbers, I don't have a K10D!) or the fabulous sensor of the K20D and it's better high ISO performance.

I find that I shoot at ISO 800 indoors, since the noise at 1600 on the K100D super is a bit crazy. At 800, it's fairly well controlled, though. I do like to put a few shots up on stock sites once in a while, and I know how picky they are about noise and noise reduction.

Given these facts, when I shoot with the K30/2.8 wide open at ISO 800, shutter speeds are still fairly low, and that's the one reason why I was looking into the various 35mm variants.

More thinking- all this information is making this a tough decision! I do love the fact that the DA* 35/2.8 has amazing control of CA, though- that's one thing that makes me a bit nuts with cheaper lenses. Even the K 30mm has issues with CA.
02-20-2009, 11:17 AM   #15
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Sylber-

Unfortunately the price on prodigital2000 is quite a bit higher than what I can pick up the lens from Simons downtown MTL. After tax, I'd save about 30.00 at Simons- and they're in town, no need to do the postage thing if I have any issues.

Still debating... took some shots with the K 30/2.8 today, and gosh, that's such a FUN little lens indoors. However, trying to shoot my cat was a pain, because he's always on the move: that's when having AF would be so nice...

Here's a shot from the K 30/2.8, was stopped down to (I think) f/4

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