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03-29-2009, 04:33 PM   #1
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50mm Equivalent Lens for K200D

I'll soon be finally expanding my Pentax lens collection to include a fast prime in the traditional 50mm (equivalent) range. I've got the K200D right now (an upgrade is likely in the future) and my current lenses are the DA* 16-50 and 50-135mm f/2.8 zooms and the DA 50-300mm zoom.

I'd like to stick with better optics. I was considering the DA 35mm f/2.8 macro. It might still come to this because this is a very good macro lens. But I have f/2.8 zooms, so I was looking for a bit faster. And, although Pentax has the DA* 55mm f/1.4 lens... it seems plans for a 30mm version of this lens have fallen off the Pentax lens roadmap. Even if they still eventually bring it out, there's no telling how long we might have to wait.

The Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX DC HSM lens might be an option - and it costs about the same as the Pentax 35mm f/2.8 macro (just over $400). Does anyone have any experience with the Sigma?

Suggestions are welcome. There are the FA Limited primes, of course. But I suspect I'd be paying for extra glass that I don't need with an APS-C sensor.

03-29-2009, 05:19 PM   #2
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From the story you told you are looking for approval to get the Sigma 30 f1.4. It is a decent lens. A little bit soft wide open but fairly boring in my opinion. For a standard lens focal length I bit the bullet and picked up the 31 mm f1.8 ltd. I will never regret it.
03-29-2009, 05:21 PM   #3
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FA 35mm f/2.0 period.
03-29-2009, 08:56 PM   #4
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Yeah...the Sigma 30 1.4 is really "soft" wide open. Here is an example of its "softness" on my K200D, shot wide open.

Seriously though. This lens is razor sharp...or perhaps i just got a really good copy.

Edit: Sigma does not offer HSM for the Pentax mount, is it is the standard screw driven focus. It still focuses very quickly, but it is not as quiet as those with HSM.

Last edited by RT1; 03-29-2009 at 09:12 PM.
03-30-2009, 06:28 AM   #5
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I had the FA 35mm f/2 when I shot Pentax, and now I have the Sigma 30mm on my Canon setup....

Image quality was up there with both lenses, but I think the extra stop would sway me to the Sigma if I had to do it all over again. Focus is tricky at f/1.4, but the bokeh/rendering/ amazing!

Here are some thoughts comparing the Sigma to the $$$$$$$$ Canon 35mm f/1.4 L

Sigma 30 f1.4 EX DC HSM v. Canon 35 f1.4 L USM - Test 1 Photo Gallery by lightrules at

Bottom line, in Canon-land, it is THE "normal" lens to buy for crop bodies.
03-30-2009, 07:55 PM   #6
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My Sigma question was motivated by the fact that I haven't read much about it up until now. I'm sure that the focus is tricky at f/1.4 - I imagine the depth of field is an inch or less when wide open. Too bad that it doesn't offer HSM in the Pentax mount. But at least I know it's a decent lens should I decide I need to err on the side of (relative) frugality. And the other option in that price range (actually close to $100 less) is the FA 35mm f/2.0. And now I know that it's also a good lens. I appreciate the feedback.
03-30-2009, 08:06 PM   #7
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Sigma 30
FA31 Ltd

Pick one - they are all stupendous lenses and all have just a little something different to offer from each other.


P.S. I went with the FA35, as I already have a dedicated macro lens, couldn't find a Sigma readily available to try, and didn't want to spend $1000 CDN on a focal length that I don't use a tremendous amount. I'm more than pleased with my choice.
03-30-2009, 09:43 PM   #8
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I second, third and fourth the recommendation for the Pentax FA35/2. Brilliant lens and priced right too.


03-31-2009, 03:24 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by RT1 Quote
Yeah...the Sigma 30 1.4 is really "soft" wide open. Here is an example of its "softness" on my K200D, shot wide open.

It is only microscopically soft for pixel peeping. Field work reveals little difference.
03-31-2009, 11:40 AM   #10
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I don't own FA35 but it if you have the money, FA31/1.8 is worth it...

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