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08-30-2009, 02:06 PM   #1
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FA43 or DA35 for K20

Well, I am confused and need the Forum input from folks who've used either or both lenses.

Johnson says the DA35 is a "paragon," but Klaus says its good but "doesn't excel." The Forum database reviews have the DA35 ranked higher than the 43.

QUESTION: in terms of sharpness, without considering the macro feature, which would you pick? Thanks,
Brian

08-30-2009, 03:24 PM   #2
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If you dont already have a macro and you value the ability to use the 35 as a macro, than get that as its really a wonderful versatile lens and a nice focal length outside of macro. One minus is that its not all that fast. On the other hand The FA43 is renowned by many as the top limited. Its slight speed advantage may or may not be super important to you but it is there.

I think the pictures taken on this forum with either lens show that they are both extremely sharp. Personally I prefer the way the FA43 renders/gives that certain pop but thats just me .


(Also a lot of respect comes with owning a FA limited )
08-30-2009, 03:43 PM   #3
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1.9 and 2.8 isn't slight... it's a full stop

In the end it depends on what you already have, like yeatzee said. If I can only have one I'd probably pick DA 35.

RIght now I'm lusting the FA 43 but in the end I want to have both...
08-30-2009, 03:43 PM   #4
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have you tried looking through flickr, pbase, etc to see different photos and if you can determine differences in rendering?

08-30-2009, 03:47 PM   #5
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Trying taking a look at the FA-35mm f/2. A lot of users here have one and a lot are going around the market place periodically. Very sharp and faster than the 35mm. Between the 43mm, it is about the same. 1/6 of a stop isn't anything and at f/1.9 the 43mm isn't sharp while the FA 35mm is.
08-30-2009, 05:13 PM   #6
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yeatzee, andi,
I have a A50 f/1.7 and like the resolution/sharpness/contrast a lot and now I want something that can match that for sharpness and add AF. Macro isn't all that important; I had a Tamron 90 at one point and found I just didn't use the macro very much at all. So it's all about walk-around use at the best possible IQ,
Brian
08-31-2009, 03:43 AM   #7
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I have both, but since i use them differently, its kinda hard to tell you which one is better.
If you are thinking of replacing or matching the 50/1.7, then 43 is a good choice.

I sold my FA 50 when I get the 43, go figure.

35 macro is great if you want the wider view, but focus can be slow if it missed focus, else its very good in low light.
08-31-2009, 03:55 AM   #8
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They are very different lenses. The DA 35 is a macro lens -- very sharp, but with a little busy bokeh. Sometimes a little slow focusing, but still a great walk around lens. It is still a favorite, in spite of its quirks.

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08-31-2009, 07:55 AM   #9
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If I can only choose one for the sole purpose of taking photos, I'll take the 35. If collection-value is part of the game, I'll take the 43.
08-31-2009, 10:53 AM   #10
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They are different and both excellent.

The DA35 is perfect as an "everything in one" lens since it is a good focal length for landscapes, street shots and even portraits (where you want environment). And of course it is a macro -- a very good one. It makes a perfect companion for a smaller body where you want a convenient one lens solution. The rendering is pure Pentax.

It works well in auto-focus. However, it is not so good for manual focus, since the helical is tuned to the macro range. Trying to manually focus on anything at a distance is really difficult.

Also it is not so fast at f/2.8

It may be a personal thing, but I am not fond of 35mm on digital. I like 28mm or something more tele. 35mm is so in between.

That was three strikes against it for me, so I traded it away for something I needed more. But that is only because I have a manual 28mm f/2 close focus lens that I use instead.



The FA43 is also considered by some to be an uncomfortable focal length on digital. But I like the FOV it offers, perfect for a head and shoulders shot or for small groups. There is something very magical about how this lens renders people! It has that mythic 3D quality. None of my other lenses have this in the same way. No, not even the 77.

It is a stop faster, which is important to me. And it is certainly sharp enough. Plus good for manually focusing -- lovely damped ring and all-metal feel.

The one problem is the rather large minimum focus distance. The very thing the DA35 is great at the FA43 cannot manage at all! Still, whenever I know I need to take pictures of people, I put it in my pocket. I even used it at my own wedding!

08-31-2009, 07:40 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by FHPhotographer Quote
Well, I am confused and need the Forum input from folks who've used either or both lenses.

Johnson says the DA35 is a "paragon," but Klaus says its good but "doesn't excel." The Forum database reviews have the DA35 ranked higher than the 43.

QUESTION: in terms of sharpness, without considering the macro feature, which would you pick? Thanks,
Brian
Brian: I really do like Mike Johnston's incite of all things lens and love T.O.P. I would take his opinion over Klaus as it really was a field test of what the 35 mm could do as opposed to a bench test. I have the DA 35 mm and love it. Many posters have laid out the virtues of the lens. I would say that the close focusing is so wonderful. Many times I am out and see some detail of say a door or sign or whatever. I can get as close as I want only limited by the lens hood. It is a great lens. I debated on the same two lenses and chose the DA 35 mm because of the versatility. In full disclosure, due to a bad case of LBA, I am now seriously considering adding the 43 mm. It is a classic and renders portraits nice as Robin's example shows.

QuoteOriginally posted by Andi Lo Quote
1.9 and 2.8 isn't slight... it's a full stop

In the end it depends on what you already have, like yeatzee said. If I can only have one I'd probably pick DA 35.

RIght now I'm lusting the FA 43 but in the end I want to have both...
Andi: I am with you on the lusting part. Especially since the FA limiteds have creeped up in price. I am afraid they may just stop producing them. I agree if only one go with the DA 35 mm.

QuoteOriginally posted by k100d Quote
have you tried looking through flickr, pbase, etc to see different photos and if you can determine differences in rendering?
Don't forget Pentax Photo gallery. I used to like pBase but the quality of images seems to be hit or miss.

QuoteOriginally posted by FHPhotographer Quote
yeatzee, andi,
I have a A50 f/1.7 and like the resolution/sharpness/contrast a lot and now I want something that can match that for sharpness and add AF. Macro isn't all that important; I had a Tamron 90 at one point and found I just didn't use the macro very much at all. So it's all about walk-around use at the best possible IQ,
Brian
Again, I am like you I don't care for macro (1:1) but when you try to close focus with the 43 mm, you will see that the relatively longer min. focusing distance can often be a hinderance.

QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
Robin: That is a great shot! Stunning, I love it. This is why I keep coming back to wanting to add the 43 mm. I would probably keep the DA 35 mm and add in the 43 mm.
09-01-2009, 08:19 AM   #12
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Diego shows here that the DA 35 holds its own as a portrait lens too:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/70221-trip-vie...rait-lens.html
09-01-2009, 08:38 AM   #13
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I owned the FA43 three times and Im now 100% shure that for me the DA35 is the right one!

Best,
Rainer
09-01-2009, 12:04 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by MSM Quote
Robin: That is a great shot! Stunning, I love it. This is why I keep coming back to wanting to add the 43 mm.
Thanks! Really it was a grab shot out in the parking lot as we waited for the bride to arrive at the registry. Lighting was harsh so finding somewhere decent was an issue.

QuoteOriginally posted by MSM Quote
I would probably keep the DA 35 mm and add in the 43 mm.
That makes sense to me. They are different enough lenses. I wouldn't choose the DA35 for portraits but the FA43 is my first choice. Now, if only I shot people more!
09-04-2009, 12:25 PM   #15
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Thanks to one and all...

QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
Thanks! Really it was a grab shot out in the parking lot as we waited for the bride to arrive at the registry. Lighting was harsh so finding somewhere decent was an issue.



That makes sense to me. They are different enough lenses. I wouldn't choose the DA35 for portraits but the FA43 is my first choice. Now, if only I shot people more!
This was great help. As I read it, although the 35 can take wonderful portraits, its greatest strength is the macro and all-around walk-around use; the 43 excels at that unique "snap" in portraits and medium distance. That's what I needed to know. It really helps me set the criteria for making the choice based on real world experience,
Brian

Last edited by FHPhotographer; 09-04-2009 at 07:05 PM.
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