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09-11-2009, 11:19 PM   #1
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Pentax FA 35mm f2.0 vs Sigma AF 30mm f/1.4

Iīm deciding between the Pentax FA 35mm f2.0 and Sigma AF 30mm f/1.4, what should I choose?

09-11-2009, 11:38 PM   #2
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I don't have any experience with the Sigma, but I do have the Pentax 35mm and it's pretty damn awesome.

Small, light, very well built, feels great and image quality is very good. It and the Pentax 50mm are my two main primes.

Photozone has good reviews, trustworthy and non-biased, they like it too.

Pentax SMC-FA 35mm f/2 AL - Review / Test Report

The Sigma was a bit of a strange one, they didn't really like it since it's all concentrated on center quality at the cost of the borders.

Sigma AF 30mm f/1.4 EX DC (Pentax K) Review / Test Report
09-11-2009, 11:40 PM   #3
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Hi.

If I were you I would choose the Pentax FA35... great sharpness even wide open and excellent lens in every aspect (for its price), not too expensive, it could be a limited if it wasnt for its plastic construction. I regret I had to sell it a few months ago...

Pentax SMC-FA 35mm f/2 AL - Review / Test Report

About the Sigma, it seems not as good as the Pentax.

Sigma AF 30mm f/1.4 EX DC (Pentax K) Review / Test Report

Hope that helps.
09-11-2009, 11:41 PM   #4
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It seems we wrote answers at the same time...

Same links, sorry...

09-11-2009, 11:59 PM   #5
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No experience wit the Sigma, but I have the FA35...it's my all time favorite lens and would be the last one I would sell, if forced to.

Jas
09-12-2009, 12:12 AM   #6
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I also have no experience with the Sigma, but can vouch for the Pentax-FA 35/2. Great optically with build quality that is state of the art for non-metal lenses. It is light, compact, fast, and fast focusing. Want to use it with film? No problem since it has both an aperture ring and supports the 35mm format. What more could you want? I recently let another forum member (ISO50) play with mine for a few minutes. His comment when he handed it back? "I could get used to this..."

Pity it is out of production and is getting increasingly difficult to find.

Steve
09-12-2009, 12:40 AM   #7
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just a sample of what to expect from the FA 35. if this result is enough for you, then think no further.

09-12-2009, 03:00 AM   #8
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35mm f2.8. The boke is not the smoothest one but that's the only thing I dare to complain.



09-12-2009, 04:53 AM - 3 Likes   #9
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Hi MSE210, welcome to the forums!

I currently own the FA35 (a little over a year), and recently purchased the Sigma 30 - so I can tell you a bit about both camps.

Comparisons:
- Pentax is FF, Sigma is made for digital and for crop sensors.
- Sigma is very sharp at 1.4, and very useably sharp at 1.6/1.8. FA doesn't go here.
- Sigma is significantly sharper (centre) than FA at f2.0 (easily noticable), as well as, at f2.8 (slightly sharper), f4.0 (narrowly sharper). By f8 they are about equal.
- Pentax has noticable hexagonal bokeh. Sigma has round bokeh in the centre and once you get the edge of the frames it becomes more triangular.
- Pentax sharpness is pretty even throughout the image. Sigma is bleeding sharp in the middle areas, but becomes softer in the corners.
- Pentax colours are intact with this lens. Sigma colours are a bit warmer (personally this is more pleasing to me).
- Both have flower petal hoods. Pentax goes on easy and reverses easy for storage. Sigma's is a bit of a pain to put on and does reverse, but the notches are narrow for doing this - it's a bit finicky.
- Pentax has regular lens cap with pinchers on the outside. Sigma has pinchers on the outside, as well as, in the inside (so you can put cap on while hood is still attached).
- Pentax has well made and feels good in the hands. The focus ring is small (if you will use MF). Sigma has the matte crinkle finish (I like it quite a bit) and a signficantly larger focusing mechanism.
- I find Pentax images with this lens to be very flat and lack much depth. The Sigma lens has a surreal 3D effect to them (not unlike FA77) which is actually aided by the softer corners (that are still usable they aren't smudgy messes).
- Both shoot well in lower light. Sigma gets the edge due to the larger aperture of course.

That's about all I can think of right now...

If you are a Pentax purist then go for the FA35 - it's a great lens and can be used in a variety of situations. If the focal length suits you this lens is certainly a worthy competitor to the FA31, or the DA35 macro.

The Sigma is a bit of a specialty lens. It is meant for shooting people for candids/portraits and it does it exceedingly well. The much reported soft corners is certainly accurate, however in real world use it's not that noticable - and helps aid the 3d effect of the lens.

Both of them are very good and both are close to the same price. I chose the FA35 originally, but am switching to the Sigma because of how/what I shoot.

I hope this info is helpful.

c[_]

Last edited by ll_coffee_lP; 09-12-2009 at 05:52 AM.
09-12-2009, 05:37 AM   #10
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Very thorough & thoughtful post, c[_]!
09-12-2009, 09:53 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by ll_coffee_lP Quote
Hi MSE210, welcome to the forums!

I currently own the FA35 (a little over a year), and recently purchased the Sigma 30 - so I can tell you a bit about both camps.

Comparisons:
- Pentax is FF, Sigma is made for digital and for crop sensors.
- Sigma is very sharp at 1.4, and very useably sharp at 1.6/1.8. FA doesn't go here.
- Sigma is significantly sharper (centre) than FA at f2.0 (easily noticable), as well as, at f2.8 (slightly sharper), f4.0 (narrowly sharper). By f8 they are about equal.
- Pentax has noticable hexagonal bokeh. Sigma has round bokeh in the centre and once you get the edge of the frames it becomes more triangular.
- Pentax sharpness is pretty even throughout the image. Sigma is bleeding sharp in the middle areas, but becomes softer in the corners.
- Pentax colours are intact with this lens. Sigma colours are a bit warmer (personally this is more pleasing to me).
- Both have flower petal hoods. Pentax goes on easy and reverses easy for storage. Sigma's is a bit of a pain to put on and does reverse, but the notches are narrow for doing this - it's a bit finicky.
- Pentax has regular lens cap with pinchers on the outside. Sigma has pinchers on the outside, as well as, in the inside (so you can put cap on while hood is still attached).
- Pentax has well made and feels good in the hands. The focus ring is small (if you will use MF). Sigma has the matte crinkle finish (I like it quite a bit) and a signficantly larger focusing mechanism.
- I find Pentax images with this lens to be very flat and lack much depth. The Sigma lens has a surreal 3D effect to them (not unlike FA77) which is actually aided by the softer corners (that are still usable they aren't smudgy messes).
- Both shoot well in lower light. Sigma gets the edge due to the larger aperture of course.

That's about all I can think of right now...

If you are a Pentax purist then go for the FA35 - it's a great lens and can be used in a variety of situations. If the focal length suits you this lens is certainly a worthy competitor to the FA31, or the DA35 macro.

The Sigma is a bit of a specialty lens. It is meant for shooting people for candids/portraits and it does it exceedingly well. The much reported soft corners is certainly accurate, however in real world use it's not that noticable - and helps aid the 3d effect of the lens.

Both of them are very good and both are close to the same price. I chose the FA35 originally, but am switching to the Sigma because of how/what I shoot.

I hope this info is helpful.

c[_]
Do you have any images you could post? I love my FA35, but I'm also curious about what the Sigma would yield. I'm not really a pixel peeper, so soft corners doesn't bother me as much as most I would say.
09-12-2009, 03:13 PM   #12
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Thankīs to all, you have been very helpful. I ordered the FA 35mm yesterday night after reading some of your responses, hadnīt read ll_coffee_lP great response though but I donīt like to second guess myself (thats what hapens when you are such an impulse buyer). I canīt wait for my buddy in the states to come to mexico and bring it to me. (it is always a hassle to find good prices in mexico).

Again, thankīs a lot for all your help
09-12-2009, 04:02 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by mse210 Quote
I canīt wait for my buddy in the states to come to mexico and bring it to me. (it is always a hassle to find good prices in mexico).

Again, thankīs a lot for all your help
Cant go wrong with FA35. Great stright from F2.0
09-12-2009, 06:50 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by krypticide Quote
Do you have any images you could post? I love my FA35, but I'm also curious about what the Sigma would yield. I'm not really a pixel peeper, so soft corners doesn't bother me as much as most I would say.
No post-able images yet. Many test shots taken that are on my computer, but all images I show on this site are posted on my blog first. They haven't made their way there yet.

When I get a chance over the next couple of days I'll drop some shots in the "Post Your Photos" section and title it "Sigma 30mm".

OP...Glad the info was helpful. I'm sure you will be very happy with the FA35.

c[_]
09-13-2009, 07:17 AM   #15
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I used to own FA35, but sold if to a mate. Now own the sigma.
My experience with both lenses are pretty much summarised by c[_]

Its not to say FA35 is not good, but i see it as a precision tool that is suitable for other subject matters that sadly is not my priority at the moment.

Please share with us your photos when you get your new lens.
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