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10-05-2009, 07:15 AM   #1
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An amatuer's 1st Impressions of FA 35mm f.2

I've had this lens for a few weeks now and here are my first (amatuer) impressions.

Positives:

1. The lens works very well for macro shots.

2. Unlike what some reported here, it has great color rendition.



3. It produces very nice black and white images right out of the camera:



4. Overall, it is a nice walkaround lens. The focal length is great for most shots.


Negatives

1. The lens is not good in low light. I find I often have to shoot at ISO 1600 to get proper exposures, with a noticable amount of noise.



even before dusk:



Plus or minus--when opened up the DOF is VERY shallow with a small focal area.

I havn't had a chance to use it for daytime landscape shots yet. I am still deciding whether this or the 50mm 1.4 would be better for my upcoming trip.

10-05-2009, 09:24 AM   #2
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I like mine as well, though I feel like it gives slightly weird, soft-ish images at f/2.0. Still enjoy using it though!
10-05-2009, 09:38 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by krypticide Quote
I like mine as well, though I feel like it gives slightly weird, soft-ish images at f/2.0. Still enjoy using it though!
soft ? This lens i snot perfect but should bite and bite hard at f/2.
10-05-2009, 11:06 AM   #4
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It's said FA35/2 is very Nikon-ish, as the guy who designed it later went to Nikon, and designed some great lens such as 24-70/2.8 there.

Its sharpness at wide open should be one of the best among non-DA Pentax lenses. Its view angle is comfortable at DSLRs, and fantastic on FF film cameras. I really like this lens.

10-05-2009, 11:24 AM   #5
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What I like best is that it is kind of a jack of all trades lens. The lens is so compact and lightweight, it is very easy to carry around. I don't think twice about grabbing the camera when I leave the house now.
10-05-2009, 12:56 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by T_MB Quote
I've had this lens for a few weeks now and here are my first (amatuer) impressions.

Negatives

1. The lens is not good in low light. I find I often have to shoot at ISO 1600 to get proper exposures, with a noticable amount of noise.


Plus or minus--when opened up the DOF is VERY shallow with a small focal area.

I havn't had a chance to use it for daytime landscape shots yet. I am still deciding whether this or the 50mm 1.4 would be better for my upcoming trip.

The noise isn't a function of the lens, it is a function of the camera at high ISO so you really can't say that is a negative. Also having to use ISO1600 just means its dark, if you want to shoot at lower ISOs you need a faster lens.

The DOF at F2 is shallow, and it will be even more shallow with the 50mm f/1.4.



John
10-05-2009, 07:42 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by T_MB Quote
1. The lens is not good in low light. I find I often have to shoot at ISO 1600 to get proper exposures, with a noticable amount of noise.
Well, OK, but what other lens of that focal length do you think would do better? I have no idea what you're comparing this against, but f/2 at 35mm is better than almost everything else out there.
10-05-2009, 08:04 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Well, OK, but what other lens of that focal length do you think would do better? I have no idea what you're comparing this against, but f/2 at 35mm is better than almost everything else out there.
I agree 100%

Pentax K10D ,Pentax smc P-FA 35mm f/2 AL
1/15s f/2.0 at 35.0mm iso1600 (hand held)
No Noise Reduction


10-05-2009, 08:16 PM   #9
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I agree about the colour rendition, I disagree about the macro. Either that was a big flower or you cropped the photo. A Raynox 250 can be added for a big improvement in close focus shots. https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/74221-raynox-macro-club.html

QuoteOriginally posted by T_MB Quote
Plus or minus--when opened up the DOF is VERY shallow with a small focal area.

I havn't had a chance to use it for daytime landscape shots yet. I am still deciding whether this or the 50mm 1.4 would be better for my upcoming trip.
If you set the 35mm and 50mm at the same aperture, you'll find you have more DOF with the shorter FL lens.

The FA 50mm 1.4 is a stop faster, but f/1.4 gives even less DOF than f/2. I bought an FA 35 because I found that my 28mm 2.8 wasn't fast enough and the FA 50mm was a bit too long in some situations. So it depends on what you're trying to do with the lens.
10-05-2009, 08:51 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alfisti Quote
soft ? This lens i snot perfect but should bite and bite hard at f/2.
Hm, next time I see it, I will post an example. It could be I have a bad copy and never knew it...
10-05-2009, 10:13 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Well, OK, but what other lens of that focal length do you think would do better? I have no idea what you're comparing this against, but f/2 at 35mm is better than almost everything else out there.
at the same fl, I can't think anything that is better than the FA35/2. not even the DA35 which is a pretty nice lens or the slightly larger DA40. in comparison with the slightly faster and wider FA31, the FA35 is even up to it or matches up pretty well, that is if people don't mind the bokeh difference and build. for 1/3 of the price of the FA31, you got yourself one of the best lens ever created by Pentax. and it sure could whip some lashes on their Canikon counterparts. need to say more?

Last edited by Pentaxor; 10-06-2009 at 07:19 AM.
10-06-2009, 05:15 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
I agree about the colour rendition, I disagree about the macro. Either that was a big flower or you cropped the photo. .
Nope--no crop on the photo.
10-06-2009, 05:17 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Well, OK, but what other lens of that focal length do you think would do better? I have no idea what you're comparing this against, but f/2 at 35mm is better than almost everything else out there.
No clue....It was just an observation. Apparently I had unrealistic expectations. My own ignorance..not the lens's fault. Sorry for being dumb.....
10-06-2009, 05:21 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
I agree about the colour rendition, I disagree about the macro. Either that was a big flower or you cropped the photo. A Raynox 250 can be added for a big improvement in close focus shots. .
I know it is not a true macro, but compared with what else I have, this gives me the closest focal distance I think. I will check out the barrel extenders though.
10-06-2009, 05:27 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by krypticide Quote
Hm, next time I see it, I will post an example. It could be I have a bad copy and never knew it...
It would not surprise me, the 35/2 is far sharper wide open than the 50/1.4 or the 77 i have owned.
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