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10-21-2009, 07:38 AM   #1
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DA35 or DA40?

I loves me my primes, however all of them are of the manual kind and I'm getting a bit tired of the cumbersome and often faulty metering. Therefore, I'm seriously thinking of buying a digital prime, either the DA35 or the DA40. Now, I have a few questions about them, and a few assumptions I would like to find out about if they are true or not.

The DA35 has been said to be just short of divine (referring to TOP here), and I'm leaning towards this one right now. I was wondering about the focus ring, how does it compare to manual lenses, is it as damped? How usuable is it in manual focus?

Regarding the DA40, how is the balance of the camera with this diminutive little lens attached? Is it nice to hold or is your left thumb constantly in the way of the focus ring? How is manual focussing (probably just short of impossible, right?).

Is there anyone who maybe has both and can compare?

10-21-2009, 07:56 AM   #2
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I have the DA35 but not the DA40, so I can only talk about the 35. If you are planning to do street shots or anything fast with this lens, it is really not for that type of job.. This lens has a gigantic focusing range and if you want to manual focus then you sure can, but it will take quite a while to spin the focusing ring to get it to where you want to focus because the range is really long.

I would say this is the longest to focus out of any lens I've owned or ever owned due to it's huge range of focusing, and ones that I own or have owned before besides the 35 Macro LTD are the DA L 18-55, SA 12-24, Sigma 17-70, DA* 50-135.

Although its focus range is the longest out of any I know of from Pentax, it is also the sharpest lens I have ever owned and I would never consider on selling this lens without selling my entire Pentax gear. I was impressed by the colors and clarity this lens produced without any PP'ing. So if you want sharpness right out of the box, the DA 35 Macro LTD is it, this lens will show you sharp like you've never seen sharp before.

So the question is what are you trying to shoot? What do you want to shoot?
10-21-2009, 08:00 AM   #3
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I only have the DA40, and I love my first pancake lens on my K20D so far. However my main purpose was for street photography with a smaller body -- either a *ist DS or K200D, which I am yet to get but I am certain it will pair with either of those bodies just fine!
10-21-2009, 08:13 AM   #4
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echoing LeDave, the DA35 is wonderful but not for moving objects - the focusing range is too great, making focusing too slow. I've even tried manually focusing to get close followed by AF, and it still goes through the whole range. In low light this is especially difficult - it takes 2+ seconds for my K20d to tell me it can't focus!

The DA40, on the other hand, will AF lightning fast. But the focus ring is approximately half the size of the other DA focus rings. I've never tried MF with it, but I'd imagine it would be fiddly - it would take some time getting used to reaching so close to the body for a sliver of a focus ring. And the IQ, while very very nice, doesn't have the pixie dust of the DA35 macro.

10-21-2009, 08:35 AM   #5
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I own both and DA 40 rendering and bokeh seems better to me (at least for portraits and casual use).

DA 35 is better for macro of course.

I don't know why, but I can't really connect to DA 35 (yet). Maybe it's because of size or because I got it as second lens.

MF with DA 35 is almost better than on my manual lenses. DA 40 has short focus throw, so MF is a bit harder.

Last edited by jerrymouse; 10-21-2009 at 10:01 AM.
10-21-2009, 09:17 AM   #6
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I have both and love both, so my recommendation is to get both (and the rest of the Limiteds).
10-21-2009, 09:34 AM   #7
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The focus ring on the DA 40mm is very thing and I find I'm grabbing the body of the lens (what body there is, that is). Takes a bit of getting used to.
10-21-2009, 09:41 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jerrymouse Quote
I own both and DA 40 rendering and bokeh seems better to me (at least for portraits and casual use).

DA 35 is better for macro of course.

I don't know why, but I can't really connect to DA 35 (yet). Maybe it's because of size or because I got it as second lens.

MF with DA 35 is almost better than my on manual lenses. DA 40 has short focus throw, so MF is a bit harder.
I second everything said here. I had the DA 35 twice (and sold it twice) and don't know why I didn't like it (which is part of why I bought it a second time). The focal length was never right for me, and I only liked the bokeh some of the time. Great for macro, when you can get that close though! Loved the size, pull out hood, and manual focusing though. Personal thing!

The 40 grew on me a lot more. I bought it for the cool factor, but am really impressed with its sharpness and how it renders. I like a lot of people shots and for this I prefer not only the focusing speed, but the look of the 40 compared to the 35. Manual focus though? I have other lenses for that

So bottom line--this will be a very personal decision!

10-21-2009, 09:41 AM   #9
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Perhaps you should consider the FA43ltd. It does have the pixie dust, is easy to MF and quite fast to AF. And f1.9! At average Ebay price it is cheaper then a new DA35.
10-21-2009, 10:23 AM   #10
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I only own the DA 40, so I cannot speak to the DA 35.

However, the 40 is one of my favorite all time lenses. It is amazingly sharp, excellent contrast and color, and is obviously amazingly small and easy to take with you.

I use manual focus on the DA 40 only occasionally, but I don't find it too much of a problem (I have three other manual focus lenses to compare to). However, my hands are on the smaller side...

My main gripe with the 40 is its close focus ability (which is marginal). For this reason I have often thought of switching to the DA 35. However, the reported slow AF focusing is always a deal breaker for me. The macro ability is less important than quick focusing to me. Additionally, the bokeh on the DA 40 is always smooth (whereas I've heard the DA 35's bokeh can be less than perfect in *some* situations).

I believe that is major question is: do you want quick focusing or close focusing? Whatever is more important to you is your answer...
10-21-2009, 10:34 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by schneider Quote
Perhaps you should consider the FA43ltd. It does have the pixie dust, is easy to MF and quite fast to AF. And f1.9! At average Ebay price it is cheaper then a new DA35.
I just checked and prices are way higher than what a new 35mm should cost me (600+ vs. 400), even without customs fees. Thanks for the suggestion though.
10-21-2009, 10:50 AM   #12
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I guess I'll have to go to a store and find out just how slow the 35mm focuses and whether or not it's a deal breaker for me.

I plan to use this lens as my all-round walk around, and as my main lens to use when next year I'll be in China for a year. So pretty much everything, but mostly travel photography. I don't do an awful lot of macro but that's partly due to the fact that none of my lenses have any macro abilities. I suppose owning a lens that does opens up a whole new world.

My main gripe with the DA40 is that it might be too small and mess up how I hold my camera (with my left hand under the camera and with my fingers on the lens). Also, I think it looks very weird on my big-ish K10D. I don't much care that I can't manually focus, but I like that on the 35mm, I can.

This is one tough decision.
10-21-2009, 10:54 AM   #13
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another vote for 40.
Never used 35 but I never missed it. 40 works perfectly as tight normal lens. The AF speed is really fast and the rendering is great. I often ccompare it 31ltd and frankly 40 holds well it's ground. MF is not easiest with this lens but it's not that hard. The close foccus (in)ability only matters if you like close ups/macro. 40 is not lens for this, but it's not much worse than 50s.
All in all, it's a great performer capable of delivering stunning images.
I don't think I'll be selling mine...

BR
Peter
10-21-2009, 10:59 AM   #14
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I use the Da 35mm for more general use plus it is an excellent close-up and macro lens. If I were to go with another lens, it would be the FA 35mm f2. If I had Leno money, I'd go with the FA 31mm ltd. I find the 43mm ltd intriguing but the 40 is closing in on the FA 50mm f1.4.

If the DA 35mm is slow in the af area, it must be starting out in the macro range or something.


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Last edited by Blue; 10-21-2009 at 11:06 AM.
10-21-2009, 11:36 AM   #15
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Once you get the hang of it, MF with the DA 40 is no problem. I like it on my Super Prgram, although I have to use P or Tv mode. And balance is a non-issue on the K100d, it feels great. Really light, easy to hald in hand and about the only lens with which I would feel comfortable wearing just the camera on its strap, as opposed to having the whole deal in a bag. Looking funny... that is hard to say.

I doubt you could go wrong with a DA 35, either. I have been tempted to get one, because I like macro a lot. It would be hard for me to expect more magic out of the 35 than I get with the 40 - the latter lens always seems to take my best pictures.
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