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10-31-2009, 01:01 AM   #1
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DA 35mm, Grills, All up in them....

We just returned from a trip to New Caledonia. I didn't want to be lugging big, bulky lenses around so I left the fatties at home and packed the DA 21, A50 1.2, FA 77mm and a short extension tube along with my K200D.

After reflecting I popped the DA 16-50 in the bag, in case I needed to go wide, or go wet.

My girlfriend was sporting the old *istD and a DA 40mm. She's not a mad photog but she does have a keen eye, so her project was a one lens only - old school.

After day 1 and some lackluster photos I packed the 16-50 away never to be seen again. Zooms tend to make me sloppy. Bracketing different length shots in the hope of nabbing a good one, or simply using the zoom to crop with no real consideration of composition. I actually think I lack the skill and experience to use zooms to their full potential and fall back to what I can work with - primes.

Anyway, we used the 77mm on the tube a few times and the results were pleasing. My girlfriend is a bit of a macro enthusiast to I relented a couple of times and let her have the macro setup.

Now I do have a macro lens, a 105mm Sigma. This thing is a bit big and impractical to haul around, especially overseas, walking everywhere or on boats or whatever.

My girlfriend did great work with the 40mm (and a polariser) but wanted more from the 40cm min focus.

I mentioned that there was a 35mm macro. The lens would be almost identical to the feel of shooting with the 40mm, however she could go right down to 1:1 without any mucking around.

She was intrigued.

She offered, for the first time ever since buying me the K200D as a Christmas present, to kick in some money to fund a lens purchase.

I was intrigued.

Now I rarely use the 105mm. When I do, it's usually just for ebay shots or some other utilitarian purpose. I had no problem with the idea of selling it to get a 35mm macro.

However I remembered back to trying one in a store. The minimum focus distance was short, very short if I recall.

My only concern is that going 1:1 on the 35mm will leave the lens far too close to the subject possibly even causing issues with shadows.

So my question comes, finally...

If you have one, do you find the short min focus range restrictive? Issues with light? Scaring off "subjects"?



Also, some pics of the trip (click info if you want exif) please ignore the hip thrusting.

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10-31-2009, 01:10 AM   #2
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I do have the 35mm Macro and you can get really really close to the subject where your lens tip is almost touching, it's like it has no minimal focusing range at all. I never had any lighting issues at all. I don't find the minimal focus range restrictive at all! Not even one bit, this lens is sharp from afar to sharp up close, there really is no limit to the 35mm Macro LTD.

You could browse some more images from the 35 Macro LTD here and here
10-31-2009, 01:19 AM   #3
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So does it go 1:1 at the end of the hood, or earlier than that and you get a bit of free magnification bang for buck?
10-31-2009, 05:09 AM   #4
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Since you have the DA 40, that is a good frame of reference to the DA 35. I have both the DA 40 and DA 35. They are both outstanding lenses obviously.

You know the DA 40--its tiny size, great IQ, etc. The DA 35 is bigger, though not enough to have a major impact. The extra 5mm on the wide end of the DA 35 is generally a good thing. I am not an insect shooter, so that never entered into my mind when purchasing the DA 35. The DA 35 is just an incredibly versatile lens that allows me to take it with me on an outing, shoot landscape type shots, then shoot my son on swing, then get a sharp, colorful macro shot of a flower.

Sure, I have found some shots where due to the 35mm focal length, as opposed to a 105mm macro, I've had to get close enough to a tree, flower or other object where I was blocking light or creating a shadow. But that is not enough to deter me at all from using the DA 35. It is a very unique lens.

10-31-2009, 09:08 AM   #5
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A possibility worth considering is a Raynxo 150 to stick in front of the DA40 (perhaps using a stepping ring - see the Raynox club thread). Much cheaper than a DA35, image quality surprising good (again, see the raynox club thread), and you get to keep the advantage of the small size and fast focus when not using the Raynox. If she's serious about macro and generally likes the "normal" view, sure, a DA35 makes tons of sense. If you or she is worried abut the short working distance reqired for 1:1, though, the longer macro makes more sense.
10-31-2009, 09:19 AM   #6
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I have both the DA35 Macro Limited and Sigma EX 105 macro and use them both. I love the 35 and it's my go to lens and part of my light travel kit (15, 35 and 77) but there are times when the angle of view is too wide and I want to limit the background, then I go to the 105. Each has it's purpose.
10-31-2009, 06:49 PM   #7
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Don't say things like that.

No encouragement to get a 35mm and keep the 105mm.
11-01-2009, 05:40 AM   #8
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Just really depends on what you are shooting. A longer macro lens is better with insects, but the DA 35 is perfect for things that aren't moving. The other thing that I have found is that I can hand hold the macro shots of the DA 35 a lot better than I can hand hold macro shots at a longer focal length. Unless you want to add a tripod to what your GF lugs around, the shorter length may be better.

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11-01-2009, 08:15 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Skyntara Quote
Don't say things like that.

No encouragement to get a 35mm and keep the 105mm.
Well, get them both and after that the FA* 200/f4 macro.... if you can find one!
11-01-2009, 04:50 PM   #10
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My favorite recent DA 35mm shot, wide open @ f/2.8:


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