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12-15-2009, 05:13 AM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
I believe the FA35/2 is one of the creme de la creme of the FA series. so I don't think it should even be considered as a poor man's FA31 which succeeded it later.

I do admit that both the FA31 and FA43 are outstanding lenses and have a great bokeh rendering and have that 3D feel (subjective in a way) and both have strong sharpness and contrast as the FA35 does. each display a stronger side of sharpness at certain apertures which I considered very close since the 3 lenses display excellent resolution. but at F2, this is where the FA35 separates itself from it's 2 cousins. this is probably the reason why it has a less appealing bokeh since it's cousins have a bit lower but very good center resolution at wide open and much more lower border resolution.
I would say that outside of the limiteds, I would view the FA 20mm F2.8 as the creme de la creme of the FA lenses. The 35mm F2 I put a step below that. I guess it depends on your shooting style, subject matter and plain old personal preference. Don't get me wrong, the FA 35mm is a nice lens, and I like and enjoy my copy, but I don't have the regard for this lens that I do for my FA 20, 43 or 77. I would even go so far as to say that if I HAD to chose between the FA 35mm and my Tamron 90mm macro, I'd take the macro.

NaCl(nice lens and sharp but I can't get excited over it)H2O

12-15-2009, 09:24 AM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by NaClH2O Quote

NaCl(nice lens and sharp but I can't get excited over it)H2O
Sort of like a Corvette. Fantastic car until you place it in with a group of Ferrari's, Lambos, and such. Then it is all yawn...

Steve

(Had to put in the inevitable car analogy...)
12-15-2009, 11:13 AM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by NaClH2O Quote
I would say that outside of the limiteds, I would view the FA 20mm F2.8 as the creme de la creme of the FA lenses. The 35mm F2 I put a step below that. I guess it depends on your shooting style, subject matter and plain old personal preference. Don't get me wrong, the FA 35mm is a nice lens, and I like and enjoy my copy, but I don't have the regard for this lens that I do for my FA 20, 43 or 77. I would even go so far as to say that if I HAD to chose between the FA 35mm and my Tamron 90mm macro, I'd take the macro.

NaCl(nice lens and sharp but I can't get excited over it)H2O
it's not even a real debate if you use the Tammy macro against the FA35. the Tammy's got a different purpose and different animal, but my Sigma 70 would kick it's hiney into oblivion.
12-15-2009, 01:13 PM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Sort of like a Corvette. Fantastic car until you place it in with a group of Ferrari's, Lambos, and such. Then it is all yawn...

Steve

(Had to put in the inevitable car analogy...)
I like the car analogy. My lens analogy: the FA35/2 on APS-C is like the FA50/1.7 on film. A reliable reasonably fast normal lens with great sharpness, especially wide open. Harder to find today.

12-15-2009, 02:05 PM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
I like the car analogy. My lens analogy: the FA35/2 on APS-C is like the FA50/1.7 on film. A reliable reasonably fast normal lens with great sharpness, especially wide open. Harder to find today.
I completely agree. coincidentally, I did some comparative tests on those two lenses months ago, and definitely both lenses can relate to each other in terms of sharpness.
12-15-2009, 02:15 PM   #51
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Buy used

I just checked the price of this lens brand new and my local retailer tells me that *IF* it is still in stock, it is selling for $750 CDN or so.

That's ridiculous in my book. The Nikon 35 F/2 for $248. Polycarbonate plastic just like the Pentax version. Is the FA35 F/2 made of titanium and mercury and gold or something??

Anyways... sorry for the rant.

The FA35 F/2 is a great lens. But if you want one, try to find one used if you're in the Canadian market. Not sure how the US market is.
12-15-2009, 02:27 PM   #52
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I paid about $250 for mine last year. It's worth $250, but certainly not even $400.

NaCl(sharp is nice but not everything)H2O
12-15-2009, 03:23 PM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by dugrant153 Quote
That's ridiculous in my book. The Nikon 35 F/2 for $248. Polycarbonate plastic just like the Pentax version. Is the FA35 F/2 made of titanium and mercury and gold or something??
Anyone here have experience with the Nikon? It may well be worth $248.

No the FA 35 is not made of precious metal. It is made of plastic, but damn nice plastic that is definitely a cut above much of the competition. I can honestly say that its build is equal in many ways to any of my other lenses.

Steve

12-15-2009, 03:35 PM   #54
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I think the 35/2 was fetching $299 for a new one when it was in production a year or so ago. new ones fetch around $550 now, and ebay ones went for high 300's and low 400's recently. I paid $375 including shipping (looked for it for less than 24 hrs, if you have patience one might get it for less...the last one in the marketplace sold for $350). I paid a bit high, but it doesn't look like the prices are going down, and I don't have patience.
12-15-2009, 03:37 PM   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by NaClH2O Quote
I paid about $250 for mine last year. It's worth $250, but certainly not even $400.

NaCl(sharp is nice but not everything)H2O
Ocean,

Is that based on todays prices?...the FA31 which was ~700-750 is 1.2-1.3k now ?
12-15-2009, 03:38 PM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Anyone here have experience with the Nikon? It may well be worth $248.

No the FA 35 is not made of precious metal. It is made of plastic, but damn nice plastic that is definitely a cut above much of the competition. I can honestly say that its build is equal in many ways to any of my other lenses.

Steve
To be truthful, I'm not sold on the idea that a lens body has to be metal. Several of my favorite lenses have carbonite or other composit barrels. One of the benefits is that they are much more stable in the cold and are also lighter. The FA 20mm F2.8 has a "plastic" barrel, and it is one of the highest rated lenses in the Forum database. Same is true of the legendary Tamron 90mm F2.8 macro. In these days of sophisticated composits, I see nothing wrong in a 'plastic' body.

NaCl(it's the care put into the design and assembly, not the material)H2O
12-15-2009, 03:40 PM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by dugrant153 Quote
I just checked the price of this lens brand new and my local retailer tells me that *IF* it is still in stock, it is selling for $750 CDN or so.

That's ridiculous in my book. The Nikon 35 F/2 for $248. Polycarbonate plastic just like the Pentax version. Is the FA35 F/2 made of titanium and mercury and gold or something??

Anyways... sorry for the rant.

The FA35 F/2 is a great lens. But if you want one, try to find one used if you're in the Canadian market. Not sure how the US market is.
I never liked the Nikon 35/2. but I sure do love their 85s' a lot.
12-15-2009, 04:11 PM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by NaClH2O Quote
To be truthful, I'm not sold on the idea that a lens body has to be metal. Several of my favorite lenses have carbonite or other composit barrels. One of the benefits is that they are much more stable in the cold and are also lighter. The FA 20mm F2.8 has a "plastic" barrel, and it is one of the highest rated lenses in the Forum database. Same is true of the legendary Tamron 90mm F2.8 macro. In these days of sophisticated composits, I see nothing wrong in a 'plastic' body.

NaCl(it's the care put into the design and assembly, not the material)H2O
Interesting that you raise the FA20, as I think the FA20 is to the DA21 what the FA31 is to the FA35. I have certainly seen many more impressive photos from the 31 and 20, but then again, the most accomplished photographers posted those photos. I'm not sure if it's the lens or the photographer (or the processing) that gives these photos their magic.

Also, with both lens pairs, the 'lesser' lens tends to score better on objective tests (Photozone, eg.). I know line pair resolution does not communicate the character of a lens, but there is some irony in the price differential. Precision can hurt a lens.

I must say I benefit from the premium the 'elite' Pentax lenses cost. Just as the DA21 prices stay more in check vis a vis the elusive FA20, the FA35 price is lower because it is the 'Queen's' ugly stepsister.
12-15-2009, 04:36 PM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Anyone here have experience with the Nikon? It may well be worth $248.

No the FA 35 is not made of precious metal. It is made of plastic, but damn nice plastic that is definitely a cut above much of the competition. I can honestly say that its build is equal in many ways to any of my other lenses.

Steve
.

In my experience, they rank like this:

FA 35 f/2 -> Nikon 35 1.8G ---> Nikon 35 f/2

The FA has less CA and is just a tad sharper than the 35 1.8, and is built better. It's quite a bit sharper than the Nikon 35 f/2.

The only real reason the Nikon 35 f/2 is more expensive than the 35 1.8 is that it's a FF lens, and built a bit better.

.
12-15-2009, 04:39 PM   #60
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QuoteOriginally posted by DavidWasch Quote
the FA35 price is lower because it is the 'Queen's' ugly stepsister.
ouch ! why do you still have to say that it's ugly stepsister rather than say stepsister alone?

honestly, I don't think that it's ugly. there are a lot of Pentax lenses that can be classified as ugly, the FA35 certainly is not one of them.
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