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01-01-2010, 11:37 PM   #1
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43mm F1.9 ltd vs 35mm F2

Hi guys,

I am new here, so any help would be greatly appreciated

I am somewhat torn between these two lens:
Pentax 43mm F1.9
Pentax 35mm F2

I am picking up a K-7 and since in the past I have largely used 50mm on my Pentax K1000, I am very much interested in picking up a 'normal' lens. I know that comparing these lens is somewhat like comparing apples to oranges, but I am really stuck!

Pentax currently has 35mm F2 in their store for $475 or so but ends up being around $490 with shipping. Also, they are not offering a rebate on the 35mm so thats the going to be total.

On amazon I can find the 43mm for $595, however I can possibly get the $100 on it, which would bring it down to $495.

I am mostly planning to use this as my "walk around" lens i.e. landscape, architecture, and portraits. I did some research on the lens and from what I understand the 35mm is just great at any speed and is largely superior wide open. However the 43mm is soft wide open and has lacking bokeh (some ppl say its only at 1.9 some claim its soft up to 4) but is better than the 35mm once you close it a bit. How soft is soft in relative terms? How much worse is the bokeh in relative terms?

Given that I want normal lens the 35 is closer to normal but 43 is better built and superior once stopped down. I guess if the 35 went for $250, my decision would be rather easy, but given that they sell for roughly the same price, which one would be more bang for the buck? I mean 43 at F1.9 is still usable right?

I know some of these questions are probably rather stupid, given that much of their performance is rather subjective, but i am really stuck between the two.

Thanks in advance for any help!!!

oxidized

01-02-2010, 12:16 AM   #2
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I have the FA43 it was the third of the three amigos I purchased. It is a better lens than I anticipated and just love it. The images I get from it never cease to amaze me.

I actually do not find this lens soft, maybe just a little... maybe its what I shoot, it is on its own though when used at 4.0 or more

The DA 35 I dont have but from everything I read and see of this lens it too is one hell of a lens.

I really cannot sway your choice.. they are both excellent lenses

You will not be sorry with either or both


Neil
01-02-2010, 02:00 AM   #3
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I believe he is refering to the FA 35mm
01-02-2010, 03:29 AM   #4
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My 35/2 is a wonderful walkaround lens. RAZOR sharp, some people dislike its bokeh but I have no problems with it. Pretty nice for close-ups too. The F2 makes the close-ups look like they were taken with at least a 50 and not 35. It is also very sharp wide open.

01-02-2010, 03:43 AM   #5
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3 pics for you from the 43 with a K20D

@f2 (ISO 100)



My first shot with the 43! The tree is still sharp but if you look at the bottom left corner you'll see some very nice bokeh, so without further ado...



This is just a crop of above but I adore the rendering the 43 delivers, its delicious. I may be wrong but I doubt very much that the 35 will give you this.

@f2.8 (ISO200)


Olly the ostrich is still sharp and the bokeh is well its perfect really

@6.3 (ISO 800)


Cat and dog are tack sharp in this. I was around 20-30 feet away from the action. Start counting the grass blades

Finally, the cost factor! Hold the 43 in your hand and its price is forgotten... Its true, it only seems expensive until you have one in your hand

Last edited by Damn Brit; 01-02-2010 at 01:52 PM. Reason: Added Imgwide tags
01-02-2010, 08:45 AM   #6
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The FA35 will give you a fast normal lens with sharp images, the FA43 limited will give you magic......
01-02-2010, 09:28 AM   #7
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I own both lenses. They are far enough apart for me to justify having each (besides I suffer from LBA) In any event, if I were to only own one it would be a no brainer. I think pcarfan said it best. "The FA35 will give you a fast normal lens with sharp images, the FA43 will give you magic..."
I think if you were to get down and pixel peep very carefully you'd find that the FA 35 is probably microscopically sharper than the 43 ltd. However in a real world I would imagine that most if not all viewers of photographs taken with both lenses could not tell which one was sharper. However resolution is NOT the only characteristic I take into account. Other characteristics are almost as important. While I wouldn't say I dislike the bokeh of the 35, the bokeh of the 43 is much much better. I once stated in another post that I can't get excited about the FA35mm's bokeh. I can (and do) get excited by the FA43's. In addition the 43, like it's two brothers the FA31mm ltd, and the FA 77mm ltd, has a certain 3D quality to its shots that the 35mm lacks. Finally while I'd say that fit, finish and ergonomics of the FA35 are very good, I'd say that the fit, finish and ergonomics of the 43 are just about perfect. It really is a little jewel of a lens.

NaCl(get the 43 you won't be disappointed)H2O

Last edited by NaClH2O; 01-02-2010 at 09:31 AM. Reason: grammar, spelling
01-02-2010, 11:53 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by yeatzee Quote
I believe he is refering to the FA 35mm

My error there... thanks Yeatzee for picking it up.


In that case I have to say the FA43 would be the better choice.


Robbiec.... the last image is incredibly sharp for ISO800


cheers

Neil

01-02-2010, 12:10 PM   #9
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Robbie, that last shots is absolutely stunning...wow!, also a great example of some of the things the FA43 can do....
01-02-2010, 01:14 PM   #10
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Thats the forgotten K20D doing its magic along with the 43. Sharpenss is set to 2 and its just a straightforward conversion from Raw to Jpeg using Pentax DCU 4.11. Is there a corellation between lens sharpenss and noise or lack of?
01-02-2010, 03:00 PM   #11
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Sometimes i wonder if the FA 35 still gets a bad rep among some users beased on the fact that was a $300 lens instead of $600...

I do have the lens, and also have two other Limiteds (77 & 40) and honestly, i can't see why some people are so quick to disapprove this lens.

Yes, it looks ugly. Yes, it is plastic. No, it is not a Limited.

But it is freakin normal-wide and fast that you can literally carry it around and leave it on the camera all the time.

I love the 40mm LTD, so compact, but it is so cropped and not fast for low-light... i would love to have also the 43mm, it solves the speed problem but still, even tighter crop...
01-02-2010, 05:14 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by BBear Quote
Sometimes i wonder if the FA 35 still gets a bad rep among some users beased on the fact that was a $300 lens instead of $600...

I do have the lens, and also have two other Limiteds (77 & 40) and honestly, i can't see why some people are so quick to disapprove this lens.

Yes, it looks ugly. Yes, it is plastic. No, it is not a Limited.

But it is freakin normal-wide and fast that you can literally carry it around and leave it on the camera all the time.

I love the 40mm LTD, so compact, but it is so cropped and not fast for low-light... i would love to have also the 43mm, it solves the speed problem but still, even tighter crop...
probably because people were expecting that the FA35 at f2 would give them more OOF which would make the subject stand out from the background. since the FA35 has a strong border and corner sharpness at f2, this makes it quite impossible to achieve w/o the help of pp. so far, bokeh is subjective as far as user and use is concerned. I'm sure for architectural or landscape use, this lens would be of high preferential at f2, but not quite as for portraiture in general is concerned. but it doesn't mean it is not usable or good, it is just not great.
01-03-2010, 07:33 AM   #13
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Original Poster
Hi guys,

First of all thanks for all the help! Robbiec, those shots were wonderful. I especially like the first and the third.

I just checked the rebate forum and it looks like the 43 isnt really covered by the rebate either. However, you guys pretty much sold me on it.

Thanks again!
01-03-2010, 08:38 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by oxidized Quote
Hi guys,

First of all thanks for all the help! Robbiec, those shots were wonderful. I especially like the first and the third.

I just checked the rebate forum and it looks like the 43 isnt really covered by the rebate either. However, you guys pretty much sold me on it.

Thanks again!
Good choice!! If you do decide to eventually add a 35mm....I would suggest the 35ltd (DA 35mm Limited) the trade off in speed and aperture ring are worth the versatility of the 35ltd are worth it and the extra $100 or so. The FA35/2 is a darn nice lense but I just feel the DA35ltd brings more to the dance than the FA35. You'll likely have lots of time to decide now that you went for the 43ltd.
01-03-2010, 08:57 AM   #15
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Both are nice lenses...but remember, the lens doesn't compose and take the shot for you. Nothing produces "magic" in the wrong hands.

Jason
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