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01-20-2010, 02:45 AM   #1
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Upgrade from FA35mm F2.0 AL to DA35mm F2.8 Macro Ltd?

Hi guys, I own a FA35mm F2.0 AL. My friend has been recommending me to get the DA35mm F2.8 Macro Ltd and sell off my FA35mm F2.0 AL. He says the DA35mm gives very nice 3D feel to the picture compared to the FA35mm which gives a flat 2D rendering. I have not used the DA35mm before but I feel that my FA35mm gives me pretty nice but not spectacular pictures. I do hear alot of good things about the DA35 though, the only downside I heard is it sometimes focus abit slow.

Do you think it is worthwhile for me to "upgrade" to the DA35 from my FA35? I will lose a stop of speed (F2.0 vs F2.8) if I change so not sure whether it is worthwhile?

01-20-2010, 03:34 AM   #2
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I cannot comment on the DA, as I have never used one (and probably won't). I think – and that has been comfirmed in a current large lens test in German Color Foto magazine), that the FA 35/2 is a very sharp lens, even fully open. Indeed it is sharper to start with, than my 31mm Ltd. So this excellent sharpness comes on top of the 1 f-stop advantage.

Your choice depends, I think, mostly on the question, whether you will regret loosing this one f-stop or whether this is not important to you. I would not want to miss that. As I do not need such a short fl macro lens, as the DA 35, I do not consider the macro capability as a plus for myself. Perhaps the DA's perceived built quality is better than that of the FA and the DA is certainly diminutive. But the FA is small enough to be caried around all time, but just big enough to be focusable manually, which I value.

So, no clear recommendation from my side, but perhaps my thinking helps you to prioritize your own preferences.

01-20-2010, 05:05 AM   #3
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I mostly agree with the previous answer.

The FA and DA will not give you exactly the same. DA is an swiss army knife to me, it's compact and can do macro. But if you need faster AF and better low light, keep the FA.

Regarding the AF of teh DA, yes, it's slower becauce it's a Macro lens. It's as designed - the lens wil sometimes go back and forth before focusing, and the AF course is quite long. You can work around this by manually pre-focusing... It would be great to have a focus limiter there, but in such a tight package, probably not possible
01-20-2010, 05:31 AM   #4
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I'd go w/ the FA 35mm for the extra stop and sharpness wide open not to mention the price. If I need a macro lens I'll try something w/ a longer focal length. But thats only my opinion..

01-20-2010, 06:01 AM   #5
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It really depends on what you want. At this point, you have the FA 35, so I would probably keep that. You almost always lose money trading gear.

The beauty of the DA 35 is its macro ability. There really is something special about the way it renders photos. I have one and am very satisfied with it, but as mentioned above, the FA 35 is very sharp.

Jsherman has a thread on the DA 35 that will make you want it thought here.
01-20-2010, 06:17 AM   #6
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I own the FA35, and I would not consider exchanging it for the DA35. I use the FA at f/2 very often, and I'm sure I would miss the extra stop of light with the DA. Whereas I don't recall ever feeling limited by the focus distance of the FA.
01-20-2010, 06:30 AM   #7
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I also own the FA 35/2 lens and would only trade it in for a FA 31 Ltd. I'd go for a used FA 50/2.8 or the Tamron 90/2.8 if I wanted a macro lens. The used FA is getting to be difficult to find, though.
01-20-2010, 07:06 PM   #8
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Haha thanks for the advices guys! After seeing your comments, I think I will most probably keep my F35. The one stop of speed is pretty important to me because I shoot in lowlight most of the time.

01-20-2010, 07:35 PM   #9
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I owned the FA 35 and sold it to get the DA 35. The DA close focusing ability makes it one of the most versatile primes available. It's amazingly well-constructed like all the Limited lenses and is sharp at F2.8. I've found the DA's AF speed to be acceptable, as long as it doesn't have to go from one end of the throw to the other. I'm not saying the FA is a slouch, but the DA has given me some of my best images and enlargements.

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