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02-16-2010, 02:27 PM   #1
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opinion needed: DA 35mm f/2.8 Macro Limitedor DA 40mm f/2.8 Limited?

hello fellow Pentaxians!

I just bought a K-x with the 18-55mm kit lens two weeks ago. Since then I have had much fun taking all sorts of pictures with it! So far I have two minor issues: lack of a real macro lens, and the f/3.5 on the kit lens is a bit limiting.

I am looking to buy a prime lens and hopefully address the above issues. I am deciding between the DA 35mm f/2.8 Macro Limited vs DA 40mm f/2.8 Limited.

Both lens produce stunning pics (as proven by the pics posted on their respective threads on the Lens Review forum) so I am not worried about image quality. I really like the light-weight and lower price of the DA 40mm. I have the following questions and hopefully I can tap into your wisdom here.

1. The DA 35mm can do macro, but what about the macro capabilities of the DA 40mm?

2. The macro subjects I generally like to take are of insects, flowers, rocks etc. No birds. Is the DA 35mm Macro good enough for these subjects, or should I spend my money on a macro lens with a longer focal length?

3. Which, in your opinion, would be a better street/walk-about lens?

Thanks a lot! I find this community really friendly and helpful~ hope I can contribute sometime in the future.

02-16-2010, 07:33 PM   #2
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Welcome to Pentaxforums and enjoy your stay.

1. macro means the lens is capable to focus closer and has a magnification ratio of 1:1. the DA40 is not a macro lens.

2. the DA35 is a nice macro, as long as the insects don't bite or fly away once you approach to close. longer focal length macro will give you that luxury of shooting farther. a 100mm macro would be the best choice.

3. the DA40 is the ideal choice for walk-around. although the DA35 has a great IQ, it is slow to focus.
02-16-2010, 08:05 PM   #3
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if you want macro dont get the da40 cause you'll be dissapointed. The minimum focusing distance is fairly large. I only own the 40mm but i think it is an amazing little thing. Its small enough to not draw much attention and it focus' amazingly quick. It seems to give my photos that 'pop' as well. Sometimes i kind of want the slightly wider focal length of the 35mm and the macro ability but i think the focusing speed and size suit me better for street shots which im loving atm.
Anyway it seems in ur post that ur really looking for a macro lens so stick with the 35mm i reckon
02-17-2010, 12:24 AM   #4
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I think it really depends on your future line up or needs. Having a macro could be nice for those once and a while shots if you dont own any other macros.

02-17-2010, 03:14 AM   #5
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That's a tough choice.

*Get the DA 40 Ltd for street photography. I love this lens.
*Get an old inexpensive macro lens for macro work (100mm or 200mm). I mean, you don't need AF for macro work anyway. The Pentax SMC-A 100 F2.8 or SMC-A 100mm F4.0 are both excellent.

Kind regards
.lars
02-17-2010, 05:26 AM   #6
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both

I have both the 40 and 35 macro, and they are really two different lenses.

The 40 is the pancake lens that is very small and light, excellent for street photography and "snapshot" stuff.

The 35 macro is longer bulkier and removes the point and shoot characteristics of the 40. In my opinion, the 35 is NOT as sharp as my 40, but renders lovely images and colors. The macro qualities of the 35 is a stand out; if you are shooting flowers or similar things that don't mind you getting up close it is hard to beat this lens.

If you DON'T need the macro, save 150 dollars by getting a 40.

If you want a sharp, low profile street lens for candids and snapshots, get the 40.

If you want a lens that renders like crazy and delivers real art, get the 35.

If you want flowers, coins, pottery, textures with wonderful bokeh, get the 35.

Or do as I have, and get both.

germar
02-17-2010, 12:59 PM   #7
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Original Poster
thanks everyone for the prompt and helpful advice!

As you all could tell, I am really into getting a macro lens which is why I considered the DA-35mm, but the 35mm may be a bit too short for insects (I am quite into bugs since I study them =) ).

I am pretty sold by the dimensions and image quality of the DA-40mm, I think I will get the 40mm for now, and hopefully snare a ...Tamron 90mm SP Di Macro in the future when my graduate student stipend can afford it!
02-17-2010, 01:42 PM   #8
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just for fun... the DA40 can do macro (with extension tubes...)

I've posted this before... Normal table salt:



02-17-2010, 07:22 PM   #9
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Dan,

I never knew you could use the DA40 as an electron microscope!
02-17-2010, 10:25 PM   #10
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WOW! Your table salt made me looked up extension tubes . Amazing magnification~ care to elaborate more on how you took that pic, please?~
02-17-2010, 10:47 PM   #11
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I have both, and would not part with either one. I've used both for walk-around lenses, and either is great.

The DA40 is much more compact, of course, and it is the only lens I've used on my K2000 so far. That combination is my every-day-carry compact camera these days.

I've spent several days out shooting with only the DA35. The ability to focus much closer than the DA40 does come in handy. If I was doing a lot of macro shots of bugs I might want a longer focal length, but I bought it specifically to "scan" 35mm slides on a light box. It works really well for that. I've wound up using it as the default lens that generally lives on the K20D.

As for comments about focusing speed - yes the DA40 is very fast. As for the DA35 being slow, I'm not sure I would agree with that. With all of the DA Ltd lenses I've gotten in the habit of using my left hand to rotate the focus ring back to infinity when finished taking shots up close, and have almost never had a problem with focus speed. The ability to manually adjust the focus on the DA Ltd lenses is one of my favorite aspects of those lenses.
02-17-2010, 10:54 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frank B Quote

As for comments about focusing speed - yes the DA40 is very fast. As for the DA35 being slow, I'm not sure I would agree with that. With all of the DA Ltd lenses I've gotten in the habit of using my left hand to rotate the focus ring back to infinity when finished taking shots up close, and have almost never had a problem with focus speed. The ability to manually adjust the focus on the DA Ltd lenses is one of my favorite aspects of those lenses.

the point is camera Auto-focusing, not preset Manual Focusing to help speed up auto-focusing. preset focus would just prove the point that the lens need assistance. w/o assistance, the lens is really slow. it can't go fast on it's own. it's more like saying my DA55-300 is not slow because I could preset focus manually before touching the AF button.
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