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02-17-2010, 09:23 AM   #1
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Which 30 to 35?

This my first post here. I've found the information on the site useful and thorough. This is more in the nature of making a decision than figuring out specifications.
I love my FA50 for its speed, weight and IQ. But it is a tad too tele on the KX and I want a fast 30 or 35 prime to take its place.
These appear to be the options:
SMC Pentax-FA 31mm F1.8 AL Limited: Perfect/too expensive/divorce inducing
DA 35 f2.8: Too slow, too much.
Sigma 30 1.4 Perfect specs and price but too heavy.
FA 35 2.0 Close but overpriced for plastic. Should have bought one a couple of years ago when I got the K100
Do I want to try a manual lens? KEH has a number in my price range. As I understand it, these won't autofocus, but will prompt me with the usual beep/focus icon when I'm in focus.
Any significant diffferences between:
The first lens commands about a $100 price premium over the other two.
Thanks in advance.

02-17-2010, 10:53 AM   #2
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The SMC Pentax 35mm f2 has a pretty good reputation and is generally considered better than the M or A version. (We tend to call it the K version, though the label on the lens doesn't say K, because all the other lens series have letter designations, and doesn't come across well.) Here's a test on film between the K35/2 and the FA35/2:

I owned the M version briefly (optically the same formula as the A) and the FA seems a lot better to me. No detailed comparisons, though.

You could add in 28mm lenses and get a few more choices, but many people are facing the same problem: no obvious lens in the normal range. I don't think the FA 35/2 is worth its current new list price either, but besides price, it is a very good lens.
02-18-2010, 02:38 AM   #3
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If you think buying a FA 31 is divorce-inducing, you should try losing one!

I can see myself getting another though.
02-18-2010, 04:45 AM   #4
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Just for the record the Sigma 30mm is not heavy by any means. I wouldn't consider this a deal breaker for anyone...and I, for one, am not into heavy lenses.


02-18-2010, 04:56 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by ll_coffee_lP Quote
Just for the record the Sigma 30mm is not heavy by any means. I wouldn't consider this a deal breaker for anyone...and I, for one, am not into heavy lenses.

I second that,
it is heavier than DA Limiteds but which lens is not
02-18-2010, 05:20 AM   #6
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The K 30mm F2.8 is also an option. It's supposed to be very sharp.
F2.8 should really be fast enough when you have the KX (excellent ISO performance).

Kind regards

Last edited by Recercare; 02-18-2010 at 05:26 AM.
02-18-2010, 05:40 AM   #7
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Sounds like you should go for the Sigma. Just a comment on the DA 35 -- it is really not that slow. Even on lenses that shoot faster, I tend to use them at f2.8 or stopped down more if I can, just for depth of field. On the Kx as mentioned above, you can easily push up iso to 3200 and maybe 6400 and get decent shutter speeds, making lenses like the DA 40 and 35 very reasonable purchases.
02-18-2010, 07:11 AM   #8
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another vote for the sigma 30/1.4...a friend has it on Nikon and it has surprisingly good bokeh...

02-18-2010, 09:04 AM   #9
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Original Poster
wife or lens?
02-18-2010, 06:29 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by LouD Quote
wife or lens?
variable (and unknown) cost vs fixed cost?

i would go for the lens

Last edited by barbosas; 02-18-2010 at 07:28 PM.
02-18-2010, 07:08 PM   #11
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hidden message: buy your husband (or wife) a lens.
02-18-2010, 10:30 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by LouD Quote
wife or lens?
I need a financier, so the answer is quite obvious.
02-18-2010, 11:52 PM   #13
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The Sigma and the DA35 are both incredible lenses. I rarely find the 35 to be too slow.

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