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02-22-2010, 11:41 AM   #1
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the best and smallest prime

Once I started looking beyond 50mm f/1.4 for the smallest prime, I discovered the DA Limited series with the
  • DA 35mm f/2.8 Macro Lens <-- still small & macro!
  • DA 40mm f/2.8 Ultra Compact Lens <-- super-thin!
  • DA 70mm f/2.4 <-- second smallest, faster!

As you see from my remarks, each has its advantages. Now if I want a walkaround lens which is also good for shooting kids indoors, with or without the 360 flash, which one would you recommend?

Secondly, if I were to get them all, which sequence is a good one to start with, to see if you need more of them?

02-22-2010, 11:50 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by braver Quote
Once I started looking beyond 50mm f/1.4 for the smallest prime, I discovered the DA Limited series with the
  • DA 35mm f/2.8 Macro Lens <-- still small & macro!
  • DA 40mm f/2.8 Ultra Compact Lens <-- super-thin!
  • DA 70mm f/2.4 <-- second smallest, faster!

As you see from my remarks, each has its advantages. Now if I want a walkaround lens which is also good for shooting kids indoors, with or without the 360 flash, which one would you recommend?

Secondly, if I were to get them all, which sequence is a good one to start with, to see if you need more of them?

Braver: I have the 35mm limited and it is exceptional. The close focus/macro is a great advantage. I would say that for me it is a small lens. The fact that 40 mm is smaller wouldn't add much to me. YMMV. Both are excellent. The 40 mm is supposed to have very quick AF. The 35 mm can hunt as the lighting gets low. Quick AF may be an advantage for shooting kids. The 70 mm is probably too long for indoors for most. It also an excellent lens. As far as order, I would get either the 35/40 first. Not both. Then if you find you need more reach and find the length useful get the 70 mm. Hope this helps.
02-22-2010, 11:52 AM   #3
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FWIW, the 40 is much smaller than any of the others. The 35 and 70 are not all that difference from the 50. The 21 is somewhere between these.

As for which to use, I'd say, use a zoom long enough to get an ideaof the focal length that works *for you*. Everyone has a difference preference. I'd go with the 40 myself because I like the slightly telephoto FOV, plus the fast focusing and relatively low price, but it's not wide enough for some shots. Others would pick the 21 to be sure they had something wide enough. Others would choose the 35 as a compromise, although realistically, it's not *that* much wider than the 40, and doesn't focus nearly as fast.

When you "get them all", be sure not to forget the 21 and 15. Which to get first depends on what other lenses you have as well as your own focal length preferences. I'd probably get either the 21, 35, or 40 first for general purpose use, but beyond that, it would all come down to what focal lengths interest *you*, and what other lenses you have.
02-22-2010, 12:00 PM   #4
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The 40mm looks exceptionally small. Does it make the K7 without the grip an almost-pocketable camera? Can you get a good rubber hood for it? Are there any caveats with the 40mm -- it's so thin, there can't be much glass there, can it? Then why are they asking so much for so little glass?

02-22-2010, 12:06 PM   #5
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Which one to get first is depending on your style and what you feel is most valuable for your type of shooting. On the other hand, why get the 35 and the 40? Why not one or the other?

My set up of prime lenses are 15mm apart (20, 35, 50 and looking at an 85.) For a full range, I have zooms to get everything wider and longer and everything in between.

Jason
02-22-2010, 12:08 PM   #6
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The 40 is exceptionally small, for sure. It has a built-in hood, so a rubber one is unnecessary. It's not pocketable, no. As to why they're asking "so much" for it... build quality, the R&D needed to get a lens that small... who knows? The only question that matters is if it's worth it to you.

Personally, as someone who owns all five DA Limiteds, I'd suggest the DA 35 as the one to start with. Ideal walkaround FOV for me, incredible versatility, and unrivaled IQ.
02-22-2010, 12:08 PM   #7
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The 35mm has macro. But I agree, I'd do the 40mm for utmost smallness first. If I can find it somewhere.
02-22-2010, 12:08 PM   #8
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Without a doubt, I'd get the DA 40 first. I think it's the most vertile of the lot. Understand, all these limited lenses are really outstanding IMHO. I own the 21, 40, & did own the 70. The 70 is very good for portraits and head shots. Honestly, the 21 while a fine lens but I just haven't found I use it as much as I thought. My wide angle zooms just give me more options at that length. If I only used primes I would use it much more though.

02-22-2010, 12:21 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by braver Quote
Are there any caveats with the 40mm

The focal distance! The lens is perfect, but 40mm is a bit too short in APS for normal-lens...




But i use it a lot when the FA35 is not on the camera.
02-22-2010, 12:27 PM   #10
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I'd get the DA 40mm first because of its lowest price among the Limiteds. It is also the sharpest. The DA 40mm will give you a taste of the limited lenses and you will want more

In terms of size, the DA 21mm and the DA 70mm is not that much bigger than the DA 40mm. That is, if you replace their lens hoods with something similar to that of the DA 40mm.







02-22-2010, 12:28 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by BBear Quote
The focal distance! The lens is perfect, but 40mm is a bit too short in APS for normal-lens...
But, 40mm APS is 60mm FF, right? And for 50mm there's a warning it's a bit longer than the standard 50mm FF in APS. That's why 50mm is good for portraits, right? So I wonder why is 40mm too short as a prime for e.g. K7! Especially given the above folks walk around with the 35mm.
02-22-2010, 12:28 PM   #12
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The smallest prime (other than the pan-cake) would be the Auto Takumar 35mm f3.5. It is even smaller than the Super Tak and S-M-C Tak 35mm f3.5.



02-22-2010, 12:30 PM   #13
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@SoldBear -- awesome size-showing pics, thanks! @Blue -- f/3.5 is slooow
02-22-2010, 12:35 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by braver Quote
@SoldBear -- awesome size-showing pics, thanks! @Blue -- f/3.5 is slooow
Yeah, but its not like f2.8 is blinding fast. Besides, you asked about the smallest primes. Hell, the 21mm ltd is 3.2 but its still one of my favorite AF lenses.

Edit: And at ~ $35, it would surprise you.
02-22-2010, 12:40 PM   #15
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@Blue -- it does look good. Still f/3.5 is the kit lens performance... And one stop is huuuge in them indoors.
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