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07-25-2008, 09:25 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by augustmoon Quote
Did the article mention what they used the lens for or what about it they thought made it so fantastic? What other lenses have they used on the K20D? Did they compare it to anything else?

It's one of the best lenses for hand-held close-up shots, and hand-held macro, never really did any macro (or macro-ish) type of photos until I got this lens. It's a terrific lens up close, great detail, saturated colors, although a bit dark if uncompensated. It has quick-shift focusing, it's metal, it's a perfect walk-around size.

All around, however, I have a lot of focus issues with the lens at infinity and near infinity, seems hit and miss, mostly miss. I wanted to love it so much, that I bought a second copy, hoping it would be better or different from the first, but they are the same.
(infinity tests for me were on a tripod with SR off, remote release f8 and better, shutter speed 200 and better, even manual focused, etc.., and then walking around at mid-range with SR on and high shutter speed and f6.3 or greater)
some people thought the images looked just fine, and maybe so, but not for me with higher expectations that I have and direct comparison between 2 DA35 models and the DA35 compared to the FA31, the FA43 and the DA40. Both DA35's came in last for scenics, landscapes, candids, general. But they came in first for up-close detail.

Where as the FA31 and FA43 reliably focus at infinity and do everything the DA35 does and significantly better, except for that really amazing close-up work that this lens does really well. I love the size and build and wanted to use it as a general-purpose walk around, but it didn't cut it for me. But I'll keep it for close-up and macro-type stuff.
+1. Very good post!
I'm absolutely agreed.

07-25-2008, 09:38 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
The images Ihave seen from it are pretty darned amazing and it wipes out the biggest disadvantage of my FA43 Limited... the rather large nearest focus distance. Plus it's a more useful focal length IMO. Still not sure if it has the same magic as the FA43. And it's not as fast.
DA35 has bokeh typical for MACRO LENS, a bit dull and smoth.
I can't say that DA35's bokeh is something outstanding. Not bad, not good. Neutral like most Sigmas does, for example. With some weakness too.

For close-up and macro DA35 are very sharp, sharper DFA50 and DFA100 IMO, but
I tried to make portraits...I can say that DFA50 and DFA100 are better.
For walk-around - it's hard to say that it's better than FA35 - at longer distance FA35 works better and it's easy to use for ALL. FA31, DA40 and FA43 are the same. They are really better like general use lenses.

When I bought DA35, I was happy several minutes... Then I understand that it's real LIMITED among MACRO lenses in the world, but not LIMITED for me.
I prefer for macro longer lenses and I got DA35 as general use lens.
But, it's MACRO first of all. My mistake.
07-30-2008, 10:21 PM   #18
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Lens Comparison: DA35Ltd, FA31Ltd & FA35 (Landscape Photo, 9 imgs)): Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review
As I said before.
FA35 is MUCH better than walkaround lens.
08-01-2008, 08:39 PM   #19
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Chemxaj (thx!) just sent me a basically new FA 31ltd, so I'll have to see how it
stacks up against the DA 35 (& K 35, Super Tak 35, & DA 40 I guess )

Here are my first test shots - I'd say right off that it's the sharpest at it's "under f/2"
max aperture lens I've shot, even sharper than the M/A/FA 50 1.7.

1) f/8


2) Wide open (f/1.8) - doesn't showcase sharpness in this shot but tonality
and color:


3) f/1.8


4) f/1.8 (light on front of leaves was relected from upstairs window)


5) f/1.8


6) f/1.8


7) f/1.8


8) f/4 (the green here is so rich & true to life)


9) f/1.8


10) f/1.8


08-01-2008, 10:43 PM   #20
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The leaf shot at f4 is a corker, basically real life. I've compared everything thats passed through my hands to the 31 in some way and yet it remains in my day bag where many others have passed through. 31 is a bit softer at 1.8, but still on a high level. From 2.8 up its already in peak form, through to f11, where it starts back down the slope.

It is my honest opinion that you will find the 31 to be generally more worth your time than the DA35, except for applications where only the would macro do. But I will be curious to hear your thoughts.

K.
08-01-2008, 11:07 PM   #21
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jsherman, ogl et al:
Maybe I'm too new at this to appreciate the DA 35 I just got, but my initial reaction is I don't see the cost/benefit. Compared to my only other lens (50 f/1.4) the new DA 35 isn't as sharp, or as useful in low light and it cost nearly three times as much. True, the macro is lots of fun, but I don't see myself spending much time in the macro world.
Partially, this is my ignorance in assuming that a "normal" lens had to be the best walk-around lens; seems the 50mm was a better (lucky) choice and gives me a better perspective. I'm thinking of returning the 35 and going with 70mm as a walk-around. Either the Sigma 70 or the DA70.
FHPhotog
08-02-2008, 05:49 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by FHPhotographer Quote
jsherman, ogl et al:
Maybe I'm too new at this to appreciate the DA 35 I just got, but my initial reaction is I don't see the cost/benefit. Compared to my only other lens (50 f/1.4) the new DA 35 isn't as sharp, or as useful in low light and it cost nearly three times as much. True, the macro is lots of fun, but I don't see myself spending much time in the macro world.
Partially, this is my ignorance in assuming that a "normal" lens had to be the best walk-around lens; seems the 50mm was a better (lucky) choice and gives me a better perspective. I'm thinking of returning the 35 and going with 70mm as a walk-around. Either the Sigma 70 or the DA70.
FHPhotog

Well, you're certainly not alone in that opinion! However, I wonder if you got a
bad copy, because my 35 is sharper than my FA 50 1.4 at most apertures.

If you're not happy with it, I can highly recommend the Sigma 70, and others
have shown you what the DA 70 can do also.

If you still want something in the D-normal FL, think about an M, K or Super Tak
35 - MF, but all are very good, and inexpensive.

(A word of warning though on the M & K & Super Taks - addictive. )


.

Last edited by jsherman999; 08-02-2008 at 06:11 AM.
08-02-2008, 06:06 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by thePiRaTE!! Quote
The leaf shot at f4 is a corker, basically real life. I've compared everything thats passed through my hands to the 31 in some way and yet it remains in my day bag where many others have passed through. 31 is a bit softer at 1.8, but still on a high level. From 2.8 up its already in peak form, through to f11, where it starts back down the slope.

It is my honest opinion that you will find the 31 to be generally more worth your time than the DA35, except for applications where only the would macro do. But I will be curious to hear your thoughts.

K.

You may be right, this 31 is something special. When I'm out shooting, though,
I find that I really enjoy being able to step right into the macro world and back
out with the same lens - that's why I also like to use my Viv 105 & Sigma 70's
as walkabouts. It makes me feel like I have an elevator down into the 'small'
world, and that the whole shooting world is more expansive, because my
range of subjects becomes so inclusive. I don't know how to describe it, really,
I just feel like the world is bigger and more colorful when I'm stepping out with
a close focus lens on.

And I prefer leaving the house with one lens and 'thinking' at that focal length
for a while, which is why it's an advantage to me to have that capability with one
lens.

The 31ltd might change my opinion on a few things, though. It does seem
to be a standard setter, doesn't it?


.


.

08-02-2008, 07:20 AM   #24
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Well put on the inclusiveness of close-focus lenses J - I think we definately share the sentiment. Its been part of the reason I've compared the DA35 and now the T*25 to the FA31 - hoping to oust in out of the bag with a lens that could attain a wider range of shots, but the 31 is just too good at what it does, as plain as that is.

FWIW, the T*25 really has been the first lens to literally replace the FA31 in my bag. The DA35 did not as the 31 was simply better for all but macro and the 125 was better at macro so it just wasn't strong enough overall for me, but thats some serious competition and I don't 'blame' the DA for failing in my needs. The Distagon however adds the wide angle, close-focus edge in spades and can match the 31 at infinity when stopped down, so with proper handling the Distagon finally pushed the FA out of the everyday carry role. That said, the FA31 still is better at infinity, faster than the T* so is living a new life as the night hawk - sharp and fast in low light.
08-02-2008, 07:49 AM - 1 Like   #25
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I hate to dump on all this wonderful analysis of what I'm sure is a great lens but I find these threads a strange and funny dialog at times. Maybe I've just read far too many threads that follow this theme, maybe I'm just getting old and tired. Maybe it's more the language used than the actual thread idea itself.

I certainly hope the DA35mm gets Mike's thumbs up since the blog is read by thousands on a daily basis. It can only help Pentax (maybe they should post an ad there?). I am curious about Stevebrot's question though. I couldn't find a direct quote that he was even talking about the DA35 even after searching the blog. Maybe I missed something.

Don't get me wrong, I like owning the best glass I can afford. I think I have a decent little collection but nothing like what I see here and elsewhere. I also own some crap lenses that I still use because they offer a 'look' or effect that the super sharp, great bokeh etc, lens can't touch. Yet each lens does just what I want it to do and in most cases better than I'm able to push it.

I've seen some pretty fine images come from some fairly 'pedestrian' lenses and I always find it funny when someone says "WOW great shot what lens?" The answer comes back, an FA 70-200 or something similar. Don't take that the wrong way 70-200 owners, the viewer expected an A*135mm f1.8 or FA85mm/1.4 because the shot looked so good. It's a compliment to your shooting style using what you have to work with.

I agree with the OP's earlier comment that the thing Mike might be seeing is a combination of DA35 and K20D sensor. Really how could he not? The one thing I lament with DSLR's over film is that every image from your DSLR will be basically the same. With film, if you wanted a certain look, warmer, colder, more/less grain, more/less contrast, you changed the film to suit the shooting project, even half way through a roll! Can't change the sensor and the only option is Photoshop. So I'm fairly sure it's as much the sensor as it is the lens.

So back to my mini rant. The statement that caught my attention was the following (from Mikes article):

QuoteQuote:
And now for my thoughts on maturity...
(he's referring to testing a lens Vs using a lens)
But here's what's interesting: the opposite is also true. When I'm actually out photographing—that is, out and about pursuing "real" pictures—the kind I actually want to look at—I never pay the slightest attention to the technical properties of the lens. Then, the goal is to forget the equipment. What I've learned about the lens with my test photos might inform how I use it, how I go about approaching something, but once I've decided a lens is okay, I just photograph with it. If some slight technical flaw shows up in a picture, I don't obsess about it.

And when you think about it, isn't that really the mark of maturity in a photographer? He or she does the necessary research, acquires the equipment needed to do the work, but then gets on with the work. And forgets about the equipment. When you're photographing, technique should be transparent.
So like any of us, I get a new lens and test it out, take a few shots of various tough subjects, review the images, maybe compare it to one of my known "standards" and then the lens goes in the bag or is returned/sold. Every lens has a strength or weakness but frankly these are quite minor. My Tamron 28-75mm/2.8 can have double line bokeh when there are sticks in a close up shot and the sun is bright. So I don't use that lens in those situations. No reason to sell it or look for a 'better' lens though.

After that, it's as Mike said "I just photograph with it. If some slight technical flaw shows up in a picture, I don't obsess about it". Most minor issues can be corrected later but that doesn't happen often. I know I can post a picture from a zoom and no one can tell it wasn't a prime most of the time. Sure I realize a resized Jpeg is far different than a RAW file. I know certain lenses will do certain things better or worse. But I do print quite a bit, at the corner kiosk and a pro lab using TIFF versions. I'm happy with the results from my primes, my zooms and my crap lenses.

I hope the debates on every lens continue. I learn some stuff from those that have 'better' gear than I do. Heck I play a part in that myself having recently published a comparison of the FA50/1.4 and FA50/2.8 macro.

These threads serve a purpose. I respect everyone here who has posted and those lurking that want to know more about the tests. It's not a complaint because these threads can help those that have limited resources to make the best choices. But if a 31mm or a 70mm is way out of your needs and budget but the 2 kit lenses are affordable. Then I hope the new owner feels they have a good quality setup. Because they do.

My point is, don't make lens collecting and getting the ultimate lens for the focal range the goal. Those who are lucky enough to acquire [what's considered] the best lens for the focal range should be careful. Don't become elitist or intimidating to the new DSLR owner with a kit lens. The goal is the photograph. If it's a good one, I for one, could care less if it was taken with an Albinar.

Name:  IMGP6386.jpg
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So anyone know the lens used (without looking at the EXIF)?
Attachment 16404

Last edited by Peter Zack; 08-02-2008 at 09:28 AM.
08-02-2008, 07:50 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by augustmoon Quote
I'm trying to find someone who can prove me wrong so I can pickup perhaps a magical 3rd copy and use it as a walkaround and landscape lens.
?
Here are two little example of the DA35 at f/4:



Distance was around half a kilometer (or more).



This a 100% Crop from number two:



For me, the DA35 is a logical step up from my loved DA21 for landscape. How do you use to say: A lot of bang for the buck...

Best,
Rainer

Last edited by TKH; 08-02-2008 at 08:07 AM.
08-02-2008, 05:15 PM   #27
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31ltd



08-02-2008, 05:37 PM   #28
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31 Ltd

Nice images Jay.

That 31mm is an awesome lens! This lens will be my next purchase as funds allow. Fabulous bokeh in shots one and two. The skin tones and hair are just wonderful in shot 1. Shot three was a good way to “end” the set.

Tom G
08-02-2008, 10:49 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by 8540tomg Quote
Nice images Jay.

That 31mm is an awesome lens! This lens will be my next purchase as funds allow. Fabulous bokeh in shots one and two. The skin tones and hair are just wonderful in shot 1. Shot three was a good way to “end” the set.

Tom G

Yeah, it's pretty good, but it better be at this price, right?

I'm still not 100% sure I'm keeping it, but I'll try it for a month or so & then if
it hasn't distinguished itself above & beyond I might put it up for sale.

But this lens has a tendency to make itself indispensable, from what I gather.
We'll see how things shake out.








08-02-2008, 11:53 PM   #30
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I think you'll surprise yourself the most with infinity shots with the 31. Shoot something farther away, like a building and zoom in, nothing near it in focal range can beat it, its pretty much on point by f2.8. Bokeh is good, but perhaps not that dramatic at its minimum focus range and focal length, though that top shots is very well rendered.
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