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04-25-2016, 02:32 AM   #1
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D-FA 35mm vs DA 28-45mm

I recently had a new DFA 35mm delivered, which I have now sent back to B&H, but compared it to my 28-45 before it left. My conclusions are as follows:

Sharpness: similar on both lenses with perhaps the 35mm being a hair sharper/more contrasty at wider apertures, say compare f5.6 on the 35mm to f8 on the zoom.

Field use: when at maximum magnification in live view on the 35mm, when manual focussing the image moved around the screen by a good 3-5mm during focus. A real pain. The zoom, perfect still manual focus and focus ring has finer adjustment. Both lenses show similar aberrations wide open in live view zoomed in.

Image Quality: on a near-far landscape scene, the 35 showed quite a flat field and required substantial stopping down to get the closest foreground details sharp, and they never got really sharp, even when the focus point was pulled forward. This would then affect the distance detail significantly. The DFA 35mm does not perform like the A35 at all, the A35 offers great depth of field at the given aperture. The same issue with the DFA35 applied even when the closest foreground details were at around 5-7 metres away, not just really close detail, but those details had to be in the lower and outer parts of the frame for them to be softer. Detail at 5-7m away but near to the centre of the frame were much much better.

The 28-45 was not only able to match the DFA35 on a near-far scene, but offered much greater depth of field in the given scene at the same aperture. Close detail at the lower parts of the image were sharp at F11-F13, as were distant details. I would say from what I have seen that the 28-45 has some forward field curvature on the outer parts of the frame and not greater depth of field as such. I consider this a good thing as it makes the lens very usable for landscape scenes.

I consider the 28-45 to be a f/11-f/13 lens (f8 in a pinch) for landscape work, with correct sharpening applied.

I had hoped that the 35mm would make the 645z a more handheld option, but I have now decided that I will keep the 645z on a tripod with the 28-45 and enjoy the results. Perhaps my DFA35 may have had a slight issue, but I am not sure.

I have the images from this test on hand but do not have a lot of time to either process them or upload at this stage, but perhaps over the coming weeks I may have a moment.

In the meantime I am in the market for a complimentary system to the 645Z. Possibly either the new K-1 or a Sony A7 system. At this point I feel that the K-1 is crippled by its heavier than required lenses, with the 15-30 being a beast and the 70-200/2.8 coming in at 2kg. If Pentax had released a nice 18mm f/2.8 for the K-1 then it would be sweet to compliment the 24-70. They should also have a lighter 70-200 f/4 for us landscape shooters, not a bulky f/2.8.

Scott

04-25-2016, 03:44 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by 2351HD Quote
They should also have a lighter 70-200 f/4 for us landscape shooters, not a bulky f/2.8.
from what i understand the DA* 60-250/f4 is actually usable with the FF image circle, only showing some vignetting in the far corners at the long end.
I believe prime lenses will be coming soon, since their goal was to cover the most used range from 15-200mm first with zooms
04-25-2016, 04:00 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by quh86 Quote
from what i understand the DA* 60-250/f4 is actually usable with the FF image circle, only showing some vignetting in the far corners at the long end.
I believe prime lenses will be coming soon, since their goal was to cover the most used range from 15-200mm first with zooms
There are 5 new primes roadmapped, though we won't start seeing them until next year.

That said, there are lots of legacy options that will likely prove to be quite good. It will also be interesting to see how well certain DA lenses work- that's something we plan to test in detail.

Adam
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04-25-2016, 06:44 PM   #4
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Thanks for the post, although I was disappointed in your findings since I was planning to get the 35mm as a lighter handheld alternative to the 28-45, which is a beast. I have been using the 55mm when I want to go lighter and smaller, and just got a used 150mm as well. I did use the 28-45mm handheld yesterday, and got good results due to the sunny day / fast shutter speeds, but it's a pain to walk around with. Maybe I will go with an older 35A, or try the 35HD and see if another copy fares better than yours.

I use the A7RII as my main everyday system, and after using the 645z the A7R feels tiny and light, even with the 70-200 F/4. On the other hand, I love the solidity and controls of the 645z - way more enjoyable to use than the A7R IMHO.

04-25-2016, 06:54 PM   #5
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I'm surprised by this as my dfa 35mm is a beast and has amazing optics i thought. However I'm not really a landscape guy so maybe I'm not looking as hard.
04-25-2016, 07:40 PM   #6
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By the way, any idea if B&H recycles product returns into inventory so that if ordered the 35 HD I might receive the copy you returned?
04-25-2016, 07:47 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by peterm1 Quote
By the way, any idea if B&H recycles product returns into inventory so that if ordered the 35 HD I might receive the copy you returned?
They possibly go into used stock.

---------- Post added 04-26-16 at 12:49 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by gavincato Quote
I'm surprised by this as my dfa 35mm is a beast and has amazing optics i thought. However I'm not really a landscape guy so maybe I'm not looking as hard.
Perhaps. The quality was good, don't get me wrong, but on every shot the 35 appeared to have less depth of field in the foreground.

Maybe my copy was off, with the whole manual focus thing in live view with the image moving around. I would be keen to see you set yours up on a tripod, zoom live view into 16x and manual focus and see if the image stays in the one place, or moves a little around the screen.
04-29-2016, 03:55 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by 2351HD Quote
...

Maybe my copy was off, with the whole manual focus thing in live view with the image moving around. I would be keen to see you set yours up on a tripod, zoom live view into 16x and manual focus and see if the image stays in the one place, or moves a little around the screen.
I just completed a round of tests with my DFA35 and this did not happen. I went through the range of near far subjects to see if it happens at one end of the focus range, but I could not duplicate anything shifting of the image when rocking the focus ring.

04-29-2016, 06:44 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
I just completed a round of tests with my DFA35 and this did not happen. I went through the range of near far subjects to see if it happens at one end of the focus range, but I could not duplicate anything shifting of the image when rocking the focus ring.
So when you were focusing manually in live view it remained quite still. Yes that's not what I was experiencing, at least not compared to my 28-45.
04-30-2016, 06:54 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by 2351HD Quote
So when you were focusing manually in live view it remained quite still. Yes that's not what I was experiencing, at least not compared to my 28-45.
yes, it did not shift. until of course it was so far out of focus that the image smeared and widened. But, while within coarse focusing range, it never changed. Do you have any other lenses that exhibit that behavior that you can share with a video? Was there play in the focusing ring at all?
05-04-2016, 06:02 AM - 1 Like   #11
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Wow, I just received my DFA HD 35mm yesterday from B&H and I am already pretty blown away by the wide open performance on my 645z just from handheld shooting in my backyard. Color, clarity and sharpness are beautiful. I shot a dark tree against a bright white sky and no fringing/aberration correction needed either. This lens is going to be glued to my camera. If the 90mm is this good (and it is supposed to be even better), then my bank account is in trouble!

By the way, I bought the huelight profiles for the 645z and they are really nice (best $15 I spend on the 645z system!). The embedded profile isn't bad (way better than Adobe standard - yuck), but the Huelight profiles add a nice little punch for certain types of photos, especially the strong profile. Just my 2 cents...
05-07-2016, 07:47 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by peterm1 Quote
Wow, I just received my DFA HD 35mm yesterday from B&H and I am already pretty blown away by the wide open performance on my 645z just from handheld shooting in my backyard. Color, clarity and sharpness are beautiful. I shot a dark tree against a bright white sky and no fringing/aberration correction needed either. This lens is going to be glued to my camera. If the 90mm is this good (and it is supposed to be even better), then my bank account is in trouble!

By the way, I bought the huelight profiles for the 645z and they are really nice (best $15 I spend on the 645z system!). The embedded profile isn't bad (way better than Adobe standard - yuck), but the Huelight profiles add a nice little punch for certain types of photos, especially the strong profile. Just my 2 cents...
Agree on the huelight profiles, a little extra punch over the standard Adobe profile.
05-07-2016, 11:04 PM - 1 Like   #13
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Gotta be careful with that "high" profile though
05-08-2016, 04:08 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by 2351HD Quote
Gotta be careful with that "high" profile though
I use the high on occasion...great for bringing out reds...have just bought the hue light for the A7RII as the Adobe presets make the clouds all blotchy.
05-11-2016, 03:12 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by peterm1 Quote
Wow, I just received my DFA HD 35mm yesterday from B&H and I am already pretty blown away by the wide open performance on my 645z just from handheld shooting in my backyard. Color, clarity and sharpness are beautiful. I shot a dark tree against a bright white sky and no fringing/aberration correction needed either. This lens is going to be glued to my camera. If the 90mm is this good (and it is supposed to be even better), then my bank account is in trouble!

By the way, I bought the huelight profiles for the 645z and they are really nice (best $15 I spend on the 645z system!). The embedded profile isn't bad (way better than Adobe standard - yuck), but the Huelight profiles add a nice little punch for certain types of photos, especially the strong profile. Just my 2 cents...

Then I already feel sorry for your bank account... The 90mm is amazing, and in my opinion the best lens available for the 645. The DFA35, by comparison, is "just" a very good lens.
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