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05-06-2023, 09:49 AM - 1 Like   #1
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DFA 35mm f/3.5 worth it?

Is the DFA 35mm f/3.5 worth the price premium over the FA version? It is about double the price atm.


Are there any comparisons between the two online?

I'm going to use it on a Pentax 645N II. As far as I understand, it will work as intended on a film camera?

I'm looking for an autofocus lens, so I'm not interested in the A version.

05-06-2023, 10:09 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edmunds Quote
Is the DFA 35mm f/3.5 worth the price premium over the FA version? It is about double the price atm.


Are there any comparisons between the two online?

I'm going to use it on a Pentax 645N II. As far as I understand, it will work as intended on a film camera?

I'm looking for an autofocus lens, so I'm not interested in the A version.

Have you looked them up in the database?

https://www.pentaxforums.com/lensreviews/SMC-Pentax-FA-645-35mm-F3.5-Lens.html

https://www.pentaxforums.com/lensreviews/hd-pentax-d-fa-645-35mm-f35-alif.html
05-06-2023, 10:42 AM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edmunds Quote
Is the DFA 35mm f/3.5 worth the price premium over the FA version? It is about double the price atm.


Are there any comparisons between the two online?

I'm going to use it on a Pentax 645N II. As far as I understand, it will work as intended on a film camera?

I'm looking for an autofocus lens, so I'm not interested in the A version.


I can only comment on the FA version - but I love it:

FA 645 35mm f3.5 AL (IF) | Flickr
05-06-2023, 12:10 PM   #4
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Well, its a bit inconclusive. Both lenses have great reviews, but the DFA version is double the price and there are no direct comparisons.

05-06-2023, 04:24 PM - 2 Likes   #5
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If you search comments on earlier threads from MikeSF, whose work speaks for itself, he raves about the DFA, though (if I remember rightly) thatís by comparison with the A.

I think the overall picture is that the DFA is better than both of its predecessors but whether that makes the premium worth it is, of course, a personal decision.

Speaking personally, Iíd say get it if you can afford it! Itís not twice as good but then these things are never linear.
05-06-2023, 07:21 PM - 1 Like   #6
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I had the 645 A35 and loved it. No complaints at all. I had an opportunity to purchase the DFA several years ago and compared both side by side. There was no comparison, the DFA is a demonstrable improvement in center and perimeter sharpness, field curvature, flare resistance versus the A. I have no experience with the FA so cannot comment, but the DFA is definitely a winner.

I'm away right now but have a gallery devoted to each lens and can post it later if anyone is interested. Good luck
05-07-2023, 01:56 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
I had the 645 A35 and loved it. No complaints at all. I had an opportunity to purchase the DFA several years ago and compared both side by side. There was no comparison, the DFA is a demonstrable improvement in center and perimeter sharpness, field curvature, flare resistance versus the A. I have no experience with the FA so cannot comment, but the DFA is definitely a winner.

I'm away right now but have a gallery devoted to each lens and can post it later if anyone is interested. Good luck
Well, the A version is 9 elements in 8 groups and 77mm filter size. Both the FA and DFA are 10 elements in 7 groups and 82mm filter size.


So it appears the A lens is a different lens entirely, but the FA and DFA are similar. I wonder if the difference is just HD coatings (like the HD FA primes for FF), because I'm not willing to pay double the price just for that. One difference I can see from the specs is that the DFA has 9 rounded aperture blades vs 8 straight blades on the FA. Given that I want sunstars more than round bokeh balls, to be quite honest this seems like an advantage of the FA.


I also find it weird how a new version of a lens comes out and there are zero comparisons to be found with the previous version, like whaaat only in Pentax land

05-07-2023, 03:04 AM - 1 Like   #8
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I think there are more differences than that. Although opinions vary, there is a tendency for people to say the FA suffers field curvature and shows irregular areas of distortion. Iíve never seen this said of the DFA. Donít know if itís that itís manufactured with tighter tolerances or if thereís some other design difference, but it seems the quality of the DFA is down to more than improved coatings and differently shaped aperture blades.
05-08-2023, 01:11 AM - 2 Likes   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edmunds Quote
...DFA has 9 rounded aperture blades vs 8 straight blades on the FA. Given that I want sunstars ...
good point. The DFA is capable of coaxing a sunstar when closed down. Here is an example, FWIW:
On Saturday Night
05-08-2023, 03:03 AM - 2 Likes   #10
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You don't need a 35mm prime to do that though ;-)

Shot with 645Z and the 28-45mm lens (@39mm)
[IMG][/IMG]
05-08-2023, 07:24 AM   #11
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Lol, it's like looking in the mirror.
05-08-2023, 02:03 PM   #12
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Yours is better, with more foreground (though I believe I have a frame like that too - will go and look!)
05-08-2023, 02:26 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ed Hurst Quote
Yours is better, with more foreground (though I believe I have a frame like that too - will go and look!)
i like yours better
05-08-2023, 03:47 PM - 2 Likes   #14
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Maybe we just swap files with each other then? No one will ever know.
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