Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
10-08-2010, 03:45 PM   #1
Forum Member




Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Posts: 60
Lens choices -- please help!

Hey guys, thanks for just clicking here to see how to help me! I've been reading on and on about these wonderful prime lenses that Pentax makes. I'm trying to decide between the 35mm limited macro and the 40mm limited pancake. My primary purpose would be to take pictures of my new baby daughter and other people mostly indoors. I understand the 40mm would be snappier and less "intimidating" since it is so darn small. However, I also love hiking in the outdoors and it sounds like the 35mm is a nice lens that could do a not-so-wide but nice landscape shot while in the next step be able to point it at a flower or bug to do a nice macro. It sounds like a versatile lens which is great. However, I've heard by some people that it focuses slowly. So what I really want to know is:

1) Is the 35mm fast enough for indoor candid shots of kids?
2) Besides macro, is the 35mm as sharp as the 40mm?
3) Does anyone own both of these lenses? In general, how do they compare?

If you just answer what's above that would be great, but I also have another dilemma, so if you want to help me with this one too, I'd appreciate it. I am a dental student and would like to invest in a true macro lens for dental photography. The ideal range for dental photography is 90-105mm. It's not likely I could spring for one of the above limited lenses and a longer macro for dental shots. So, is there anything I could do that would convert the 35mm limited into a macro with a longer range (~100mm) that would still retain a 1:1ish ratio? I would love to kill two birds with one stone!

I thank you in advance for your comments!

10-08-2010, 03:50 PM   #2
Pentaxian




Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 7,411
I don't find the DA35's occasional hunting as annoying as some, but if you want the best possible indoor AF you need to go with the DA40. It's lightning-fast and much more likely to capture candid kid moments.

Both are stellar IQ-wise, and the 35 is more versatile, but I think the 40 is the better choice here.

(It's also cheaper. Yay.)

For dental photos your best bet is to get an old manual Lester A. Dine/Kiron/Vivitar 105mm f/2.8. The Lester A. Dine ones were actually manufactured especially for dental use, with specific tooth-distance markings on the barrel. They go for anywhere from $200 to $400 based on condition and the seller's temperament.
10-08-2010, 04:23 PM   #3
Inactive Account




Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Michigan, USA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 7,485
I've never been able to get past the tiny size of the DA40 to invest in one. Opted for the 35 a couple years ago and haven't regretted it once. To each his own and you'll probably get a dozen more varying answers.

In addition to what DWB says about the Lester Dine 100mm, sometimes they can be found kitted with the ring flash as well. It would be a TTL flash I'm sure (Pentax won't use TTL on later cameras) but with a little trial and error, you could probably master the setup. After all, how many different ways can there be to expose (on a camera) somebody's choppers?

10-08-2010, 04:36 PM   #4
Senior Member




Join Date: May 2009
Location: Finland
Posts: 191
Check the new DA 35/2.4 lens too. It is cheap, fast focusing, has half stop more speed than DA 35 Limited or DA 40 Limited and it is very sharp. The build quality is good too, but of course not the same level as limiteds.

10-08-2010, 06:19 PM   #5
hcc
Pentaxian
hcc's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,482
You already received some good advice. Let me add a comment. Indoor, you do need a large aperture to shoot without flash. It may depend off course upon the lighting in your place. Personally I got more natural shots from the family without flash and that would be my preference.

With my K-7, I found that I often got the best shoots at f2.0 or below when indoor in the evening. As such neither the 40mm nor the 35 mm would be fast enough without the flash. (*If you shoot only daytime and have some good sunlight in your place, you may be able to use a higher f number.*) If you want to shoot with flash, both the 40mm and 35mm would be fine

So I may suggest that you consider: do you want to use flash, or not ? Your lens selection might be linked with your choice.
10-08-2010, 08:47 PM   #6
Senior Member




Join Date: May 2010
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 208
QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
You already received some good advice. Let me add a comment. Indoor, you do need a large aperture to shoot without flash. It may depend off course upon the lighting in your place. Personally I got more natural shots from the family without flash and that would be my preference.

With my K-7, I found that I often got the best shoots at f2.0 or below when indoor in the evening. As such neither the 40mm nor the 35 mm would be fast enough without the flash. (*If you shoot only daytime and have some good sunlight in your place, you may be able to use a higher f number.*) If you want to shoot with flash, both the 40mm and 35mm would be fine

So I may suggest that you consider: do you want to use flash, or not ? Your lens selection might be linked with your choice.
I don't disagree, but on the other hand the k-x and the new cameras are known to have two stops or more of usable high-ISO room than the K7D. So an f2.8 lens will allow as much indoor evening shooting with a k-x as a 1.4 on the K7D. On the other hand if you are shooting moving children indoors you probably want the biggest aperture and the fastest shot you can get. :-)
10-09-2010, 06:21 AM   #7
Forum Member




Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Posts: 60
Original Poster
The new 35mm 2.4 is something to consider, but how do you know it is sharp? Have we seen any test shots from it yet? How do we know of its build? I like the idea of the limiteds because they are already proven to be great lenses, but hopefully the new 35mm can be a winner too since it is 1/3 the price. I will probably hold off on that though until we know more about it.

I have a K-7, so the larger aperture is something to consider. I would like something wider than 50mm too, since 50mm seems a little to telephoto for me for indoors. I'm not aware of any shorter lenses with a wider aperture besides the FA 31 limited, and that runs out of my budget. That's why I was hoping the 35mm would be promising. I'm still torn, but it looks like the best option may be

40mm Limited + Lightroom 3 for noise reduction
and somewhere down the line, ring flash + old manual macro. I was actually considering this anyway because you don't use the autofocus in dental photography, it's mostly manual anyway. If I don't get the 35mm Macro, maybe the longer macro would make up for it. It would be very nice to have a versitile lens like the 35mm... so tempting still.

If anyone else wants to weigh in, please do. All advice has been helpful, and the more the better.

Last edited by Vote4Pedro; 10-09-2010 at 06:30 AM.
10-09-2010, 06:42 AM   #8
Veteran Member
mattdm's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Boston, MA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,964
QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
You already received some good advice. Let me add a comment. Indoor, you do need a large aperture to shoot without flash. It may depend off course upon the lighting in your place. Personally I got more natural shots from the family without flash and that would be my preference.

With my K-7, I found that I often got the best shoots at f2.0 or below when indoor in the evening. As such neither the 40mm nor the 35 mm would be fast enough without the flash. (*If you shoot only daytime and have some good sunlight in your place, you may be able to use a higher f number.*) If you want to shoot with flash, both the 40mm and 35mm would be fine

So I may suggest that you consider: do you want to use flash, or not ? Your lens selection might be linked with your choice.
I prefer to have a little bit more depth of field to play with f/1.4 is fine for individual portraits (if you don't mind blurry ears), but general family shots I think f/2.8 is the bare minimum. So, indoors, I like flash. But I use it in wireless PTTL mode, both to get more natural-feeling bounced lighting, and because then I just put the flash somewhere convenient in the room and it doesn't unbalance my camera. (So, I'm firmly in the DA 40mm f/2.8 camp here.)

10-09-2010, 10:20 AM   #9
Veteran Member




Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Missouri
Posts: 535
The 35 is a truly great lens. The AF problem is because of the long throw, from macro to infinity, but if you have it near the focus range to begin with (such as indoors), it's very fast. I don't think you can beat this lens for macro, close-up and mid-range shots at 35mm. Very versitle.
However, because it is a close focus lens, it's not the best for scenic shots. For your purposes, the 40 might be a better choice.
10-09-2010, 11:32 AM   #10
Pentaxian




Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 7,411
QuoteOriginally posted by Ron Kruger Quote
However, because it is a close focus lens, it's not the best for scenic shots.
For the record, I've never found this to be true. On the contrary, it's one of the best landscape lenses I own.
10-09-2010, 02:02 PM   #11
Senior Member




Join Date: May 2010
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 208
QuoteOriginally posted by Vote4Pedro Quote
The new 35mm 2.4 is something to consider, but how do you know it is sharp? Have we seen any test shots from it yet? How do we know of its build? I like the idea of the limiteds because they are already proven to be great lenses, but hopefully the new 35mm can be a winner too since it is 1/3 the price. I will probably hold off on that though until we know more about it.

I have a K-7, so the larger aperture is something to consider. I would like something wider than 50mm too, since 50mm seems a little to telephoto for me for indoors. I'm not aware of any shorter lenses with a wider aperture besides the FA 31 limited, and that runs out of my budget. That's why I was hoping the 35mm would be promising. I'm still torn, but it looks like the best option may be

40mm Limited + Lightroom 3 for noise reduction
and somewhere down the line, ring flash + old manual macro. I was actually considering this anyway because you don't use the autofocus in dental photography, it's mostly manual anyway. If I don't get the 35mm Macro, maybe the longer macro would make up for it. It would be very nice to have a versitile lens like the 35mm... so tempting still.

If anyone else wants to weigh in, please do. All advice has been helpful, and the more the better.
If you are concerned about f2.8 not being big enough, but are put off by the 31 Limited price, the other option is the FA 35 f2 (which I have). It is available used or even 'NIB' (especially in the Samsung-branded version which is optically and mechanically identical to the Pentax version), for less than the DA 35/2.8. You can check the reviews, but it is plenty sharp -- non-macro, but plenty of us swear by it. You are right that the new DA L 35 is an unproven design so far, though some assume it to be based more or less closely on the FA.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
40mm, camera, lens, lens choices, lenses, love, macro, pentax help, people, photography, range
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Lens choices - Need Help. dycz Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 6 09-29-2009 05:49 PM
Lens choices... 5teve Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 13 09-13-2009 09:16 PM
Lens choices dsittler Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 1 07-12-2009 06:57 PM
Lens Choices gnaztee Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 2 04-17-2008 11:28 PM
Lens choices and help! Xion Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 9 11-08-2007 02:44 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:18 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top