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12-09-2010, 11:37 PM   #1
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Decided on K-x, Which 35mm Lens?

I finally chose between the K20D and K-x and will be getting a K-x as soon as I have the money to spare. Now that I have decided on the body I am looking for a 35mm lens, the faster the better. I am used to and most comfortable with the 50mm FOV on film SLRs and I'm looking for an autofocus lens that is $300 or less. The new 35mm f/2.4 looks great but I'd prefer f/1.8 or f/1.7. Realistically I don't see that happening for under $300 though. Any recommendations for an fast affordable 35mm AF lens, Pentax or third-party?

12-10-2010, 12:04 AM   #2
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The only one would be the 35 f2.4. Used, you may find a FA35 f2 or a Sigma 30 f1.4 if you are lucky. The later one being a bit particular: extremely sharp in the center and very uneven across the frame.
12-10-2010, 01:33 AM   #3
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The DA35/2.4 is fairly unique amongst inexpensive primes in that it appears to have very nice image quality wide open. I can't think of any faster AF primes that would improve your IQ, unless you were looking at the FA31/1.8. But that one extra stop costs you about 5 times the price, plus the FA31 is the hardest lens to learn to get good results out of that I've ever owned. So I'd just appreciate the fact that the DA35/2.4 is a pretty well optimized lens at a nice price.
12-10-2010, 08:57 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by pasteofanchovie Quote
Any recommendations for an fast affordable 35mm AF lens, Pentax or third-party
Your best bet is the FA 35/2 -- which, by all accounts, is an outstanding lens (the resolution figures I've seen for this lens -- from several different sources -- are remarkable). Finding a used one for under $300 could be a bit of challenge. A couple of used ones were being sold at keh.com a month ago for $339 and $379. They sold quickly at these prices.

After the FA 35/2, your best bet is the aforementioned DA 35/2.4.

12-10-2010, 10:28 AM   #5
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Don't get too hung up on the boring maximum aperture numbers of the DA35/2.4. It's hard to acknowledge a serious prime that is barely faster than a zoom. But when I use my FA35/2, it's often at f2.4, where it's great. The newer lens is pretty much the same design, with the same sharpness and better bokeh. I would just use it wide open.
12-10-2010, 04:26 PM   #6
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The Samsung 35mm F2 D-Xenogon lens is the exact same as the FA35/2 [just rebranded and sold as a samsung] and it is what I use. I find it amazing in low light situations and it only comes off my camera when I switch to my DA70. The samsung xenogen can also still be easily obtained first hand from ebay. As above, i mostly use it at f2.4 or there about =)
12-10-2010, 10:54 PM   #7
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How is the build quality of the DA 35mm f/2.4? Does it feel well made or cheap?
12-10-2010, 11:06 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by pasteofanchovie Quote
How is the build quality of the DA 35mm f/2.4? Does it feel well made or cheap?
It's not going to handle like a limited, but it's just the plastic feel that will bother you. It's a solid piece of plastic.

Just make sure you buy a hood for it.

01-22-2011, 04:39 AM   #9
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I will also suggest to get FA35/2 or Sigma 30/1.4

I didn't find a good logic in Pentax to stop FA35/2 and get DA35/2.4, except for killing competition to damn expensive 31ltd. Instead of using DA35/2.4, I would any day use my Tamron 28-75/2.8
01-22-2011, 07:18 AM   #10
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DA 35mm f/2.4

I own both the DA 35mm f/2.4 and the FA 35mm f2.0. IMO the DA is the better lens. I would say that the FA is slightly sharper around the edges, but you really have to pixel peep to see it. I doubt you'd be able to see a sharpness difference unless you printed 30" or larger, and maybe not then. On the other hand the DA has, to my mind anyway, smoother bokeh. Color rendition is about the same on both lenses as is contrast, tho I do think the DA is a teensy bit better in that category too. The one thing I did notice in performing a "real world" shoot out is that the DA seems to be about 1/2 to 1/4 stop darker at each aperture than the FA f/2.0. I'm a work now so I can't post any shots, I will post some when I get home if I remember
Ergonomics:
The DA is lighter, but a bit longer, both are about the same diameter, manual focus throw is longer on the FA, but both focus rings are smooth and nicely dampened. The FA has an aperture ring, the DA doesn't, and the DA doesn't have the usual quick shift focusing. Neither lens feels particularly "plasticy" tho because of it's weight, the FA has a bit more "heft" to it.
All in all I'd say I prefer the DA to the FA due to the better bokeh, but to be truthful, a mouse would starve on the differences between these two lenses.

NaCl(given the price difference between the two, my vote goes to the DA)H2O
01-22-2011, 08:24 PM   #11
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+1 for the Sigma 30mm 1.4, it is a nice lens and 1.4 is one of the fastest out there BUT I would rather have the DA 35 ltd (obviously it is more than your budget though).
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