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07-15-2012, 09:32 AM   #1
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Downgrading from DA 35mm macro ltd?

Hi all,

I know the DA 35 macro ltd. has a great reputation, and it does produce wonderful pictures, but I find I'm not using it all that much. I bought it about two years ago, when I was still new to the KX and enthusiastic to get the most of out it. I read all the great reviews of that lens, and went for it. I produced some wonderful macros, but in truth most of my photography is portraits of kids, family, friends, vacation, etc. I find I make a whole lot more use out of my kit 18-55 and my 55-300.

I do, however, like the speed of the 35 macro, as I prefer to avoid a flash, and am often shooting in low light.

So now I'm thinking of swapping the 35 for either the Tamron 28-75, or the Sigma 17-70, figuring I won't need the kit lens anymore and will be down to just two very usable lenses.

Am I crazy to get rid of such a good lens?

Thanks for your help.

07-15-2012, 09:43 AM   #2
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I realize that everybody have different needs and all that, but for me of all the DA lenses that I sold in the past year to get into Leica, this one and DA*50-135/2.8 were the only ones I could not bring myself to get rid of. They are just too good. As far as DA 35/2.8 ltd, this may be one of the best lenses Pentax ever produced, although I am sure some may strongly disagree . . . .
07-15-2012, 09:48 AM   #3
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I agree with Fontan, the 35 2.8 ltd is probably the sharpest and most colorful lens I've ever laid my hands on and not just that, I've owned a lot of lens in the past including the 43 1.9 ltd, 77 1.8 ltd, DA* 16-50, Tamron 17-50 2.8, etc. You sure aren't crazy to want to get rid of it, it's just that you need to do what you need to do in order to get the shots you need, and if a zoom lens you listed is better than a prime then I don't argue there. I sold my 35 2.8 macro ltd in the first place to get another zoom lens to take it's place as I am not a prime guy, I hate having to walk back and forth around circles like I'm slicing a pie in order to get the shot I want.

Last edited by LeDave; 07-15-2012 at 09:56 AM.
07-15-2012, 09:53 AM   #4
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I would suggest you upgrade your kit lens to something like sigma 17-50 f2.8..
so your low light ability can improve a lot and a lot sharp than your kit lens
and I am sure you will enjoy using it a lot
no matter how great a lens is, if you do not use it, then it just collect dust

07-15-2012, 10:06 AM   #5
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I agree with liukaitc. If you're not using it you are not crazy - holding on to such lenses is a poor investment of your gear fund. And I'm not just saying that to pick it off the marketplace! The 17-70s from Pentax and Sigma are well regarded, or if WR is a concern you could catch a DA18-135. Definitely go for the 17-50 or Sigma 18-50 if you want f/2.8 for the entire range; the 17-70 Sigmas are f/2.8 below 20mm before going slower.
07-15-2012, 10:33 AM   #6
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Thank you all. Very helpful replies. I hadn't considered the sigma 17-50, I guess because I was hoping to get enough back from the 35 macro ltd. so as not to need to spend anymore on the new lens. But given the thoughts above, perhaps it is worth the extra to get 2.8 through the full focal range. Thanks again.
07-15-2012, 11:13 AM   #7
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For versatility I use the Tamron 17-50/2.8 on my K-x.

For lightweight I use the Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 XS.
07-15-2012, 11:39 AM   #8
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Difference between the Sigma and Tamron 17-50's??

07-15-2012, 11:42 AM   #9
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See this in-depth review/comparison of these two lenses, plus the Pentax DA* 16-50

DA* 16-50mm vs. Sigma and Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 Comparison - Introduction - PentaxForums.com
07-15-2012, 11:42 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by anselesn Quote
Thank you all. Very helpful replies. I hadn't considered the sigma 17-50, I guess because I was hoping to get enough back from the 35 macro ltd. so as not to need to spend anymore on the new lens. But given the thoughts above, perhaps it is worth the extra to get 2.8 through the full focal range. Thanks again.
I am not a huge proponent of 'fast glass' myself, but no doubt it's nice to have. I have not tried any of the f/2.8-all-the-time zooms so defer to others on the wondrous nature of those optics

I tried several options in the kit-lens range and am satisfied that for my needs an 18-55WR is sufficient. The main issues with my kit lens are 'slow glass' + distortion, and for me compact + WR are more important. I tried Sigma's original 17-70 and their 18-50 f/2.8-4.5, and DAs 16-45 and 18-135; each had pros and cons, but IQ among all was very good and often too close to call. Of all those I liked the 16-45 best.
07-15-2012, 11:46 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by anselesn Quote
Difference between the Sigma and Tamron 17-50's??
There is a review on this site regarding these two lenses(and also the Pentax DA* 16-50/2.8) The Sigma comes out on top, just barely over the Tamron. Get the Tamron and save yourself some cash. Even selling the DA35/2.8, to me, at a substantial discount, would cover the Tamron used, and about cover it new.
07-15-2012, 12:35 PM   #12
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Again, all incredibly helpful. Thank you. I've been reading on some of these forums about some focussing issues with the Sigma/Tamrons on the KX. Since I will be using it on the KX, I wonder if anyone here has any experience with either lens on that particular body?
07-15-2012, 01:02 PM   #13
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I'll be the heretic and also suggest you consider the 35/2.4 - it's amazingly sharp and is very affordable.
07-15-2012, 02:03 PM   #14
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I am wondering, is the 35 da macro that much better in image quality than the 35/2.4? Or is it just the macro ability and the limited label and metal build that explains the price difference?

I also find the 35/2.4 plenty sharp....
07-15-2012, 02:58 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by anselesn Quote
I produced some wonderful macros, but in truth most of my photography is portraits of kids, family, friends, vacation, etc. I find I make a whole lot more use out of my kit 18-55 and my 55-300.

I do, however, like the speed of the 35 macro, as I prefer to avoid a flash, and am often shooting in low light.
It sounds like you want a fast lens that also gives you zoom flexibility, so I don't think getting a DA 35/2.4 would make much sense for you. Sure it would focus faster because it's not a macro lens, but you miss out on the 17-34mm and 36-50mm ranges. So, I think you should strongly consider the constant f/2.8 zooms, either Tamron 17-50 or maybe the 28-75 if you don't need as much wide shots. Forum member Edgar_in_Indy has used the Tamron 28-75 to great effect on his K-X (before he just sold it!) and he has captured marvelous pictures of exactly the same things you want to shoot--kids, family, friends. (You should save your kit 18-55 / 55-300 lenses for vacation pictures)

See his pictures here:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/145599-tamron-...lots-pics.html

In addition, many people love their Tamron 17-50 and I'm sure at least some of them use it on a K-X body where you can't correct/adjust for any front/back focus problems. Of course it helps to try to get a "good" copy of this lens that doesn't have such focus problems so you might need to get one on the Marketplace or buy new with warranty and prepare to do the "send back several copies to get a good one" game.
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