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View Poll Results: I'd go for...
Pentax DA 50mm/f1.8 3232.00%
Pentax DA 35mm/f2.4 AL 6868.00%
Voters: 100. You may not vote on this poll

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04-28-2014, 11:55 AM - 1 Like   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
In the end you will end up getting both, so just buy them both now.
Probably the best advice on this page

Either lens will make you happy. Somedays I 'walkaround' with a 50, and some days with a 35. It's all good.

04-28-2014, 12:53 PM   #17
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A number of lenses have been mentioned. I have the DA 35 f2.4, DA 50 f1.8, DA 18-135, and F 35-70.
Based simply on quality of output (often called a lens' IQ which includes its ability to focus well, sharpness, contrast, and coloring of photo), the DA 35 is best on my K-30. I also find that I usually get more shots at 35mm than at 50mm.
That said, I usually have the DA 18-135 on my camera, but as you note, it's expensive.
So, like some others suggested, maybe get the inexpensive F 35-70. Very high quality, especially in the 35-50 range, though slower than the primes. Use it for a while and see if you shoot more at 35 or 50mm.
04-28-2014, 01:05 PM   #18
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And don't be afraid to buy used from someone on the forum or from a reputable source (example: KEH). A lot of people get these initially and then switch to the limited or da* lenses; and a lot of people get the 50 or 18-135 included with their body kit and are reselling them in like-new condition to recoup part of the cost of the camera.
04-28-2014, 01:07 PM   #19
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We had threads about the DA 35mm, DA 40mm XS, and DA 50mm f1.8 before since they are often the first prime. Its very difficult to suggest one over the other, they are all top notch optically, especially considering the price. You can check the Lend review database and the sample photo gallery function on this forum, but I doubt it will sway you much. And both lenses have their little clubs, too:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/122-lens-clubs/196639-da35-f2-4-plastic-f...c-club-21.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/122-lens-clubs/233786-fantastic-fifty-da-50mm-f-1-8-a.html
I think the main difference between these two lenses is the focal length and aperture. The DA 35mm is wider angle. The DA 50mm allows that thin DoF and low light performance.

QuoteOriginally posted by Rayn Quote
The thing is... I really don't mind the slight telephoto zoom of the 50mm.
But I think this answers your question!

04-28-2014, 01:21 PM   #20
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Well, there's lots of advice on this thread and I'm guessing that's precisely why you posted your thread!

However...

Everyone's opinions are what THEY would do in your position. Which is based on what kind of photography THEY do and what kind of photographer THEY have developed into.

Without wanting to be patronising, YOU need to develop into becoming YOU as a photographer. YOU might find you get more use out of the 35mm, then again YOU might find you get more use out of the 50mm. It depends what you find you like shooting and your personal style. And sometimes it just comes down to which lens YOU click with.

Sorry for all the caps, but it's to highlight that we can all give you all the advice under the sun but ultimately it's based on what WE would do! Photography is about what excites you, what makes you want to press the shutter release, what gets you back out there on a wet, cloudy day. If that's the kind of things you'll want to grab the 50mm for, then get that. If it's the 35mm then you should prioritise that.

However, having said all that, there's some good general advice - you'll almost certainly end up getting both. Or equivalents. My first lens was the 50mm and I'm just waiting for delivery of my 35mm. I love primes, but then I love my DA* zoom as well. LBA is a problem!

What you have - which I didn't - is your zoom which covers both focal lengths. This is a real bonus. I'd suggest spending a week or so (depends on how many photos you take - ideally you want to be doing approx 500 photos in each of these scenarios...) with your zoom taped to 35mm and another period with it taped to 50mm. See which "tickles your fancy" more. If you find yourself hating the 50mm and wanting to untape your zoom, then you know your answer. And vice versa.

What I love about the primes is that it makes you think about photography more. Don't get me wrong, my DA* 50-135 is my go to lens a lot of the time, because I can be a bit lazy with it and it does produce some wonderful shots. But I find I'm much more careful with a prime and I end up with a higher % of keepers because of it. It's great discipline. And the reason I started off with one. But trust me, you'll end up with both so it's really a question of priority rather than "which"...

By the way, I'm pretty much a complete beginner as well... so I've been through this myself recently. Just in case it's of interest, I posted this about my journey so far:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/38-photographic-technique/255728-photo-te...-approach.html

Without wishing to patronise again, both lenses will deliver far better images than you're capable of (or I am) at this stage of your photography. They're sharp, consistent, reasonably fast but also easy to use. You're not going to be limited by either.
04-28-2014, 01:21 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aksel Quote
For landscape - 15 or 21. The only problem is the price.
For portrait - I prefer 85. (Samyang 85/1.8) Almost same price a DA 35/2.4. The only problem is AF (non-AF).

There is the reason, why I voted for the DA 35/2.4, but I would also buy 50 (used). The benefit to me has been the exceptionally low cost for the second hand gear.

About crop-factor:
Crop Factor: Why you multiply the aperture by the crop factor when comparing lenses - YouTube
OK, I watched 1 minute and 16 seconds... the guy does a nice frame with the full frame, then makes the APS-c and 4/3 too big. Honestly dude, I don't have time for that kind of ridiculous comparison.

NO one, ever takes a full frame image, then takes the lens off without re-cropping goes for an APS-c body then a 4/3 body. If you can't demonstrate what you're talking about without making up absolutely pathetic, mindless situations, you probably don't have point.

Maybe he gets more reasonable in the rest of it... but I'll never know. I gave him a minute and 16 seconds of my time, he washed it, he doesn't get any more.
04-29-2014, 11:54 PM - 1 Like   #22
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One of my 1st few test shots with the 35mm f2.4 on my new K50.
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04-30-2014, 03:20 PM - 1 Like   #23
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I voted for the 35 simply because it is much more practical on our current DSLR's. I have a bunch of 50 and 55 mm lenses that I just don't use too often because they are a little longer than I prefer on our aps-c sensors. The DA50/1.8 is an awesome lens for the price but the 35 is more practical for everyday use. Consider making it your second prime.

04-30-2014, 05:15 PM   #24
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Just get the da 35mm (or the macro limited!). The f35-70 is 'ok' (for a zoom), but not in the same league as the 35mm primes. The 50mm f1.8 is good, but it's not a great day-to-day lens (great for bokeh, great for portraits, a touch more usable than the FA 77 [but no where near as good], But it's a pita to focus, and it's unreliable in low light). It's a poor mans fa77/da70. Useful yes, but not one to consider for your first prime IMHO (unless you only shoot portraits)

Knowing what I know now (as an owner of the 15,21,35,40,77 ltds; the da 35 [briefly] and da 50), I'd just buy a second hand da 35mm limited (or non limited 35mm if film/ff is important)

The da 40 is a superb lens (and worth considering), but...

On apsc the 35mm limited is more versatile (unless you intend to shoot young children), and the non-limited is better on ff bodies than the 40 (if film or the mythical Pentax ff unicorn is important to you).

Save yourself the hassle i went through, and go for quality over quantity. The 15/35/70 da limiteds are what you will end up with eventually (until you start thinking that 800 for an FA limited is a perfectly reasonable price!).
04-30-2014, 06:20 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by robthebloke Quote
Save yourself the hassle i went through, and go for quality over quantity. The 15/35/70 da limiteds are what you will end up with eventually (until you start thinking that 800 for an FA limited is a perfectly reasonable price!).
Not sure if I agree with the entire post, but this is a rule to live by.
04-30-2014, 06:41 PM - 1 Like   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by bsamcash Quote
Not sure if I agree with the entire post, but this is a rule to live by.
Yeah, lenses are largely subjective. I'd say that the da 35mm is a good entry into the world of primes. It's cheap, covers most likely scenarios, and is a good springboard into LBA

\edit
Can't say I agree with you about the 35-70 though. Possibly a bad copy, but it didn't excite me at all.

Last edited by robthebloke; 04-30-2014 at 06:54 PM.
05-01-2014, 12:22 AM - 1 Like   #27
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It's funny how our opinions can be quite different. My first lens was the 50mm DA and I found it's focusing/sharpness challenge to be a great way of developing my skills more quickly. It also forced me into more tightly cropped portrait shots (which is not necessarily a bad thing especially when starting out) and I very definitely had to zoom with my feet.

As many have said, the 35mm will probably be an easier lens to use, and more generally applicable. It obviously doesn't have quite the low-light capability of the 50 but that's a double-edged sword, especially at the beginning.

On balance I'd probably agree with you all that the 35mm is a "safer" choice and will allow some non-wide landscape shots, whereas the 50mm will be a problem. However, I think the OP might gain more from starting with a 50, in terms of skill development.

The best advice though is to get both - LTD alternatives to the 35mm are considerably more expensive and the 50 is almost as good as any other save the *55, at least for beginner and mid-level photographers IMO. Let's not forget you can probably recoup 50-75% of the cost of the lens when you come to sell it if you do decide to move on, so we're not really talking about huge wasted costs here even if the OP decides to upgrade to LTDs or DA*s later on.
05-01-2014, 12:50 PM - 1 Like   #28
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I have both, and enjoy both, but find myself using the 50 more often. I'm really new to photography, and after an early bout of the aforementioned LBA, I've buckled down and started giving quality time to what I have. Like the others have said, it really comes down to what you like to shoot, and the circumstances you usually find yourself in. Stuff like dimly lit rooms, cramped quarters, portraits, whatever. The only way I could figure that out was through use. I've taken well over 500 shots with the 35, and am fast on my way with the 50. When I look at the shots that really make me smile, I see more with the 50, but more importantly, across both lenses, I see a lot of shots/situations that were better suited for the 50, and I was just making the 35 work. I'm at a point now where I use the 50 all of the time, and have put the 35 up for sale.

Sure, as I figure more things out, increase my skill, change my shooting tastes, I may end up buying that 35 back (or something nicer), but they aren't terribly expensive (there are a ton of 35's on ebay), and it allows me to get better with the lens that I was turning to more often than not, anyway. That's been my process.
05-01-2014, 12:59 PM - 1 Like   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by pjm1 Quote

As many have said, the 35mm will probably be an easier lens to use, and more generally applicable. It obviously doesn't have quite the low-light capability of the 50
Yep, but it should additionally noted that the 50 has to be stopped down to 2.4 anyway for sharpness

The 35 as others in this forum have said has its origins in the 35 f2, so the DA version is already sharp edge to edge wide open.
05-01-2014, 01:11 PM - 1 Like   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Yep, but it should additionally noted that the 50 has to be stopped down to 2.4 anyway for sharpness
Indeed and I actually prefer it at 2.8 and above, when it becomes proper super-sharp. But that doesn't stop the lens working at 1.8 - it's just soft outside the centre. I think for a beginner there's merit in playing with a fast lens, learning how narrow DOF can be and also taking low light pictures. Whether you'd ever send any of them into competitions isn't important - it's about have a variety of tools and learning how to use them, IMO.

I think we're all agreeing though - the OP needs to make a decision based on what they want!
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