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04-12-2016, 01:40 PM   #1
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Pentax M and A 35/2 versus 28/2 opinions

Just curious if anyone has both of these lenses and can offer some comparison. I owned the M35/2 for a few years but sold it (one of the only sales I occasionally regret) about 2 or 3 years back.
I'm considering one of these now again but have no experience with the 28/2 personally and am hoping for some insight. Please, only offer insight on these two if you've have or have had both specifically.
Not looking for a "yes but have you considered XYZ..." sort of discussion. Thanks y'all.

(Edit - Please note, I am posting to this subforum specifically for 35mm application experience, not the dominant APS-C opinions found in the Pentax Lens sub.)

04-12-2016, 02:08 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by chickentender Quote
Just curious if anyone has both of these lenses and can offer some comparison. I owned the M35/2 for a few years but sold it (one of the only sales I occasionally regret) about 2 or 3 years back.
I'm considering one of these now again but have no experience with the 28/2 personally and am hoping for some insight. Please, only offer insight on these two if you've have or have had both specifically.
Not looking for a "yes but have you considered XYZ..." sort of discussion. Thanks y'all.

(Edit - Please note, I am posting to this subforum specifically for 35mm application experience, not the dominant APS-C opinions found in the Pentax Lens sub.)
I've got all the K Series primes in the 28-35 range, or are you just interested in the M & A Series?

Phil.
04-12-2016, 02:10 PM   #3
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Back in my MX and LX days the M35/2.0 was my favourite moderate wide angle, I replaced it with the A which is essentially the same lens with the contacts - but the FA35/2.0 is a different design which I think is a much better lens on both full frame and APS-C. It's one of the sharpest and best coma controlled lens I've used (notable in Astrophotography).

I never really got on with the M28/2.0 on film (it wasn't my favourite angle of view), but on APS-C the A28/2.0 is certainly an excellent performer, but the K28/2.0 is simply the best 28 I've ever used - I had one a couple of years ago, sold it, regretted it, and have now found another

To summarise, firstly I would choose the focal length that's suits your style of shooting (the difference of 7mm on a full frame is significant) then I would rank them as follows:

28mm f2.0 - 1st K, 2nd A, 3rd M
35mm f2.0 - 1st FA, 2nd A, 3rd M (sorry - no proper experience of the K35/2.0)
04-12-2016, 02:30 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
I've got all the K Series primes in the 28-35 range, or are you just interested in the M & A Series?
QuoteOriginally posted by LennyBloke Quote
Back in my MX and LX days the M35/2.0 was my favourite moderate wide angle, I replaced it with the A which is essentially the same lens with the contacts - but the FA35/2.0 is a different design which I think is a much better lens on both full frame and APS-C. It's one of the sharpest and best coma controlled lens I've used (notable in Astrophotography).

I never really got on with the M28/2.0 on film (it wasn't my favourite angle of view), but on APS-C the A28/2.0 is certainly an excellent performer, but the K28/2.0 is simply the best 28 I've ever used - I had one a couple of years ago, sold it, regretted it, and have now found another

To summarise, firstly I would choose the focal length that's suits your style of shooting (the difference of 7mm on a full frame is significant) then I would rank them as follows:

28mm f2.0 - 1st K, 2nd A, 3rd M
35mm f2.0 - 1st FA, 2nd A, 3rd M (sorry - no proper experience of the K35/2.0)
Thanks Phil. Thanks Lenny.
I am only interested in the A & M series offerings as this is for a travel kit specifically. I've that range covered in larger glass and this leaves the Ks out of the mix for me.
Lenny, that's incredibly useful however. I was not aware the FA35/2 was different design. How does it compare to the A/M in terms of size and weight? Again, this is for a travel kit so economy of both weight and price are what I'm after. I generally prefer the FA31 to either 35mm to 28mm but it is too large and expensive for extended travel as far as I'm concerned.

For what it's worth - a 50mm and 28mm are what I normally travel with. However I've been playing with other combinations and have added the M20/4 to the mix which I've found to be lovely and underrated. As it stands my kits would be the MX or MZ-3 for travel with M20/4 and FA43 along with a MF Franka folder camera (80mm). I'm tempted to go with a 28mm "all-rounder" "split-the-difference" option to be the single lens on the MX/MZ-3.

---------- Post added 04-12-16 at 02:33 PM ----------

The prices I'm seeing for the FA35/2 are unexpectedly low to what I'd have imagined. Something to consider. My only reservation is that I've never been terribly fond of the FA series thin rubber focus grip for manual focusing, though it isn't terrible. Currently the only one I have of that ilk is the 50/2.8Macro, which I primarily use for occasional DSLR scanning.


Last edited by chickentender; 04-12-2016 at 02:39 PM.
04-12-2016, 03:08 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by chickentender Quote
The prices I'm seeing for the FA35/2 are unexpectedly low to what I'd have imagined. Something to consider. My only reservation is that I've never been terribly fond of the FA series thin rubber focus grip for manual focusing, though it isn't terrible. Currently the only one I have of that ilk is the 50/2.8Macro, which I primarily use for occasional DSLR scanning.
As the FA's go the 35/2 has a particularly wide, soft rubber focusing ring that is actually useful. Focus resistance is negligible, but once you have the touch it can be done quite accurately.

Last edited by monochrome; 04-12-2016 at 03:28 PM.
04-12-2016, 03:22 PM   #6
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I have both the M 28 & 35 f2 as well as the M 28 f2.8. I don't pixel-peep much, but I've had better luck with the 28 f2 than the 2.8, but sample variation can be a factor. I do use the 35 more than the 28, but for both F.L. I prefer Leica RF. For wide I jump from the 35 to the M 20 f4, which is very nice and tiny.
I've only tried a few A lenses, but can't stand the feel with all the plastic construction. (Although I do like the 50 2.9 macro.)
04-12-2016, 03:23 PM   #7
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I can only offer an opinion between the FA 31 and FA 35 since you have that one in the list now.





I don't tend to like manual focus anymore due to vision issues so I can't say how the FA 35 behaves in that respect. I do think it is a nice small package with great potential. I would be hard pressed to sell it even owning the FA 31.
04-12-2016, 03:30 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
I can only offer an opinion between the FA 31 and FA 35 since you have that one in the list now.





I don't tend to like manual focus anymore due to vision issues so I can't say how the FA 35 behaves in that respect. I do think it is a nice small package with great potential. I would be hard pressed to sell it even owning the FA 31.
Wow... the OOF rendering is certainly nicer on the 31, but that's a slim nitpick. Given the prices I'm seeing on these (not much more than the Ms and As) I'm unexpectedly leaning that direction. Thanks.

---------- Post added 04-12-16 at 03:32 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
As the FA's go the 35/2 has a particularly wide, soft rubber focusing ring that is actually useful. Focus resistance is negligible, but once you have the touch it can be done quite accurately.
I think it's simply the rubber I don't care for. Is the FA35 ring really much wider than other FAs? I'm looking at a photo and comparing to my FA50macro and doesn't seem much different. Even so, as above, I'm still leaning this direction based on price alone.

---------- Post added 04-12-16 at 03:34 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by TomB_tx Quote
I have both the M 28 & 35 f2 as well as the M 28 f2.8. I don't pixel-peep much, but I've had better luck with the 28 f2 than the 2.8, but sample variation can be a factor. I do use the 35 more than the 28, but for both F.L. I prefer Leica RF. For wide I jump from the 35 to the M 20 f4, which is very nice and tiny.
I've only tried a few A lenses, but can't stand the feel with all the plastic construction. (Although I do like the 50 2.9 macro.)
That's helpful as well - I think I'm settling into 35 over 28 after considering everyone's comments. I really did love my M35/2 so I'm sure that or one of the other varieties will do the trick. (I too have the M20/4 and enjoy it far more than I anticipated that I would! an amazing, tiny little guy.)


Last edited by chickentender; 04-12-2016 at 03:35 PM.
04-12-2016, 03:42 PM   #9
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A link to a few more FA 35 shots you can look at:

https://flic.kr/s/aHskqitdx7
04-12-2016, 03:44 PM - 1 Like   #10
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Pentax 28 and 35 mm lenses

I didn't have all at the same time, but here is what I observed along the years, at full aperture and at F5.6:


M or A 28/2.8: Good ; Very Good
A 28/2.0: Good ; Excellent
FA 28/2.8: Very Good ; Very Good
M 35/2.0: Bad, Excellent
M 35/2.8: Good, Excellent
FA 35/2: Good, Excellent


I must add that I dislike the FA focus ring. In front of the lens, too narrow.
And as you know, the A28/2.0 is incredibly light for its focal and aperture.
04-12-2016, 03:54 PM   #11
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On visual inspection my FA35/2 focusing ring is just a mm or two shorter than the one on my FA50/2.8 Macro, but at least twice as 'tall' as on my FA50/1.4.
04-12-2016, 07:56 PM   #12
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Ugh. Damn FA35. I nearly pulled the trigger seconds ago on a cheap A35/2 but pulled out short with this dang FA on my mind. Too many options are not necessarily a good thing.
04-12-2016, 08:08 PM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by chickentender Quote
The prices I'm seeing for the FA35/2 are unexpectedly low to what I'd have imagined.
Too bad you are 200 miles away. I would be pleased to meet up and let you do a test drive with my FA 35/2 if you were closer. FWIW, I sometimes use it for urban and street photography on my manual focus film cameras. Even with the hood mounted, the focus "grip" is not bad once you figure out that it is not in the traditional place and is basically a finger-tip thingie.

Acros 100 with the Ricoh XR-2s...Halo Descending




From the same roll...Security




...and many more (mostly APS-C)...

https://www.flickr.com/search/?user_id=28796087%40N02&sort=date-taken-desc&t...2F2&view_all=1


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 04-12-2016 at 08:18 PM.
04-12-2016, 08:28 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Too bad you are 200 miles away. I would be pleased to meet up and let you do a test drive with my FA 35/2 if you were closer. FWIW, I sometimes use it for urban and street photography on my manual focus film cameras. Even with the hood mounted, the focus "grip" is not bad once you figure out that it is not in the traditional place and is basically a finger-tip thingie.
Thanks man. I reckon deep down I just wanted a new lens, reportedly a bit better, rather than one I've already had.

I'm closer to resigning myself to it. I think it's the one that'd serve the purpose best and really I'm not worried about focusing on it - rather similar to the 43 and 31 in that regard except for the difference in surface texture.

There's a chance we may find ourselves in Olympia, Portland or perhaps Hood River in the next year or so, and in that case perhaps I'll come a'knockin.
04-12-2016, 08:51 PM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by chickentender Quote
There's a chance we may find ourselves in Olympia, Portland or perhaps Hood River in the next year or so, and in that case perhaps I'll come a'knockin.
If you interview down here, let me know and we can do lunch or coffee.


Steve
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