It there a deference between a 35 macro and non-macro?

Discussion in 'Pentax' started by micha_goldfine|1, Dec 9, 2010.

  1. hi guys
    I want to get a normal prime and since I never had a macro is there a reason not to buy the DA 35mm f2.8 macro limited? is there a significant difference between a macro and a non macro lens for normal street shooting? (obviously there is a big difference in macro shooting).
    I still have my K200D and thought it will be a nice place to start as I don't want to buy expensive Canon lenses for my 7D-)
  2. The focus throw is much longer, which means AF is slower but manual focus is more precise.
    Because the 35mm doesn't have a limiter, if it starts hunting it will take more time to focus.
    In saying that, the 35mm DA Macro was a favorite evaluation lens of mine on various test cameras, and if I didn't have the 43mm or Pentax didn't make the 43mm I'd really consider it. Excellent sharpness, little distortion, good wide open. Great design and lens hood. Excellent for manual focus, etc. Made for a great panorama lens when paired with the Nodal Ninja.
    If you want or need a 1:1 macro lens, I really don't think you can go wrong with this lens, I also think focus was fairly snappy provided you didn't have the focus distance at the 1:1 extreme end to begin with.
    I think the 35mm 1:1 macro fits more with my needs (than a 100mm) so this lens is still on the radar, though not even close to a priority as I can always toss an extension tube on my 43mm and turn it into a macro lens! Though not with the same results as the 35mm DA Limited.

    Which 35mm normal are you looking at? The DA 35 2.4 or the FA 35mm 2.0?
  3. Thanks Justin,
    I basically am looking at either the new DA L 35 f2.4 or the Macro version. The FA 35 is too expensive for me. I want to sell all my Canon gear and get one or two primes with a small body. Hopefully I am not doing something foolish.
  4. I think the FA35/2 AL is usually a good deal cheaper than the DA35/2.8 Macro Limited, isn't it?
  5. I can't find a FA35/ f2 so i don't know the price, but any lens at around the $500 will be about right for me.
    I can also go with a Sigma 30mm for my Canon but I don't think it's the same league as a Pentax prime.
  6. People are really happy with the DA 35/2.8 Limited macro. A macro lens is designed for optimal sharpness at close focusing distances. But this lens only has to cover an APS sized area, is slowish at f/2.8, so while it's very sharp in the close-up range, it's also sharp at distance.
    The FA 35/2.0 AL gives you a very desirable extra stop of speed. It's probably smaller and lighter than the macro, since it doesn't need the long focusing helical. But it's a "plastic wonder", rather than the Limited's "mostly metal" construction. But it's been discontinued over a year. You can find "new old stock" units for around $500 (on eBay), and used ones around $350 to $400.
    Then there's the economy option of the new DA L 35/2.4 AL, which is cheaper than the other two.
  7. John,
    Out of curiousity, what isn't metal on the limited 35mm?
  8. Hey Micha,
    I recently chose a standard prime for my K-7. I had slightly different needs.
    Firstly, I wanted speed, minimum f/2 really. Also I find 35mm+ a little too long, looking more 24-30 range, which I guess is moderately wide at the wide end. I also value a relatively low-profile lens and fast AF. I did consider Pentax's 35mm's, even at that length, but none fit all the criteria really. Ended up with the Sigma 30mm. I didn't consider the other full-frame Sigmas in the 20-29mm range due to size and pseudo-macro focus throws. The 30mm gets a much better user-review rating than technical-review rating, which is fine by me. Very, very good from wide open. The corners never catch up, but frankly that's no big deal to me.
    Anyway, it depends what kind of 'street shooting' you mean. Taking into account what you need, there are some good options in this area, although unfortunately Pentax's only really fast standard is the FA 31mm f/1.8 - a great reputation however.
  9. Actually, I don't know if there's any plastic in the Limited, other than the insulators for the contacts. I said mostly because I didn't want to say anything absolute, not having first-hand experience. There might be some slippery plastic in the focusing mechanism, the screw drive motors aren't very powerful.
    I know there's plenty of plastic in the FA 35/2.0 (from first-hand experience), but I don't see that as a bad thing. I describe the MZ-3 as a "plastic wonder".
  10. Fair enough, John.
    And I agree, the 35mm FA was too plasticy for me, thus I sold it for the 43mm Limited. Even the lens caps on the Limited series are aluminum, so I'm doubtful there is much plastic inside or around the lens other than where it is probably needed for some functional purpose.
  11. The DA35 Limited is an excellent lens with insane amounts of micro-contrast. I don't much like the focal length and already owned the FA43 so I traded mine away. I also disliked how impossible it was to manual focus outside of the macro range (for street and landscapes, then). Other than that the lens is near perfect.
  12. I'll throw in a few comments, since I have both the FA35 and DA35 Macro.
    I bought the FA35 long before I ever had a digital SLR. It's a very nice lens, fast and relatively compact. It does focus pretty close too, by the way (I think most 35's focus a lot closer than comparable 50's, at least from what I've seen.) Someone mentioned it was smaller than the DA35 - in actual usage it seems about the same to me, or really even bigger since I always have the hood in place on all my lenses. With the built-in hood on DA35 extended it's a hair shorter than the end of the hood on the FA35, and the DA just looks and feels a lot smaller. Here's a recent shot with the FA35 on a K2000, 1/25 sec at f/2.0, ISO 200, handheld under poor light. You can see that it will focus fairly close for a non-macro lens.
    I got the DA35 initially for a slide scanning project (works great for that by the way), but now I really like it as a general purpose walking-around lens. The close-focusing ability comes in handy for a lot more than just true macro work. I've gone out several times with just the DA35, and have never felt limited by not having anything else. The field of view is great, and the compact size and built-in hood are nice. Here's a link to a gallery of shots all taken with the DA35 on a K20D in Old Town San Diego one day when I was out playing tourist, not long after I got the lens. I came away from that day wondering why I even bothered to carry other lenses with me. I spent this morning wandering around La Jolla with a local San Diego photo club, and used mostly the DA35, even for shots that one would never think of using a 35, let alone a macro, for. Here is a link to the gallery from today, if you roll your mouse over the large picture on the right side you can pull up an Info panel that will show details. Anything shot at 35 was with the DA35 Macro. K7, DA35, 1/125 sec at f/6.3, ISO 100.
    If I was choosing between the 2 it would definitely be the DA35 Macro. I would take that over the new DAL35 too, since one of the best things about the DA Limiteds is the quick-shift focus. Now that I gotten accustomed to having that feature it feels weird using older AF lenses that don't have it. I rarely have issues with the long focus throw on the macro either , since if I do take a close up shot I'll generally just use my hand to manually focus back to infinity as I take down the camera. I do the same with the other Limiteds too, and it makes them react even faster than you would otherwise expect.
  13. Interesting review of the DA35 Macro by Mike Johnston and Carl Weese:
    An Optical Paragon

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