FA 35 F2 AL v D-FA 50 F2.8 Macro


BarryE

Link Posted 02/02/2017 - 11:23
I'm been impressed with the 50 on my K-1. It's sharp across the frame which is important to me as I can crop to the edges and still print at A2. Has anyone a view on how the 35 performs, especially at the edges ? I'm planning to carry the D-FA 100 & 50 macros, and would like to fill the wide angle space around 35mm with a FF lens that is sharp and flat across the frame.

I appreciate the bokeh of the 35 is apparently a little harsh, but I'll live with that.

The FA 31mm, well supported lens that it is, does seem to be weaker at the extremes of the frame, especially at FF. It makes up for this in the centre and with its IQ in general.

Maybe I've been spoilt by the D-FA 50 and nothing will compare for sharpness across the frame ...

Many thanks for any advice ...

LennyBloke

Link Posted 02/02/2017 - 12:46
I think you've hit the nail on the head when you said...
BarryE wrote:
....Maybe I've been spoilt by the D-FA 50 and nothing will compare for sharpness across the frame ...

...it does have a reputation for being sharp across the whole frame, but then that's how it should perform being a high quality Macro lens.

I've used both lenses on the K1, but only in "play" mode so far - If I get a chance at the weekend I'll give the FA35/2.0 a tryout and post a couple of images.

Are you looking for its performance wide open, or any specific apertures?
LennyBloke

JAK

Link Posted 02/02/2017 - 13:01
What you're asking for is something quite subjective. But there is a site where older Pentax lenses are compared which would put a numerical value on those comparisons rather than opinion.
See: http://www.takinami.com/yoshihiko/photo/lens_test/pentax_35.html
You'll see that the 50mm macro lens peaks much higher than the 35mm f2. I suspect the 50mm f/2,8 macro could well be the sharpest Pentax lens.
For some reason they haven't tested the FA31Ltd but I've no complaints about mine - however that's subjective!
Have you tried the DA 35mm f2.4? Despite theoretically being a crop sensor lens it does cover the full frame circle and is said to be optically based on the FA35. For what they cost (not a lot) it might be worth a try. Then with the money saved put it towards an even wider prime. The DA35 is optimised for digital sensors unlike the FA35 which was designed for film use.
Otherwise, hang on for a bit as there is a wide angle prime for the K-1 on the Pentax FF road map scheduled for release this year. https://www.ephotozine.com/article/pentax-lens-road-maps-revealed--29957
John K
Last Edited by JAK on 02/02/2017 - 13:10

BarryE

Link Posted 02/02/2017 - 13:25
LennyBloke wrote:


Are you looking for its performance wide open, or any specific apertures?

Thanks Lenny for responding. I will probably rarely go wider that f5.6 or so, or smaller than f13, so a range that most lenses excel. I'm switching back to primes for a bit, after an underwhelming experience with the D-FA 24-70 at the edges. I wanted this zoom to be cropable to 24mp from all (realistically most) areas of the frame, but it can't manage it.

BarryE

Link Posted 02/02/2017 - 13:31
JAK wrote:

See: http://www.takinami.com/yoshihiko/photo/lens_test/pentax_35.html
You'll see that the 50mm macro lens peaks much higher than the 35mm f2. I suspect the 50mm f/2,8 macro could well be the sharpest Pentax lens.

Have you tried the DA 35mm f2.4?

Otherwise, hang on for a bit as there is a wide angle prime for the K-1 on the Pentax FF road map scheduled for release this year. https://www.ephotozine.com/article/pentax-lens-road-maps-revealed--29957

Thanks for replying John. I'll take a look at the site you mentioned. UPDATE: Just taken a look. I see the 50 does stand out from all the other, especially at the extremes, but the FA 35 holds up well across many lenses, and exceeds where I want it to in places.

I haven't tried the DA35 f2.4, which I understand is the same formula as the FA. I'll look out for that as a possible option. I did try the DA f2.8 macro, which vignettes badly, but it's a different heritage, I understand, so not really relevant.

Ref the new promised lenses on the roadmap. I believe they are described as fast primes. For fast I tend to read bigger and heavier. Maybe they'll be up there with the Sigma Arts or Samyang in size, which is getting closer to the 24-70 I'm unhappy with.

Thanks
Last Edited by BarryE on 02/02/2017 - 13:58

LennyBloke

Link Posted 04/02/2017 - 15:41
BarryE wrote:
LennyBloke wrote:


Are you looking for its performance wide open, or any specific apertures?

Thanks Lenny for responding. I will probably rarely go wider that f5.6 or so, or smaller than f13, so a range that most lenses excel. I'm switching back to primes for a bit, after an underwhelming experience with the D-FA 24-70 at the edges. I wanted this zoom to be cropable to 24mp from all (realistically most) areas of the frame, but it can't manage it.

Here's a couple of shots taken with the FA 35/2.0, first at f 5.6 ...
https://www.flickr.com/photos/62460860@N05/31861303944/in/photostream/

And at f9...
https://www.flickr.com/photos/62460860@N05/32323854640/in/photostream/

I've linked to the overall photo page so you can select what size you want to see (lower right of page, in the black border area is the "download this photo" tool, if you select "view all sizes" you can see anything up to original size) - Auto tone correction, but no sharpening.

Hope it helps a little (sorry for the bland subject but I though a reasonably flat field would be best)
LennyBloke

BarryE

Link Posted 05/02/2017 - 10:03
LennyBloke wrote:


Here's a couple of shots taken with the FA 35/2.0, first at f 5.6 ...
https://www.flickr.com/photos/62460860@N05/31861303944/in/photostream/

And at f9...
https://www.flickr.com/photos/62460860@N05/32323854640/in/photostream/

I've linked to the overall photo page so you can select what size you want to see (lower right of page, in the black border area is the "download this photo" tool, if you select "view all sizes" you can see anything up to original size) - Auto tone correction, but no sharpening.

Hope it helps a little (sorry for the bland subject but I though a reasonably flat field would be best)

Thanks a lot Lenny that was useful and informative. I made a comparison with shots I'd taken from a similarly bland test subject (brick wall) with my D-FA 50 and 24-70. The FA 35 holds up well against the 50, albeit it drops off quicker at the edges, which is not surprising. The difference in this drop off is not as dramatic as the 24-70, though, which helps me to decide that if I want to go down the 3 prime route I'm considering, the 35 will be a good option.

Thanks for taking the time to help
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