Great general purpose lens

Started Jun 22, 2013 | User reviews
TheLastMan
Regular MemberPosts: 410Gear list
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Great general purpose lens
Jun 22, 2013

Good points:

  • Beautifully made, a real jewel. All aluminium, slide out lens hood, engraved markings.
  • Brilliant close up images with great bokeh, front and rear.
  • Good general purpose focal length for APS-C. Fine walkabout lens for landscapes, street, bulidings, indoors, casual portraits, small objects, flowers.
  • Very sharp, even at longer focus distances, however I have found AF not so accurate at long distances. I needed to “fine tune" AF  for this lens. Use manual focus for best results.
  • Lovely contrast and colour. Images have a kind of “snap” to them compared to those from my zoom lenses which can seem a bit “grey” in comparison.

Minor negatives:

  • Not the best portrait lens – focal length is a bit short for that. I get better results at 70-90mm using either my 18-135 or 50-300.
  • Lens cap is nice, but keeps dropping off – so now has a rather interesting “distressed” appearance!
  • Nothing else.

Conclusion

If I could only own one lens, this would be it.

 TheLastMan's gear list:TheLastMan's gear list
Pentax K-5 Pentax smc DA 55-300mm F4.0-5.8 ED Pentax smc DA 35mm F2.8 Macro Limited Tamron AF 28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) Pentax smc DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6ED AL [IF] DC WR
TheLastMan's score
5.0
Average community score
4.8
ASR45
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Re: Great general purpose lens
In reply to TheLastMan, Jun 22, 2013

Thanks for the review, its always nice to get feedback regarding lens, i have seen good things from this lens, i am considering this lens for a future purchase, must not let onto the wife though, as we dont sing from the same page regarding cameras/lens Lol.    

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 ASR45's gear list:ASR45's gear list
Canon PowerShot G16 Canon PowerShot G12 Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EOS 6D Canon EOS 7D Mark II +3 more
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Alex Sarbu
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Re: Great general purpose lens
In reply to TheLastMan, Jun 22, 2013

TheLastMan wrote:

Good points:

  • Beautifully made, a real jewel. All aluminium, slide out lens hood, engraved markings.
  • Brilliant close up images with great bokeh, front and rear.
  • Good general purpose focal length for APS-C. Fine walkabout lens for landscapes, street, bulidings, indoors, casual portraits, small objects, flowers.
  • Very sharp, even at longer focus distances, however I have found AF not so accurate at long distances. I needed to “fine tune" AF for this lens. Use manual focus for best results.
  • Lovely contrast and colour. Images have a kind of “snap” to them compared to those from my zoom lenses which can seem a bit “grey” in comparison.

Minor negatives:

  • Not the best portrait lens – focal length is a bit short for that. I get better results at 70-90mm using either my 18-135 or 50-300.
  • Lens cap is nice, but keeps dropping off – so now has a rather interesting “distressed” appearance!
  • Nothing else.

Conclusion

If I could only own one lens, this would be it.

Hello,

My own experience mostly reflects yours - I'd say the bokek can be "rough" at times, and I didn't observe - but neither really tested - focus errors at long distances (maybe it's the K-5?).

Indeed, it's a great general purpose lens. Thanks for the concise, well pointed review.

Cheers,

Alex

 Alex Sarbu's gear list:Alex Sarbu's gear list
Pentax K20D Pentax K-5 Pentax smc DA* 60-250mm F4.0 ED (IF) SDM Pentax smc DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited Pentax smc DA 70mm F2.4 AL Limited +4 more
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TheLastMan
Regular MemberPosts: 410Gear list
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Re: Great general purpose lens
In reply to Alex Sarbu, Jul 8, 2013

Alex Sarbu wrote:

TheLastMan wrote:

Good points:

  • Beautifully made, a real jewel. All aluminium, slide out lens hood, engraved markings.
  • Brilliant close up images with great bokeh, front and rear.
  • Good general purpose focal length for APS-C. Fine walkabout lens for landscapes, street, bulidings, indoors, casual portraits, small objects, flowers.
  • Very sharp, even at longer focus distances, however I have found AF not so accurate at long distances. I needed to “fine tune" AF for this lens. Use manual focus for best results.
  • Lovely contrast and colour. Images have a kind of “snap” to them compared to those from my zoom lenses which can seem a bit “grey” in comparison.

Minor negatives:

  • Not the best portrait lens – focal length is a bit short for that. I get better results at 70-90mm using either my 18-135 or 50-300.
  • Lens cap is nice, but keeps dropping off – so now has a rather interesting “distressed” appearance!
  • Nothing else.

Conclusion

If I could only own one lens, this would be it.

Hello,

My own experience mostly reflects yours - I'd say the bokek can be "rough" at times, and I didn't observe - but neither really tested - focus errors at long distances (maybe it's the K-5?).

Indeed, it's a great general purpose lens. Thanks for the concise, well pointed review.

Cheers,

Alex

I find the bokeh on macro shots is really nice. At longer focus distances it is not quite so smooth. The long distance focus errors were solved totally by fine tuning the AF on the K5 and it works OK now.  Probably something to do with the huge focus range from about 1cm from the front of the lens to infinity.  Just a warning to any potential purchasers that they might have to do the same.

I prefer to manual focus on macro shots, so setting the AF up for longer focus distances suits my way of using this lens. YMMV

 TheLastMan's gear list:TheLastMan's gear list
Pentax K-5 Pentax smc DA 55-300mm F4.0-5.8 ED Pentax smc DA 35mm F2.8 Macro Limited Tamron AF 28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) Pentax smc DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6ED AL [IF] DC WR
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Babka08
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Re: Great general purpose lens
In reply to TheLastMan, Jul 8, 2013

I've had the DA35 limited for a couple of years and I would agree with everything you've said. If a person had to choose just one prime, this would be it. Maybe the 31 if you didn't care about macro.

I recently picked up a DFA 50mm macro and it is a compelling alternative to this lens for hand-held close-up shots, but it's not wide enough on apsc to be as useful a general purpose lens. Also larger, but not heavier.

Other comment is I traded an FA43 for my DA35 macro (plus cash of course) and never looked back.

 Babka08's gear list:Babka08's gear list
Sony RX100 II Canon EOS 6D Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 Macro Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM Voigtlander 20mm F3.5 Color Skopar SL II +1 more
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Jim Beverlin
Senior MemberPosts: 2,328
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Re: Great general purpose lens
In reply to Babka08, Jul 8, 2013

I use the DA35 primarily on my K-01 for flower photography.  This combo works well on a monopod.  With the close focusing you can literally lay down the DA35 on a flower for a macro shot.

For general purpose photography I find the DA35 a little too tight.  Even though there is only 4mm difference I usually use the FA31mm for a walk around lens and crop where necessary.

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mike703
Veteran MemberPosts: 6,026
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Re: Great general purpose lens
In reply to ASR45, Jul 8, 2013

ASR45 wrote:

must not let onto the wife though, as we dont sing from the same page regarding cameras/lens Lol.

Likewise.  Fortunately she can't tell any lens from any other and doesn't know how many I have so it's not too hard to sneak an extra one in...

Good luck!

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Gary Martin
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Re: Great general purpose lens
In reply to TheLastMan, Jul 8, 2013

Part of my Holy Triumvirate: The DA15, DA35 Macro and DA70. I can do 99% of my photography with those 3 lenses.

 Gary Martin's gear list:Gary Martin's gear list
Pentax K-01 Pentax K-30 Pentax smc DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited Pentax smc FA 50mm F1.4 Pentax smc DA 16-45mm F4 ED AL +7 more
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solarider
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,912Gear list
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Another review
In reply to TheLastMan, Jul 8, 2013

Might as well throw this in too.

http://photo.net/columns/mjohnston/pentax-35mm-lens/optical-discussion/

http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2008/08/just-published.html

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