Great general purpose lens

Started Jun 22, 2013 | User reviews
Shop cameras & lenses ▾
TheLastMan Regular Member • Posts: 414
Great general purpose lens
2

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
Pentax smc DA 35mm F2.8 Macro Limited
Macro prime lens • Pentax KAF • 21450
Announced: Jan 23, 2008
TheLastMan's score
5.0
Average community score
4.7
ASR45
ASR45 Forum Pro • Posts: 34,976
Re: Great general purpose lens

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.    

-- hide signature --

Alan.
It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.
Mark Twain

 ASR45's gear list:ASR45's gear list
Canon PowerShot G16 Canon EF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6L IS II Canon PowerShot G12 Canon EOS-1D X Canon EOS 5D Mark III +7 more
Alex Sarbu Veteran Member • Posts: 5,492
Re: Great general purpose lens

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 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 Pentax smc DA 35mm F2.8 Macro Limited HD Pentax DA AF 1.4X AW Rear Converter +2 more
TheLastMan OP Regular Member • Posts: 414
Re: Great general purpose lens

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
Babka08 Regular Member • Posts: 246
Re: Great general purpose lens

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 Canon EOS 6D Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM Voigtlander 20mm F3.5 Color Skopar SL II +3 more
Jim Beverlin Veteran Member • Posts: 3,298
Re: Great general purpose lens

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.

-- hide signature --

JRB

mike703 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,511
Re: Great general purpose lens

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!

Gary Martin Veteran Member • Posts: 3,443
Re: Great general purpose lens
1

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-5 IIs Pentax K-1 Pentax smc DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited Pentax smc FA 50mm F1.4 +9 more
solarider Veteran Member • Posts: 4,382
Another review

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

-- hide signature --

--

History would be something extraordinary, if only it were true. Leo Tolstoy
Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media.
Noam Chomsky
Science... became scientism, which means it didn't just pursue its own truths, it aggressively denied that there were any other truths at all... Ken Wilbur
At any given moment, there is a sort of all pervading orthodoxy, a general tacit
agreement not to discuss large and uncomfortable facts… Anyone who
challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising
effectiveness. - George Orwell
“It's not a matter of whether the war is not real, or if it is, Victory is not possible. The war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continuous. … The war is waged by the ruling group against its own subjects and its object is not the victory over [the purported enemy], but to keep the very structure of society intact.” George Orwell, 1984
- - -

Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads