What exactly is the purpose of the DA 35mm F2.4?

Started Jul 26, 2013 | Discussions
Chalootz297 Junior Member • Posts: 39
Re: What exactly is the purpose of the DA 35mm F2.4?
1

Hello Vjk2

My reason for buying the DA 35mm f/2.4AL is that I wanted a quick-focusing, fast 35mm for low light/high ISO situations. But I didn't want to sacrifice sharpness and I.Q. at smaller apertures. In other words, good all-around performance at a (very) reasonable price.

The composite bayonet doesn't worry me, I've used an FA 100-300 for several years, in all conditions, with absolutely no problems.

Quick shift? What possible use would quick shift be on a 35mm non-macro prime? This lens has a total focus throw of 1/4 turn.

In the end it's not about numbers, opinions or comparisons. The quality of the photos, how it performs under various conditions and user satisfaction determine the value. The 'plastic fantastic' has met or exceeded my expectations in every way. YMMV.

Ron

K-7, DA 35mm. f/5.0, 1/40s, ISO 1600

K-7, DA 35mm. f/4.5, 1/40s, ISO 100

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Bob Corson Senior Member • Posts: 2,316
Re: Cheap intro to primes ...

I am pretty sure dropping any lens is ill advised . . .and the heavier the lens the harder they fall . . . . 

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Tan68
Tan68 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,773
Re: What exactly is the purpose of the DA 35mm F2.4?

52mm is traditional for other camera manufacturers as well.  What I mean is that 52mm for this focal length isn't really traditional for Pentax and doesn't play well for sharing filters with the 49mm found on many/most other shorter lenses.

For 50mm lenses, this 52mm ring is found only on K lenses, macros and super fast A.

Joseph Tainter wrote:

...

That is one of Pentax's traditional filter sizes--49, 52, 58, 67, and 77 mm.

Joe

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Tan68
Tan68 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,773
Re: Cheap intro to primes ...

That's true.  A few nights ago I watched a documentary about ducks.  The little day old ducks jump 30 feet out of a tree.  They fall with their little wings spread out like.. useless wings.  Then they bounce.  They jump on purpose.

Bob Corson wrote:

I am pretty sure dropping any lens is ill advised . . .and the heavier the lens the harder they fall . . . .

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Tan68
Tan68 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,773
Re: What exactly is the purpose of the DA 35mm F2.4?

vjk2 wrote:

Tan68 wrote:

...

Eh, basically I feel like it should have been more like 28-30mm and at least F1.8. Plus, metal mount, WR, and quickshift like the DA line implies.

I think some people have left Pentax because an affordable 30mm lens wasn't released.  Previous to the WR kits, the expectation for WR would be a fat can with built-in focus motor like the DA*55.  I see you didn't mention built-in motor.  Leaving that out helps keep the size small, I think.

I agree with the 28mm or so.  It would be a more useful focal length for me, but the 35mm is generally considered the normal lens...  The speed you want would require a larger lens.  Likely it would then need the 52mm filter ring.  Then it would match the ring on the 50mm lens.

WR on the thing would be nice as well.  You would have to be a dedicated prime shooter.  Some people have pointed out that WR zooms are more convenient than one focal length in bad weather.  It isn't impossible to change lenses in bad weather but I don't think it is easy and you certainly can't always change them when you would like.  Still, WR wouldn't hurt.

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jrtrent Veteran Member • Posts: 4,683
I do

moving_comfort wrote:

jrtrent wrote:

audiobomber wrote:

There is one, the FA 35mm f2.0.

That's a lens I was tempted to pick up years ago when I first got my Samsung GX-1S (*ist DS2 clone). However, my reading led me to the same conclusions as the OP when comparing it to the kit zoom I already had. The kit zoom at 35mm and F/8 (my most-used aperture) has far less distortion (0.00574% compared to .848%), far less chromatic aberrations (0.6 compared to 1.23), and virtually the same excellent resolution and vignetting performance. Yes, its maximum aperture is just F/4.5 at that focal length, but that's rarely a limitation that causes me any concern; after all, with my Samsung set to my preferred ISO value of 400, the combination is about as fast as my SP1000 was with its 55mm F/2 Takumar and the variety of ASA 25-100 speed slide films I used, and I actually prefer the more extended depth of field.

You don't really buy the FA 35 f2 (Or DA 35 2.4) to shoot at f/8, though, you buy it to take advantage of one of it's main attributes - speed. It's a great little indoor low-light tool.

I could never stand using the kit lenses indoors, in either Pentax or Nikon mount. If I were forced to do so I'd probably give up DSLR.

I buy a lens to take pictures with, and prefer to use just one lens.  My preference is for a fast, normal lens, such as the 30mm F1.4 I bought for my Sigma, but the Samsung only came bundled with the 18-55.  So the question was, did the 35mm F/2 offer a better balance of strengths than the kit zoom I already had, and the answer was no, for the reasons given previously.

My next camera will likely be a K-5 II, and I see no reason not to get it with the 18-55 WR kit zoom.  Between the better high ISO performance and the shake reduction which my present camera doesn't have, the new body will increase my low-light capability by 3 or 4 stops (for static images, anyway), and the kit zoom makes the whole package weather resistant (something I've missed since my W20 died).  What would appeal to me is a 35mm prime of F/2 or faster aperture, with distance and depth of field scales and weather resistance.  That would be a great all-around lens.

Pentax_Prime
Pentax_Prime Senior Member • Posts: 2,505
The ones NOT built like easter eggs? [nt]
1

Gary Martin wrote:

Pentax_Prime wrote:

I don't care for the plastic build or speed, but I think it's meant to get a new DSLR owner into prime lenses and then hope they move up into something more expensive (and much better built) like the FA31. It's also smaller and performs better optically than the 18-55. Just don't drop it ...

Just curious: which Pentax lens is OK to drop? Plastic may not be confidence inspiring, but I bet the DA35 will last just as long as most lenses.

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marike6 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,088
The DA 35mm F2.4 is one of the sharpest lenses of the whole lineup
2

It's much smaller, and significantly sharper with less distortion than pretty much any Pentax zoom available including the kit zoom you mentioned.

http://www.lenstip.com/299.4-Lens_review-Pentax_smc_DA_35_mm_f_2.4_AL_Image_resolution.html

Like the DA 50 1.8, it doesn't have the most robust build, but optically both lenses are at the absolute top performance wise of the Pentax line-up.  Hope this helps.

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Jack Simpson Forum Pro • Posts: 11,556
Re: The DA 35mm F2.4 is one of the sharpest lenses of the whole lineup

marike6 wrote:

It's much smaller, and significantly sharper with less distortion than pretty much any Pentax zoom available including the kit zoom you mentioned.

http://www.lenstip.com/299.4-Lens_review-Pentax_smc_DA_35_mm_f_2.4_AL_Image_resolution.html

Like the DA 50 1.8, it doesn't have the most robust build, but optically both lenses are at the absolute top performance wise of the Pentax line-up. Hope this helps.

Right you are Marike6

Jack

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Greg Lovern Senior Member • Posts: 1,583
Check AF Calibration?

vjk2 wrote:

35mm F2.4 doesn't offer as dramatic an improvement ... It is sharper, but not in a dramatically obvious way.

Maybe your 35/2.4 left the factory with AF calibration not quite right? It might be worth checking it with a tool like LensAlign.

Greg

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yardcoyote Senior Member • Posts: 9,746
Re: What exactly is the purpose of the DA 35mm F2.4?

Thank you very much for this thread. It is directly and immediately relevant to my interests. I am considering which prime should be my first lens with a Pentax DSLR, and I was debating between this lens and the more expensive 40 mm f2.8 pancake. Any opinions as to which to choose? This thread makes me feel quite confident that if I choose the 35mm I will get excellent optical quality and good speed for the price (which would be low since I would get it as part of a kit). What would I be gaining by spending a more for the pancake? The slightly longer focal length would be a positive rather than a negative for me, but not necessarily enough to change my choice by itself.

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Tan68
Tan68 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,773
Re: What exactly is the purpose of the DA 35mm F2.4?

I think you are right to not worry too much about the difference between 35 and 40mm.

Basically, the 40mm has the quick shift feature.  It is smaller.  Not sure how weights compare.  I also don't know about other metrics like chromatic aberration but that can be had at a review site.

Versus the kit, I think the extra 1.5 stops of aperture issignificant.  For TimA2's work in a church, that could mean the difference between 1/15 second and 1/45 second, all else equal.

For you decision between the 40 and 35, the 35 would give that 1/45 second and the 40mm would give 1/30 second...  There will be a point where the half stop is critical but it depends on where you use the lens.  Tim's churches can be quite dim.  f/2.4, 1/45, ISO 800 or more dim, I imagine.

If you envision use indoors without flash (as church or museum), the extra half stop might be important.

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Gary Martin
Gary Martin Veteran Member • Posts: 3,891
Plastic vs. Metal: Fight!

There's been lots of talk about the build quality of the plastic mount lenses (DA35 & DA50), so I'm curious: has anyone who's owned one of these lenses had the mount break? That would also include the plastic mount 18-55 and 55-300 lenses. I'm genuinely curious if the difference between a plastic and metal lens is mostly just psychological and caché value, or there is a real-world use issue here.

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Tan68
Tan68 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,773
Re: Plastic vs. Metal: Fight!

As my niece would say: "duuhhhh"

No one knows if the plastic mounts are more likely to break.  The mounts are plastic and could break so no one uses them!!  Duuhhhh.

Same logic as 'if you didn't use it, it wouldn't get old and broken'.  I have a 35/2.4 but haven't really used it much.  Just because...  (there I go again) I do like the light weight.

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Chalootz297 Junior Member • Posts: 39
Re: Plastic vs. Metal: Fight!
1

Hello Gary,

I've owned my DA 35mm f/2.4AL for about two years now, and have had no issues with the plastic bayonet. This includes frequent outdoor use in all weather. I also own an FA 100-300mm tele zoom with a similar mount, about 8 years now, again, no problems.

My feeling is that if you drop a lens hard enough to break a composite bayonet mount, a metal-mounted lens would likely suffer damage also.  Perhaps not to the mount itself, it would probably transfer the impact to the optics. Not a great trade-off.

So, in normal use, the composite bayonet has caused me no problems and I haven't heard of any from other Pentax users.

Ron

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dpnaiba Regular Member • Posts: 121
Re: What exactly is the purpose of the DA 35mm F2.4?

Once I got the 35mm I cursed myself for not buying it ages ago, being so cheap - it would have done wonders to my old K100D body.

Now on the K-5 it was a permanent fixture at some point, but then again maybe my LBA doesn't have the budget to match

Some pics I took with it: http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=da35mmf24al&w=elanaiba&adv=1&mt=all&ct=6&m=tags

Now, for me its a cheap route to a fast, sharp and nicely rendering prime that is not old and manual focus

I mainly needed it to take pics of my tollder; 35mm is wider and better than 50mm to track the kid indoors in a normal size apartment, while the relatively fast aperture is good for low light and of course getting nice DOF separation in close spaces.

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JayBratcher Regular Member • Posts: 283
Re: What exactly is the purpose of the DA 35mm F2.4?

Cheezr wrote:

Hey! This is one of my favorite lenses for my K5IIs.

It is very small and light and razor sharp, did i mention it is light weight?

The price is just icing on the cake.

It is on my camera 80% of the time.

I feel the same way about it's younger brother, the 50mm DA f/1.8.  It sounds like a garbage disposal while focusing, and it would probably melt if I left it sitting on my dashboard in the summer time, but optically, it's great.

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DrewE Senior Member • Posts: 2,053
Re: Plastic vs. Metal: Fight!

Gary Martin wrote:

There's been lots of talk about the build quality of the plastic mount lenses (DA35 & DA50), so I'm curious: has anyone who's owned one of these lenses had the mount break? That would also include the plastic mount 18-55 and 55-300 lenses. I'm genuinely curious if the difference between a plastic and metal lens is mostly just psychological and caché value, or there is a real-world use issue here.

Pentax has been making lenses with plastic mounts for a decade at the least (e.g. the FA-J series).  I haven't heard of any substantial problems with the lens mounts breaking.  It's entirely possible that an all-plastic mount is actually a sturdier attachment than a metal mount joined to a plastic lens body with only a few miniscule screws.

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Gerry Winterbourne Forum Pro • Posts: 13,935
... to be a reasonably fast, cheap, PRIME lens of normal FL

vjk2 wrote:

- not WR and does not have quickshift, and also plastic mount not metal. Should really be DAL series.

Not WR - so that's the same as the Limited series.  Plastic is much cheaper than metal and modern engineering plastics are designed to be tough enough for their job.

- 18-55 kit lens is comparable at 35mm but also gets you the useful 18mm range for architecture shots

It's nothing like comparable: where their speeds overlap (and before diffraction equalises things) the 35 has up to 28% better resolution and half the fall-off.  In fact, at its widest it's almost as good as the 18-55's best.

the 35 is a prime lens: if you want a zoom to give different FLs don't buy a prime.  But many people actually prefer the experience of shooting with primes for its own sake, as well as the better IQ that primes usually give.

- 50mm f1.4 has better low light. F2.4 isn't really that much an improvement over the 18-55's f4-ish in that range.

But the 50/1.4 also has 2/3 the AOV.  50mm is the easiest lens to make fast, which is why most makers have cheap, fast 50s.  Making the 35 faster would make it bigger and more expensive; but it was introduced because many people were demanding a cheap normal prime.

1.1/2 stops is a significant improvement: depending on circumstances it cam make the difference between camera blur and sharp shots; or between excessive noise and acceptable noise.  With the better resolution it offers over the 18-55 you might not need to stop down so far, so the improvement could be more like 3 stops than 1.1/2.

Only good thing is the low weight and size. Otherwise, I don't really see a good reason to keep it around.

The main thing about it is that it's a prime.  If that's not what you want don't keep it.

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Petroglyph
Petroglyph Veteran Member • Posts: 6,050
Re: What exactly is the purpose of the DA 35mm F2.4?

thatsnoordinaryrabbit wrote:

vjk2 wrote:

I picked one up and I'm not really impressed. At all.

So yeah - faster, sharper, lighter, smaller, better IQ, cheap. Totally pointless.

The only knock I would put on the 35mm is that in the Sony and Nikon systems, for similar money you get f1.8.

The Nikkor also has a metal mount instead of plastic last I checked.  Isn't it a little more than 200$ though?  I forgot.  It has been a long time since I was looking at DX primes.

Cheers.

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