Considering a prime, DA35 or FA31


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matchkk

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Jul 29, 2008
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#1
Now I have a DA21 and FA43. DA21 is a good walk-around lens and FA43 is good but it is a bit long as for general use lens.

I am now considering either a FA31 or DA35.
FA31 is probably the best in-production lens but it is very expensive. But it should be a worth investment consider the image and the build quality of the lens.
While DA35 is having a good reputation, it has Marco and it is much cheaper. However, it only has 2.8.

Besides a DA21 and FA43, I also have a DA12-24, DA17-70, DA*50-135 and DA55-300.
A FA31 would replace the DA21 as the walk-around lens, but I don't see what is added to my existing lens portfolio, or perhaps a slightly wider prime.
A DA35 would add Macro capability, this is definitely a plus.

Did I miss out any points and what you would buy if you were me?
 

dnaxe

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Oct 5, 2006
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#2
I think you just need to decide based on whether you want macro.
 

werkgg

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Mar 4, 2009
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#3
besides the macro, i still think 31 is better compared with 35 in terms of image quality. so if your budget allows, go for 31
 

dnaxe

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Oct 5, 2006
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#4
besides the macro, i still think 31 is better compared with 35 in terms of image quality. so if your budget allows, go for 31
Price isn't a great differentiator since OP is actually considering both.

The 31 is the obvious choice since it's faster, the only detriment apart from price and macro is weight/size, but that difference isn't very serious in my view. Of course OP needs to decide this for themselves as well.

However, if you do want macro (1:1) or even near macro (photos of food that *I* take anyway), the 31 doesn't cut it. Hence the decision should be based on macro requirements.
 

fengwei

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Aug 25, 2004
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#5
Sell the DA21 and FA43, get the 31, you are done for good :)

Not everyone needs a macro lens. If you are not into macros, no point getting one.

DA12-24, DA17-70, DA*50-135 and DA55-300, plus an FA31, that's more than enough.

For general use I do prefer 31 over 21 and 43.
 

Jan 16, 2009
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#6
Wish I had the money to spend on the FA31. Thinking about the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 HSM as an alternative... you might want to consider that too.
 

dnaxe

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#7
Wish I had the money to spend on the FA31. Thinking about the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 HSM as an alternative... you might want to consider that too.
I would really just get the FA31 instead of the Sigma 30.
 

matchkk

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#8
Sell the DA21 and FA43, get the 31, you are done for good :)

Not everyone needs a macro lens. If you are not into macros, no point getting one.

DA12-24, DA17-70, DA*50-135 and DA55-300, plus an FA31, that's more than enough.

For general use I do prefer 31 over 21 and 43.

Ya. It seems that FA31 won't be a wrong choice, although logically I should consider if I need a macro lens...

Personally, I would not get the Sigma one... Bigger size, and not cheap.
 

zoom3

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May 18, 2007
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#9
You mentioned the new lens is to replace the DA21 as your walkaround lens. This being the case, I would suggest the FA31. IMO, the DA35 focusing is too slow (very deliberate like most macro lens) to be a good walkaround lens.

But if you want a compact, quality lens, primarily for taking macro, then the DA35 will be an nice choice.

Your call....:)

BTW, I prefer the FA43 to the FA31 for general use. I guess it all boils down to personal preference.
 

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istDeS

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Dec 7, 2005
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#10
If you have the cash just grab the 31mm lah, always recommend by many here.:bsmilie:

btw, the DA35 have quick shift in case you missed out.
 

istDeS

Senior Member
Dec 7, 2005
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"River end"
#11
Price isn't a great differentiator since OP is actually considering both.

The 31 is the obvious choice since it's faster, the only detriment apart from price and macro is weight/size, but that difference isn't very serious in my view. Of course OP needs to decide this for themselves as well.

However, if you do want macro (1:1) or even near macro (photos of food that *I* take anyway), the 31 doesn't cut it. Hence the decision should be based on macro requirements.
Sorry to OT, the OP mentioned here is new to me. What it stands for? Thanks.
 

zoom3

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May 18, 2007
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#14
btw, the DA35 have quick shift in case you missed out.
Yes. The quick shift. Really miss it when changing from DA to FA lenses. Unfortunately, my hand not fast enough to quick shift on quite a few occassions la :bsmilie:
 

Last edited:
Jan 26, 2004
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#15
Quite simple in the end: Comes down to need for speed (and the FA Ltd magic) vs need for macro.

I'll love to try the FA31 someday. :)
 

airconvent

Senior Member
Apr 12, 2005
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#16
Get rid of the zooms and get the complete Pentax Limited set for full coverage with prime performance :bsmilie:
 

Apr 5, 2007
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West of Singapore
#17
Get both in a fit of LBA ;)

Seriously though, both lenses are quite different in terms of character, and are great lenses in their own right. Speed's not such a big consideration I would think, as most of the time at that focal length 2.8's pretty fast already. Price aside, the key strength of the DA 35 is its macro capability, which adds a whole new dimension of composition options. The FA 31's just strong in everything and a good general purpose lens - It does do very very well in low light conditions, as Fengwei pointed out before as well.

You can't go wrong with either lens, but get the one that you think you won't be upgrading from - i.e. if you think that after getting the DA 35 you will still want to get the FA31, then get the FA31, or vice versa. Unless you get both. ;)
 

BigBird

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Oct 27, 2004
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#18
Get rid of the zooms and get the complete Pentax Limited set for full coverage with prime performance :bsmilie:
Haha... agree ;) but the DA*50-135mm is a good piece, should keep it..

Anyways, I was in exactly the same position 2 months back. In fact I was already very certain of the 31mm. I was quite sore when I missed a MIJ 31mm for sale here in CS. So I placed an order with CP for a new piece. For the price, I wanted a MIJ version, but know that they are all VN assembled now. This may/may not mean anything to you. I waited for several weeks, called most of the shops that stock Pentax stuff and all no stock.

While researching on the net, I came across this review on the 35mm macro ltd my Mike Johnston of TOP. Here is the link:
http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2008/04/the-smc-pentax.html

And another link with many comments:
http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2008/08/just-published.html

Lastly, his conclusion on the 35mm macro ltd posted on photo.net
http://photo.net/columns/mjohnston/pentax-35mm-lens/optical-discussion/

These are "real-world" reviews, not with charts and numbers, and it shows what the 35mm macro is capable of. Based on these reviews and comments from the people, it changed my mind and I ended up getting the 35mm. Much easier on on wallet too :)

We already know how good the 31mm is. In fact, it can be considered one of the best lenses ever during the film era. The 35mm is also a highly regarded lens in its own right. For me, I don't have Pentax film cameras, so don't need the FA. I liked the f1.8 max aperture, but I figured to pay almost double the 35mm for 1.5 stops - I could live with f2.8 then, esp. since there is on-camera SR.

It's your call in the end, but you won't be wrong with either one :)
 

Sep 5, 2009
49
0
0
#19
FA31 is 1,400 now. Too expensive.

Now I have a DA21 and FA43. DA21 is a good walk-around lens and FA43 is good but it is a bit long as for general use lens.

I am now considering either a FA31 or DA35.
FA31 is probably the best in-production lens but it is very expensive. But it should be a worth investment consider the image and the build quality of the lens.
While DA35 is having a good reputation, it has Marco and it is much cheaper. However, it only has 2.8.

Besides a DA21 and FA43, I also have a DA12-24, DA17-70, DA*50-135 and DA55-300.
A FA31 would replace the DA21 as the walk-around lens, but I don't see what is added to my existing lens portfolio, or perhaps a slightly wider prime.
A DA35 would add Macro capability, this is definitely a plus.

Did I miss out any points and what you would buy if you were me?
 

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