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Michael Johnston Reviews the DA 35mm Ltd Macro on K20D

Miserere Mei , Aug 19, 2008; 12:28 p.m.

I already raved about how happy I was that MJ would be writing a monthly column here on p-net:


I was so pleased I even thought it would be weekly :-) but we'll have to make do with monthly.

So here is this month's column, which I thought I would bring to your attention as it deals with the 35mm Ltd:


It seems everyone that has this lens is extremely happy with it, and MJ and fellow co-reviewer Carl Weese are no exception.

PS: I just locked my credit card in my office drawer and swallowed the key. You might want to do something similar.


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Nick Siebers , Aug 19, 2008; 12:43 p.m.

He's KILLING me! How much do I want this lens now??? It sounds SO GREAT. Ah - (plunges head in ice bath). No, still want it. (Repeat, again and again).

Peter Zack , Aug 19, 2008; 12:45 p.m.

I just watched my credit card spontaneously explode Saturday after ordering the Sigma 10-20mm. It didn't have a chance. My wife ran the rest through the blender and changed the password on my Paypal account.

Good looking lens. I don't need it! Repeat three times whenever LBA strikes.

Rose Duclos , Aug 19, 2008; 12:55 p.m.

The question in my mind, is how does the 35macro compare to the 50macro. I've been kicking around the idea of getting the 50mm - but if the 35mm is on par, It may be another option...

too many lenses, and not enough money (or time)...

John Kelly , Aug 19, 2008; 01:02 p.m.

It's likely that 50 macro and 35 macro perform identically except for focal length. I doubt anything could beat the 35's performance.

I'm used to the 35's near-50 equivalent because I used 50 heavily with manual Nikon and Canon SLRs...but I never bothered to photograph bugs, rarely flowers.

If I was a bug/flower guy I'd go for the 100/2.8 rather than the 50, simply for the convenience of working from a greater distance.

The 35/2.8 hunts a lot more than 21 and 70 DA in low light...that's its one shortcoming IMO...probably has to do with the long helical.

Miserere Mei , Aug 19, 2008; 01:27 p.m.

I wouldn't want to 35mm for macro either, but would appreciate the close-focusing capabilities. The standard 45cm minimum focusing distance on the average 50mm lens just isn't good enough for me (on film). 1:2 or 1:3 macro would be enough for me on a 35mm for digital. But hey, it's not like I can afford any of this anyway! :-)

As a side note, I wonder if Hin has read this article. This could make his LBA gland explode. Poor guy...

Rose Duclos , Aug 19, 2008; 03:09 p.m.

Hin's on vacation, and let's hope he doesn't read it. He's got enough LBA issues - I worry that he'll spend his 401k, his kid's college savings, and sell his house and car (maybe on ebay) all because of the lens shopping frenzy.

I thought the 3 month Hiatus would have helped him - but he's even worse than before... I wonder if he'll come back with a new camera and lenses from hongkong.


Nick Siebers , Aug 19, 2008; 03:35 p.m.

Mis, I am with you. If the DA 40mm could just get to 1:4 macro, it would never come off my camera. Instead it's at 1:9 or so, and I am still searching for the perfect (for me) walk-around lens.

I read some of the postings on Pentax Forums, and the don't sound quite as thrilled about this lens as Mr. Johnston. I'll hold off for a little longer. And keep selling extra gear, although it won't add up to limited money any time soon.

Andrew Gilchrist , Aug 19, 2008; 04:26 p.m.

The DA35 Ltd is likely to trounce the D-FA 50 in build quality and possibly AF speed as well if the D-FA 100 (which I assume has similar build) is any indication. I don't find the build of the D-FA 100 completely convincing considering the cost of the lens.

More than once I have I ended up switching to a close-focusing zoom like DA 16-45 when the FA43 or FA28 couldn't focus close enough.

Duane Mills , Aug 19, 2008; 09:45 p.m.

Any idea on Price? Sounds awesome...

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