brecklundin's reviews

  • Pentax 35mm f/2.8 Macro Limited SMC DA

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    small, light weight, metal construction, full time manual focusing, true 1:1 Macro, built-in hood, 49mm filter size
    none really, maybe the bokeh in some shots - maybe

    Might be my most used lense in my bag, and I have the three amigos (31ltd, 43ltd, 77ltd). I jokingly call this lense my 4th Amigo.

    I bought this lense for it's macro capability. Anyone doing so needs to remember to get 1:1 you are going to be just 1-2" from the front element. That can be an issue if you need to light the subject. While there is a lot of room to crop thanks to the resolving power of this lense, if you want to light your subject at 1:1 distance I would consider the D-FA 100/2.8 WR which sells for a hundred bucks more give or take. I decided to grab both as I really like the versatility of the 35ltd as a walk around lense even a street lense as well.

    Being a macro the AF is never going to be speedy. If you need faster AF look at the older FA35/2 sibling which can often be found as new old stock. MF'ing can also take some getting used to because of the long travel of the focus ring. Again that is due to the lense being a macro. Macro lenses have to cover a lot of AF range that standard lenses do not.

    As a walk around or general use lense I don't there you can do a lot better at any price. It just a very consistent and solid performer.

    I use mine a lot for product and tabletop shooting but did find it being somewhat problematic for shooting items I need to get very close to in order to fill the frame to a reasonable degree. But that is due to the focal length and is not a short coming of the lense. Just had not thought about it when I bought my first copy.

    Over all I find no real weak areas for this lense when using it. Then again I don't put a lot of stock into lab numbers for a lense. I want a lense for pictures not for running tests.

    Oh, yeah, about CA and bokeh. I have yet to run into anything but very minor CA and then only when using a flash on a metal piece of jewelry. Bokeh might be the lenses only marginal area. Even still it is not bad but can, at times, be a bit 'nervous' given a 'busier' background. It's not as smooth as say the FA 77mm/2.8 Limited but is still very acceptable. Here are a couple examples shoot at not quite 1:1 distance:

    A bit more nervous bokeh

    You can see the bokeh in the last shot is not as smooth as the previous shots. It can be distracting for some shots. Just the way it goes with this lense.

    reviewed April 29th, 2011 (purchased for $569)