Carl Weese and I have co-written a review of the new Pentax 35mm ƒ/2.8 DA Macro Limited lens that has just been published over at Photo.net.
If you'd actually like to buy this lovely device, please link from here so we can rake in the profits. I'll go mad I'll be so awash in money. I'll buy a sailboat. O what heaven the sea....
Er, sorry. Got carried away there for a moment. Still, I'll be very pleased on the off chance that somebody buys one as the result of the article. Here are the links:
Hope you enjoy the article.
ADDENDUM: I don't want to be guilty of too much soft-pedaling here. Cross my heart I'm not saying this to try to push lenses. But to be fair and accurate, I should say straight out that if you own a Pentax K10D or K20D and don't buy this lens sooner or later, you're depriving yourself. No one who shoots Pentax digital in any serious way would ever regret buying this lens. It really is a treat. I'd recommend it even if you don't normally care for primes, even if you seldom shoot macro, and even if the focal length and speed aren't quite an exact fit. Its virtues go way beyond extreme sharpness. It will be the best lens you own, the best match for your very best technique, and, soon enough, your best results with it will make you forget what it once cost. If you're in the system, you need it. Even if you don't need it you need it. Very highly recommended. —MJ
Featured Comment by Mark E: "Mike, My Pentax FA 31 F1.8 Ltd is pretty freakin' sharp, too. It is, of course, huge compared to the smaller DA* lenses. Any opinion regarding its sharpness compared to the DA 35 Ltd?"
Carl replies: Mark, the 31mm is a fine lens and is an excellent performer on the Pentax K10/20D, especially considering it was originally designed for film, not digital capture. Lens performance encompasses a lot more than just sharpness (as Mike and I go on at length about in the article). Overall performance of the 31mm is excellent, while overall performance of the 35mm Macro on a K20D is literally in a league of its own.
Mike adds: My experience with the 31mm is limited (er, sorry), having used it for only a short time when I was a guest speaker at Grandfather Mountain. But I'd add to what Carl says that it is not quite an even-up comparison: the 31mm is wider (by 4mm), faster (by slightly more than a stop), and covers more (full-frame as opposed to reduced sensor size). All these factors make it subtly more difficult to design for top performance (and more useful as an all-around lens). As with the Zeiss I mentioned in the review, the 31mm is a very fine lens I'd probably have no trouble living with, but it's like a NASCAR car against an Indy racer—head to head there's no doubt which would come out on top.