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05-13-2010, 05:28 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Zenitar 16mm vs. DA 15mm Limited corner sharpness

I'm considering buying an ultra wide prime and I'm considering these two lenses. I'm well aware of the mild fisheye distortion of the Zenitar, but my main priority is the corner sharpness. Anyone out there who tried both lenses? I intend to shoot between f/4 and f/8 so I need a better corner resolution within this range.

05-13-2010, 05:36 AM   #2
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Google > Zenitar 16mm> first result > Zenitar 16mm Fisheye

Please use google before posting questions.
05-13-2010, 05:39 AM   #3
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Given that the Zenitar is a fisheye I'd say the DA15mm will definitely be sharper, especially if you shoot at F8. Mind you, in theory both should be near there sharpest at F8 on a DSLR.
05-13-2010, 05:50 AM   #4
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I can understand the question as the zenitar is very cheap and semm it can be defished easly, but from what i've seen is not that wide, if i'm not wrong defished looks like a 17/18mm.
I think you shuould consider/look more to a comparsion with the samyang 14 f2.8.

05-13-2010, 07:12 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cosmo Quote
Google > Zenitar 16mm> first result > Zenitar 16mm Fisheye

Please use google before posting questions.
Regarding using google before posting, please refrain from telling people what to do on this forum. AFAIK you are not even a moderator.

I'm well aware of this review, though it doesn't answer my question how it compares to DA 15mm Limited. Also this review has the Zenitar on FF Canon so it will behave differently on a crop sensor like K7.


QuoteOriginally posted by howieb101 Quote
Given that the Zenitar is a fisheye I'd say the DA15mm will definitely be sharper, especially if you shoot at F8. Mind you, in theory both should be near there sharpest at F8 on a DSLR.
As I said in my OP I'm not concerned with fisheye distortions so I will not be correcting in postprocessing, I'm interested in the range between f/4 and f/8.

QuoteOriginally posted by matam Quote
I can understand the question as the zenitar is very cheap and semm it can be defished easly, but from what i've seen is not that wide, if i'm not wrong defished looks like a 17/18mm.
I think you shuould consider/look more to a comparsion with the samyang 14 f2.8.
Samyang is too big and heavy. Size, weight and corner sharpness is my priority, fisheye not an issue.
05-13-2010, 07:57 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Voe Quote

As I said in my OP I'm not concerned with fisheye distortions so I will not be correcting in postprocessing, I'm interested in the range between f/4 and f/8.
I haven't used my Z for quite a while so I am speaking from memory, but it is very soft wide open: the difference between f/4 and f/5.6 is quite dramatic.

I haven't done a direct comparison against the DA15 - I might at the weekend. But I'm sure the 15 would win by quite a margin on every count. Unless you like the FE effect, of course.

Tim
05-13-2010, 08:27 AM   #7
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Thanks Tim, a direct comparison would be greatly appreciated. I believe you are one of the few here who has both lenses.
05-13-2010, 09:06 AM   #8
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The above 3 sets contain photos taken with both lenses. While not a direct 1:1 compare, they may give you some idea. The first set was done entirely with a K7. The Second set was done with the Zenitar 16mm on a Pentax MZ-S and scanned on an Epson V700. The third set contains photos from the 16mm taken on an IR modified camera. These are all pretty much full frame (not cropped down) with possible minor cropping to straighten them out.

One thing you'll need to keep in mind with the Z16, some of them don't focus to infinity. It's an easy fix and if you've done the research on the lens, you've probably run across that issue. The Zenitar Also requires a rear filter so make sure it comes with them.

Might I also suggest considering the DA12-24. Unless you intend to go full frame (like a film camera) very useful and covers the wide angle range nicely.




Last edited by JeffJS; 05-16-2010 at 09:56 AM.
05-13-2010, 09:13 AM - 1 Like   #9
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I own the Zen and have shot with the DA 15. The Zen is plenty sharp corner-to-corner at f/8 and narrower, but my nod would definitely go to the DA 15 if you are willing to spend the money. The two lenses are really not in the same league for APS-C shooting. I only had the DA 15 on my camera for about 15 minutes, but my impression from the snapshots I took was that it is uniformly sharp with great contrast. There is a slight tendency towards CA and PF, but not horribly bad. Sharp, contrasty, and compact with a great build, what is there not to like?


Steve

BTW...as many folk here know, I am a huge fan of the Zenitar 16 FE...

Last edited by stevebrot; 05-13-2010 at 09:20 AM.
05-13-2010, 09:57 AM   #10
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Hi Steve, I seems to like everything about the DA 15mm except corner sharpness at f/4-f/5.6.
The thing is that I would use it mainly for landscape when hiking where I don't want to carry a tripod (which would kill the benefit of the small and light prime lens), thus I need to be able to shoot as wide as possible (f/5.6 is good enough).

I'm in search of a "hypotetical" afordable and small prime (17mm or wider) with even sharpness between corners and center. I don't mind manual focus or slight fisheye effect (as with Zenitar) as I will be mostly shooting nature shots. Ideal lens would be the latest Leica R 19mm Elmarit (even though is not as wide) for it's amazing IQ and small size but it cost more than USD2000$ used.
05-13-2010, 12:07 PM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Voe Quote
Hi Steve, I seems to like everything about the DA 15mm except corner sharpness at f/4-f/5.6.
The thing is that I would use it mainly for landscape when hiking where I don't want to carry a tripod (which would kill the benefit of the small and light prime lens), thus I need to be able to shoot as wide as possible (f/5.6 is good enough).

I'm in search of a "hypotetical" afordable and small prime (17mm or wider) with even sharpness between corners and center. I don't mind manual focus or slight fisheye effect (as with Zenitar) as I will be mostly shooting nature shots. Ideal lens would be the latest Leica R 19mm Elmarit (even though is not as wide) for it's amazing IQ and small size but it cost more than USD2000$ used.
The Zenitar is certainly inexpensive. I liked mine a lot. The advantage of APS-C cameras is that you crop off a lot of the fuzzy corners you would ordinarily get on full-frame.

Looking through my old pictures, the Z16 is pretty uniformly sharp from edge to center around f5.6 and f8 (I rarely shot above f8 with it), but if you plan on defishing, you will gain center sharpness and lose the corners with the distortion correction. In practice, the effective focal length seems to be wider than 16mm, I've never done a formal comparison but I remember others saying it was closer to 14-15mm than 16mm.

It is also small, compact, relatively lightweight, and easy to handhold at slower speeds. Remember to shade the front element.
05-13-2010, 12:34 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Voe Quote
Hi Steve, I seems to like everything about the DA 15mm except corner sharpness at f/4-f/5.6.
The thing is that I would use it mainly for landscape when hiking where I don't want to carry a tripod (which would kill the benefit of the small and light prime lens), thus I need to be able to shoot as wide as possible (f/5.6 is good enough).

I'm in search of a "hypotetical" afordable and small prime (17mm or wider) with even sharpness between corners and center. I don't mind manual focus or slight fisheye effect (as with Zenitar) as I will be mostly shooting nature shots. Ideal lens would be the latest Leica R 19mm Elmarit (even though is not as wide) for it's amazing IQ and small size but it cost more than USD2000$ used.
The Zen is not particularly sharp at apertures wider than f/5.6. As for fisheye effect...The Zen can be quite fishy when the lens axis is not level resulting is curved horizons. On the other hand, there is no stretching of subjects near the edges such as you can expect with rectilinear lenses such as the DA 15. The FOV on the Zen is also somewhat wider than that of the DA 15.

As I said above...If you can afford it, the DA 15 is a much better all-around ultra wide angle for APS-C than the Zen. If you need a cheaper lens, the Zen is one of the best options out there.


Steve
05-15-2010, 11:03 PM - 1 Like   #13
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DA15 vs Zenitar

QuoteOriginally posted by Voe Quote
Thanks Tim, a direct comparison would be greatly appreciated. I believe you are one of the few here who has both lenses.
Voe - I have just snapped a few shots at infinity - wide angle distant high-rises etc. It confirmed my impressions. The Zenitar at f/4 is virtually unusable. At f/5.6 it's getting there at the centre but not at the edges.

BUT - at f/8 I'm having difficulty seeing much difference at all at the centre between the Z and the DA15, and even at the edges things are not too bad with the Z. At f/11 it's even closer. I haven't defished the Z shots to check how much the corners deteriorate in the process - significantly, of course.

With a wide angle lens you can use very slow shutter speeds, so limiting yourself to f/8-11 is not as ridiculous as it sounds.

Hope that helps - although the answers were roughly what I expected,the Zenitar came out of the comparison rather better than I remembered, stopped right down. Wider than f/8, forget it.

Tim
05-16-2010, 04:04 AM   #14
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Hi Tim,

Thanks for your feedback. It was really helpful and I think I'm going to pay more and get the DA 15mm.

Last edited by Voe; 05-17-2010 at 03:00 PM.
05-17-2010, 09:50 AM   #15
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After seeing the DA15 images ... especially outdoors in midday sun ... it's a phenomenal lens indeed. It really controls flare well from what i ahve seen ... and colour rendition and contrast is really nice as well.

Don't get me wrong ... but the Zen 16 is good ... I have one ... but i have noticed a bit of ghosting from it due to weird lighting conditions. I'd definitely say the DA15 would be better for this sort of thing.

If you have the $$$$$ .. get the DA15 ... I would.
Although the Zen is a fun little lens to use though.
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