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07-11-2010, 05:35 PM   #1
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DA15 & DA21 or DA12-24 or SIG 10-20

Hi,
I am in a bit of dilemma whether to buy DA15 & DA21 both or go for one of these wide angle zooms. ZOOMs are always tempting but, whether they can be compared (in image quality)with these primes are not is my question. I recently bought DA40 Ltd and it produces stunningly sharp images. I have no specific photographic requirements (anything will do), as I am just an enthusiast with more landscape or architectural interest. So, again comes the question.. Can you experts please throw some light on this. Thanks!

07-11-2010, 05:39 PM   #2
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I can't help on the prime versus zoom thing - might as well ask us to pick out a spouse for you - but if you do go with primes, I'd recommend getting the 15 first and then deciding if you really need the 21. I don't really feel the need - it's easy enough to crop images from the 15 to that FOV, and the result will be lower in distortion than shooting with the DA21. To the extent I feel the need for a lens betwene 15 and 40 in my kit, I think 21 is close to 15. I'd want something in the 24-28 range, and in fact I do carry around a 28. But while that used to be one of my most used lenses before getting the 15, I rarely use even that any more.
07-11-2010, 05:44 PM   #3
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Marc,
Thanks for your reply. I forgot to tell that, I have a 28mm and 18-55WR too. But the kit lens resolution is not that good for landscapes. Will definitely consider your suggestion of buying 15mm if I go that path.
07-11-2010, 05:47 PM   #4
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https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/106978-da-12-2...at-can-do.html

I'm fairly certain the DA12-24 has the best image quality and least distortion of them all and does the job of both the DA15 and DA21.

I think it'll come down to your budget and whether you care more about image quality of compactness.

07-11-2010, 05:55 PM   #5
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The 12-24 has a great reputation and I'm sure it deserves it, but it's not optically better than the DA15 in any department according to Photozone's or others' measurements (with the sole exception of corner performance wide open - not particularly relevant for landscape anyhow). For center sharpness at any aperture, corners stopped down, CA, distortion, and flare resistance, the DA15 wins. Not necessarily by enough to matter, though - they are both fantastic lenses. But it's most definitely not a choice between size and *quality* - it's a choice between size and *flexibility*.
07-11-2010, 05:56 PM   #6
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Thanks hangu. cambridge has this lens for sale yesterday night. I was checking my funds for the payment and just within half an hr, he marked it sold. PMed him, but already sold. Then again having a second thought, before some big purchase.
07-11-2010, 06:09 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
The 12-24 has a great reputation and I'm sure it deserves it, but it's not optically better than the DA15 in any department according to Photozone's or others' measurements (with the sole exception of corner performance wide open - not particularly relevant for landscape anyhow). For center sharpness at any aperture, corners stopped down, CA, distortion, and flare resistance, the DA15 wins. Not necessarily by enough to matter, though - they are both fantastic lenses. But it's most definitely not a choice between size and *quality* - it's a choice between size and *flexibility*.
The corner sharpness of the DA15 lags behind by quite a bit in some of the photo tests I've seen. Even center sharpness seems to be better on the DA12-24. However, how can I argue with Photozone numbers?

I do think corner sharpness is pretty important in landscape photography, maybe not portraits.
07-11-2010, 06:22 PM   #8
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First, it's not that corner sharpess in general is not important to landscape photography - it's that *wide open* performance in general isn't particualrly important to landscape. Most landscape photography is done stopped dwn for increased DOF (as well as increased overall sharpness). And stopped down, the corners of the DA15 are as good as or better than the zoom. And when you do have reason to shoot a landscape wide open, the corners will *not* be in focus, so again, wide open corner performance just won't really matter.

But I also think the wide corner sharpness of the DA15 gets a bad rap simply because people tend to not test carefully enough to make sure the corners *are* in focus.

07-11-2010, 06:31 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by hangu Quote
The corner sharpness of the DA15 lags behind by quite a bit in some of the photo tests I've seen. Even center sharpness seems to be better on the DA12-24. However, how can I argue with Photozone numbers?

I do think corner sharpness is pretty important in landscape photography, maybe not portraits.
I think Marc means when wide open. In landscape photography you usually step down and not using the lens wide open, and by then the difference would be pretty small. But still 12mm and 15mm can mean a lot for some people and especially in landscape photography.

I have both of them I'm loving the 15mm now because it's so small, fit into my bag and allows me to carry 3 lenses in my small bag.

Also agree with Marc about cropping 15mm to get 21mm FOV. Actually I have considered 21mm too in the past but Marc (in one of his many replies) convinced me not to as I already have my DA 15mm. Thank you Marc!
07-13-2010, 04:57 AM   #10
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I've been pondering a wide angle for a while now, and an upcoming trip to Scotland with my family pushed me over the edge. My 6 year old wants to visit castles, so I figured let's go nuts and have really wide ability and bought the Sigma 8-16 about 4 hours ago...

Other than being able to go crazy-wide if need be, I also like the silent focus. But then the 10-20 and 12-24 can take filters.... I wasn't too fussed about speed, as I'd normally be stepping down. I did like the fact that the 8-16 will give 14 point star bursts, vs the Pentax's 8. The close focus distances are very similar, so no big deal, but you will be getting very close to things!

Pricing vs the Pentax 12-24 was within US$20 of the Pentax (US$650 here in HK), so that wasn't an issue.

After taking a few pictures with it, wow! I've never had the opportunity to play with something this wide before. It's like having eyes in the side of your head!

BTW, Photozone give it their rare "Highly Recommended" award, and I look forward to seeing if I can learn the crazy perspectives it offers.

I can also see myself getting a DA 15 for when I want something small and discrete.
07-13-2010, 05:30 AM   #11
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As much as I love my 21 mm, if you already own a 28 (and like it) then indeed do get the 15 first, then decide. I disagree that 21 and 15 are too close, but only you can decide if the 21 will be needed. If after getting the 15 you still feel like there's a hole in your lineup, get the 21.

In its own right the 21 is an amazing lens, sharp like crazy, great colours and a fantastic 3D effect that's really hard to describe.
07-13-2010, 06:19 AM   #12
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I agree with the above suggestions and get the 15mm, then decide if you to get the 21 since you already have a 28mm lens.

You might like the 15mm so much you might even want more of the Limiteds as I have (have the 40,21, and now 70).
07-13-2010, 06:34 AM   #13
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How about DA14 f2.8?
07-13-2010, 10:31 AM   #14
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I wouldn't pay extra - in money, in image quality, and in size/weight over the DA15 - just to get an extra stop of speed at a focal length where it's almost completely unnecessary. And if you want the flexibility of a zoom, neither of the primes will cut it.
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