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09-29-2010, 03:38 AM   #1
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Pentax DA 15mm Limited

Hello experts!

the new DA 15mm Limited arrived just week and until now i didnt had the time to make a good test or to take nice pictures with sunlight.
But my first impressions from a tour i did on a cloudy weather are not great as i expected. Ofcourse i knew that with an apperture of 4 this is not the lens for low light conditions without tripod. But also outside i am not so satisfied.
For landscapes i was using always my 16-45 and now that i got the 15mm i was expecting a noticeable difference. The only thing i noticed is that this lens has a little better dynamic range

My next step is to make comparisons of the same scene and i am hoping i will see a difference else i think i am gonna sell this thing and get something else

Maybe i am missing something on how to use this lens?

thanks for any advices

09-29-2010, 04:04 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by ddamski Quote
Hello experts!

the new DA 15mm Limited arrived just week and until now i didnt had the time to make a good test or to take nice pictures with sunlight.
But my first impressions from a tour i did on a cloudy weather are not great as i expected. Ofcourse i knew that with an apperture of 4 this is not the lens for low light conditions without tripod. But also outside i am not so satisfied.
For landscapes i was using always my 16-45 and now that i got the 15mm i was expecting a noticeable difference. The only thing i noticed is that this lens has a little better dynamic range

My next step is to make comparisons of the same scene and i am hoping i will see a difference else i think i am gonna sell this thing and get something else

Maybe i am missing something on how to use this lens?

thanks for any advices
Really impossible to comment unless you post a link to some full-size examples. It could be you were limited by the conditions. Who knows? Could be a thousand things ...
09-29-2010, 04:27 AM   #3
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ok i will post some shots from both lenses in the evening, thaks timo
09-29-2010, 05:45 AM   #4
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Shoot not only landscapes but medium-range (like street or people) and close ranges.
You may see more clarity.



09-29-2010, 05:59 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Well if you already had 16-45 .. really, what exactly did you expect?

I think the main differences from zooms are

1. nice sun star effect at f/14. also almost no flares, zooms usually get plenty of them
2. maybe little less CA but perhaps it's sample variation.
3. perhaps less distortion but it's still not 0.
4. sharper perhaps but you need to use correct focus for that. if you focus on something in the middle with wide aperture, don't expect whole frame to be sharp.

oh and does dynamic range depend on lens? news to me ... i thought it's sensor only.


I've also got one a few months ago. Had mixed impressions too at first but after some experimentation I think I learned to use it, for landscapes at least.

In cloudy weather watch your shutter speed. Try 1/200 or faster.

I dont' know why exactly, but faster shutter images tend to be much sharper. Maybe it's related to shutter slap or image stabilizer, I don't know...

Also watch your aperture. Do not use f/4, it's very bad IQ. I think 1/5.6 is where it gets useful but maybe a bit wider is ok too, but definitely not f/4. Unless you don't care about sharpness of course, eg you use ISO 6400 or something.

Generally for landscape I use f/8 or f/14, I think it's about a sweet spot of this lens, it also draws much nicer light sources at f/14.

If you have to, increase ISO. I think ISO 320-500 is a norm for cloudy weather, and it still looks ok on my K-x. So don't hesitate .. and don't trust the camera - it will always set 1/50 shutter which is unacceptable. I just use Av and set ISO manually until I get desired shutter.

If I shoot in cloudy I usually set -1/3 EV correction so sky would not be overexposed (you can pull the shadows in PP). If it's sunny it's trickier though, sometimes you really need to make a few shots to get desired result... but it's not really lens related. Oh and if you want nice 14 ray star for a sun then you need to set f/14+ aperture and measure exposition on the sky... at f/8 it also produces star but with very thick rays and multi colored artifacts around the sun, which does not look very nice.

And another thing about focus. There is distance scale on the focus ring. Don't trust it for infinity. I compared MF using distance scale for my aperture to infinity, and the same shot with focus set all the way to infinity until it stops. The second shot was sharp across the frame, the first not sharp at edges. But in this frame all of the objects were really far so it might not work if there are closer objects .. I didn't yet figure which distance is acceptable for which aperture with full infty focus.

Last edited by olenl; 09-29-2010 at 06:09 AM.
09-29-2010, 07:41 AM   #6
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hope this helps!

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/86234-15mm-lim...s-my-mind.html
09-29-2010, 10:42 AM   #7
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thanks josephleaf, i can remember this thread, it was also one reason for me to buy this lens..some incredible pictures, perfect contrast, beautiful colors! How is it possible? i would be interested to see all the information from the pics..shutter speed, iso, aperture..

here are mine..

Last edited by ddamski; 09-29-2010 at 11:01 AM. Reason: adding pictures
09-29-2010, 10:56 AM   #8
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Cheerz Olenl, this is the answer i was expecting but i am not so sure that with faster shutter speed the pics are always sharper. You can check the first two i published with high ISO.

My purpose is with these pictures i published not to attend to any competition but get some advice, if i am doing something wrong with the settings or if its normal.
The 16-45 is indeed a good glass but again i want to be convinced with my own results that primes are better then zooms.

About dynamic range, yes its maybe not correct what i said. The sensor is responsible for that. I think i need to do my homework

09-29-2010, 05:52 PM   #9
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Most of the pictures posted on this fourm have their EXIF information attached, and most browsers will be happy to show you the EXIF info if you right click the picture. Some browsers might require you to install a plug-in.

But FWIW, the 16-45 is a very good zoom. I wouldn't expect the 15 to be so much better that you could see the difference with the naked eye, at least not in terms of resolution. Distortion and CA should be pretty obviously in favor of the prime, though. But mostly, the advantage of the 15 here is being smaller and a bit wider.
09-30-2010, 06:00 AM   #10
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Thank you Marc, i will keep it mind and check the information of the great pictures from the primes
I will make some more comparisons so i can see the difference..good to know that with naked eye there is not much difference.
10-04-2010, 04:53 AM   #11
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i have some last pictures from a nice sunny weekend (finally) i am quite more happier, please give your comments
10-04-2010, 05:01 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by ddamski Quote
i have some last pictures from a nice sunny weekend (finally) i am quite more happier, please give your comments
well, these pics sure would convince me to get this lens
nice
10-04-2010, 07:56 AM   #13
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This lens shines most brilliantly at around f-11. It's a scenic gem, best on a tripod with mirror-up function. Try putting an interesting foreground object close to the lens in your scenic shots.
10-04-2010, 08:14 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by ddamski Quote
I will make some more comparisons so i can see the difference..good to know that with naked eye there is not much difference.
I'd be interested in seeing comparisons if you have the time.
10-04-2010, 08:43 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by ddamski Quote
i have some last pictures from a nice sunny weekend (finally) i am quite more happier, please give your comments ]
It is really no wonder, you are more satisfied with this second set of images: you have brilliant light with nice contrasts, which brings out the colours beautifully. Also, sharpness is heavily reliant on contrast.

Your first series was taken under dull light (= low contrast = low sharpness or accutance) and against the brighter sky. You cannot expect a compelling image under these circumstances, but exactly the results you complained about.

Ben
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