Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
11-19-2010, 06:16 PM   #1
Pentaxian
Colorado CJ's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Colorado
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,272
Decisions, Decisions DA15mm or DA40mm

Well, I'm finally going to buy my first "nice" lens. I was all set on the DA15 since I do a lot of nature/landscape photography, but I've recently been reading up on the DA40.

So now I have to choose between the two.

I now am leaning towards the DA40 but would always wonder if I made a mistake in not getting the DA15. With the lenses I have now, I find myself using my kit lens at around 45-50 and also using an A 50 F2 lens a lot. I usually shoot wide open vistas, and know the DA15 might be perfect, but also wonder if the scale of the terrain, mountains, etc.. would be "shrunk" too much.

Are there any landscape photographers out there that can give me any pointers?

I know you'll probably say "just buy both", and I COULD, but that would pretty much limit all photography spending for the foreseeable future

11-19-2010, 06:23 PM   #2
Pentaxian




Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Alameda, CA
Posts: 3,194
Don't kill yourself thinking about it. Just buy one; either one is fine.

You'll soon end up buying the other anyway.

I actually lean toward the DA15. If you are used to 45-50mm FL, 15mm will give you a whole new perspective.
11-19-2010, 06:44 PM   #3
Veteran Member
paperbag846's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,396
Landscapes are a funny thing because you can shoot them at 15 or 70... it depends on the vista! You have the kit lens... when you go out to shoot landscapes, do you typically shoot at 40 or 50, or 18mm? You don't *need* a wide angle to shoot a good landscape, but sometimes you do need it to fit a particular landscape into the frame.

I personally find the kit lens fairly weak at 18mm and I think the 15mm would be a massive upgrade, but the DA 40 is arguably a more useful all around lens. If you shoot your landscapes with the zoom lens at 45-50, then I could get the DA 40 because you will prefer that look. However, the DA 15 would open more doors overall in combination with your 50mm f2.

There's no right answer, other then to buy them used so it doesn't sting so much .
11-19-2010, 07:12 PM   #4
Loyal Site Supporter
blackcloudbrew's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cotati, California USA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,782
As you enter the insane world of LBA, best of luck to you on your expensive journey. I'm with the other posters in that landscapes can be shot with a wide variety of lenses. I use lenses between 10mm and 200mm. As this is your first real upgrade go for the DA15. It will be wider than your kit lens and as the tread somewhere on this site entitled 'the DA15limited rules my mind,' you wont be disappointed. A pro says that the 15 renders color better than many lenses. Don't know about that as it's the one UWA lens I don't own.

The DA 40 is apt to me more generally useful as it's f2.8 but for your stated purpose go with the DA 15.

11-19-2010, 07:39 PM   #5
Veteran Member
wlachan's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Canada
Photos: Albums
Posts: 2,626
Back then when I was still into landscape, I used 24-300 (in FF sense) regularly. There is no such thing as "wide angle for landscape" or "tele for portrait" if you ask me. Any focal lengths can be used well for any subject matters. If you wanted DA15 initially, stick with your plan.
11-19-2010, 07:51 PM   #6
Veteran Member
paperbag846's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,396
The DA 15 does seem to have a following that appears to only be rivaled by the 35 macro. It looks like a phenomenal lens.
11-19-2010, 08:08 PM   #7
Senior Member




Join Date: May 2010
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 208
My suggestion? Buy the 15 limited and the new 35/2.4. The 35 will cost half of the 40, cover most of the functionality of the 40, and by the way will encroach less on things you can do with a 50mm. There may be less magic in the 35, but I think the 15 has plenty of that to go around . . .
11-20-2010, 12:04 AM   #8
Site Supporter
SpecialK's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: So California
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 14,442
15, because you don't have that FL at all.

Or, 40 because it is near the FL you use the most with the not-as-nice kit lens.

11-20-2010, 05:31 AM   #9
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Southern Indiana
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 14,963
It sounds to me like you should go for the DA 40. People like different focal lengths and if you aren't a "wide" person, then getting a wide lens isn't going to make you one. You can always do things with your DA 40 to shoot landscape, like shoot a panorama.

If you really want an idea of how it would feel to shoot with a 15 mm prime, tape you kit lens at 18mm and walk around with it for a couple of days, then do the same at 40mm and see which experience you enjoy more. Of course, the 15mm is wider than you kit, but it will still give you an idea.
11-20-2010, 06:43 AM   #10
Veteran Member




Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Taiwan
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,073
QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
It sounds to me like you should go for the DA 40. People like different focal lengths and if you aren't a "wide" person, then getting a wide lens isn't going to make you one. You can always do things with your DA 40 to shoot landscape, like shoot a panorama.

If you really want an idea of how it would feel to shoot with a 15 mm prime, tape you kit lens at 18mm and walk around with it for a couple of days, then do the same at 40mm and see which experience you enjoy more. Of course, the 15mm is wider than you kit, but it will still give you an idea.
I've been doing something similar while I await some new old lenses. I find a scene that I like and take pictures at all the focal lengths that I've considered purchasing: 18mm (closest to the DA 15mm), 21 (DA 21), 24mm, 28mm, 35mm and 50mm. I've actually found that I like the 28-35mm lengths more than I thought I would. Normally I would just walk up and take a picture at a wide focal length that included everything. But with a narrower FOV I concentrate more on framing it and including only what is important.
11-20-2010, 07:47 AM   #11
Veteran Member




Join Date: Feb 2010
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 971
The 40mm

one of the most underrated lens by Pentax.
11-20-2010, 08:06 AM   #12
Veteran Member
paperbag846's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,396
What do you think that the DA 40 will allow you to shoot that would be hard with either the A 50? I think the major advantages of the DA 40 are:

- stopped down bokeh (9 aperture blades).
- ergonomics for fast-moving / dynamic scenes
- fast autofocus

I'm not so sure that the 40 will be a major improvement over the 50 IF:

- you are only shooting landscapes
- you have time to focus (stationary targets)
- you are focused to infinity.

The DA 40 excels as a people lens IMHO. It's very responsive and renders fantastic details. I had a wonderful experience with it shooting my friend's new puppy recently, and realized that taking photos of him would have been near impossible with one of my 50's because he was so frenetic. I'm not sure you would see much difference with the DA 40 for purely landscapes. The DA 15 might be more your thing, if landscapes are the name of the game.

I also second the 28mm idea, I think it would pair well with EITHER the 40 or the 15. They are relatively inexpensive, and can take some very nice photos for "cropped landscapes". The utility of the 28mm is that of a "loose normal" (42mm equiv.) as opposed to a "tight normal" (60 mm equiv). I think the 28mm is a good landscape lens on digital, provided you pair it with something wider.

The kit lens at 28mm is pretty good, and the 28mm 2.8 prime is a good upgrade in image resolution. I would stick with the kit until you find you are frustrated with some aspect of the image quality.

A sample of my 28mm 2.8:


Last edited by paperbag846; 11-20-2010 at 12:12 PM.
11-20-2010, 08:41 AM   #13
Pentaxian
reeftool's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Upstate New York
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 8,012
There is so much difference in size and use between these 2 lenses that an either/or question shouldn't be a problem. The DA 15 is ultra wide and will do shots you aren't getting now. The DA 40 is covering a size you have already but is faster, lighter, and sharper. If you are doing a lot of landscape shots you are going to want an ultra wide lens. They have large depth of field which can have the whole frame in focus. The DA 15 is one of many choices along with the DA 12-24, DA 10-17 FE, Sigma 10-20, etc.

Distance perception between the 2 lenses will be different as you know. The wide angle has the ability to keep the foreground in sharp focus through much of the aperture range. A longer lens will have more bokeh, nice for some shots but maybe not in landscape vistas. I would suggest spending some time browsing through the gallery and albums and look at the shots and scenes taken with these lenses. If you hike a lot, the 2 Limiteds are a good choice as they are small and light. I would suggest the DA 15 first and then save up for the DA 40 if you aren't satisfied with the kit zoom.
11-20-2010, 08:57 AM   #14
Veteran Member




Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: In the present
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,870
QuoteOriginally posted by Colorado CJ Quote
Well, I'm finally going to buy my first "nice" lens. I was all set on the DA15 since I do a lot of nature/landscape photography, but I've recently been reading up on the DA40.
[opinion]

For wide open vistas, hands down, DA15mm. For detail within the landscape, a DA40 might well work. But frankly I find that kind of thing is better suited to a FL somewhere around 28mm... approaching a wide normal in its 35mm FF equivalent.

[/opinion]

woof!
11-20-2010, 07:53 PM   #15
JHD
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jan 2010
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,407
I have them both and I get a lot more mileage out of the DA40. But this is a question of focal length. When I shoot wide, I reach for the Sigma 10-20, so The DA15 doesn't get much use.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
da15, da40, decisions, k-mount, lens, lot, pentax lens, photography, slr lens, wonder
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Coming back to Pentax....decisions, decisions jgmankos Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11 04-20-2010 08:05 PM
decisions .... chip1257 Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 9 11-25-2009 09:06 AM
Decisions decisions! PeterPP Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 19 05-28-2009 09:57 PM
decisions, decisions xs400 Post Your Photos! 1 06-03-2008 11:54 AM
Decisions, decisions...... oh, the decisions...! Derridale Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 6 04-30-2008 05:02 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:22 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top