Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
01-08-2011, 10:30 AM   #1
Administrator
Site Webmaster
Adam's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 43,118
Pentax 21mm Limited Review

Check out our latest full-length review: Pentax-DA 21mm F3.2 Review | Pentax Lens Review | PentaxForums.com

This one was written for the 18-135mm giveaway contest. Enjoy the read!


Adam
PentaxForums.com Webmaster (Site Usage Guide | Site Help | My Photography)



PentaxForums.com's high server and development costs are user-supported. You can help cover those costs by donating. Or, buy your photo gear from our affiliates, Adorama, B&H Photo, or Topaz Labs, and get FREE Marketplace access - click here to see how! Trusted Pentax retailers:

01-08-2011, 12:51 PM   #2
Veteran Member
sterretje's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Roodepoort, South Africa
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,534
Please change the title of the review from FA21 to DA21

//Edit: it's changed now

Last edited by sterretje; 01-09-2011 at 08:41 AM.
01-08-2011, 01:10 PM   #3
Veteran Member
stanic's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: PB
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 380
cool, thanks Adam, this is the next one on my lens roadmap
01-08-2011, 02:18 PM   #4
Senior Member
Rick Clark's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Provo, Utah
Posts: 128
This is my February gift to myself, my street lense :>()>

01-08-2011, 03:01 PM   #5
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Flushing NY
Photos: Albums
Posts: 412
I'm curious as to why comparisons were made with the kit zoom instead of with another prime, or at least with the Pentax 12-24 zoom. I would expect a quality prime to outperform the kit zoom!

Anyway, thank you for showing the bokeh (which I dislike). My LBA for the 21 has been quenched, for the time being anyway, by my happy discovery that my Nikkor 20mm 2.8 works rather nicely on the K-7.
01-08-2011, 03:39 PM   #6
Veteran Member




Join Date: Aug 2009
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,236
QuoteOriginally posted by pentup Quote
I'm curious as to why comparisons were made with the kit zoom instead of with another prime, or at least with the Pentax 12-24 zoom. I would expect a quality prime to outperform the kit zoom!

Anyway, thank you for showing the bokeh (which I dislike). My LBA for the 21 has been quenched, for the time being anyway, by my happy discovery that my Nikkor 20mm 2.8 works rather nicely on the K-7.
I'm guessing the reviewer had to use what they own. The two lenses are decent for comparison. A lot of people have a 18-55mm kit lens, so that's a generally good comparison and the Sigma can do f3.2 it seems.

I don't have a 21mm Limited, but I still don't think I would have given it a score of 9. It's the weakest link of the Limited series by most accounts. Having an average showing compared to a non-fixed aperture Sigma zoom lens for example.

I liked the vignetting and AF lock graphs, I didn't think of those when I wrote my FA 50mm review.
01-08-2011, 03:53 PM   #7
Veteran Member
paperbag846's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,396
I think a direct comparison of the DA 21 and 12-24 would have been better.

I'm not sure the lens would have look as good in the comparison, though, so maybe they used the kit on purpose .
01-08-2011, 04:30 PM   #8
Pentaxian
bdery's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Quebec city, Canada
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 5,830
I can answer since it's my review.

Indeed, I decided not to purchase the 12-24 just for that review. It's volunteer work, after all. I used all the lenses I own that covered 21 mm. There are other tests elsewhere that give direct sharpness measurements for multiple lenses, for what that's worth. I think the kit lens is probably the most common current Pentax lens, so it's an obvious comparison choice. The Sigma is more of a higher-end zoom (insert personal opinion here and since there is no direct competitor to the 21 from third parties, there you are. A comparison with the older 20mm lenses would have been nice, but go find one

I stand by my rating. Notice I did rate it slightly lower for optical performances, as it is not THE sharpest lens out there (I have the F50 f1,7 and FA50 macro for sharpness comparisons). But we modern photographers put way to much weight on sharpness. There are other things to the optical quality of a lens (contrast, richness of colours, bokeh, aberrations). I'm an optical designer, so maybe that's one reason why I care for those things. For instance, for me CA is much, much more annoying than slightly soft results, I even notice it in HD movies now and it bothers me. Great but not perfect sharpness I can live with.

Remember that ratings, in numbers, are probably the least useful part of a review. To me at least.

QuoteQuote:
Anyway, thank you for showing the bokeh (which I dislike).
That's a personal opinion, and the bokeh is particular, so I'm glad you got to see it before buying that lens. I myself love it, as you can tell.

QuoteQuote:
I think a direct comparison of the DA 21 and 12-24 would have been better. I'm not sure the lens would have look as good in the comparison, though, so maybe they used the kit on purpose
I'm more honest than that :P . Lend me a 12-24, and I'll ask Adam to update the review.

QuoteQuote:
It's the weakest link of the Limited series by most accounts. Having an average showing compared to a non-fixed aperture Sigma zoom lens for example.
I don't own the other Limiteds, so I can't compare. But "weakest link in the Limiteds" is still like saying "a step above the rest".

I guess you mean to say the lens is slightly slow? True, it's really not as fast as, say, the FA31. But it's also much smaller. You can literally slip the 21 in your pocket. Try to do that with the Sigma

Anyway, I'm not trying to defend the lens, and it's certainly not without flaws. But it's a deserving lens nonetheless.

01-08-2011, 04:35 PM   #9
Senior Member




Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Maryland
Posts: 203
Nice review. I have the DA21 and use it often. I do agree with others that a better comparison would be with the DA 12-24 or the DA 16-45. I think either would give it a run for its money. On the other hand, neither of those lenses compare to the DA21 in form factor.
01-08-2011, 05:34 PM   #10
New Member




Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: East Midlands
Posts: 3
Am I going blind or does the kit lens walk all over the DA21 at f8 & f11 in the sharpness comparison? The outperformance of the kit lens against the DA21 at f8 seems to me about the same margin as the DA outperforms the kit lens wide open. Notice I'm not mentioning CA though...but for that amount of money??
01-08-2011, 06:13 PM   #11
Zav
Pentaxian
Zav's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2009
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,339
QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
But "weakest link in the Limiteds" is still like saying "a step above the rest".
Actually, I would not be so affirmative. From a friend who owned the DA21, the Cosina-Voigtlander 20 and the DA12-24, the DA21 and the CV20 are onpar, the 12-24 being better. He ended up selling the DA ltd and the CV.
And a step above, you have a very expensive Zeiss.

Btw, I think it is very nice to be able to talk to the reviewer, I was looking wondering who made the review. Maybe Adam can add your name to the review?
01-08-2011, 06:18 PM   #12
Pentaxian
ChatMechant's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Santa Cruz Mountains
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 754
QuoteQuote:
Am I going blind or does the kit lens walk all over the DA21 at f8 & f11 in the sharpness comparison? The outperformance of the kit lens against the DA21 at f8 seems to me about the same margin as the DA outperforms the kit lens wide open. Notice I'm not mentioning CA though...but for that amount of money??
i saw that too, and just figured whoever did the test accidentally swapped something when uploading.... or something. seems to me that what it says is the kit lens, is obviously the 21.
01-08-2011, 06:36 PM   #13
Senior Member
Rick Clark's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Provo, Utah
Posts: 128
I just put the 21 in my small bag and put my 55-300 on my monopod and hike around downtown and thru the malls and when the opening comes for that wide angle shot comes , BINGO out comes the 21 problem solved. :-}
01-09-2011, 01:44 AM   #14
Veteran Member




Join Date: Aug 2009
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,236
QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
I guess you mean to say the lens is slightly slow? True, it's really not as fast as, say, the FA31. But it's also much smaller. You can literally slip the 21 in your pocket. Try to do that with the Sigma Anyway, I'm not trying to defend the lens, and it's certainly not without flaws. But it's a deserving lens nonetheless.
Yeah, it is a bit slow. It also vignettes at max aperture which compounds issues. Primes should stand out against the majority of zooms in sharpness too. Exceptions would be exceptional lenses like the DA* 60-250mm.

Given it has a wide unique focal length of 21mm and small in size, I guess it's worth a 9/10. In retrospect I probably gave the FA50mm a few too many points in my review, 7.3 might be a little high but it is only one of two lenses in the available lineup that have f1.4 aperture, and the only one with an aperture ring. I think I agree in that reviews are probably best without point scores.
01-09-2011, 02:35 AM   #15
Senior Member




Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 151
As I don't have anything meaningful to add the ongoing discussion, I just came in to say thanks for the detailed review, bdery!

This review is rather interesting for me, as I just yesterday started thinking about getting this lens instead of the 15mm, I've been drooling about for some time.
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!
21mm, k-mount, pentax, pentax 21mm, pentax lens, review, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
For Sale - Sold: Pentax DA 21mm Limited QuixoticTonic Sold Items 9 12-10-2009 11:52 AM
For Sale - Sold: Pentax 21mm F/3.2 AL Limited VPT Sold Items 2 08-16-2008 01:22 PM
For Sale - Sold: Pentax DA 21mm f/3.2 Limited CoP Sold Items 2 04-28-2008 06:34 AM
For Sale - Sold: FS: Pentax 21mm Limited kbrabble Sold Items 8 04-27-2008 10:10 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:19 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.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