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02-07-2011, 02:59 PM   #1
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DA15mm Ltd vs DA12-24mm @ F4.0

I am just wondering if a DA12-24 is optically equal, if not better, than the DA15 Ltd @ 15mm F4 :ugh:

What are your thoughts and experience?

Are there any comparison shots avaliable?

02-07-2011, 03:35 PM   #2
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I don't have any comparison shots, but both lenses are excellent. My sense is that there is a clarity and color intensity to the DA15 that jumps out more.
02-07-2011, 03:41 PM   #3
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Before buying the DA15Ltd I rented both lenses in question to compare. Without going back to review all the shots I can just say the results at 15mm were beautiful on both but the portability and engineering of the DA15Ltd sold me besides the results.
02-07-2011, 04:18 PM   #4
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I believe the Photozone.de review shows the DA 15mm has a much higher resolution at the center compared to the 12-24mm, but the border resolution seems more consistent with the 12-24mm. I have the 12-24mm and enjoy it immensely, as it's almost like having a pocket full of primes. But I do wish I had the 15mm as well. It's redundant for me to own, but I love the build of the limiteds.

02-07-2011, 06:12 PM   #5
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One more vote for the DA 15mm
02-07-2011, 07:14 PM   #6
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I have both and I'd be comfortable using either for landscape work stopped down. I think the 12-24 is a little better at f4 edge to edge, but I'd be in trouble if you asked me to identify the lens based on looking at a picture taken with each. For me, the difference in when I use each is portability and access (as in: can I move wherever I need to for composition, or do I need zoom flexibility)
02-07-2011, 08:16 PM   #7
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This site is in French but it compares the DA 15 and the DA 12-24 plus many more Pentax lens. You can always look at the pictures and realize just how good the DA 12-24 really is.

Test des 15mm Pentax
02-08-2011, 06:33 AM   #8
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I seem to go back and forth on which ends up in my bag. The biggest factor in favor of the zoom is the availability of 12mm and 24mm. I'd never see the difference in the corners at F4 without a tripod shot of a brick wall. I think that there is a slight advantage to the prime in "snap" and a big advantage in terms of size and inconspicuousness.

02-08-2011, 05:37 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by mujirushi Quote
I am just wondering if a DA12-24 is optically equal, if not better, than the DA15 Ltd @ 15mm F4 :ugh:

What are your thoughts and experience?

Are there any comparison shots avaliable?
If I were to choose, I would go with the 12-24 without a blink.
02-08-2011, 07:35 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by benjikan Quote
If I were to choose, I would go with the 12-24 without a blink.
Having owned a DA15, I agree. As a prime, I found it to be quite mediocre.
02-08-2011, 10:58 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by mujirushi Quote
I am just wondering if a DA12-24 is optically equal, if not better, than the DA15 Ltd @ 15mm F4 :ugh:

What are your thoughts and experience?

Are there any comparison shots avaliable?
At f/4, the 15mm is sharper in the center. For an application like indoor shooting with a central subject wide-open, this could be a nice advantage, but in most other situations the slight difference in sharpness won't really be noticeable.

The DA 15ltd handles flare a bit better than the 12-24, but overall non-flare-reduced contrast is probably about the same (the DA 12-24 is a very contrasty lens.)

The DA 12-24 goes wider and is much more versatile with regards to focal range, although past 20mm it starts to get a little more soft. (I never really liked its output at 24mm that much.)

I used to own the DA 12-24, and now own the Tokina 12-24 in Nikon mount (identical lens optically - I think that the coatings are even the same.) It's a superb zoom, very useful and fun, but I'm out & about with my DA 15ltd much more often than I am with the Tokina or ever was with the DA 12-24 on my K20D, the size of the DA15ltd + K20D is just under a take-anywhere threshold (for me) that gets it used all the time.

The following were taken because the DA 15ltd + K20D could fit into the big front zipper pocket of my down coat - my 12-24 wouldn't make it in there, and would be too heavy anyway:









.

If I were shooting in a studio, I'd probably choose the 12-24. In any situation where FL versatility really mattered, the 12-24 is a better choice, but having shot with both, I find the DA 15ltd easier to use for my purposes and the results I get with it are better than with any other WA lens I've owned.


.
02-09-2011, 01:08 AM   #12
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At the center, I think it's going to be hard to tell the difference. But corner to corner, wide open, the 12-24 wins out. But if you plan to shoot at f/8 or so anyways, then the difference even at the borders become negligible for me.

Generally, I think it'll come down to size preference and the flexibility of the zoom. Personally, the size of the DA15 is what won it for me. Perhaps, if the 12-24 were weather sealed, it might be a harder choice, but even then, I think I'd still get the DA15 first, and maybe get the 12-24 if I come into a windfall of extra money, hehe.

But if you don't care about size, then I guess there's no reason to not get the 12-24. Since size and weight doesn't matter, might as well get the flexibility of a zoom, IMO.

Cheers.
02-09-2011, 05:17 AM   #13
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If size is so important, you're better of with a DA21!
02-10-2011, 12:37 AM   #14
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I would take the Da 12-24 over the Da 15ltd, any & every day of the week, & of the year too.
02-10-2011, 02:11 PM   #15
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If I could buy a tiny DA12 and DA24 for the same price as the DA12-24 I'd consider 'em. Otherwise it's the zoom for me, and I hate zooms.

I consider the DA15 as a small lens that shoots at the wide end of the kit zoom. Though it does an admirable job in terms of IQ, that is not such a desirable niche.
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