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03-02-2011, 04:08 PM   #16
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I own both...

I have had two copies of the FA*24 (still got one) and one copy of the DA21ltd and I have shot the two extensively.

I am not the kind of guy shooting test charts or brick walls, OK I have done it once, neither have I shot the two side by side, as their differences are so obvious to me.

My quick evaluation of the two:

The DA21ltd is a lens where the only compromise, if there is such a thing, is that it is a touch slow. Everything else about it is near perfect.
Sharp from wide open and with excellent renderings as you stop down. difraction kicks in at a point but does so very gracefully.

very balanced contrast and micro contrast, superb colour qualities and overall just a very unique look.

A lens that has its probably the best landscape lens in the lineup from a rendering point of view. and an excellent street and people lens too.


The FA*24 is bit a of a specialty lens, I have yet to see a lens that rendee with so much contrast, probably the most contrasty lens I have owned.
It is globalcontrast though,micro contrast is noticeably lower than the DA21ltd.

Colour qualities are excellent. It really work wonders as a people lens and its unique contrast qualities tend to work very well with certain landscape images as well. it is the fastest wide angle for pentax thus a very good aurora borealis lens as well.

the build is good old fashioned FA* grade. Thus equal to the DA21ltd, although not quite as delicate, it is build more like a rough workhorse, where the limited is more like carefully crafted tool.

FOV is narrower, I constantly have to take a couple of steps back, as I am so tuned to the FOV of the DA21ltd.

I honestly think both have their place and time and I do not see either lens leave my lineup. but could i only choose one, the DA21ltd would be the one.

03-03-2011, 06:11 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
for me the difference in FOV between 24 and 31 is rather significant. As I said, I prefer 24 to 31 8 times out of 10....
Sorry if I wasn't clear, I meant that there should not be much difference in IQ, though there will be much differences in rendering (each has its qualities). The FOV is quite different, I agree.

QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
keep in mind that the DA 21 is bloody sharp wide open.
True. I can use it wide open without an afterthought, something I cannot do with any other lens.

QuoteOriginally posted by Duplo Quote
I am so tuned to the FOV of the DA21ltd
True, 21 mm feels very natural. I was worried at first because I'm used to the 17 mm of my Siggy 17-70, but I have never had issues with the FOV, quite the contrary. The same applies to my wife's use of the lens.
03-03-2011, 10:45 PM   #18
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Fa: faster Aperture--better barrell distortion--- better contrast--better with vignetting

Da: much better borders--lighter, more compact--better CA control--better resolution--more even resolution

Build quality winner dependent upon owner.

If I'm shooting landscapes, the Da is going to be in the bag--that much is clear to me.
03-03-2011, 11:05 PM   #19
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How does the Sigma 24/1.8 stack up against these two?
I have to make a decision soon between DA21 or a Sigma 24/1.8 as I can get the Sigma cheap at the moment.

I have the K24/2.8 and like it a lot for the size, sharpness and DOF option at f2.8. The only thing it lacks is AF and can be a pain when I need to shoot with one hand.
I also have the Sigma 10-20, so I have a rough idea of the focal length close to 21mm (which I have some doubts on).

The Sigma ticks a lot of check boxes but I am very uncomfortable with the size.
The DA is of course real small, but I'm unsure of the FL and f3.2 aperture.
I do use the K24 at f4 rather often though.

03-04-2011, 06:20 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by pinholecam Quote
How does the Sigma 24/1.8 stack up against these two?
The Sigma, from what I have seen, lacks the "magic" of the limiteds. It's much worse wide open, but it opens wider. Center is great, borders not that much. And it's huge. But it's a good lens, especially at a discounted price.

It depends on your needs, really.
03-04-2011, 07:33 AM   #21
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I tried Sigma on the same day I got my FA*24. The Sigma is tad bigger and heavier than FA* (read MUCH bigger and heavier than K24/2.8 - I used to have that one). It's just about as sharp in center as FA*, I didn't compare edges. But where FA* easily beats it is contrast an colour rendition. Still if you are on budget and don't mind the bulk it's a good option. But in my opinion, coming from K24/2.8 which is beautiful lens in it's own right, you'll be hardly impressed by the Sigma's colours...
03-04-2011, 10:57 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
The Sigma, from what I have seen, lacks the "magic" of the limiteds. It's much worse wide open, but it opens wider. Center is great, borders not that much. And it's huge. But it's a good lens, especially at a discounted price.

It depends on your needs, really.
QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
I tried Sigma on the same day I got my FA*24. The Sigma is tad bigger and heavier than FA* (read MUCH bigger and heavier than K24/2.8 - I used to have that one). It's just about as sharp in center as FA*, I didn't compare edges. But where FA* easily beats it is contrast an colour rendition. Still if you are on budget and don't mind the bulk it's a good option. But in my opinion, coming from K24/2.8 which is beautiful lens in it's own right, you'll be hardly impressed by the Sigma's colours...
Thanks for the information.
The size of the Sigma is really quite a problem. It defeats the concept of a small, light, walkabout lens for me. Having the K24/2.8, I actually know I don't really need a faster lens (ie. bigger lens), just need the AF.


I guess I'll look out for a used copy of the DA21.
03-04-2011, 11:08 PM   #23
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Since someone else digressed intrinsically & introduced another lens to the discussion, and the OP accepeted it, so too will I.

Axl, 24mm is my favorite focal length on crop sensor--by far. When I entrust a prime to this focal length, it is the Ensinor 24mm f 2.8 macro to which I turn. It has excellent sharpness, colors & contrast. I did a review for it here:

ENSINOR 24mm f 2.8 Macro Lens Reviews - Pentax Third-Party Lens Review Database

03-05-2011, 01:22 AM   #24
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Thanks Jewell..
I too like the FOV that 24 offers but I'm getting fed up (read lazy) with the hood and size of FA*24. That's why I'm thinking of DA21, but with 21 I'm unsure of 2 things: a) is f3.2 fast enough? B) will I like the FOV of it?
And on the other side keeping FA* is kind of begging for big badass fast longer match (read DA*55) oh well, if I won the lottery!
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