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04-03-2011, 07:12 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jewelltrail Quote
Hmmmm......Photozone says the Fa 20-35 f4 (there is no Fa 20-35 f3.5) is much sharper than the Fa 20 2.8. Fa zoom is also better with disotortions @ 20mm, than Fa prime. Photozone shows nothing bruttally sharp about the Fa 20mm prime--actually it is consistent as you stop down. Achilles heel of the Fa zoom is Ca, by far. Fa prime is excellent with Ca control.

Photozone shows Tamron 17-50mm. @ 20mm, as sharp or sharper &, in the case of wide open, sharper than the Fa prime--especially at the borders. Tamron zoom better with distortion than Fa prime. Tamron zoom close focuses just as close as Fa prime.

Photozone shows Da 12-24 about as sharp as Fa prime. But Da 12-24 better with distortions than Fa prime.
Photozone's experience is NOT mine. I've been shooting with the above lenses for several years and my FA 20 is sharper than either the Tammy or the 12-24. IMHO real world experience is more important than bench testing.

NaCl(an optical bench is one thing, hundreds and hundreds of shots is another)H2O

04-03-2011, 08:55 AM   #32
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QuoteQuote:
treue_photo:

I think your assuming that testing is "cut and dry". There is probably a fair share of parameters they cant test for, let alone understand how to test for. If knowing a good lens was a easy as just putting it on a machine and spitting out numbers I am sure making "unreal lens" would be much easier then the endless hours of physics involved.

The sample size of lenses on some of these websites who do "professional reviews", seems to me very small (which means the data is not that reliable).
I am not making assumptions. I trust Photozone: they specilaize in testing lenses & excel at it. I was not talking about things they can't test, rather, I relay here, in an effort to help, things they can measure objectively. Sharpness, distortions, & close-focus distances are all measureable. Like anything in life, intangibles come into play, no doubt. Best of luck on your decision.

QuoteQuote:
treue_photo: Hence, one of the reason i was refering to the 55-300mm earlier
I have only read 2 thumbs up on anything ever written about the 55-300mm. Great value for the $$.

Last edited by Jewelltrail; 04-03-2011 at 09:20 AM.
04-03-2011, 09:08 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by NaClH2O Quote
Photozone's experience is NOT mine. I've been shooting with the above lenses for several years and my FA 20 is sharper than either the Tammy or the 12-24. IMHO real world experience is more important than bench testing.

NaCl(an optical bench is one thing, hundreds and hundreds of shots is another)H2O

Your experience is valuable--thanks for sharing here. I appreciate it. I like to test all my lenses in the real world too, but feel the Photozone tests also have merit. What I find surprising, more than anything else @ Photozone, is the MTF data on the Fa 20 prime vs the Fa 20-35 f4 zoom. Check this out:

Fa 20-35 f4 zoom:



Fa 20 f 2.8 Prime:

04-03-2011, 02:32 PM   #34
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Like I said, their experience is not my experience. I also said that there is only a slight difference between the two lenses. I'd chalk up the different numbers to sample variability.

NaCl(YMMV is an acronym for a reason)H2O

04-04-2011, 01:29 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by imtheguy Quote
Although i mostly use primes, the one zoom I prefer is the da16-45. For both product shots and panoramics (which I usually shoot at 20mm). I admit never trying the FA20 however but the da12-24 I did work with and for 20mm shots went back to the da16-45. My point is if you have a good copy of the lens you may already be getting great performance. Much easier to find than the fa20 is the da21 which you could rent for a couple days from cameralensrentals.com just to test. I will be interested in hearing where you ultimately settle as I use 20mm frequently.

edit - i agree with above comment that the da15 is superior as it needs no corrections at 15mm as the 16-45 needs at 16mm, the da15 produces flat out beautiful shots in my untalented hands, but at 20mm the 16-45 has its act together.
Thanks for the input low!!

QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
I suspect the DA21 is not much better than the 16-45 @ 21mm. It's more about size and a little bit of extra speed.
I was peeking at your pictures...very nice . Are most in the 21mm file post processed heavily?

QuoteOriginally posted by Jewelltrail Quote
I am not making assumptions. I trust Photozone: they specilaize in testing lenses & excel at it. I was not talking about things they can't test, rather, I relay here, in an effort to help, things they can measure objectively. Sharpness, distortions, & close-focus distances are all measureable. Like anything in life, intangibles come into play, no doubt. Best of luck on your decision.

I have only read 2 thumbs up on anything ever written about the 55-300mm. Great value for the $$.
I hope that did not come off wrong Jewell!! I appreciate your input and I was actually going to PM you awhile back on your input on the Tamron 17-50mm. I would love to see side by side shots of it and the 16-45mm one of these days.

If you just trust Photozine then I still think your still assuming though . Having a ton of physics classes under my belt and seeing things like "a better copy could get" or "we are welcoming lenses to test" tells me that their data should be taken lightly . I am not saying that "they do not know what they are doing", more like they are at the mercy of parameters they can test for on a limited amount of samples.
04-04-2011, 05:10 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
I liked using the DA 17-70 at 17mm. However, there is no way it was in the same league as the DA 21 ltd at 21mm. It was a good zoom as far as zooms go, but I recently traded my 17-70/4 for a DA 40 ltd. Currently, the only af zoom I have is on my E-P1 because I just don't use zooms enough. If one wants to beat the DA 21 ltd with a current production lens in the 20 to 21mm range, it will require either a Zeiss or the Voightlander. However, you will be giving up af. The other possibility is the Sigma 20mm/1.8 which is relatively fast but also very large.
My own experience is with the Sigma 17-70. It is a fantastic lens, but indeed the DA21 is much better : richness of colours, contrast (though not amazingly better since the Siggy is good), bokeh if you like the look, AF, size...

My Siggy is still my main go-to lens, but I tend to use the DA21 more and more. I find it a very comfortable focal length indoors, and the colours are just better.
04-04-2011, 04:04 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by treue_photo Quote
Thanks for the input low!!

I was peeking at your pictures...very nice . Are most in the 21mm file post processed heavily?
Thanks. Well all are PP'ed but only a few are processed "heavily". I'll call HDR's, selective coloured B&Ws, and panoramas heavily processed by definition. The panoramas are the cathedral shot with the reflection, and the shot with the soaring metal roof; the HDR one is the fuel tank of the harley. The selective colouring ones are self evident.
04-04-2011, 10:40 PM   #38
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QuoteQuote:
Treue_photo: I hope that did not come off wrong Jewell!! I appreciate your input and I was actually going to PM you awhile back on your input on the Tamron 17-50mm. I would love to see side by side shots of it and the 16-45mm one of these days.

If you just trust Photozine then I still think your still assuming though . Having a ton of physics classes under my belt and seeing things like "a better copy could get" or "we are welcoming lenses to test" tells me that their data should be taken lightly . I am not saying that "they do not know what they are doing", more like they are at the mercy of parameters they can test for on a limited amount of samples.
I already spent a lot of time evaluating the choices of Tamron 17-50 to Pentax zooms--saw thousands of pics too. I would rather have the Tammy wide to normal zoom than any Pentax equivalent currently available. I never said put all your eggs in the Photozone bucket: your interpretation is tendentious. You, early in the thread:

QuoteQuote:
Treue_photo: I was hoping to keep this thread strictly on "optical quality"......
Would you rather have stats from people who study lenses, objectively, all day long, or opinions from a forum? After all, this is, Pentax Forums--right???

I use the following resources to make lens purchases:

As many pics as I can find of the lenses in question
A thread I post in forums (note the plural) with specific questions
As many owner-written reviews as I can find--from all sources, not just Pentax forums
As many optical reviews as I can find
Warranty, if any, available for each lens in question
My gut feelings
Common sense
Lens specifications
Past experience

Myself, I weigh tangible things like pictures, warranties & facts, over subjective reality like pixe dust.

04-05-2011, 04:18 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zav Quote
And as I said before, the outstanding option is, I believe, called Zeiss here.
I do not doubt that the Zeiss 21/2.8 is an incredible performer. I used a Zeiss 21 Biogon (not Distagon) on my Contax G2 and absolutely loved it. But have you checked the prices of 21mm Distagons lately? Zeiss no longer manufactures them in a Pentax mount, but if you can find one, expect to empty your bank account to buy it. Also, I played with one on a D700 recently and found the manual focusing to be a challenge with the standard focusing screen.

Rob
04-05-2011, 05:04 AM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by robgo2 Quote
I do not doubt that the Zeiss 21/2.8 is an incredible performer. I used a Zeiss 21 Biogon (not Distagon) on my Contax G2 and absolutely loved it. But have you checked the prices of 21mm Distagons lately? Zeiss no longer manufactures them in a Pentax mount, but if you can find one, expect to empty your bank account to buy it. Also, I played with one on a D700 recently and found the manual focusing to be a challenge with the standard focusing screen.

Rob
You may want to refer to this message from the OP

QuoteOriginally posted by treue_photo Quote
I was hoping to keep this thread strictly on "optical quality". I do appreciate all the feedback so far
And yeah, I know they are expensive (never been cheap...)
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