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04-05-2011, 06:24 AM   #1
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Wide Angle Choice 15mm Ltd or 12-24mm

If you had to make the a decision regarding a wide angle pentax lens, would you opt for the 15mm Ltd, or the Pentax 12-24mm F4, as the price where I am is almost identical.

I originally had the plan to set myself up with prime lenses, but the reviews for the 12-24 indicate tht it is quite outstanding.

The lens would be mostly used for landscape and cityscape photos. I love the size of the Limited lenses which attracts me to it, but the additional width of the zoom might be beneficial. The filter size being compatible with other Limited lenses is another attractive aspect.

I also have the 10-17mm fisheye, and I love the width, but am looking for something without the distortion.

All help is greatly appreciated.

Cheers.

04-05-2011, 06:26 AM   #2
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There is a thread about this question recently ;-)

I think this thread:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/138189-wide-prime-lens.html
04-05-2011, 06:39 AM   #3
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Although the 10-17mm and 12-24mm don't technically overlap based on a direct angel of view comparison, given that at 17mm the fisheye can be worked as a good ultrawide (depending on straight line placements in the frame), I would definitely recommend the 15mm over the 12-24mm.

I currently own the 15mm, and have owned both the Pentax 12-24mm and sigma 10-20mm. The 15mm provides a great, usable wide angle for landscape and architecture, and for most circumstances will be adequately wide - I used it for over 2000 photos while travelling in Italy (accounting for 80% of my shots).

In the end, I would put my choice this way - the 12-24mm would be the last lens in my bag, while the 15mm would usually already be on my camera.
04-05-2011, 07:16 AM   #4
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It is a personal choice. I have both lenses. However, the 12-24 is on e*ay. Only you can decide which lens is best for YOU.

04-05-2011, 07:34 AM   #5
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there is also the DA14 option which will give you more speed (at the expense of size) It's often overlooked now as it isn't defined as a * or ltd, however I believe if it was release now it would likely be a DA* (it would be really nice to see a re-release ie mk2 that is wr)
I've had this lens basically since i went digital when the ds came out and it is a great lens

look at my Flickr for Single in april and april spares as it is the lens i have glued to the camera this month (only the first 2 days up so far though)

Flickr: Eddie Smith's Photostream
04-05-2011, 08:09 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
there is also the DA14 option which will give you more speed (at the expense of size) It's often overlooked now as it isn't defined as a * or ltd, however I believe if it was release now it would likely be a DA* (it would be really nice to see a re-release ie mk2 that is wr)
I've had this lens basically since i went digital when the ds came out and it is a great lens

look at my Flickr for Single in april and april spares as it is the lens i have glued to the camera this month (only the first 2 days up so far though)

Flickr: Eddie Smith's Photostream
It's not only expense of size and weight, but also expense of color reproduction, counter light performance and rendition. IMO the 15Ltd is way ahead of 14.
04-05-2011, 09:08 AM   #7
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I've not used the 15 (it wasn't even an option when i bought) i would like the smaller size but like the speed.
Colour reproduction is Excellent IMHO, don't know where this comes from even the reviews here mention the classic pentax colours from it . It does produce more visible UWA artifacts (ie mustache distortion) but Aside from the fact that i expect them in UWA, I actually want them sometimes for the effect. its also a wider FOV.
It is noted to be softer at 2.8, but at 4.0 (where the 15 is) and up it's very sharp and as for weight it's lighter than my Lentar m42 21 f3.6 for my film camera
Have you used it and the 15 Emacs? I ask because from people who have the favourites seem split
And for durability well mine has seen some pretty hard use and been spyed with beer and water at shows, shot in rain and snow and no issue.

the only thing is Flare, controlled by the hood but i've never used a lens that didn''t need the hood for flare control

The 6 blade aperture will render OOF lights not as nicely as a rounded aperture, but you don't buy UWA for it's bokeh.
04-05-2011, 10:31 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
Have you used it and the 15 Emacs? I ask because from people who have the favourites seem split
Yes, I tested them simultaneously in about the same time, first 14 then 15. It's funny, but I tried 14 which was selling by a friend of mine who prefered 15Ltd to it. First I tried 14, then his 15 and then had no doubt which one I wanted to own. It's funny again I had no intention to buy UWA just before.

04-05-2011, 10:33 AM   #9
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The 12-24 is a very fine lens. The 15 is just 'special'. I will get another UWA zoom
if/when Pentax releases a WR version.

Yes, the 14 is a stop faster but the K5 is the great equalizer....the need for speed is not an issue.
04-05-2011, 10:45 AM   #10
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The 12-24 is a very versatile range with excellent IQ and wider than a prime. The 15 is nice but frequently not wide enough for me.
04-05-2011, 10:50 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Spotmatic Quote
The 12-24 is a very fine lens. The 15 is just 'special'. I will get another UWA zoom
if/when Pentax releases a WR version.

Yes, the 14 is a stop faster but the K5 is the great equalizer....the need for speed is not an issue.
if of course you own a K5
I have 3 dslr (*ist ds, K10 and K7) and they all benefit from the speed, at some point it won't be an issue for me but it still is, I also shoot wide open-f4.0 a lot with it , and at f4.0 it is the sharper of the 2 at f8 the DA15 is
It is heavy, but that isn't an issue for me (compared to shooting my medium format stuff it's lightweight) I usually shoot with 2 hand for steadier shooting as well so it's less of an issue (though i will shoot from the hip with this lens for close quarters street stuff, it's easy enough to straighten nowadays and there is an extra 5 degree FOV to play with in a crop)

I'm not knocking the 15 I have looked at it and think its a wonderful lens, I just think the DA14 gets pretty short shrift in comparison. Used DA14 in good shape are pretty affordable due to this so for some people this is a benefit (i have no intention of selling mine so resale doesn't matter in this case)

Last night I was able to shoot some very low light night shots hand held with the da14 (no tripod available or usable in the scenario) with my K7 and limit the iso bump to 800-1250. no way i was doing that at f4.0 where i would have been 1600-2500 which is really getting into noise territory on the k7
I've also shot low light concert stuff with the ds/K10/K7 with this lens, and low light video on a borrowed kx again not possible at f4.0. so it does depend on how you will use the lens and what your body is.
04-05-2011, 12:21 PM   #12
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Eddie, I agree. I do have a K5 and it does make a difference. You don't really need
*fast* lenses with it. So for those thinking about buying fast glass, it may be cheaper to upgrade bodies. Just something to think about.
04-05-2011, 12:40 PM   #13
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Locally here there is little difference in the 14 and 15 on price about $90. Tehre are lots of reasons for wanting a 5 and if my 7 didn't cover all of them aside from DR/ISO i would be in the market.
Also due to the focus on how great the 15 is you can pickup a 14 for a lot less than a 15 used or new.
Gotta admit on the 7 without a grip it isn't as balanced as it was on the 10 with the grip. but it's not ridiculous either compared to a fast zoom or a UWA zoom it's about the same weight as a 12 - 24 but a better balance I think
and compared to my 24-70 2.8 Sigma it's positively light

And though I agree the need for faster lenses at this focal length is minimized by the K5, you still need them a the longer lengths for artistic versus light reasons (there is little chance of a lot of OOF at 14mm at 2.8 or f4.0 - even focused at minimum focus distance at 2.8 its limited (and 17cm-6.7" is damn close to most subjects)
Faster lenses in most cases are also more sophisticated lenses with few exceptions so the render better usually. For example though i can shoot a 50 1.4 at 1.4, i'm more likely to shoot at 2.8. to 4. at 4 it will be razor sharp but still have good OOF

Last edited by eddie1960; 04-05-2011 at 12:45 PM. Reason: add a thought
04-05-2011, 01:02 PM   #14
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PentAdam - If you have the resources you may make the choice the same way I did. Rent both for a few days and shoot a thousand shots. You WILL know which one you want to buy after that. Oh, I had shot a borrowed DA14 a little also. Anyway, my decision was easy, firm and final after just 1 day with both.
04-05-2011, 01:46 PM   #15
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I have the Pentax 12-24 and 10-17. Like em both. The 12-24mm is almost always on my K10d. Great lens. In Canada more expensive (much more ) than the 15mm.
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