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04-12-2011, 08:20 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by philippe Quote
LightRoom 3 has rather good lens profiles now and, if I am not mistaking, the K5 has some kind of build in lens corrections. So, the DA 21's distortions should not bother any more.
BTW, distortions are not always that disturbing and in the old film days, there was no software to correct distortions and we learned to live whit it...

The DA 21 is certainly worth it's money!
Sure, and there are really very few other options in this focal length range, so it's still a very good buy.

I replaced mine with an adapted Nikkor 24/2.8 Ai-s, which I like a lot, but I still consider re-purchasing the DA 21, distortion and all.

04-12-2011, 12:08 PM   #32
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I've always liked the DA21. I don't understand those who say it has problems - but then I don't shoot test targets. In the real world it's a great lens, perfect for traveling.


04-13-2011, 12:28 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by deadwolfbones Quote
I replaced mine with an adapted Nikkor 24/2.8 Ai-s, which I like a lot, but I still consider re-purchasing the DA 21, distortion and all.
A Nikon lens on a Pentax... that's cursing in the church! How dear you!
That's like fitting a Lada engine in a Mercedes!
04-13-2011, 05:30 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by philippe Quote
A Nikon lens on a Pentax... that's cursing in the church! How dear you!
That's like fitting a Lada engine in a Mercedes!
Hehe, hardly. Some of the MF Nikkors are real gems.

04-13-2011, 06:17 AM   #35
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QuoteQuote:
in the old film days there was no correction and distortion was just accepted for what it was
Exactly.... I have a few shots where the shape of the subject looks better with barrel distortion it would without. An auto correction program would have ruined those shots and I never would have known. I don't do HDR in jpeg, and I don't do corrections period. Maybe someday I'll sit down and look at the IQ of the edges of a corrected image, but on most lenses the edges are already not as sharp as the middle, I don't see how putting them through a "correction" process would help.


Beautiful images everyone, I have to say, our recent acquisition of a DA 21 has brought an unexpected amount of joy.

In one of my recent shots, basically a picture about nothing, shot almost randomly trying to get the essence of a spring forest.. it was a very lame shot, but the DA 21 gives it a twinkle and makes you pause. Well, it makes me pause, don't know about you guys.


Last edited by normhead; 04-13-2011 at 06:24 AM.
04-13-2011, 07:17 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by mplatt1903 Quote
Philippe - you are right as well - in the old film days there was no correction and distortion was just accepted for what it was
This is true, but thankfully we don't live in the old days. Cars have safety belts, TV is in HD, hard drives are measured in terabytes, and our wide-angle lenses can be totally rectilinear down to 12mm and lower.
04-13-2011, 07:30 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by deadwolfbones Quote
This is true, but thankfully we don't live in the old days. Cars have safety belts, TV is in HD, hard drives are measured in terabytes, and our wide-angle lenses can be totally rectilinear down to 12mm and lower.
I was going to reply by saying that I have a real craving for nostalgia and retro sometimes..

Then I thought that I don't fancy driving around without a safety belt, watching grainy programmes on TV in lo-definition, or struggling to fit stuff onto a 5gb hard drive again..

However, I do sometimes look for a little of the old charm that you see in older photographs. I've never been a pixel peeper, or a perfectionist. I like my photography for the art of it. Then again, I have more vinyl records than I do CDs (which I collect) and I'm a sucker for an old motorbike. I guess I'm just living in the past sometimes
04-13-2011, 08:01 AM   #38
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Sure, fair enough. And as I've said, I think the DA 21 is a great lens aside from the distortion. While it's a big deal for me, it definitely won't be for everyone.

04-13-2011, 08:37 AM   #39
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I guess if you shoot a lot of brick walls, or rectangular shapes, barrel distortion would be an issue. I'm doubting a landscape photographer is going to care much... in the image above, I look at it and say "barrel distortion? What barrel distortion?" No doubt you can prove it's there, what you can't prove to me is that it matters to anyone. Now I don't doubt someone has made a distortionless 12 mm lens.. just because I haven't seen it doesn't mean it's not true.. but part of the beauty of this lens is it's contrast, colour cast and a few other intangibles. I'd be a lot more impressed by the statement about the lack of barrel distortion if you said the example lens had all the intangible qualities of the 21 Ltd. and less barrel distortion. I'm really not interested in having less barrel distortion which I really don't care about, to get a lens that takes dry , flat pictures, with no barrel distortion. If there is a trade off, and I give up things I like for things that don't matter, I'm not buying it.

As I said, I'm sure there are lenses with less barrel distortion, but will I like the images as much? And since you seem to be their champion, I'd ask, do you like the images as much? Any examples that illustrate your point?

This stuff comparing a lens with a bit of barrel distortion to a car with no seat belts is just silly. Just post the photos, no dumb analogies needed.
04-13-2011, 09:22 AM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by deadwolfbones Quote
Hehe, hardly. Some of the MF Nikkors are real gems.
I know, I know, I happen to have a Nippon Kogaku Nikkor-S 50 mm 1:1.4 and a — zoom-Nikkor 43-86 mm 1:3.5 on my newly acquired 1964 Nikon F (+ T prism), it's fun on B&W FILM (Tri-X).
But I still find it an anachronism to mount a Nikkor on a Pentax, I can't help it
BTW, I am looking for an "old" Nikkor-N 24 mm 1:2.8 for sale (in the EU)...
04-13-2011, 09:42 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
I guess if you shoot a lot of brick walls, or rectangular shapes, barrel distortion would be an issue. I'm doubting a landscape photographer is going to care much... in the image above, I look at it and say "barrel distortion? What barrel distortion?" No doubt you can prove it's there, what you can't prove to me is that it matters to anyone. Now I don't doubt someone has made a distortionless 12 mm lens.. just because I haven't seen it doesn't mean it's not true.. but part of the beauty of this lens is it's contrast, colour cast and a few other intangibles. I'd be a lot more impressed by the statement about the lack of barrel distortion if you said the example lens had all the intangible qualities of the 21 Ltd. and less barrel distortion. I'm really not interested in having less barrel distortion which I really don't care about, to get a lens that takes dry , flat pictures, with no barrel distortion. If there is a trade off, and I give up things I like for things that don't matter, I'm not buying it.

As I said, I'm sure there are lenses with less barrel distortion, but will I like the images as much? And since you seem to be their champion, I'd ask, do you like the images as much? Any examples that illustrate your point?

This stuff comparing a lens with a bit of barrel distortion to a car with no seat belts is just silly. Just post the photos, no dumb analogies needed.
Easy, tiger. As I said, I agree the DA 21 is a great lens.

I use the Sigma 12-24 (full-frame) on my D700, and while not completely free of distortions, it's pretty stunningly straight at 12mm and pretty much perfectly corrected at 21mm.

I agree that for landscape photography barrel distortions aren't a huge deal unless you're placing trees at the very edges of the frame, but I also do a lot of architectural shooting and it's very noticeable in those cases. The reason I'm using my Sigma on the D700, instead of the Nikon 16-35/4 VR that I owned previously, is that the distortions of the Nikon lens made it entirely unsuitable for architectural photography.

Some from the Sigma (most at 12mm, which is WIIIIIIIIDE on FX):

























Obviously, it's no fair comparing the FOV of the Sigma at 12mm on FX to that of the DA 21 on APS-C, but I think the Sigma renders beautifully, and as you can see it's very well corrected.

On the other hand, it's also huge and heavy compared to the DA 21, and that small size and low weight is something you won't find with many other lenses in the 21mm area (check out the Sigma 20/1.8 for instance... it's a beast).

Every lens has pros and cons. For me, distortion is enough of a con to outweigh some very significant pros.
04-13-2011, 11:05 AM   #42
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Nice straight lines of those buildings deadwolf... thanks for posting, and certainly something to keep in mind. A picture is worth a thousand words. I'm not trading in my 21... but if I ever need to do a series of straight walls, I'll definitely keep this thread in mind. I know what my 10-17 would look like on those shots.. and it wouldn't be pretty. We've gotten to the point where we won't use the 10-17 under about 14mm.
04-13-2011, 03:31 PM   #43
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DA 21mm, classic focal length, good for outdoor shots.

It also can produce some nice star bursts, given the right conditions. K-x...





04-13-2011, 03:41 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
I guess if you shoot a lot of brick walls, or rectangular shapes, barrel distortion would be an issue. I'm doubting a landscape photographer is going to care much... in the image above, I look at it and say "barrel distortion? What barrel distortion?" No doubt you can prove it's there, what you can't prove to me is that it matters to anyone. Now I don't doubt someone has made a distortionless 12 mm lens.. just because I haven't seen it doesn't mean it's not true.. but part of the beauty of this lens is it's contrast, colour cast and a few other intangibles. I'd be a lot more impressed by the statement about the lack of barrel distortion if you said the example lens had all the intangible qualities of the 21 Ltd. and less barrel distortion. I'm really not interested in having less barrel distortion which I really don't care about, to get a lens that takes dry , flat pictures, with no barrel distortion. If there is a trade off, and I give up things I like for things that don't matter, I'm not buying it.

As I said, I'm sure there are lenses with less barrel distortion, but will I like the images as much? And since you seem to be their champion, I'd ask, do you like the images as much? Any examples that illustrate your point?

This stuff comparing a lens with a bit of barrel distortion to a car with no seat belts is just silly. Just post the photos, no dumb analogies needed.
If every lens was pin sharp corner to corner, photos would be too much like the
reality I try to escape when making pictures.
04-13-2011, 04:01 PM   #45
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Da21

I thought I would join the fun and post a DA21 shot I like. This is from an abandoned orchard in Coachella. The sky looks great despite absence of CPL.
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