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05-13-2011, 10:25 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
... every year up at the Grand Canyon, there are always tourists out taking pictures. Either posing (and being asked to back up), or taking a picture and backing up or stepping forward - its that last step can bring unexpected consequences...
Exactly the cliffs I was thinking of! The comment on the linked story is that he's a very lucky man. My comment is that he's a dumbass who watched too much TV but didn't pay attention to the Roadrunner-Coyote cartoons. Y'know, where Coyote makes a little dust-puff at the mesa bottom.

05-13-2011, 12:11 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
It's easier to take two steps forward with a 15 to get a 21's AOV, than it is to step back with a 21, especially if cliffs are nearby.
this is a function of whether the cliff is in front of you or behind the same holds true in cities, except the cliff is a busy road you step onto.

Regardless, my experience is "wider is better" and not to knock the 21mm, but that focal length is only moderately wide on an ASP-C sensor. I fought for years on film with a 24mm and it was never wide enough for landscape or archetecture, and when I got my *istD it came with the FA-J 18-35. I rarely used that lens on digital except for people shots indoors. outdoors that lens lived on my PZ1 at 18mm, because the FOV was considerably different than my 24 on film.

Now I use a 10-20 or a 14mm prime (samyang actually) for really wide shots

take the 15, you'll use it more, but even it i snot as wide as you will want
05-13-2011, 12:49 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
It's easier to take two steps forward with a 15 to get a 21's AOV
Hmm, not sure about this one. It would be more than a few steps, and that doesn't change the dramatic difference in perspective. The 21 looks natural, while the 15 looks completely *unatural* in perspective. It depends on the look you are going for, rather than a simple functionality trade-off.

For landscapes, wider is *not* always better when it comes to a well-composed image. I would buy the prime based on your needs for a *dramatic* vs. *natural* perspective.

I love the 15, but it's a pretty specialized focal length. I end up cropping a lot of pictures to get a more 21mm feel out of it.
05-13-2011, 01:38 PM   #19
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Actually, when it comes to perspective distortion, a 21mm lens on APS-C is wide enough to have that too (just not as much as a 15mm lens), and the DA21 compounds this with its own fairly heavy distortion not related to perspective. You need a lens in the 28-35 range to do away with perspective distortion. I find 28mm my single favorite focal length for landscapes, but I also love the 15mm for this if the scene lends itself to a wide treatment. Whereas 21mm feels like a rather oddball middle man to me - not short enough to feel *wide*, not long enough to feel *normal*.

That's not to say people haven't managed to take great pictures with it - I'm just saying *I'm* not attracted to that focal length in my own shooting. When I look at my my usage of the kit lens on the occasions I use it, I find it's essentially unused anywhere below 28mm except right at 18mm, and those shots indicate I'm actually wanting a wider lens still. The 15mm nails this view for me surprisingly well, and of course, one can always crop to get the DA21's AOV.

But different people see things differently. That's why my advice is always to shoot with a shoot for a while and see for yourself what your focal length tendencies are. But of course, unless you have an ultrawide zoom already, you're not going to learn for sure how you'd like 15mm. You do have to go on faith a bit. I looked at hundreds of pictures taken at 18mm with the kit lens, realized that virtually every one of them would have better taken a bit wider, and that I almost never shot around 21mm. That's the main thing that guided me to the DA15 over the DA21. Also, the knowledge that I'd always have the kit lens if I really needed to shoot between 18mm and 28mm.

05-13-2011, 03:28 PM   #20
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I hear you Marc. In fact, that's the exact logic I used to select the DA 15. It's a FL I don't already have, and the kit actually kills it between 21mm - 35mm IMHO, so I wasn't itching to replace it with another prime. I also had a 28mm lens at the time, and like you, I prefer that FL over that of the 21. I sold a lot of lenses to fund the FA 77, and I figured the kit could cover 28mm as well (which it does do admirably, although I do miss that extra stop). However, when I'm packing light for a trip, I do run into issues. The 15 and 50 always come with me, so I'm left deciding whether to bring the kit along to fill in that gap, or bring the 77 for nice portraits, or to bring the 70-210 for the extra reach. The gap between the 15 and 50 is really quite massive, but if I applied the same cropping philosophy do the DA 21, then I would easily have the 28mm focal length covered, and access to some reasonably wide shots as well. 21 - 50 - 77 would be more flexible, for my needs, then the 15-50-77 spread, which is a little long-heavy (if that makes sense). Maybe the spread works out such that if you own the 15, the DA 35 is a good pair, while if you own the 50, the 21 makes a better pair. But this is all very much down to personal taste, and the suggestion to force yourself to use the kit at a single focal length (or to analyze your favorite picture's focal lengths) is a wise one. I guess what I'm trying to say that it's important to know how wide you like to go. Some people are certainly much more wide-minded than other (I would wonder, Marc, if you are because you spend so much time in cramped club situations?) The 21 is over all a much more practical focal length for general-purpose photography, but by extension, the FL feels so much less interesting than the dramatic 15.
05-13-2011, 07:06 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
However, when I'm packing light for a trip, I do run into issues. The 15 and 50 always come with me, so I'm left deciding whether to bring the kit along to fill in that gap, or bring the 77 for nice portraits, or to bring the 70-210 for the extra reach. The gap between the 15 and 50 is really quite massive
Clearly, you need either one of the 35's, or the DA40, to take instead of the 50 :-). OK, the gap between 15 and 35 or 40 is pretty big too, but 35 & 40 both feel "normal" enough that I don't always take my 28 with me. In fact, I don't know if I had used it all year, but I finally put it back in my bag this week after doing some shooting with the kit lens at the botanic gardens last weeks and finding that I do still gravitate toward that focal length.

QuoteQuote:
Maybe the spread works out such that if you own the 15, the DA 35 is a good pair, while if you own the 50, the 21 makes a better pair.
I think that's a good call. The 40 is the wildcard here.


QuoteQuote:
Some people are certainly much more wide-minded than other (I would wonder, Marc, if you are because you spend so much time in cramped club situations?)
Interesting theory! But of course, living in Colorado, I probably spend more time outdoors than in jazz clubs.
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