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05-26-2011, 11:40 PM   #1
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DA15Limited lens got a bad review

The DA 15mm limited: a 9.4 rating (3rd highest in DA prime section) by 40+Pentax users in Pentaxforums.com got a bad review from DP Review. Please read:

"The real problem for the 15mm F4, though, lies in the competition, and specifically Pentax's own 12-24mm F4 zoom. This has much in common optically with the Tokina AT-X PRO SD 12-24mm F4 (IF) ED, which we tested recently and found to be a superior performer in almost all regards. It's simply much sharper than the 15mm F4, especially wide open, and exhibits lower falloff and equally low distortion (although it does suffer more from chromatic aberration). It's not often a zoom lens can outgun a prime in terms of image quality, but that certainly seems to be the case here, and by a surprising margin too."

Wow! a surprising margin!! How accurate are the review??

05-26-2011, 11:58 PM   #2
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taste it yourself and you'll know which to choose. >
05-27-2011, 02:57 AM   #3
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DA15 has it's specific advantages but it is clearly not the best all-purpose wide angle. That would be DA14 of couse.
05-27-2011, 03:07 AM   #4
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It's always known that 12-24 is sharper than DA15. The main advantage of DA15 is compactness, I might buy one for that sole reason.

05-27-2011, 07:04 AM   #5
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There is no secret the DA12-24/4 is the sharpest wide from Pentax, but a little weak on CA control.
05-27-2011, 07:09 AM   #6
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I concur with dpreview and eventually sold my DA15 - no regrets.
05-27-2011, 08:49 AM   #7
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The question really is how important size and flare resistance are to you. I think the 12-24 is prime sharp throughout its focal range, but certainly it is a lot more prone to flare. DA 15 seems much more able to shoot right into bright light sources and stopped down gives beautiful star bursts.
05-27-2011, 09:43 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by kfz Quote
How accurate [is] the review??
All such reviews have to be taken with more than a grain or two (or a whole shaker full) of salt. Resolution tests, at best, give only a general indication of the sharpness of a lens. Because of sample variation and tester error, they are rarely consistent from one review to the next. Worse, they only test the resolution at certain lengths (e.g., did they test the resolution at infinity focus?--I didn't think so!) The photozone tests reached slightly different results. They found that the DA 15 tended to be sharper in the center than the DA 12-24 but not as sharp toward the borders. So which lens then is "sharper?" The fact is, in terms of sharpness, there's not any significant difference between the two lenses. I own the DA 12-24, and it's an outstanding lens. But if I needed a 15mm prime, I wouldn't hesitate to get the DA 15; nor should anyone else on the strength, or rather the weakness, of the DPReview's findings.

I also have to protest against any review that compares a pentax lens with a 3rd party lens tested on another camera. Just because the Tokina 12-24 is based on the same optical design as the DA 12-24 doesn't mean that the two lenses will perform identically! The M 50/1.4 and the A 50/1.4 are also based on the same optical design yet the A version tests out as sharper, especially toward the corners, than the M version. Furthermore, lenses used on cameras from different systems will often lead to different the results. The Tokina 12-24 suffers even more from CA issues on Canon than it does on Nikon cameras, presumably because of the different lens registration lengths of the two systems.

05-27-2011, 09:57 AM   #9
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Since this is about a lens, it seems the lens forum would be a better place for it so moving
05-27-2011, 11:51 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by kfz Quote
The DA 15mm limited: a 9.4 rating (3rd highest in DA prime section) by 40+Pentax users in Pentaxforums.com got a bad review from DP Review.
Do realize that this is not news; that review came out a couple of years ago.

QuoteQuote:
"The real problem for the 15mm F4, though, lies in the competition, and specifically Pentax's own 12-24mm F4 zoom. This has much in common optically with the Tokina AT-X PRO SD 12-24mm F4 (IF) ED, which we tested recently and found to be a superior performer in almost all regards. It's simply much sharper than the 15mm F4
Frankly, I'd say they screwed up the test. they should know that you can't compare across different camera systems and expect to get meaningful results. Check photozone for numbers that tell a different story. Even those are not perfect - they appear to not fully account for field curvature on the corners. But they do show the 15 handily beating the 12-24 in the center, as you'd expect. "Corner" is a relative term, but in my experience, to the extent one ever has the corners in a focus at this focal length and these apertures (very rare unless you are going out of your way to construct an artificial test), it's really only the pretty extreme corners that are noticeably soft at f/4.
05-27-2011, 12:21 PM   #11
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Any difference in sharpness that might exist between the lenses are not meaningful in real-world shooting.

Flare resistance, CA, size, and focal range do. The 12-24 can't be beat for flexibility, and the 15 can't be beat for convenience.
05-27-2011, 03:29 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
The 12-24 can't be beat for flexibility, and the 15 can't be beat for convenience.
Flexibility is far more convenient than inflexibility.
05-27-2011, 03:31 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by JHD Quote
Flexibility is far more convenient than inflexibility.
05-27-2011, 03:31 PM   #14
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It depends on how long you will be carrying the flexibility.
05-27-2011, 03:39 PM   #15
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I have a DA15 & a DA12-24. 9 times out of 10 I reach for my DA15 when I want a wide shot, the lens is a joy to use and very sharp.
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