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06-29-2011, 05:57 AM   #1
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Sigma 24mm f2.8 Super-Wide II vs. DA 21mm.

I was saving for the DA21, planning to trade in the Sigma when I have enough cash. But, I am enjoying the Sigma a lot, so maybe I should hang onto it and got for DA40 instead...

Drawbacks - Not very flare resistant (I've seen a lot worse tho), it's not SMC Pentax, it's not as wide, and no autofocus. A bit bigger, and build quality mediocre (I am scared to use the Aperture ring it's so flimsy...)

Plus side - VERY sharp, faster, great macro and bokeh. Nice 36mm focal length on APS-C, and FF compatible. Much cheaper.

So, questions for people who have used both:

Which do you prefer? Why?
Which has better IQ?
Is there a noticeable difference between 21mm and 24mm?

Please no comments along the line of 'only you can decide blah blah...' I know that, but internet forums are for talking shit about stuff you wanna buy, if you don't want to play, stay away!

06-29-2011, 07:39 AM   #2
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I've used both, although it was actually the AF version of the Sigma 24/2.8 Super Wide II (link). I personally thought the Sigma 24/2.8 was a great lens. Of the drawbacks you've listed, the only one that was a bit disappointing was the amount of flare in certain situations. Obviously the MF didn't apply to my copy and the fact that it wasn't as wide wasn't an issue to me. The difference in FOV between the 21 and 24 is noticable, but not a huge deal breaker for me either way. On the plus side, as you said, the overall IQ from the Sigma is very good, good close focus capabilities. I can't directly compare the differences in IQ between the 21 and 24 as I never directly compared them (didn't own them at the same time either), but I think it's fair to say that both have excellent IQ.

So I suppose this is the part where I say "only you can decide...blah...blah..blah..." But since that's not what you're looking for, I'll just go ahead and suggest you buy the 21. If for no other reason than to try a new lens out and see how you feel about it. Worst case, you sell it and buy back the 24 (or upgrade to the AF version of the 24/2.8, or try a new altogether, etc).
06-29-2011, 08:21 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by dgaies Quote

So I suppose this is the part where I say "only you can decide...blah...blah..blah..." But since that's not what you're looking for, I'll just go ahead and suggest you buy the 21. If for no other reason than to try a new lens out and see how you feel about it. Worst case, you sell it and buy back the 24 (or upgrade to the AF version of the 24/2.8, or try a new altogether, etc).
Yes, all the above is true! "only you can decide...blah...blah..blah..." is fine since, you have combined it with constructive comments!

I have tried taking pics with my kit lens set at 21mm - for street photos I have found that a bit wide, so I guess I am answering my question for myself... AF is really not an issue for me, being used to fully manual lenses, having automatic aperture feels like a luxury. For street photography, I have found I get more infocus shots using hyperfocal than relying on AF.

Starting to think DA40 + Sigma might be way to go...
06-29-2011, 08:26 AM   #4
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The Sigma SuperWide II is an optically superfine lens, indeed. What primarily bothers me about it though is not the rather weak flare resistance, but the size of the lens. A bit bulkier than other 24-28mm primes--to be sure, there are primes larger than it, but one of the reasons I go with the primes is their small size, and I prefer smaller primes.


Last edited by causey; 08-01-2011 at 07:53 AM.
06-29-2011, 08:59 AM   #5
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I can't comment on those two specific lenses, but I can agree with this:

QuoteOriginally posted by jeztastic Quote
I have tried taking pics with my kit lens set at 21mm - for street photos I have found that a bit wide, so I guess I am answering my question for myself... AF is really not an issue for me, being used to fully manual lenses, having automatic aperture feels like a luxury. For street photography, I have found I get more infocus shots using hyperfocal than relying on AF.
I have manual 16/2.8, 21/3.8, 24/2 and 24/2.8, and 28/2 (and beyond) lenses. The wider lenses are trickier to find subjects for, but very rewarding in the right scene, usually outdoors. The 24's are great indoors. But the 28/2 CFWA seems the most generally usable.

Just comparing focal lengths of your candidate lenses, I'd go with the faster 24 inside, the slower 21 outside. But of course the DA21/3.2 Ltd is smaller, lighter, reputedly has superior optics, and it's Pentax. Go for it!
06-29-2011, 10:56 AM   #6
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I like the sigma 24/2.8 quite a bit. Coming from the 6X7, lens size does not matter much to me. I would get the DA12-24 or sigma 8-16 before the DA21.
06-29-2011, 11:21 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by causey Quote
The Sigma SuperWide II is an optically superfine lens, indeed. What primarily bothers me about it though is not the rather weak flare resistance, but the size of the lens. Pretty bulky for a prime--to be sure, there are primes larger than it, but one of the reasons I go with the primes is their small size, and I prefer smaller primes.
You think? I guess it's bigger than my other primes, but at that kind of size it's all pretty small, especially for a wide angle. I guess the K10D is a relatively large camera, so it doesn't seem big.

QuoteQuote:
I have manual 16/2.8, 21/3.8, 24/2 and 24/2.8, and 28/2 (and beyond) lenses. The wider lenses are trickier to find subjects for, but very rewarding in the right scene, usually outdoors. The 24's are great indoors. But the 28/2 CFWA seems the most generally usable.
CFWA? What does that stand for? I have a 28/2.8, and have found it neither one thing nor t'other. It's not great quality though, and it is fully manual, if I found a nice sharp auto aperture one I may change my opinion.
06-29-2011, 11:52 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeztastic Quote
CFWA? What does that stand for? I have a 28/2.8, and have found it neither one thing nor t'other. It's not great quality though, and it is fully manual, if I found a nice sharp auto aperture one I may change my opinion.
The Vivitar-Komine MC Close-Focus Wide-Angle (CFWA) 28/2 is extremely sharp even wide open, has great contrast and bokeh and color rendering, zero distortion, and is totally 'normal' for my K20D. I won mine in a straight-up eBay auction for US$18.55 shipped.

For a fast (but not super-fast) lens made of actual metal and glass, it's rather small and light (270g). It takes a 49mm hood. Close focus is 23cm / 9in. Mine is in Nikon AI mount, slightly modded for a secure PK fit. Totally manual focus and aperture; I can live with that! Although I really love my Vivitar-Kiron 24/2 (US$130), this CFWA is in my carry bag more often now. This isn't a lens I use for 'character', but because it delivers what I think I see.

06-29-2011, 11:52 AM   #9
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jeztastic-- thanks for asking this question; I've been thinking of asking the same thing. I have a Sigma 24mm f/2.8 autofocus version, and use it quite a lot, but I've been lusting after the DA Limited primes. I got the DA40, and then the DA15, and my next one is DA70, but I might be tempted to "complete the set" and get the 21 someday... (I will skip the DA 35 macro because I already have FA35) But I don't know that I *need* the 21 because I already have the DA15 and the Sigma 24 super-wide II. I think the sigma 24 is super sharp, great for indoor use (a bit faster than DA21), nice close focusing, and pretty compact too (about same size as my FA35). Of course DA21 is smaller, especially if you compare the two with their hoods on. And because your 24 is the manual focus version, you have one more reason compared to me to get the DA21 to step up to pentax optics, better flare resistance, autofocus, and the limited build quality we all know and love. (But I know you said AF is not that important to you, so take that reason away) I think you might be better off getting other primes first (like the DA40 that you also want) because you currently have the 24mm covered. Someday circle back to DA21 like I will probably do!
06-29-2011, 12:04 PM   #10
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RioRico, thanks, I'll have to look out for one. My 28mm does feel 'normal', I suppose, maybe I should try it again, especially now it's summer and there's no problem staying at f8 outside.

seventysixersfan, it sounds like your experience is similar to mine. Food for thought...
06-29-2011, 07:52 PM   #11
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I haven't used the DA 21, but if I had one, I would sell the Superwide II. Even if you like 24mm vs. 21mm, you could crop the DA photos to 24mm field of view and they would still be fine. I like the Sigma but sure wish it had Pentax coatings.

If you ever use a film camera, the Sigma really is Super Wide. That's the only advantage over a DA 21.
06-30-2011, 03:40 AM   #12
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Yeah, it's 16mm equivalent (backwards if you know what I mean). I was playing with it on my K1000 yesterday, be interesting to see how they come out. Aperture ring is so shoddy though. It felt like I was turning it over coarse sandpaper.
07-09-2011, 03:49 AM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeztastic Quote
I was saving for the DA21, planning to trade in the Sigma when I have enough cash. But, I am enjoying the Sigma a lot, so maybe I should hang onto it and got for DA40 instead...

Drawbacks - Not very flare resistant (I've seen a lot worse tho), it's not SMC Pentax, it's not as wide, and no autofocus. A bit bigger, and build quality mediocre (I am scared to use the Aperture ring it's so flimsy...)

Plus side - VERY sharp, faster, great macro and bokeh. Nice 36mm focal length on APS-C, and FF compatible. Much cheaper.

So, questions for people who have used both:

Which do you prefer? Why?
Which has better IQ?
Is there a noticeable difference between 21mm and 24mm?

Please no comments along the line of 'only you can decide blah blah...' I know that, but internet forums are for talking shit about stuff you wanna buy, if you don't want to play, stay away!
I directly compared these two lenses. The 24 was sharper, the 21 has amazing flare resistance. I sold the 21 as I found the focal length a bit 'meh' - too wide wheareas the 24 is about right for me (35mm efl). But a lot of the reason for selling the 21 came down to the cost of it vs the 24

I absolutely love the 24 superwide - very nice lens for low light as it's really sharp at f2.8.
07-09-2011, 04:18 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by ihasa Quote
I directly compared these two lenses. The 24 was sharper, the 21 has amazing flare resistance. I sold the 21 as I found the focal length a bit 'meh' - too wide wheareas the 24 is about right for me (35mm efl). But a lot of the reason for selling the 21 came down to the cost of it vs the 24

I absolutely love the 24 superwide - very nice lens for low light as it's really sharp at f2.8.
Thank you. Very useful post.
07-09-2011, 10:48 PM   #15
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I find the sigma 24/2.8 a quite good lens.

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