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08-18-2011, 11:24 AM   #1
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DA 15 Ltd vs Sigma 10-20

At some point, I want to add a wide angle lens to my collection. I currently have the following lenses:

DA L 18-55
DA L 55-300
DA 35/2.4
A 50/1.7
Samyang 8mm fisheye

I am hoping to acquire a Tamron 17-50 to replace my kit lens in the next month or so.

I had decided on the older version of the Sigma 10-20 as my ultra wide because it is highly regarded and not nearly as expensive as the DA 12-24. However, recently I've wondered if I should consider the DA 15 limited instead.

I know people love the DA 15. I like that it's small. It would cost me maybe $50 more than the Sigma. However, I wonder if I'd miss the zoom range. Is 15mm that limiting? I plan to use an ultra wide for landscape as well as interior photos.

My other concern is, if I get the Tamron 17-50, will I notice that much of a difference between that at 17mm and the Pentax at 15? Will I just want wider?

If you have any opinions or experience with these two lenses that you think will help, I'd love to read them! Thank you so much!

08-18-2011, 11:42 AM   #2
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I've had the same questions and the same problem. I asked one of the many great photographers on this site, twitch, if he could only have a DA15 or a DA12-24 which would he choose. He said the DA15 hands down(he has both), even though he wouldn't be able to shoot wider. I am pretty much set on the DA15, but it still worries me a bit. You do have that lovely Samyang 8mm though and you can't get wider than that. It has low distortion too. I wonder what that defishes to with image loss.

Also 15 is much wider than 17.

Last edited by kenafein; 08-18-2011 at 11:57 AM.
08-18-2011, 11:54 AM   #3
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Ah, the age old Pentax lens question. There are a couple of threads here if you search for them regarding the two different lenses. I think it all depends on your shooting style, whether zoom matters more to you, and size.

I have a DA 15mm and I love it, but both choices has their advantages and disadvantages.
08-18-2011, 12:13 PM   #4
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Thanks for your responses.

I tried searching but was unsuccessful. I suck at searching. I may have been too specific in my query and will try again with broader terms.

kenafein, the Samyang is a fun lens but the distortion is really too much to use as a landscape lens, I think. You can defish it some but in my experience you have to crop it quite a bit to get a photo that does not look distorted. It has its uses and I enjoy it, but I do want something wide that doesn't have the fisheye look.

Interesting that twitch said the 15 is the one he'd take over the 12-24. I love his photos! In fact, his photos are a large part of the reason I am considering the 15 at all!

Eagle Friends, yes, shooting style would factor largely in this. Problem is, I'm relatively new to dSLR and haven't really developed my own style yet! LOL

In addition to my original post, I want to add that I do realize the 15 is the superior lens. I don't want folks to think I'm debating that point. It's just that I can't really decide if the Sigma's zoom range and wideness is more important to me than the quality/size of the 15. I suppose I'm hoping if others share their experiences, it will shed some light or ring a bell in my own head as to which way I should go.

Many thanks and I look forward to reading more views. (And I'll work on honing my search skillz!)

08-18-2011, 01:06 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by loco Quote
In addition to my original post, I want to add that I do realize the 15 is the superior lens.
Not really, unless by superior you mean "smaller".

DA 15 is great for intimate, indoor events, or for carrying on long treks (or vacations) where you don't want a huge camera on you. Its not really going to be significantly better in the picture quality sense if you know how to post-process.
08-18-2011, 01:08 PM   #6
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The DA15mm ltd. will go with you places that the other options would never be able to go... It's small, tough, and sharp.* However, it's just not as wide as 10mm. There's a trade off. On one hand you get a smaller lens and better IQ, and on the other end you get a wider purpose lens, and that's about it.
08-18-2011, 01:09 PM   #8
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It's a personal call. I sold my Sigma and and bought the DA 15. I'm happy.

08-18-2011, 01:09 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
Not really, unless by superior you mean "smaller".

DA 15 is great for intimate, indoor events, or for carrying on long treks (or vacations) where you don't want a huge camera on you. Its not really going to be significantly better in the picture quality sense if you know how to post-process.
Uh, corner sharpness of the 10-20mm is just not there. I'd say that the DA 15mm does better on IQ charts... But then again, it's a prime.
08-18-2011, 01:12 PM   #10
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I wouldn't worry about the search thing loco. If there is one complaint I have about this site is that the search feature is really bad. I have much better luck using google to search this site. For example "DA15 site:www.pentaxforums.com".

I've seen some pretty decent defished results for the 10-17 is why I suggested it, and only as an alternative to getting wider than 15mm, but I have no experience.

I'm sure you've read a lot of people don't even like using ultra wides for landscapes. Many people prefer using the 21-35s or even using tele lenses and stitching. The kit lens is actually really good for landscapes ~F8. You can also run it through DxO. I want the 15 for architecture and street photography and some landscapes.
08-18-2011, 01:18 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
Not really, unless by superior you mean "smaller".

DA 15 is great for intimate, indoor events, or for carrying on long treks (or vacations) where you don't want a huge camera on you. Its not really going to be significantly better in the picture quality sense if you know how to post-process.
Interesting perspective. So you don't feel the 15 is sharper or the color/contrast are superior to the Sigma? The reviews seem to lead me in that direction. Also the distortion seems less.

I do know that you can do a lot in post processing to correct these issues. That's a very good point that I really hadn't considered in this case. I appreciate you bringing that up.

QuoteOriginally posted by Ubuntu_user Quote
The DA15mm ltd. will go with you places that the other options would never be able to go... It's small, tough, and sharp.* However, it's just not as wide as 10mm. There's a trade off. On one hand you get a smaller lens and better IQ, and on the other end you get a wider purpose lens, and that's about it.
And that's what I can't figure out! What is more important to me? And I guess I realize you guys can't really answer that question.

Is there some way of knowing how many steps forward the difference between 10 and 15mm is? LOL! I guess in landscape work, it really wouldn't make a huge difference. However, indoors or in tight spaces, the 10-20 might really come in handy.
08-18-2011, 01:22 PM   #12
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Thank you so much for those, I will read through them!

QuoteOriginally posted by dadipentak Quote
It's a personal call. I sold my Sigma and and bought the DA 15. I'm happy.
Thanks for that perspective. Good to hear from someone who's actually had both!

QuoteOriginally posted by Ubuntu_user Quote
Uh, corner sharpness of the 10-20mm is just not there. I'd say that the DA 15mm does better on IQ charts... But then again, it's a prime.
That was my impression from reading reviews. Thanks.

QuoteOriginally posted by kenafein Quote
I wouldn't worry about the search thing loco. If there is one complaint I have about this site is that the search feature is really bad. I have much better luck using google to search this site. For example "DA15 site:www.pentaxforums.com".

I've seen some pretty decent defished results for the 10-17 is why I suggested it, and only as an alternative to getting wider than 15mm, but I have no experience.

I'm sure you've read a lot of people don't even like using ultra wides for landscapes. Many people prefer using the 21-35s or even using tele lenses and stitching. The kit lens is actually really good for landscapes ~F8. You can also run it through DxO. I want the 15 for architecture and street photography and some landscapes.
Thank you for that tip regarding searching. Will give that method a try!

Yes, I have read that regarding landscapes and the not so wide angle lenses. I think that's probably a very good point, though I have seen some amazing landscapes taken with both the 10-20 and the 15!
08-18-2011, 01:23 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by loco Quote
And that's what I can't figure out! What is more important to me? And I guess I realize you guys can't really answer that question
Have a hunch that it will one day have to be both (zoom and prime). Case now of which first.
08-18-2011, 01:25 PM   #14
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Honestly - you don't seem to know for sure what you want. In that case I would suggest you buy both then try them out and sell the one you don't need. If money is an issue, try to find a store or friend who has the lenses to tryout.

Personally, I have both and each has it own purposes. I love and need them both for what I like to do.

Last edited by ducdao; 08-18-2011 at 01:45 PM.
08-18-2011, 01:40 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by bluespearbone Quote
Have a hunch that it will one day have to be both (zoom and prime). Case now of which first.
Oh lord, that's what I'm afraid of!

QuoteOriginally posted by ducdao Quote
Honestly - you don't seem to know for sure what want. In that case I would suggest you buy both then try them out and sell the one you don't need. If money is an issue, try to find a store or friend who has the lenses to tryout.

Personally, I have both and each has it own purposes. I love and need them both for what I like to do.
No, I obviously don't know what I want. Just trying to get some opinions and maybe work through it via other people's perspectives. I don't have the luxury of a nearby store that sells Pentax equipment and don't have the funds to purchase both at once and try them out.

I'd love to have both, but that's just not going to happen at this time. Can you tell me which one you'd choose if you could only have one of those lenses?

The 15 is sure enticing me. I do not yet own a limited and I'm sure I could sell it if for some reason it disappoints or doesn't suit my needs, as you suggested.
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