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12-07-2007, 11:13 PM   #1
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Wide Angle Lens Suggestions...

Good evening all,

I'm searching for my first lens purchase (other than the kit lens) and I know I want to go for a nice wide angle that will put out top-notch IQ.

I could do either prime or zoom, but I am leaning toward prime because of the reputed better quality of image taken by them

I want to buy a lens that I can use forever with DSLR cameras. I don't want to get one that is decent, but will have to be replaced, or that will disappoint

I've read a lot of reviews, and it looks like the Fisheye has horrible CA problems, the 14mm is too expensive for what it produces, and the 12-24 isn't that great either...

Am I just reading the negative reviews? Or chancing upon complainers?

Seems to me the only option left is the 21mm limited, which I'm considering, but how much better will the images be from this lens than from my kit lens?

I feel like my kit is producing decent shots, but I'd like a little more sharpness, and a little more speed... unfortunately the 21mm doesn't add much to speed, right?

So how much more sharp is it? Anyone have comparison shots from each lens?

I appreciate any input, thank you all for your help!

-Tim

12-08-2007, 06:54 AM   #2
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If you want fast and wide, I think Sigma has a lens like that, but I don't know much about it. I had the DA21 and traded it, but I'm suffering from some serious seller's remorse and wish I still had it.

You might also consider an old manual focus 20 or 24mm lens. For most wide angle shots, I find AF to be unnecessary because there is so much depth of field. Anyway, just something else to think about.
12-08-2007, 08:27 AM   #3
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Hmm I hadn't thought about that Finn, you're totally right though... manual focus would serve me well for wide angle because I'm usually at infinity anyway.

I kind of enjoy manual focusing anyway...

Where could I find one of those old 20 or 24mms? And about how much do you think they'd cost?

Thanks again!
12-08-2007, 12:30 PM   #4
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watch keh.com- they've usually got the best selection of old pentax stuff outside of ebay. I'll pitch in a good word for the 14mm- I've not had any problems with mine. If there are problems, they're not showing up in the 8x12 prints I'm making, so I'm not too concerned by them.

12-08-2007, 12:30 PM   #5
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The DA14 and 12-24 are both excellent lenses, no questions asked.
Personally I prefer the 14 for both being 1 stop fast and able to focus closer.

Now the DA21 is probably one of the most fascinating lenses I have come across.
I am about to call it one of the finest landscape lenses ever and nothing short of that.

How much better is it compared to the kit, well it is a different class of lens there is no comparison IMO.

Below photo really say it all IMO:


Now the real question you have to ask yourself is what you prefer, primes or zooms and what will work for you?

On manual primes the A 20 and 24 are both excellent lenses too, the Zenitar 16mm fisheye should be decent too.
12-08-2007, 02:27 PM   #6
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Thank you everyone for the helpful responses.

I'm glad to hear positive things about the 14mm because I'm trying to decide between it and the 21mm limited.

Duplo could I ask you (since I've been drooling over your photos for a month now), and because you just about every lens I've considered buying, what would you consider to be the relative advantages/disadvantages between the 14mm and 21mm?

I like the lower f/stop of the 14mm, and the wider angle, but I'm also leaning toward the 21 because of it's cheaper price, and because people have said so many good things about it.

I like landscape and low-light photography the most (especially sunsets and night/evening city scenes) and I will be doing a lot of tripod work, but I also need to be able to be capable of indoors shooting while traveling. I don't care at all about size/weight of the lenses, and price takes second place to IQ and versatility.

Any ideas on how to decide which one I should pick up?

Thanks again for the input everyone!

-Tim
12-08-2007, 02:56 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hannican Quote
Thank you everyone for the helpful responses.

I'm glad to hear positive things about the 14mm because I'm trying to decide between it and the 21mm limited.

Duplo could I ask you (since I've been drooling over your photos for a month now), and because you just about every lens I've considered buying, what would you consider to be the relative advantages/disadvantages between the 14mm and 21mm?

I like the lower f/stop of the 14mm, and the wider angle, but I'm also leaning toward the 21 because of it's cheaper price, and because people have said so many good things about it.

I like landscape and low-light photography the most (especially sunsets and night/evening city scenes) and I will be doing a lot of tripod work, but I also need to be able to be capable of indoors shooting while traveling. I don't care at all about size/weight of the lenses, and price takes second place to IQ and versatility.

Any ideas on how to decide which one I should pick up?

Thanks again for the input everyone!

-Tim
thank you Tim, greatly appreciate your kind compliment.

I have as you say and use quite regularly most of the never pentax primes at least up to 77mm, but in particular in the 14-24mm range.

The DA14 is by all standards an excellent lens too and my favourite for Aurora photography.
It is fast and fairly large, definitely not a lens I would be without.

Now a choice between the two is hard, they would serve a widely different purpose IMO and the difference in FOV is massive, the DA21 is a regular wide angle, while the DA14 is an Ultrawide angle lens.

An argument could be that the DA14 will compliment your kit lens, while the DA21 will be within its range.

Now against the DA14 and for the DA21 is the size.

Even though the DA21 is a lot nicer when focusing manually and very well build, then the Da14 seems to be able to take rough environments better, due to its internal focusing.

The DA14 and FA*24 are my preferred lenses for really tough weather situations.

But to be perfectly honest I would not be without either of them, my advise would be to make your choice based on FOV. If you are anything like me you would want both over time anyway

Probably not of much help here, but I tried to be...
12-09-2007, 03:06 PM   #8
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I have to say I think I'm going to choose the 14mm when all is said and done.

Probably because it is outside the range of the kit lens (which is all I have for now) and because I figure I can pick up a used 28mm M or A lens that should do fine for a normal wide angle landscape lens...

And then I'll buy the 21mm eventually anyway- like you said Duplo.

Honestly I'm hoping that Pentax puts out a limited bundle like one of the posters suggested recently... I'd probably buy it if it had around $200 in discounts vs individually purchasing all three lenses... for sure actually

Thanks again Duplo! And very, very, very nice pictures, I'm amazed and impressed.

-Tim

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