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11-19-2011, 01:32 PM   #1
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IQ - Da 15 vs. Da 12-24

I know there are many threads debating the relative attributes of these lenses (I've read every one I can find, most of them multiple times). I have a Da 15, which I really like, but am intrigued every time I see images shot with the 12-24 (many of which seem to have special "pop" that I can't quite describe). Just wondering what everyone's thoughts are on how these lenses compare, strictly from an IQ standpoint. I don't care about bulk/weight, cost, zoom vs. prime, build quality, WR, etc. Simply, which lens (let's say at the long end) will give the sharpest, most contrasty, colorful, and distinctive images. Anyone have thoughts on how they compare?

Looking forward to people's opinions.

-Brandon

11-19-2011, 02:00 PM   #2
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A prime will almost always out-perform a zoom, and the 15mm has been known for stellar images. Unless you need the zoom range you should opt for the 15mm if you're going for IQ

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11-19-2011, 03:41 PM   #3
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I have the DA 15mm. However I rented the DA 15 and 12-24 first:

I did not do any kind of scientific tests and would not know how. Subjectively, I found the 12-24 to be sharper! But bought the DA 15 instead!!

But I am more of a people shooter, with the 50-135 being my fav lens and tamron 28-75 second and sometimes the DA 70. With that in mind, I decided that I would rather have the DA 15 in my pocket as an opportunity lens while using one of the other three as my regular lens. Works well for me. If I were more into landscapes, the 12-24 would have been my choice.
11-19-2011, 04:02 PM   #4
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Have a read of this (from another nearby thread)-
QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
The DA15 is the "best" wide angle lens available for Pentax. It's far superior (@15mm) to the DA 12-24 which is probably considered second best. This is my view after shooting literally thousands of images with both lenses.
And thats coming from a landscape shooter

11-19-2011, 04:50 PM   #5
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I used to own the Pentax DA 12-24 f/4 (loved it) and now own the DA 15.

If size is not an issue, the 12-24 really is a great lens, and it's versatility might be the deciding factor for you.

The DA 15 is noticibly sharper in the center wide-open, has a bit less distortion, better flare control and less CA. It's not as sharp at the edges, though, especially wide-open.

For me, pertinent factors were size and flare control. It's just hard to have the sun ever become a problem with the 15, and it's just easier to take everywhere, especially in combo with another small prime like a 35ltd, 77ltd, etc.

.
11-19-2011, 05:45 PM   #6
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There's not a huge difference between either lens, in terms of IQ. The DA 15 is sharper in the center, but not as sharp corner to corner at close distances, where the DA 12-24 really excels. At longer distances, however, the compromises involved in any zoom lens begin to take hold, and the DA 12-24 becomes less sharp corner to corner than the DA 15. Both lens have outstanding contrast and color rendition and are capable of producing stunning images.
11-19-2011, 06:12 PM   #7
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DA 15 is smaller, lighter, and has less distortions and CA than the 12-24 - these are its advantages, not necessarily sharpness.
11-19-2011, 07:30 PM   #8
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for me, it would depend on size versus flexibility. IQ are pretty much equal.

11-20-2011, 02:00 PM   #9
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Just got the 15 recently, have had the 12-24 for several years. I wanted the 15 to add to my Limited Lens kit rather than to upgrade the 12-24. Either lens shoots killer images when used with solid technique. Right now mostly using the 15, but that may be because it's new. You won't go wrong with either lens (or both), and by the same token, won't be missing out to only have one or the other.
11-20-2011, 03:00 PM   #10
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If I was told tomorrow that I can only keep one, it would be the DA 12-24.
11-21-2011, 03:43 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by bpv_UW Quote
I know there are many threads debating the relative attributes of these lenses (I've read every one I can find, most of them multiple times). I have a Da 15, which I really like, but am intrigued every time I see images shot with the 12-24 (many of which seem to have special "pop" that I can't quite describe). Just wondering what everyone's thoughts are on how these lenses compare, strictly from an IQ standpoint. I don't care about bulk/weight, cost, zoom vs. prime, build quality, WR, etc. Simply, which lens (let's say at the long end) will give the sharpest, most contrasty, colorful, and distinctive images. Anyone have thoughts on how they compare?

Looking forward to people's opinions.

-Brandon
Late to the thread. I have the DA 12-24 that I bought in a kit sale in November 2007, and am enthralled. On my wall I have a 16x24 canvas wrap of a river near my home printed by MPix. The actual print size is 19x27 inches to allow for the wrap. The image is stunning. I have also a 20x30 print in the local real estate office of a different scene, metallic print by MPix. One copy of the river scene is in our Japanese sister city, a gift from our mayor to theirs. You can check out the images on my Flickr site, if you are really concerned. For me, landscape is all about the field of view, the depth of field, and focal highlight elements. I find the flexibility of the 12-24 works best for me. Please note, "for ME".
11-22-2011, 03:58 AM   #12
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SLRGear.com has tested both the DA 15 and the Tokina 12-14 (which is optically equivalent to the Pentax) and here's the conclusion:

QuoteQuote:
In fact, the Tokina 12-24 handily beats the Pentax 15mm /4 on sharpness at f/5.6, and even does so slightly wide open as well. It also beats the Pentax 15mm /4 on shading (vignetting), but falls behind slightly with chromatic aberration and distortion. Overall, the Tokina 12-24mm /4 AT-X 124 AF PRO DX gives the Pentax 15mm prime a good run for the money.
Personnally, I have the DA 15 and love it! The 12-24 is a great lens, it may be a bit sharper or a bit better at certain apertures, but I find it too bulky to carry around all day.

The DA 15 is a small jewel, which exhibits excellent quality both optically and mechanically, and is small enough to be kept in a pocket just in case. When I travel light, I take my K-x with the DA 15, DA 35 and Apo-Lanthar 90. The whole kit fits in a small waist pouch, it is also surprisingly versatile (high quality wide + close focus, normal + macro, tele + close focus) and delivers pictures that never cease to amaze me.

Cheers!

Abbazz
11-23-2011, 12:50 PM - 1 Like   #13
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On this site, you can find a comparaison between some Pentax and non pentax lens at about 15mm (DA 15 Ltd, DA* 16-50, DA 12-24, DA 14, DA 10-17 ou Sigma DC 10-20 ). It's in French, but you can judge from the pictures. IMHO, the Da 12-24 is a clear winner.
Test des 15mm Pentax
11-23-2011, 01:57 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by SylBer Quote
On this site, you can find a comparaison between some Pentax and non pentax lens at about 15mm (DA 15 Ltd, DA* 16-50, DA 12-24, DA 14, DA 10-17 ou Sigma DC 10-20 ). It's in French, but you can judge from the pictures. IMHO, the Da 12-24 is a clear winner.
Test des 15mm Pentax
Un site assez interressant. Merci.
11-23-2011, 07:47 PM   #15
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Yeah it is. It's unfortunate this site is not active anymore.
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