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11-26-2011, 04:41 PM   #16
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How about the DA 12-24 ??

11-26-2011, 10:05 PM   #17
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I find the DA21 the ideal focal length for a walk around prime. However the FA31 has the ideal IQ and speed, but just a little tight.
11-26-2011, 10:06 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by milesy Quote
How about the DA 12-24 ??
Definitely... I used that a lot as walk-around lens in the urban area (around the city). This is one of the main reasons I prefer the DA12-24 over the Sigma 10-20 along from the constant aperture. The 24mm end (on DA12-24) is more useful than the 10mm end (Sigma 10-20) IMHO.
11-26-2011, 11:09 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
For my taste, the 21mm is too wide for a walk around all purpose lens. I like the 21mm more as a landscape/architectural lens. My choice would be a 28mm.
Fully agree. I have the DA21. Like it a lot but you have to get a bit too close for my shy temperament. And composition with a lens that wide takes a lot of skill. M28 3.5 is ideal length and easy to manual-focus accurately enough, although I regret selling the FA28 (much underrated lens). (I have the plastic DA35 which is really good, but tend not to carry it with the DA21 as I can crop the latter if necessary anyway. DA21 + DA40 or FA50 makes more sense.)

Someone else mentioned the lowly 18-55 as a solution - whisper it only, but for casual walk-around use he's right. (But I would use my trusty FA24-90 for preference if I were going the zoom route.)


11-27-2011, 12:03 AM   #20
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There is a lot to like about the DA-21 for a trip like yours. I've had mine for over 2 years, and it still is more likely to be in my camera bag than any other lens i have. For the cruise ship shots, its excellent indoors, focuses fast, and has high contrast, excellent rendering for colors.

Yes, pics have a bit of "barrel shape" but thats not unusual for wide angle lenses. Also, software like Lightroom will automatically and painlessly correct it if a problem.

One thing i've tried with the 21 is that you can hip shoot it without looking through the viewfinder, and its wide enough to get you a shot many times. Excellent for candid street shots. After you practice with it awhile, you can snap shots iwth it pretty accurately, relying on its quick auto focusing. I've also shot low shots blind with it in tulip fields, when i didn't want to get my clothing dirty. Very close focusing.

I think it makes a lot of sense to carry a DA-21 on your trip, plus find an inexpensive 18-55 kit zoom or the DA-21 with a manual K or M 50mm f1.7. In the film days for many slrs, the standard kit was a WA 28mm, a 50mm normal and a long 135mm. Well your DA-21 would be equivalent to that 28mm film lens (slightly less WA). You can also find a manual 100 or 135mm that would give you a complete kit with high IQ.

Enjoy your trip!
11-27-2011, 03:54 AM   #21
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The 31mm is a great lens (my favorite and by far most used lens) however very expensive - you could get a lot of other lens instead. I think it's a great lens for street photography although a tad bit too narrow fov - "take more time" to compose your shots...

The 21mm has great IQ and rendering, distortion can easily be fixed in post in batch. But it is a little too wide so unless you're cropping a lot be careful with your composition. On the other hand it is my go to discreet lens, small, light, unobtrusive and with the wider angle easy to "shoot from the hip".

Best walkaround would be somewhere between 24-28mm which makes it the old full frame (roughly) 35-43mm in my experience.
11-27-2011, 04:08 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
I find the DA21 the ideal focal length for a walk around prime. However the FA31 has the ideal IQ and speed, but just a little tight.
That's exactly why I like FA*24. It sits nicely in between 21 and 31 if FOV and speed are of concern, and IQ is right up there too...
11-27-2011, 04:13 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
In the film days for many slrs, the standard kit was a WA 28mm, a 50mm normal and a long 135mm. Well your DA-21 would be equivalent to that 28mm film lens (slightly less WA). You can also find a manual 100 or 135mm that would give you a complete kit with high IQ.

Enjoy your trip!
True for the SLR film era kit. But that would relate to 18 + 35 + 90 for APSC DSLR if you would want to match the FOV. Going with 21 + 50 +135 would equal to 31+77+200 for film, which is still not bad at all

11-27-2011, 04:15 AM   #24
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DA 21 is my favorite travel lens (not sure if that means the same as walkaround lens?).

I find it very difficult to convince myself to take Pentax or Tammy std zoom with me, when there's such a compact lens.

I think it's wide enough to do landscapes and city snaps (for me that's the main purpose when traveling),
but it is also great indoors when you need to capture 2-3 people sitting next to each other. Something I can't easily do with DA 40.

I do not have a prime in-between 21mm and 40mm, but I am sure that anything longer than 21mm would be already too long for my taste.
If I ever feel that this focal length isn't convenient, it is much more often that I find it not wide enough (and that perhaps DA 15 would be better).

I'm also loving the cap on it!

Last edited by mickeymon; 11-27-2011 at 06:07 AM.
11-27-2011, 07:11 AM   #25
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Since I got my FA31 a few months ago, it has become my walk-around --- and most used --- lens.
11-27-2011, 07:18 AM - 1 Like   #26
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Threadstarter, the DA 21mm is an excellent wideangle lens that is excellent for scenics and environmental portraits. It's one of my fav lenses.

However, as a previous K10D user myself I have to alert you to the K10D / DA 21mm focusing issue that was discussed quite a long time ago when the K10D first came out. Many K10D users experienced noticeable focus errors when using the DA 21mm, whether indoors or outdoors at different distances. A good friend of mine managed to test more than half a dozen new DA 21mm lenses and they all exhibited focus issues with more than one K10D bodies. Sadly no firmware upgrade resolved the issue.

With the introduction of the K20D, K-7 and current K-5, any focus problem with the DA 21mm have disappeared. Do a check on past threads on this.
11-27-2011, 12:00 PM   #27
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I have DA21 just one month. I love its size and weight. I take the camera almost everywhere with this lens.
I would prefer 24mm (to have 36mm equivalent), but 21mm is fine as well. I was afraid of f3.2 to be slow but it seems not a big issue so far...
Shooting children is really fun with this lens.

Last edited by Jan67; 11-27-2011 at 12:05 PM.
11-27-2011, 09:23 PM   #28
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Hi- new guy here...

In September my wife and I went on my first international vacation, to Scotland. In preparation, I told my wife I wanted to travel light with camera gear and I bought two new lenses to go with my K-5, the DA 15 and 21mm Limiteds. (Both together were half the weight of the Sigma F/2.8 18-50mm I was going to take, and very friendly, weight-wise, to have on the camera/in my hand all day long for a week.) The trip photos were more memory/snapshot in nature than fine art attempts. I shot about 960 photos in the week, over 900 were with the DA 21mm. I posted about 100 at my blog site. Except for one waterfall shot, I edited none of them other than to convert from raw to web friendly jpeg size, so there is no color or light tweaking, no post-capture sharpening, resolution is dropped way down as jpegs, etc. Of the images posted, a few will be captured with the Pentax 55-300, a few with the 15mm Limited, and the rest with the 21mm Limited. Peruse at your leisure. Sorry I didn't identify the lens or shooting info with each image, but you'll get the point. These are both terrific lenses (the Limited lenses), and just today I sent in an order for the DA 40mm Limited. Scotland photos- Steve's View of the World: Snapshots from Scotland Click on an image and that entire posting of photos will come up in a text-free, larger format slide show. I love this 21mm Limited. And I'm not afraid of a little cropping if needed to "zoom in" on a subject in a photo to emulate a 28mm or similar lens, esp. with the K-5.
11-28-2011, 09:10 AM   #29

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For my tasting the 21mm is also very wide. But I do use it for festivals or a like that are on streets where you just can't take two steps back anymore.

I use 40mm for walk-around, but that may be to long for most users.
11-28-2011, 10:48 AM   #30
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I'm the ThreadStarter: First of all thank you for all the responses. It was very instructive.
I gather the 21mm would work for me - I have been warned that it may be wide sometimes, but I think it will fit my style: When catching kids playing sport and wanting to get more then just a stop-action (which is fun a few times, but when you take 100 pictures of your son shooting the puck or your daughter landing from a beam dismount - it gets boring). Since I can't always get back to get the "play" - wide will work. Also many warned me about cropping becoming necessary. That should be OK. I may be weird but I take a lot of pcitures and then prune like crazy (in lightroom). So once I find the few keepers, I don't mind cropping them. (Although if I had the pixel count of a K20D or K5 instead of K10dD, I would mind cropping even less).

Some of you suggested I look at a wide zoom. I took a look and found interesting reviews which led me to the Tamron 17-50MM f2.8. People say it is very sharp - almost as good as primes. I spent a lot of time looking at pics on flicker: they do look sharp.

The DA 21mm Flickr stream looks real good t0o. In fact some pictures seem to "pop": there's just something about them (maybe more details?). The tamron zoom pics look sharp, but much fewer actually pop and make me go "wow". (Of course I have not found pictures comparing both lenses from the same photographer: and taking "wow" pictures may have more to do with the person behind the camera then the lens in front...)

So I am suck for now. I like the 21mm for its low weight, and beautiful pictures. My wife likes the zoom for its versatile uses, and ease of taking the picture you want without moving the feet.

I do appreciate the responses, so if any of you can offer further guidance (DA 21mm vs zoom 17-50mm) - I"ll be thankful.

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