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02-05-2012, 10:34 AM   #31
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What?

QuoteOriginally posted by mmphilip Quote
Some will say that the FA* 24mm F/2 is the "best" Pentax-made 24mm lens. It's probably the most expensive. One in very good shape will run $500-$600. I have one and I'm not all that impressed. It's large and clunky and I don't fine the IQ to be all that great.

- Mike
Man, do you ave the wrong impression of THAT lens. The IQ is stunning, even from F2. At F8, it is sharp from about 3 feet to infinity. REALLY sharp. Try putting it on a tripod, mirror lockup.

One of the best landscape lenses ever.

It's 'large and clunky' because, when it was released, it was the fastest 24mm lens on the market @ F2, now superseded by a few. But it is still a fast wide lens, and, of course, full frame.

Cheers,
Cameron

02-05-2012, 11:12 AM   #32
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I don't have a copy of the FA*24,
although I did consider it seriously when shopping for a 24mm/1in prime.
Cameron, although I was very favorably impressed
by your musicians' portraits and watery landscapes with the FA*24,
I was discouraged by the Photozone tests,
with the fairly high CAs and the low edge resolution, even by f/8.
Since uniform resolution is an important criterion
for a lot of the photography I do,
I decided not to seek out a copy of this lens.
It's certainly an interesting example
of how divisive Jun Hirakawa's designs can be.
Some users love them, while others find them too specialized.
I suppose I'm in the latter group myself.
02-05-2012, 02:10 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cambo Quote
Man, do you ave the wrong impression of THAT lens. The IQ is stunning, even from F2. At F8, it is sharp from about 3 feet to infinity. REALLY sharp. Try putting it on a tripod, mirror lockup.

One of the best landscape lenses ever.
If this was true, I would really love to see what yours can do (full size samples?). I have owned 2 brand new copies over the years and my immediate impression was that it was noticeably inferior to the Sigma 24/2.8 at any situation (sharpness wise). I also tested it on the 40D using 10X LV and it was the only lens in my collection looks completely diffused wide open. Stopped down to f8, it is alright for landscape, not great but alright.

After using Pentax for 2 decades, my impression is that Pentax lenses are generally not optimized for even sharpness across the frame (paramount for landscape). They can be quite good for portrait or snap shots though. Then again, landscape was not really the domain of small format. I am certain there was story behind each design but Pentax is not telling much (maybe in some Japanese articles who knows?). I think this is one thing Pentax should explore and tell the world through their websites. These will make great marketing materials. Together with a consolidated website with different languages, it may be much more effective than the fragmented and plain websites now.

Last edited by wlachan; 02-05-2012 at 02:15 PM.
02-05-2012, 02:48 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by wlachan Quote
my impression is that Pentax lenses are generally not optimized for even sharpness across the frame (paramount for landscape).
There are certainly exceptions to that: the DA70 Limited for example, or the old M100/2.8.

02-05-2012, 02:53 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by wlachan Quote
I am certain there was story behind each design but Pentax is not telling much (maybe in some Japanese articles who knows?). I think this is one thing Pentax should explore and tell the world through their websites. These will make great marketing materials. Together with a consolidated website with different languages, it may be much more effective than the fragmented and plain websites now.
I agree with that. The Zeiss website is a good model.
02-05-2012, 05:05 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
WHICH Sigma 24/2.8? I had an M42 Sigma-Z, and currently own a T2 Albinar made by Sigma, that would NOT rate with the highest 24s. Not all Sigma 24/2.8s are equal.
Sigma 24/2.8 superwide II - manual and auto focus
02-05-2012, 05:16 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cambo Quote
Man, do you ave the wrong impression of THAT lens. The IQ is stunning, even from F2. At F8, it is sharp from about 3 feet to infinity. REALLY sharp. Try putting it on a tripod, mirror lockup.

One of the best landscape lenses ever.

It's 'large and clunky' because, when it was released, it was the fastest 24mm lens on the market @ F2, now superseded by a few. But it is still a fast wide lens, and, of course, full frame.

Cheers,
Cameron
Your photo of the musicians was a significant factor in me ignoring the photozone.de test and buying a FA*24. I'm so glad I did because I agree the IQ is superb, right from f2.

I've become more and more suspicious of the value of "test chart" reviews of lenses. Modern(ish) Pentax primes are all excellent, the main consideration in selecting a prime should be the focal length and the speed, then buy that lens. For fast 35mm equiv lenses that AF we don't have much choice, but lucky for us Pentax shooters the FA*24 is terrific and a relative bargain (all IMHO of course).

By the by, this is also why I let my DA40 go. Yes it's stunningly sharp and aces the test chart reviews, but f/2.8 is simply too slow (for me) for a prime in this range.
02-09-2012, 02:26 PM   #38
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The M 2.8/28mm version 1. Not kidding. I had the K 2.8/24mm, and there was no real difference for me, on film at least, in field of view. There is probably a sharpness difference, but I think you'd be needing to look on a light box with a super loupe to tell. On digital, the comparison is like the difference between 35 and 40mm film equivalent, which again, I dont find to be significant. The price difference was a factor of 4, and when I take the lenses out hiking in either side of my hip pockets on my day sack, I quite like being able to relax about how cheap these little old lumps of glass are.

EDIT: ha! I see someone (Abacus07) made the same point further up

02-09-2012, 05:14 PM   #39
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Thanks for the recommendation, whojammyflip! I have a list of lenses I'm considering from this thread and the M28 is on it. It's a long list. LOL! I still think I may get the Tammy zoom and be done with it. Since I think I'd mostly be using this focal length for landscapes, I'm not sure I'd see a huge difference between the 17-50 and a prime, but maybe I'm mistaken.

I appreciate all the feedback and discussion, everyone!
02-09-2012, 06:30 PM   #40
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You won't find a big difference in quality between today's better than kit zooms and the good (but not elite) primes.

The difference is that the zoom weighs 440 grams while the old MF prime weighs 156 grams. Pair it with your A50/1.7 and you can take a picture of almost anything.

I say get both. The M28/2.8 is typically $50 shipped on ebay. There will be times you want a zoom and there will be times you want a small camera.
02-09-2012, 06:52 PM   #41
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That's a great point, abacus! Certainly weight is a consideration and always has been for me. I suppose I will eventually end up getting both. That's usually how it works out! LOL!
02-13-2012, 02:17 AM   #42
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The manual focussing performance of the prime will outperform the zoom. I'd guess the contrast will be better for the prime. However, if you are thinking of using this for landscapes, it won't be sufficiently wide to cover the wide end, not at least on a cropped sensor. I'd have thought you'd be better served by the 17mm of the Tamron. But then, I'd have thought that the DA 15mm would be better still and can be found new on Ebay for around GBP 400.

Last edited by whojammyflip; 02-13-2012 at 03:06 AM.
02-13-2012, 06:11 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by loco Quote
I keep reading that 24mm is the ideal focal length for a walkaround prime on APS-C. I have the DA 15 Ltd and the DA 35/2.4, so I am kind of missing that 24-ish focal length, other than using the kit lens.

I have read the lens reviews here and they are helpful to a certain extent. But I was just wondering if there is a widely regarded "best" 24mm lens that everyone seems to think is great? Is there a major difference between the A and K Pentax 24's? What about the Sigma 24 Super Wide II?

I was interested in the upcoming Samyang 24, but the high price has sent me looking into used older lenses. I would prefer K-mount as I don't have a M42 adapter yet. Would really appreciate any input and opinions! Thank you!
The Sigma 2.8/24 was a really good lens at it's time and is still a good option. The AF is loud and slow, the whole design is crap, but optically it was a great performer. Get the MF version, it feels much better. The K 2.8/24 probably has much better haptics.
photozone has a test of the Sigma 24 in Pentax section
Sigma AF 24mm f/2.8 macro (Pentax K) - Review / Lab Test Report
02-13-2012, 06:19 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by whojammyflip Quote
The manual focussing performance of the prime will outperform the zoom. I'd guess the contrast will be better for the prime. However, if you are thinking of using this for landscapes, it won't be sufficiently wide to cover the wide end, not at least on a cropped sensor. I'd have thought you'd be better served by the 17mm of the Tamron. But then, I'd have thought that the DA 15mm would be better still and can be found new on Ebay for around GBP 400.
Thanks for your feedback! Yes, the DA 15 is wonderful. But there are times it's just too wide. That's why I wanted another option for those instances. However, it seems the Tamron zoom might be just what I'm looking for when it comes to landscapes with some added flexibility.


QuoteOriginally posted by zapp Quote
The Sigma 2.8/24 was a really good lens at it's time and is still a good option. The AF is loud and slow, the whole design is crap, but optically it was a great performer. Get the MF version, it feels much better. The K 2.8/24 probably has much better haptics.
photozone has a test of the Sigma 24 in Pentax section
Sigma AF 24mm f/2.8 macro (Pentax K) - Review / Lab Test Report
Thank you, zapp! I still haven't decided for sure. I will probably end up with both the Tammy 17-50 and one of those primes like the K 24/2.8. We'll see. This thread has been an education and I really appreciate all the comments!
02-13-2012, 01:54 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by zapp Quote
The Sigma 2.8/24 was a really good lens at it's time and is still a good option. The AF is loud and slow, the whole design is crap, but optically it was a great performer. Get the MF version, it feels much better. The K 2.8/24 probably has much better haptics.
photozone has a test of the Sigma 24 in Pentax section
Sigma AF 24mm f/2.8 macro (Pentax K) - Review / Lab Test Report
I had the MF version once and everything about that Sigma was crap except optical performance. Pentax should license its optical formula and remake it into the plastic SMC DA L 24/2.8 for $200. It would be a winner!!
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