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04-02-2012, 11:42 PM   #1
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What lens would you recommend?

Hi, I can't decide between the DA15mm and the DA21mm and am hoping you can help me out.

I just purchased the K-01 with the DA40mm XS, and feel that this camera is built for the prime lens! My current lens line up is the DA 18-55 (from my K100D), FA 50/1.4, DA40/2.8XS and I just sold my Sigma 17-70 (due more to the weight of the lens on the K-01!).

So, now I am looking at the DA15 or DA21 to complement. My primary concerns are IQ and weight, and indoor shooting! I find my picture taking seems to be more indoors with family - maybe more of a snapshot scenario - I like using the FA50/1.4, but this can be too tight, so ideally, something wider would be good.

Do you think either of these would work?

04-03-2012, 12:03 AM   #2
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In your planned use I would suggest to buy DA21 unless you want to make use of the special look of wide angle of DA15 -- the difference between 15 and 21 FOV is quite pronounced. DA21 is definitely a more 'general' lens.
04-03-2012, 04:37 AM   #3
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I agree with fuf. While the DA15Ltd produces beautiful images, that's a rather specialized focal length. I haven't those specific lenses but I have another 21mm, and a 10-24 ultrawide. I'll use the latter at 15mm generally within fairly tight spaces, or for shooting-from-the-hip in crowds. But my 21mm sees much use: with land-, sea-, sky-, and town-scapes; as a street-shooting lens; for not-too-distorted interiors and group shots (family gatherings etc); context portraits, etc -- yes, a more general lens.

Something to keep in mind: ultrawides do best with very close subjects. A very short lens tends to shrink the distant, turning mountains into molehills, urban skylines into ragged bumps. Except for the hip-shooting I mentioned above, I generally use ultrawide focal lengths (10-16mm) when I want to emphasize something close and de-emphasize details of its surroundings.

If you get a chance, borrow a 10-20 or 10-24 or 12-24 and try shots at 15mm and 20-21mm. See for yourself which focal length is more useful. Good luck!

Last edited by RioRico; 04-03-2012 at 04:49 AM.
04-03-2012, 01:45 PM   #4
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I might have agreed that 21mm would work better, but I have to say I find the 15 surprising useful indoors. I find appreciate its greater width more often than not. Plus of course I can always either take a step closer - and get a more interesting photo to boot - or crop and get more or less the same photo I would have gotten with the DA21 (less resolution due to the cropping, but also less distortion, so I'd call that a wash).

04-03-2012, 02:45 PM   #5
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these "help me choose" threads are always fun for a little discussion and what not but ultimately, you'll have to pick the lens that works best for your specific needs.

Both are excellent and have their place and neither is "better" than the other. I am a landscape shooter and primarily use the 15, 77, and 31 (in that order), but have had many situations where i needed a focal length between the 15 and 31, so i just got the DA21 and by all accounts, it is impressive! I now see myself using the 21 as my default and then switching to 15 or 31 as needed for the composition.

good luck and there's no shame in admitting it is impossible to choose and buying BOTH!
04-05-2012, 02:47 AM   #6
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Thanks all for the help. I pulled the trigger on the DA 21, as I found a good copy at a good price - it seems in Singapore at least, the DA 15 has more value than the DA 21 and I couldn't resist. Now have to go out and shoot!
04-05-2012, 10:07 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by aardvarkgeo Quote
Thanks all for the help. I pulled the trigger on the DA 21, as I found a good copy at a good price - it seems in Singapore at least, the DA 15 has more value than the DA 21 and I couldn't resist. Now have to go out and shoot!
arrr... that was too fast we were barely getting warmed up Enjoy the 21. But a word to the wise, as of last month I've ended up with both.
04-05-2012, 02:45 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Col Quote
arrr... that was too fast we were barely getting warmed up Enjoy the 21. But a word to the wise, as of last month I've ended up with both.
Never too late :-) I would also recommend the 21 for your described use. I recommend practicing with your software to correct barrel distortion, which can be pretty noticeable in shots with straight lines.

04-05-2012, 03:02 PM   #9
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When my ship comes in, I plan to sell it and buy the 21 and 40 (the 15 too, if it's a really nice ship).
04-06-2012, 09:13 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
Never too late :-) I would also recommend the 21 for your described use. I recommend practicing with your software to correct barrel distortion, which can be pretty noticeable in shots with straight lines.
I noticed on the K-01 it has automatic lens correction, and when I take photos with the DA21, it does automatically correct it, which is great for single shot, but when you want to do high speed shooting, it makes the camera lag a bit.
04-06-2012, 11:28 AM   #11
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QuoteQuote:
I noticed on the K-01 it has automatic lens correction, and when I take photos with the DA21, it does automatically correct it, which is great for single shot, but when you want to do high speed shooting, it makes the camera lag a bit.
Well, then, you are good to go, if slowly :-)
04-06-2012, 11:35 AM   #12
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Good decision. The 21 will suit you perfectly for your needs. Enjoy it.
04-06-2012, 11:39 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by fuf Quote
In your planned use I would suggest to buy DA21 unless you want to make use of the special look of wide angle of DA15 -- the difference between 15 and 21 FOV is quite pronounced. DA21 is definitely a more 'general' lens.
I would agree with this. There is a huge difference between 15mm and 21mm. It's not like comparing 35mm to 43mm. So, this is a decision that only you can make. The DA21 is a better general purpose lens, while the DA15 is more of a special purpose lens that would leave you with a huge gap up to 40mm. That said, the DA21 is probably the least beloved of all the Limited lenses, while the DA15 is one of the most. I'm not saying that the DA21 is bad or that it does not have its fans, but rather that it may not be quite up to the level of the other Limiteds. I don't own it, so I do not speak from personal experience, but this is what I surmise from reading this and other forums.

Rob
04-06-2012, 03:41 PM   #14
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After playing w/ my Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 for a few days, I think the FA 50mm f/1.4 would be awesome to have.
04-06-2012, 05:27 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kenny Quote
After playing w/ my Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 for a few days, I think the FA 50mm f/1.4 would be awesome to have.
The FA 50/1.4 is an awesome lens and still my favourite! (haven't used the DA 21 long enough yet to figure it if it's better for me) I picked it up for like $300 USD about 5 years ago and it has served me well - especially useful in low-light, and for head & shoulder portraits.
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