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06-11-2012, 09:31 AM   #1
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15 Ltd.

After handling the 15 ldt, 40 xs, 31 ltd , 70 and 16.50 and taking a few wide images, we pretty much decided the 15 ltd. is our best wide angle choice and next lens to purchase.

At 5.6 it's centre sharpness is perfect according to photo zone.. at F8, it's in the excellent range both centre and edge, that's rare in a lens as far as I can tell. Other lenses considered would be the Sigma 14 and 10-20, Pentax 16-50, and the Tamron 12-24. The overwhelming piece of info for the 15 though is it's correction. 0.8 barrel distortion. I haven't seen anything else even close, like even closer than 2. The photo zone tests were confirmed at the photo show we looked at when we had a chance to try out a few of these lenses on our cameras.

Just wondering though.. is there something else I should be looking at? Extremely sharp, an F-stop that has excellent MTF, centre and edge in at least one F-stop and close in another...I would actually have liked to go a little wider... but the other two factors, sharpness and barrel distortion take precedence.

You guys collectively always have something , you can do this.

( PS.. my eyesight means going MF isn't really a possibility.)


Last edited by normhead; 06-11-2012 at 10:54 AM.
06-11-2012, 09:39 AM   #2
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I'm thinking I need a second K-5 body for my other lenses and just leave the 15mm LTD attached full time..........
06-11-2012, 09:40 AM   #3
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What about the Pentax 14mm and 21mm?
I've tried the 15mm and 21mm side by side and i liked the 21mm.
About the 14mm, it has less barrel distortion then the 15mm and it's wider, not sure how the sharpness compares though.

What to look is for me most important the handling of the lens and the character of the images it makes, so i look mostly at colours, contrast and bokeh.
06-11-2012, 09:44 AM - 1 Like   #4
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I seem to be the only person who didn't like the DA 15. I'd say the way the lens feels is far more important than anything else if you're just using it for a hobby. I personally find the DA 16-50 a much better wide angle lens than the DA 15, but that's just me. The DA 15 just didn't gel with me, whereas the DA* 16-50 melts away in my hands.

Why not consider the Sigma 8-16? I hear it's fantastically sharp, and little distortion other than a huge amount at 8mm. But you can't stick a filter on it.

06-11-2012, 09:46 AM   #5
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I've tried the 15mm and 21mm side by side and i liked the 21mm
We own the 21, I like it for dreamy it's softness and OOF rendition, like an old portrait lens. The 15 ltd is a very different lens. I will see what I can find out about the 14 though.

Sigma 8-16, I'll give that a look as well.

Just a quick look at photo zone... the 14 I've discarded, not sharp enough, too much loss in barrel distortion. I'm not too keen on what exactly MTF numbers mean in the real world, but barrel distortion and CA, those are pretty solid measurements.

It's going to be a bitch for me to get to see a Sigma 8-16. It looks like a winner at 12 mm.. not rated as sharp as the 15 centre or edge but 0.5 barrel distortion. Close enough to warrant a look. Oops, it has zoom type CA, that's the problem with zooms.

Last edited by normhead; 06-11-2012 at 10:53 AM.
06-11-2012, 10:30 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Just wondering though.. is there something else I should be looking at?
Flare resistance is another very strong point of the DA 15.
06-11-2012, 10:35 AM   #7
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I haven't tried those other lenses. Once I got the 15 I knew I didn't need to.
For wider I got a Rokinon 8mm Fisheye. Pretty fun lens but not often the right tool for the job. It's also MF but with that lens focusing is pretty easy; the DOF seems pretty deep.
06-11-2012, 11:07 AM   #8
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Ignore photozone and try the DA14. I too prefered it over DA15. Of course, DA15 is small and cute, great for shots agains the sun, but sharpness crown went to DA14.

06-11-2012, 11:47 AM   #9
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Most important is that the DA15 is one of the coolest looking lenses ever made. Sorry for the crappy cell-phone quality pic.

Also important is it's performance, which is perfect by f/8, but probably not the best ever at f/4 where the border performance is fairly poor. If you get close enough for some bokeh, you'll get pretty unique looking results, though I wouldn't say the DA15 has "nice" bokeh. Overall, this is one of my favorite lenses, but for a lot of reasons that don't show up in brick wall tests.
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06-11-2012, 12:13 PM   #10
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Most important is that the DA15 is one of the coolest looking lenses ever made. Sorry for the crappy cell-phone quality pic.
There's something I hadn't considered... when will they make a lens that can take a side view picture of itself ... Pentax better get on this right away or they are corporate toast, I mean like dead in the water, a marketing disaster. I have it from inside sources Canon engineers are already working on this. Pentax can never catch up but at least coming out with something like this could make their market share drop only .25 % a year as opposed to .5%.

Which brings up another point, if you lose market share every year, but increase sales, are you not still growing. It's a completely hypotheitcal situation, I have no idea what Pentax sales are doing, just something to throw out there.
06-11-2012, 12:21 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Which brings up another point, if you lose market share every year, but increase sales, are you not still growing. It's a completely hypotheitcal situation, I have no idea what Pentax sales are doing, just something to throw out there
The opportunity cost is more meaningful than the nominal growth. Once a potential sale is lost (your competitor gathers market share in a growing economy) that sale is forever, irretrievably lost.

When the economy eventually turns down and your market share has dimished you won't have the scale to survive against your competitor's cash flow (as is potentially happening at this very moment) on the decreased revenue. It is a death spiral.
06-11-2012, 12:23 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
There's something I hadn't considered... when will they make a lens that can take a side view picture of itself
Not quite there yet, but:
PENTAX Mirror Adapter reviews - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database
06-11-2012, 12:32 PM   #13
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When the economy eventually turns down and your market share has dimished you won't have the scale to survive against your competitor's cash flow (as is potentially happening at this very moment) on the decreased revenue. It is a death spiral.
If your competitor having expanded to meet the demands of a hot market doesn't go under. I shopped at Sam the Record and and Toronto Camera for years. Both expanded, put stores all over the place and grew and kept expanding for years, until they collapsed. It could go either way. Which is a couple quarters of soft sale going to hurt most? There's two ways of looking at that.
06-11-2012, 12:53 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Anvh Quote
What about the Pentax 14mm and 21mm?
I've tried the 15mm and 21mm side by side and i liked the 21mm.
About the 14mm, it has less barrel distortion then the 15mm and it's wider, not sure how the sharpness compares though.
Nope, the DA15ltd has less barrel distortion, manically high central sharpness, and rather better (not brilliant) edge sharpness than the DA14 (according to photozone.de). In use you have to go up to f8 is you want across the frame sharpness for landscapes etc. From experience, it is also incredibly flare resistant, and renders colours intensely. It's also wonderfully tiny and beautiful.
06-11-2012, 01:01 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by ihasa Quote
Nope, the DA15ltd has less barrel distortion, manically high central sharpness, and rather better (not brilliant) edge sharpness than the DA14 (according to photozone.de).
Yep ur right thought it wasn't so, DXO concur.
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