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07-01-2012, 07:02 AM   #1
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Pentax DA 14 2.8 vs Tamron 14 2.8

Has anyone had experience with either lens enough to be able to compare them? I'm looking for something pretty wide for concerts, and I think the FA24 f2 won't be wide enough in some instances. Not to mention that it's quite expensive, though the speed of that lens is quite desireable for my K-5.

In this case, I'd be willing to sacrifice on speed (which can be accomodated by adding ISO) in order to get significantly wider field of views.

The DA14 is available in my market, prices range quite widely. The Tamron is less available, but sometimes for decent pricing (but sometimes for even more than the DA14, surprisingly).

What are the thoughts? Neither are cheap, but essentially the only game in town for wide angles and reasonably good speed.

07-01-2012, 08:35 AM   #2
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I presume you've read the reviews on this site of both lenses. I wasn't aware that Tamron made this lens, but there it is in the reviews. The DA14 is an old design at this point (ok, the Tamron is a discontinued lens, so it's even older). I really like my DA14 and when I need it, it's the right lens. I can't speak for the Tamron. Honestly, as I also own the DA 10-17 and DA 12-24, I find that I use them more. While the DA 14 is an f2.8 lens, it's speed advantage in low light is easily duplicated with either of the other two (not to mention the highly acclaimed DA 15 limited) but just using a tripod. For me the DA 12-24 is more versatile in the UWA lens range. YMMV
07-01-2012, 08:39 AM   #3
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My Sigma 15/2.8 fisheye is wider if you can get past the edges going fishy. De-fish and I believe you lose the advantage.. though I've yet to try it. Sorry I can't really help with the 14mm debate; I had the Tamron 14 in my Sony days, images were quite nice but the weight was more than I liked to carry for its rare use. The Sigma 15 is much lighter at 320g; as I recall the Tamron in Minolta mount was ~600g, but the DA lists here at 420g. I'll carry 320g most days, 450g some days, 600g.. no thank you.
07-01-2012, 08:41 AM   #4
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Yep, seen the reviews.

The DA15 is not a consideration, as it's too slow for my needs. Same goes for the 12-24 and to some degrees, the 10-17. In poorly lit concert settings, I need the larger aperture, even with the K5.

07-01-2012, 10:30 AM   #5
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There is not a lot available for Pentax that is both wide and relatively fast. I am also assuming that you are wanting AF too, since manual focus would probably not do your workflow any good. That is one area (lenses) that both Canon and Nikon do excel in, where they have the larger selection of lenses that are also relatively fast. Pentax does have in body stabilization that does help to a degree across the entire focal range, whereas the other two have lens based stabilization systems.

Wide and fast usually do not go together - there is some leeway with older manual lenses to a degree.

Here is a similar post - different application. Scroll down to post #21.You could try the Rokinon or Samyang (has a lot of relabels) 14mm f/2.8 Lens For Pentax for $400 - however you are back to manual focus. I guess you could use "catch in focus".

07-01-2012, 10:32 AM   #6
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Snake, i enjoyed your blog - lots of fun and interesting pictures - toning is good as well.

I have a Sigma 10-20 f4 and i'm surprised at how well it shoots at even slow speed, say 1/30s or less with SR. But that doesn't compensate for subject movement, which you obviously shoot a lot.

Even f2.8 is not particularly fast for darker scenes which you seem to shoot frequently. If it was me, i'd go after the Sigma 30 f1.4 (see the thread on those photos) or Sigma 24 at f1.8. Still fairly small for the bag but fast too. I'm not a particular fan of the UWA in any case. What kind of FL do you use a lot of???

best of luck in your search
07-01-2012, 10:42 AM   #7
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The Tamron lens is a fullframe lens, the Pentax lens only works on APS-C format. That means that the 14 mm Pentax is optimzed for the current sensor size and should provide better results. It may be designed to get closer to the sensor thus allowing for less distortion and better image quality. In the long run, the Tamron lens also covers full frame. Most 14 mm full frame lenses are really sub-standard comparing them to longer focal lengths. That is a design probelm with extreme wide angle lenses for SLR cameras. Do not expect to get really good quality at full aperture with a 14 mm lens. What part of the concert do you want to cover with this lens. Faces look really flat in image taken with ultra wide angle lenses.
07-01-2012, 10:46 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by snake Quote
I'm looking for something pretty wide for concerts
I have experience with the Samyang 14 2.8 (the vivitar 13mm version to be exact) - pretty sharp wide open and sharper than the DA 14, stellar lens overall. Additional bonus -> it is MF only, this is a plus for shooting low light as you can focus faster with MF and since the lens was designed as a MF lens, the focus ring fits nicely to the hand and the long focus throw helps get pretty precise focus, highly recommended...

07-01-2012, 11:57 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by joe.penn Quote
I have experience with the Samyang 14 2.8 (the vivitar 13mm version to be exact) - pretty sharp wide open and sharper than the DA 14, stellar lens overall. Additional bonus -> it is MF only, this is a plus for shooting low light as you can focus faster with MF and since the lens was designed as a MF lens, the focus ring fits nicely to the hand and the long focus throw helps get pretty precise focus, highly recommended...
Joe, thats a really good point. The Sigma's 10-20 would hardly AF at all at the 10mm FL. I just got used to setting the distance scale to about 3' and that provided zone focusing to infinity. The Samyang would be a good option for the op, interested in it myself :-)
07-01-2012, 02:35 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by joe.penn Quote
I have experience with the Samyang 14 2.8 (the vivitar 13mm version to be exact) - pretty sharp wide open and sharper than the DA 14, stellar lens overall. Additional bonus -> it is MF only, this is a plus for shooting low light as you can focus faster with MF and since the lens was designed as a MF lens, the focus ring fits nicely to the hand and the long focus throw helps get pretty precise focus, highly recommended...
I'll keep an eye, thanks. Don't they make a faster version in that FL, or am I mistaken?
07-01-2012, 04:21 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
I have a Sigma 10-20 f4 and i'm surprised at how well it shoots at even slow speed, say 1/30s or less with SR. But that doesn't compensate for subject movement, which you obviously shoot a lot.
I've used the DA 15 for nighttime street shooting with the K-x,
1/30 sec at ISO 3200, f/4.
Because of the wideness of the angle, motion blur isn't necessarily an issue.

QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
Snake, i enjoyed your blog - lots of fun and interesting pictures - toning is good as well.
I agree, nice blog. Snake, did you pull the link?

One non-photographic comment:

Translating "Bunte Republik" as "Colorful Republic" is literal,
but misses the play on "Bundesrepublik" or "Federal Republic."
May I suggest the translation "Fairy Tale Republic,"
which has the sense of color or fantasy,
but is also only one sound switch away from "Federal Republic."
07-01-2012, 04:33 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
Snake, i enjoyed your blog - lots of fun and interesting pictures - toning is good as well.
Sorry, I missed the compliment when I was mobile. thanks very much.

The toning is something I've been developing for a while. Not exactly perfect yet, but I decided to go with something of a "color documentary" style, which I reluctantly tried to get away from black and white and ended up liking it...a lot. It was done more by force, as how can one document a rainbow parade without color?

It's not the best for pixel-peepers and people that lock to histograms, but I enjoy how it looks.

Some of the shots there weren't the best, such as soft-focused ones, but I kept them in for the overall theme.

QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
I've used the DA 15 for nighttime street shooting with the K-x,
1/30 sec at ISO 3200, f/4.
Because of the wideness of the angle, motion blur isn't necessarily an issue.



I agree, nice blog. Snake, did you pull the link?

One non-photographic comment:

Translating "Bunte Republik" as "Colorful Republic" is literal,
but misses the play on "Bundesrepublik" or "Federal Republic."
May I suggest the translation "Fairy Tale Republic,"
which has the sense of color or fantasy,
but is also only one sound switch away from "Federal Republic."

I'm a fluent German speaker myself, and this is how the people of my city translate it as well. The link is still there, but I'll check if there's an issue. So far, I've not heard this play on the explanation and the explanations, in german, have always been based on the colorful aspect of the festival, as displayed in the pictures. In recent times, as the city progresses towards being more and more extreme right and anti-immigrant, they have stepped up the aspect to have undertones of racial equality, in clear defiance of Europe's largest nazi march that takes place here every year and in criticism of the city's government which allows it, along with recent bad press (murders of foreigners and so on).

It was a fun time, with such thick crowds and to do it with the FA35, no less. The focus needs some work, as it's less positive than my F50 1.7, but I believe I can get around it with more experience, as I've had my k5 only about 6 weeks or so. This is partly why I'm thinking about a wide angle like a 14. Some of the daytimes were done on a m85 f2.

Last edited by snake; 07-01-2012 at 04:40 PM.
07-01-2012, 04:55 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by zapp Quote
The Tamron lens is a fullframe lens, the Pentax lens only works on APS-C format. That means that the 14 mm Pentax is optimzed for the current sensor size and should provide better results. It may be designed to get closer to the sensor thus allowing for less distortion and better image quality.
It's not that simple, and no APS-C lens that I am aware of has lens elements that protrude into the body in such a way that it interferes with a full-frame mirror, definitely not the DA 14mm, otherwise the full frame pictures taken with it in this thread would not be possible: DA lenses on Full Frame: Test Shots thread

APS-C lenses used on an APS-C body have the primary advantage of being able to use less glass and thus be physically smaller because they are only responsible for an APS-C size image circle, not a full-frame image circle. This doesn't automatically make them better than a full-frame lens on the same APS-C body. The other thing that sometimes accompanies an APS-C lens is the inclusion of improved coatings or light baffles in the rear of the lens to cope with digital image sensor reflections that aren't always handled as well in a lens from a film era, but that's something that varies from lens to lens. The benefit of using a full-frame lens on an APS-C body is that you are using proportionally more of the 'sweet spot' of the lens and less of the typically inferior edges. You will often find reviews of full-frame lenses that describe results not just in terms of center and edge performance, but also include APS-C edge performance and do vignette comparisons for both formats (full-frame almost always outperform APS-C lenses on APS-C when comparing vignetting).
07-02-2012, 05:12 AM   #14
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Thanks for that. In my case, I'm not expecting FF anytime soon, though if there is one, at least I'm equipped with the choice of lenses I made. It sort of pushes me over to the Tamron's corner, but it's not 100% necessary, as I'm more interested in keeping a smaller package with thye K-5.
07-02-2012, 09:37 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by snake Quote
The link is still there, but I'll check if there's an issue.
OK, got it figured out: It only displays to registered users who are logged on.

QuoteOriginally posted by snake Quote
So far, I've not heard this play on the explanation and the explanations, in german, have always been based on the colorful aspect of the festival, as displayed in the pictures. In recent times, as the city progresses towards being more and more extreme right and anti-immigrant, they have stepped up the aspect to have undertones of racial equality, in clear defiance of Europe's largest nazi march that takes place here every year and in criticism of the city's government which allows it, along with recent bad press (murders of foreigners and so on).
The paradox of democracy:
If it doesn't let anti-democratic voices speak, it becomes anti-democratic itself.

QuoteOriginally posted by snake Quote
I'm more interested in keeping a smaller package with the K-5.
The DA 15 would fit well with that.
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