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07-19-2012, 07:20 AM   #1
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What Choices For A Fast 24?

I've been hoping to find something fairly fast for my k5 to bring me up to roughly that 36 or so eff. focal length, but the choices are limited and often expensive.

FA*24 F2: Would love it, but pricey as hell in Europe
Sigma 24 1.8: Bigger than the FA24 (it seems), as pricey, if not, pricier (used)
Sigma 24 2.8 (super-wide, I think with the AF): doesn't come along too often, prices shooting up, not as fast as I'd like.

Are there any other real alternatives that are fast and offer good performance around this FL?

07-19-2012, 07:30 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by snake Quote
I've been hoping to find something fairly fast for my k5 to bring me up to roughly that 36 or so eff. focal length, but the choices are limited and often expensive.

FA*24 F2: Would love it, but pricey as hell in Europe
Sigma 24 1.8: Bigger than the FA24 (it seems), as pricey, if not, pricier (used)
Sigma 24 2.8 (super-wide, I think with the AF): doesn't come along too often, prices shooting up, not as fast as I'd like.

Are there any other real alternatives that are fast and offer good performance around this FL?
FA*24 is the best, fast, well built (except for the lousy hood) and nice bokeh from a wide lens (which is no mean feat). Very contrasty too.

Sigma 24/1.8 is even larger than the FA*, and to me, the bokeh is not comparable.


I also have the K24/2.8, which is a real nice lens and small too. Almost all the characteristics of the FA*, except that its MF , f2.8 and maybe a bit less sharp (splitting hairs here). But its so much smaller and a joy to use and bring around.

I had a Cosina 24/2.8 ("macro") and it was pretty good too, it even focused much nearer than the K24. Only things against it were resistance to flare, no SMC contrast and warmth in colors and build.
07-19-2012, 07:34 AM   #3
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I was impressed by Vivitar Series 1 24-48mm...but in terms of its size it is a monster with 77mm front element...in EU you can buy it around 100 - 150 USD...
unfortunatelly mine was with a scratched front element...
07-19-2012, 07:39 AM   #4
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The Samyang/Rokinon is probably the best 24mm lens under $1k, but it's manual focus. Kiron maked a 24/2 that is well regarded, but not the best quality wide open.

07-19-2012, 07:52 AM   #5
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I have three options at f/2.8 (a realistic speed, even if it isn't as fast as you'd really like):

Pentax K24/2.8, Zeiss ZK 25/2.8, Tamron 17-50/2.8 A16P.

In terms of resolution charts, the Tamron has the best sharpness over the whole APS-C field,
and has virtually no geometric distortion at 24mm.
But it's not a discreet street lens by any means, especially with the hood,
and it doesn't have the rendering of a prime.

The K24/2.8 has good, but not excellent sharpness, as pinholecam noted.
However, it is cheap, light, and discreet. You can see my review at
https://www.pentaxforums.com/lensreviews/SMC-Pentax-K-24mm-F2.8-Lens.html
(that's the K24/2.8 review page on the forum here, if the link doesn't work right).

The Zeiss ZK 25/2.8 is of intermediate size.
(It does pass my personal criterion for smallness,
fitting in a bridge camera waist-pack when mounted on a K-x.)
Central sharpness is outstanding.
Border sharpness is excellent stopped down,
good wide open if the field curvature matches your subject,
but only fair if the field curvature is working against you.
The rendering is absolutely magic, and it focuses very close.
07-19-2012, 07:56 AM   #6
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Thanks for all the input so far. Looks like if I want something fast, I have only the Sigma and FA24 as my only options, unfortunately.

The sigma 24 2.8 (AF) might have been an option, as I would have been able to trade speed off for size. I know, sacrilege, but put one way- I can get an FA24 for about 650 euros, the Sigma 24 1.8 about the same. I can get a lightly used, still under warranty x100 for about 700 or less. Warranties transfer here. Tough, eh?
07-19-2012, 07:57 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenafein Quote
The Samyang/Rokinon is probably the best 24mm lens under $1k, but it's manual focus.
Optyczne/Lenstip were less impressed with that Samyang than they were with the others.
07-19-2012, 07:59 AM   #8
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That's the 24/1.4, correct? I saw only one review, then knocked it out. It's huge, costs the same as an FA*24, but with MF. I'd give up that stop for the AF and smaller size.

07-19-2012, 07:59 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote

The Zeiss ZK 25/2.8 is of intermediate size.
(It does pass my personal criterion for smallness,
fitting in a bridge camera waist-pack when mounted on a K-x.)
Central sharpness is outstanding.
Border sharpness is excellent stopped down,
good wide open if the field curvature matches your subject,
but only fair if the field curvature is working against you.
The rendering is absolutely magic, and it focuses very close.
Ah, ZK 25/2.8 seems to be excellent lens....but even more expensive than FA*24/2
Still I would love to have one, I tried FA*24/2 for a brief period and I wasn't impressed
07-19-2012, 08:03 AM   #10
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Could you expand on "why"?
07-19-2012, 08:04 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by snake Quote
I can get a lightly used, still under warranty x100 for about 700 or less.
I went for a similar solution back in the film day,
using a second-hand Leica M2 with Summicron 35/2
instead of a 35mm lens on my LX.

But the Fuji will not focus as nicely as a DSLR,
if you do action photography.

On the K5, the only reason to choose f/1.4 or f/2 rather than f/2.8
would be for the bokeh.
07-19-2012, 08:06 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by snake Quote
I've been hoping to find something fairly fast for my k5 to bring me up to roughly that 36 or so eff. focal length, but the choices are limited and often expensive.

FA*24 F2: Would love it, but pricey as hell in Europe
Sigma 24 1.8: Bigger than the FA24 (it seems), as pricey, if not, pricier (used)
Sigma 24 2.8 (super-wide, I think with the AF): doesn't come along too often, prices shooting up, not as fast as I'd like.

Are there any other real alternatives that are fast and offer good performance around this FL?
Fast and 24mm - that would be the Kiron 24/2 (PK only) (also sold under the Vivitar brand, as far as I know). I had that and still keep it, despite also having the FA 24/2, because the Kiron is nicely made and has good optics. Unbeatable in terms of value, I think.

Vivitar had two versions of the 24/2, one supposedly by Kiron (55mm filter thread) and one made by Komine (52mm)

Ben
07-19-2012, 08:08 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by snake Quote
That's the 24/1.4, correct?
Correct.
As far as I know, it's the only f/1.4 option for K mount in this focal length range.
07-19-2012, 08:51 AM   #14
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Interesting thread. I picked up a Sigma Super Wide II f2.8 last year and before that a Nikkor 24 f2.8 Ai lens converted to K-mount by one of the members. It's a good length although I don't use it near enough. I'm more fond of the Sigma as it's AF and the Nikkor is, well, manual everything. The only thing on the Sigma is the cheep clip on hood that comes with it. To know it is to loath it.

Last edited by blackcloudbrew; 07-19-2012 at 09:02 AM.
07-19-2012, 09:23 AM   #15
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The A24/2.8 is nice. It's about the only lens I sometimes wonder if I should have kept instead of selling it.
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