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11-17-2012, 05:44 AM   #1
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Which WA to buy for my Pentax K-5?

Dear Pentaxians,

I have spent a stupid amount of time reading reviews on WA and UWA lenses to buy for my K5. I own a Tamron 17-50 mm f2.8 which is a very nice lens but I want something wider for landscape and architecture. I think I have read just about everything one can read on the web about the Pentax 12-24mm, the two Sigma 10-20mm and the Tamron 10-24mm. The Tamron is very affordable at $450.00 in Toronto and the same at B&H in NYC (where I am going in a couple of weeks). The Pentax 12-24mm is $729 which is far cheaper than I can buy in Toronto. The Sigma 10-20mm 3.5 is $600 at B&H and the older, slower 10-20mm at $479. I just spent a good amount of time reading reviews on this site about the Pentax 15mm Limited lens. I'm really impressed with many of the photos people posted on this thread. I have a 70mm Limited lens and I think it is the best lens I own. I also have a Pentax DA* 60-250, but I would take the Limited 70mm over the zoom at 70mm. It is simply superb.

Obviously, these zoom lenses offer a wider shot than the 15mm. But I want image quality and colour that is noticeable and excites me as a photographer when I view my finished product. The Pentax DA 15mm Limited is not cheap and sells for $646.95 at B&H and costs more here in Toronto. I see that many ppl on the thread evaluating the 15mm paid $450-550. I can only presume these are used lenses at these prices.

Although I don't post many comments, I really respect the discussions on this website. It usually doesn't have the 'yahoo' comments you get on Amazon or other photography oriented websites where it seems that ppl who post comments know very little about taking photos or evaluating equipment.

So, the question is - of the five lenses: Pentax 12-24mm, the two Sigmas, the Tamron and the Pentax 15mm Limited - what lens should I buy?


11-17-2012, 06:12 AM   #2
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I own a 12-24, I am pretty happy with it, Very sharp, at first it did bother me a bit the CA, but now I can correct 90% of it in LR, can not comment on the others
11-17-2012, 06:15 AM   #3
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There's no point getting the DA15 unless the tiny size and general feel are important to you for a wide angle, as the others are very close in terms of quality, and many are better in some respects. If those are important to you then I'd highly recommend it. I sold mine a while ago and I pine for it now. Gotta love the feel of the DA Ltds.
11-17-2012, 06:41 AM   #4
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A nice benefit of the 15mm over the Pentax 12-24 is the 7 bladed aperture and the 14 pointed stars it makes.

11-17-2012, 06:44 AM   #5

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QuoteOriginally posted by Rocky Lotar Quote
So, the question is - of the five lenses: Pentax 12-24mm, the two Sigmas, the Tamron and the Pentax 15mm Limited - what lens should I buy?
It may depend partly on how you want to use the lens.
For me, street photography is important,
and the zooms (especially with a hood)
are just too big and attention-drawing for that application.

BTW, don't forget to give B&H a call
for a price quote on a Pentax lens you're contemplating.
11-17-2012, 06:46 AM   #6
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To yygomez - yes, the reviews on the 12-24mm all mention the CA problem and sample photos often confirm this. It is making me pause for thought ...
11-17-2012, 06:53 AM   #7
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I'm also considering a WA for my K-5, and I'm leaning towards the Tamron ... have read the PF member reviews and this ; DA 12-24mm vs Sigma and Tamron 10-24mm Comparison - Introduction -

Any additional input about would be appreciated. J
11-17-2012, 06:56 AM   #8
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I have 12-24, 15ltd, 21 Ltd.... One feature of the ltds is the compact size, and unimposing appearance. 12-24 draws much attention because of the large petal hood and 77mm objective. I am waffling on keeping the 24 because I rarely use it now but they all give nice results. If you want wide, go for the zoom IMO - a prime will have you standing in traffic if you are unlucky.

11-17-2012, 07:06 AM   #9

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I, myself, am considering the DA14. The 15 is too slow, the DA21, while nice, is still a hair too slow and not wide enough to make me compromise.
11-17-2012, 08:08 AM   #10
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While I yearn to buy the DA15 (because it has magic pixy dust in it that makes all pictures better), I find the Pentax 12-24 ( I have the Samsung version) is very versatile. The DA14 is good but it's a hard lens to love. I echo the comments on the DA21, I sold mine long ago.
11-17-2012, 08:37 AM   #11
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You haven't discussed the Sigma 8-16?
11-17-2012, 08:48 AM   #12

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I've owned the DA 12-24, and currently own the DA 15. The differences, optically speaking, between the two lenses are slight; but to the extent that such differences exists, they are almost all in favor of the DA 15, which is sharper (particularly away from the edges) and features better microcontrast, better flare control, and more distinctive color rendition. The DA 12-24 is more versatile lens, as it will cover virtually all your WA needs. But the DA 15 will give you best image quality possible at its focal length on the Pentax platform.
11-17-2012, 08:50 AM   #13
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One thing to mention is that the Pentax lens road map says there is a uwa soon in the works for 2013. If you can hold on, it might be worth it, since you can either get the new zoom, or get an older uwa zoom for cheap from someone looking to upgrade to the new zoom. That's what I'm doing anyways.
11-17-2012, 08:52 AM   #14
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I have not used most of the WA lens discussed by others, but I have the Pentax 10-17mm. I am delighted with it. You get the interesting fisheye effects at the 10mm end, and 17mm is wide enough to take in most anything without too much linear distortion. I picked up my copy new for, best I can recall, around $500, and expect to keep it and use it for a long time.
11-17-2012, 09:19 AM   #15
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only you can decide what lens you need to get the photos you want. While it is fun to ask for advice, the fact is they are all great and they all have their benefits.

i use the Sigma 10-20 and DA15 in that range for rectilinear UWA. sharpness is fairly similar but the color and flare resistance of the DA15 is well noted over the sigma. And if the sun is to be in the photo at all, i go with the DA15.

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