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01-03-2013, 05:09 PM   #1
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Ultra sharp wide angle for street and crowds

I am looking for an ultra sharp and fast wide angle lens for street photography - mainly people in the street and crowds - usually taken at chest or sitting height - manual or auto depending on the situation.

I have a few other lenses, mostly much longer focal lengths fixed or zoom, so I am not looking for an all purpose lens.

At the moment I am using a K-x body, later I might upgrade to a K-5.

Maximizing sharpness and minimizing aberrations are important. Chromatic aberration is also something I want to avoid. Bokeh is not important as I am looking for full depth photos.

The SMC Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited is appealing and so is the SMC Pentax-DA 14mm F2.8 ED [IF].

I like the colors produced by Pentax lenses but I am also looking other brand lenses, including older lenses and manual focus lenses. My price limit is about $1,000 new or second hand, so the Leica Super-Elmar 15 3.5 is out of my range.

Suggestions welcome.

01-03-2013, 05:33 PM   #2
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The 15mm Limited is a wonderful lens. I don't do much street photography, but the lens is a joy to use.
Take a look through that thread. There are many shots that show what the 15mm is capable of.
01-03-2013, 05:41 PM   #3
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The 21mm is best IMO. I have tested this out and its to my liking

15mm is slower and its really wide... 21mm is a smidgin faster...but if you stop down a little with the 21mm the images are amazing. In both scenarios you will need to shoot in good light. Low light... eh, not so much...for hand held walking around that is.

Either case you can get superb results. With the 21 you can isolate your target a bit more easily. Just depends on what you are after.
01-03-2013, 05:51 PM   #4
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+1 for the DA15mm Ltd.

I got one for Xmas and it is a very nice lens. I love the sharp pictures, as well as the tiny shape (compared to the Da14mm). I think that the tiny shape is an advantage, less obvious, when you take pictures of crowds.

01-03-2013, 05:56 PM   #5
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The DA21 is the widest I have used, but my sharpest street lens is a FA35.

The DA15 seems a bit too wide for me but a contact on Flickr does good work with it. Smokers #K5IM0544 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

My street stuff is a combo of FA35, DA21, 18-135 zoom and Q. See street link below.
01-03-2013, 06:10 PM   #6
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Samyang 14mm f2.8?
Try looking up sample photos of the lenses you are interested in, these forums allow that. But keep in mind that you are using a 12MP camera, so if you go super wide, everything will be tiny and not much real detail will be captured. At least, that is my experience with crowd photos. Kind of have to enlarge them to make people's expressions visible, but this lowers quality. Then again, my widest is the 18-55mm kit lens, so not a a lot of IQ to begin with.
01-03-2013, 06:12 PM   #7

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The Samyang 14mm manual focus is reportedly quite sharp if you don't want to spend too much. The 15mm ltd is logical choice otherwise.
01-03-2013, 06:21 PM   #8
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I prefer the 21, the 15 is very wide but has its places. I find myself using FA 35/2 too. Some of each here

NYC - photowalk - a set on Flickr

I don't get to shoot street often so the merit of the shots are not the greatest but you may get similar performance with your KX as I do with my KR. Size is a consideration for me. Having the 12-24 I know how large the 14/2.8 will be, but the extra stop of aperture may help keep the shutter speeds up.

01-03-2013, 06:42 PM   #9
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Again I would strongly recommend the DA15mm f/4 ED ASPH Limited - especially on the Pentax K5. The lens is very small and unobtrusive, the built in hood is a bit superflous - the DA15 has very impressive flare tolerance. Though it is very wide for street photography, with my leica cameras that I use for street photography I rarely use any lens wider than 35mm - I typically use a 50mm lens. Because I am very familiar with the focal length and the neutral perspective you get from them.

Some of my favourite street photographs taken on Pentax DSLR cameras have been taken by the FA31mm f/1.8 ASPH Limited:

01-03-2013, 06:55 PM   #10
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Digitalis....that looks like the inside of the QVB.
01-03-2013, 09:05 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by alamo5000 Quote
Digitalis....that looks like the inside of the QVB.
No, more like the inside of here:

M28/3.5 on a K-x. And btw, I have found the M28/3.5 a pleasure to use.
01-03-2013, 09:09 PM   #12
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beautiful shot!!!!!!
01-03-2013, 09:12 PM   #13
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I am starting to miss Australia.
01-03-2013, 09:13 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by alamo5000 Quote
beautiful shot!!!!!!
Thx Part of my Single in September album using the M28.
01-03-2013, 09:30 PM   #15
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I use both the 15 and 21 limiters for street photography. Both allow a low profile due to their small size and great IQ from f5.6. I also use the 40 as well, depends on the situation. You can't go wrong with either, and AF is fast as well.

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