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03-20-2013, 06:44 AM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by atiratha Quote
Just my 2 cents. I own DA 21 and DA 70. Never really wanted a DA 40, to me this is really THE least exciting limited due to immense array of options in the field of 35-55 mm lenses. Although I love portraiture, DA 70 does not really satisfy me in this field and I find myself reaching for Pancolar 80/1.8, K50/1.2 or even F50/1.4 more often (mostly due to CA in bokeh which I find the weakest aspect of DA 70 overall).

I still own a Tamron 17-50 and must concur it is an excellent lens...with a really slow AF and the thing is just huge.

DA 21 is small, sharp and come on F/3.2 vs F/2.8 of the Tamron? Really? That is what? third of a stop difference?
The distortion is negligible in real life and easily correctable in PP, sharpness is excellent, as is contrast. What I value most about this lens is its consistency of results under most of conditions and versatility of use. When I traveled to India, I usually brought 3-4 lenses and for the ordinary street shots, the DA 21 was my main "lens cap" (I even had DA 14 with me but rarely used it)

Some of my DA 21 photos


Regarding the last three pictures - this is DA 21+ K-5 low light performance. You can check more at my dA profile
Awesome series atiratha!


QuoteOriginally posted by Apapukas Quote
To sum up...
Looks like the 21 Ltd is a really capable lens, but.. it has a specific use. Due to its small size and optical characteristics, it shines in landscapes/panoramas
But it isn't the best choice if you are looking for speed, low light performance or portraits.
On the contrary I think it's one of the most versatile prime in the Limited series, I've seen amazing portraits in the DA 21 thread :

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/46831-post-you...tml#post534878
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/46831-post-you...ml#post1553990
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/46831-post-you...ml#post1567932

03-20-2013, 07:07 AM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by Apapukas Quote
To sum up...
Looks like the 21 Ltd is a really capable lens, but.. it has a specific use. Due to its small size and optical characteristics, it shines in landscapes/panoramas
But it isn't the best choice if you are looking for speed, low light performance or portraits.
The best lenses for portraiture tend to be from 70-90 mm and up to 135 on larger formats. That allows you to move back far enough to avoid distorting facial features like noses, ears etc. That the 21 is not good for portraiture is a comment on the focal length, not the 21 as a lens, so hardly a fair comment on it as a lens, but I guess of use to those of us who have no formal training and might suspect wide angles make great portrait lenses it's useful information. You can always decide for what ever reason you want , you may use a wide angle as a portrait lens. I like sticking a fisheye in the wife's face and triggering the shutter. But I have to let her do it back, fair is fair. Then we laugh at the photos.

But as a general rule, I doubt you want to go under 50mm for an APS-c portrait, and you definitely don't want to use anything under 30.
03-20-2013, 08:55 AM - 1 Like   #48
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Atiratha, thank you, for bringing some new wind in to this thread
I think I depreciated 21 Ltd too much.

Maybe someone could post test shots of 21Ltd and Tamron at f/3.2, 21mm? it would be great to compare sharpness, colour rendition, bokeh, distortions, also AF speed (I have read that Tamron's AF isn't too fast or reliable at the lower end?).

NickLarsson, great links, thank you. I am looking at 21Ltd quite different now..

Normhead I understand what you are saying, but again it depens on how do you imagine a portrait. Headshots, half body is only a small part of what I call a portrait.

This is how I imagine a portrait. Shot with 31mm Ltd (other photographer was using 24mm on FF).

Last edited by Apapukas; 05-01-2014 at 12:37 AM.
03-20-2013, 10:02 AM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by Apapukas Quote
Atiratha, thank you, for bringing some new wind in to this thread
I think I depreciated 21 Ltd too much.

Maybe someone could post test shots of 21Ltd and Tamron at f/3.2, 21mm? it would be great to compare sharpness, colour rendition, bokeh, distortions, also AF speed (I have read that Tamron's AF isn't too fast or reliable at the lower end?).

NickLarsson, great links, thank you. I am looking at 21Ltd quite different now..

Normhead I understand what you are saying, but again it depens on how do you imagine a portrait. Headshots, half body is only a small part of what I call a portrait.

This is how I imagine a portrait. Shot with 31mm Ltd (other photographer was using 24mm on FF).
These are environmental portraits, and the 31 is perfect for that. A formal portrait would usually be more confined.

03-20-2013, 02:41 PM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by atiratha Quote
Just my 2 cents. I own DA 21 and DA 70. Never really wanted a DA 40, to me this is really THE least exciting limited due to immense array of options in the field of 35-55 mm lenses. Although I love portraiture, DA 70 does not really satisfy me in this field and I find myself reaching for Pancolar 80/1.8, K50/1.2 or even F50/1.4 more often (mostly due to CA in bokeh which I find the weakest aspect of DA 70 overall).

I still own a Tamron 17-50 and must concur it is an excellent lens...with a really slow AF and the thing is just huge.

DA 21 is small, sharp and come on F/3.2 vs F/2.8 of the Tamron? Really? That is what? third of a stop difference?
The distortion is negligible in real life and easily correctable in PP, sharpness is excellent, as is contrast. What I value most about this lens is its consistency of results under most of conditions and versatility of use. When I traveled to India, I usually brought 3-4 lenses and for the ordinary street shots, the DA 21 was my main "lens cap" (I even had DA 14 with me but rarely used it)

Some of my DA 21 photos


Regarding the last three pictures - this is DA 21+ K-5 low light performance. You can check more at my dA profile
Marvelous photos.
03-20-2013, 06:49 PM   #51
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21 Ltd.

We all have our preferences about what we like for lenses. I have the 15mm, 21mm, 40mm and the 70mm Ltd. lenses. I find that I use the 21mm the most because I find it to be a very useful focal length and the lens produces fine images. The 40mm can be a bit long at times and the 15mm has its own uses. For indoor and street photography the 21mm is especially useful. It is the one prime I would replace immediately if something was to happen.
03-21-2013, 03:12 AM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
These are environmental portraits, and the 31 is perfect for that. A formal portrait would usually be more confined.
So, is the 21 any good for environmental portraiture? I sometimes find my FA35 a little tight (our house is small) and the FA28 is only good with people if you're right on top of them in my experience... Plus I often find my 28 'not quite wide enough' and resort to the kit-18-55 (I have the Vivitar 19mm f3.8 but find the kit offers at least equal IQ) as 28 and 35 are pretty close in terms of FoV... I like the FoV of the Vivitar-19 but the IQ although not bad ain't top notch...
03-21-2013, 03:38 AM   #53
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The DA21 is a great little lens. I used it for a month HERE in parallel with my DA40 and DA70 and it was easily my favourite. I use it even more than my DA15, which is certainly a keeper.

With that said, if you want to cover weddings I agree with others' comments about a high quality 16/17-50 f/2.8 zoom. Pentax, Sigma and Tamron all fit the bill, but the Tamron will be noisier.

03-25-2013, 03:54 AM   #54
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This week I'm planning to go test Tamron and 21Ltd. I will upgrade my post when I have results
03-25-2013, 06:15 AM   #55
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I've taken to walking around with the K-01 around my neck, with the 21 on it. The K-5 is in my camera case with the DA*60-250 or DA 18-35 on it. That combination will take care of an awful lot of shooting situations.
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