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03-16-2013, 05:51 AM   #1
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21mm Ltd least exciting Ltd?


I currently own two prime lenses - 31mm and 70mm Ltd's. Recently I found myself shooting more inside and 31mm really isn't wide enough.
So I'm looking for something equivalent to 30-35mm on FF. My first thought was 21mm Ltd, because of its interesting focal length and decent price (used), but after reading some reviews I've got a little confused. It looks like 21mm with its average speed and optical performance can't find its place amongst other limiteds. Any comments/recommendations on that?

I also plan to use this 3 lens kit for some weddings this summer.

Thank you.

03-16-2013, 05:52 AM - 2 Likes   #2

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Lenses are only as exciting as the person using them.
03-16-2013, 06:15 AM   #3
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If 30-35 equivalent is what your after then 21 or 24 for APSC is your approximate range. From what I have read and seen, I highly doubt the 21 limited is any kind of weak link. Recently I was looking for similar options myself. I have a K24/2.8, but was seriously interested in getting the DA21 too, because I felt it is better in most respects with autofocus. Then I got a super deal on a FA*24/2 which I will stick with, but that was a fluke. DA21 is probably your best bet. Good luck.
03-16-2013, 06:18 AM   #4
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I own the 21 limited and use it frequently; it is a good lens, but compared to its cousins the 70 limited and the 15 limited, there is not this kind of "magic" you may find in these. You have to stop it down, its best performance is at f6.7 Anyway you have 2 routes : the DA* zooms (or their sigma or tamron counterparts) or the limited; if you are engaged on the limited route, the DA 21 is an evident choice.

03-16-2013, 06:18 AM   #5
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You might want to wait for the 20-35mm ltd zoom Pentax has on the roadmap (according to which it should be released this year).
03-16-2013, 06:37 AM   #6
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May not be limited, but a have a think about the 15mm, some stunning results on this thread, see the below link and it would also give you the extra width you need.
03-16-2013, 07:03 AM - 2 Likes   #7
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Tammy 17-50 instead of 21 mm

If you are doing weddings, you might seriously consider the Tamron 17-50 constant f2.8. I have this lens, and the lens is a serious answer to quite a number of questions:

1. How can I get fantastic images in low-light situations?
2. What is a good lens for indoor occasions with variable lighting and space factors?
3. What is a good carry-around lens for anything from portraiture to landscape photography?
4. What is a single-lens that I can use for weddings for anything from a photo of the bride, to group photos, to a wide-angle view of the inside of the church?
5. What is a single lens that I can use inside the church/synagogue/atheist meeting hall when the minister/priest/rabbi/atheist leader has a rule against flashes?
6. What is the best lens to carry in a wedding reception where there are crowds, variable lighting, and need for a wide variety of focal lengths when it is too crowded to "zoom with your feet"?

Actually, there are three competing lens with f 2.8 and this focal length range: The Tamron, Sigma, and Pentax. Do a search of the Lens Forum for a comprehensive comparative review of all three. The review gives the Tamron the nod in several categories, including value as well as image quality in certain circumstances.

Of course, you can carry a second camera (or even do a lens change) for longer focal lengths. The 77 Limited or any other longer length lens can likewise serve the purpose for the portraiture shots of bride and groom and other single shots where image quality is paramount, or where there is some personal preference.

The Tamron 17-50 tends to be a sticky lens (stays on the camera) just because it answers so many questions with outstanding image quality. It will not produce quite the image quality of a more specialized prime such as the Pentax 77 Limited, but few other lens, even primes, can do it either! You sometimes may find yourself shooting with the Tammy 17-50 so much that you begin to feel disloyal to your primes! The Tammy 17-50 is what I think of as a professional lens in that it gets the job done in so many different situations with no apologies due for image quality. A pixil-peeking amateur may look for greater perfection in every shot, but the client will not, and your overall performance as a photographer may actually improve because you are less likely to lose critical shots because you are changing cameras or lenses to get the one lens that is perfect for a specific situation.

Good luck to you in your decision, and may this wedding photography opportunity come out perfect for you and the wedding party!
03-16-2013, 07:23 AM - 1 Like   #8
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I love my 21 ltd... but not for indoors and low light...we have the Tamron 17-50 2.8 for that, or the 35 2.4 or the 50 -1.7 or even the 18-135 gets a lot of indoor use.

But for this


or this

or this

or this

or these

21_ltd Photos by Norm_Head | Photobucket

Anything where the ability of the colours to flow into each other is more important than just outright tack sharpness it's a great lens. I know that's blasphemy on this forum, where the engineering of a lens is dedicated to sharpness... but his lens has a place in my bag and rarely gets left home. And why not? It fits in my shirt pocket.

Last edited by normhead; 03-16-2013 at 09:24 AM.
03-16-2013, 08:11 AM   #9
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I wish there is a FA limited version of 24/f2, as 24mm seems to me the ideal focal length for indoor shots.
03-16-2013, 08:17 AM   #10
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Original Poster
Some really good points here, thanks everyone!

As much as I love the limited series, I believe there are better alternatives this time.
The 20-35mm ltd zoom sounds promising, I guess I'll wait a little and then decide. Also, I did some reasearch, and at the moment Tamron really looks like a winner, its price/performance ratio is fantastic
03-16-2013, 08:23 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Apapukas Quote
Some really good points here, thanks everyone!

As much as I love the limited series, I believe there are better alternatives this time.
The 20-35mm ltd zoom sounds promising, I guess I'll wait a little and then decide. Also, I did some reasearch, and at the moment Tamron really looks like a winner, its price/performance ratio is fantastic
We haven't had much opportunity to use,( The tamron 17-50) it we just bought it at Christmas, but every time we use it we look at the images and are just blown away. It makes it hurt when you don't get the composition just right because you know the lens did it's job, it's on you for not doing yours.
03-16-2013, 09:40 AM   #12
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I have the 21 and it is awesome. Despite the fact that I don't get to shoot much lately (lots and lots going on)....but that is a go to lens. It is a little slow aperture wise but other than that I personally like it a lot. Give it light and its great. The colors are amazing with the 21...

I have the tamron 17-50 as well. That one is great too. No arguments from me there.

Last edited by alamo5000; 03-16-2013 at 09:53 AM.
03-16-2013, 12:43 PM   #13

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I have the FA20/2.8 and FA*24/2. I'm really liking the FA*24 and using it more often - perhaps partly because it's a more recent acquisition, but mostly because I like the speed and IQ I'm getting.

My vote goes to the FA*24. You get speed nearly matching the FA31 while going considerably wider, and 24mm is a focal length I especially enjoy on APS-C anyway (which I learned from my previous experience with the A24/2.8 - which is also a good choice if you don't need AF). And especially for the weddings, I think the faster speed of the FA*24 will give you more flexibility/versatility than a 20/21mm lens that's a stop or more slower. You can't go any wider while staying fast in Pentaxland (although the Samyang MF is even faster at 24mm:

Last edited by DSims; 03-16-2013 at 12:54 PM.
03-16-2013, 02:03 PM   #14
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I love my 21 mm - I can't think of any lens for a pentax that will match it a round that focal length. I think one of the most stunning photos i took with it was quite accidental in that it was the only lens I had with me. I found a green cameleon and didn't have my macros. The colours and detail of the full image is breathtaking. Bottom line is that my clients love my work ie the quality of my images and much of it is taken with the 21Ltd.

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Last edited by Bob from Aus; 03-16-2013 at 02:21 PM.
03-16-2013, 02:19 PM   #15
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To each his own opinion. My 21 is my most used lens out of about 10 choices.

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