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03-20-2013, 07:33 AM   #1
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DA 21mm L vs 12-24mm ED AL

What will I miss if I opt for the DA21mm limited instead of the 12-24mm. I love FIX lenses and the smallish 21mm.

Any suggestions..

Thxs,
Jakop

03-20-2013, 07:47 AM   #2
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I like my combo of the DA15 and the DA21. There small size is a bit plus in my mind and they fit my eye better than a zoom.
03-20-2013, 07:47 AM   #3
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I really loved my DA21mm, but perhaps you should consider the DA15 if you want a smallish prime in that range. I think it's a better overall replacement for the zoom.
03-20-2013, 07:51 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by veloz12 Quote
What will I miss if I opt for the DA21mm limited instead of the 12-24mm. I love FIX lenses and the smallish 21mm.

Any suggestions..

Thxs,
Jakop
I don't think you can ever completely replace a prime with a zoom or a zoom with a prime. They tend to have slightly different characteristics. The 21 is more predictable, easier to learn. Technically, the 21 is sharper in the centre but isn't sharp edge to edge until F-8, and surprise surprise, the 21 has quite a bit more barrel distortion so probably not the best for stitching panos, but otherwise probably ignorable. The 12-24 can't at any focal length approach the 21's control of CA, which is good for a Wide angle, but beyond what I'd accept in a standard or telephoto lens.

Info derived from...
Pentax SMC-DA 21mm f/3.2 AL Limited - Review / Test Report - Analysis

and

Pentax DA 12-24mm f/4 AL ED [IF] - Review / Test Report - Analysis

03-20-2013, 09:13 AM   #5
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I don't have the 21mm limited, but I do have the 70 Limited and the 40mm Limited. The Limited(s) are fine lenses....there is no doubt.

I do have the 12-24 Pentax and it is in a word....wonderful.

Clarity is excellent, I use mine for photos of vintage vehicles and sometimes the photo's almost seem 3d and the detail it picks up is nothing short of remarkable.

I also like the versatility of a zoom.....even one with a somewhat small range as the 12-24.

As far as how the 12-24 compares to other lenses of it's type...I think Popular Photography said it best when they rated the 12-24 as the best of the bunch....ie; ultra wide zooms.

My vote....get them both if you can swing it....if not...I would go for the 12-24. But that's my opinion....based on my needs.
03-20-2013, 09:20 AM   #6
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Some of the choice depends upon what you want to create with the lens. Are you mostly looking at creating landscape images ? street photography ? Do you want a standard wide angle or more of an ultra wide angle ? The 21mm on APS-C provides a field of view close to 35mm on full-frame. This I believe was a fairly common focal length for photo journalists, and is at the wide end of a normalish perspective. Common wide angle lenses for landscape ran in the 24-28mm range, which is 15mm-18mm on APS-C.

As has been stated, the 21mm Ltd is super sharp in the centre, and only tightens up at the edges later in the aperture range. The 12-24, while not quite as sharp in the centre, is quite consistent across the frame across all apertures. It also has very little distortion. If you are primarily looking for a lens for wide landscapes and architecture, the 12-24 is hard to beat. It's size also makes it a great weapon to defend ones self, urban or rural. If this is not your purpose, then the 21mm can do decent landscape if you keep the aperture tight and correct for distortion in PP, and it makes for a great street lens I hear. It is light and renders very nicely. Of course, the combination of both the 15mm and 21mm Ltd would be ideal :-)
03-20-2013, 10:00 AM   #7
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You would not have all the other focal lengths. The 12-24 has an excellent range, and is quite a bit wider. If I had to choose I would keep it over the 15/21 combo. If you like primes, then it does not matter, really :-)
03-20-2013, 10:17 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
I don't have the 21mm limited, but I do have the 70 Limited and the 40mm Limited. The Limited(s) are fine lenses....there is no doubt.

I do have the 12-24 Pentax and it is in a word....wonderful.

Clarity is excellent, I use mine for photos of vintage vehicles and sometimes the photo's almost seem 3d and the detail it picks up is nothing short of remarkable.

I also like the versatility of a zoom.....even one with a somewhat small range as the 12-24.

As far as how the 12-24 compares to other lenses of it's type...I think Popular Photography said it best when they rated the 12-24 as the best of the bunch....ie; ultra wide zooms.

My vote....get them both if you can swing it....if not...I would go for the 12-24. But that's my opinion....based on my needs.
I think the Sigma 8-16 pretty much buries the 12-24 in terms of technical specs. Amazing sharpness and prime like control of CA and the barrel distortion is corrected by 12mm. There's a thread on it somewhere. I didn't go for a 12-24 , the 10-20 the 10-24 or any of those types of lenses because I realize I'd still want the 8-16, where as coupled with a Tammy 17-50 those two lenses the 12-24 gives me overlap and it has to compete with one of the best lenses ever made for Pentax.

03-20-2013, 12:14 PM   #9
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The DA 12-24 is great. I've used it for travel, concerts and street shooting. Very nice lens and focuses well in low light.




Last edited by john5100; 03-20-2013 at 12:40 PM.
03-20-2013, 03:11 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by john5100 Quote
The DA 12-24 is great. I've used it for travel, concerts and street shooting. Very nice lens and focuses well in low light.


It's all about where it fits in your line up.
03-20-2013, 04:22 PM   #11
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Thank you all for your helpful replies. Hope I can make the best decision.

BTW, the concert photos are SUPERB. Love both Slash and Satriani.

Jakop
03-20-2013, 04:31 PM   #12
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I agree about the line up issue. It does over lap my DA* 16-50mm but I got the DA 12-24 first. It is sharp as heck though and I really was surprised how it did in low light focusing. Not sure how the Siggy does in that respect.
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