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06-19-2013, 12:22 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by carrrlangas Quote
Besides the Angle of view difference, comparing lenses stopped down wonīt give you much information. Imagine a $300 lens at f/8 vs premium $10,000 at f/8... If based on that results, you could say thereīs not that much advantage of the premium lens ver the cheap one.
As far as I can tell, this is based on the (patently false) assumption that the only significant difference between lenses is resolution. But if you took the same landscape image in good light with the DA 18-55 II and DA 15, both at f8, and made an 16 by 24 print of each pic, the DA 15 image would look better. It would have more snap and richer, deeper, more vivid color.

QuoteOriginally posted by nomadkng Quote
the 18-55 produces decent images, but they seem more high end p&s or high end camera phone looking, like I'm looking through a window. its still a nice image but it doesn't have the finite details or a sense of making things pop. color is decent and I would imagine in PP you can saturate a little to compensate.
That's pretty much was my experience with the 18-55. Nor does PP serve as an adequate substitute. I spent years trying to get colors I wanted from images taken with the 18-55, but somehow the pop, the vividness just wasn't there. You can make dramatic changes to color in PP, but often the subtle changes that really make a difference just can't be attained. Lenses like the 18-55 block more of the color spectrum so that you have less color information to work with in post. When I finally broke down and bought the DA 12-24 for $560, I discovered, much to my surprise, that I was getting the colors I had wanted all along right in the camera. And the microcontrast as well. I thought I was going to get better images because the DA 12-24 was sharper. Wrong. It was the microcontrast and color rendition that made the difference. And while that difference may not be huge, it can be a critical X-factor. With the DA 18-55, I would get a lot of mild praise: "Oh, those are nice photographs," etc. etc. Now I get, "Wow, those are amazing" and I win prizes and sell images.

Of course, all this is dependent on one's skill as a photographer. A lens, no matter how good, can't make a bad or mediocre photographer into a great photographer. And certain types of photography benefit more than others. If you prefer aless crisp, "atmospheric" look and you're not into vivid color, there might not be much benefit in moving on to the DA 15. But in landscape or architecture work, the DA 15 can produce stunning results that the 18-55 II could never even dream of matching.

06-19-2013, 12:45 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote
But if you took the same landscape image in good light with the DA 18-55 II and DA 15, both at f8, and made an 16 by 24 print of each pic, the DA 15 image would look better. It would have more snap and richer, deeper, more vivid color.
But those things I can change in PP... flare, haze, ghosting, etc. I can not. Thatīs why I made my point. If you are going to compare 2 lenses, make it wide open to see how they behave.. Kit lens and DA15 are only 1/3 of a stop away at f/3.5 and f/4, respectively.
If I were to compare these lenses: Iīll set both wide open, focus to +5m so both lenses will be beyond hyperfocal distance (2m to infinity). If not, DoF would make the DA15 appear sharper (wide open, kit lens and DA15 gives 20m and infinit DoF respectively when focusing at 4m**). Hood on both and fire some shots to see what happens.
Other idea is to stop down the kit lens to f/4.

**Hey, thatīs actually another big difference for the DA15, but is has more to do with focal length and aperture than the lens itself
06-19-2013, 12:56 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote
Of course, all this is dependent on one's skill as a photographer. A lens, no matter how good, can't make a bad or mediocre photographer into a great photographer. And certain types of photography benefit more than others. If you prefer aless crisp, "atmospheric" look and you're not into vivid color, there might not be much benefit in moving on to the DA 15. But in landscape or architecture work, the DA 15 can produce stunning results that the 18-55 II could never even dream of matching.
I do think this is key. There is not a particular lens that will turn a poor photographer into a great photographer, but if you are capable, there are lenses that will enable you to do better work. The DA 15 limited is such a lens.

It is easy to look at some of the photos in the FA limited lens club thread or even the DA 15 limited thread and think that if you just had the right lens, you could make great art. But it isn't quite that easy...
06-19-2013, 01:39 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by carrrlangas Quote
But those things I can change in PP... flare, haze, ghosting, etc. I can not. Thatīs why I made my point. If you are going to compare 2 lenses, make it wide open to see how they behave.. Kit lens and DA15 are only 1/3 of a stop away at f/3.5 and f/4, respectively.
If I were to compare these lenses: Iīll set both wide open, focus to +5m so both lenses will be beyond hyperfocal distance (2m to infinity). If not, DoF would make the DA15 appear sharper (wide open, kit lens and DA15 gives 20m and infinit DoF respectively when focusing at 4m**). Hood on both and fire some shots to see what happens.
Other idea is to stop down the kit lens to f/4.

**Hey, thatīs actually another big difference for the DA15, but is has more to do with focal length and aperture than the lens itself
It's not just at wide open, however. I've had "high quality" glass that beyond f11 was useless. When shooting with my DA15, and my FA20-35, I have no fears of shooting f16 and f22. Yes I know the laws of physics say diffraction is kicking in, by the laws of artistic interpretation (my eyes) say I still have very usable (saleable) images at these apertures and this is not the case with many lenses out there.

To me, there is a difference in certain "best of the best" lenses across the entire f-stop range. Maybe to an mtf analyzer the greatest difference will be at max aperture, but as a landscape photographer I don't think I've shot wider than f8 in ten years. I DO see a difference in lenses at smaller f-stops, therefore I submit that the comparison has validity.

06-19-2013, 01:49 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by nomadkng Quote
It's not just at wide open, however.
True, depends on application.

QuoteOriginally posted by nomadkng Quote
I've had "high quality" glass that beyond f11 was useless.
I think (not sure, not an expert) this shouldnīt happen with modern lenses, even with the kit lens. But someone with more knowledge should confirm this. @Digitalis perhaps?
06-19-2013, 04:52 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattt Quote
I shot the DA l 18-55 as a "Single In" lens - Here

and I have shot the DA 15 Lts as a "Single In" lens - Here I know many others of our "Single In" participants have shot both, so you might want to hit that group and see what there is to be seen.
...
Wow, I've got to say, you produced some very good results with that kit lens. I'd love to follow you around for a month and learn from you. I enjoyed both sets, but expected to be impressed with the prime set. Your results with the kit zoom are inspiring.
06-19-2013, 06:31 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by nomadkng Quote
I've had "high quality" glass that beyond f11 was useless

I consider a lens that has to be stopped down more than two stops to be practically useless, the DA15mm f/4 only performs consistently across the frame at f/11 for landscape photography. My Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 delivers a superior performance to the DA15mm f/4 when used at 15mm f/8 - Though on a Pentax K5IIs diffraction is already apparent at f/8, wideangle lenses with their inherently large DOF on APS-C format cameras hide the need for very small apertures.

As far as diffraction is concerned I think we can all agree that any aperture beyond f/22 is falling in the range where you will severely degrade image quality to the point of no return.
06-19-2013, 07:00 PM   #23
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Shot almost the same scene within a few minutes of each other at f22. I used the 18-135, which is a bit better then the 18-55, and does much nicer sun stars. You can see that the 15 is better all around. Sharper, more detail in the sky, better contrast, less flare. Is it $600 nicer? Is to me. It is wider, but it's not like it's AMAZINGLY wider, but it's good for me.

I moved a little closer with the 15, so the framing is actually quite close to the same on the main structure. You can pixel peep and see a pretty pronounced sharpness difference.

Download the originals, put them in lightroom, and use the X->Y feature to compare them.

18-135



15



06-19-2013, 07:57 PM   #24
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If you're not a wide angle shooter then don't bother getting the 15. I love using mine when it's applicable, but it's definitely not a walkaround lens. I would keep both and use the 18-55 in the 25-40mm range where it performs pretty well. Pull the 15mm out for some nice wide framing.

Honestly, microcontrast and coloring can all be done in Lightroom in a few seconds. Raise the clarity, contrast, and saturation. However, with the 15mm you get spectacular flare resistance (you'd spend hours editing that out in photoshop), excellent contrast and coloring right off the bat, and razor sharpness, especially in the center. I know corner sharpness is somewhat inconsistent among different 15's but thankfully mine is pretty damn sharp. MUCH sharper than the 18-55 at 18mm, and again, you can't just fix that in photoshop.

So if the differences are worth it to you, then go for it. It's an amazing lens when it's used right.
06-19-2013, 08:59 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kozlok Quote
Shot almost the same scene within a few minutes of each other at f22. I used the 18-135, which is a bit better then the 18-55, and does much nicer sun stars. You can see that the 15 is better all around. Sharper, more detail in the sky, better contrast, less flare. Is it $600 nicer? Is to me. It is wider, but it's not like it's AMAZINGLY wider, but it's good for me.

I moved a little closer with the 15, so the framing is actually quite close to the same on the main structure. You can pixel peep and see a pretty pronounced sharpness difference.

Download the originals, put them in lightroom, and use the X->Y feature to compare them.

18-135



15

Thanks so much, after seeing those images I'm really struggling to see major differences between the two lenses. I think I'll just stick to the kit lens at 18mm
06-19-2013, 09:46 PM   #26
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I often have to check the EXIF to see if a shot was made with my 15 or my 18-135 at 18. That is only with lens correction turned on in the K5 - otherwise distortion and CA give the 18 away.
06-19-2013, 10:11 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by NitroDC Quote
If you're not a wide angle shooter then don't bother getting the 15. I love using mine when it's applicable, but it's definitely not a walkaround lens. I would keep both and use the 18-55 in the 25-40mm range where it performs pretty well. Pull the 15mm out for some nice wide framing.

Honestly, microcontrast and coloring can all be done in Lightroom in a few seconds. Raise the clarity, contrast, and saturation. However, with the 15mm you get spectacular flare resistance (you'd spend hours editing that out in photoshop), excellent contrast and coloring right off the bat, and razor sharpness, especially in the center. I know corner sharpness is somewhat inconsistent among different 15's but thankfully mine is pretty damn sharp. MUCH sharper than the 18-55 at 18mm, and again, you can't just fix that in photoshop.

So if the differences are worth it to you, then go for it. It's an amazing lens when it's used right.
I agree completely with this. I was really wishing to get a DA15 but found out for my needs, DA10-17 and DA16-50 is far better. I do would like the size, but the DA16-50 also replaces the DA18-55WR. And you get it used for similar price of a new DA15

Last edited by carrrlangas; 06-19-2013 at 10:25 PM.
06-19-2013, 10:28 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote
Originally posted by nomadkng
the 18-55 produces decent images, but they seem more high end p&s or high end camera phone looking, like I'm looking through a window. its still a nice image but it doesn't have the finite details or a sense of making things pop. color is decent and I would imagine in PP you can saturate a little to compensate.
That's pretty much was my experience with the 18-55. Nor does PP serve as an adequate substitute. I spent years trying to get colors I wanted from images taken with the 18-55, but somehow the pop, the vividness just wasn't there.
I think the kit lens is much better than a high end P&S. Of course, depends on what you are going to use it for. But for example, I took this photo with DA18-55WR and good CPL filter.


Is this possible with a P&S (I know it isnīt with a phone camera... that is too much..)
Hereīs the flickr link for more sizes: Cerro El Plata | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
06-19-2013, 10:40 PM   #29
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@Digitalis, did you see a "you have been quoted / mentioned" notification on your control panel when I named you before? (I am wondering if that acutally works like that)
QuoteOriginally posted by carrrlangas Quote
I think (not sure, not an expert) this shouldnīt happen with modern lenses, even with the kit lens. But someone with more knowledge should confirm this. @Digitalis perhaps?
Also, regarding diffraction, why is it shows itīs effect at different f-stops on different lenses with the same focal length?
Would you say f/22 is the absolut limit for APS-C 16Mpx sensors? I mean, if I needed the depth of field f/22 will deliver, Would I be better off using f/11 because diffraction efect will be worse than out of focus blur?
06-20-2013, 01:05 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by mdodrill Quote
Just go to the lens club in this forum: the DA 15 controls my mind
Judge for yourself
+1, it becomes a no brainer after reading that thread.
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